How much ‘old’ does DC Comics need?

How much “old” do you need?

That question was more hypothetical back in the spring, before DC’s “Rebirth” initiative started quantifying it. “Rebirth” was as direct a response to the New 52 as the publisher has ever given, even bringing back specific characters from the old days to help the healing process along. “Rebirth” also up-ended the normal relaunch paradigm, which seeks to streamline a character’s presentation so as to keep what works and discard what doesn’t. By contrast, “Rebirth” took the position that the status quo generally needed fixing, and specifically could use a healthy dose of what had come before.

Regardless of its inelegance, though, the New 52’s streamlining had to come from somewhere. The old regime had been in place for at least 25 years, ever since the great cosmic streamlining of Crisis On Infinite Earths. Back then, the question of “how much old” related to what the character could do without. Today, it seems like the question is what the character needs to have put back.

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Reggie gets the ‘New Riverdale’ treatment in December

Tom DeFalco and Sandy Jarrell bring Archie’s favorite nemesis back to his own comic in “Reggie & Me.”

Following the relaunches of Archie, Jughead, and Betty & Veronica by the likes of Mark Waid, Fiona Staples, Chip Zdarsky, Adam Hughes and others, Archie Comics has announced that everyone’s favorite scamp, Reggie, will get the “new Riverdale” treatment in December.

Tom DeFalco, who wrote the final issue of the traditional Archie title, will write the new series, titled Reggie & Me. He’s joined by artist Sandy Jarrell, whose previous work includes DC Bombshells, Batman ’66 and Meteor Men. Kelly Fitzpatrick and Jack Morelli round out the creative team.

Continue reading “Reggie gets the ‘New Riverdale’ treatment in December”

Teenagers quest for porn in ‘Smutt & Jeff’

Kody Chamberlain, Gavin Guidry, K. Michael Russell and Rob Guillory seek support to publish a new comic about one boy’s mission to find porn. Pre-internet, of course.

It’s a rite of passage that every teenage boy likely went through in the 1980s, before the internet made it so easy — seeing your first porn magazine. Now Kody Chamberlain, Gavin Guidry, K. Michael Russell and Rob Guillory are looking to bring one such teen’s mission to life in Smutt & Jeff. And they’ve turned to Kickstarter to help make it happen for Jeff.

“Jeff is a typical teenaged boy spending the last week of summer vacation stressed about high school,” their website reads. “It’s a very familiar feeling of being a boy unprepared for the journey into a man’s world. After being mocked and ridiculed, Jeff is determined to find and steal the one item he’s told will transform any boy into a real man: His very first porno magazine.”

Check out some of Guillory’s character designs below; the Chew artist will also provide covers:

Character designs by Rob Guillory
Character designs by Rob Guillory

They plan for Smutt & Jeff to be a five-issue series, and they’re offering copies of the issues, cameos in the book and creative workshops to backer. See more on Kickstarter, and check out a preview of the book below:

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Hickman heads to space in ‘Frontier’

Hickman will write and draw a new Image Comics series, due in November, described as “like ‘Star Trek,’ but super depressing.”

Polygon has the scoop on a new title coming from Jonathan Hickman, his first to write and draw, I believe, since 2008’s “Pax Romana.” Andy Kuhn will assist with layouts.

Described as “like ‘Star Trek,’ but super depressing,” the comic will detail how Earth joined a peaceful galactic community — then got kicked out for being too violent. Eventually that galactic government finds itself at war, and agrees to let Earth back in if they’ll serve as cannon fodder during the war. So Earth sends their prisoners, who had been kept on the moon, to battle.

“I just wanted the story to reflect kind of how I feel about society right now,” Hickman told Polygon. “Like, why would we assume expansion is going to work out? I mean, I have hope, but that’s it, any expectation I had as a kid when I first started reading this stuff — that the future, or exploration, or colonization is guaranteed — is nonexistent … I have hope, but the idea that some species would take a long, hard look at humanity and think, ‘Yeah, those guys look awesome, got to have them in our utopian society, immediately’ seems like wishful thinking.”

While it has been some time since Hickman provided interior artwork for a series, it’s actually how he got his start, with the Image Comics miniseries “The Nightly News” in 2007, which he both wrote and drew. Even when he doesn’t draw a book, you can see his graphic design skills at work on covers and backmatter in “Manhattan Projects” and “Secret Warriors,” among many other titles.

“Frontier” kicks off in November.

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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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Christine Larsen unleashes the horde in ‘Orcs #1’

A treasure hunt goes horribly awry and a legendary hero discovers a mysterious island in the first issue of the self-published comic.

A treasure hunt goes horribly awry and a legendary hero discovers a mysterious island in the first issue of the self-published Orcs by Christine Larsen, which is now available on comiXology. Or, if you prefer print, you can buy it from her online.

Larsen has been creating fun comics for a while now, from her work on covers for BOOM!’s various Cartoon Network series to Valentine with Alex De Campi for Thrillbent. Orcs looks pretty wonderful, as you can see for yourself in the preview below.

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According to an interview at Forces of Geek, Larsen has more issues planned. “Currently, I have an additional four written, but I have an outline for a larger arc if I find I feel up to it and it looks like the readership is there,” she told the site. “The current sets of stories are episodic, so anyone can pick them up at any point and read them. I’m saving the bigger arc for if I feel daring, but I also may want to move on to new worlds by then. That’s the nice thing about self publishing, I can keep the future loose and see how the project is received.”

‘King-Cat Comics and Stories’ joins with Alternative Comics

John Porcellino’s long-running and well-regarded series, along with his Spit and a Half publishing imprint, joins with the publishing co-op.

John Porcellino’s long-running and well-regarded King-Cat Comics and Stories series will hopefully find its way into more comic shops, as Porcellino’s Spit and a Half imprint joins Alternative Comics’ publishing co-op.

From the press release:

Alternative Comics is very excited to announce that John Porcellino’s publishing imprint Spit and a Half, and its flagship title King-Cat Comics and Stories are joining our publishing co-op with the 25th anniversary 75th issue of King-Cat. The long-awaited All-Maisie issue features the life story of John’s beloved cat Maisie Kukoc, who lived with him for 15 years. The 48 page black and white digest will be the first solo King-Cat comic book to go out direct to comic shops through Diamond Comic Distributors bearing a barcode. King-Cat did previously appear in split standard comic book-sized editions paired with Joe Chiapetta’s Silly Daddy, some two decades ago; and, collections of King-Cat have long been available to the direct market through Drawn & Quarterly, and La Mano 21. King-Cat #75 will be in comic book shops in April, 2016.

Spit and a Half joins an impressive list of small-press publishers who partner with Alternative Press, including Study Group Comics, Hang Dai Editions and Floating World Comics.

And if you’re used to ordering directly from Porcellino, you can still do that; you can find information on ordering issue #75 on the King-Cat website.

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New ‘Beasts of Burden’ story due this year

The dogs and cat of Burden Hill return this year in a new story by Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer and Jill Thompson.

The dogs and cat of Burden Hill return this year in a new story by Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer and Jill Thompson. The “all-cat” issue will detail where Dymphna, the witch’s familiar who has allied herself with the protectors of Burden Hill, disappears to at night.

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Dymphna

“Dark Horse is mapping out the issue, and if all goes well we’re looking at a Spring release,” Dorkin said on his LiveJournal. “However, we have some blank pages to fill in the back of the comic, and we’re trying to see if anyone has any questions or comments for us to print in a letters page for the issue. Even if we only fill a page, that’s one less ad in the issue and a little something extra to read. Right now we only have one letter. Eep.”

The Eisner Award-winning comic from Dark Horse Comics stars a group of dogs and cats that investigates supernatural events in their town. Beasts of Burden began as a recurring feature in the Dark Horse Book of … anthologies before graduating into its own miniseries. The animal protectors have also teamed up with Hellboy and appeared in Dark Horse Presents.

Update, 2/11: Dark Horse issued a press release on the return of Beasts of Burden, which you can find below with art:

Dorkin, Dyer and Thompson Discover What the Cat Dragged In!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MILWAUKIE, OR—Evan Dorkin (Eltingville Club, Milk and Cheese), Sarah Dyer (The Dark Horse Book of Monsters) and Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother) return to the characters that won them the Eisner Awards for Best Short Story and Best Publication for Teens with a new one-shot comic: Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In!

This standalone adventure is a perfect entry point for readers new to the award-winning series. When curiosity gets the best of Burden Hill’s cats (and one reluctant raccoon), sleeping demons are awakened and black magic is unleashed on the town of Burden Hill.

Multiple award-winning comics creators Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson first introduced these very special investigators in The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings and the other Dark Horse Book of . . . anthologies, for which they won coveted Eisner Awards for Best Short Story and Best Painter.

In 2009, the beasts of Burden Hill received their own miniseries, Animal Rites, which garnered widespread critical acclaim. In 2010, they met up with Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, cementing these unlikely heroes in the pages of Dark Horse history.

The one-shot Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In (MAR160030) is in stores May 4, 2016. Preorder your copy today at your local comic shop!

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‘Sharknife’ creator Corey Lewis returns with bimonthly anthology series

‘Sun Bakery’ marks the first ongoing series from Press Gang.

Press Gang, a new publishing initiative from Floating World Comics and Study Group Comics, has announced its first ongoing series: Sun Bakery, a bimonthly anthology series by Sharknife creator Corey Lewis.

Described as “a one-man Shonen Jump-esque comics anthology,” Sun Bakery will run 48 pages and include “robo space adventure, paranormal skateboarding, breakdancing, and social swordplay.” The first issue will feature three stories: “Dream Skills,” “Arem” and “Bat Rider.” The first issue ships in April. Check out some preview art below:

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