Smash Pages Q&A: Alex de Campi aims for the heart with ‘Twisted Romance’

The versatile writer discusses the weekly anthology series, which breaks hearts this month from Image Comics.

Alex de Campi has established a reputation as a versatile writer who seems to move effortless from one genre and one approach to another. Her work has ranged from Smoke and its sequel Ashes to the mobile comic Valentine, from Grindhouse to My Little Pony, and Archie vs. Predator, which is hard to classify for a number of reasons. More recently she’s written books including Mayday, No Mercy, Bankshot, Semiautomagic and Astonisher for a number of companies and worked with a broad range of artists working in a broad range of styles.

To continue her habit of working with many artists in many styles, de Campi’s new big project tackles one genre she hasn’t written – romance. Twisted Romance is a four-issue weekly series coming out this month from Image Comics. Each issue is self-contained with two comics stories and a prose story. I reached out to Alex to find out more about the project.

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Image Comics defies gravity in new comic ‘Skyward’

Joe Henderson and Lee Garbett team up for a new series about a world without gravity, which is set to launch this April.

Gravity is one of those things you take for granted — until it’s gone. In the new Image Comics series Skyward, writer Joe Henderson (showrunner of Fox’s TV adaptation of Lucifer) and artist Lee Garbett (Lucifer, Loki: Agent of Asgard) tell the story of an Earth where gravity is only a fraction of what we experience, and a young girl who stumbles onto a plot to bring it back.

Skyward is my all of my favorite things mashed together,” said Henderson. “It’s a coming-of-age story filled with action and humor, devastation and hope. It explores a world turned upside down, where anyone can leap tall buildings with a single bound — but if you jump too high, you die. And getting to see Lee Garbett bring it to glorious life is a dream come true.”

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Lost Kirby/Kane ‘Prisoner’ comic coming from Titan Comics

An unpublished Prisoner comic by Jack Kirby, Gil Kane and Steve Englehart accompanies a new comic series by Peter Milligan and Colin Lorimer.

Titan Comics announced last fall plans to publish a new comic based on the cult classic TV show The Prisoner, and now they’ve revealed more details about what they have planned for Number 6 next July.

First up is printing a “lost” Prisoner comic by Steve Englehart, Jack Kirby and Gil Kane. This special oversized collectors edition will contain the entire 17-page Kirby strip, the first six pages of which were inked and lettered by Mike Royer, as well as 18 pages of pencils drawn by legendary comic artist Kane. The comic was originally intended to be published by Marvel back in the 1970s; read more about it here.

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Superman puts his pants back on for ‘Action’ #1000

Milestone issue will include new stories by Brian Michael Bendis, Jim Lee, Curt Swan, Marv Wolfman, Paul Dini, Brad Meltzer, John Cassaday, Scott Snyder and more.

The world returns to sanity again in April with the landmark Action Comics #1000, which features a slew of creators telling tales about Superman and, more importantly, the return of his famous red trunks.

Debuting in Action Comics #1 way back in 1938, the red trunks helped Clark Kent’s alter-ego fight for truth, justice and the American way for almost a century — that is, until the launch of the New 52 in 2010. Dc co-publisher Jim Lee redesigned many DC characters at the time, including Superman — and the new, super-hip redesign had no room for outside undies or his classic red boots. The move was controversial, just like any change to the status quo in superhero comics, and eventually spawned petitions from fans to return to the classic look. Now it looks like those voices have finally been heard by DC.

Action Comics #1000 represents a watershed moment in the history of not just comic books, but entertainment, literature and pop culture,” said Lee. “There’s no better way to celebrate Superman’s enduring popularity than to give him a look that combines some new accents with the most iconic feature of his classic design.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Cynthia von Buhler gets magical with Harry Houdini

The comics artist, author, playwright and designer discusses ‘Minky Woodcock: The Girl who Handcuffed Houdini,’ her latest comic series from Hard Case Comics.

Over the course of her career, Cynthia von Buhler has been a comics artist, illustrator, children’s book author, playwright and designer. Von Buhler has shown an affinity for and fascination with the early 20th Century, exploring the period and many real life stories in her various projects over the years. Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini is a new comic series out from Hard Case Comics that she’s writing and drawing. In it, von Buhler introduces a fictional young woman who works for her detective father, still haunted by the death of her mother. She winds up working as Harry Houdini’s assistant. Houdini’s wife wants to keep an eye on him and have an assistant that she can trust. Spiritualists loathe Houdini and how he’s been debunking them. Could there be more to Houdini’s unusual death?

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‘Barrier’ jumps to print on Free Comic Book Day 2018

Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente’s pay-what-you-want digital comic lands at Image as a five-issue, weekly miniseries coming next May.

Diamond Comics Distributors has announced the 12 Gold Sponsor comic book titles for 2018’s Free Comic Book Day, which includes titles from DC, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, IDW and more. While many publishers use the opportunity to kick off events or new series, Image is doing something interesting this year — their FCBD title is Barrier #1, bringing to print Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente’s pay-what-you-want digital comic.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Jack Foster on super villains and ‘Gun’

‘I loved the idea of watching a person who as they get better at what they’re doing, they’re actually getting worse.’

Gun is a superhero comic that doesn’t look or feel quite like any other comic. Jack Foster self-publishes and distributes the comic through his own Reckless Eyeballs Press. It’s a book about superheroes (“capes”) and super villains (“guns”) and told from the point of view of a villain. Or someone trying to be a super villain, at least.

The first story arc involves a group of small time criminals coming into a windfall, and like all great stories of criminals who get one big payday, it all goes very wrong very quickly. The first arc was noir, but the second story arc has a different tone. Picking up a little later, the arc is an over the top exploitation involving a game called Slaughterball. A game that Foster describes as “half Death Race 2000, half Cannonball Run, with a little touch of It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World with super villains.”

The book manages to be what one might expect of a book centered around villains, but it also manages to subvert them at the same time. It’s about characters and conversations. There’s violence, but for the most part the book manages to eschew that. Foster paints the book in watercolors which means that it doesn’t quite look or feel like other comics and the result is something that feels familiar but manages to be surprising, funny and at times, beautiful.

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‘Cyber Force’ reloads in 2018

Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill and Atilio Rojo revive Marc Silvestri’s first Image title.

An Image Comics original returns next year as Marc Silvestri’s Cyber Force reboots in March, courtesy of Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill and Atilio Rojo.

“I’ve always loved Cyber Force,” said Hawkins. “These heroes are more technologically based, and we’re very close to transhumanism as it is! This story has a philosophical slant to it that is very appropriate to the changing times we’re in.”

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‘Black Hammer’ saga continues in ‘Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows’

Artist Max Fiumara joins writer Jeff Lemire on a new miniseries spinning out of the Eisner Award-winning series.

Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s award-winning, best-of-2017 list making and genre-defying Black Hammer returns next year with a new series, but that isn’t the only Black Hammer story to look forward to. Dark Horse has announced another spinoff miniseries, Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows by Lemire, Abe Sapien artist Max Fiumara, colorist Dave Stewart and letterer Nate Piekos

Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows follows the first Black Hammer spinoff, Sherlock Frankenstein & The Legion of Evil, which is out now. The “dual-narrative” story stars Golden Age superhero Doctor Star, an aged crime fighter trying to reconnect with his son, who he hoped would take over his superhero identity.

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