Archie wants to know if you’re Team Veronica or Betty at SDCC

Archie Comics will offer #TeamBetty and #TeamVeronica shirts at Comic-Con, so pick your side now.

With Archie’s new “Betty & Veronica” comic by Adam Hughes arriving in stores this week, it makes sense that Archie Comics would put some promotion behind it at Comic-Con International, which also arrives this week in San Diego. So what better way than asking attendees to declare their allegiance to their favorite?

Per their blog, Archie will sell #TeamBetty and #TeamVeronica T-shirts and lanyards at the convention:

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And for those who like both equally (yeah, right), they’re offering a “neutral” Betty and Veronica shirt, featuring artwork by Hughes:

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All shirts will be available at the Archie Comics Booth #1829 for $25. Lanyards are $5 each.

Dan Hipp to release many wonderful illustrations into the wild this week

The art director of “Teen Titans GO!” has two years’ worth of pop culture images he’s selling on his Big Cartel site.

If you’ve followed artist Dan Hipp (“Amazing Joy Buzzards,” Cartoon Network’s “Teen Titans GO!”) on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr over the past couple years, you know he’s an artistic machine, cranking out a seemingly endless numbers of pop culture inspired drawings that make you laugh, cry, think or just smile. And this week he’s finally decided to start selling some of them.

“I’ll post several pieces each day, all week. Yes, that includes the covers, the mashups, the small card size illustrations, and probably the one that made you cry tears of nerd majesty,” Hipp wrote on Facebook.

If you’re interested, you’ll need to act fast; based on the number of likes and retweets his illustrations get, these will be hotter than a Mondo art print or finding Articuno. Visit his Big Cartel page early and often all week; today’s pieces are already almost gone. Here are a few you missed out on:

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Titans Comics and Hard Case Crime pull the trigger on comics line

In the comic news frenzy leading up to Comic-Con International, Titan Comics and book publisher Hard Case Crime have announced a new line of “gritty, sexy, violent” crime comics.

For those not familiar, Hard Case Crime publishes pulp/noir crime fiction of the new and classic varieties. They’ve published books by Stephen King, Donald E. Westlake, Michael Crichton, Jason Starr, Max Allan Collins, Ed McBain and many others.

Coming out first is “Triggerman,” written by Walter Hill, director of the cult classic film “The Warriors,” as well as “The Long Riders,” “Streets of Fire,” “48 Hours” and the more recent “Bullet to the Head.” He’ll work with French comics creators and frequent collaborators Matz and Jef. Arriving in stores Oct. 5, “Triggerman” is a Prohibition-era mini-series set in Chiacgo, where a convict “is thrown headfirst into a life of bloodshed and bullets to save the girl he left behind.” Here are a few preview pages Titan provided:

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The following week Peepland arrives, a “semi-autobiographical neo-noir mini-series with a punk edge set in the seedy Times Square peep booths of 1980s New York City.” It’s written by crime novelist and former peep show employee Christa Faust and crime and comic writer Gary Phillips, with art by Andrea Camerini. Here’s a preview page:

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Finally, Titan and Hard Case Crime are also teaming up for a new “Quarry” comic series in 2017, based on the novels by Collins. There’s no art for that one yet, but Titan did provide all the varient covers for Triggerman and Peepland, by such folks as Fay Dalton, Mack Chater, Alex Ronald, Caitlin Yarsky, Camerini, Robert Hack, Dennis Calero and Francisco Paronzini. Admittedly I thought the covers looked pretty cool, they’re the main reason I did this post. Check’em out below:

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Soule & Browne are off to see the Wizord in ‘Curse Words’

Koalas, magical assassins, hogtaurs and more, coming from Image Comics in January.

Get ready to meet Wizord, an “evil wizard in good-wizard disguise,” as Charles Soule and Ryan Browne team for “Curse Words,” winner of this week’s Best New Title for a Comic award.

Announced in the special Comic-Con edition of Entertainment Weekly, Soule (“Daredevil,” “Letter 44,” “Strongman”) and Browne (“God Hates Astronauts”) will pit Wizord and his koala against magical assassins, hogtaurs (like centaurs, but hogs) and other craziness.

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“Dumbledore’s solid. Real powerful wizard. Did some good. Gandalf too. Cool dudes, no doubt. But are they really wizards for TODAY?” Soule asked on Twitter. “That’s the question (Ryan Browne) and I asked ourselves when we started to develop our new book. Who’s the wizard we need?”

“It’s about time that two guys with silent Es at the end of their names got together and told an epic story about a Wizord and a koala,” Browne added.

Published by Image Comics, “Curse Words” is due out in January.

‘Stray’ kickstarts a new bi-monthly series

Writer Vito Delsante and artist Sean Izaakse raise money to publish a new series starring their independent superhero creation.

The team behind the independent superhero comic “Stray” returned this month with a new Kickstarter for a new ongoing series, and a new, additional artist for their first arc. With their Kickstarter funded in a couple of days, now they’re adding several additional stretch goals to the campaign.

Writer Vito Delsante and artist Sean Izaakse funded a “Stray” miniseries through Kickstarter back in 2013, which eventually ended up at Action Lab Entertainment. The story focuses on Rodney Weller, the former teen sidekick to the superhero known as Doberman. When his mentor is killed, Rodney returns to action after five years to solve the murder as Stray. In addition to the miniseries, Stray also appeared in the “Actionverse” crossover series with Molly Danger and Midnight Tiger. It’s kind of to “Nightwing” what “Invincible” is to “Superboy” — and I mean that in a good way.

Joining the creative team for the first arc is artist Phil Cho. As the first arc takes place in both the past and present, Cho will draw the flashback sequences while Izaakse will draw the present-day story.

According to their Kickstarter page: “We are starting a new era for ‘Stray’ as it makes the jump from mini-series to a bi-monthly ongoing at Action Lab Entertainment. When last we saw Rodney, he was one of the heroes saving the world in ‘Actionverse.’ As a result of those events, he has decided to do more for the common man, to leave the ‘superheroing’ to the heroes with super powers. But, things don’t go as he planned as he is pulled into a grand cosmic conspiracy that involves the first girl he ever kissed and a hostile alien force known only as The Intolerance.”

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Read more about the book and their stretch goals on Kickstarter. In addition to the campaign, Delsante and Izaakse have also created a shirt featuring the character to benefit the StubbyDog organization.

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Image to publish Jeff Lemire’s ‘Royal City’

New comic written and drawn by Lemire comes out next March.

As noted on his blog, Jeff Lemire will write AND draw his first comic since 2013’s Trillium. Royal City, a new ongoing published by Image Comics, follows “a fading literary star who reluctantly returns to the once-thriving factory town where he grew up,” and has to deal with overbearing family, the vanishing town and the “ghosts” of his younger brother, who drowned decades prior.

“I have a two-season plan, about 20 issues of the comic, that will tell one decisive story about the Pike family,” Lemire told Entertainment Weekly. “But the idea of returning to this family of characters at different points in my life is really exciting to me. I think it could be something that I return to — an umbrella where I could tell other stories.”

The first issue is due out next March.

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Quoted: J.M. DeMatteis on Keith Giffen

The “Justice League International” and “Hero Squared” co-writer talks about his co-writer.

It’s the late 80’s. We’re standing in the halls of DC Comics on a Friday afternoon. Keith is telling me his idea for a new story: the secret origin of one of our most ridiculous characters, the brain-dead Green Lantern named G’nort. Keith spends five or ten minutes spinning the entire tale, in detail. You can see he’s excited. He likes this wonderfully goofy story and he wants to do it—just the way he’s envisioned it.

The problem is, I don’t like it. And I tell him that I don’t.

Does Keith get angry? Does he tell me I’m a talentless jackass who has no right passing judgment on his incandescent genius? No. He just looks at me for a second, takes a breath, shrugs—and then launches into an entirely new origin of G’nort, which he’s creating on the spot. And it’s perfect. I can’t think of many people who could switch creative gears like that, but Keith has more raw creativity than just about anyone I’ve ever known: a tsunami of stories and characters and odd, brilliant notions.

Writer J.M. DeMatteis on his frequent collaborator Keith Giffen.

Kerry Callen digs up a new webcomic

Halo and Sprocket creator Kerry Callen has launched a new webcomic, Dirt Nap, an “adventurous romp starring old-school, iconic monsters, but with un-iconic twists.” He plans to post new pages twice a week.

“It’s a story of monsters, tragedy, adventure and humor,” Callen wrote on his blog. “It will run approximately 160 pages and along the way we’ll encounter vampires, zombies, ghosts, werewolves, and maybe even a mermaid or two.” It sounds like he’s more than halfway finished with it as well, as he states he’s completed over 100 pages thus far. Check out two of them below.

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Take a look at Nobrow’s fall/winter catalog

New books from Luke Pearson, Wren McDonald, Lorena Alvarez, Luke Healy and Dilraj Mann will arrive starting in September.

The fine folks at Nobrow have released their fall/winter catalog, which includes several new graphic novels from Luke Pearson, Wren McDonald, Lorena Alvarez, Luke Healy and Dilraj Mann. It’s an impressive line-up that features several strong debuts.

Here’s a rundown of what to expect:

Hilda and the Stone Forest, by Luke Pearson. Due in stores in September.

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I’ve got a young kid at home, so I’m constantly looking for fun, age-appropriate comics and graphic novels I can introduce him to. Recently we read through Nobrow’s Free Comic Book Day offering, and the preview of Hilda and the Stone Forest was a big hit. The Stone Forest is the fifth Hilda book, so we have plenty of catching up to do before it arrives this fall. Here’s the publisher’s description:

The city of Trolberg has some dark secrets to reveal and Hilda is about to discover them! Hilda may be grounded, but that won’t stop her from heading off on another daring adventure! But everything is thrown off course when her mother catches her and is dragged along for the ride. Furious with each other, the bickering pair find themselves lost in the land of the trolls, forced to embark on a dangerous journey to make their way home. And to make matters even more difficult, Hilda has to do so . . . as a troll? Buckle your seatbelts for a crazy body-swapping adventure!

In addition, Nobrow will release a paperback version of Hilda and the Bird Parade in November.


How to Survive in the North, by Luke Healy. Due in November.

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The debut graphic novel from Healy, who has published several minicomics and worked as the coloring assistant on Lucy Knisley’s Something New. Here’s the publisher’s description:

A unique graphic novel telling the stories of real and fictional Arctic castaways struggling to survive the long Northern winter.

With stunning narrative skill, this compelling graphic novel intricately weaves together true-life narratives from 1912, 1926 and a fictional story set in the present day. How To Survive in the North is an unforgettable journey of love and loss, showing the strength it takes to survive in the harshest conditions.

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Locomotion, by Golden Cosmos. Due in December.

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The latest in Nobrow’s “leporello” line of concertina books sees the return of Daniel Dolz and Doris Freigofas, a.k.a. Golden Cosmos, the German duo whose High Times remains one of Nobrow’s most popular titles (I wonder how many people thought they were getting something besides a book about planes, based on the title?). Locomotion, meanwhile, isn’t about the popular dance craze that once ruled the Earth, but is focused on trains.

Here’s the publisher’s description:

A stunning double-sided panorama measuring 54 inches on the history of trains printed in glorious spot color!

The beautiful concertina book folds out to a stunning 54 inch panorama detailing the history of trains and locomotives from the very first railroads and machines to sustainability in the twenty-first century and beyond! A brilliant wraparound cover details the notable benchmarks in the history and mythology of trains.

Golden Cosmos was set up in 2010 as a collborative moniker for German artistic couple Daniel Doltz and Doris Freigofas. Their deep knowledge of traditional printmaking techniques and experiences in self-publishing that have won them widespread critical acclaim in illustration circles made them the perfect choice for our trademark concertina series. Their bold use of color and adeptness for shape and form recall the bold patterns and geometry of early Russian constructivism, with a nod to mid-century French commercial art. There is no doubt that this will be a beauty!


SP4RX, by Wren McDonald. Due out in December

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This is the follow-up to Cyber Realm, McDonald’s previous book from Nobrow, which was a part of their 17×23 series of comics. Here’s a description:

SP4RX is the story of mankind clawing for survival. Set in a future where a class system has emerged, the world is divided into five levels, with the elite ruling from the extravagant top level. An abandoned ground level is used as a garbage dump. No living organisms are permitted there. But that doesn’t stop SP4RX, an extremely young hacker who lives off grid, eluding the military force that governs the other levels. He hacks into corporations and sells stolen data to wealthy buyers on the black market—just your average thief.

Structus Industries introduces a welfare program called the “Elpis Program”, which allows the working class to apply for Cybernetic implants to make workers more efficient. On the surface, it seems like a program to empower the poor and allow them to rise to the ranks of the elite. But SP4RX soon discovers all is not as it seems. The welfare program is a highly politicized and intelligent ploy to destroy the working class and replace them with highly effective technology. SP4RX and Structus are set on a collision course with the fate of humanity at stake in Wren McDonald’s latest sci-fi tale of survival and corruption!

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Dalston Monstazz, by Dilraj Mann. Due in February.

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Hipsters battle monsters in this new one by the Puck Collective member. Here’s the publisher’s description:

A gripping graphic novel set in the heart of East London’s trendy center as it falls prey to monstrous calamity.

Dalston, East London . . . sometime in the future. Below the city’s creaking pavements, where the slabs sag from the weight of soulless new glass fronted apartment blocks, chain coffee shops and hoards of real estate agencies, the earth is beginning to crack. And from these fissures, like woodlice crawling from under ancient stone, the Monstazz emerge . . .

Roshan and K had heard about the shadowy Monstazz that were emerging from the foundations beneath Dalston’s recent hyper-development. But they didn’t expect to be tangled up in its murky underbelly; fighting gangsters, megalomaniacal property developers and amongst themselves. Not in the least because of a girl. Even if she is the most badass girl in town.

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Nightlights, by Lorena Alvarez Gomez. Due next March.

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Gomez is a Bogotá-based cartoonist and puppeteer; she’s done work on BOOM!’s Adventure Time books as well as for Disney and Nickelodeon. Here’s the publisher’s description:

A beautiful, mysterious graphic novel about fear, insecurity and creativity, from the enchanting imagination of Lorena Alvarez Gomez.

Every night, tiny stars appear out of the darkness in little Sandy’s bedroom. She catches them and creates wonderful creatures to play with until she falls asleep, and in the morning brings them back to life in the whimsical drawings that cover her room.

One day, Morpie, a mysterious pale girl, appears at school. And she knows all about Sandy’s drawings…

Nightlights is a beautiful story about fear, insecurity, and creativity, from the enchanting imagination of Lorena Gomez.

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