Posted on December 12, 2012
New Image Comics collection spans Pope's early career
The formative years of Paul Pope's development into a world-renowned artist are on display in the new Image Comics collection THE ONE TRICK RIP-OFF/DEEP CUTS. The collection spans his early days as part of a network of self-published artists who didn't fit in either the mainstream or the underground, to his stint in Japan as a budding manga-ka, to his triumphant return to American comics.
The 288-page hardcover collection, with an introduction by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund's Charles Brownstein, will also have a limited signed-and-numbered edition.
The first half of the collection is the story "The One Trick Rip-Off" that was originally serialized in Dark Horse Presents in 1995-1996, updated with colors by Jamie Grant and Dominic Regan. In a heat-drenched Los Angeles, gangs with names like "The Paid-in-Spades," "The Moolah Muthas" and, of course, "The One Tricks" battle for dominance with each other — and within their ranks. Tubby and Vim are in love and want escape, but they only way they know how is what they've learned in their world. So they set themselves up to be thieves stealing from thieves. And if they fail, it's the end.
A 'nineties West Side Story, with a touch of the surreal and supernatural, "The One Trick Rip-Off" represents, to Pope, a portrait of sorts of himself as a young artist.
"I would say in retrospect, the work in this book is strong," Pope said. "It is early and rough in places, but I was young and I was ambitious. It is good to be generous to your early work as an artist since it is the path which leads you to where you eventually arrive. There is no nihilism in art. The only fault is in stopping."
The "Deep Cuts" half of the collection is a remarkably diverse, probing, and experimental set of short comics. There are illustrations of Rimbaud's poetry and ancient Greek tragedy; manga about curry-eating, troublemaking teenage girls; and paeans to love and sensuality and city life. These stories were created between 1993 and 2001, a period that took Pope from Columbus to Toronto to Tokyo and finally to New York City.
"These are the early steps of an artist struggling and striving to be better and to be accomplished," said Pope of his early work. "I hope people enjoy this work. It is aggressive and it is punk rock, and that never goes out of style."
Both editions of THE ONE TRICK RIP-OFF/DEEP CUTS will be in stores on January 16.
Posted on December 5, 2012
Nobody ever figured Bram Carlson for the Rapture-worthy type. All in all, he's pretty much a total bastard. But when the Apocalypse comes, he disappears from the mortal plane along with the blessed—due to a heavenly clerical error. Heaven (somewhat) promptly sends him back.
Now, in THE END TIMES OF BRAM AND BEN, Bram's the only person on Earth who has glimpsed Heaven, and he intends to use his experience for the good of Bramkind. It's up to his morally conflicted roommate Ben to rein in Bram's ambition, but for a guy who has never striven for anything important in his life, Bram's going after his dream like—well, like it's the end of the world. But will it be the end of a friendship as well?
In his first creator-owned series, writer James Asmus (THIEF OF THIEVES, Gambit) teams up with Jim Festante (writer/comedian, Comedy Central, MTV), and newcomer to the American comics scene, European artist Rem Broo, to tell a tale of the un-Raptured, shot through with humor and absurdity that make THE END TIMES the perfect new series for fans of CHEW to sink their teeth into.
"Despite the giant, colorful, violent elements of the Biblical apocalypse—this isn't a 'religious story," said Asmus, who was raised Catholic. "The real story Jim and I were excited to tell is one that shows a bunch of people reacting to one earth-shaking question: What do you do when you discover that reality isn't what you thought—and you're about to be punished for getting it wrong?"
Festante looks at THE END TIMES as a way of addressing the big questions as well. "Why does religion paint morality as black and white? Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? If you're doing what Satan wants, why would he torture you for eternity?" he said. "Um, we're not sure, but End Times is a nice break from pondering deep theological thoughts."
To Broo, the END TIMES is the comic he always wanted to read—and gets to draw as well! "I think I was the first true fan of this comic," he said. "I have never asked James and Jim what's going to happened in the script of the next issue. So, for almost two years now I lived of the story as intensely as the comic characters I was drawing."
The new mini-series has also garnered praise from some of comics' top creators:
THE END TIMES OF BRAM AND BEN is a four-issue miniseries. It was announced at New York Comic Con, where Asmus and Festante spoke to Comic Book Resources.
The first issue will be in stores on January 9, 32 pages of full-color story with a cover by Jim Mahfood for only $2.99. Order it now from the November issue of Previews! And each issue of the mini-series will have a cover by a different comic book rock star — Juan Doe (Legion of Monsters), Ben Templesmith (FELL, 30 Days of Night), and fine art sensation J.A.W. Cooper (LA Weekly).
Posted on December 3, 2012
A plague of demons getting you down? Has a loved one started gibbering in the inscrutable language of Hell? Not to worry—there are people trained to cast out those spirits! In January 2013, Image Comics will introduce you to the Dee Agency and three of its tough-as-demon-claws agents in REPOSSESSED, a raucous new mini-series by JM Ringuet (TRANSHUMAN).
No-nonsense Joe, swaggering Clay, and whip-smart Martha are the best repo team at Dee Agency. Their demon-vanquishing gear consists of big guns, bigger grimoires, and a good supply of silver bullets and saints' teeth—and they know how to use them! (Though Clay does tend to be heavy on the bombastic combat talk). They'll need all of their skills to complete a seemingly easy mission to repossess a rich girl who has run away to Las Vegas—because this is one case of something that happens in Vegas no t staying in Vegas.
REPOSSESSED is a supernatural action-fest, with the wryness of Hellboy and the badass attitude of classic Grindhouse films—exactly what Ringuet wanted to create.
"What I wanted to do was to create a packed fun action thrill-ride, something that would feel like barreling down a highway in a muscle car with loud rock music blasting from the radio and a bunch of friends laughing in the backseat," said Ringuet, who both writes and illustrates REPOSSESSED. "I wanted to make it explosive, surprising, funny, with something new on every page."
The first issue of this Dodge Charger (with a sweet flame paint job) of a comic is due in stores on January 9. Pre-order it at your local comics store from the November issue of Previews now, and save yourself the race down the interstate to snag the last issue on the shelves!
Posted on November 27, 2012
Josephine, heroine of Ed Brubaker's and Sean Phillips Image Comics series FATALE, has carried the curse for decades — able to enthrall men but chased by an ancient evil, she is seemingly destined to cause the ruination of anyone who loves her. The haunting series was originally planned as a mini-series, but Brubaker and Phillips have found that curse of the femme fatale is inexhaustible. Thanks to strong sales, a wealth of stories yet to be told, and a certain mesmerizing quality, FATALE is now an ongoing series.
"Fatale was originally envisioned as a novel in three parts," said Brubaker in an interview with Comics Alliance, "but I kept having ideas for side-plots and tangents or single issues, and it started to feel more like it was meant to be a more sprawling story. So I just decided to let it go until it's finished."
To launch the new format, Brubaker and Phillips are taking readers back in time with four standalone issues of FATALE. Jo may feel alone in her curse, but these stories will let readers in on her past and show that other women have shared her fate.
The first of the FATALE Flashback issues, December's FATALE #11, will reveal Jo's early years as a femme fatale. As the story follows her on the run in 1930s California, some of her elusive secrets will come to light.
In January, FATALE #12 will take readers all the way back to Medieval Europe, when a woman possessing the powers of the femme fatale curse faces doom not only from demonic forces but also from the scourge of witch-burnings.
February brings the femme fatale to the Wild West with FATALE #13, when a man — or a woman — could blaze a trail with a loaded pistol and a steady hand.
FATALE #14 in March is a World War II horror adventure, when Jo crosses paths with crazed Nazi cultists behind enemy lines.
Each issue of FATALE contains extra articles and art not collected in the trade paperbacks, including essays by renowned pop culture scholar Jess Nevins (The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana), whose writing also appeared in Brubaker's and Phillips' Criminal.
FATALE, written by Brubaker, drawn by Phillips, and with colors by Dave Stewart, was introduced in January 2012, the first new series in an iconic year for Image Comics. Its first five issues have been collected into a trade paperback, FATALE: DEATH CHASES ME, which Publishers Weekly called an "addictive page-turner" in a starred review. The French edition of DEATH CHASES ME has just been announced as one of the nominees for the prestigious Angoulême Award, in the Polar (Mystery) category. Its second trade paperback, THE DEVIL'S BUSINESS, is available for pre-order now and will be in stores on January 2, 2013.
Posted on November 20, 2012
Education for assassins in new Shadowline mini-series
When the world's deadliest, stealthiest, and most infamous assassins need a place to educate their children, an institution that respects and upholds their values, they turn to the prestigious School of Five Weapons. At the setting of the new Image Comics/Shadowline mini-series by Jimmie Robinson (BOMB QUEEN), FIVE WEAPONS, students train in the martial arts, pledging their loyalty to one "club": Knives, Staves, Archery, Exotics, and Guns.
The School of Five Weapons is turned upside down when a new student arrives, one carrying a name that all the students and teachers know: Shainline. The clubs vie for Tyler's loyalty, but it becomes apparent very quickly that this kid isn't someone who is easy to pin down. Tyler has just the edge he needs to succeed at Five Weapons — a razor-sharp mind!
Robinson writes and draws FIVE WEAPONS, and his clean, lively art is colored by Paul Little. The mini-series has the same mischievous tone as Robinson's series BOMB QUEEN but was created for a wider audience, as the "T" (teen) rating indicates.
"I wanted fun with an edge, but I also wanted Five Weapons to be smart and challenge the reader," said Robinson. "While there are plenty of weapons to be found in the pages, there is also an invisible sixth weapon between the panels: the skill of the human mind."
Comic Book Resources featured a four-page preview of the first issue of the series.
The showdowns are epic, the secrets are dark, and FIVE WEAPONS is insanely fun. The first, 32-page issue can be pre-ordered from the December issue of Previews and will be in stores on February 27.
Posted on November 20, 2012
Image Comics has added five new titles to its "Image Firsts" line, printings of first issues of the independent publisher's most popular titles that sell for only $1.00. The Image Firsts editions of the phenomenally popular FATALE, SAGA, THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS, THIEF OF THIEVES, and REVIVAL will arrive in stores on December 12. In addition, new printings of the Image Firsts editions of THE WALKING DEAD and CHEW will be in stores on the same day.
FATALE is the newest title in the fruitful collaboration between writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips (Criminal, Incognito). Colored by Dave Stewart, FATALE tells the story of Josephine, an immortall femme fatale who unwillingly entrances men and ensnares them in a deadly, decades-long battle with unfathomable evil. Melding noir and horror, FATALE is called an "addictive page-turner" in a starred review of its first collection, DEATH CHASES ME, in Publishers Weekly.
SAGA, an ongoing series by Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Runaways, Ex Machina) and Fiona Staples, has been the comics break-out hit of the year, garnering near-universal praise and a dedicated fan following. A space-opera-style science fiction adventure, SAGA follows a family on the run — Alana, Marko, and their baby Hazel — as they try to escape the ingrained hostilities that have kept their two worlds at war for centuries and threaten their lives. The first volume rose to fourth place on the New York Times Paperback Graphic Books Best Seller list. Publishers Weekly's starred review called SAGA a "human story that will leave readers desperately awaiting the next volume."
THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS by Jonathan Hickman (Fantastic Four, Avengers), Nick Pitarra (THE RED WING, also with Hickman), and Jordie Bellaire tackles Cold War-era science like no comic has before — imagining a history where the group of geniuses who brought us the atomic bomb also worked on secret occult experiments. Comics Alliance called the series "pure mad science in comic book form." Its first trade paperback hit stores in September.
THIEF OF THIEVES is a crime series created by Robert Kirkman (THE WALKING DEAD, INVINCIBLE) and published under his Image Comics imprint, Skybound. Redmond, a world-class thief, wants to leave behind his life of crime and rebuild his family, but it isn't going to be so easy to resist the call of one last caper and escape his past. The first story arc of THIEF OF THIEVES, "I QUIT!", written by Nick Spencer and with art by Shawn Martinbrough and Felix Serrano, was collected in September. A Booklist review says that Redmond's "redemption, headed off at every corner, makes for a classic emotional stake, and the complexity of the plot, often flashing back to the past to explain the present, holds steady interest."
REVIVAL is a completely new take on the undead genre that creators Tim Seeley (HACK/SLASH, WITCHBLADE) and Mike Norton (Battle Pug, IT GIRL AND THE ATOMICS) call "rural noir." When, for one day, the dead rise in a small town in Wisconsin, it changes their quiet world forever. Officer Dana Cypress is tapped to investigate the phenomenon, only to discover it's hit closer to home than she imagined. In a September article, FearNet writer Alison Nastasi wrote, "Revival peers at its readers from the underbelly of America's heartland, embracing the moodiness and isolation of the rural landscape." The collection of the first five issues, YOU'RE AMONG FRIENDS, will be in stores on December 12.
Posted on November 19, 2012
This February, Image Comics invites readers to jump on board action and adventure, newly reinvigorated with a very special adjective – THE UNCANNY SKULLKICKERS!
“After almost twenty issues of critically-acclaimed cranium-smashing adventure, we felt it was important to remind retailers and readers that Skullkickers is the most enjoyable adventure series in the entire comic industry," said Image PR and Marketing Director Jennifer de Guzman. "What better way to do that than to add a spiffy new adjective to it! That’s what people do, right?”
UNCANNY SKULLKICKERS, written by Jim Zub and drawn by adorable elf-man Edwin Huang, begins the second half of the epic six-arc Skullkickers storyline and is a perfect jumping-on point for new readers of the action-comedy fantasy series. And who doesn't want to be known as a reader of a comic about hard-headed mercenaries knocking heads for fun and profit? I mean, really.
“We pride ourselves on making each and every issue of Skullkickers accessible, but this spiffy #1 is that times ten," said creator Zub. "We quickly recap the story that’s come before and then push forward into new action-packed territory: a deadly island of mystery, swashbuckling adventure, ferocious man-eating turtles, pissed-off apes... it’s a cornucopia of entertainment.”
And if you’re a diehard collector of SKULLKICKERS who's sad that you won’t have a SKULLKICKERS #19 to add to your collection? Don’t worry, we’ve thought of everything. In addition to the regular “Uncanny” cover we’re offering a special “issue #19 variant” B cover to make sure your collector streak is unbroken.
It’s new. It’s classic. It’s a modern reinterpretation that gets back to the roots of these timeless characters. UNCANNY SKULLKICKERS #1 will available wherever kick-ass comics are sold on February 27! Pre-order it now from the December issue of Previews.
Posted on November 15, 2012
Eisner-nominated artist M.K. Perker and award-winning writer Ken Kristensen announced today that their comic book TODD, THE UGLIEST KID ON EARTH launches January 16, 2013 via Image Comics. TODD, a collision of comedy, sex, and violence, follows the misadventures of America's most dysfunctional family as they go head-to-severed head with an Oprah-loving ax murderer, a cult-crazy soap opera star, and a neo-Nazi prison gang. The full-color four-issue mini series will hit comic stores January 16th in both digital and print formats.
An ensemble comedy, TODD follows the misadventures of a dysfunctional small-town family caught in extraordinary circumstances.
The heart of the story is son Todd – a good-hearted kid who wears a paper bag on his head because he's so ugly. Or is he? He's never actually seen without the bag. Relentlessly bullied, Todd's efforts to make friends get him imprisoned for a murder he didn't commit. As prison gangs close in on Todd, his fate hinges on inept cops, a tough jailhouse ally, his mother's promiscuity, and a celebrity Scientologist who makes Todd's father a very creepy offer he may not be able to refuse.
"In my career, I've had the pleasure of creating crazy characters, but with Todd we've tapped into the most insane parts of our imaginations,” says Perker. "Political correctness has no place in this book. Our goal is to create a wholly original world that will make you laugh and break your heart, by any means necessary. We make a solemn promise to our reader: no good deed will go unpunished.”
"Though the world and characters in Todd are a hyper-real version of small town America, like all satire it deals with important real-world themes,” says Kristensen. "Todd explores the idea that we all live in a prison of some kind – whether it's schoolyard bullying, a bad marriage, shitty job, oppressive religious doctrines, gang membership, or actual prison walls.”
This creative team previously collaborated on Dark Horse's Escapist anthology and have several project in the works including a feature film Playground, with writer-producers Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah (Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies, Freaks and Geeks TV series).
Posted on November 14, 2012
Creators from American publisher to exhibit, debut books at convention in Leeds, England
A healthy contingent of Image Comics creators will be attending the annual Thought Bubble comic book convention in Leeds, England, taking place on November 17-18 at the Clarence Dock. The convention is part of the Leeds Comic Book Festival, which starts on November 11.The convention will be host to Image Comics signings, portfolio reviews, and a panel at the convention.
In addition, the British retailer Travelling Man will be stocking and selling Image Comics at the convention, including debut titles, exclusives, and the official THOUGHT BUBBLE anthology.
Appearing at Thought Bubble are eighteen Image Comics creators who are guests of the show:
Charlie Adlard (artist – THE WALKING DEAD, ROCK BOTTOM)
Jordie Bellaire (colorist – THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS, NOWHERE MEN, MARA)
Ian Churchill (covers – NO PLACE LIKE HOME)
Boo Cook (artist – ELEPHANTMEN)
Andy Diggle (writer – SNAPSHOT)
David Hine & Doug Braithwaite (STORM DOGS)
Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie (PHONOGRAM)
Giannis Milonogiannis (PROPHET)
Phil Noto (artist – THE INFINITE HORIZON, CREATOR-OWNED HEROES)
Sean Phillips (artist – FATALE)
Emma Rios (artist – PRETTY DEADLY),
Nick Spencer (writer – BEDLAM, MORNING GLORIES, THIEF OF THIEVES)
Fiona Staples (artist – SAGA)
Eric Stephenson (writer/creator – NOWHERE MEN, Image Comics Publisher)
Angelo Tirotto and Richard Jordan (NO PLACE LIKE HOME)
Sean Phillips, Charlie Adlard, Fiona Staples, Kieron Gillen/Jamie McKelvie, Boo Cook, Ian Churchill, Angelo Tirotto/Richard Jordan, & Doug Braithwaite/David Hine will have tables at the Image Comics tables (#31-40 in New Dock Hall).
Image will also be holding signings on Saturday and Sunday:
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM Eric Stephenson
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM Nick Spencer
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM Giannis Milonogiannis
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Eric Stephenson
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM Nick Spencer
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM Giannis Milonogiannis
The Image Comics panel will take place on Saturday, November 17 in Bury Theatre, within the Royal Amouries.
Independence in the UK!
Some of Image Comics' best and brightest stars make their home in the United Kingdom. Join them for a wide-ranging discussion with Image Publisher Eric Stephenson about creative freedom in the new age of comics independence and their exciting new projects at Image Comics.
Panelists: Jordie Bellaire, Giannis Milonogiannis, Charlie Adlard, and Ian Churchill (subject to change)
Moderator: Eric Stephenson
Date: 11/17/2012 Saturday
Time: 11:40 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Location: Bury Theatre
The new Image comics debuting at the convention are
THOUGHT BUBBLE ANTHOLOGY 2012, benefiting the charity Barnardos, including work by Kate Beaton, Warren Ellis, Gail Simone, Fiona Staples, Sean Phillips, Tony Harris, and more
STORM DOGS #1 by David Hine and Doug Braithwaite
ROCK BOTTOM HC by Joe Casey and Charlie Adlard
NOWHERE MEN #1 by Eric Stephenson, Nate Bellegarde, and Jordie Bellaire, featuring an exclusive Thought Bubble variant cover, limited to 500
For more information about Travelling Man, visit travellingman.com.
For more information on the show, visit thoughtbubblefestival.com!
Posted on November 7, 2012
The Image Comics mini-series THE STRANGE TALENT OF LUTHER STRODE ended in a baptism of blood as former geeky weakling Luther Strode discovered the depths of the powers he developed with "The Hercules Method" of strengthening — and with a promise of more mayhem.
The critically lauded mini-series catapulted creators Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore into the consciousness of comics readers. Now they're bringing their unlikely (anti-?)hero back with THE LEGEND OF LUTHER STRODE, a mini-series set five years after STRANGE TALENT. The first issue will be in stores on December 5.
Luther has systematically been taking out bad guys, and those left have a plan to put an end to the seemingly invulnerable vigilante. The development means the violence in LEGEND is amped up even higher than the not-inconsiderable level of gore in STRANGE TALENT. In an interview at IGN, the creators expressed, however, that their wish isn't to glorify violence.
"While the hyper-violence and how we’re desensitized to violence in comics was one of the points of the first one, we had to be careful not to, you know, desensitize people to the ridiculous violence," explained writer Jordan.
Moore, whose task it is to draw the hyper-violence (Felipe Sobreiro gives both LUTHER series their colors — with red dominating) supplied some details: "Within the first two issues there have already been about 12-15 dudes eviscerated in some ridiculous and fantastic fashion. And that’s not including any off panel maiming! Manhole cover decapitation, exploding heads, hearts ripped out, body severing karate chops. I tell you, we’ve got it all. "
In a story at USA Today, the team revealed some of the demons haunting Luther, who has realized he has become everything The Librarian, his arch-nemesis in STRANGE TALENT, said he was: a killer who uses might as right. LEGEND, said Jordan, is a story of redemption — or the lack of it. Jordan and Moore also talked to and showed off some new LUTHER STRODE art at Multiversity Comics, Comic Book Resources and Newsarama.
THE LEGEND OF LUTHER STRODE is a full-color, six-issue comics mini-series. Issue #1 (OCT120461) and #2 (NOV120564) are available for pre-order at comic book stores now.