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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50 artists jam together on ‘X-O Manowar’ #50 cover

Valiant shares plans for the extra-sized issue that marks Robert Venditti’s last on the title.

Via press release today, Valiant Entertainment announced the cover for “X-O Manowar” #50 will feature 50 different versions of the character drawn by 50 different artists. Check it out right here:

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Featuring colors by David Baron, the cover includes renditions of the character as drawn by:

1. Neal Adams (Green Lantern/Green Arrow)
2. Raul Allen (WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR)
3. Al Barrionuevo (The Authority)
4. Diego Bernard (X-O MANOWAR)
5. Doug Braithwaite (ARMOR HUNTERS)
6. Dave Bullock (Wednesday Comics)
7. CAFU (UNITY)
8. Eric Canete (RunLoveKill)
9. Carmen Nunez Carnero (X-Factor)
10. Sean Chen (Iron Man)
11. Collen Coover (Bandette)
12. Clayton Crain (4001 A.D., RAI)
13. Jay Fabares (Valiant cover artist)
14. Tom Fowler (QUANTUM AND WOODY)
15. Manuel Garcia (BLOODSHOT)
16. Robert Gill (BOOK OF DEATH)
17. Adam Gorham (Zero)
18. Butch Guice (BLOODSHOT REBORN)
19. Bob Hall (SHADOWMAN)
20. Rebekah Isaacs (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
21. Phil Jimenez (DC Universe: Rebirth)
22. J.G. Jones (Final Crisis)
23. Kano (Gotham Central)
24. Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT)
25. Bob Layton (X-O MANOWAR)
26. Mike Leeke (X-O MANOWAR)
27. Jeff Lemire (Essex County)
28. Steve Lieber (The Fix)
29. Emanuela Lupacchino (Supergirl)
30. Mike McKone (Fantastic Four)
31. Stephen Mooney (Half Past Danger)
32. Cary Nord (X-O MANOWAR)
33. Pat Olliffe (Thor)
34. Pere Perez (FAITH)
35. Brandon Peterson (Uncanny X-Men)
36. Brent Peeples (Last of the Greats)
37. Stephen Platt (Prophet)
38. Rafer Roberts (HARBINGER RENEGADES)
39. Paolo Rivera (THE VALIANT)
40. Riley Rossmo (Batman)
41. Juan Joe Ryp (BRITANNIA)
42. Rafa Sandoval (X-O MANOWAR)
43. Donovan Santiago (“Valiant 8-Bit” cover artist)
44. Marguerite Sauvage (FAITH)
45. Joe St. Pierre (RAI)
46. Philip Tan (Batman & Robin)
47. Michael Walsh (The Vision)
48. Ryan Winn (DIVINITY)
49. Kevin VanHook (BLOODSHOT)
50. Ramon Villalobos (E is for Extinction)

“X-O MANOWAR #50 will be, without a doubt, the single biggest milestone ever produced by Valiant,” said Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani said in the release. “Beginning with the incredible jam cover, this issue will stand on its own as both a tribute to the character’s vital place in the Valiant Universe and the entirety of the years-long epic that Robert Venditti – along with artists Cary Nord, Lee Garbett, Trevor Hairsine, Doug Braithwaite, Diego Bernard, Rafa Sandoval, Robert Gill, and Valiant’s amazing editorial team– forged into one of the greatest narrative feats of the modern era. Big moments don’t get much bigger than this.” The issue also marks Venditti’s last on the title. Look for it in September.

Oh, Canada! Government declassifies files on Supersoldier James “Logan” Howlett

Records of James "Logan" Howlett

Library and Archives Canada made a stunning announcement today: the acquisition of the declassified journals and military records of James Howlett. Howlett was the primary subject of the rumoured Canadian “Supersoldier” program. Better known as “Logan,” Howlett worked for both Canadian and United States government agencies and later, under the code-name “Wolverine,” continued freelance for various non-government organizations.

Continue reading “Oh, Canada! Government declassifies files on Supersoldier James “Logan” Howlett”

Jarrett Williams gets hyped with ‘Hyper Force Neo’

Check out a preview of the forthcoming comic from Z2 Comics.

For your previewing pleasure … here are a few pages from Jarrett Williams’ upcoming comic from Z2 Comics, Hyper Force Neo, one of four new titles the publisher announced a few weeks back. It’s the one I’m most excited for, based on Williams’ work on Super Pro K.O.

Here are the details from the publisher:

HYPER FORCE NEO by Jarrett Williams
April, 2016

HYPER FORCE NEO, from SUPER PRO K.O.! creator Jarrett Williams, takes readers along on the adventures of Dean Masters, a 9th grader tasked with leading a group of tech-savvy teens called Hyper Force Neo. Their Mission? Save New Sigma City and their high-school from the sinister, intergalactic vagabonds known as the Dark Edge. With the use of their Hype Suits, Neo Keys, High-tech weaponry, and over-sized Neo Mechs, Dean and his friends just may get the job done. The first issue of HYPER FORCE NEO will be a super-sized 48-pages.

Jarrett Williams recently completed the third volume in his pro-wrestling/adventure series Super Pro K.O.!: Gold for Glory at Oni Press, which will be released in Summer, 2016. He is also working on a Super Pro K.O.! Special and a monthly, action/beat-em-up comic called Knuckle Up! for Oni Press. Jarrett has contributed stories for Yo Gabba Gabba: Comic Book Time at Oni Press, and covers for Adventure Time and Regular Show at Boom Studios. Jarrett was born in New Orleans, LA in 1984. He lives in Savannah, GA.

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Hey kids, mini comic spinner rack coming soon from Cryptozoic Entertainment

Images from Toy Fair beg the question: where can I buy a recreation of a vintage spinner rack that holds real comics?

I’m curious if anyone has ever done this before: per a report at Action Figure Insider, Cryptozoic Entertainment is showing off a cool miniature recreation of a vintage comic book spinner rack, complete with faux minicomics from DC Comics. Check out the image:

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Now, in this case, it only holds the smaller “comics” it comes with and can be bought in blind bags — per the report, they’re just for display purposes and can’t actually be open and read. It’s still pretty cool, but it kind of makes you wonder why no one* is making actual spinner racks that fans could buy and use to display their creations. I know you can buy the modern equivalent, which aren’t really aimed at the consumer market, and classic comic racks show up on eBay, but why isn’t someone making recreations of comic spinner racks that hold real comics? Someone should get on that, pronto.

*I could be wrong that no one has ever done this, and would actually be happy to be proven wrong if it means they’re available somewhere.

Love ain’t just in the air: ‘Fresh Romance’ heads to print

The romance comic anthology returns with a new Kickstarter and publisher, Oni Press.

Fresh Romance, the romance comic anthology that raised more than $50,000 via crowdfunding last year, returns to Kickstarter today to raise funds for a print collection.

The collection, which will be published by Oni Press, will include all the stories that appeared in the digital anthology thus far in a 6×9 paperback format — or hardcover “if we hit our goal early in the campaign,” the project page reads. In addition, series editor Janelle Asselin is making sure the original creators receive a piece of the reward:

With these talented creators on board, Fresh Romance forges a new future for romance comics with modern characters, stories and a wide array of genres. These stories are all creator-owned and the creators have been paid a page rate for their work already thanks to our previous Kickstarter, which covered the cost of producing six issues. The primary use for the funds raised from this Kickstarter is the cost of printing and distributing the physical book. Anything we earn above and beyond the goal will go to creating more FRESH ROMANCE comics.

Still, paying creators fairly is a cornerstone of the Rosy Press business model; we wouldn’t exist without the hard work of creators, so we firmly believe they should be compensated fairly and retain control over their work. So when we hit our goal and for every $10,000 we go over our goal, every single creator whose work is included in this collection will get a one-time bonus of 2x their page rate.

Here’s a rundown of the comics that have appeared in the anthology; “Beauties” and “The Ruby Equation” were my favorites:

  • School Spirit by Kate Leth, Arielle Jovellanos, Amanda Scurti, and Taylor Esposito. School Spirit is the story of four teens embroiled in keeping their love lives secret from everyone around them. It’s never quite that simple, though, and complications for this group include bigoted parents and witch-y powers!
  • Ruined is an historical romance by Sarah Vaughn, Sarah Winifred Searle, and Ryan Ferrier featuring a couple entering a loveless marriage at the prompting of society and their families. The future looks bleak for Andrew and Catherine, but there’s more to each of them than either one knows. (Just chapter 1 — 60 pages of story — will be included)
  • The Ruby Equation stars a cynical matchmaker from another dimension who has to learn to believe in love for real! But is a coffee shop the right place to learn lessons of love? Written by Sarah Kuhn, drawn by Sally Jane Thompson, colored by Savanna Ganucheau, and lettered by Steve Wands.
  • Beauties by Marguerite Bennett, Trungles, and Rachel Deering takes readers to a lush fantasy world where the beautiful are beastly and the beasts are beautiful — and true love can be either.

The print edition will feature a cover by Kevin Wada, which you can check out below:

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For more information or to pledge, check out the Kickstarter page.

Check out Sam Beck’s ’11th Daughter’ and ‘Cadmus’

Creator unleashes two fantasy stories worth a look.

Last year I downloaded a comic called Cadmus by Sam Beck, a familiar story adapted from Ovid’s Metamorphoses that Beck brought new life to through his storytelling abilities. The pay-what-you-want digital comic is still available on his site, and now he’s added a new comic, available in both print and digital, called 11th Daughter.

“It’s about a queen that is given a mysterious warning from her estranged brother to protect their ancient kingdom at all costs,” Beck said in an email. “It’s full color, and the cover is printed on French pop paper (Old Green Speckletone). The pages were sketched digitally, then printed onto bristol and inked over. After scanning them they were colored digitally.”

You can order 11th Daughter either in print or digitally from Beck directly.

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