Santa Claus is coming to ‘Dead of Winter’ [Preview]

The second issue of Kyle Starks and Gabo’s horror-comedy miniseries finds our zombie-fighting heroes getting some help from a drunk mall Santa.

I enjoyed the first issue of Dead of Winter, Kyle Starks and Gabo’s horror-comedy miniseries based on the game by Plaid Hat Games. Oni Press has sent out a preview of the second issue, which features our zombie-fighting heroes getting some help from the man in red and white — Santa Claus. Or a drunk mall Santa, to be precise.

You can find the preview and solicit info below. Dead of Winter #2 comes out on Wednesday.

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Archie & friends rock out in ‘The Archies’ #1 [Preview]

Archie, Jughead and the rest of the band hit the road to rock your socks off — and meet other bands.

After a series of successful music-oriented one-shots, Alex Segura and Matt Rosenberg have teamed up with Joe Eisma and Matt Herms for The Archies, an ongoing series featuring Archie Andrews and friends as musicians.

The series will show what happens when Archie, Jughead, Betty & Veronica, and Reggie leave Riverdale as they begin their first tour across the country, where they’ll meet other bands along the way — like CHVRCHES, who will appear in the second issue.

Solicitation text, a preview and cover art for the first issue can be found below.

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Fresh Eyes on ‘Devil Dinosaur’ by Jack Kirby

In celebration of what would have been Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday, Corey Blake journeys into The Valley of Flame.

Fresh Eyes is a column reassessing milestone stories in comic book history from a modern perspective. Do they hold up, and how might they resonate with today’s readers?

Devil and Moon Boy take a rare break in Devil Dinosaur #1 by Jack Kirby and Mike Royer

In the late 1970s, Jack Kirby made a triumphant return to Marvel Comics. Among his mini-line of new ideas and character, there was Devil Dinosaur, a prehistoric adventure series about a mighty red T-Rex and his best friend, an early human named Moon Boy. In celebration of what would have been Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday, I sought out to read the comic series for the first time.

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It’s ‘Evolution,’ Baby: Four writers team up for Skybound’s new horror title

James Asmus, Joseph Keatinge, Christopher Sebela and Joshua Williamson team with artists Joe Infurnari and Jordan Boyd on a story about evolution gone wrong.

Skybound is bringing together six creators — James Asmus, Joseph Keatinge, Christopher Sebela, and Joshua Williamson with artists Joe Infurnari and Jordan Boyd — for their new title, Evolution. Taking place all over the world as humanity starts to rapidly evolve, the series follows three characters who notice the transformation and attempt to fight it.

“For a story as expansive and world-changing as Evolution, we knew we couldn’t tell the story in a normal way so this book includes a murderer’s row of not just one writer, but four writers working together to tell one cohesive story,” said editor Jon Moisan. “This writing team has to be one of the best creative teams ever assembled. Telling the story of a doctor in Philadelphia desperately trying to warn the world, Christopher Sebela has written a frantic race against time. In Rome, James Asmus and Joshua Williamson show us the internal struggle of a nun questioning her faith in the face of the new species. And finally, in Los Angeles, Joseph Keatinge has built a heartrending story of what happens when old relationships are torn to shreds by forces beyond all control. Separately, any one of these stories could anchor their own book but when told together this team has assembled something that has rarely been seen in comics and the results are nothing short of extraordinary.”

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Zatanna heads back to school in ‘Mystik U’

New miniseries by Alisa Kwitney and Mike Norton re-imagines several of DC’s mystical characters as college students.

Everybody’s favorite backwards-talking sorceress is gearing up a return to college in Mystik U, a prestige-format limited series by Alisa Kwitney and Mike Norton that “will reimagine the lives of four of DC’s magic users in spectacular new ways.” It sounds like it could the spiritual successor to Gotham Academy, which recently wrapped up.

Mystik U is about a sheltered show biz kid (Zatanna), a bitter rebel (Sebastian Faust, son of Felix), a split personality (Enchantress), a competitive premed student (new character Pia Morales), and an awkward prodigy (Sargon the Sorceror) all discovering that they have the capacity to perform real magic,” Norton said. “They’re enrolled at a university for the magically gifted, where the world’s most powerful practitioners of magic will mentor their fledgling talents…and try to discover which of them is fated to betray the others and become a powerful force of evil.”

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Craig & Cypress file with ‘The Gravediggers Union’

New Image Comics series will feature “steroid zombies, monster gods, swamp vampires, ghost storms and space monkeys.”

Deadly Class artist Wes Craig and Rodd Racer creator Tobey Cypress are teaming up for a 10-issue horror series, The Gravediggers Union, a new comic “chock-full of steroid zombies, monster gods, swamp vampires, ghost storms and space monkeys.” They’ll be joined by colorist Niko Guardia (The Last Contract, Hit 1957) and letterer/designer Jared Fletcher (Paper Girls).

“With The Gravediggers Union, I tried to create an environmental horror story that mixes EC Comics, H.P. Lovecraft’s horror and a lot of dark humor,” Craig said in a press release. “I’m so proud of what we’re creating, and what Toby, Niko and Jared are doing together is some of the most original looking comics I’ve ever seen.”

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Seeley & Molnar’s ‘Imaginary Fiends’ is coming to get you this November

New six-issue Vertigo series features aliens, murder and the creepy ‘Polly Peachpit.’

Hack/Slash and Nightwing writer Tim Seeley returns to horror for a new miniseries from Vertigo, Imaginary Fiends, which pits a young woman against a “hungry spectral alien” parasite that made her try to kill her best friend. Seeley will be joined by Star Trek artist Steve Molnar on the title.

Imaginary Fiends is a return to horror for me … a chance to tell a story about a broken person and her monster friend,” Seeley said in a press release. “But Fiends is darker, scarier and more fanatical than anything I’ve ever done. Stephen Molnar is providing some amazing artwork, and his Polly Peachpit is one of the creepiest monsters I’ve ever seen. I’m proud to bring this book to Vertigo and work with my friend and editor Molly Mahan—who is, fortunately, as far as I know, not imaginary.”

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Betty and Veronica re-imagined as biker chicks in ‘B&V Vixens’

New series by Jamie Rotante and Eva Cabrera launches in November.

Archie Comics continues its wave of “re-imaginations” of its characters with B&V Vixens, a take on Betty and Veronica as leaders of a biker gang in Riverdale. The idea for the series came from Archie editor Jamie Rotante, who will be joined by artist Eva Cabrera.

“I couldn’t be more honored and excited for the opportunity to not only let pop culture’s two most recognizable BFFs take center stage, but to give them the opportunity to kick a whole lot of ass along the way,” Rotante said to The Hollywood Reporter. “Betty and Veronica aren’t just two young ladies who happen to like the same boy — they’re two hard-working, intelligent and strong women who maintain a friendship despite their differences; consistently defying all expectations to overcome the odds stacked against them. That’s something I really wanted to explore with this series — and not just Betty and Veronica, many of the female Archie Comics characters will get a chance to tell their own unique stories in a way that’s fun and action-packed.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Kim Newman on ‘Anno Dracula 1895: Seven Days in Mayhem’

The prose author discusses his comic book sequel to Anno Dracula, his own comics reading history and much more.

Kim Newman is a beloved and acclaimed cult writer. Comics fans may only know him for his 2015 miniseries Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland, but prose fans know him for his dozens of books which include Professor Moriarty – The Hound of the D’Urbervilles, The Night Mayor, and the Diogenes Club series. Perhaps his best known works are the series Anno Dracula. The 1992 novel is something of a what if – what if Dracula defeated Van Helsing. The resulting novel – and the sequels – mixed real life figures and literary characters in a way that is much more common today than it was when the novel first came out.

The new miniseries from Titan Comics, Anno Dracula 1895: Seven Days in Mayhem, is written by Newman and illustrated by Paul McCaffrey. The comic, which wraps up this week, is a direct sequel to the novel Anno Dracula – and a prequel to the second book in the series Bloody Red Baron, which takes place in World War I. Like the novels this one mixes real and fictional worlds. Newman was kind enough to talk about the miniseries, his novels, and everything from Philip Jose Farmer to possible comics crossovers he’s eager to write.

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