Daniel Freedman + CROM return for a third volume of ‘Birdking’

The journey to the golden city of Atlas continues this November in the dark fantasy graphic novel.

The Raiders creative team of Daniel Freedman and CROM return to Dark Horse Comics this fall with a third volume of Birdking, their graphic novel series about a teenage girl Bianca and the guardian spirit known only as the “Birdking.”

Together, they spent the previous two volumes trying to reach the city of Atlas, but it looks like only one of them might complete the quest.

“Volume 3 marks a huge turning point for both Bianca and Birdking,” said Freedman, “ and we couldn’t be more excited for readers to experience the next stage of their journey and relish in their self-discoveries and hard-fought triumphs.”

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BOOM! welcomes the darkness in a new horror anthology this summer

‘Hello Darkness’ will include stories about everything from ‘primal fears to modern political horror’ by Garth Ennis, Becky Cloonan, R.L. Stine, Francesco Francavilla, James Tynion IV, Werther Dell’Edera and more.

Back in their very early days, BOOM! Studios released a couple of horror anthologies titled Zombie Tales and Cthulhu Tales, which ran for 12 issues each and featured stories by the likes of Mark Waid, Keith Giffen, Steve Niles, William Messner-Loebs, Joe R. Lansdale, Fabio Moon and many more. Now BOOM! is getting back into the horror anthology business with Hello Darkness, which kicks off this summer.

The title will feature “the darkest stories yet,” promising to cover everything from “primal fears to modern political horrors.” The first six issues will include a new Something Is Killing The Children story by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera.

“My whole careers started writing comic shorts, so it’s very exciting to bring it all around full circle and tell a SIKTC story in that format. The story Werther and I are going to be telling here is one that’s been in the back of my mind for almost five years, and I’m thrilled we finally have the perfect platform to bring that story to readers,” Tynion said.

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DSTLRY launches their digital marketplace

Digital comics bought from the company can now be sold to other collectors, with creators getting a stake of each sale.

When DSTLRY co-founders David Steinberger and Chip Mosher first announced the new publisher, there were three key points that seemed to set them apart from most other comics publishers — a different approach to ownership, where their “founding creators” would have a stake in the company; larger-sized editions that were more akin to the comics you find in France than you would normally see here in the U.S.; and a company-run digital marketplace, where you could buy and sell the digital editions of their comics.

It’s taken them a good year to bring that third point to life, but today DSTLRY launched their digital marketplace. If you’ve bought any of their digital comics in the past, which have only been available for a limited time, then you can now list them on the marketplace and sell them. The new owner receives access to the digital comic, along with the other benefits that DSTLRY offers, like early or exclusive sales of other digital comics, access to web streams (like they did recently with Becky Cloonan and Tula Lotay) and more. According to DSTLRY, creators will receive a royalty from each resale.

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Smash Pages Q&A | Luke Arnold + Chris ‘Doc’ Wyatt on ‘Essentials’

The writing duo discusses their crowdfunding project for the new graphic novel from The Lab Press.

Luke Arnold is an actor and writer best known for his roles as Long John Silver in Black Sails and INXS frontman Michael Hutchence in Never Tear Us Apart. His first novel The Last Smile in Sunder City came out in 2020 as part of the ongoing series The Fetch Phillips Archives.

Chris “Doc” Wyatt is a writer and producer whose work includes independent films like Napoleon Dynamite and Coyote, as well as animated series like Rocket and Groot, Lego Ninjago: Dragons Rising, Ultimate Spider-Man, Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and many more. He’s also written comics for Marvel, Dark Horse, 1First Comics and more.

Together, they are the writing team for Essentials, a new graphic novel coming from the newly formed The Lab Press. The story centers on a mathematician who predicted the end of the world but failed to prevent it. He discovers there are other survivors, but they’re trapped in alternate realities full of zombies, robots, mythical creatures and more.

Each of these alternate realities will be illustrated by a different artist, including Vince Locke, Andrea Mutti, MK Perker,Brendan McCarthy, DaNi and Jason Howard, with colors by Jordie Bellaire, Brad Simpson and Wesley Wong, and lettering by DC Hopkins. Bill Sienkiewicz provides a chilling main cover.  

The graphic novel is currently up on Kickstarter, and has already reached its goal. (Please note that the interview was conducted prior to the project’s launch). I spoke with Arnold and Wyatt about the project, working with seven different artists and what’s “Essential” in this story. My thanks to them both for their time.

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