Jeff Lemire signs an exclusive deal with Image Comics

The deal will not impact the Black Hammer comics published by Dark Horse or the content on his Substack newsletter.

Jeff Lemire has signed an exclusive deal with Image Comics, his publisher for projects like Ascender, Descender, Gideon Falls, Primordial and more, for an undisclosed amount of time.

“Having worked with Image on so many projects over the last decade, I’ve come to appreciate the complete creative freedom and support that they’ve provided me,” said Lemire. “I’m excited to make Image the exclusive home for all my projects in the years to come, both solo projects that I will draw myself, and my various collaborations. Bone Orchard and Little Monsters are just the start of what I have planned this year and beyond.”

The deal does come with a couple of asterisks, though — Lemire clarified in his Substack newsletter that it will not impact the Black Hammer line of books he co-created at Dark Horse. “I have an exemption in my Image deal to finish the last few Black Hammer series as planned,” he said.

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Mail Call | Doctor Strange journeys to the ‘Nexus of Nightmares’ in April

Check out news and updates from Marvel, DC, Image, Jeff Lemire, Brian Michael Bendis and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of cool things we’ve received in our mailboxes from comics creators, publishers and more. Hit the links for more information.

Although Doctor Strange might currently be dead in the Marvel Universe, Marvel still has stories to tell about Stephen Strange’s past. April brings not only rain this year, but also Doctor Strange: Nexus of Nightmares, by Marvel veteran Ralph Macchio and artist Ibrahim Mostafa.

The one-shot will feature the Sorcerer Supreme taking on Nightmare and Baron Mordo, as they attempt to use Strange’s own nightmares against him. The one-shot comes out April 20, with a cover by Todd Nauck.

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Jeff Lemire joins the Substack Revolution, will syndicate ‘Fishflies’ through the service

Subscribers will also receive access to new Black Hammer stories.

Jeff Lemire is the latest creator to announce he will move his online newsletter to the Substack premium model, with plans to post comics and more through the service.

As part of his premium service, he plans to begin posting his next big project. Fishflies, through Substack, along with short stories set in the world of Black Hammer.

“I don’t even know what to call it really, ‘newsletter’ seems much too limiting for what I hope to do on this platform,” Lemire wrote in his, er, newsletter. “My intention here is to create something akin to an online studio; a new platform to publish new comics and a meeting place to share all my work in progress with you and also offer lots of exclusive new material. I want to create a direct link between me and my readers. So, this will be a place that I can share each step of my creative process with you and a platform to actually create and publish new comics too.”

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Lemire + Crook break the fourth wall in ‘The Unbelievable Unteens’

The Black Hammer miniseries will debut in August.

Jeff Lemire and Tyler Crook will reunite for another comic set in the Black Hammer universe, which Lemire co-created with artist Dean Ormston. The Unbelievable Unteens is described as a “meta team superhero saga” that will introduce a new superhero team.

The Unbelievable Unteens is a Black Hammer story that I have been working on for a few years and was just waiting for the right time and the right collaborator,” said Lemire. “After doing Colonel Weird with Tyler Crook I knew he would be perfect to bring the creepy and wonderful teenage super hero world of the Unteensto life. This series stands alone but will also tie back into the new Black Hammer: Reborn series in unexpected ways!” 

Black Hammer: Reborn will debut in June and will feature Lucy Weber, the new Black Hammer.

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‘Black Hammer’ returns with a new art team in June

‘Black Hammer: Reborn’ will feature art by Caitlin Yarsky, Dave Stewart, Malachi Ward and Matt Sheean, who will work with writer/co-creator Jeff Lemire.

Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s Black Hammer series will return later this year with a new ongoing series, Black Hammer: Reborn, but Ormston won’t be drawing it.

Instead, artist Caitlin Yarsky will join Lemire for the first four issues of the new series, which picks up 20 years after the events of the previous story arc, Age of Doom. Dave Stewart will color it. Malachi Ward and Matt Sheean will then draw issues #5-8.

The new series will focus on Lucy Weber, who took up her father’s mantle and became the new Black Hammer. But what happened to Ormston? Don’t worry — Lemire revealed in his email newsletter that Ormston is drawing a sister title to Black Hammer: Reborn, which will focus on the character Madame Butterfly. He said it would launch later this year.

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What Are You Reading? Squirrel Girl, Grendel and more!

See what the Smash Pages crew has checked off their “to read” list lately.

Hey, Happy Easter! The Easter Bunny stopped by the blog and brought not only delicious chocolate eggs, but also brought back one of our favorite features — What Are You Reading? Like the title suggests, it’s a casual look at what the Smash Pages crew has been reading lately. So without further ado …

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Black Hammer-verse expands with ‘Skulldigger + Skeleton Boy’

New six-issue series kicks off in December.

With phase one of the Black Hammer story wrapping up with Black Hammer: Age of Doom #12 next month, the obvious question is, what comes next? Dark Horse Comics answered that question about the Jeff lemire/Dean Ormston this weekend at Comic-Con International with the announcement of Skulldigger + Skeleton Boy.

Lemire will team up with artist Tonci Zonjic and letterer Steve Wands on the project, which kicks off in December.

Skulldigger & Skeleton Boy is not only the next book in the Black Hammer Universe, it’s also the first book in the next phase of Black Hammer projects we will be announcing over the coming months,” Lemire told Newsarama. “I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with amazing artists on Black Hammer, and Tonci Zonjic is no exception. His storytelling and artwork in this series is going to blow people away.”

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Comics Lowdown: Eric M. Esquivel fired from ‘Nightwing,’ ‘Border Town’ cancelled

Plus: Free Comics Book Day, George Freeman, Marie Javins and more!

Although it wasn’t yet announced, DC Comics has said Eric M. Esquivel will no longer co-write Nightwing. The news that Esquivel was writing the book was to be revealed today in DC’s January solicitations.

The news follows the cancellation of Border Town, a well-reviewed series Esquivel wrote with artists Ramon Villalobos and Tamra Bonvillain. Both Villalobos and Bonvillain announced on social media they had quit the title after allegations of sexual abuse against Esquivel became public. In a piece titled “X, my experience with my abuser,” toy designer Cynthia Naugle detailed a history of abuse by a co-worker at a comic shop, who has since been identified as Esquivel.

Neither DC Comics nor Vertigo have commented directly on the abuse allegations. Esquivel, who had changed his Twitter account to private following the allegations, has now made it public again and posted several tweets in response. At Book Riot, writer S.W. Sondheimer says she will no longer cover Vertigo titles as a result of their silence on the matter.

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High school is hell in Lemire + Lenox’s ‘Black Hammer: Cthu-Louise’

The ‘Plutona’ creators return for a one-shot this December set in Lemire’s ‘Black Hammer’ comics universe.

The team that brought you Plutona is back, as Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox come together once more to present Black Hammer: Cthu-Louise, set in Lemire’s award-winning comic universe.

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‘Black Hammer’ Library Edition coming this fall

Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s series gets a deluxe edition, due out Oct. 24.

Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s Black Hammer has delivered an interesting take on superheroes, playing off the archetypes of the genre and creating some pretty great characters in the process. The Eisner-nominated series has proven popular enough to warrant several spinoffs, and now Dark Horse has announced Black Hammer Library Edition Volume 1, a deluxe, oversized hardcover collecting Black Hammer #1-13 and other material from the series.

“I couldn’t be prouder of this deluxe library edition,” Lemire said. “I love the world of Black Hammer so much, and I love seeing the stories Dean and I worked so hard to create collected in such a gorgeous volume.”

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‘Black Hammer’ saga continues in ‘Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows’

Artist Max Fiumara joins writer Jeff Lemire on a new miniseries spinning out of the Eisner Award-winning series.

Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s award-winning, best-of-2017 list making and genre-defying Black Hammer returns next year with a new series, but that isn’t the only Black Hammer story to look forward to. Dark Horse has announced another spinoff miniseries, Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows by Lemire, Abe Sapien artist Max Fiumara, colorist Dave Stewart and letterer Nate Piekos

Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows follows the first Black Hammer spinoff, Sherlock Frankenstein & The Legion of Evil, which is out now. The “dual-narrative” story stars Golden Age superhero Doctor Star, an aged crime fighter trying to reconnect with his son, who he hoped would take over his superhero identity.

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‘Black Hammer’ returns in 2018

‘Black Hammer: Age of Doom’ by Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston picks up after the cliffhanger from ‘Black Hammer’ #13.

Golden Gail, Abraham Slam, Barbalien and the rest of the displaced comic characters from Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s excellent Black Hammer comics series will return next year in a new series, Black Hammer: Age of Doom.

“One thing Black Hammer has always done is comment on the history of superhero comics and we live in a world where superhero universes seem to be rebooted, relaunched, and rebirthed every year,” Lemire said in a press release. “It felt like we needed to play around with that idea, but put a Black Hammer spin on it. So, starting in April, Dean, Dave Stewart, Todd Klein, and I will continue the story and the mystery of Black Hammer farm in Black Hammer: Age of Doom! It’s a new series, but everything you love will stay intact and we’ll deliver the next chapter in the story of Golden Gail, Abraham Slam, Barbalien and the rest of the gang.”

The previous series ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, which Ormston said they plan to pick up on in Age of Doom.

Black Hammer ends with a major, game-changing revelation,” Ormston said. “Readers are super keen to find out how our heroes are stuck on the farm and more answers, twists, and turns are coming in Black Hammer: Age of Doom.”

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