James Robinson + J. Bone reunite for ‘Welcome to the Maynard’

The new series about a magical hotel opens its doors at Dark Horse Comics in November.

James Robinson’s return to comics continues in November, as he and his Saviors collaborator J. Bone check into the Maynard, a magical hotel for with witches and otherworldly creatures. Dark Horse Comics will publish the four-issue miniseries.

Welcome to the Maynard will focus on the hotel’s newest bellhop and amateur detective, as she tries to stop a magical thief. The series will follow Patra, which is also written by Robinson and debuts in August.

It’s a thrill to be reunited with my dear friend J. Bone,” said Robinson. “I love his art and his collaborative spirit, both, so Welcome To The Maynard has been a joy to write. I’m also excited to do a series (akin to Leave It To Chance, back in the day) that can be enjoyed on different levels, by readers young and old.”

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Bloodhunting 3 | The quiet and then the storm

The Smash Pages crew plants a stake into the third and fourth issues of Marvel’s ‘Blood Hunt,’ as well as some of the crossover issues.

Marvel’s Blood Hunt crossover more than halfway over now and heading toward its final issue. Once again, the Smash Pages team — myself, Shane Bailey and Tom Bondurant — has come together to talk about the event, with our third “Bloodhunting” roundtable. You can read our thoughts on the first issue here and the second one here.

In this edition, we talk about Blood Hunt #3 and #4, as well as crossover issues featuring Doctor Strange, Doctor Doom, Moon Knight and more. Please note there are un-polybagged SPOILERS in this discussion related to the story, so only enter if you dare — or if you’ve just been freed from an Asgardian prison, and need to catch up things quickly.

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Caitlin Yarsky’s ‘Living Hell’ debuts from Dark Horse this fall

The new series features a demon who escapes from hell to become a bartender.

While you might know Caitlin Yarsky mainly as an artist, of comics like Black Hammer Reborn, Coyotes, Catwoman and more, that’s about to change. This fall, she’ll write and draw Living Hell, a new series coming from Dark Horse Comics.

The comic will feature a demon named Jerome Jameel, who escapes from Hell to become a bartender on Earth. But his transgressions lead him to become a bailiff for the underworld, hunting down dieties, monsters, ghosts and more.

“Almost every mythology around the world has its own version of an underworld—a land of the dead, the embodiment of despair,” Yarsky said. “Living Hell explores the lengths we’ll go to transcend generational trauma and the prisons of our past. It’s a story about family, the fantasy of a clean slate, and of course, cool monsters.”

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Quick Hits | Counting down to San Diego

Are hotels too expensive during Comic Con? (Yes!) Plus news on the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, DSTLRY goes exclusive, 23rd Street Books and more.

The 55th annual San Diego Comic Con is coming up in two weeks, so expect to see a lot of news between now and then not only on upcoming comics and the like, but also on the convention itself, pop culture trends, its impact on the economy and whatever other angle news outlets can squeeze from the event. I’m sure there are mainstream journalists chomping at the bit to do cosplay round-ups as I type this.

One question that comes up every few years related to the con is, “Will it always be in San Diego?” San Diego is an events city with a huge convention center and a welcoming downtown area, and SDCC means big business for the businesses in the area. But this article by Rob Salkowitz for Forbes notes that the Comic-Con International team is concerned about hotel price gouging in the city during the convention, as hotels are putting fewer rooms into the block offered by CCI every year because they can book them for more on the open market.

“We would never want to leave, but if push came to shove and it became untenable for us, it’s something that we would certainly have to look into,” David Glanzer, Chief Communication and Strategy Officer for Comic-Con International, told Forbes. “As event planners, we’re always contacted by different cities and it would be reckless for us to not at least acknowledge that.”

CCI has a contract with San Diego through 2025, so any changes would have to come after that.

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The Wicked Trinity brings trouble to movie night for Sabrina in this preview of ‘Archie Jumbo Comics’ #352

Check out an exclusive preview of a new story coming in next week’s digest from Archie Comics.

Seeing Sabrina the Teenage Witch in the classic Riverdale setting is always magical, but in this preview of Archie Jumbo Comics Digest #352, her appearance unfortunately comes with some baggage — in the form of her nemesis, Amber Nightstone, and her Wicked Trinity minions.

Fresh off their recent appearance in their own one-shot, Amber, Jade Kazane and Sapphire Gill are looking to make trouble for Sabrina as she attempts to set up a “horror movie fest” for her friends in Riverdale. But I’m sure Sabrina and Salem have some tricks of their own in store for the Wicked Trinity.

The story is by Tania Del Rio, with art by Holly G! and Jim Amash, coloring by Glenn Whitmore and lettering by Jack Morelli, and a cover by Dan Parent.

Check out the preview below:

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Rest in peace, Michael Zulli

The artist of ‘Sandman,’ ‘The Last Temptation’ and ‘Puma Blues’ has passed away at the age of 71.

Michael Zulli, the creator of Puma Blues and artist on Sandman, Alice Cooper: The Last Temptation and many more beautifully drawn comics, has passed away at the age of 71. The news was shared by artist and publisher Stephen Bissette, who published Zulli’s work in several issues of Bissette’s Taboo in the late 1980s/early 1990s.

“Beloved longtime friend, irreplaceable Taboo ally and co-conspirator, and among the greatest animal artists who ever worked in the comics medium anywhere in the world—miss you, Michael Zulli, proud to have walked a few beats in this crazy creative path with you,” Stephen Bissette wrote on Facebook.

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Random House Publishing Group is acquiring BOOM! Studios

The deal is expected to close this summer.

Penguin Random House has announced plans for its Random House Publishing Group divison to acquire BOOM! Studios, the publisher of BRZRKR, Something is Killing the Children, Power Rangers comics and many more titles over the course of its almost 20-year history.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but PRH expects to close the sale this summer.

BOOM! will join the Random House Worlds portfolio of imprints, which includes genre piublisher Del Rey, manga publisher Inklore and more. According to the press release, BOOM! will retain their editorial and publishing independence as they report into Scott Shannon, President of Random House Worlds.

“Over the past several years Random House Worlds has partnered with BOOM! Studios on various projects and had the benefit of seeing first-hand their best-in-class comic publishing. Ross and his team have built a dynamic, imaginative home for a diverse and talented roster of creators. We are thrilled to welcome BOOM! Studios to our house, and now work side-by-side with this imaginative team,” said Shannon. “The acquisition of BOOM! Studios is a major step in Penguin Random House’s expansion of support to the direct comics market and a key part of our commitment to being the best publisher for creators across all categories. We are excited to continue that tradition with BOOM! as part of the Random House Publishing Group.”

As to who will run things on the BOOM! side, that remains to be seen, as founder Ross Richie is leaving and Filip Sablik, their president of publishing, recently left.

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Slugfest | BOOM! announces a second ‘I Heart Skull-Crusher!’ arc

Today’s round-up includes news on SDCC, Power Rangers, Something is Killing the Children, Groo, Venom War and more.

Slugfest is a roundup of cool announcements about projects coming to a shelf near you. With the San Diego Comic Con rapidly approaching, you’ll probably see more of these over the next few weeks. Hit the links for more information.

As a part of their annual “Road to SDCC” announcements, BOOM! Studios has revealed that Josie Campbell and Alessio Zonno’s I Heart Skull-Crusher! will continue in October.

The BOOM! Box series was announced late last year and began in March as a miniseries, but it looks like it has grown into something more.

“Josie Campbell and Alessio Zonno have even more action-packed, hilarious hijinks in store for us,” said BOOM! Studios Editor Elizabeth Brei. “The new arc is funny, chaotic and shockingly touching, just as you’d expect from Trini and the rest of her Screaming Pain Ball teammates! We’re so excited for readers to discover the surprises still to come!”

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Batman battles werewolves in ‘Batman: Full Moon’ this October

Rodney Barnes and Stevan Subic put Batman to the test in a new Black Label miniseries.

Killadelphia writer Rodney Barnes will make his DC debut on a Black Label miniseries featuring Batman and werewolves.

Batman: Full Moon will feature artwork by Stevan Subic, who turned a lot of heads with his work on The Riddler: Year One. The four-issue miniseries will feature “an ancient and supernatural force” that “stalks the streets of Gotham City—a werewolf so powerful it’ll defy Batman’s most trusted resources: his brilliant mind and extensive gadgetry.”

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Dennis Culver + Ramon Bachs will bring ‘Sectaurs’ back to comics at Oni Press

The three-issue series set in the Nacelleverse begins in October.

Oni Press has announced the creative team for Sectaurs, a three-issue miniseries coming this fall that’s part of their Nacelleverse line-up.

Unstoppable Doom Patrol writer Dennis Culver will team with X-Men: Blue artist Ramon Bachs on a new series featuring the characters from the 1980s toy line, which are now owned by the Nacelle Company. It joins Roboforce and Biker Mice from Mars in the shared universe now being published by Oni.

“I’m beyond thrilled to help Nacelle and Oni reinvent Sectaurs for the 21st century,” Culver said. “The Warriors of Symbion are like nothing you’ve ever seen before in comics. It’s Game of Thrones, but with BUGS instead of dragons!”

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Steven S. DeKnight goes all in on comics with two new graphic novel projects

‘Beneath’ will debut from Comixology in August, while ‘Hard Bargain’ from Humanoids kicks off a crowdfunding campaign today.

While Steven S. DeKnight is no stranger to comics, he’s probably best known for his TV work, on shows like Smallville, Daredevil, Spartacus and many others. But that perception could change, as DeKnight has not one but two new graphic novels coming up that were both announced today.

Now up on Kickstarter is Hard Bargain, which features artwork by Leno Carvalho and will be published by Humanoids.

Hard Bargain has been a dream 30 years in the making. An idea that sprang from my love of two-fisted, hard-boiled detective stories and matinee creature-features of days gone by,” said DeKnight. “I’m thrilled to finally have that dream realized via the incredible artwork of Leno Carvalho and the good people at Humanoids.”

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Can’t Wait for Wednesday | A new era of ‘X-Men’ begins this week

Check out what comics and graphic novels are arriving this week by Jed Mackay, Ryan Stegman, Gail Simone, Eddy Barrows, Rainbow Rowell, Cian Tormey, Leah Williams, Caitlin Yarsky, Chip Zdarsky, Rachael Stott, Taigami, Ilias Kyriazis, Maria Sweeney, Amy Chu, Soo Lee and more.

Welcome to Can’t Wait for Wednesday, your guide to what comics are arriving in comic book stores, bookstores and on digital.

This week the X-Men: From the Ashes line officially kicks off, as both Marvel’s Blood Hunt event and DC’s Absolute Power event continue. Amy Chu and Soo Lee return to the world of Carmilla the First Vampire, while Papercutz shares the first of many new graphic novels they have planned from their partnership with Disney.

I’ve pulled out some of the other highlights for this week below, but for the complete list of everything you might find at your local comic shop and on digital this week, you’ll want to check out one or more of the following:

As a reminder, things can change and what you find on the above lists may differ from what’s actually arriving in your local shop. So always check with your comics retailer for the final word on availability.

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