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.
Posted on November 5, 2012
Born out of the extremes of economic inequality and the collapse of a civilization, the dystopian world of the Image Comics series BLACKACRE, starting in December, is one where the elite live in gleaming high-rises, while outside the walls of their city, others struggle for survival and freedom.
BlackAcre is a community built on privilege and power, topics of conversation in our political climate, but writer Duffy Boudreau explained that our concerns are only a starting point. "The story is definitely inspired by current events, but those are just foundation," he said. "In the world of BlackAcre, our politics are a thing of the past. Most characters in this new world wouldn’t have the slightest idea about any of that."
Auxiliary Captain Hull doesn't know about the machinations of power in the walled community of BlackAcre, either. When he's recruited for a rescue mission, he doesn't hesitate to accept, having been raised in military service with utmost loyalty to his brothers-at-arms. But as Hull ventures into the Hinterlands outside of the walls, he will discover the treachery behind the trust placed in him.
The stripping away of society as we know it allowed Boudreau to examine how people act from a new perspective, he said. "I’ve always been fascinated with dystopian stories because they give us a look at human nature through a completely different lens — whether it’s a society taken to its extreme or a landscape where the trappings of the civilized world have fallen away. These two types of worlds coexist in BlackAcre, and Hull’s journey from one to the other is the spark that sets everything in motion."
Artist on BLACKACRE, Wendell Cavalcanti, said the series gives him the opportunity to apply his skill to genres that have always attracted him. "I love sci-fi, dystopian future, war, and spy films, with all those diabolical characters and their sordid plans. And BlackAcre is a mix of all that," he said.
The first issue has already earned rave reviews from some of comics' top creators:
"The key to creating a great story about the future isn't making it seem possible, but probable. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to a little tale called BlackAcre."
- Jonathan Hickman (THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS, Fantastic Four)
"An amazing new book from an amazing new writer. This book rules."
- Matt Fraction (Hawkeye, Invincible Iron Man, Casanova)
"BlackAcre is the perfect new comic for our times. Like some bizarre cross between Mad Max and Judge Dredd that I can't wait to read more of."
- Ed Brubaker (FATALE, Criminal, Winter Soldier)
BLACKACRE is an ongoing series, with the first issue, which features a cover by Michael Avon Oeming, in stores on December 5.
Posted on October 25, 2012
Readers of the Image Comics series THE ACTIVITY have seen Team Omaha conduct missions in locations as diverse and exotic as the Netherlands, Colombia, Afghanistan, and Thailand. But in THE ACTIVITY #11, Nathan Edmondson and Mitch Gerads take the elite black ops team to a place a bit more familiar: Minnesota.
In "The Butterfly Effect," the comic's first depiction of an operation on American soil, Team Omaha must find and disarm a bomb in Minneapolis, without letting the people of that city know they were ever in danger.
For writer Edmondson, the issue is a landmark. "THE ACTIVITY makes landfall in the USA," he said. "This is a moment in our story we have reserved for a very particular moment— and as readers will discover, the gravity of the mission in Minneapolis will set the tone for events to come. Events that may reflect the real world and real events in ways disconcerting and dangerous for our operators."
Depicting the action on the streets of Minneapolis was no problem for artist Gerads, who lives in the City of Lakes." It's incredibly exciting for me to bring Team OMAHA to my hometown," said Gerads. "Minneapolis is rife with the opportunities of a good action thriller and this issue takes full advantage of that."
THE ACTIVITY #11 (SEP120486) will be in stores on January 2 and can be pre-ordered now from the September issue of Previews.
THE ACTIVITY explores hypothetical missions of the ultra-secret United States Army Special Operations unit the Intelligence Support Activity. To ensure the highest degree of accuracy and realism, both Edmondson and Gerads consult with United States' military special operatives and journalists who have been embedded with special ops teams. One of their consultants is Kevin Maurer, co-author of the bestseller No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden. The team also created a two-issue story "Goat Hunt" that ran in THE ACTIVITY #7 and #8 that was co-plotted by actual U.S. Navy SEALs.
Posted on October 24, 2012
Palmiotti and Gray plumbs prehistory in sci-fi thriller
Dr. Zoe Wallace, the protagonist of Jimmy Palmiotti's and Justin Gray's new graphic novella RETROVIRUS, is one of the best in the field of viral evolution, a brilliant young scientist who attracts the attention of one of the world's largest and most powerful bio-pharmaceutical corporations. Zoe doesn't usually use her expertise for profit, but when Bio-Pharm gives her the chance to research a prehistoric virus, she can't pass up the chance. However, once Zoe is in their Antarctic compound, face-to-face with a perfectly preserved Neanderthal, Bio-Pharm's secrets may ensure that she never sees the outside world again.
And Zoe has a secret of her own—one that turns her research from theoretical to deeply personal.
"The fun of working on a project like this is looking at the set-up from a point of view like our character Zoe and putting all the pieces, together with her along the way," said Palmiotti. "With every turn the story gets deeper and deeper and more out of control, and like most of the work Justin and I do together, the challenge is to always keep the characters grounded in the madness around them so the reader can relate to every twist and turn."
"I always feel the best fiction is propelled by themes, and with Retrovirus there are a number of personal themes that arose in and around the time we began working on this project," added Gray. "Zoe represents motherhood, survival, determination and our core humanity when presented with terrifying situations. We wanted not only to create a story full of big scary action, but also something people could relate to."
A science fiction thriller that reaches all the way back to human prehistory and pulls the struggle for existence into the twenty-first century, RETROVIRUS is written by the team that has brought the comics industry CREATOR-OWNED HEROES and QUEEN CRAB and carries on the legacy of comics great Tony DeZuniga with Jonah Hex. Gorgeously rendered by Norberto Fernandez (The Tattered Man) and featuring a cover by Amanda Connor, RETROVIRUS blends human drama with science fiction and action in a story that will make readers think about the survival of our species in a new—and frightening—light.
RETROVIRUS, a 72-page, full-color graphic novella, will be in stores on November 21 and is available now for pre-order.
Posted on October 24, 2012
Retailers Ally For Multiple Signing Events for Brandon Graham's New Series
Taking his cue from the characters in his new mini-series, Brandon Graham (KING CITY, PROPHET) is embarking on a cross-country trip to promote MULTIPLE WARHEADS: ALPHABET TO INFINITY with signings at comic book stores from October 24 through 27.
Coming together to promote the signing tour are retailers from California to North Carolina who wanted to show their support for Graham's surreal science fiction comic about organ smugglers in a fanciful, futuristic Russia.
The tour kicks off in Anaheim, California at Beach Ball Comics on October 24, treks to Texas for a signing at Austin Books on October 25, lands in St. Louis for a signing at Star Clipper on October 26, and wraps at Chapel Hill Comics in North Carolina on October 27. (Click here for complete schedule details.)
All four stores on the tour will have an exclusive edition of the 48-page, full-color MULTIPLE WARHEADS #1 with a wraparound variant cover by Graham, for $3.99.
MULTIPLE WARHEADS: ALPHABET TO INFINITY is a four-issue, full-color miniseries that places ordinary lives in an extraordinary setting. Its first issue has garnered advance praise:
"...anything is possible in this comic. This is creativity unleashed. This is an artist unhinged. This is freedom. This is authenticity. And this is where comics should live."
- MTV Geek
"Full of that trademark Brandon Graham ambition (Grahambition?), it's a comic that's wonderfully, strange, fantastically designed, and ultimately worthy of the time and effort it takes to read. It's a text that demands the reader work with it while taking an artful approach to world building. It's a comic that's as much about the mystery of what comes next as it is about what's happening right now. Every page is an adventure, and every turn the plot takes is unexpected. That's the beauty of Multiple Warheads #1."
- The Outhousers
A two-part interview with Graham about MULTIPLE WARHEADS also ran at Comics Alliance in August.