Tagged: Dark Horse

MIKE GOLD: Satan’s Retro-Review

One of the charms of being into comics is the joy of stumbling across an unexpected find. It could be a new comic that came in under the radar (in other words, I missed that page in the Diamond Catalog) or an oldie I hadn’t heard of. That used to be one of the real pleasures in attending comic book conventions, before they became the Cattle Calls of the Damned.

Yesterday I stumbled across a real interesting find. An emailed gift from a friend in need, and by “in need” I’m referring to me. I was staring at my blank computer screen, reciting the mantra “need… column… idea… need… column… idea…” The gift was a wonderful albeit sickening one-shot published by Dark Horse about five years ago, produced by Eric Powell of Goon fame.

For me, Powell’s work is irresistible. So is The Goon. But that doesn’t matter. It’s impossible for me to pass up a comic called Satan’s Sodomy Baby. That’s just how I roll. This one truly has it all: The Goon, bestiality, Satanic anal rape, multi-faith humor, dumb Tennesseans, pissing fire long before Ghost Rider did it, and truly gratuitous titties. Well, just two gratuitous titties, but you see ‘em a lot.

Did I mention this book isn’t for kiddies? Of course if you’re a parent that’s your decision; I ain’t trying to tell you how to raise your children up. But even Powell is on the same page: the false-cover consists of a blurb that says, and I quote,

WARNING: This comic contains material unsuitable for children. It’s filled with vile, morally reprehensible subject matter that is quite possibly illegal in some states, and if it’s not, it should be. Do not open this comic if you are under the age of 18. Do not open this comic if you have strong religious convictions or even the smallest hint of human decency. Do not open this comic if you love Satan. Do not open this comic if you have strong political beliefs. Do not open this comic if you are homophobic. Do not open this comic if you are racist. Do not open this comic if you love farm animals. In fact, unless you have no strong feelings about anything, THIS PROBABLY ISN’T THE COMIC FOR YOU. Unless you have a sense of humor.

Yow! Talk about your variant covers!

This book is hilarious. Pull the stick outta your ass – Satan probably put it there anyhow – and give it a read. I suggest doing so after an episode of Justified.

THURSDAY: Bring it on, Dennis O’Neil!

Halloween Returns!

New Pulp Author Martin Powell sent us the following announcement.

Okay. I’m spilling the news. Wild Cat Books has given me their official nod to announce that my THE HALLOWEEN LEGION will return in a brand new prose novel set for release before October 31, 2012.

A fresh new idea galloped into my brain yesterday while I was taking Trudaloo the beagle for her walk and by the time we got back home I’d thought the whole thing through. I can’t wait to start writing the new book.

So, along with the graphic novel, already in progress, to be published by Sequential Pulp/Dark Horse Comics, my little group of Trick ‘R Treatin’ weirdos will be returning in THE HALLOWEEN LEGION Book Two, “The Night of the Living Fossil”, from Wild Cat Books. I’m very thrilled that the cover and interior chapter headings will be illustrated by the multi-talented Ver Curtiss.

And don’t forget, my critically-acclaimed THE HALLOWEEN LEGION Book One has been nominated for three Pulp Ark Awards, including Best Novel, Best Author, and a much-deserved Best Cover nomination for the amazing Danny Kelly.

Available in print and Kindle editions. Order yours before the next full moon!



The Halloween Legion ™ Martin Powell. Logo by Ver Curtiss.

Al Rio: 1962-2012

alriophoto-244x350-7007349Bleeding Cool reports that Al Rio, best known for his work for Wildstorm, Marvel, and Zenescope, died this morning in an apparent suicide. He was 49.

Al Rio, born Alvaro Araújo Lourenço do Rio on 05/19/62, was raised in Fortaleza, in the northeast of Brazil. Al began his career in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as an artist in the early ’90s, illustrating books for a local English School.

After working as animation director at this same company, Al became an animator in Brazil for Disney, working on such properties as the syndicated Aladdin animated series.

Upon joining the comics-centric international art agency Glass House Graphics in the mid-’90s, Al began working for DC Comics, though his “big break” came from succeeding J. Scott Campbell on Wildstorm’s Gen 13. From there, Al, best known for his versatility and his ability of drawing some of the sexiest women in comics, went on to draw for Marvel, Vertigo Press, Dark Horse, Chaos! Comics, Avatar Press, Crossgen, Zenescope, Image, and more — drawing titles such as his own series Exposure, as well as Captain America, DV8, Voodoo, Purgatori, Lady Death, X-Men, New Mutants, Spider-Man, Vampirella, and Star Wars, among many others.

via Remembering Al Rio by David Campiti | Bleeding Cool.

Al is survived by his wife Zilda and their three children, Rene, Adrielle, and Isabel.   His funeral will be held on Wednesday, February 1st, on Cemitério São João Batista, in Fortaleza, Brazil. Contributions may be made to his family on his behalf through Kickstarter, and condolences may be sent to his family through terry@alrioart.com.



Tarzan ™ ERB, Inc. Artwork © Tim Burgard.

Sequential Pulp Comics shared this beautifully elegant preview page by artist Tim Burgard for the Martin Powell penned graphic novel, TARZAN AT THE EARTH’S CORE. The graphic novel is licensed and authorized by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. and published by Sequential Pulp/Dark Horse Comics.

Look for TARZAN AT THE EARTH’S CORE coming in 2012 as part of the 100th Anniversary celebration of pulpdom’s favorite Ape-Man.

Tarzan ™ ERB, Inc. Artwork © Tim Burgard.

You can learn more about Sequential Pulp Comics at http://www.sequentialpulpcomics.com/
You can learn more about Dark Horse Comics at http://www.darkhorse.com/

MARC ALAN FISHMAN: Make Mine Valiant

So, I’ve spent the last few weeks ranting and raving about DC. And face it, there’s still plenty there to mine. From their recent canning of six titles and announcing six more (none of which I think will last a year) to their recently leaked ”sticker logo”… I could have a field day continuing to bash and dash. But alas, I grow weary of being hypocritical. I bitch and moan about them a ton, yet the majority of the cash flowing out of my pocket to frivolity generally concerns a majority of DC books, and related merchandise. So, for now, I’m waving a white flag, and turning my gaze elsewhere. Somewhere dashing, daring, and dare I say… Valiant.

On May 2nd, Valiant Comics will be reborn. Their flagship title, X-O Manowar, will hit the shelves. I will admit freely to you all that I know nothing of the Valiant universe. Let’s quickly Wikipedia that, for those in a similar boat. Wow, what a story! In 1989, Jim Shooter, one of the Allman Brothers crew, and some other financiers tried to buy up Marvel. They didn’t get it. Thus Valiant was born! They got a few heavy-hitters, and released a line of books. In 1994, they got dumped by their initial investors, scooped up by then-important video game creator Acclaim, and died a slow and boring death as their continuity-heavy line became too heavy a load to bear. Legal battles and the like kept things grounded for a while, but as you’ll now note: it’s all been solved, and the line will reconvene with Free Comic Book Day 2012. And due largely to some lackluster books by DC, and Marvel’s Next-Big-Waste of Time, I’m at a loss for why I shouldn’t take this as a sign to give Valiant a shot.

A recent press release for the budding brand hyped the announcement of the creative team for X-O. Surrogates scribe Robert Venditti and Conan artist Cary Nord will unite to bring us a tale of a time-lost ancient warrior given amazing future technology and plopped on the populace in 2012. Color me intrigued. I happen to love the Surrogates original graphic novel, and sneak peaks at the pencils of Nord show me that the book will look amazing to boot.

But this leads me to the bigger question. What is Valiant’s battle plan? Will they rise up and be a contender with the Big Two? I doubt it. The marketplace is crowded as it is. Image, Dark Horse, IDW, Dynamite, Avatar, and Boom! all struggle to keep a cohesive line. Face it, each of those aforementioned second stringers all have one or two big fish, and then spread themselves thin on bargain-bin fodder from licensed properties that appeal to the niche audiences. Well… the niche of this niche, if you get my drift.

Mind you, I’m not trying to poop on the parade, I’m just wary for any “line launch” in a continually crowded comic rack. And a subsequent Google search doesn’t even have the company site at #1 in the rankings. What appears to be a company website is just a form with “Notify Me!” on it. Bad mojo my friends.

Let us consider Boom! Studios’ Stan Lee line, launched in 2010. Four books with solid concepts released very close to one another. The critics didn’t quite rave about any of them, and I rarely hear anyone discuss them at the shop when I pop in on new comic book day. Valiant certainly has picked a good time to strike, but I’m hoping it’s done more intelligently. Case in point?

Boom’s other cash cow, the Irredeemable universe. Launched as a single amazing comic, smartly spun off into a single other title that has refrained for years before crossing directly into one another. Join that to a solid base of fans consistently purchasing the book due to high standards of art teams and consistent writing… and you have something worth copying. While I myself have recently stopped my subscription to Irredeemable, I don’t knock those still following on. It’s the kind of model I hope Valiant is paying close attention to.

Ultimately, X-O Manowar‘s release got me genuinely excited for a new title to latch on to. With a strong creative team announced, and DC and Marvel knee-deep in their own crapulence, Valiant stands to gain a following again. If they stick to releasing solid books, refrain from event-driven releases, and put their books out on time… I see no reason why they won’t stick around for a long while.

Also, they should hire Unshaven Comics.

SUNDAY: John Ostrander

Sequential Pulp And Tarzan Travel To The Earth’s Core!

New Pulp Author Martin Powell unveiled the cover to Tarzan At The Earth’s Core graphic novel adaptation that he is writing with art by Tim Burgard, and authorized by the estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs. The Tarzan At The Earth’s Core graphic novel will be released in 2012 from Sequential Pulp Comics and Dark Horse Comics.

You can learn more about Sequential Pulp Comics at http://www.sequentialpulpcomics.com/
You can learn more about Dark Horse Comics at http://www.darkhorse.com/

Tim Bruckner To Create Superhero Looks for Round 2’s 2012 Captain Action Lineup

SOUTH BEND, Indiana – 1/04/2012 – Captain Action Enterprises and Round 2 are pleased to announce that sculptor Tim Bruckner will be developing superhero action figure sculpts for the 2012 Captain Action toy line.Captain Action, the popular super hero toy from the 1960s, will return to toy shelves along with new costume sets, including Marvel Comics’ heroes such as Spider-Man, Thor and Captain America. New toys will debut in March 2012, with additional waves every three months.

Bruckner is a highly regarded sculptor, best known for creating dozens of statues and over 140 action figures for DC Direct. His 40-year career has included a variety of clients: Mattel, Sideshow, Dark Horse, Hasbro, Toy Biz, Hallmark, Gentle Giant, the Danbury Mint, Enesco and many others. Tim’s work has been featured in several museum shows and was recently seen in Blue Canvas magazine. He co-authored the book Pop Sculpture: How to Create Action Figures and Collectible Statues and has appeared in several issues of China’s most popular magazine dedicated to fantasy art.

“We’re thrilled to have Tim on board. We’ve been big fans of his for years, and know that he’ll help us provide great looking product that both collectors and casual toy fans will love,” said Joe Ahearn of Captain Action Enterprises, LLC.

Bruckner has begun working on the new mask sculpt for Hawkeye, the Marvel Comics character who appears in the Avengers comics, animated series and the upcoming theatrical release. “I’m excited to be part of the action, and really excited to work on some iconic Marvel characters too!” said Bruckner.

MICHAEL DAVIS: Why I Like The New 52

Because I’m trying to kiss the ass of DC Comics.

The end.

Well that’s not really true. If you know anything about my history you will know the last thing I’d ever do is kiss ass.

It’s simply not in my DNA not now, not ever. I’ve been in many a situation where a well place smack on someone’s ass would have been very beneficial to me but I just couldn’t do it.

I’ve tried to kiss some ass. I really have. I wanted to kiss some ass. I was even looking forward (she was fine) to kissing some ass at one point but I just… could… not…do it.

What always stops me is my inability to show respect to those who do not deserve it.

Respect is a very big thing with me. I’d rather have someone’s respect than just about anything else. To get my respect is not hard on a personal level all I really need on that level is for you to treat me with respect and you have mine.

On a professional level getting my respect is not easy. I’m not the guy to tip toe around people’s absence of professionalism. If you have ever read any of my articles on Michael Davis World (plug!) then you may have noticed a recurring theme in my rants: customer service or the lack there of.

I don’t care if you are an artist, IBM or Larry the Hot Dog Vender, if I’m going to write you a check for your services your professionalism had better be your A game.  Anything less than an A game I’ll never work with you or use your services again. You can forget any respect I may have had for you because that my friend, like the old south, is gone with the wind.

Chief among all the reasons I have for liking The New 52 from DC is the massive amount of respect I have because DC went there.

DC comics went where no other comic book company in the world went before: they started over. If the books sucked which they still would have had my respect. There are some in The New 52 that have left me wondering why they went into the direction they went but for the most part I like or love what they have done.

Liking or even loving what DC Comics did with the re-boot creatively is not the main reason I like The New 52. It’s really about respect and balls.

I respect the balls the editors at DC showed in going there.

Every die-hard comic book fan has thought how cool it would be to completely overhaul a comic book universe. The fan forums are filled with what’s wrong with DC, what the problem is with Marvel, or what was Dark Horse thinking? I don’t think there is any comic book universe that is so darn cool that everyone agrees they are doing everything right. I’ll let you in on a little secret; I’m a closet Archie fan. Actually, I’m a huge fan of Little Archie. I’m not sure they even do Little Archie stories anymore but when I was a kid I loved me some Little Archie.

That’s the only comic book universe I had no problem with. The Little Archie universe was perfect to me. Because I was such a fan of Little Archie I tried the regular Archie books.

After reading the regular Archie books for a while I decided if I ran the Archie universe the first thing I would do was have Archie tap Veronica and Betty’s ass.

Hell, I’d have Archie tap them both at the same time. You think that’s bad? Then you don’t want to know the plans I had for Mr. Fantastic.

That’s why it’s good not to have fan’s revamp comic book universes.

Like any young fan, I often wondered why comic book companies don’t do the obvious. Why can’t Uncle Ben come back? Why did Gwen Stacy have to stay dead? Why doesn’t Superman tap the ass of all those people whose initials are LL?

Lois Lane, Lana Lang, Lucy Lane, Lori Lemaris? If I were in charge of the Superman Universe Clark would have had some serious LL booty. I mean the LL list is endless!

Lara Lor, Linda Lang, Lighting Lad, Lex Luthor…eh…wait a sec…maybe tapping all the LL’s is not a great idea after all.  Another reason it seems that fans should not be in charge of universes.

So, as fans we don’t have the power to make massive changes in our comic book universes but why don’t the comic companies make massive cool ass changes a lot more?

Yes. Every so often some new event happens that sorta, kinda, changes stuff but not really. Not like you are I would have changed it.

Massive, cool, earth shattering new shit that will be the envy of all of comicdom!

DC went there.

However, as easy as it may seem to fans to simply hit the reset button it’s not easy at all. You may think as I did when I was just a fan that imagination is all you really need to run a comic book universe and you would be as wrong as I was.

If you are Larry Comics and you started your comic book company a couple of years ago you can reboot all you want and the only people you have to please is your new fan base.

DC Comics has been around since 1935. That’s a lot of history to muck with.

The people at DC Comics just couldn’t sit in a room and decide to do this. That’s not how it works in the real world. The people who came up with the reboot idea had to sell that idea to the parent company and that parent company is Time Warner. Time Warner is one of the biggest entertainment companies in the world.

I’m not sure what kind of relationship DC has with Time Warner. Time Warner could be completely hands off. I doubt it, but that could be the case. DC may have complete control over the comics and Time Warner may not give a sheet.

I’d think something this big would have had to be run up the flagpole at corporate on some level. Again, I’m not aware of DC’s relationship with Time Warner so I can only speculate from my own corporate experience.

I’ve been President or President and CEO at a few entertainment companies and any major decision over a certain dollar amount I made had to be at presented to the powers that be on some level.

When I ran Motown Animation & Filmworks I was hired to create, develop and sell film and television properties. When I decided to do a comic book line, Motown Machineworks, I had to create a business plan, present it to my boss and hope to God it did not crash and burn.

That’s what a lot of fans don’t understand about comics. It’s a fantastic medium and great entertainment, but it’s a business.

Whoever came up with the reboot and then sold the idea to corporate had good creative intentions to be sure but something that big has a lot more to worry about than creative ideas.

Regardless if the ideas were great or if Time Warner is hands off or not, if the reboot would have been a dismal failure heads may have rolled.

This is the real world folks, with great power comes great responsibility is truer in the real world than in comics. Peter Parker fails to stop a guy who then busts a cap in his Uncle is tragic but at any point Marvel could change that.

Real people put their careers in play on some level. I don’t know to what extent those people were at risk if at all but something as big as a reboot it stands to reason that someone’s ass would be on the line if it went south.

It’s easy to talk a big game when it’s not your ass on the line. It’s not so easy when that great power comes with a great responsibility that could result in you having a real bad ending to your story.

That takes balls and that gets my respect.


Sequential Pulp’s Romantic Adventures With ERB’s The Cave Girl

Artwork © Hannibal King

New Pulp Author Martin Powell announced on his blog (http://martinpowell221bcom.blogspot.com/) that he is writing a graphic novel adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs The Cave Girl, in time for the original story’s 100th anniversary. The Cave Girl graphic novel will be released in 2013 from Sequential Pulp Comics and Dark Horse Comics.

Artwork © Hannibal King

 “I’m thrilled to be reunited with artist Hannibal King,” Powell said of the artist he worked with on The Phantom Unmasked and Tales of The Spider. “And, as you can see from these lovely illustrations of the prehistoric princess Nadara, the book will be gorgeous.”

The Cave Girl is authorized by ERB, Inc. Published by Sequential Pulp/Dark Horse Comics.

You can learn more about Sequential Pulp Comics at http://www.sequentialpulpcomics.com/
You can learn more about Dark Horse Comics at http://www.darkhorse.com/

Click on images for a larger view.

Artwork © Hannibal King

Artwork © Hannibal King