Plus: News on TOON Books, Image Comics, Archie’s new editor-in-chief and more!
Nearly 40 creators have signed on for a class action lawsuit against Action Lab Entertainment and Action Lab president Bryan Seaton. Action Lab has published a long list of titles over the years, including Spencer & Locke, Princeless, Jupiter Jet, Midnight Tiger, Molly Danger and many others.
According to ClassAction.org, the 46-page complaint “contends that although Action Lab promised to print, promote and market creators’ works, report quarterly sales and income numbers, properly maintain social media accounts, and generally make a reasonable effort to sell comics, the company has largely done none of these things and even failed to inform creators when its office shut down ‘without reason.’”
Creators listed in the complaint include David Pepose, Rylend Grant, Jorge Santiago Jr., Jeremy Whitley, Ken Marcus, Tom Rogers and many more. You can read the full legal complaint here.
Continue reading “Comics Lowdown | Creators file class action suit against Action Lab Entertainment”
Plus: Joe Bennett, Ninja Turtles, Substack and more!
Action Lab Entertainment, the publisher of Spencer & Locke, Princeless, Jupiter Jet, Midnight Tiger and Molly Danger, among many other titles, has come under scrutiny on social media by a long list of creators for the terms of their contracts, soliciting comics that are never published, lack of payment to creators and poor communications.
At Women Write About Comics, Claire Napier rounds up a number of these allegations against the publisher, from creators like Jeremy Whitley, John J. Peréz, Tom Rogers and Nick Marino, among others. Napier focuses a good portion of her article on Gordon McLean, writer of Supermom: Expecting Trouble, who went missing in December of 2019 around the time that the first issue of his comic was supposed to come out — but according to sources, the comic was canceled and McLean was never told.
Action Lab President Bryan Seaton spoke with Bleeding Cool in a very brief interview on the subject. He talks about many of the speed bumps the company hit during the COVID crisis, but as folks pointed out on Twitter, many of these issues predate the pandemic. Seaton did note he has set up an email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, that creators can use to contact them directly about any outstanding issues regarding a title.
Continue reading “Comics Lowdown | Action Lab accused of lack of payment and more by their creators”
“His partner was imaginary… but the reckoning is all real.”
David Pepose and Jorge Santiago Jr.’s ‘Spencer & Locke’ will return for a third series … sometime.
The duo and their publisher, Action Lab, have released a teaser image for a new series. No release date has been announced, but it does have a tagline: “His partner was imaginary… but the reckoning is all real.”
Continue reading “Third ‘Spencer & Locke’ series in the works”
The writer of ‘Spencer & Locke’ discusses the upcoming action/romcom miniseries from Action Lab.
Fans of David Pepose and Jorge Santiago Jr.’s two Spencer & Locke miniseries might be surprised to see something very different from Pepose for his sophomore project. Going to the Chapel is one part romcom, one part action heist, with a host of interesting characters, one-liners and twists along the way. And that’s just the first issue.
Pepose teams up with Gavin Guidry and Liz Kramer for this four-issue miniseries, which arrives in comic shops this September. I spoke with Pepose about his approach to the series, its influences, the differences between it and his previous work, and more.
Also, you can meet Pepose at this week’s Comic-Con International at the Action Lab Booth #1737, where they will be selling the first issue with a convention-exclusive cover by MJ Erickson.
Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: David Pepose on ‘Going to the Chapel’”
Rylend Grant and Fábio Alves team up on a new title from Action Lab Entertainment.
“Banjax” is my new favorite word. It’s a verb that, according to Merriam-Webster, means to “damage” or “ruin.” When it’s a noun, it means “A mess or undesirable situation made as a result of incompetence.” Finally, it’s also the title of a new comic from Action Lab Entertainment.
Aberrant writer Rylend Grant has teamed with artist Fábio Alves, colorist Edson Ferreira and letterer HdE for Banjax, “a dark and decidedly wicked superhero noir that pulls no punches, that suffers no fools, that repeatedly gets knocked down, but always gets back up again with a smile,” according to the press release.
Here’s the book’s description:
Continue reading “Hero and his sidekick clash in ‘Banjax’ #1 [Preview]”
Four Elvises and a wedding collide in a new miniseries from Action Lab Entertainment.
What should be Emily Anderson’s best day ever goes off the rails and turns into a hostage situation in Going to the Chapel, a new series by David Pepose (Spencer & Locke) and Gavin Guidry (The Death Defying).
In the upcoming miniseries from Action Lab Entertainment, Emily’s wedding day is going south –and then four Elvis-themed crooks show up, bringing more mayhem to her already crazy day.
“Dating back to my catastrophic turn as best man for my oldest friend’s wedding, Going to the Chapel has been an irreverent passion project long in the making,” Pepose said. “Think Die Hard at a wedding — or Dog Day Afternoon meets The Runaway Bride. With our unique mashup of action, humor, romance and heart — not to mention our sprawling, diverse and downright dysfunctional cast — fans of romcoms and thrillers alike are going to find lots to love about our offbeat and eclectic series.”
The new project follows Pepose’s sequel to Spencer & Locke, which kicks off in April. I interviewed Pepose about the influences behind the series last month.
Check out a preview below:
Continue reading “Pepose + Guidry team for wedding day mayhem in ‘Going to the Chapel’”
‘Powers in Action’ and ‘Alison and Her Rock Awesome Robot’ find at home at the new imprint.
During Comic-Con International in San Diego, Action Lab Entertainment announced a new imprint aimed at kids — Action Lab: Discover. The line will include comics by one of the kings of kid’s superhero comics, Art Baltazar, along with a collection of Fred Chao’s Alison and Her Rock Awesome Robot.
Baltazar is, of course, one half of the amazing duo behind Aw Yeah Comics, Tiny Titans, Superman Family Adventures, Itty Bitty Hellboy and many other titles. His distinctive art style screams “kid friendly,” so having him on board as you launch a new imprint makes a ton of sense. I’m a big fan of Chao’s Johnny Hiro, which came out about 10 years ago now, and was followed by a sequel. He’s been publishing Alison and her Rock Awesome Robot as a webcomic and through Patreon.
You can read Action Lab’s description of each title below. Now ord yet on when they will reach stores.
Continue reading “Action Lab announces new kid’s imprint with titles by Baltazar, Chao”
David Pepose and Jorge Santiago Jr.’s hard-nosed cop and his imaginary friend return this Winter.
One of last year’s pleasant surprises in the comics world was Spencer & Locke, David Pepose and Jorge Santiago Jr.’s re-imagining of Calvin & Hobbes by way of Sin City. Now a Ringo Award-nominated series, Spencer & Locke is getting a sequel that will introduce their take on other comic strip characters. The villain, Roach Riley, may look familiar to fans of Mort Walker’s Beetle Bailey.
“We’ve told fans from the beginning that there was a much larger universe for Spencer & Locke to explore — and we’re excited to expand their world further with their latest adversary, Roach Riley,” Pepose said. “Half The Deer Hunter, half Heath Ledger’s Joker, Roach is only the beginning of Locke’s latest gauntlet, as every classic comic strip from your childhood will be fair game for parody in our action-packed sequel.”
Continue reading “‘Spencer & Locke 2’ takes aim at all the comic strips”
Markisan Naso and Jason Muhr wrap up their time-travel/foodie mash-up with a new miniseries later this year.
Voracious by Markisan Naso and Jason Muhr was an unexpected surprise back in 2016, as the interesting concept — a chef travels back in time to obtain dinosaur meat for his restaurant — turned into an even more interesting story about family, love, alternate dimensions and talking dinosaurs. The first miniseries, published by Action Lab Entertainment, spawned a sequel, and now the creators are turning to Kickstarter to bring a third one to life.
“With ‘Appetite for Destruction,’ Markisan and I finally get to complete Nate and company’s story,” Muhr said in a press release. “‘Destruction’ is our craziest arc yet. Readers have no idea where it’s all heading, and I’m having a blast working on some truly insane visuals. Fair warning: there will be blood!”
Continue reading “‘Voracious’ unleashes an ‘Appetite for Destruction’ on Kickstarter”
It looks like a second miniseries will arrive in 2018.
David Pepose and Jorge Santiago Jr. turned heads with their Sin City/Calvin & Hobbes mash-up Spencer & Locke this year, and it looks like the miniseries from Action Lab Entertainment is getting a sequel:
Continue reading “‘Spencer & Locke’ sequel teased at NYCC”
Ray-Anthony Height, Vito Delsante, Éric Van Elslande and Action Lab Entertainment team up for the teenage superhero’s first ongoing series.
Ray-Anthony Height’s Midnight Tiger is looking to make a comeback at Action Lab Entertainment via an ongoing series, and the creator has recruited Stray writer Vito Delsante and artist Éric Van Elslande to help make it happen — and now they’ve turned to Kickstarter to ensure the young hero fights again.
Continue reading “Help ‘Midnight Tiger’ rise again via Kickstarter”
“What if this imaginary friend wasn’t so benign?”
Debuting in comic shops tomorrow, David Pepose and Jorge Santiago Jr.’s Spencer & Locke imagines a world where Calvin and Hobbes went on to join the police force and take down bad guys. But when Sophie Jenkins — you remember Susie, right? — turns up dead in back alley, well … that’s where the story begins.
Published by Action Labs Entertainment, Spencer & Locke is a four-issue miniseries written by Pepose, whose name comics fans might recognize from his reviews at Newsarama, with art by Santiago (Curse of the Eel), colorist Jasen Smith and letterer Colin Bell.
On the eve of the book’s debut, I spoke with Pepose about the secret origins of the project.
Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: David Pepose on ‘Spencer & Locke,’ gritty crime and imaginary friends”