comiXology offers deals on DC Comics, Dark Horse and more for Cyber Monday

Digital comic provider offers buy one, get one free deal on most DC comics and trades.

For Cyber Monday, digital comics provider comiXology is not only continuing its Black Friday discounts, but has added several more deals to the mix.

Of note is a “first time ever” sale on DC Comics — a buy one, get one free sale on all DC Comics and Vertigo titles released digitally before Sept. 1. Just use the code DCBOGO at check out.

Here’s the rundown of all the sales happening today:

Cyber Monday:

DC Comics Buy One, Get One Free Sale – Use promo code DCBOGO at checkout
Offer good on all DC Comics and Vertigo titles released digitally before 9/1/15
Dark Horse Sale – 30 trades for $2.99 each
VIZ Sale – 10 volumes for $2.00 off each
Marvel X-Men & The Black Vortex Sale

Continuing Black Friday Sales:

Image Comics 50% off Sale- Use promo code IMAGE at checkout
Marvel Black Friday Collection Sale
Marvel Spider-Verse Sale
Kodansha 99¢ Black Friday Sale including Attack on Titan Vol 1

 

Cyber Monday:

DC Comics Buy One, Get One Free Sale – Use promo code DCBOGO at checkout

Dark Horse Sale – 30 trades for $3.00 each
Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone
Aliens: Fire and Stone
ApocalyptiGirl: An Aria for the End Times
Avatar: The Last Airbender – Smoke and Shadow Part One
Archie vs Predator
Big Guy and Rusty
Conan Red Sonja
Courageous Princess Vol 1
Drug and Drop Vol 1
EI8HT Vol 1: Outcast
Ghost Fleet Vol 1 Deadhead
Green River Killer
Halo: Escalation Volume
Heart in a Box
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: 1952
How to Pass as Human
Lady Killer
Predator: Fire and Stone
Prometheus: Fire and Stone
Plants vs. Zombies: Bully For You
Rat God
Rexodus
Serenity: Leaves on the Wind
The Goon Vol14: Occasion of Revenge
The New Deal
The Witcher: Vol 2 – Fox Children
Tomb Raider Vol 1 : Season of the Witch
Veda: Assembly Required
Buffy: Season Ten Vol 1 : New Rules
BloodC Vol 1

VIZ Sale – 10 volumes for $4.99each
My Hero Academia Vol 1
Assassination Classroom Vol 1
Ultraman Vol 1
Twin Star Exorcists Vol 1
Tokyo Ghoul Vol 1
Time Killers Vol 1
Demon Prince Momochi House Vol 1
Kiss of the Rose Princess Vol 1
My Love Story! Vol 1
Spell of Desire
Vol 1

Marvel X-Men & The Black Vortex Sale 
     The Black Vortex Alpha #1
Guardians of the Galaxy #24-25
Legendary Star-Lord #1-11
All-New X-Men #38-39
Guardians Team-Up #1-3
Nova #28
Cyclops #12
Captain Marvel #14
The Black Vortex Omega #1

Continuing Black Friday Sales:

Image Comics 50% off Sale – Use promo code IMAGE at checkout

Marvel Black Friday Collection Sale
Avengers/X-Men: Utopia
Avengers Vs. X-Men
Death of Wolverine
Fear Itself
House of M
Marvel 1602
Original Sin
Secret Invasion
Secret Wars
X-Men: Battle of the Atom

Marvel Spider-Verse Sale

Superior Spider-Man #32-33
Spider-Man 2099 #5
Amazing Spider-Man #1-18
Spider-Verse #1-2
Spider-Verse Team-Up #1-3
Spider-Woman #1-4
Scarlet Spiders #1-3
Spider-Man 2099 #6-8
Amazing Spider-Man #1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 16.1, 17.1, 18.1, 19.1, 20.1

Kodansha 99¢ Black Friday Sale
            Attack On Titan Vol 1
Say I love You Vol 1
Seven Deadly Sins Vol 11

When Comics Meets Sports

Earlier this week when I ran across a Khary Randolph MLB commission piece I asked if he had more art like this. He did. Luckily for us. For good measure we also included a Y.A. Tittle New York Giants piece by Mike DeCarlo.

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khary5khary4khary3

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In between eating remarkable amounts of Turkey yesterday, I watched with glee as both the Eagles and the Cowboys got their asses kicked on TV. The enclosed sketch is of my first Giants player idol, 1960’s quarterback Y.A.Tittle. He will be my Talisman for this Sunday’s matchup with the Redskins, as my beloved Giants bring me a little joy I hope.

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‘Crime has no borders’ in new Vaughan/Martin teaser

‘The Private Eye’ creative team teases a new project from their Panel Syndicate label.

Looks like the band is getting back together, as the creators of the excellent “pay as you go” digital comic The Private Eye — Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente — appear to be reuniting for another project from Panel Syndicate.

Both Panel Syndicate and Vaughan teased the new project on Twitter:

Vaughan also clarified that this is NOT the exclusive The Walking Dead comic that was announced last summer at Image Expo — which is something else we still have to look forward to.

The Private Eye was an interesting experiment — two top-of-their-game creators going out and creating something wonderful, then offering each issue digitally for whatever price their audience was willing to pay. It seems to have worked, as Vaughan said last September:

Even though readers can still pay whatever they want for our DRM-free files (including nothing!), artist Marcos Martin, colorist Muntsa Vicente and I are proud to reveal that The Private Eye is already well into the six figures for both issues downloaded AND dollars earned … and that’s without advertising, corporate backers, Comixology-like distributors, or even a Kickstarter campaign.

If you prefer print, a hardcover of The Private Eye is due out from Image Comics next month. And you can check the teaser out for the new project — in English and Spanish — below.

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Smash Pages Review: The Monster Book of Manga: Steampunk

HarperCollins has been putting out these nicely produced manga-characters books for years, now, and they keep coming up with new subjects and genres.

The Monster Book of Manga: Steampunk
Edited by Jorge Balaguer

HarperCollins has been putting out these nicely produced manga-characters books for years, now, and they keep coming up with new subjects and genres.

Like all the Monster Books of Manga, this book focuses on one thing: Character design. If you’re interested in the basics of anatomy, draftsmanship, and storytelling, this is not the book for you. That said, it may be helpful for the artist who has mastered the basics and is ready to develop some new characters. It’s not so much a how-to book as a collection of examples, though. Balaguer has designed 39 different characters, from a robot to a firefighter to a Victorian lady, and he has given each of them a name and a paragraph of background information. There’s a lot of story in these little paragraphs, and he clearly has a lively imagination, but there’s no information on how to grow your own.

Balaguer takes us through seven steps for each character, from stick figure to finished drawing. Unfortunately, his step-by-step instructions suffer from a common problem: The distance between step 1, a stick figure, and step 2, a fleshed-out drawing of a realistic looking person, is vast. To the beginner, it’s like magic. Everything after that is basically finish—inking, shading, coloring, and adding rivets. Getting from a few sketched lines and circles to something that looks like an actual figure is the hard part—and this book is no help. (The solution is to spend a lot of time drawing from live models, but a book won’t help you there.)

Furthermore, for a book that’s supposed to be about steampunk, there’s precious little talk of how the characters are designed from the inside out, nor is there any attempt to make them seem logical. There’s more to steampunk than drawing rivets on every surface, but you won’t learn that here. Not only that, the rivets don’t even make sense—in some of the figures they not only don’t fasten anything, they would actually get in the way.

While these factors limit its usefulness, this book may provide a helpful toolbox for artists who are interested in the elements of different characters, or the details of how to ink, shade, and color different types of steampunk characters—and it’s certainly enjoyable to browse through it and see the different characters Balaguer has created.

Monster Book of Manga - Steampunk

Sales of Value: TwoMorrows Publishing

Happy Holidays! Now through December 1, get 40% off books and magazines at www.twomorrows.com! 

It’s our Annual TwoMorrows Holiday Sale, and we’re getting it started well before Black Friday, to make sure everyone gets their orders in time for the holidays. Save at least 40% on:

Alter Ego
Back Issue
Draw
Comic Book Creator
Jack Kirby Collector
Modern Masters
How-to Draw Comics publications
Artist Biographies
American Comic Book Chronicles volumes
Companion Books
even BrickJournal and LEGO publications!

For easy ordering, you can download an interactive PDF file of our full catalog by clicking this link:

http://www.twomorrows.com/media/2015CatalogOnline.pdf

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Sales of Value: Todd Klein

Todd Klein’s Annual Holiday Sale Remains Fairly Straightforward

Holiday Sale: November 27 to December 4. 

Any Three Prints for $35 (United States) or $42 (Elsewhere)

To take advantage of this sale, EMAIL your request to me at the website link and I will reply with Paypal payment information. Only Paypal orders accepted. All orders in multiples of three, lower shipping costs for orders of six, nine or more. NJ residents must pay NJ Sales Tax. EMAIL LINK

If you’d rather order and pay by mail, using a check or money order, click HERE for an order form to do that. NOTE: if you plan to mail order, email me and let me know, I’ll hold items for you.

Shipping amount varies based on the total cost of items you order. Here is a chart for U.S. shipments:

Up to $20 = shipping $3, up to $100 = $5, over $100 = $8.

New recent large increases in international shipping rates by the US Postal Service have forced me to raise my shipping rate for all packages to other countries to a flat $12 per package.

New Jersey residents must pay 7% sales tax on items and shipping.

Prints and vellum overlays will be placed in a protective plastic sleeve, rolled and sent in a sturdy mailing tube. CDs will be sandwiched between two layers of corrugated cardboard, wrapped in bubble wrap and mailed in a Tyvek envelope. Bookmarks ordered without other items will be sent in a letter-size envelope with cardboard stiffener.

 

 

 

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The first 500 copy printing of this 11 by 17 inch signed print in collaboration with artist Shawn McManus is now available. GO FREELANCE! is a board game that outlines the lives of two budding comics artists. It’s written, designed and lettered by me with over fifty wonderful spot illustrations by Shawn in a 1950s-advertising art style that’s sure to bring a smile. Here you’ll meet Artie and Scribbler as they make their way from childhood to retirement through the challenges, pitfalls, rewards and catastrophes of a creative livelihood…their original creations, terrific T-Man and the mysterious Master of None…plus other characters like the Old Pro, and a special guest appearance by a certain Top Writer! (hint: initials NG) The print is on ivory-colored Wausau cardstock paper, printed in black, and highlighted with green watercolor, each hand-painted by me. Shawn and I have individually signed each print.

Smash Pages Q&A: Jim Gibbons and Ryan Yount on Stela

You need to understand one thing about a guy as talented as Jim Gibbons. There are some people that are born to be leaders — born to be damn good editors. I firmly believe Jim came out of the womb that way. There are few comics editors that I put on par with Tom Brevoort. Jim is on that par. He has never steered me wrong when it came time to praise a note. To learn he is one of the leaders of the new Stela venture does not surprise me and it makes me want to think that this thing will succeed out of the gates. To say I was eager to talk to him about this goes without saying and I can’t wait to see what is store for Stela in 2016. Please enjoy the interview as much as I did.

Tim O’Shea: What first attracted you to get onboard with Stela, Ryan and Jim?

Jim Gibbons: First, Tim, thanks so much for giving us the opportunity to chat about Stela!

In answer to your question, it’s not every day that you have the opportunity to help build a new comics publisher from the ground up! That was a huge selling point for me. I love editing comics, but at a certain point I think I realized that every company in comics has a pretty established way of doing things and a pretty established type of content they provide. The chance to blaze a whole new trail is pretty exhilarating!

Stela_comment - EditedBut, even more so than that, the format of Stela—by delivering premiere and exclusive comics content built for mobile devices directly to your phone—really impressed me. It seems like the eternal question of comics is “How do we grow the market?” And even while the market is currently the most healthy it’s been in a long time, there are still—for example—millions of people who are enjoying comic book movies, but aren’t necessarily finding their way to comics.

We really believe that by making the entry into comics as easy as, literally, beaming new comics by creators like Victor Santos, Jen Bartel, Irene Koh, Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer, Fabian Rangel Jr., Jason Copland, Haden Blackman, Stuart Moore, Sandra Lanz, and Ethan Young (to name a few) directly into your pocket has huge potentially to grow comics readership. That alone was a huge part of the attraction of working at Stela. And then, talking with Ryan, our CPO Sam Lu, and CEO Jason Juan, three guys who are just so passionate about comics, art, and storytelling and about getting into this industry in the best way with big goals… You can’t ask for a better team to sign on to than that!

Ryan Yount: I got a message, out of the blue, from Sam Lu (Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer). Sam and I had worked together for years at Ubisoftwe used to talk about the “Future of Comics”. Over boba tea in Oakland he started describing what they wanted to do, and I was sold pretty much immediately.

As Jim already said, it’s a rare thing that you get the chance to spin up a new comics publisher from the ground up. Being able to lead the Editorial voice for Stela, and set up an environment around treating creators fairly (and paying them fairly!) was huge. And I’m a true believer in the big concept – bringing great comics to mobile gives us a real shot at expanding the readership of comics.

How did you pick the name?

Jim Gibbons: I wasn’t here for that, so I’ll leave that one to Ryan. But, as a big classics nerd, a name derived from Latin in reference to informational tablets from the ancient world was right up my alley!

Ryan Yount: You know that scene in Silicon Valley, where the group is brainstorming names and then picking them apart one by one? Yeah, like that. [Laughs] Everyone brought in their own contributions, and a couple of us came up with Stela independently. A tall stone marker inscribed with words and pictures… the term just seemed to resonate with everyone here.

What criteria allows you to be involved?

Jim Gibbons: If you’re a currently working comics creator or a prospective talent with a story to tell, then you’re meeting our criteria to do comics with Stela

But to elaborate a bit more, for the past six months or so, we’ve been reaching out to different writers, artists, colorists, and letterers and partnering with them on—primarily—new creator-owned comics. We have over 30 projects currently in the works and we’re reaching out to even more creators now to line up more material. 

As we’ll be delivering comics to current comics readers and brand new readers via an entirely new delivery method, one of the most exciting things about lining up creators has been our freedom to go out and find work from extremely talented creators who don’t necessarily have a long history in comics. We don’t have to worry about how creators have sold previously in the direct market, we can simply find great content from up-and-comers on Tumblr, as an example, and add that to the line up readers will have access to via our subscription model. It’s all about lining up new, fresh content that’ll stand alongside a handful of other creator visions for an amazing, interesting, entertaining, and diverse reading experience! 

Ryan Yount: So far, we’ve been reaching out to creators we want to work with and commissioning new work from them. Technically, we’re not an open-submission publisher. Not yet, anyway. So creators have to know someone who is working with us. This isn’t meant to be an exclusionary club thing—both Jim and I are have been actively pursuing talent we want to work with (not just folks we’ve worked with before). Open Submissions take a lot of extra time; time that we need to spend on getting all of our current projects ready for the app.

Logistically what have been some of the early challenges?

Jim Gibbons: The biggest one, aside from obviously building the app that will deliver all this kick-ass content, has been that each conversation with a creator has to start from square one. We’ve been, until recently, under the radar, so we can’t go “We’re [Insert Established Publisher here]. Let’s talk about doing a comic together!” We’ve had to front-load people with a lot of information on us as a publisher and as a delivery method of content, not to mention getting people up to speed on our format.

That said, it’s been very fun to see so many people say they’ve been wondering about when someone was going to do westernized comics in a mobile native format or that they’re already doing vertically scrolling comics on Tumblr and they’re excited that a publisher is jumping into that arena!

Ryan Yount: The vertical format is something that was a challenge at first, not having many examples to show to creators. But every week it gets easier, as we get more amazing work turned in from our creators.

Early on was it easy or hard to get people onboard?

Jim Gibbons: To a degree, yes. But I’d say that mostly came down to scheduling more than anything. Spend any amount of time on Tumblr or Kickstarter or Twitter and there’s no shortage of extremely talented people with amazing-sounding comics pitches, but very few of them are sitting around going, “I literally have nothing at all to do right now, let’s roll on this tomorrow.”

Other than that, we’re paying very competitive page rates in advance for material the creators own, plus we’re sharing profits with them, as well. Creators also retain their entertainment and print rights. So, it’s a damn good deal, and loads of creators have been very excited to cook up rad new material for our format, as well!

Ryan Yount: Getting the first few creators onboard is always tough when you’re an unknown publisher. After the first few, it gets easier and easier. Creators have to deal with so many jerks trying to take advantage of them that they can be resistant to cold calls. But connections and persistence are key, and, as Jim said, paying our creators page rates helps, as does our fantastic rights arrangement. 

Anything we should discuss that I neglected to ask about?

Jim Gibbons: Oh, I’m sure there are! But for now, I’ll just say “Stay tuned!” All the information that’s come out about Stela in the past week has in many ways been the tip of the iceberg. You’ll be seeing our full creator list and more info on specific series as we move closer and closer to our early 2016 launch date. If you’ve liked what you’ve seen so far, great! But you ain’t seen nothing yet! 

Ryan Yount: What Jim said. *High five!*

Edmonton Expo: When a Harassment Policy Works

Over at Sequential Tart Suzette Chan reflects upon when an anti-harassment system works as it should and did at the Edmonton Expo (held in late September with 50,000 in attendance). Full disclosure, Stephanie Chan is a founding member of Smash Pages.

We experienced one incident of harassment. Edmonton Expo handled it in a way that shows that it is serious and prepared to deal with harassment at the con.

… Steph was standing behind the table, and fledgling new Tart Kelaine Devine was seated behind the table.

A fellow walked up to Kelaine and told her to smile so that she would look better in a photo. She declined. He then turned to Steph and said, “She’s pretty. Is she an actress, too?” I told him, “I don’t think that’s appropriate.”

Steph tried to get his name and photo, and a bit of a chase ensued. It ended up with the guy yelling at Steph and following her until she got to the customer service desk. I caught up with them there. Four Edmonton Expo personnel were at the desk. One took Steph aside to get her story. Another spoke to the fellow, or tried to. Eventually a response team was called in to speak with him.

The volunteer who took Steph’s story escorted us back to our table. Later, the response team visited our table to check on us and to give us an update. Apparently, the fellow was bellicose and unrepentant, which led to his expulsion.

Looking back, I appreciated the process: A) We reported it. B) The report was taken seriously. C) Edmonton Expo took steps to ensure that the fellow would not harass anyone else at the event. D) The team followed up with us.

We wanted to share this story as an example of a policy about harassment that is in place and that worked. We felt heard, and, though I’m sure he was not happy to be expelled, the person identified as a harasser also was heard. The main takeaway is that there was immediate response, action, and follow-up.

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The Moment: Huck 1

huckIn this week’s edition of The Moment, I detail how in some ways Huck reminds me of Mark Millar’s 1998 Superman Adventures run.

Superman Adventures remains the high point so far 0f Millar’s work, serving return to that form dating as far back as 1998. Huck is an incredibly likeable character in the way he is characterized in these first two issues there’s an unseen optimism to him I don’t know if it will last but all I know is it’s really a refreshing change from a lot of comics currently on the market. The moment that hooked me was from issue 2 when he could have quit but he chose to presevere and help people as he always does.

Rafael Albuquerque on art is merely icing on the cake.