Friday, September 26, 2014

Valiant heroes find their way onto toy shelves in 2015

from the official press release . . . . . .

          Valiant Entertainment and CKRTLAB Toys are proud to announce a brand new line of urban vinyl figures featuring Valiant's award-winning library of super-heroes.  Slated for a release in comic shops and online in 2015, the new Valiant urban vinyl toy line will feature a wide selection of highly stylized Valiant heroes, beginning with X-O Manowar.

CKRTLAB_X-O Manowar_001

          Valiant will offer an exclusive, early release of the first new figure in the Valiant urban vinyl line – X-O Manowar – at New York Comic-Con from October 9th-12th, 2014.  Limited to 150 pieces and available only from Valiant Entertainment at New York Comic Con 2014 (Booth #2028) for $25 per figure, the X-O Manowar Urban Vinyl figure stands 5.5 inches tall with 6 points of articulation and comes enhanced with a luster-rich metallic finish, exclusive "lightning sword" weapon accessory, and collectible packaging that is perfect for display.

CKRTLAB_X-O Manowar_002

          "Since day one, Valiant's fans around the world have been demanding figures and figurines of these iconic heroes," said Russell A. Brown, President of Consumer Products, Promotions, and Ad Sales for Valiant Entertainment.  "In CKRTLAB TOYS, we've found the perfect partner to make that dream a reality, and we can't wait to get the first-ever X-O Manowar figure in front of fans at New York Comic-Con 2014."

          "Valiant Entertainment creates some of the best comics in the market today," said Tim Ellis, CEO of CKRTLAB TOYS.  "CKRTLAB TOYS is thrilled about our partnership with Valiant Entertainment and bringing vinyl figures of these great characters to all the fans."


          Aric of Dacia, a fifth century Visigoth armed with the universe's most powerful weapon, is all that stands between the Earth and all-out annihilation at the hands of the alien race that abducted him from his own time.  Stranded in the modern day, X-O Manowar's battle against the Vine has taken him into the shadows with the lethal operative known as Ninjak – and launched a quest for vengeance that will bring the Vine's alien empire to its knees.  The Vine destroyed Aric's world.  Now he will give them war.
Since debuting in the pages of X-O Manowar #1 in 1992, X-O Manowar has sold more than 8 million copies and featured work by a distinguished roster of comics luminaries including current Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada, former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter, comics legends Bob Layton and Barry Windsor-Smith, and many, many more.


          As the first title of Valiant’s 2012 relaunch, the all-new X-O Manowar #1 by New York Times best-selling writer Robert Venditti and Eisner Award-winning artist Cary Nord became one of the year’s highest selling debut issues, warranting four sold-out printings.  In the years since, the series has continued to accrue critical and commercial accolades, including awards for “Best Revival of 2012″ by The Onion/A.V. Club, “Best Ongoing Series” by Ain’t It Cool News, and a 2012 Diamond Gem Award nomination for Best Comic Book of the Year, among others.

          Most recently, X-O Manowar was recruited into the ranks of Valiant's first-ever superteam – alongside other all-star heroes including Bloodshot, Ninjak, Eternal Warrior, and Livewire – to launch 2013's highest charting debut issue from a non-premier publisher in Unity #1; and found himself at the epicenter of Valiant's sold-out summer crossover event, Armor Hunters, cementing his role as the Earth's most formidable hero.

For more information, visit Valiant on Facebook, on Twitter, on Tumblr, and at

For Valiant merchandise and more, visit

Dynamite gives us . . . . . SHAFT

From the official press release . . . .


September 22, 2014, Mt. Laurel, NJ:  Dynamite Entertainment is proud to announce the signing of writer David F. Walker and artist Bilquis Evely to its upcoming Shaft comic book, based on the hard-hitting detective created by novelist Ernest Tidyman and popularized in films featuring Richard Roundtree and Samuel L. Jackson.  Slated for release in December, Shaft #1 celebrates the 45th anniversary of an American icon with a wealth of cover art options by industry talents including Francesco Francavilla, Michael Avon Oeming, Ulises Farinas, Matt Haley, Sanford Greene, and a landmark collaboration between Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz.

          John Shaft, described as a "tough, take-no-guff detective" and "private dick that's a sex machine to all the chicks" in composer/singer Isaac Hayes' Oscar-winning Theme from Shaft, has gone toe-to-toe with organized crime bosses, stood up to the cops, squared off against kidnappers, and foiled assassination attempts in his novel and film appearances.  But who was John Shaft before he became the hardboiled investigator with a reputation as big as New York City itself?  For the first time ever, the detective's origins are explored, courtesy of the new series by Dynamite Entertainment.


          "Working on Shaft, one of the most iconic characters in pop culture, is a dream come true," says David F. Walker. "I've been a fan of the character since I was a kid, and especially love him in his original iteration, as created by author Ernest Tidyman.  My take on Shaft is steeped in Tidyman's work, and builds on the world created in the original novels.  I'm exploring who he is as a man, as a private detective, and as a cold-blooded killer.  This John Shaft is much grittier, more badass, with a complexity never seen in the films.  The name may be familiar, and some aspects of the character may be recognizable, but at the end of the day, he will be something new and exciting - especially in the world of comics.  This is Shaft the way Shaft was meant to be."


          David F. Walker is an award-winning journalist, filmmaker, and author of the Young Adult series The Adventures of Darius Logan.  His publication BadAzz MoFo became internationally known as the indispensable resource guide to black films of the 1970s, and he is co-author of the book Reflections on Blaxploitation: Actors and Directors Speak . His work in comics includes the series Number 13 (Dark Horse Comics), The Army of Dr. Moreau (Monkeybrain Comics), and The Supernals Experiment (Canon Comics).

          Bilquis Evely is a rising star on Dynamite's roster of talented artists.  Recently she worked alongside writer Chris Roberson on the critically acclaimed Doc Savage miniseries.  Her other works include The Shadow / Green Hornet: Dark Nights crossover event with writer Michael Uslan, The Shadow Annual #1, and Miss Fury.  Evely's experience with Dynamite's pulp heroes has made her the perfect fit for the mean streets of 1970's New York City in Shaft.


          Shaft #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' October Previews catalog, the premiere source of merchandise for the comic book specialty market, and slated for release in December.  Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of Shaft #1 with their local comic book retailers . Shaft will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, iVerse, and Dark Horse Digital.

Shaft01-Cov-E-Haley     Shaft01-Cov-F-SubGreen

Thursday, September 25, 2014

NYCC Panel: Why Is The Con Scene Exploding?

Editor’s Note:  Here’s yet another reason why I regret not being able to attend the New York Comic Con in October.  As a long time attendee at the Baltimore Comic Con I have watched that event grow from a hotel site to a convention center. 2014 was the biggest year for BCC, and they moved to a new, larger space at the Baltimore Convention Center.  Why is it important to know the answer to the headline question?  Simply because those of us with a vested interest (either as fans, creators, or retailers) in this great original American Art Form should always understand and utilize anything that helps to promote and perpetuate the medium.

from the official press release . . . . . . .

 Show Organizers, Experts Tackle Big Questions

(September 25, 2014 - Madison, WI)  The comic convention scene is exploding, both in number of shows and attendance.   Who are these hundreds of thousands of new attendees, and what does it mean for show organizers, for exhibitors, and for the audience for the products they sell?

          The growth has been exponential, but that's come with a rapid change in the composition of attendees at some shows.   There are a lot more "civilians," leading at least one con veteran to call going to a con "like going to the mall" for a lot of the people there.   Exhibitors are finding the dynamic new environment a difficult one to navigate at times, and that the new audiences require new strategies to be successful.

          There's now a full range of events, from smaller festivals to multi-city tours to new pop-up shows to longtime regionals to the mega-shows in New York and San Diego.

          What's driving the growth, what kinds of people do the different strategies attract, and what does it mean for exhibitors and others who want to sell to these hundreds of thousands of new potential customers?

          We'll try to find the answer at the ICv2 Conference at New York Comic Con in the panel on "The Con Explosion" with this great panel of show organizers and experts:

  • Christine Bohle, Sr. Category Marketing Manager, Eventbrite
  • Patrick Bradley, EVP Digital Media & Entertainment, Wizard World, Inc.
  • Shelton Drum, CEO, Heroes Convention
  • Lance Fensterman, Senior Vice President ReedPOP
  • Meg Lemke, Chair, Comics & Graphic Novel Committee at the Brooklyn Book Festival, and Contributing Editor at MUTHA Magazine
  • Rob Salkowitz, author, writer of Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture
  • Moderated by Heidi MacDonald, comic editor and commentator from The Beat

The ICv2 Conference: The New Comics Customer will take place at the Jacob Javits Convention Center from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, October 8th.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Nameless Digest revamps web site after technical absence


I don’t know if you were following this website or not, but it has been out of service for several months while some technical issues were being worked through.

It is now back in business and worth taking a look at.  Appearance, format and content have been revised and the new site is much more appealing.

Look for book and movie reviews as well as author interviews and profiles.

In case you weren’t aware,  I am also an occasional contributor (without compensation) but I’m not trying to drum up business here - - just want to let like-minded lovers of the dark and weird aspects of popular culture know about this site.  I visit frequently.

Here’s a sample review that may whet your appetite . . . . . . .


Bunn sends Ash to space in new AOD title from Dynamite

from the official press release . . . . .



September 22, 2014, Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite Entertainment proudly announces that its flagship title and longest-running comic book series, Army of Darkness, will launch with a brand new #1 issue in December.  Cullen Bunn, the celebrated writer of Deadpool, will take iconic horror hero Ash Williams somewhere he has never been before: outer space.  Longtime franchise fans are invited to strap themselves in for the bold new direction, in a series featuring interior artwork by Army of Darkness staple Larry Watts, as well as cover artwork by industry heavyweights, including Gabriel Hardman, Tim Seeley, Art Adams, Walter Flanagan, and Jay Shaw.

          Ash Williams, the hero of horror franchise Army of Darkness and reluctant "Chosen One" in the war against demons, has encountered so many strange happenings over the years, but nothing could have prepared him for his latest misadventure.  Catapulted into the depths of space, Ash must confront the Deadites in a place where no one can hear his screams... or his chainsaw... or his boomstick!  What do the forces of the evil dead want with the International Space Station... and can our square-jawed protagonist prevent Armageddon?


          "Ash is kind of the ultimate screwball knucklehead, and he really has no business being the 'Chosen One' in the battle against ultimate darkness.  That's what makes him such a compelling underdog," says Bunn, whose new Army of Darkness series follows on the heels of his contribution to November's Army of Darkness #1992.1 one-shot special.  "With this new series, we're taking the 'fish out of water' storyline to the next level, because not only is Ash fighting the Deadites, he's doing so in the depths of space!  With such a strange set-up, it might be easy to think that this is a big departure from what we've seen before, but my goal has been to make this 'feel' very much like it belongs in the same family as the source material, even though the setting is so vastly different."

          Cullen Bunn is a freelance writer perhaps best known for Marvel Comics' popular Deadpool and Magneto series, as well as the Oni Press series The Damned and The Sixth Gun.  He is also a short story writer and novelist; his major publications outside of the comic book sphere include Crooked Hills and Creeping Stones & Other Stories.  He has been nominated for the Bram Stoker Award (2012), the Eisner Award (2012), and the Ghastly Awards (2011), and is the winner of Broken Frontier's "Best Writer Independent" Award (2011).

          Army of Darkness is a 1992 fantasy/comedy film with strong horror elements starring Bruce Campbell (Burn Notice) and Embeth Davidtz, the third installment in a trilogy featuring reluctant hero Ash Williams.   Directed by Sam Raimi (Spider-Man), the film saw its tough-as-nails, wise-cracking protagonist transported from the modern era to the Dark Ages in his continuing war against demonic evil.  Army of Darkness generated a dedicated fan following for its premise and lead actor.

          "Cullen Bunn has been tearing up the comic book universe with his work on Deadpool -- an offbeat, unpredictable explosion of mirth and mayhem -- and it's just that sort of frenetic storytelling that makes Cullen the perfect fit for the Army of Darkness world," says Nick Barrucci, Dynamite CEO and Publisher.  "Larry Watts is the icing on the cake, because his comic and horror sensibilities are just right to bring Cullen's script to life.  We're taking Ash to the stars on his biggest adventure yet, and you'll never believe what happens next."

          Army of Darkness #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' October Previews catalog, the premiere source of merchandise for the comic book specialty market, and slated for release in December.  Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of Army of Darkness #1 with their local comic book retailers.  Army of Darkness will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, iVerse, and Dark Horse Digital.

AODSpace01-Cov-B-Seeley                                      AODSpace01-Cov-D-Flanagan

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Conference preview: Who is the new comics customer?

EDITOR’S NOTES: This is a topic that fascinates me. Recently, I have sensed that the audience for comics is growing ( a great thing!) and changing (wait and see if it’s pro or con).  Whenever I pick up new information, I will share with our readers. Look for an upcoming article here about a Baltimore Comic Con panel related to this subject. I’ve just been unable to find the time to write it because of work obligations. You will see new content here weekly, but it could be  a little bit longer before the reviews and articles return.  Thanks for your patience and support of our  blogsite. 

From the official press release . . . . . . . . .

Top Executives, Experts Gather at ICv2 Conference On The New Comics Customer

(September 23, 2014 - Madison, WI)  ICv2 has announced its initial speaker list for the ICv2 Conference: The New Comics Customer, a special industry event held in conjunction with New York Comic Con.  The list includes top executives from comic and graphic novel publishers, convention organizers, digital and physical comic retailers, and other experts, all coming together to discuss the dramatic changes in the comics and graphic novel audience that are transforming the business.

          "I've never seen anything like what's happening in the comics and graphic novel business right now," ICv2 CEO Milton Griepp said of the Conference focus.  "There are a whole range of factors that are driving these changes, and we've brought together some of the best minds in the business to explore what's happening."

          The new comic customers, often outside the teen and young adult male segments that dominated comics for years, are being drawn to comics and graphic novels in new ways, buying them in new formats, including digital, and choosing stories that even a few years ago would not have been able to find sufficient audiences but now are turning into big hits.

          The ICv2 Conference will bring together the data and the people that can help explain this phenomenon, the sources of growth, and the prospects for the future.  Speakers include Lance Fensterman, the SVP in charge of ReedPOP, which runs New York Comic Con and a host of other pop culture shows; David Steinberger, CEO of comiXology, the leading digital comics company; Ted Adams, CEO of IDW Publishing; Jon Goldwater, Co-CEO of Archie Comics, and a host of other executives and experts.
For the full list of sessions and speakers, click here.
The ICv2 Conference is open to all press accredited by New York Comic Con, but we need your RSVP.  Please click here to let us know you are coming.

About ICv2
ICv2 is the #1 industry source on the business of geek culture, including comics and graphic novels, manga and anime, movie/TV products, and hobby games, on its Website,, and in its magazine, Internal Correspondence.  For the people on the front lines of the geek culture business, staying ahead of the trends isn't something that can be left to chance--it's a basic necessity for being successful.  That's why ICv2 is the #1 source of news and information for the buyers, gatekeepers, and tastemakers on the front lines.  ICv2 is where trend-watching is a science.

Conference Co-Sponsor: Eventbrite
Eventbrite provides a simple, streamlined ticketing platform to help organizers set up, promote, and sell out their events--from fan conventions and tournaments to local meetups, celebrity signings and press events.

Conference Sponsor: Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly is your number one insider's guide for all pre-publication comics and graphic novels.

Conference Sponsor: Heidi MacDonald's The Beat
The Beat, now in its ninth year, is dedicated to providing the timeliest and most pertinent news and information about comics, the people who make them, the readers who love them and the world that shapes them.

Conference Sponsor: New York Comic Con
New York Comic Con is the East Coast's biggest and most exciting popular culture convention.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

New pulp adventures featuring Lester Dent creation

information taken from the official press release . . . . . .

          The New Adventures of Foster Fade, The Crime Spectacularist

         From out of the past come new tales of one of Pulp’s gadget wielding gumshoes.  Pro
Se Productions
, in conjunction with Altus Press, presents a new volume in its PULP OBSCURA imprint featuring a character created by legendary Pulp Author Lester Dent, creator of Doc Savage.

Foster Fade

          The New Adventures of Foster Fade, The Crime Spectacularist is the return of Dent’s character, first appearing in Dell’s All Detective Magazine in 1934.  Fade is a private investigator who is employed by a major newspaper to investigate the strange and the bizarre with his assistant Dinamenta “Din” Stevens, a reporter who writes about his incredible exploits.

          Armed with extraordinary instruments of scientific wizardry, Fade and Din are back on their beat and plunging headlong into adventure.  Authors Adam Lance Garcia, H. David Blalock, Aubrey Stephens, Derrick Ferguson, and David White pen six new tales featuring mechanical marvels and maddening mystery in The New Adventures of Foster Fade,
The Crime Spectacularist.
From PULP OBSCURA and authorized by the Lester Dent Estate.

          The New Adventures of Foster Fade, The Crime Spectacularist is available in print at Amazon and  and in digital format at Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Contribute to three charities and get huge Valiant bundle in return

Editor’s Note:  This is a great way to make a contribution (of your choice) and get a ton of digital copies of great Valiant books.  Donate $15 or more and also get access to the original Valiant masters  from the 1980’s.  A very worthwhile use of your charitable dollars, and a great bargain as well.

Pay what you want for Valiant’s ultimate digital comic collection of your favorite titles and characters, while supporting charities that make truly heroic differences around the world.

Humble Bundle and award-winning comic book publisher Valiant Entertainment are proud to present the Humble Valiant Bundle – the ultimate digital comics collection featuring more than 120 issues of some of the most critically acclaimed titles anywhere in comics today!
A special one-time offering loaded with collections of Valiant's best-selling series and online debuts, customers purchasing the Humble Valiant Bundle can choose to benefit three vitally important charities – Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the Hero Initiative, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF).
The Humble Valiant Bundle features a longbox-busting digital library of 24 graphic novels and collections, and spans all of Valiant's most popular superhero titles – including X-O Manowar, Archer & Armstrong, Harbinger, Bloodshot, Quantum and Woody, and more! With a total retail value of more than $420, the Humble Valiant Bundle is the single biggest comics offering ever presented by Humble Bundle.
Featuring work by an all-star cast of top talents – including writers Joshua Dysart (Swamp Thing), Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT), Bob Layton (Iron Man), Jim Shooter (Avengers), Fred Van Lente (Marvel Zombies), and Robert Venditti (Green Lantern), alongside artists Doug Braithwaite (Justice), Clayton Crain (Carnage), Cary Nord (Conan) and more – the Valiant Humble Bundle is the perfect place to discover why Valiant continues to win over fans and critics around the world with high quality storytelling and outstanding artwork.

Fans can name their price to receive the first TWO volumes of X-O Manowar, Archer & Armstrong, Quantum and Woody, Harbinger and Unity. Plus: get the classic Shadowman video game as an extra-added bonus!
Contribute more than the average price to get even more of Valiant's blockbuster publishing line with the first two volumes of Bloodshot, Shadowman and Eternal Warrior – plus the first volume of Rai and Harbinger Wars!
For $15 or more, Valiant will open the vaults and unleash the entire Valiant Masters digital series, showcasing the legendary origins of one of the greatest universes in comics. Re-presenting the original adventures of Ninjak, Rai, Bloodshot, Shadowman, and H.A.R.D. Corps – plus a Humble Bundle-exclusive Valiant Masters volume of classic X-O Manowar not available in print – the Valiant Masters series celebrates Valiant's historic legacy, and include dozens of pages of rarely seen bonus materials and special features.
"The Humble Valiant Bundle is by far one of our proudest achievements," said Gavin Cuneo, Valiant’s CFO and Head of Strategic Development. "While this is a fantastic opportunity for readers to access the Valiant Universe, what makes this partnership so important is the support it provides to three incredible charities with crucial missions in comics and around the world. Each of the organizations – Doctors Without Borders, the Hero Initiative, and the CBLDF – serves an incredibly important cause, and finding a way to further their missions with the support of Valiant's fans around the world was just too good to pass up."
The Humble Valiant Bundle runs for two weeks beginning Wednesday, September 17, 2014 and ends Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 11 a.m. PDT.
About Humble Bundle
Humble Bundle organizes pay-what-you-want plus charity promotions for awesome digital content and puts the power directly in the hands of the consumers, offering them fully-featured titles at prices they set themselves. Consumers pay what they want and decide how to allocate their money between publishers, charity and a humble tip. Humble Bundle also offers the Humble Store, a digital storefront that features great games at great prices with a portion of sales going to select charities. Since the company's launch in 2010, Humble Bundle has helped empower its community to allocate more than $45 million toward charity to date. For more information, please visit

X_O TPB CreaseSafe_SpineAdjust_FINAL

About Valiant Entertainment
Valiant is a leading character-based entertainment company with a library of over 1,750 characters, including X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Shadowman, Eternal Warrior, and many more. Established in 1989, Valiant has sold over 80 million comic books, and today its characters continue to be forged in publishing, licensing, film, video games, and beyond. Since its summer 2012 relaunch, Valiant has returned to the fore as one of the most highly regarded publishers in comics, winning a 2012 Diamond Gem Award for Comic Book Publisher of the Year. Visit them online at
About Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man-made disasters, and exclusion from health care in nearly 70 countries.
About The Hero Initiative
The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book artists and craftsmen in need. Hero Initiative creates a financial safety net for yesterday’s creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.
Since its inception, The Hero Initiative has had the good fortune to grant over $700,000 to the comics veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today.
About the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF)
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization protecting the freedom to read comics! Our work protects readers, creators, librarians, retailers, publishers and educators who face the threat of censorship. We monitor legislation and challenge laws that would limit the First Amendment. We create resources that promote understanding of comics and the rights our community is guaranteed. Every day we publish news and information about censorship events as they happen. We are partners in the Kids' Right to Read Project & Banned Books Week. Our expert legal team is available at a moment's notice to respond to First Amendment emergencies. CBLDF is a lean organization that works hard to protect the rights that our community depends on. Please support our important work!