‘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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Smash Pages Q&A: Takeshi Miyazawa on ‘Mech Cadet Yu’

The artist discusses his latest project with writer Greg Pak, involving giant robots, an interstellar war and the teenager in the middle of it all.

Takeshi Miyazawa has been drawing comics for years now. Some of us first noticed his work in Sidekicks and Love in Tights, others noticed his work when he started working for Marvel, with his runs on Runaways and Mary Jane and Ms. Marvel.

His current project, Mech Cadet Yu, is a book he co-created with writer Greg Pak and is about an interstellar war, an alien invasion and the unlikely teenager who finds himself at the center of this. It’s hard to make a book about giant robots that looks and feels new and dynamic, but Pak and Miyazawa have done just that. In every issue they manage to expand and deepen the world they’ve established in fascinating ways.

Next month the fifth issue of the series, and a collection of the first four issues come out, and Miyazawa answered a few questions about the project.

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Tommaso’s ‘Dry County’ launches in March

New crime series set in the 1990s features a young Gen-Xer looking for his missing girlfriend.

Rich Tommaso, creator of Spy Seal and She Wolf, heads to Miami for a new crime series set in the 1990s.

With the next Spy Seal story, “Flight of the Golden Bells,” now slated for the fall, Tommaso turns to Dry County, which stars “young Gen-Xer Lou Rossi” in a story of love and crime.

“Lou Rossi wants to grow up—he’s finally of legal age to drink, so all he needs now is a steady day job and a serious relationship,” said Tommaso. “He seems to find the latter in Janet Laughton, while out doing his laundry one night. But the drama that comes with his involvement with her turns his new, ordered lifestyle upside down, having to deal with kidnappers, teenage gangsters, threatening letters and Janet’s dangerous ex-boyfriends.”

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Sienkiewicz covers ‘The Walking Dead’ for the comics’ 15th anniversary

First two variant covers feature Rick Grimes and Michonne.

Bill Sienkiewicz, artist on Big Numbers, New Mutants, Elektra:Assassin and many other awesome comics, will provide a series of variant covers for The Walking Dead in honor of the book’s 15th anniversary.

Image and Skybound Entertainment revealed two of the covers, featuring Rick Grimes and Michonne, which will serve as variants for issues #175 and #176. Issue #175 kicks off the “New World Order” storyline.

Check out the covers below:

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Smash Pages Q&A: Pamela Ribon on ‘Slam!’

The novelist and screenwriter discusses her work on ‘Slam! The Next Jam,’ the BOOM! Box series that wraps up next week. Check out exclusive artwork from the final issue!

Pamela Ribon has had a long, successful writing career. She’s the author of novels including Going in Circles and Why Moms Are Weird and the memoir Notes To Boys (And Other Things I Shouldn’t Share in Public). She’s a member of the Disney Animation StoryTrust and has written or co-written a number of films including Moana, Smurfs: The Lost Village, and the upcoming Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It-Ralph 2. In 2016 Variety named her one of “10 Screenwriters to Watch” and she is a 2017 Film Independent Directing Lab Fellow.

Ribon also co-created and writes Slam! The series from BOOM! Studios’ BOOM! Box imprint revolves around roller derby derby and two very different women – Jen and Maisie – who become friends through the sport. The first miniseries featured artwork by Veronica Fish, while the second one, Slam! The Next Jam, features art by Marina Julia and covers by Fish.

It’s a series that spends a great deal of care and attention on how the sport works, on injuries, on depicting bodies and body types properly. More than that, it’s a also a comic that takes advantage of being a comic, playing with the form in a number of small but powerful and dynamic ways that demonstrate that Ribon has a deep understanding of how the medium works and what it is capable of doing. But really it’s a story of people and passion and obsession told with care and a great sense of fun.

If that weren’t enough Ribon wrote the just-released Rick and Morty #32, and has a graphic novel coming out next year, My Boyfriend is a Bear. The second miniseries, Slam! The Next Jam wraps up next week, and BOOM! sent an exclusive look at the issue to accompany my discussion with Ribon on roller derby, relationships and Chris Ware.

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Holiday shopping deals from comiXology, Drawn & Quarterly, Skybound and more

Get Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on comics, merchandise and more.

With the arrival of Black Friday come several opportunities for comic fans looking for that perfect gift or just a good deal. Here’s a rundown of some comic-related things to check out today, over the weekend and on Monday (which is Cyber Monday).

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