A friend of mine has multiple subscriptions at multiple comic book shops. He gets excited for every new issue, and has been consuming comics this way for most of his life. Try as I might, I just can’t understand this, though not because this fervor for comics is foreign to me. It’s the issue by issue thing that I’ve never been able to come around on.
Maybe some of this stems from the way I was introduced to comics. Years ago, I saw Neil Gaiman do a reading of short story and poetry material at the Printer’s Row Book Fair, and the first booth I stopped at afterwards had the The Sandman graphic novels for sale. It was the first time I’d seen the name of an author I knew on a graphic novel, and having been so entertained by that author only minutes before, I figured I’d give this foreign format of storytelling a shot. I read it in one sitting and couldn’t get my hands on the next trade fast enough. By the end of the month, I’d devoured the whole series and become interested in finding other comics I’d enjoy even half as much as I had loved The Sandman.
But even as a comic book convert actively looking for more to read, I just couldn’t bring myself to start with anything short of a trade or graphic novel because single issues of comics have always struck me as unfulfilling, just bite-sized bits of big stories. (more…)
Well, celebrities have certainly been in the news lately, haven’t they?
You might be expecting a reference to Miley Cyrus here, the pathetic child who cries for attention by participating in grotesque displays of herself. You might even expect a grumpy septuagenarian to wonder if the guardians of a child raised in the humid heart of show-biz, as poor Ms. Cyrus was, could not be accused of a form of child abuse. Don’t look at me. This is one of the many things that I’m not sure about.
I can’t be sure about the dealings of Bill O’Reilly and Michele Bachmann with the Almighty, either. Both these celebrities claim to have received direct communication from on high – on very high. Mr. O’Reilly, an opinion-offering stalwart who gets paid by Fox News, apparently believes that the Holy Spirit inspired him to write his latest book, Killing Jesus. (Earlier books include Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy. If you find something that works…)
As for Ms. Bachmann, the Republican congressperson from Minnesota, she thinks that same Holy Spirit wants her to ditch politics for a career in the private sector, wherein serious money can be made. But if Ms. Bachman is right about another matter, she’d better get started on that next career because the clock is ticking. Representative B has recently revealed that we’re living in the End Times – the big rock candy mountain is gnoing to crumble any nanosecond now and you and I can watch Michele and her posse ascend to eternal glory while we…gee, I don’t know. What are we sinners going to do? Miss our bus? Catch a really bad cold? Anyway, something.
Jesus got disrespected from another source last week. The Vatican misspelled his name on an issuance of a special medal commemorating Pope Francis’ taking over the big job. Ooops! Doesn’t say much for Catholic Education, but maybe we should blame, not the good sisters and brothers, but the devil, who still exists, but has gotten wilier, which explains why we don’t run into him much. This is the opinion of Supreme Court Justice Scalia, an eminent jurist who says that he gets most of his news from Bill Bennett, a conservative talk show host.
Note, please, that I’m not questioning the beliefs, just those who reap power and/or profit from them, or who may employ them inappropriately.
And all this snarkiness has what, exactly, to do with pop culture, our presumed subject?
Last week, in a Facebook posting, Larry Hama asked why we still call them comics conventions when they aren’t. Larry’s right, of course. These monster affairs aren’t about comics and haven’t been for a while now. They’re about selling stuff and the creatures mentioned way back in our first paragraph, celebrities. The celebs are rewarded for showing up while some of the comics folk must pay to get in and even those who get comped often get stuck with parking fees which, in someplace like Manhattan, aren’t exactly small items. In the end, most cons are mostly about money instead of promoting a quirky hobby.
The above is not a complaint, just an observation. Things are what they are. I might lament just a bit, but complain? No.
New Pulp Publisher Dynamite Entertainment has announced Noir, a new comic book series featuring The Shadow, Miss Fury, and The Black Sparrow. NOIR #1 is written by Victor Gischler with art by Andrea Mutti and a cover by Ardian Syaf. Noir #1 will arrive in comic book shop on November 13th.
Prelude to Miss Fury! When thieves steal from other thieves it always causes problems, doesn’t it? So when The Black Sparrow is hired to steal a mysterious “Moon Stone” from a museum in New York, her decision to keep the thing for a better payday annoys her former employers who then steal it back from her. Now it’s The Black Sparrow who is annoyed, and that’s a dangerous thing. All she wants is what she stole fair and square, but she needs help. She needs The Shadow!
Well. This might be the easiest review I’ve written.
If you liked the first Kick-Ass movie, you’ll like this one. If you would have liked the first film if it didn’t have Nicolas Cage in it, you’ll be even happier.
If you are a fan of the Mark Millar/John Romita Jr. comic book series, you’ll like this movie. It’s a fairly faithful adaptation of Kick-Ass 2 and the Hit-Girl prequel series, hitting most of the points and only making cosmetic changes (no final battle in Times Square, for example.)
If you are a fan of Chloe Grace Moritz, you’ll love this film. Even more fun this time around, yet still growing up. Between this and the upcoming Carrie remake, we have learned one very important lesson: Do. Not. Mess. With. Her.
If you think that the story is a decent examination and a snappy satirical commentary about trying to be a superhero in the real world, you are completely right. If you happen to think that the first film and/or the comic book is overwrought and overviolent and expect the sequel to be the same, you are completely right too.
If you think this is a way for comic book movies to keep things simple and get decent returns on their original investments by controlling costs instead of making R.I.P.D., you’re correct. If you think this is a cynical attempt to cash in on an easily extendable franchise, you’re right as well.
If you’re looking for surprises– well, there we have a problem. There really aren’t any if you’ve seen the first film, and especially if you’ve already read the source material. There are only two real areas for surprise here: will they keep all the levels of violence from the comics in the films, even the hyper-brutal and the completely ludicrous, and is it still going to be fun to watch knowing what’s coming next? The answer to both questions, BTW, is “yes”.
So go. Have fun, if this is the sort of thing you like. You know pretty much exactly what you’re going to get, and it’s going to be well-executed executions. It doesn’t quite live up to its title, it doesn’t quite kick ass too. But it’s not a bad way to spend an evening.
New Pulp Publishers Redbud Studios and Airship 27 Productions shared a sneak peek at their upcoming Secret Agent X comic book. Press Release: Airship 27 Productions is once again teaming up with Redbud Studio to produce another classic pulp hero comic book. SECRET AGENT X is a 38 page black and white thriller featuring the greatest pulp spy of them all; the Man of a Thousand Faces. The script is by Ron Fortier with all art by Rob Davis. Here is a sneak-peek of page 4 as the super-spy received his latest assignment and is about to go into action. No definitive date has been set for the book’s release. Keep following the Airship 27 blog for future updates.
About Captain Midnight:
On the run from the US government after fleeing custody, Captain Midnight has been labeled a security risk. In the forties, he was an American hero, a daredevil fighter pilot, a technological genius . . . a superhero. But since he rifled out of the Bermuda Triangle into the present day, Captain Midnight doesn’t know what or who to trust!
A key title in Dark Horse’s new superhero initiative!
Written by Joshua Williamson (Masks and Mobsters, Voodoo, Uncharted) with art by Fernando Dagnino (Resurrection Man, Suicide Squad)!
Featured on Free Comic Book Day!
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Fernando Dagnino
Cover Artist: Felipe Massafera
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Genres: Action/Adventure, Superhero
Release date: 07/31/2013
Almost thirty years after his critically acclaimed Blood & Judgment series, fan-Favorite writer/artist Howard Chaykin returns to The Shadow for a new Dynamite Entertainment mini series, The Shadow: Midnight in Moscow.
Official Press Release:
Dynamite is proud to announce that legendary writer/artist Howard Chaykin will write his first new tale of The Shadow in nearly thirty years. The Shadow: Midnight in Moscow will take place three decades prior to the events of his critically acclaimed Blood & Judgment series. Chaykin will reprise his creative role both as writer and artist for this new venture.
“I’m delighted and grateful to Dynamite for the opportunity to work once again on so legendary a character as The Shadow,” says Chaykin. “My new miniseries, The Shadow: Midnight in Moscow, tells the secret story behind the Shadow’s disappearance in 1949.” While this new series marks his return to Shadow storytelling, he hasn’t strayed far from the character in recent years, contributing gorgeous cover artwork for Dynamite’s variety of Shadow series.
Blood and Judgement
“The Shadow: Blood & Judgment is one of my favorite comic series of all time,” says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite. “It absolutely blows my mind, still to this day. I can’t even begin to express how much this means to me as the publisher of the series and how much as a fan of Howard’s series. Howard Chaykin’s return to the character is going to be phenomenal. And in a move that will certainly keep his fans on their toes, he’s setting Midnight in Moscow up not as a direct sequel to his earlier work, but years and years beforehand, at an exciting and critical moment in the Shadow’s history. I have such tremendous respect for Howard as a storyteller, a true modern master of the comic book medium.”
Howard Chaykin is a modern legend in the comics industry, with an exceptionally respected body of work spanning four decades. He is perhaps best known for American Flagg!, a series published by First Comics in 1982. Chaykin wrote and illustrated the first twelve issues exclusively, and was praised by critics and readers alike. In 1985, Chaykin wrote and drew The Shadow for DC Comics, the acclaimed run that would later be collected by Dynamite as The Shadow: Blood & Judgment. He is the recipient of Inkpot and Eisner Awards. His extensive library of comics work includes such titles as Star Wars, Black Kiss, American Century, Challengers of the Unknown, Blackhawk, Hawkgirl, Blade, Punisher War Journal, and Satellite Sam. He was also executive script consultant for The Flash television series on CBS, and later worked on action-adventure programs such as Viper, Earth: Final Conflict, and Mutant X.
Blood and Judgement
The Shadow began its existence in 1930 as a narrative voice on the Street and Smith radio program Detective Story Hour. The audience thrilled to the serialized adventures of this mysterious figure, whose mythos expanded to include Occidental mysticism, hypnotic powers over weak criminal minds, and twin .45 caliber handguns. With a keen intellect and relentless drive, The Shadow hunted criminals without mercy in an era when gumshoe detectives and bootlegging mobsters was a thrilling yet fearsome reality. The character’s popularity has endured for over 80 years, bolstered by appearances in radio serials, novels, comic books, films, and more. In recent years, Dynamite published a groundbreaking and well-received Shadow series launched by comic writer Garth Ennis (Preacher), with further tales crafted by Victor Gischler and Chris Roberson. Lamont Cranston’s grim alter-ego has also appeared in such related series as The Shadow: Year One, Masks, and The Shadow / Green Hornet: Dark Nights.
Blood and Judgement
About Dynamite Entertainment: Dynamite was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, The Shadow, Vampirella, Warlord of Mars, Bionic Man, A Game of Thrones, and more. Dynamite owns and controls an extensive library with over 3,000 characters (which includes the Harris Comics and Chaos Comics properties), such as Vampirella, Pantha, Evil Ernie, Smiley the Psychotic Button, Chastity, Purgatori, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt. In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and bestselling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Jae Lee, Marc Guggenheim, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner, and a host of up-and-coming new talent. Dynamite is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles – including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger’s Project Superpowers – have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2005, Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%) and again in 2011. The company has also been nominated for and won several industry awards, including the prestigious Harvey and Eisner Awards.
New Pulp Publisher, Trinity Comics has announced that Frank (Lance Star: Sky Ranger) Dirscherl’s debut novel, THE WRAITH, is now available to buy (in paperback) in a new revamped and represented edition. This is the first novel in The Wraith novel series.
Go back to where it all began. Currently only available from the Trinity Comics Store, Frank Dirscherl’s The Wraith will soon also be available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble et al as well as an eBook. Stay tuned here for further details. For now, the paperback can be ordered from the Trinity Comics on-line store here.
About Frank Dirscherl’s The Wraith: In a world not far removed from our own, a city lies ravaged. Crime overruns its streets, its citizens are
helpless. Crime-lord Robert Latham, to the world at large a legitimate businessman, holds the city in his sway. Fear and intimidation rule throughout. One man stands above the rest, willing to fight for freedom. That man is The Wraith. The Wraith, the city’s bogeyman, is known to exist only by a very few, and seen by even fewer. Those that do know of him, especially Latham, know to fear him, for his fury at those who commit evil knows no bounds. By day, The Wraith is the reclusive millionaire Paul Sanderson, a man more mysterious and less seen than his night-time counterpart. Sensing the desperation of Latham and that his own time may be limited, Sanderson readies a replacement–Michael Reeve, an honest cop drawn inexorably into a world he may not be ready for. Can the new Wraith save his city even while he struggles to save his own soul?
Learn more about Frank Dirscherl’s The Wraith here.
About Frank Dirscherl: Frank Dirscherl AssDipArts (Lib Prac) CertIIIInfTch (Tech Sppt) ALIATec AIMM
Frank Dirscherl (b. 1973) is a professionally certified library technician and has been working in libraries since 1992. Over the years he has also covered and packed books and other material for a book wholesale company, worked as a data assistant at an ENT surgery and as a lecturer to children on the merits of the comic book. His written work includes The Wraith (filmed in 2005), Valley of Evil, Cult of the Damned, the non-fiction The Wraith: Eyes of Judgment – The Official Script Book & Movie Guide (with
Stephen Semones) and more. He lives on the south coast of NSW, Australia with his wife, where he’s currently working on his fifth Wraith novel amongst other works of fiction.
Dynamite is proud to announce that beloved pulp-era crime-fighter will appear for the first time in the modern age in the upcoming The Shadow Now comic book series. Mystery/thriller novelist David Liss, whose previous comic book credentials include Black Panther and Mystery Men from Marvel and Dynamite’s The Spider, will usher the classic character into present day New York City with the assistance of talented artist and painter Colton Worley. The first chapter in this six-issue miniseries is slated for release in October, featuring cover artwork by Tim Bradstreet (Punisher) and interior artist Colton Worley.
The Shadow Now page 1
In The Shadow Now, the greatest pulp hero of all returns to New York City in modern times, having spent decades in the mystical East to rejuvenate himself. Lamont Cranston seeks to resume his old life, and his heroic alter-ego is ready to stand once more as an enemy to evil. But while he was gone, his foes have remained vigilant, and the most dangerous man The Shadow has ever faced prepares to rise once more.
“The Shadow is, without doubt, one of the coolest pulp characters of all time, so I was thrilled to get a chance to add something to the legend,” says the critically acclaimed David Liss, whose first book, A Conspiracy of Paper, won the coveted 2001 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best First Novel. “While we are working within the long and storied tradition of Shadow adventures, I think we’re also doing something original with this character, and that’s always a great combination. I was especially happy when I heard Colton would be doing the art for this miniseries. His art is stunning, and a perfect fit for our neo-pulp tone. This story is dark and moody, which I think a Shadow story should be, but I think we’re also portraying a very human and fallible version of the man behind the mask. Fans who have followed The Shadow in comics over the years are going to be very interested to see how we run with what’s come before this.”
The Shadow Now page 2
The Shadow began its existence in 1930 as a narrative voice on the Street and Smith radio program Detective Story Hour. The audience thrilled to the serialized adventures of this mysterious figure, whose mythos expanded to include Occidental mysticism, hypnotic powers over weak criminal minds, and twin .45 caliber handguns. With a keen intellect and relentless drive, The Shadow hunted criminals without mercy in an era when gumshoe detectives and bootlegging mobsters was a thrilling yet fearsome reality. The character’s popularity has endured for over 80 years, bolstered by appearances in radio serials, novels, comic books, films, and more. In recent years, Dynamite published a groundbreaking and well-received ongoing Shadow series launched by comic writer Garth Ennis (Preacher).
The Shadow Now page 3
David Liss has written comic books for Marvel and Dynamite, including Black Panther, Mystery Men, and The Spider. He is also the author of five novels, with more on the way. His debut novel, A Conspiracy of Paper (2000) with its hero, the pugilist-turned-private investigator Benjamin Weaver, was named a New York Times Notable Book and won him the 2001 Barry, MacAvity, and Edgar awards for Best First Novel. David’s second novel, The Coffee Trader, (2003) was also named a New York Times Notable Book and was selected by the New York Public Library as one of the year’s 25 Books to Remember. His third novel A Spectacle of Corruption (2004), the sequel to A Conspiracy of Paper, became a national bestseller. David’s fourth novel, The Ethical Assassin (2006) is his first full-length work that is not historical fiction. David’s most recent novel, The Whiskey Rebels, is set in 1790′s Philadelphia and New York. The third Benjamin Weaver novel, The Devil’s Company, arrived in stores in late 2009.
The Shadow Now page 4
“David Liss is one of those writers who just naturally understands pulp noir,” says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite. “He understand the feel of it, the chills down the spine, that paranoid feeling that danger lurks at every turn. The whole idea behind The Shadow Now is that, despite all our advances, the world can still feel that way — there’s still evil lurking in the hearts of men, and only The Shadow knows how to deal with it. David can perfectly capture that old-time Shadow spirit, the foreboding and menace, the kind that would terrorize even today’s criminal element.”
The Shadow Now #1 is being offered in the August 2013 Previews catalog, the premiere source of merchandise for the comic book specialty market, with an intended street date of October 2013.
About Dynamite Entertainment: Dynamite was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, The Shadow, Vampirella, Warlord of Mars, Bionic Man, A Game of Thrones, and more. Dynamite owns and controls an extensive library with over 3,000 characters (which includes the Harris Comics and Chaos Comics properties), such as Vampirella, Pantha, Evil Ernie, Smiley the Psychotic Button, Chastity, Purgatori, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt. In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and bestselling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Jae Lee, Marc Guggenheim, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner, and a host of up-and-coming new talent. Dynamite is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles – including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger’sProject Superpowers – have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2005, Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%) and again in 2011. The company has also been nominated for and won several industry awards, including the prestigious Harvey and Eisner Awards.
Atlanta-based publisher, Mini-Komix has released new titles featuring classic pulpy comic book tales from yesteryear.
Ghastly Gals: Ghastly Gals is our new Daring Dames spinoff comic. It is a collection of horror stories from the Golden Age of comics featuring some monstrous maidens and evil enchantresses. There’s not one but two vampire tales, there’s also murderous mermaids, wicked witches, snake goddesses, satanic brides, and women of the web. Crypt cuties and horror hotties get theirs in their graveyard groove on in this terror-filled romp.
Learn more about Ghastly Gals, along with ordering information, here.
Daring Dames: Distressed Damsels: Even though the vaults of comics from the Golden Age are filled with heroines, there’s an equal amount of “damsels in distress”. Those sexy but still feisty females who have a knack for getting captured by the resident villains, only to be rescued by the dashing hero. Here are a trio of tales of four of those hot little hostages. There’s the twin Slave Princesses as they put up for auction by evil slave traders, the jungle queen Pha who needs the aid of her savage lord Thun’da, and the plucky reporter Foggy Gibbons that ends up needing the help of her partner Ace of the Newsreels. Real pulp fiction fun and adventure in this troika of titillating intrigue! You can find this at Drive Thru Comics and Lulu.
Learn more about Daring Dames: Distressed Damsels here.
Deadly Dames: Evil Enchantresses: Another collection of bad girls with Deadly Dames: Evil Enchantresses. Some of the most evil of enchantresses work their wiles on the world to get what they want, no matter the cost. We’re introduced to the Cold War secret agent, the Devil in Petticoats, who spies on gullible American men. Then, the hard-nosed reporter Ray Hale crosses gets on the case of the sexy murder suspect, Pamela Morrison. Finally, the heroic Wonder Boy suspects the blonde bombshell and starlet Tess Labelle is involved in a Hollywood mystery. These seductive sirens want your money or your life, and don’t care which one they get first! This new color special is ready to read at Drive Thru Comics and Lulu.
Learn more about Daring Dames: Evil Enchantresses here.
Deadly Dames: Vile Villainesses: We’ve got a new digital spinoff to Daring Dames titled Deadly Dames, with its first title, Vile Villainesses. Here, some of the sexiest bad girls from comic’s Golden Age are back to terrorize you. A collection of torrid tales, with two in color! There’s the devil-dealing Aurora Karine, spider-woman Countess Arachni, alluring Kissing Bandit, and the Tiger Queen of the jungle. These ladies will prove that the female is the deadlier of the species! It’s now available for download at Drive Thru Comics and Lulu.
Learn more about Daring Dames: Vile Villainesses here.
Daring Dames: Comely Catwomen (In Color): We’ve got a new digital color special you can check out. This latest DD issue features two of the finest felines from the Golden Age of comics. It has got the secret origin story of Black Fury, also known as Miss Fury. Plus, not one but two tales of the original Black Cat fighting crime in Hollywood. You can get it at Drive Thru Comics and Lulu.
Learn more about Daring Dames: Comely Catwomen here.
Daring Dames: Cosmic Cuties: ake off to the stars with our new Daring Dames comic ready for download! Cosmic Cuties is where some of the finest femmes of time and space take off in stellar adventures. There’s Mysta of the Moon, Tara, Sorceress of Zoom, and the Space Sirens. This is available at Drive Thru Comics and Lulu.
Learn more about Daring Dames: Cosmic Cuties here.
Daring Dames: Feral Fatales: We’ve got another Daring Dames one-shot special online, Feral Fatales (In Color). More jungle jives with some saucy savage queens. We’ve got Camilla, Pha, Princess Mo-Ra in three awesome technicolor tales. Check it out also at Drive Thru Comics and Lulu.
Learn more about Daring Dames: Feral Fatales here.
Daring Dames: Harem Honeys: Straight out of the Arabian Nights comes three tales featuring hot harem girls! Our new Daring Dames’ digital comic is in color, and has the heroic Son on Sinbad rescuing some gorgeous women of the Golden Age. He helps the Caliph’s dancer Kina, which leads him to the sexy sorceress Rachil. The son of the famous sailor also protects the perilous Princess Zenia of Pirate Cove, and the saucy slave girl Erene. This is available for download at Drive Thru Comics and Lulu.