Thursday, September 29, 2016

New BC grading system for comics reviews

EDITOR’S NOTE:  To many readers, it may appear that BC Refugees has morphed into a news and information site. We are honored that so many publishers are keeping us in the loop so we can inform our readers of upcoming projects.  However, we still intend to concentrate on our core mission:  to bring to attention creators and works that are perhaps not receiving as much publicity as they deserve.  Our recent Previews Pre-Order picks is a step in that direction.  (Yes, we still intend to spotlight work from the major publishers as well - - as long as it merits the attention.)  We’ve been trying to return to posting more reviews of comics on the site, and have been delayed several times.  It’s a cliche, but the shortest explanation is to just say that  “life gets in the way.”  Nevertheless, we will keep trying.  The new ratings system is just a method to make it easier to post reviews, by following a template.  It should also make it easier for readers to decide if they want to pick up the titles we are writing about.    Here are the specifics:

We’ll begin using a RATING SYSTEM of 10+ points, as detailed below.

STORY: Is the story well-told?  Does it engage the reader?  How original is it?  Is it one-dimensional or multi-faceted?  Possible 0-3 points.

ART:  Is the art engaging?  Does it assist in story-telling?  Is it clear or confusing? Is it complex or simple?  Possible 0-3 points.

COVER:  Does the cover have eye appeal?  Does it reflect the contents?  Does it create curiosity?  Possible 0-2 points. 

READ AGAIN?:  Is it worth a second reading? Yes or No.  Possible 0-1 point.

RECOMMEND?:  Would we recommend it to readers?  Yes or No.  Possible 0-1 point. 

KEEPER?: Is it different enough to stand apart from the pack in a meaningful way?  Is it a classic example of the form or genre?  In other words, would it be included in our Desert Island Long Box?  Yes or No.  Possible 1+ Bonus Point. 

Any title getting 11 points in this system is absolute perfection — you must have a copy for your collection!  (Thanks to Spinal Tap for giving us the idea for this - - - “our amplifiers go to 11!”)

So, if you’re just looking for something new to read, and we’ve rated a book at 7 points, it could be what you would like.

If we’ve rated a book at 8 points, it’s definitely premium quality.

Anything we rate over 8 points, is something you should be calling your comic store to hold a copy for you.

Please check out some of our upcoming reviews, and send us some feedback / comments.


All Star Collectible Trading Cards debut at NYCC

from the official ComiXology press release:

ComiXology Announces Comic Book All Stars Collectible Trading Cards: Series 2

Creator Cards Including Alison Bechdel, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Gail Simone and Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, & Nate Powell of the March Trilogy

Comic Book “Rookie” All Star Cards for Debut Comic Book Writers
 Margaret Atwood and Chuck Palahniuk

September 29, 2016 – New York, NY – ComiXology, Amazon’s premier digital comic shopping and reading platform, revealed today its 2016 New York Comic Con exclusive promotional give-away: Series 2 of the “Comic Book All Stars” collectible trading cards. With over 30 creators featured, the collectible cards spotlight a photo or self-portrait by fan-favorite comic book creators like Alison Bechdel (Fun Home), Neil Gaiman (Sandman), Joe Hill (Locke & Key), and Gail Simone (Birds of Prey). Series 2 features the first graphic-novel-specific card, with a tribute to the bestselling March Trilogy written by Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin with art by Nate Powell. 

Series 2 also introduces the first ever All Star “Rookie” Cards featuring two creators who recently made their graphic novel debuts: Booker Award-winning novelist Margaret Atwood (Angel Catbird) and #1 New York Times bestselling author Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club 2). The 31-card complete set includes fun facts about the creators as well as a redemption code on each Comic Book All Star card redeemable for a free title on that has been handpicked by the creator.

“Sequels need to be bigger and bolder than the original so we’ve upped the ante for New York Comic Con,” said comiXology cofounder and CEO David Steinberger. “Series 2 has more cards, including a card showcasing the all-ages comics creative team of Art Baltazar and Franco and a card spotlighting one of my personal favorite graphic novels of all time, March. Whether the cards are self-portraits, like Jim Cheung’s, or throwback photos like Cliff Chiang’s, they celebrate the unbridled creativity of the writers and artists who create comics.”

The Comic Book All Stars Series 2 collectible trading card set features the following cards

Charlie Adlardartist: The Walking Dead Tyreese Special (Image Comics)
Pénélope Bagieu, writer/artist: Josephine (Editions Delcourt)
Alison Bechdelwriter/artist: Fun Home (Houghton Mifflin)
Natacha Bustosartist: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (Marvel Comics)
Sophie Campbellartist: Shadoweyes (Iron Circus)
Cliff Chiang, artist: Paper Girls (Image Comics)
Jim Cheungartist: Young Avengers (Marvel Comics)
Johnnie Christmas, artist: Angel Catbird (Dark Horse Comics)
Kevin Eastmanwriter/artist: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW Publishing)
Neil Gaimanwriter: Sandman (Vertigo Comics)
Agnes Garbowskaartist: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (IDW Publishing)
Larry Hamawriter: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (IDW Publishing)
Dean Haspielwriter/artist: Beef With Tomato (Alternative Comics)
Joe Hillwriter: Locke & Key (IDW Publishing)
Jamal Iglewriter/artist: Molly Danger (Action Lab Entertainment)
Phil Jimenezwriter/artist: Superwoman (DC Comics)
Marjorie Liuwriter: Monstress (Image Comics)
Grant Morrisonwriter: Happy (Image Comics)
Jimmy Palmiottiwriter: Painkiller Jane (PaperFilms)
Amy Reederwriter/artist: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (Marvel Comics)
Gabriel Rodriguez, artist: Locke & Key (IDW Publishing)
Marguerite Sauvageartist: Faith (Valiant)
Gail Simonewriter: Clean Room (Vertigo Comics)
Charles Soulewriter: Letter 44 (Oni Press)
Louise Simonson
writer: Superman: Man of Steel (DC Comics)
Walt Simonsonwriter/artist: Ragnarök (IDW Publishing)
Chip Zdarskyartist: Sex Criminals (Image Comics)
Art Baltazar and Franco Aurelianiwriters/artists: Tiny Titans (DC Comics)
Team March, U.S. Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & artist Nate Powell (Top Shelf/IDW Publishing)
“All Star” Rookies: 
Margaret Atwoodwriter: Angel Catbird (Dark Horse Comics)
Chuck Palahniukwriter: Fight Club 2 (Dark Horse Comics)

New York Comic Con takes place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City from October 6th-9th with comiXology exhibiting in Artist Alley #M3-M4. ComiXology will be hosting two panels this year at the show and during every panel a limited supply of trading cards, as well as Kindle Fire HD devices, will be given out to lucky attendees. The “Comic Book All Stars Series 2” collectible trading cards will also be available at designated times during the convention at the comiXology presence in Artist Alley. The company will be announcing creator signings and card drops via social media and its Tumblr closer to the convention. 

Comic Book All Stars Collectible Trading Cards were made popular with Comic Book All Stars Series 1, a set of 26 cards that were given away in July at Comic-Con International in San Diego, California. 

About comiXology
ComiXology, an, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ:AMZN), is a revolutionary, cloud-based digital comics platform. With content from over 125 publishers as well as thousands of independent creators from around the world, comiXology provides an unrivaled library of comic books, graphic novels, manga and bandes dessinées. The company’s first in class innovations include the exclusive Guided View technology which provides an immersive and cinematic reading experience and a new monthly subscription service. ComiXology is based in New York City, with operations in Seattle, Los Angeles and Paris. For more information visit

A preview of IDW's specials at New York Comic Con

IDW Publishing Announce NYCC 2016 Exclusives & Debuts
IDW Publishing is heading to New York Comic Con with a ton of exclusives you won’t want to miss! See below for a full list of your convention must-haves.

Dirk Gently: Salmon of Doubt #1 Metallic Ink Variant
Cover art by Ilias Kyriazis
$10, Limited to 300 copies

*Cast signing at show!*


Jem and the Holograms #19 NYCC B&W Variant
Cover art by Meredith McLaren
$10, Limited to 250 copies

*Meet Meredith McLaren at the show!*


Revolution #1 NYCC B&W Variant
Cover art by Tradd Moore
$10, Limited to 300 copies


ROM: Revolution #1 NYCC Variant
Cover art by Gabriel Rodriguez
$10, Limited to 300 copies

*Meet Gabriel Rodriguez at the show!*


Star Trek 50th Anniversary Cover Celebration NYCC Variant
Cover art by JK Woodward
$10, Limited to 200 copies


Star Trek 50th Anniversary Cover Celebration - Triptych Variant Set
Cover art by JK Woodward
$30, Limited to 50 sets, FREE gift with purchase


Wynonna Earp #8 Photo Edition pre-signed by Katherine Barrell
Katherine Barrell Photo Cover
$20, Limited to 300 copies

*Cast signing at show!*


Bloom County TPB Softcover
Cover art by Berkeley Breathed
$18, Limited to 150 copies

*Meet Berkeley Breathed at the show!*


Crazy Is the New Normal *CONVENTION DEBUT*
Cover art by Tom Tomorrow
$20, Limited to 100 copies

*Meet Tom Tomorrow at the show!*


Locke & Key Master Edition V3 HC Convention Variant
Cover art by Gabriel Rodriguez
$50, Limited to 100 copies

*Meet Gabriel Rodriguez at the show!*

Who Killed Kurt Cobain? *CONVENTION DEBUT*
Cover art by Nicolas Otero
$25, Limited to 100 copies

*Meet Nicolas Otero at the show!*

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Diamond gets Doctor Who Distribution Deal

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




Adult Doctor Who titles join the young adult and children's line of books and novels represented by Diamond Book Distributors


(BALTIMORE, MD) — (September 20, 2016) —Penguin Random House UK has expanded its distribution deal with Diamond Comic Distributors (DCD) to sell and promote its entire line of Doctor Who books and novels to comic book specialty stores, bookstores, mass-market merchandisers, libraries and other outlets in the United States.


Previously, Diamond represented only Penguin Random House’s young adult and children's line of Doctor Who books and novels, but the deal has now been expanded to includ9781849901956e its adult line of Doctor Who titles.



Robert Waddington, International Sales Director, Penguin Random House UK comments: “Diamond Comic Distributors have proven themselves a strong partner on our young adult Doctor Who range, and we are delighted to now be selling our adult list through them as well. We feel very positive about our relationship moving forward, and 2017 will be a big year for Doctor Who with the series returning to television.”


Penguin Random House UK has published hundreds of books and novels in its Doctor Who line and releases coming soon include reprints of the 60’s classic tales, Doctor Who and the Crusaders, Doctor Who and the Daleks, and Doctor Who and the Zarbi. Penguin Random House UK also boasts a strong backlist of Doctor. Who titles, led by Doctor Who: Who-ology, Doctor Who: The Official Quiz Book, and Doctor Who: Beautiful Chaos.


"Doctor Who has alwa9781848850323ys been an important brand license for Diamond and we’re happy expand our deal with Penguin Books UK to represent their entire line of Doctor Who books in the United States," said Tim Leneghan, Executive Director-Purchasing for Diamond Comic Distributors.

Valiant's FAITH to promote breast cancer awareness

Valiant Entertainment and Keep A Breast Join Forces to Fight Breast Cancer with New Ongoing Partnership
Valiant’s Breakout Heroine Faith to Debut as Leading Non-Profit’s Official Comics Ambassador at New York Comic Con 2016   

Valiant Entertainment – the award-winning publisher of the largest independent superhero library in comics – and The Keep A Breast Foundation – the leading global youth-based breast cancer prevention organization – are proud to announce a new ongoing partnership dedicated to furthering the California-based non-profit’s ongoing mission with new initiatives in educational publishing, fundraising merchandise, convention and exhibitions outreach around the world, and much more.

As detailed today at Fast Company, the new face of this first-of-its-kind collaborative partnership will be Valiant’s own leading super-heroine, Faith, who will make her debut as Keep A Breast’s official “comics ambassador” at New York Comic Con 2016. Faith will then subsequently be utilized throughout a number of Keep A Breast promotional endeavors globally in 2016 and beyond.

“The foundation of everything Keep A Breast does is art, and it absolutely thrills us to team up with people, like Valiant Comics, that are breaking the norm in their own industries,” said Keep A Breast Founder & CCO Shaney jo Darden. “When we read Faith, we were so excited to see a hero that was so funny, real, and full of self-love. Art has the power to heal and impact people in the best way, and this partnership will further prove how art can put a spotlight on real issues and start important conversations that can save lives.”

“Creativity can be the catalyst for great change, and it is often said there is no medium more creative than comic books,” said Valiant Chief Operating Officer & CFO Gavin Cuneo. “With Faith at the forefront of a wide variety of upcoming Keep A Breast programs, we look forward to aiding them in their vitally important and all-too-needed cause of combating breast cancer through art, education, and the creative spirit. As one of the most optimistic heroes in comics today, Faith is already an inspiration to many. Now, in her new role as an ambassador on Keep A Breast’s behalf, it is our sincere hope that her unbeatable spirit will inspire a new contingent of fans and enthusiasts to join their campaign against this tragically common condition.”

Additionally, Valiant and Keep A Breast’s joint mission to promote breast health and cancer prevention across all facets of comics fandom and culture will continue with special fundraising endeavors throughout New York Comic Con 2016. From Thursday, October 6th through Sunday, October 9th, Valiant’s Faith will appear on two limited-edition collectibles, specially produced to benefit Keep A Breast and available exclusively at the publisher’s NYCC booth #1635:

Faith, X-O Manowar, Livewire, Ninjak, and many more of the Valiant Universe’s greatest heroes unite to promote Keep A Breast’s #CHECKYOURSELFIE social media campaign – a hugely successful promotion embodied by placing three fingers to their breast, symbolizing an individual’s monthly commitment to selfcheck.

Find out more with the Keep A Breast Check Yourself! app – available as a free download on iOS and Android mobile and tablet devices via the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The Keep A Breast Foundation Check Yourself! app helps you to establish your own routine and approach to the breast selfcheck.

Artwork by Diego Bernard.

Support Keep A Breast one dollar at a time by purchasing a collectible Faith button badge, as Valiant’s leading heroine demonstrates #CHECKYOURSELFIE for the world!

Artwork by Diego Bernard.

Additionally, Keep A Breast Founder & CCO Shaney jo Darden will appear at the VALIANT: SPOTLIGHT ON FAITH panel presentation on Thursday, October 7th at 6:45 pm in Room 1A05 to further detail plans for the newly minted partnership, alongside Faith writer Jody Houser, comics legend Louise Simonson, multiple Harvey Award nominee Rafer Roberts, and Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani.

Future collaborations between Keep A Breast and Valiant will include specially designed Faith comics content promoting breast health and cancer prevention, an array of co-branded Faith/Keep A Breast merchandise, and, most notably, Valiant-sponsored Keep A Breast programming at more than 50 live events and comic book conventions nationwide – furthering Keep A Breast’s noted and longstanding mission to empower young people around the world with breast health education and support.

Over a decade ago, Keep A Breast’s founders, then involved in their own arts organization, rallied to support a friend with breast cancer. They developed an idea to express the female experience of breast cancer by reimagining the traditional canvas as a participatory sculpture. After some experimentation and partnerships with the right people, they developed and tested a technique for capturing the female bust in a plaster. The result was a white cast that was then customized by artists, such as Shepard Fairey, Mike Giant, Dalek and many more. The success of these breast casts as conversation starters, awareness builders and fundraising tools ultimately led them to what is now the non-profit The Keep A Breast Foundation. 

Their mission is simple: equip young people with breast health education early on in their lives. They do that by talking to them face-to-face about breast cancer in their own voice and on their own turf. As the latest promotional affiliates dedicated to enabling Keep A Breast’s vital mission, Valiant joins a long list of individuals and organizations past and present that also includes 100% Pure, bareMinerals, Harveys, Pacifica,, Spy Optics, Stance, and the Vans Warped Tour, as well as musicians Blink 182, Devo, Foo Fighters, Katy Perry, Iggy Pop, Sonic Youth, and dozens more.

“Keep A Breast is an incredible organization with a long and storied history of using music and the arts as a vehicle to educate and inform untapped and often underserved audiences about one of the true scourges of our age – breast cancer,” said Valiant’s President of Consumer Products, Promotions and Ad Sales Russell A. Brown. “Valiant is honored to assist in that mission as Keep A Breast now prepares to expand its efforts into the comics community, and Faith is the perfect ambassador to help them accomplish just that.”

Created by former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter and Eisner Award-winning writer and artist David Lapham in Valiant’s acclaimed HARBINGER series in 1992, Faith has long been a central icon of Valiant’s award-winning publishing line. Then, in January 2016, Faith took her long-awaited, much-demanded first step toward solo stardom with FAITH #1 (of 4) – a groundbreaking debut that quickly became the first and biggest breakout hit of the New Year from any major comics publisher. In the months since, Faith’s first solo adventure has garnered near-universal critical acclaim; generated attention from a host of international media outlets, including The Atlantic, The A.V. Club, Cosmopolitan, The Guardian, The Hollywood Reporter, The Huffington Post, The Independent, MTV, The New York Times, NPR, PBS Newshour, People, Seventeen, Today, Vox, The Washington Post, and dozens more; and become the first series of 2016 to reach a much-vaunted fifth printing – making it one of only a handful of hit series in the past decade to achieve that pivotal benchmark of fan and commercial demand. 

Then, Faith’s streak of unprecedented achievements hit a new high with the freshly sold-out FAITH #1 – a first issue that has already rocketed onward to become the highest selling superhero debut of 2016 from any independent publisher in the industry today.

For more information, visit and

According to American Cancer Society:
  • Besides skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among American women. It accounts for nearly 1 in 3 cases of cancers.
  • Only lung cancer accounts for more cancer deaths among American women.
  • Today, about 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in their lifetime.
  • A woman in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes.
  • The chance that a breast cancer patient will be alive five years after diagnosis is lower in women under 40. Statistics indicate that tumors diagnosed in younger women may be more aggressive and less responsive to treatment, making early detection key.
  • 40% of breast cancer lumps are self-detected
About The Keep A Breast Foundation:

The Keep A Breast Foundation™ is a nonprofit organization with a mission to empower young people around the world with breast health education and support.

Since its inception in 2000, KAB has worked with young people to remove the shame associated with breasts and breast cancer health. Through various initiatives such as breast cast art exhibitions, the “Non Toxic Revolution” and “I love boobies!” campaign, KAB has opened up the dialog about breast cancer, and has proven to be a doorway to breast self-awareness and education. 

Keep A Breast has grown into the leading global youth-based breast cancer prevention organization, with global affiliates in Japan, Canada, France, UK and Chile. Constantly pushing the boundaries of the pink ribbon status quo, Keep A Breast has always encouraged young people to love their boobies, get to know their bodies and be aware of changes.

About Valiant Entertainment:

Valiant Entertainment is a leading character-based entertainment company that owns the largest independent superhero universe in comics. With more than 80 million issues sold and a library of over 2,000 characters, including X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Harbinger, Shadowman, Archer & Armstrong, and many more, Valiant is one of the most successful publishers in the history of the comic book medium. Today, the company’s characters continue to be forged in publishing, licensing, film, video games, and beyond. Valiant consistently produces some of the most critically acclaimed comics in the industry and has received numerous industry awards and accolades, including a Diamond Gem Award for Comic Book Publisher of the Year. In 2015, Valiant announced a multi-picture deal to bring Bloodshot and Harbinger to the big screen as feature films.


Valiant lets out more detail on newest project

NYCC 2016: Valiant Debuts First Official Look at Ninjak from TOP-SECRET Live-Action Project
Exclusive Series Announcement and Footage to Stream Live from New York Comic Con 2016 on Twitch's Hyper RPG Channel   

Valiant is proud to debut the first official image of star Michael Rowe in costume as MI-6’s master assassin – Colin King aka the lethal Ninjak – from Valiant’s upcoming TOP-SECRETLIVE-ACTIONproject to be announced at New York Comic-Con 2016 (NYCC) on October 8th! Valiant’s first-of-its-kind, feature-length original digital series – directed by Bat in the Sun’s Aaron & Sean Schoenke, the co-creators of the massively successful YouTube sensation Super Power Beat Down – will feature Ninjak’s brutal live-action debut as he goes head-to-head with a top-secret roster of Valiant’s most iconic heroes for a bloodstained battle royale.

Additionally, Valiant can now confirm two new additions to the project’s star-studded cast in actor Kevin Porter (Dodgeball) and actress/model Ciera Foster (Straight Outta Compton). Porter and Foster join lead actor Michael Rowe (CW’s Arrow, The Flash) alongside a prestigious and rapidly growing cast that also includes Jason David Frank (Power Rangers), John Morrison (WWE, El Rey’s Lucha Underground), Derek Theler (ABC's Baby Daddy), and Chantelle Barry (90210, Entourage).

“We've been quietly working behind the scenes on this series since 2015 and are incredibly excited to be debuting the first look at footage this year at New York Comic Con. We've set out to make the best and most ambitious series ever produced in the digital space – one that will live up to the high standards we've set in publishing," said Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. "As Valiant gears up for an upcoming slate of film, television and video game releases, we felt the timing was right to begin to produce live-action digital content that would both give ours fans an experience truly worthy of the Valiant Universe, while also introducing new fans to the Valiant characters in the same way the animated television shows of the 1980s and 1990s did for comics in years past. Get ready to lose your mind – seeing Ninjak in action for the first time in nothing short of incredible.”

The secrets behind Valiant’s highly anticipated, high-octane series will be revealed on October 8th, 2016 during the VALIANT x BAT IN THE SUN: TOP-SECRET PROJECT panel presentation, only at New York Comic Con 2016! Be there as Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani, Associate Director of Digital Media & Development Josh Johns, and directors Aaron & Sean Schoenkejoin stars Michael RoweJason David FrankDerek ThelerChantelle BarryKevin Porter, and Ciera Foster – plus a special guest appearance by John Morrison – to unveil an exclusive first look at footage from Ninjak’s bone-breaking live-action debut. Fans in attendance will receive an exclusive giveaway item available only at Saturday’s panel, which will then be followed by an all-star cast signing at the Valiant booth (#1635).

Not at NYCC? Never fear, because fans worldwide can follow all of the major news and announcements live from the VALIANT x BAT IN THE SUN: TOP-SECRET PROJECT panel presentation live onTwitch's Hyper RPG channel at! Don’t miss a moment of the action as Ninjak steps off the comic page and into Valiant’s first original series, right here with Twitch's Hyper RPG!

Plus: Get an advance sneak preview of the epic announcement to come right now at AMC on the latest episode of Geeking Out with Kevin Smith and Greg Grunberg! Last month, Geeking Out’s Tiffany Smith paid a visit to the Los Angeles set of Valiant’s top-secret Ninjak project to take an all-access trip inside the Valiant Universe and go toe-to-toe with star Michael Rowe. Watch a behind-the-scenes segment online to see for yourself why Ninjak is going to be taking New York Comic Con by storm in just a week’s time for an amazing announcement like no other.  Click below to watch the video . . . . . . . .

About Valiant Entertainment:

Valiant Entertainment is a leading character-based entertainment company that owns the largest independent superhero universe in comics. With more than 80 million issues sold and a library of over 2,000 characters, including X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Harbinger, Shadowman, Archer & Armstrong, and many more, Valiant is one of the most successful publishers in the history of the comic book medium. Today, the company’s characters continue to be forged in publishing, licensing, film, video games, and beyond. Valiant consistently produces some of the most critically acclaimed comics in the industry and has received numerous industry awards and accolades, including a Diamond Gem Award for Comic Book Publisher of the Year. In 2015, Valiant announced a multi-picture deal to bring Bloodshot and Harbinger to the big screen as feature films.

About Bat in the Sun Productions:

Founded by Aaron & Sean Schoenke in 2001, Bat in the Sun Productions is one of the leading producers of scripted original content in the digital arena. Their flagship show, Super Power Beat Down, is one of most successful original series in YouTube history and features popular heroes and villains leaping from the comic page and onto the screen for a winner-take-all battle decided by fans across the globe. The success of Super Power Beat Down has launched Bat in the Sun’s Youtube network into worldwide notoriety and popular acclaim with nearly 2 million subscribers and more than 200 million views.

Your official first look at Michael Rowe in costume as master assassin and MI-6 super-spy Ninjak
from Valiant's forthcoming original digital series, to be announced at New York Comic Con 2016


Diamond Distribution prepares for future with new warehouse

EDITOR’S NOTE:  The following article will share information with readers regarding how Diamond, the primary global distribution source for comics and graphic novels, is investing in the future of the comic book specialty market.  Rather than edit the size of this article, we present it in full.  Readers interested in learning more about the expansion of Diamond’s Olive Branch Distribution Center, can get the details here.  We at BC Refugees have always been interested in the business side of comics, and the role that Diamond plays in that effort.  While we recognize that having a single source for printed material can sometimes cause issues for local comics stores, it is encouraging to see a supplier divert some resources to invest in the future.  It helps that Steve Geppi, president of Diamond, is a life long comics fan and supporter of the industry.  His letter to retailers prefaces the article.

Thanks to Megan Cosman, Public Relations Associate at Diamond, for providing this information!

A Letter from Steve Geppi 

***To our valued retailers:

I have met many of you, but even those I haven't met are counted amongst my friends. Together, we have a passion for comics that binds us into the best community I've ever been a part of.
It's been my pleasure to own Diamond Comic Distributors for what will be 35 years next February. In that time, the industry has been through many ups, downs, and transformations. From the rise of the Direct Market and decline of newsstands, to the growth of collected editions and graphic novels as a vital segment of the industry, Diamond has been working with publishers and retailers to get comics into the hands of every man, woman, and child possible.
In the last few years, we've experienced a new golden age of comics, with greater recognition than ever before for the art form we all love. More and more comics are produced, and sales continue to climb. That's great for the industry, but it requires all of us to look to the future to make sure we are prepared for the next 35 years.
To that end, my teams at Diamond have been working on a project that represents one of the largest investments I've ever made in Diamond and our industry. When I gave final approval to begin the project more than a year ago, it was a proud moment for me. I knew that I had the best people working on something that will really prepare us for all the great things that are still coming for this industry, and I'm excited to play my part in it. 
Here, then, are the people on the front lines of this project to tell you all about it. 

Steve Geppi  President & CEODiamond Comic Distributors 

OB Expansion  3

(BALTIMORE, MD) — (September 21, 2016) — Hundreds of Diamond's retailing and publishing partners gathered recently in Baltimore for the 2016 Diamond Retailer Summit. This year's theme was "Future Vision: Building the Comic Shop of Tomorrow," something we see retailers doing every day in greater and greater numbers. Of course, supporting the stores of tomorrow requires new approaches to distribution and logistics, and Diamond Vice President of Operations John Wurzer recently outlined a number of projects that are currently underway in Diamond's Distribution Centers. 

OB Expansion  2
For everyone who was unable to attend the Summit, here's a glimpse into the massive project that's happening right now at Diamond's central inventory and shipping distribution center in Olive Branch, Mississippi


"In 2009, we opened the Olive Branch Distribution Center, the largest facility we or anyone else had built for the distribution of comics and pop culture merchandise,” said Wurzer. "Using historical data and our own experience to make projections, a team of engineers predicted that the new warehouse would meet the industry's needs through 2020."

Our Olive Branch facility is 600,000 square feet in area, 35 feet high, with its own server room equipped with generator back up power, and room for 150 people per shift to work on more than two miles of racking and conveyors that move product around the building. Design and construction of the building was a massive project, surpassed only by the huge job of moving in and getting it up and running.

The industry, however, went through massive shifts that no one had anticipated at that time. With the explosion of interest in comics and related products, sales to retailers all over the world grew tremendously. While these shifts were good news for the industry, the change to the status quo presented some serious challenges to the Distribution Center and Operations staffs at Diamond. Part of the shift in the industry was the growth of collected editions and the proliferation of variant covers for comics, each of which occupies its own physical space at the Distribution Center. In short, the warehouse exceeded both its projected 2020 storage and order processing capacity by 2014, and immediate action had to be taken.


Storage of millions of periodical comics, trade paperbacks, and the vast array of related products presents an interesting and unique challenge. For Diamond's Distribution Center teams to effectively pick products, each is given a physical address, referred to as a “pick face”, “bin”, or “storage location” where it is stored and pulled from when ordered by a customer. When there are not enough pick faces for all the products, a night crew must pull products from other locations to move them into bins that are accessible to an order picker. This frequent moving of product can lead to inefficiencies, and can add to the time required to find product and fill orders.

The first thing that our Operations and Finance teams had to do was locate an additional warehouse that could handle some of the overflow of product. However, this was not a satisfactory, long-term solution. In the end, we were able to lease two new facilities in Olive Branch, one for processing of weekly new product shipments and the other for storage of products that are not available for same-day Direct Ship reorders. Those additional facilities provided us with a little breathing room, allowing Wurzer, Executive Director of Operations Shawn Hamrick, Executive Director of Business Intelligence Steve Tipton and a team of outside consultants to begin planning the next phase of our Distribution Center's evolution.


The mezzanine was a huge undertaking with the construction project going on for the last six months

Over the course of last year, we brought in experts to work with our own internal teams to devise what would become a complete reimagining of the Distribution Center's layout and operations. 

"Millions of data records reflecting ordering patterns, inventory velocity, and growth trends were dissected, organized and analyzed during the process of developing what ultimately became the solution we decided to implement,” said Tipton. “New software and procedures will be paired with new materials handling equipment to provide much more storage space, along with the capability to manage many more orders."

There are three main objectives for this project: increase storage capacity, increase throughput capacity, and increase order accuracy while reducing damages.

Increasing Storage Capacity

While we can't increase the physical size of the warehouse, we can use the space in different, more efficient ways. A second floor, called a mezzanine, was added to a portion of the warehouse to expand the pick modules available. These modules, where product is stored for picking, and the expansion and addition of a fourth module, will give us over 21,000 new locations where products can be stored and then picked for orders. We are also in the process of adding space for 16,000 additional pallet positions to store back stock to accommodate the industry's continued growth.


Increasing Throughput Capacity

Throughput is a measure of how many orders per hour can be picked and packed by the Distribution Center. Increasing this capacity takes a combination of new materials-handling equipment, such as conveyor belts and automatic sorters, and changes to our processing procedures.

To that end, we are adding over a mile of conveyor, which will move product and orders through the warehouse, eitheA ceiling mounted monorail circulates an unending stream of empty boxesr to other parts of the building or to waiting trucks when shipments are ready to go to customers. We are also adding machines that automatically weigh boxes, measure their dimensions, and apply shipping labels, which gives us much better information about the packages and reduces the potential for human error. A ceiling-mounted monorail circulates an unending stream of empty boxes, which allows the people on the warehouse floor to focus on picking and packing orders, and a similar system automatically moves empty product boxes to an area where they can be processed out of the warehouse. As boxes are filled and sealed, they will move down an automated line that will sort them via barcode readers that scan the boxes. This will then move the boxes to the appropriate pallets or trucks for delivery to customers, reducing opportunities for boxes to end up in the wrong place.


Increasing Accuracy

While it's important to increase our ability to process orders quickly, it's just as important that we do so accurately. The changes we've made in this area are the most dramatic and have taken the most time to research; a great deal of analysis has gone into determining what constitutes best practices, given the many different types of products that Diamond distributes to its customers every day.

The first change will be to our pick method. Currently, a box (or group of boxes) moves through the warehouse and the order picking team uses automated headsets to pick products from their assigned area and place them in the box as it moves through. Under the new system, the pickers will pick all product for a group of orders at once, scanning the barcode on the product to ensure they have the correct items, which will then go into specially-designed totes and move to an order sortation area. In this area, the barcode is scanned again, and a large wall with an area for each order will indicate which orders need that item. Once all items for an order have been pulled and verified, an order packing specialist will choose the appropriate size box, and pack the box in such a way as to minimize damage to the products. As they do so, the items are scanned a final time, and any items that are missing or are identified as damaged are flagged and pulled for the shipment before it is sealed and sent out for delivery.

"We believe that this is the best possible solution, allowing our pickers and packers to be both fast and efficient," said Hamrick. "With a person making decisions about the size of the box and the way the product is put into it, the amount of product damaged in the packing and delivery process should decrease. We are also researching different types and sizes of boxes and packing paper, while keeping in mind the delicate balance of damages vs. increased freight costs."


Where We Are Right Now on the Expansion


At this point in the process, the mezzanine has been built and is in use, and many of the new materials-handling equipment is on-site. The existing pick modules have started to be expanded, and the new module has been built and partially integrated into our operations. We are currently testing the software integration that must be completed before we can move on to other phases of building and testing, so that the transition can proceed smoothly. 

One of thOB Expansion  4e greatest challenges is that the warehouse has remained fully operational during design, construction and various implementation phases, and must continue to do so.

This project represents a massive investment by Diamond, but one we feel is necessary to meet the current and future needs of a market that continues to grow and evolve. 

Members of the Operations and Business Intelligence teams of Diamond have spent significant amounts of time away from home, supervising the construction at Olive Branch and coordinating teams of programmers inside Diamond and with our outside vendors. Millions of dollars and thousands of employee hours have been spent working on the expansion, and there is still a lot of work to be done. 

We'll be providing more updates as we progress through different phases of the project which are expected to progress into early 2017, and are looking forward to showing you more!




Tuesday, September 27, 2016

New graphic novel anthology to support Orlando tragedy

from the official IDW Publishing press release . . . .


San Diego, CA (September 21, 2016) – IDW Publishing, with the support of DC Entertainment, will honor the victims of Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub tragedy by publishing LOVE IS LOVE, an anthology graphic novel curated by writer Marc Andreyko (BATWOMAN, WONDER WOMAN ’77). In the wake of this devastating event, Andreyko assembled a group of fellow comic book creators to contribute to the benefit project. Andreyko received an overwhelming response across the comic book community and beyond, with over 200 writers and artists lending their talents to LOVE IS LOVE, a collection of over 100 short graphic stories. All material has been donated by the writers, artists, and editors, with all proceeds going to victims, survivors, and their families via EQUALITY FLORIDA. 
LOVE IS LOVE will debut in comic book shops and bookstores this December. The anthology graphic novel is a 144-page love letter to the LGBTQ community containing moving and heartfelt stories—some using iconic DC characters—from some of the greatest talent in comics, including Phil JimenezSteve Sadowski, Paul JenkinsMike CareyMatt WagnerMarguerite BennettAnekeDamon LindelofPatton OswaltSteven OrlandoRafael AlbuquerqueJason AaronJason LatourJames AsmusMing DoyleJames Tynion IV, Cecil CastellucciBrandon PetersonJesus SaizOlivier CoipelLeinil YuElsa Charretier, and many more to be announced.
“When tragedy happens, art responds. And after the Pulse massacre, the comics community responded quickly, decisively, and with open hearts,” said project organizer and writer Andreyko. “I could not be more proud of this book, or to be a member of the comics community. The talent and emotion on every page is staggering. LOVE IS LOVE mourns the 49 lost, honors the survivors, and celebrates love in all forms.”
“When Marc brought this project to me, there was no hesitation about us getting involved,” said IDW Chief Creative Officer Chris Ryall. “To echo Marc’s sentiments, we are proud of the hard work and talent that has gone into this project and to be involved in any way to support the survivors and their families in the face of tragedy.”
“We’re deeply thankful to all the participants who donated their work to LOVE IS LOVE,” said Sarah Gaydos, Group Editor for IDW Publishing. “The outpouring of emotion from their work honors the LGBTQ community, and helps express the grief we’re all feeling.”
“Marc's heartfelt passion for this cause and this project has inspired everyone involved in LOVE IS LOVE,” explains Jamie Rich, Group Editor of DC’s Vertigo imprint. “As an editor on the book, I continue to be moved every day by the expressions of hope and love the contributors have put forth, and can only imagine the profound impact the book will have on readers, as well.”
The contributors behind LOVE IS LOVE have banded together to send a powerful message through their art that they stand with the victims of this national tragedy. Help spread the love this December and become part of this historic comics event.
Pre-order LOVE IS LOVE here =
Click here for more information on EQUALITY FLORIDA = .

Sneak Peek: HARBINGER RENEGADES debuts in November

from the official Valiant Entertainment press release . . . . .


They’re inside your towns. Inside your schools. And inside your head…

Valiant is proud to present an advance preview of HARBINGER RENEGADES #1 – the FIRST ISSUEto the ALL-NEW ONGOING series exploding out of the “FUTURE OF VALIANT” initiative! On November 16th, multiple Harvey Award nominee Rafer Roberts (A&A: THE ADVENTURES OF ARCHER & ARMSTRONG) and comics superstar Darick Robertson (The Boys, Wolverine) document a powerful and subversive new beginning for the most fearless superhero series of the shelves! Kris Hathaway, Peter Stanchek, Faith Herbert, and John Torkelson thought they could go underground. They thought they could get their old lives back. They were wrong. And when a violent, new superpower movement begins to spread across the suburbs, America’s only hope will be the teenagers it wished it could forget...

“I’ve been describing the series as 'Jack Kirby’s Trainspotting,' which is as good an elevator pitch as any,” series writer Rafer Roberts told Newsarama. “The Renegades are trying to save the world from the bottom up. They’ve already taken on the world’s greatest super villain… and failed. In fact, the argument could be made that they actually made the world worse. Learning from that mistake, they are focusing on battles that they can win. Small victories are still victories.”

Anyone you know could become a psionically powered “harbinger” with the potential to reshape the course of human history. Your neighbor. Your boss. Your best friend. Your kids.

Six months ago, a secret team of renegade whistleblowers leaked the existence of these extraordinarily dangerous individuals to a stunned world. Today, all across the country, crude, DIY psiot activation attempts have left hundreds brain damaged…or worse. The emergence of a new psiot in a community often leads to riots and mass violence. Gun sales are through the roof.

America is terrified of what could happen next.

With this revolutionary upheaval now in motion, Kris Hathaway, John “Torque” Torkelson, Faith “Zephyr” Herbert, and Peter Stanchek are about to discover their calling. Together, the HARBINGER RENEGADES are moving from town to town, building their ranks, and subverting authority one mind at a time…and setting out to prove once and for all that behind their power, there has always been a purpose.

On November 16th, stoke the flames of a nation on fire as Rafer Roberts and Darick Robertson activate Valiant’s most-demanded team of heroes and misfits in HARBINGER RENEGADES #1– featuring covers by Darick Robertson (Transmetropolitan), Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic (Thor), Dave Johnson (Superman: Red Son), Kano (Daredevil), Pere Perez (FAITH), Clayton Henry (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG), Bob Layton (Iron Man), and Jim Mahfood (Tank Girl)!

Then, “THE FUTURE OF VALIANT” continues with an all-new wave of ongoing series, prestige format projects and standalone events from a star-studded roster of some of comics’ most visionary talents! Beginning in July with FAITH #1, “THE FUTURE OF VALIANT” will extend throughout 2016 with a total of seven epic series – each introducing an innovative array of new concepts and characters…and firmly establishing Valiant’s place as the premier publisher of creative storytelling in comics today:
  • FAITH #1 by Jody HouserPere Perez & Marguerite Sauvage in July
  • GENERATION ZERO #1 by Fred Van Lente & Francis Portela in August
  • BRITANNIA #1 (of 4) by Peter Milligan & Juan Jose Ryp in September
  • BLOODSHOT U.S.A. #1 (of 4) by Jeff Lemire & Doug Braithwaite in October
  • HARBINGER RENEGADES #1 by Rafer Roberts Darick Roberston in November
  • SAVAGE #1 (of 4) by B. Clay MooreClayton Henry & Lewis LaRosa in November
  • DIVINITY III: STALINVERSE #1 (of 4) by Matt Kindt & Trevor Hairsine in December
Cover C by DAVE JOHNSON (SEP162042)
Cover D by KANO (SEP162043)
Valiant x CGC Variant Cover by PERE PEREZ (SEP162044)
Variant Cover by CLAYTON HENRY (SEP162046)
Variant Cover by BOB LAYTON (SEP162047)
Variant Cover by JIM MAHFOOD (SEP162048)
Blank Cover Also Available (SEP162045)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale NOVEMBER 16 (FOC – 10/23/16)

HARBINGER RENEGADES #1 – Cover A by Darick Robertson

HARBINGER RENEGADES #1 – Cover B by Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic

HARBINGER RENEGADES #1 – Cover C by Dave Johnson

Sneak Peek: SAVAGE #1 debuts in November

from the official Valiant Entertainment press release . . . . .


Nature conquers all!

Valiant is proud to present an advance preview of SAVAGE #1 (of 4) – the FIRST ISSUE of the bone-breaking new series striking out of “THE FUTURE OF VALIANT” initiative on November 30th! This fall, acclaimed writer B. Clay Moore (Aloha, Hawaiian Dick), and explosive artists Clayton Henry (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG) and Lewis LaRosa (BLOODSHOT REBORN) hone their killer instincts for the must-read debut of Valiant’s next major hero! Marooned in an unforgiving prehistoric landscape, high society’s most privileged celebrity family is fighting tooth and claw – literally – for survival. Once they lose everything – and each other – what part of them will endure? Where will the man inside each of them end…and the animal begin?

Fifteen years ago, the world’s most famous soccer star, his former supermodel wife, and their young son disappeared without a trace. The world believes they are dead… But, in reality, their private jet crash-landed on a mysterious, unknown island ruled by prehistoric creatures from another time…

This is the story of how they lost their humanity.

“Throwing public figures into extreme situations is interesting to me because it challenges perceptions of these people, and, if the story is handled properly, forces the characters to re-examine their own self-perceptions,” series writer B. Clay Moore told Paste Magazine. “In the case of Savage, we’re dealing with people who fought hard to not have to fight any more. What happens when the only way they can survive, or save their son, is to fight harder than ever?”

On November 30th, learn to claw as B. Clay MooreClayton Henry, and Lewis LaRosa present the landmark first appearance of the fiercest Valiant hero of all, only in SAVAGE #1 (of 4) – presented in the deluxe VALIANT PRESTIGE format with high-grade cover stock, custom-designed end sheets, and more! Featuring covers by Lewis LaRosa (BLOODSHOT REBORN), Jared Fletcher (Paper Girls), and Renato Guedes (Wolverine), the most punishing comic book debut of the year starts here this fall!

Then, “THE FUTURE OF VALIANT” continues with an all-new wave of ongoing series, prestige format projects and standalone events from a star-studded roster of some of comics’ most visionary talents! Beginning in July with FAITH #1, “THE FUTURE OF VALIANT” will extend throughout 2016 with a total of seven epic series – each introducing an innovative array of new concepts and characters…and firmly establishing Valiant’s place as the premier publisher of creative storytelling in comics today:
  • FAITH #1 by Jody HouserPere Perez & Marguerite Sauvage in July
  • GENERATION ZERO #1 by Fred Van Lente & Francis Portela in August
  • BRITANNIA #1 (of 4) by Peter Milligan & Juan Jose Ryp in September
  • BLOODSHOT U.S.A. #1 (of 4) by Jeff Lemire & Doug Braithwaite in October
  • HARBINGER RENEGADES #1 by Rafer Roberts Darick Roberston in November
  • SAVAGE #1 (of 4) by B. Clay MooreClayton Henry & Lewis LaRosa in November
  • DIVINITY III: STALINVERSE #1 (of 4) by Matt Kindt & Trevor Hairsine in December

Written by B. CLAY MOORE
Cover A by LEWIS LAROSA (SEP162049)
Cover B by JARED FLETCHER (SEP162050)
Character Design Variant by LEWIS LAROSA (SEP162052)
Variant Cover by RENATO GUEDES (SEP162053)
B&W Sketch Variant by LEWIS LAROSA (SEP162054)
Blank Cover Also Available (SEP162051)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | VALIANT PRESTIGE FORMAT | On Sale NOVEMBER 30th (FOC – 11/7/16)

SAVAGE #1 (of 4) – Cover A by Lewis LaRosa

SAVAGE #1 (of 4) – Cover B by Jared Fletcher

SAVAGE #1 (of 4) – Variant Cover by Renato Guedes