FIVE GHOSTS #1 DISAPPEARS FROM SHELVES
Miniseries debut sells out, gets second printing
In an astonishing debut, the first issue of the Image Comics series FIVE GHOSTS: THE HAUNTING OF FABIAN GRAY by Frank Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham has sold out the same day as its release, March 20. The issue will immediately go back to press, and the second printing (Diamond Comics code FEB138330) is available to pre-order now and will be in stores on April 17, the same day as FIVE GHOSTS #2.
FIVE GHOSTS tells the story of Fabian Gray, a treasure-hunter haunted by five spirits of literary archetypes: the Wizard, the Archer, the Detective, the Samurai, and the Vampire. Gray draws on the talents and abilities of these five spirits as he embarks on the most important mission of his life — to save his twin sister Silvia, lost to him ever since the ghosts became part of him.
The issue was received with great critical acclaim:
“Five Ghosts: the Haunting of Fabian Gray #1 is an outstanding start to what promises to be a thrilling miniseries. Barbiere’s characters are interesting, with believable dialogue and interactions, and his plot is utterly compelling. I’m genuinely looking forward to reading the next issue. With 32 gorgeously illustrated story pages, this comic represents excellent value….”
“People looking for that next big thing, you might want to gaze this way. Five Ghosts has everything in it that a comic should have and then some.”
“Five Ghosts is one good looking pulp adventure comic, on a par with Franceso Francavilla’s The Black Beetle…. This is great storytelling and Barbiere weaves plot strands which will bear delicious fruit. “
“Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray is a great new series with a fresh and clever twist. This is what comic books are supposed to be fun, action packed and dripping with cool.”
-Sound on Sight
Every week, Image Comics sends a newsletter about our upcoming releases to retailers with a letter at the beginning. This message, by Image Comics PR & Marketing Director Jennifer de Guzman, was in the January 10, 2013 newsletter.
This week brought with it some news that confirms just what kind of sea change the comics industry is experiencing. Diamond Comics announced its top 500 issues and top 500 trades and graphic novels. As we expected, THE WALKING DEAD #100 was at the top of the issues list. All in all, sixteen Image titles made the top 500 issues, all of them issues of either THE WALKING DEAD (including the Michonne Special) or SAGA. Of the trades and graphic novels, THE WALKING DEAD took seven of the top ten spots, and SAGA VOLUME ONE just missed the top ten, coming in at 12. Fifty-five Image titles are on the list in total, just over 10% of the titles listed, with CHEW, FATALE, and THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS also making appearances in the top 100. (CHEW made five appearances total, all in the top 200.) We were also confirmed, in Diamond’s Market Shares report, as the number-three publisher in the country, leading all other independent publishers in both market and dollar share in the direct market. And to close out 2012 and set the stage for 2013, in December, those shares were just about 9% for both and eight of the top ten graphic novels for the month were Image titles.
Needless to say, we are extremely pleased and extremely grateful. Yes, the numbers for THE WALKING DEAD are staggering, and most everyone points to the television show tie-in or the variant covers for issue #100 (though there were fewer than the 20 covers that #2 on the list, Uncanny Avengers #1, had), but those facts in no way diminish what Robert Kirkman, Image, and Skybound have accomplished with this comic. It has done what Marvel and DC have struggled with for decades: It has translated success in another medium to sales in the comics market. In terms of being an ambassador for our industry and our community, there is nothing doing that good work as well as THE WALKING DEAD.
SAGA is coming up pretty close, though. At this point, I don’t think “beloved” is too tender an adjective to use to describe this series. The devotion it inspires has been truly gratifying to witness (and, I admit, experience).
I think this much is obvious: Comics growth isn’t happening in the re-booting and re-telling of superhero comics. As Mozart said in Amadeus, just before unveiling one of the most popular operas of all time, based on new ideas rather than old myths, “Old dead legends — why must we go on forever writing only about gods and legends?”
The superhero universes are the comic book medium’s legacy, yes. But what is new and what is exciting, what is bringing in more new and lapsed readers, what has people buying comics out of enthusiasm rather than out of habit, are creator-owned books that speak to a new sensibility that values storytelling that comes from individual vision and drive.
It’s the creators’ world. We’re just living in it. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Chew #32 by John Layman and Rob Guillory, out this week, has a little treat in it for Robert Kirkman fans!
This sweet cover to GLORY #26 doesn’t seem to be among the pieces for sale, but you can still help artist Ulises Farinas pay some medical expenses by buying other original art!
PETER PANZERFAUST EXEMPLIFIES TRIUMPH OF THE UNDERDOG
Issue #10 of Peter Pan-WWII mashup gets second printing
The last few months have been a flurry for the Image Comics/Shadowline series PETER PANZERFAUST. The World War II adventure comic inspired by J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan has sold out of its last three issues, including the most recent, #10 — even though orders were more than double the initial orders of #9.
The second printing of PETER PANZERFAUST #10 will be in stores on April 17 and can be pre-ordered at comic book stores now (Diamond Comics code FEB138250). The first printing sold out the same week as its March 13 release. In addition to the all-new cover featuring art by series artist Tyler Jenkins, Image will also be producing a convention exclusive edition of the issue with a blank cover for sketches and autographs and a limited edition retailer exclusive edition as a token of thanks for the readers and retailers who have supported PETER PANZERFAUST.
Issue #10 closes out the “Paris” story arc for the series and will be collected in the series’ second trade paperback, which will be in stores on May 15.
Fueled by the announcement of the production of a motion comic adaptation by the BBC and coverage in USA Today and The Huffington Post, PETER PANZERFAUST has become the quintessential independent comics success story. A personal story for its creators writer Kurtis J. Wiebe and artist Jenkins, PETER PANZERFAUST offers an emotional depth in a high-concept package, capturing readers’ devotion to this comic book series outside of the superhero mainstream.
The series continues to garner excellent reviews as it moves toward its third story arc:
“In the horrors of war, the story of Peter Panzerfaust is an inspiring story of friendship, honour, courage and living life to its fullest.”
-Comicosity (10/10 review)
“Peter Panzerfaust #10 is an exemplary outing that not only offers a fitting conclusion to this arc but adds in some more character development to boot.”
-Unleash the Fanboy
“Peter Panzerfaust is simply a comic that is too excellent to ignore.”
-Read Comic Books
Check out the FIVE GHOSTS #1 Phantom Variant cover by Ben Templesmith!
FIVE GHOSTS: THE HAUNTING OF FABIAN GRAY #1 by Frank Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham will be in stores on March 20.
“Family - Prelude.”
This is the four-page short-short that Michael Lark, Santi Arcas, and I have done for LAZARUS, the first issue of which comes out this June. You can download the story at this link as a PDF, and please feel free to share the link and the PDF about. LAZARUS is published by Image.
The book is now available for PRE-ORDER from your retailer. The order code via Diamond is APR130420.
Michael, Santi, and I are very, very proud of this book.
I’ve described LAZARUS as a cross between The Godfather and Children of Men, but that’s a little disingenuous, frankly. Set in a not-too-distant dystopian future where power is now held by a handful of “Families” around the globe, it’s part action-adventure, part espionage, part soap opera. Our story centers on Forever Carlyle, the genetically engineered daughter of the Carlyle Family. As their “Lazarus,” she’s part spymaster, part secret agent, part bodyguard… basically, her Family’s secret weapon in their fight to keep what they have, and to acquire what they don’t.
The book is most definitely rated ‘M.’ There’s profanity, there’s violence, there will be sex and likely nudity down the road, but, most of all, it’s dealing with some very dark, and fairly mature (I’d like to think, at least) themes. And some of the most depraved and corrupted individuals I’ve ever seen spring from my pen.
Please, please, please consider pre-ordering this book if you’re at all interested in what we’re doing.
NOWHERE MEN GOES VIRAL
Fourth issue sells out, gets second printing
NOWHERE MEN #4 by Eric Stephenson and Nate Bellegarde has sold out the same day as it was in stores, March 13, even after a stellar increase in initial sales of 34% over issue #3. The new printing will be in stores on April 10 and can be pre-ordered now (Diamond Comics code: FEB138044).
A tale of the fallout when four geniuses — the founders of the tremendously influential and powerful research and development company World Corp — clash and part ways, NOWHERE MEN explores the potential of science and technology, and the human cost of science without limits. The narrative transitions between the volatile partnership of the “Fab Four of Science” in World Corp’s early days and the present-day fruits of their work — a team of researchers quarantined in space as a virus coursing through their veins begins to manifest in unimagined changes.
The series continues to receive overwhelmingly positive reviews with the release of the fourth issue:
“Nowhere Men respects the intelligence of the readers, and it’s taking us to places that feel brand new. There’s nothing not to dig about that. Catch it now while it’s still ramping up.”
“Nowhere Men’s a trip fo’ sho’, but as we’ve established it’s a lot more than just some next-level sickness. In fact, the perfidious mystery behind the mutating virus and WorldCorp’s involvement is creepier than the virus itself. Between corporate madmen and a transmogrifying infection, you’re better off with the virus.”
-Page and Panel
“This book. Wow. What a masterpiece. That’s not a word I throw around lightly, either. Image Comics‘ Nowhere Men is without a doubt the most incredibly designed ongoing comic book out today. Eric Stephenson, Nate Bellegarde, Jordie Bellaire and Fonografiks are producing a brilliantly cohesive package, and the fourth issue is dynamite.”
“There is nothing on the stands like Nowhere Men…. With every detail from Eric Stephenson and Nate Bellgarde, along with Jordie Bellaire and fonografiks, this world of super science is all the more realized.”
“Nowhere Men just keeps getting better and better, and if the spirit and energy on show here are any indication, there are some seriously fun issues ahead…. Comics are the new rock ‘n’ roll.”
NOWHERE MEN #5 will be in stores on April 24.
Change #4 by Ales Kot and Morgan Jeske
CHANGE is now done and out. There will be a trade, it’s coming out in late June — and you can easily pre-order it at the local comic book store or at Amazon, be it the US or the UK one — but you can also get all four issues on Comixology, right now, right here: #1, #2, #3, #4.
CHANGE is…everything I wanted it to be and then some. This wonderful, near-celebratory piece by Sarah Horrocks describes the project quite insightfully. The process of making this comic, the joyous teamwork, the evolution it brought to me and others, the evolution I (we?) consciously asked for…it’s exhilarating, knowing that it works for me as well as it does, knowing it’s working for others as well.
I looked up to Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, Philip K. Dick, Richard Kelly and other fantastic storytellers and somehow managed to land a story that felt too expansive to ever end. And in a sense, it might never end.