Tagged: Wolverine

REVIEW: Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk

Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk DVDThere was tremendous excitement over Lost’s Damon Lindelof making his Marvel debut with the Ultimate Wolverine vs. Ultimate Hulk miniseries. The writer, at the height of his popularity, was paired with Leinil Francis Yu so anticipation was running rampant. The first issue arrived and there, the behemoth literally tore the Canadian mutant in half – something we’d never seen before. The second issue ratcheted things up and then….nothing. At least not for threel years and by the time we got the final issues in 2009, few cared. The momentum and excitement was long gone and could not be recaptured.

Marvel Knights’ Motion Comics saw the potential here, and adapted the story into a multi-part serial totaling about 1:10 and for a change, did a good job casting well-matched vocal performers for the two lead roles.

The entire story is now collected on Shout! Factory’s release, Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk, this Tuesday. Picking up on previous threads, Bruce Banner and alter-ego was hiding out in Tibet letting the world think him dead. Instead, uber-suspicious Nick Fury knows better and hires Wolverine to go finish him off.

They talk, they fight, they dream and we get various cameos from the rest of the Ultimates universe. Perhaps the most significant event to come out of this fairly thin story was the introduction of Jennifer Walters, a scientist work on the Super-Soldier research and becoming that world’s She-Hulk.

Yu’s artwork is never short of gorgeous and he fits in nicely with the more realistic-looking Ultimates world, coupled with Dave McCaig’s excellent color art. Unfortunately, the Motion Comics approach does their work a disservice. If anything, the movements are jerkier than previous productions and the actions are stiff or off-kilter. The concept does a good job with special effects and transitions but when you’re asking two-dimension artwork to try and gain motion, things are limited. The entire concept of Motion Comics appears to have come and gone, especially with digital productions, such as Madefire’s offerings, introducing a new generation of animated fare.

The sole bonus feature is a 7:26 look back from Supervising Producer Kalia Cheng and Yu, which is interesting but far from informative.

Mike Gold: Let’s Get Small!

Gold Art 130814First, the bad news: According to Diamond Distributors, Marvel and DC combine to dominate about two-thirds of the total comic book hardcopy sales.

And now, the good news: According to Diamond Distributors, Marvel and DC combined possess only about two-thirds of the total comic book hardcopy sales.

Everybody else shares in that last third: Diamond, Image, Dark Horse, IDW, Archie, Boom and about, I dunno, maybe three thousand others. But they’ve achieved something that a decade ago would have daunted Sisyphus. Even at one-third of the market, these folks have torn down the wall. It wasn’t that long ago when DC and Marvel enjoyed a duopoly in excess of 80% of the market.

The really cool thing about this news is that these “other” publishers have succeeded by doing the types of comics that The Huge Two haven’t done successfully in decades. Dynamite’s line of pulp and pulp-inspired characters is exciting and largely of solid quality. Image brings to life the independent comics myth, often with material produced by some of The Huge Two’s top talent. Dark Horse and IDW have pulled a couple chapters out of the old Dell Comics textbook. Archie continues to let their renown characters grow and adapt to contemporary times; they don’t compete with Marvel, they cooperate with Glee. And Boom has the courage to industriously pursue the younger end of the market, establishing a desperately needed next generation for our medium.

Of course, timing is everything and the Little Guys are thriving as The Huge Two are pissing their readers off left and right. I believe the only Marvel Comic published in the past six months that didn’t feature Captain America, Wolverine and/or Iron Man was the Modeling With Millie Summer Spectacular… and somehow they manage to publish what seems like 75 monthlies with the word “Avengers” in the title that read exactly the same.

DC’s Few52 has become a dizzying game of musical chairs, with talent not being allowed to put any substantial creative investment in their work. Of course, we all read about Paul Pope being told by Co-Publisher Dan DiDio DC produces comics for 45 year olds, as though such a ridiculously narrow focus is the way things should be. Correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t DC launched 104 titles in the Few52 line over the past two years? It sure seems like it.

All this is great news for American comics readers. We have a greater diversity of material in the stores and available for e-books. Add the graphic novel publishers and we’re finally approaching the broad spectrum of material we’ve seen in Europe and Asia the past 70 years.

We’ve got a long way to go, but I’m finally beginning to feel as though the promise of the so-called independent comics movement that started in the early 1980s is finally planting some roots. Maybe this whole thing has a future after all.

 (A tip of the brainpan to my pal JimWiz for inadvertently supplying the art.)




Martin Pasko: U-Moved! U-Phoric? U-Betcha!

Martin Pasko: U-Moved! U-Phoric? U-Betcha!

Pasko Art 130808If you’ve got The Amazing Colossal Comic Book Collection whose unfettered gigantism is dust-collecting you out of house and home, you may need to find a bigger but cheaper house and home … in which case you might need what is known as a Low-Cost Move. Which brings me to this week’s excursion into the realm of Don’t Let This Happen To You.

As I write this, I’m sitting in my lovely new home in California, to which I moved right after attending the San Diego Comic-Con, and am comfortably and serenely keyboarding as usual.

Back from that link? Sorry.

It wasn’t really my intention to begin with a headlong plunge into The Do You Know Long It’ll Take Me To Get That Image Outta My Head? Zone. I only mention it because the only clothes I have right now are what I packed for San Diego, and I launder them daily. That’s because, almost two weeks later, I’m still waiting for everything I have in this world to arrive in a conveyance that is over 10 days late, courtesy of a lovely little company I’ve come to call “U-Hell.” 

But I’m serene, I tell you, serene, because U-Hell now promises me that tomorrow they’ll finally deliver the plywood 8′ x 7′ x 5; contraption we will call “the U-Pod.”

A “U-move” is theoretically simple: U-pack your stuff in this container and They-Haul it to Ur-Destination, where U-Unload it Ur-self, then call to have Them-Pick-Up the empty pod.

But I’m serene, I tell you, serene only with the help of the margaritas I’ve blended every night since shipping the U-Pod from my former home in Pennsyltucky, the Wolf Trap State, so named because after sic months there you’re willing to chew off your own foot to escape. And I’m so drunkenly, sleep-deprivedly serene that I actually believe a promise from U-Hell.

This, despite the fact that everything They’ve-Told me so far about what They’d-Do for me has been either: (a) a “communications error;” (b) something that someone else told me the previous person had no authority to promise me in the first place; or (c) information contained in an automated “U-Mail” that didn’t accurately reflect my origin point or destination; was sent from an email address I couldn’t replay to; and notified of charges to my credit card for products and services I didn’t order.

Today, U-Hell helpfully informed me (“Do not reply to this U-mail; it will not be We-Read”) that in transit, my possessions have been heard to be … uhm, “shifting.” I tried to call to express undying I-Thanks for their U-Mail inquiring whether I was transporting ping-pong balls or unlidded crates of grapefruit, because I’d begun sleeping regularly and was falling behind on my panic attacks. But all I got was “Please stay on the line; a U-Call is important to us…”

So, luckily, I won’t be sleeping through my alarm and will be wide awake to begin the all-important process of determining how many irreplaceable pieces of priceless memorabilia from my award-winning career have been ricocheting around my U-Pod, thanks to the U-Truck’s “U-Patented ‘Air Glide!’ U-Suspension U-SystemTM.”  Thank God I didn’t get a wink of sleep breathlessly anticipating how much expensive computer hardware I’ll be replacing by spending all that big money ComicMix pays me.

But I’m laughing, I tell you, laughing at life … to the point of margaritas spewing out of my nose and onto the keyboard borrowed from one of my new housemates, which is now shorted out and won’t be available to replace the one that’s colliding with all those boxes of priceless and irreplaceable memorabilia. But that’s okay, because I think it’ll be bent just enough to look really good glued to the top of my Emmy®, right where that globe made of all those slender, fragile strands of gold used to be. Besides, what’s an Emmy® when you have an Inkpot Award, the sharp edges of which have been useful in responding to my irresistible impulse for self-mutilation, by making sure that the Wolverine claw stab-wounds never completely heal?

So, by this time tomorrow, I’ll be serenely, I tell you, serenely ignoring the U-Mail I can reply to: the one asking me to “Rate Your U-Hell Experience!” This customer-satisfaction questionnaire helpfully compensates for my obvious inability to express myself, by supplying multiple-choice answers to its questions. These range all the way from “Thrilled Beyond Even My Unrealistic Expectations” to “Even Better Than The Promotions On The U-Site When The Server Wasn’t Crashing,” helpfully enabling me to resist the temptation to type in “U-Suck.”

By the time U-read this column, the U-Pod will have arrived. But please don’t ask me how my Amazing Colossal Comic Book Collection fared, because I didn’t have a collection to entrust to U-Hell in the first place. That was lost by Wall-Eyed Van Lines, which moved me last year from New Jersey to the My-Hell of Pennsyltucky.

Now where the fuck is the lid to that blender…?

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases Can’t See TeeVee

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman – Scooby and the Geriatric Comics


Dennis O’Neil: Storytelling and Inconsequential Trivialities

O'Neil Art 130808Well, I see that 2 Guns was the weekend box office champ, followed by Wolverine, though the latter has underperformed according to some estimates though we shouldn’t worry because it will almost certainly make a profit when the final reckoning is in and… I didn’t have to go far to learn these facts, and many, many more like them – some of them are in the Monday business section of the New York Times, which is where they belong, and the rest were right in front of me, on the computer screen that is at this moment right in front of me. Lots of inside show biz stuff on the web and maybe that’s not so good.

Stripped of all distracting fiduciary ornamentation, movies and comics and novels and TV shows are about telling stories On the pre-verbal level they’re how infant human beings begin to understand cause and effect, understand how all that color and sound beyond the crib and those warm and comforting holding-things add up to an intelligible world. They assure us and they comfort us: See – it does make sense, you can understand it. As an individual’s biography begins to mimic that of the race, stories morph into other things, some of which do new versions of what the pre-verbal narratives did when the storyteller was just the sweetest little angel! some of which just provide a pretty good evening at the multiplex. They distract us, they entertain us, they provide temporary but welcome respite from current woes.

The business stuff… Not so much. Business these days is about competition and accumulation of wealth – call that greed and I won’t object – and back in the days of our tribal ancestors it was about brute survival. Be tough and ruthless and uglier than the man in the next cave or your genes won’t make it to the next generation.

Evolution obviously selected for both storytelling and acquisitiveness, and so here we are with our share of both. But – I doubt that evolution intended for us to conflate them, They serve separate functions and what I fear is that all that financial information and insider gossip about whose salary is bigger than whose and what kind of contract a given luminary has wangled and other items that I suggest do not even rise to the level of trivia is distracting us from the story! It’s like being backstage at a magic show: if you can see how the tricks are done, they’re not magic anymore.

The other danger is that we’ll become so mired in what are no more than inconsequential trivialities that we’ll bury what should be our real concerns – all those bothersome tidings about war and famine and terrorism and corruption that are no fun at all, but pretty easy to understand. They are, in ironic fact, often part of the stories we enjoy as a way to stop thinking about them.

THURSDAY AFTERNOON: Martin Pasko’s Moving Experience

FRIDAY MORNING: Martha Thomases – Can’t See TV


Dennis O’Neil: Wolverine and The Real Life

O'Neil Art 130801I wasn’t wearing a tie last Friday when Mari and I hied ourselves up the road to the monsterplex to watch the movie du jour, The Wolverine. Nothing unusual there; to the best of my recollection, I’ve worn ties exactly twice in the last quarter century. The first such occasion was at my wedding, a bow to the mores of the tribe that spawned me. The second was when I accompanied Jenette Kahn, at the time my boss, to meet some guy from the United Nations at one of those hoity-toity Manhattan restaurants that don’t permit entry to gentlemen un-tied, and while they’re at it, the gents had best be wearing suits too – or at least jackets. These are classy joints. They don’t let just anyone in. To chow down at one of them, you have to be of the elite, or at least prosperous enough to buy a strip of cloth to hang down the front of your shirt.

They’re signifiers of distinction, of class, neckties are, and as such they’re akin to a clergyman’s vestments, a soldier’s uniform, a detective’s badge, the rented tuxedo I once wore to a prom…feel free to add your own examples. I’ll add one more of my own: superhero costumes.

Odd clothing has been a defining feature of superhero stories ever since that warm Cleveland morning when a teenaged artist named Joe Shuster made the first Superman sketch. This was almost certainly done at the behest of Superman’s co-creator, another Cleveland teen, Jerry Siegel. Why the funny suit? Well, Jerry and Joe were big science fiction fans and were probably influenced by the futuristic garments worn by the characters in the illustrations that were prominent in the pulp magazines – at the time, sci fi’s main venue. Circus costumes may have been another influence.

Whatever Jerry and Joe’s reasons for costuming their brainchild, it was a good idea. It was attention-getting, it marked Supes as something special, it was ideally suited to the iconic quality of the medium that eventually gave him a home, comic books. Consider it an unwritten rule: you want a superhero, bring on the costume.

But Wolverine is most surely a superhero and there he was on the big screen, embodied by Hugh Jackman who was wearing, not a costume, but duds you might buy at a sporting goods store. In so doing, he was nudging superherodom a tiny bit closer to what we will jocularly refer to as real life, and not the fantasyland versions of Mother Earth that have been superheroes’ usual domains. This is an aspect of the genre’s evolution and we’ll have to see if it becomes permanent. If it does stay, writing jobs may be get a bit simpler; storytellers won’t have to give their superdoers a pause to change clothes before dealing with the latest humungous crisis. (Lois, could you fall a little slower?…can’t get the cape to hang right…) But some quirky charm may be lost.

Time will tell. It always does.


THURSDAY LATER AFTERNOON: The Surprising Return of Emily S. Whitten!

NOTE: All allusions to “morning” and “afternoon” are EDT USA.


Martin Pasko: Your Wolverine Claws

Pasko Art 130725Yeah, I know that last week I promised you the third and final part of that earth-shattering rant that, as you know, went hugely viral and made me the new darling of the Internet.

I promised to report on what I’d have learned – evidence that supported or refuted my thesis about Mainstream Comics being unable to escape from the corner they’ve painted themselves into – at the publishers’ booths in the exhibit halls of the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con.

But I made that reckless and foolhardy promise before I’d actually been to the San Diego Comic-Con – or, at least, to what it has metastasized into in recent years. Oh, I’d heard all the stories, of course. But none of them do justice to the actual experience, which taught me that you can’t, in fact, learn anything at the San Diego Comic-Con…because can’t really hear anything over the sound of dozens of Jumbotrons trying to sell you things you don’t want, or see anything for the crush of, uhm, imaginatively-garbed bodies slowly taxiing through the Area 51-like hangar like some flying fortress of presumably human flesh.

Wait. I take that back. There are some things you can learn at Comic-Con. And, because I won’t be able to concentrate well enough to resume the serious business of earth-shattering rants until I can see and hear again – and the anti-depressants kick in three days from now – I’d like instead to share some of them with you.

1. There is a definite limit to the number of times you can tolerate bleeding from the chest because you are being poked by some asshole wearing Wolverine claws.

2. SDCC makes you grateful for word processing apps on smartphones. Mainly because there are so many competing WiFi hotspots in the exhibit halls, you can’t use the phone for anything else. I am, in fact, writing this column on my phone, during my hour-long walk back to my hotel. No prob; I love hour-long walks. Good exercise. Unfortunately, my hotel is only three blocks from the convention center.

3. Best way to deal with being poked in the chest for the third time by some asshole wearing Wolverine claws: Fling a handful of your blood in his face and chant, “Nyah-nyah, I’ve got the Hanta Virus…”

4. Always remember, when tempted to accept an invitation to the Eisner Awards, that they are not merely a new version of the old Inkpot Awards banquet, because they are no longer, in fact, a banquet. And when you are sitting through 30-minute anecdotes from dead artists’ children, reminiscing about how their dad sculpted “Eskimos” from soap bars when they were five, you will really want to be having the dinner you didn’t eat earlier because you thought you were gonna get food.

5. No one presenting or accepting an Eisner Award is as funny as they think they are, and the ones who are supposed to be, aren’t. And Doctor Who cast members who try to be are just FAAABulously embarrassing. However, this rule does not apply to Chip Kidd, who made me believe the Eisners really are the Oscars of the comics industry because now they have their own Bruce Vilanch. But only when Chris Ware wins something.

6. None of the panels or “events” is as entertaining as the looks on the faces of the guys picketing out front with “You’re a crawling piece of shit but Jesus loves you anyway” signs, while people dressed as the entire cast of Supernatural shuffle past them. Especially not the events you can’t get into without coming down with a virus by camping out on the sidewalk all night.

7. The virus you get from camping out on the sidewalk all night is very effective in dealing with getting poked in the chest by assholes wearing Wolverine claws.

8. The Eisner Awards are not, in fact, “the Oscars of the comic book industry.” The Oscars are smart enough to video, in a separate, earlier ceremony – and play back at the main event only in judiciously-edited clips – the awards for Best Translation of A Graphic Novel You Will Never Read About A Subject You Don’t Understand Originally Published In a Language You’ve Never Heard Of Before.

9. In the convention center there is one Starbucks concession for every 10 guests, and by Sunday at noon every Grande Hazelnut Frappuccino® is being spiked by 150-proof Captain Morgan’s, and you are wondering how you can find an asshole wearing Wolverine claws so you can hire him to stab you in the chest.

Please Note: The above are Just Jokes. I actually enjoyed the convention (as a guest) enormously, and the staff is terrific. Still the best show in the business, serious about comics amid all the Hideous Hollywood Hype, and everyone – guests and paid members alike – are treated well. My thanks to all the folk at SDCC for a memorably fun weekend!

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman

REVIEW: Wolverine: Origin


In 2000, Bill Jemas arrived at Marvel and began a long process of pulling the company out of bankruptcy. He tapped Joe Quesada to give up running the Marvel Knights imprint and take over Marvel Comics as its Editor-in-Chief. It was a fresh beginning and break from some truly bleak creative years. There was a new atmosphere that said anything was possible which was made manifest with the launch of the Ultimate line of comics.

Sometime that year, Jemas and Quesada held a creative summit and the topic of Wolverine’s origin came up. Shrouded in mystery and misdirection, it was a tale no one dared to tell, which was catnip to Jemas, who was more interested in stirring the pot as creatively and as commercially as possible.

Although discussed with writer Paul Jenkins that year, nothing much was done about it, percolating in the background. In the spring of 2001, when I arrived, Bill and I were informed there was a projected budget shortfall and something had to be added to the schedule to fill the large gap. At that moment, necessity sparked invention and the project was jumpstarted.

Origin, launched in the fall, delivered on its promise. Top talent told a story that fans had been waiting to learn and it was poignant, moving, and exciting. It was not at all what fans expected, which was good. The miniseries sold a ton of copies, made up the budget gap and then some, establishing new lore in the Marvel Universe.

A powerful story, it was a logical step for it to be added to Marvel Knights’ Motion Comics, and released on disc today from Shout! Factory.

Jenkins pulled elements from his childhood to tell the story of poor James Howlett, a sickly child living in19th Century Canada. To keep him company, his father, John Howlett, Sr., brings the redheaded orphan, Rose, to the plantation and they become best friends. Their play dates were extended to Dog, the battered son of the groundskeeper, Thomas Logan. All seemed idyllic but it was far from it, with Thomas’ cruelty, the near madness of James’ mother Elizabeth, who never quite recovered from her eldest son John’s death. As time passes, tensions mount until Thomas comes to rob the mansion and take Elizabeth, with whom he may have had an affair, away with him. When John intervenes, he is shot to death before all three children. The traumatic incident ignites James’ latent mutant powers and the claws pop for the first time, forever changing his life.

It’s a powerful story, honed to near perfection by Jenkins with enough input from Quesada and Jemas to earn them shared story credit. What helped make the miniseries ever better was the artwork from Any Kubert. He leapt at the assignment and then labored over it all summer and that fall, crafting his pencils to such richness that they need not be inked. That gave the story a unique look which was then layered with the watercolor art of Richard Isanove. The Photoshopped color was subtle and meticulous, making him a true collaborator with Kubert. Coupled with the symbolic covers by Quesada and Isanove, it was truly special event.


Unfortunately, Kubert’s lifelike artwork is marred when figures are asked to go from static to kinetic, making this one of the weaker motion comics efforts. The painterly imagery was never intended to move like this and it shows, with awkwardly positioned heads or arms. Thankfully, the vocal cast, usually a weak point on these discs, is above average. The 66 minute, six chapter, story actually would have benefitted more from a proper score than limited motion.

The Blu-ray disc comes complete with two nice extras, the first is a 12:48 look back by Jemas, Quesada, and Jenkins that goes back to the creator summit and how the story came together. The second piece continues the story and over the 14:50, those three are joined by Kubert and Isanove, discussing their visual approach to Jenkins’ story and how each learned to enhance their storytelling. Both pieces make for a good look at the creative process at a key moment in the modern Marvel era.

Geoffrey Thorne Talks About His New Thrillbent Series “Prodigal”


Prodigal, the globe-spanning tale of a team of fortune-hunters living on the edge of danger from writer Geoffrey Thorne and artist Todd Harris, debuted today on Thrillbent.com.

In addition to writing Prodigal, Geoff Thorne has written comics for Dark Horse, Spinner Rack and EZD Comics.  His TV credits include: Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Leverage, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, and Ben 10: Omniverse.

Todd Harris is an accomplished artist for both comics and storyboards.  His credits include: X Men Origins: Wolverine, God of War II & III, In Time, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, and Thrillbent’s own Arcanum.

Geoff was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions for us.

ComicMix: Give us the Don-LaFontaine-movie-trailer speech for Prodigal. “In a world…”

Geoffrey Thorne: “In a world where psychotics and murderers are accepted as legitimate heroes, two creative professionals decided to reject that paradigm and put a little fun back into the comic book multiverse.”

CM: So literally, Prodigal returns?

GT: Prodigal is the nickname of Byron Lennox, one half of J & L Retrievals. He got it a long time before becoming a retrieval specialist because, for some reason, no matter what befell him on a mission, he always came back. Sometimes he’d be the only one to come back.

CM: Then who’s the “J” in J & L Retrievals?

GT: Pae Mei Jacinto.

CM: How did they decide who got top billing?

GT: Pae wins all arguments. Of the two of the two of them she is, by far, the more dangerous.

CM: Play out a little bit of Prodigal for us. Where are we starting from?

GT: The beginning of a case, the middle of Byron and Pae’s lives. We only tell the stories of the cases that go sideways in the middle. We only tell you as much as you need to know to keep up with the story.  another thing over which we’re not overly fond is ridiculously long and ponderous continuity chains. Everything you need to know is in the story you’re reading. No tricks, no zingers. Just straight-up fun.

CM: Why are these people doing it? Is it literally just the paycheck for them, or is there something else going on?

GT: Thrills. Money.Freedom. Beats the hell out of fighting Galactus.

CM: Isn’t Arcanum supposed to be running on Mondays on Thrillbent? For that matter, isn’t Todd Harris the artist on Arcanum? Have you stuffed John Rogers into a school locker and taken his pencils?

GT: Well. Yes, except it’s on hiatus. Anyone who tries to stuff John into anything is welcome to the butt whipping that will ensue. John can handle himself and so can his many friends.

CM: What’s it been like working with Todd Harris on the art?

GT: Working with Todd has been the most fun I’ve had creatively.

CM: What’s it like working for Thrillbent? What are the advantages, for you, of working for them?

GT: The advantages are… 100% ownership of our IP, a creator-friendly contract that must be read to be embraced an editorial and publishing team who really know what they’re doing. Plus, the founders of the company are not only writers, but fantastic ones. Working with them and the rest of the team, thus far, has been pretty damned awesome.

CM: How has your storytelling changed in writing for the sort of comics format that Thrillbent has?

GT: Hmmm. Not as much as you’d think. Mainly this format gives us better control of the tempo. Beyond that, it’s pretty much business-as-usual.

CM: You’re a loooongtime comics fan. How big was your collection, and how bad was your weekly habit?

GT: At its height my collection numbered in excess of 65,000. At my worst, and this was when comics cost a LOT less than they do now (and I was a lot richer), I was probably dropping between 60 and 100 bucks a week, depending on what was happening in “indie world.”

Lucky for you folks, Prodigal will be presented for free for the foreseeable future.

So what are you waiting for? Go read it!

BOOM! Acquires Archaia

archaia__130624170337-200x107BOOM_footer_logoJune 24th, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA – BOOM! Studios, the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning comic book and graphic novel publisher and two-time winner of Diamond Comics Distributors’ prestigious “Best Publisher” Gem Award, has merged with Eisner and Harvey Award-winning Archaia Entertainment, the publisher of graphic novels including Mouse Guard, A Tale of Sand, Rust, Spera, Cowboy, and Gunnerkrigg Court. BOOM! Studios will be the surviving company and the Archaia brand shall be maintained as a distinct imprint of BOOM!.

The addition of Archaia positions BOOM!’s catalog of intellectual property as the largest independent company-controlled comic book and graphic novel library, behind only industry titans DC Entertainment (Warner Bros.) and Marvel Entertainment (Disney). BOOM!’s comic books and graphic novels pioneer a new business model, sharing intellectual property ownership between the company and the creators who generate the content. BOOM!’s Chief Executive Officer and founder, Ross Richie, noted, “Our creator-friendly model ensures that creatives are rewarded financially as they generate the franchises of tomorrow. Archaia operates with the same philosophy and objectives, which is one of the many reasons this combination is such a great fit.”

“We are thrilled and excited to join with BOOM!,” Archaia President and Chief Operating Officer Jack Cummins, who will continue in the same role, said. “BOOM! is very committed to maintaining the brand we’ve worked so hard to build and preserving our relationship with our creators, fans, and retailers. They’re fans of Archaia first and foremost, and are avidly working behind the scenes to expand our market penetration and carry our catalog deeper into retail channels. Archaia readers can expect the same editorial approach that has garnered industry-wide awards but we will have a much stronger platform to deliver our content in all forms and channels. I am personally looking forward to bringing our team together with the fantastic team Ross has built.”

Richie added, “Archaia has a terrific track record for creating award-winning, beautiful books with high production values. Jack Cummins, Stephen Christy, Mark Smylie, and the entire Archaia team have built an amazing publisher. With BOOM!’s resources, Archaia fans will see more of the books they love, while retailers will enjoy better business through stronger trade terms.” The companies also plan to put key items from the Archaia catalog back into print.

BOOM! Executive Chairman Scott Lenet of the venture capital firm DFJ Frontier noted, “We are excited to be investors in a profitable, growing company with a fantastic early track record of creating, curating, and marketing properties that audiences genuinely love. We have ambitious plans to continue to fund the company’s expansion in comics, graphic novels, and other media.”

August 2nd sees the release of the first BOOM! Studios feature film, the Universal Pictures-distributed 2 Guns starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, based on the Steven Grant comic book published by BOOM!. The company is currently preparing its second feature film for production: Jeremiah Harm, based on the comic book by Keith Giffen, Alan Grant, and John Mueller, will be directed by Timo Vuourensola of Iron Sky (jeremiahharm.com).

Archaia has optioned Royden Lepp’s graphic novel Rust to Twentieth Century Fox. Among Archaia’s other announced deals are the development of Lucid (Warner Bros.), Bolivar (Warner Bros.), and Feeding Ground (Pressman Films).

Recently, legendary creators including writer Paul Jenkins (Wolverine: Origin, Inhumans) and artist Brian Stelfreeze (Batman: Shadow of the Bat, Wednesday Comics) have announced to the industry that BOOM! is their new publishing home. This summer BOOM! also launched the first original comic book Clive Barker has ever created and written, Clive Barker’s Next Testament.

July sees the blockbuster release of Archaia’s Mouse Guard: The Black Axe, created by Eisner Award winner David Petersen, Cyborg 009 in partnership with acclaimed Japanese publisher Ishimori, and The Thrilling Adventure Hour based on the long-running stage play of the same name.

Wolverine: Origin Motion Comic Comes to Disc

Wolverine OriginsShout! Factory is releasing the next Marvel Motion Comic, this one the adaptation of the acclaimed Wolverine: Origin miniseries. Here are the formal details:

This summer, Marvel fans will learn the secret history of WOLVERINE that changed the Marvel Universe forever! Written by Eisner Award winner Paul Jenkins from a story by Joe Quesada, Paul Jenkins and Bill Jemas with captivating artwork by Andy Kubert and Richard Isanove. The adventures of Wolverine’s early days and the startling revelation of his true origins are brought to life when MARVEL KNIGHTS ANIMATION’S WOLVERINE: ORIGIN debuts for the first time on home entertainment shelves nationwide on July 9, 2013 from Shout! Factory. This highly anticipated Marvel Knights Animation presentation boasts engaging storytelling combined with visual rich animation and insightful bonus content. Featuring cover art illustration by Joe Quesada and Richard Isanove, this deluxe DVD is collected in a unique comic book style packaging that bridges the comic book to DVD concept. As one of the most important stories of all time in the Marvel Universe, this DVD is a must have for loyal fans, comic book enthusiasts and collectors. MARVEL KNIGHTS ANIMATION’S WOLVERINE: ORIGIN is priced to own at $14.97.

Exclusive behind-the-scenes bonus content features interviews with the creators and illustrators to provide an intimate and retrospective look at the development and production process of this amazing story. Marvel Knights Animation remains true to the heritage of panel-by-panel graphic storytelling, boasting groundbreaking illustrations, sensational soundscapes, and of course, the explosiveness of the Mighty Marvel Universe. Behind every image and every word lies the genius of Marvel’s celebrated creators.


Wolverine is the best there is at what he does – although of course, what he does isn’t very nice. But long before he was a member of the X-Men, a tormented experiment of the Weapon-X project, or even a savage bar brawler known as Logan – he was simply a young boy.

What incredible forces created this man, the world’s greatest killing machine? For years, Wolverine has searched desperately for answers from his past, from the wilds of the Canadian Wilderness to the teeming cities of Japan and beyond. And despite his perseverance and longing for the truth, he remains an enigma to himself and those around him. But, in this landmark event, Marvel reveals all: the birth and childhood of young James Howlett…the intriguing secrets of his family history…and the tragedy that changed everything.

Welcome to the greatest story never told.

Bonus Features Include:

An exclusive retrospective with the Eisner Award-Winning creative team behind Origin.

Total Feature Running Time: +/- 66 minutes