In September, Image Comics will bring the first volume of VALENTINE, Alex de Campi's acclaimed digital comic, to print as a 352-page trade paperback.
The year is 1812, and Valentine is one of the few soldiers left of Napoleon's once-mighty army felled by the Russian winter. Given a mysterious package by a dying general with orders to see it safely back to France, Valentine finds himself pursued through the snow by blood-eyed monsters who are intent on stopping him.
In an epic tale of war, love, and unexpected journeys, an unlikely hero discovers that fairy tales are true. Humans share the earth with other beings, trapped here while the world is drained of the magic that sustains them. They want only one thing: to return home. And their only way back is through Valentine.
"It's been an unbelievable amount of fun to write a cliffhangerrific supernatural thriller, with twist upon twist to keep readers on the edge of their seat," said the Eisner-nominated de Campi (Smoke). "I grew up reading fantasy and sci-fi novels, and suddenly finding myself elbow-deep in the fantasy toybox has been a delight. I've really enjoyed grabbing the beloved tropes and expectations of the genre and both respecting them and twisting/subverting them at the same time. If you think this is a historical thriller, for example, you are so, so wrong. The book is a wild ride."
VALENTINE was originally distributed digitally through comiXology, RobotComics, and Amazon's Kindle. With more than 350,000 downloads worldwide, the series is a pioneering work in the ever-growing digital comics market.
Of the book's success in the digital realm, de Campi commented, "In download form, this is a series which — despite being a very shonen-style male fight/action book — has had a huge appeal to women readers and to teens around the world."
Collecting the first ten chapters of the work, with full-color art by Christine Larsen and Tim Durning, a 42-page exclusive bonus story with art by Cassandra James, and a painted cover by Steven Belledin, VALENTINE, VOL. 1: THE ICE DEATH (JUL120391) will be in stores on September 5 and is available for order now.
Brandon Graham has been called "one of the great talents to emerge in the last ten years" by Warren Ellis. His stark, imaginative reboot of Rob Liefeld's PROPHET has garnered praise from all corners of the comic book world. PROPHET is drawn by a rotating cast of artists, but Graham got his start in comics drawing his own comic, the massive, pun-heavy KING CITY. Graham has returned to both the writing desk and the drawing table with MULTIPLE WARHEADS, a miniseries to be published by Image Comics in October.
Just as rife with wordplay and wild with futuristic details (Vat-grown radiation-sniffing squids! Self-heating root vegetables! Musical caffeine cigarettes! Organic, mobile palaces!) as the reader-beloved KING CITY, MULTIPLE WARHEADS is a project where Graham has let his mind wander the open road. At the same time, he keeps the lives of his characters, grounded with familiar sentiments and actions.
"I'm really interested in exploring a big fantasy Russia and letting myself wander off of the main path in a similar way to what I did in King City," said Graham, "But I want show the bizarre lives of a woman who smuggles magic organs and her werewolf mechanic boyfriend in a kind of matter-of-fact way."
Graham talked about MULTIPLE WARHEADS with Comic Book Resources in an August 1 interview.
The first issue of MULTIPLE WARHEADS, a four-issue, full-color mini-series, is 48 pages long. It will be available for in the August issue of Previews.
"After the conclusion of The Sword, I took a two-year sabbatical, but I was always creating," said Luna of his break from comics. "I played with photography and film, and I learned how to paint with oil, acrylic, and watercolor. I finally decided I wanted to do a fairy-tale picture book."
The end result was STAR BRIGHT AND THE LOOKING GLASS, which tells the story of a wild young woman who discovers her own beauty when she finds a mirror in her forest home. The awakening of Star Bright's consciousness of her own loveliness also opens her heart to vanity. But when a wicked sorceress steals Star Bright's beauty Star Bright will learn from her woodland animal friends what the true virtues in life are.
"Everything I’m doing with Star Bright and the Looking Glass is so different from what I’m used to. It’s my first time writing alone, and prose for that matter," said Luna. "I can’t really pinpoint what led me to do a fairy-tale picture book. There’s definitely been a certain kind of imagery in my head that I’ve been dying to put on paper. I’ve been into pop surrealism for many years, so I wanted to incorporate that kind of art into my new work. I wanted it to be ethereal and a little dark."
Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson lauded Luna's dedication to growing as an artist.
"Jonathan Luna, along with his brother Joshua, have been doing amazing work at Image Comics for almost a decade now, but I'm still always amazed by their commitment to moving forward as artists and trying new things as storytellers," said Stephenson. "Jonathan's first solo project is wonderfully unique, and one of the most interesting projects he's brought to us yet."
Luna talked to Comic Book Resources about his new storybook on July 30.
STAR BRIGHT is a 72-page 9 x 12" hardcover storybook with full-color artwork for all ages. It will be in stores in November and available for pre-order in the September issue of Previews.
In POINT OF IMPACT, a new Image Comics miniseries by NEAR DEATH creator Jay Faerber and Koray Kuranel, a woman's murder brings those who thought they knew her best to the realization that they didn't know her at all. As the investigation of Nicole Rafferty's death reveals the secrets of her life, three people — her husband, friend, and secret lover — are put on a collision course with the truth.
"Point of Impact was born out of the idea that a person can be different things to different people," said writer Faerber. "We behave differently, and play different roles, depending on who we're with. That's a theme I wanted to explore in the context of a murder mystery."
In an interview at iFanboy, Faerber promised "plenty of action and suspense, and definitely twists and turns — it’s a murder mystery / thriller, after all." iFanboy also featured a six-page preview of POINT OF IMPACT #1.
The four-issue miniseries, which will debut in October, is drawn by Koray Kuranel, a Turkish storyboard artist, in stark black and white.
"Koray is a fantastic artist recommended to me by my old friend and collaborator, Yildiray Cinar," said Faerber of his collaborator. "His layouts and sense of storytelling are incredible."
POINT OF IMPACT #1 will available for pre-order in the August issue of Previews.
Nick Sax isn't what you'd call a "winner." The anti-hero of the new Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson comic mini-series HAPPY! has been fired from the police force, turned on by his own employees in his murder-for-hire business (well, what would you expect?), is constantly drunk, and is waging a hopeless battle against the agonies of eczema. Sax seems beyond redemption, but saviors often take strange forms, and, in his case, it's the form of a tiny blue, feathered pony named Happy.
Oh, did we forget to mention that? Yes, besides being heavy with violence, profanity, and sex, HAPPY! is also a tribute to the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
"HAPPY! is a story I’ve wanted to write since hit-man Nick Sax and his ‘partner’ Happy the Horse appeared fully-formed in my head two years ago," said Morrison. In an interview at Newsarama, he described the impetus of its development: "I wanted to do a classic Christmas story – like A Christmas Carol or It’s A Wonderful Life – but with all the junkies, killers and pedophiles which make our modern world so colorful!"
In the same interview, artist Robertson talked a bit about the mysterious, eponymous Happy the Horse, about whom the two creators are being enticingly elusive.
"Happy had a complete transformation from the initial drawing to what he became and what he became is one of the most enjoyable things I've ever designed to draw," said Robertson. "I hope readers will have as much fun with this as I've been having.
HAPPY! is Morrison and Robertson's first Image Comics series. It was announced at this year's Image Expo in February, which celebrated the independent publisher's 20th anniversary. Recently, Morrison commented on the experience of working on a creator-owned project.
"As much as I enjoy making monthly superhero books, there’s something very exciting and inspiring about creating a complete, original story from whole cloth and I’m grateful to Image Comics for seeing the potential of this project and giving it a home," said Morrison. "After a banner year for creativity at the company, Darick and I hope we can round 2012 out on a high note with the most twisted Christmas crime story you’ll ever read."
HAPPY! #1 will be in stores on September 26 and is available now for pre-order. The four-issue miniseries will culminate with an issue released Christmas week.
Working late at the Halloween Land super-store can get pretty soul-numbing, so Eve thought she was pretty lucky to have such a great imagination. But it turns out that her imagination isn't just active — it's dangerous! In the new one-shot comic HALLOWEEN EVE by Brandon Montclare (Fear Itself: Fearsome Four) and Amy Reeder (Batwoman, Madame Xanadu), to be published in October by Image Comics, Eve gets a bump in the night that could turn her dead-end job deadly. Surrounded by masks, costumes, and novelties that have come to life, Eve will have to fight her way through a horde of horror or she'll never make it to Halloween!
Conceived and drawn by Reeder and written by Montclare, HALLOWEEN EVE isn't just a spooky scamper; it's also the story of Eve — an expert costumer who loves to dress up, snarky and able to mercilessly size up others, but not so great at seeing herself for who she really is. The Halloween items that come to life have one goal: to find out who Eve is beneath her masks.
“Halloween Eve will break your heart and blow you away!" said Reeder. "I am so excited to be creating my own characters and story, and I’m glad it’s in the hands of what has lately felt like creator-owned central, Image Comics.”
“Working with Amy Reeder to co-create Halloween Eve was already almost too good to be true," added Montclare. "Being at Image—without a doubt the place-to-be for creator-owned comics—is unbelievable.”
After running a successful Kickstarter campaign that met its goal just six days after being launched, Reeder and Montclare announced that HALLOWEEN EVE was coming to Image Comics in a July 19th interview at Comics Alliance.
HALLOWEEN EVE is a 40-page (32 story pages plus other content) full-color comic, due out in October 2012 to celebrate Halloween. It's a stand-alone, self-contained tale of magic and adventure geared toward teen and adult audiences. It will be available for pre-order in the August issue of Previews.
Image Comics and Top Cow Productions are excited to announce the highly anticipated return of CYBER FORCE, in celebration of the title’s twentieth anniversary, in October 2012. Comics legend and Top Cow founder Marc Silvestri returns to the property that helped launch his company and Image Comics as co-writer, art director, and cover artist, spearheading his unique vision for the new series.
And now, CYBER FORCE is embarking on a new path, using 21st century social media to make the first five issues (to be published monthly) available for free, both digitally and in print. A Kickstarter campaign launched on July 17, taking advantage of the year-long build-up of excitement for Image and Top Cow's 20th anniversary.
Rewards for backers of the Kickstarter campaign, which has a goal of $75,000, include exclusive variant covers, a signed print, a hardcover edition of the collected first five issues, a smartphone case, original art, and one-on-one sessions with Matt Hawkins and Marc Silvestri. There are also several special rewards for comic book retailers who pledge — including exclusive signings by Marc Silvestri! The funding will not only go toward paying the art team but also toward offsetting print costs, thus ensuring the first five issues are available for free.
With an entire generation of fans who grew up on the series and new fans discovering Image and Top Cow every week, creator and Top Cow CEO Silvestri knew the time was right for CYBER FORCE to return.
“My obsession growing up was sci-fi and fantasy and the concept of Cyber Force has always been ripe for mining those genres," said Silvestri. "The best sci-fi has its soul anchored in social commentary and the human condition and then goes nuts with the concepts. Comic books are unique in that they can add to that the thrill of wish fulfillment," he added. "Mash those ideas together add a healthy dose of 21st century paranoia, and voila! You’ve got Cyber Force.”
Silvestri describes CYBER FORCE as an exploration of the consequences when technology — the product of humanity's own intelligence — has interfered with the order of natural development. "We’re creating a world our species can’t survive in," Silvestri said. "The end is coming and Mega Corporation Cyber Data Industries knows this when it happens. And now, a young girl named Velocity knows too.”
Joining Silvestri on the new series is interior artist Khoi Pham. Hot off of top-selling Marvel Comics titles including Avengers, Daredevil, The Mighty Thor, and X-Men, Pham’s art will bring to life this bold new vision of CYBER FORCE.
The new series will appeal to fans of the original, as well as reach out to a wider audience by creating a cutting-edge world based on real technology. Co-writer and Top Cow President Matt Hawkins (THINK TANK, THE TEST) will utilize his background in science to lead the series in a never-before-seen direction.
While staying true to the core concept of CYBER FORCE, cybernetically-enhanced resistance fighters on the run from a monolithic international conglomerate, the visual aesthetic of the new series will be updated for a modern audience, coined “bio-cybernetic steampunk.”
Coming off a whirlwind release day the week of Comic-Con International and supported by special events at comic book stores around the country, THE WALKING DEAD #100 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard will receive a second printing after selling out of its record-setting first printing. At 383,612 copies, the sales of THE WALKING DEAD #100 were the best initial orders for a single issue of a comic book since 1997.
A harrowing and heart-wrenching event in the lives of Rick Grimes and his band of survivors, THE WALKING DEAD #100 has been critically acclaimed for its examination of violence and mortality.
At The Comics Journal, Sean T. Collins considered the depiction of brutality: "It’s hugely graphic and gory, but more importantly it’s predicated on anguish and agony, on a character begging for their life and slowly losing it anyway, in view of other characters, including children, made to watch as punishment," he wrote. "A 'bad guy' is committing the violence, but its horribleness is quite of a piece with the series’ presentation of human-on-human violence overall."
Augie De Blieck, Jr. at Comic Book Resources wrote, "[T]his issue delivers. It is not, however, the massive rampage of blood and guts I expected it to be. Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard deliver something much smaller, but just as effective, creepy, tense and sad."
The issue inspired Bleeding Cool's Adi Tantimedh to ponder the function of tragic fiction in society. "I wonder if the popularity of THE WALKING DEAD and the zombie apocalypse genre is a kind of atavistic ritual that the culture is partaking in to magickally ward off the worst that could happen, which is societal collapse into full horror," Tantimedh wrote. "...[T]he proxy of fiction allows the audience to mentally put themselves through the horror to find catharsis and feel more secure after the experience."
The second printing of the milestone issue will feature a new cover with art by Adlard. It is available for order now with the Diamond code JUN128066 and will be in stores on August 15, the same day as THE WALKING DEAD #101.
All covers of the iconic issue sell out on same day as release
Robert Kirkman’s Eisner Award-winning THE WALKING DEAD comic series for Image Comics/Skybound reached its milestone 100th issue and instantly sold out of its 383,612 initial orders on July 11th, the same day it was released, effectively becoming the best-selling comic book in initial orders for any publisher since 1997, when Image Comics/Top Cow’s The Darkness #11 was released. THE WALKING DEAD, created and written by Kirkman with art by Charlie Adlard, featuring 13 variant covers for the 100th issue — all sold out — has been the talk of San Diego Comic-Con with a series of events celebrating its release. Kirkman is a partner in Image Comics, the first person invited to join the comic book industry’s premier publisher of creator-owned comics since its inception twenty years ago.
“This is a remarkable achievement,” said Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson. “It’s extremely uncommon, if not flat-out rare, for a comic book to see a sustained increase in sales following its first issue, but The Walking Dead steadily climbed up and up since its launch in 2003, and we couldn’t be more proud of Robert, Charlie and the whole Walking Dead team.”
“The Walking Dead continues to greatly exceed all my expectations in all forms,” said Robert Kirkman. “I am especially excited for what this means for comics as an industry, that this is an independent comic hitting that number.” Kirkman continued, “The future of comics couldn’t be brighter as more and more readers are embracing new ideas in a big way.”
On Wednesday night, Hyundai, Future US, and Kirkman’s Skybound imprint at Image Comics unveiled the Kirkman-designed Zombie Survival Machine from a transformed Hyundai Elantra Coupe. On Thursday, Skybound and Ruckus Sports unveiled The Walking Dead Escape: San Diego, an obstacle course where anyone could live the experience of being a zombie apocalypse survivor and effects whiz Greg Nicotero and team transformed participants into one of the undead.
Kirkman will give away a Hyundai Elantra GT wrapped in Charlie Adlard’s iconic cover of THE WALKING DEAD’s 100th issue, which was on display Friday night at Petco Park during the private The Walking Dead 100th Issue VIP Black Carpet Event. The exclusive party featured a fully immersive recreation of a post-apocalyptic world infested with zombies.
The Skybound booth at Comic-Con, #2729, featured a slew of exclusive merchandise, including THE WALKING DEAD #100 Vannen Watch, THE WALKING DEAD Bloody Michonne Variant action figure and The Walking Dead Hardcover Compendium, which collects issues #1-48 of the iconic comic series.
THE WALKING DEAD topped the bestseller lists for graphic novels in 2011 and frequently topped the New York Times and Amazon’s bestseller lists, taking the top five spots on hardcover and paperback lists. Kirkman is also the executive producer and writer of the hit television show, AMC’s The Walking Dead, the highest-rated basic cable drama of all time in the U.S for season two. Friday’s AMC panel was one of the hottest events at Comic-Con. The show is also an international success in 120 countries, showing in 250 million households worldwide.
The Image Comics, Skybound, and Top Cow booths at Comic-Con International in San Diego will be host to some of the best and brightest creators in comics today. Many artists will have permanent tables at the Image Booth and special signings will occur throughout the convention, often with exclusives and variants to purchase. The special appearances by creators will culminate in a group signing by Image Comics founders Erik Larsen, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, Rob Liefeld, and Whilce Portacio.
Some high-demand signing sessions will be ticketed. Free tickets will be available at the Image Comics booth (#2729) on the day of the signing. Tickets will be distributed for each ticketed signing beginning at the start of the show each day and only while supplies last. No purchase is necessary to receive a ticket.
Comic-Con International takes place on July 12-15 in the San Diego Convention Center. The Image Comics booth (#2729) will be the destination for Skybound, Shadowline, and Image central titles, while the Top Cow booth (#2629) will have all the latest in the WITCHBLADE- and THE DARKNESS-helmed universe.
For the complete list of signings taking place at the Image, Skybound and Top Cow booths, please click the title of this post or "Permalink."