Mail Call | End of year free-for-all

Check out some recently released free comics from Cullen Bunn, Chip Zdarsky, Molly Knox Ostertag and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of cool things we’ve received in our mailboxes recently from comics creators, publishers and more. For this end of the year edition, we’re putting the spotlight on free comics that various creators have released over the last few weeks. Hit the links for more information, and check out our Comics Newsletter Directory for more newsletter goodness.

In the 100th issue of his Vicious Shivers newsletter, Cullen Bunn shared a new horror story he made with Federico de Luca and Micah Myers called “The Feast.”

“As we move toward the end of the year, I thought it might be fun to share an all-new 8-page horror comic with the world,” Bunn wrote. “Consider it a gift. Amazing artist Federico de Luca messaged me a few weeks back asking if I had a short script he could work from to try a new art style. I have had the script for ‘The Feast’ in my scripts folder for well over 12 years. It was originally written to be part of a small horror anthology, but that never happened. So, I’m so glad to see Federico’s take on the story. I love the way it turned out! Hmm. There was another story written for that anthology. Maybe I should have that one drawn, too.”

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Young + Strahm’s ‘Twig’ will debut next year

Young teases the new series about a fantastical journey.

Skottie Young and Kyle Strahm will debut a new comic at Image Comics next summer called Twig. A teaser for the comic appeared in the final issue of The Me You Love in the Dark, which came out earlier this month.

Young and Strahm will be joined by colorist Jean-Francois Beaulieu and letterer Nate Piekos, both of whom worked with Young and artist Jorge Corona on The Me You Love in the Dark. The teaser says the comic will be about “a fantastical journey of hope, heartache and the determination to overcome insurmountable odds.”

Here’s the teaser:

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Fábio Moon + Gabriel Bá create an ‘I Hate Fairyland’ comic for Skottie Young

Young released the unannounced comic on Substack today.

When Skottie Young announced he would release new I Hate Fairyland comics via his Substack newsletter earlier this year, he mentioned several creators he was working with on the stories — but he didn’t mention Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá.

But today Young posted a story by the creative team behind Daytripper and Two Brothers, featuring Gert and the gang, as part of his The Unbelievable, Unfortunately Mostly Unreadable and Nearly Unpublishable Untold Tales of I Hate Fairyland series of stories by different creators.

“After a few years away from Gert and the gang, I was starting to miss the energy of I Hate Fairyland and the stories I could tell only in that universe,” Young said in a press release. “I thought it was time to bring it back, but not only continue Gert’s ongoing saga, but also introduce short stories that fill in the many gaps in all the years she’s been in Fairyland. So I decided to reach out to some of my awesome cartoonist pals and invite them to join in on the fun.” 

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Mail Call | Sina Grace returns to write and draw ‘Rockstar and Softboy’

Today’s round-up includes news and announcements from Skottie Young, Ben Templesmith, Molly Knox Ostertag and more.

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

Sina Grace (Ghosted) is writing and drawing a new one-shot, Rockstar and Softboy, that Image Comics will publish next February.

Set in “Hollyweird, CA,” the story involves two roommates, a house party and the “dreaded party animal” who shows up to make a mess of things.

“As a fan of buddy movies like Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion and Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, it only just occurred to me that I can create a story of my very own where two gay besties throw a party that includes werewolves, vampires, zombies, witches and the reviled Party Animal,” said Grace. “Rockstar and Softboy is pure, frenzied, loving, ratchet friendship in a comic book.”

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Young reveals new artist, Substack plans for ‘I Hate Fairyland’

Brett Parson joins Young on the ongoing series from Image Comics, while Substack premium subscribers will receive short stories set in the ‘I Hate Fairyland’ universe.

I Hate Fairyland creator Skottie Young has detailed his future plans for the comic, which he wrote and drew from 2015 to 2018.

Those plans include a new artist, Brett Parson, for the ongoing series, plus a series of short stories by various artists that he plans to post for premium subscribers to his Substack mailing list.

“In 2015 I launched my first creator owned book at Image Comics called I Hate Fairyland,” Young wrote.  “I was nervous that something as wacky and over the top as IHF wasn’t going to find a place with readers but man, was I wrong! Over the next few years, the book sold really well, I received tons of fan art, photos of tattoos and a wild amount of IHF cosplay. I was blown away!”

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Skottie Young will bring back ‘I Hate Fairyland’ in his Substack newsletter

The creator moves his newsletter to a premium model, offering new comics, behind-the-scenes information and more.

Although he wasn’t mentioned in the initial announcement, Skottie Young (Rocket Raccoon, Strange Academy, Middlewest) has announced he’ll move his Substack newsletter to a subscription model and will use it to share new comics content — including new I Hate Fairyland.

Young joins James Tynion IV, Jonathan Hickman, Molly Ostertag and others in using the Substack platform to share and sell new comics content.

“This is no longer just a ‘Newsletter.’ It’s a Creative Platform,” Young said in his newsletter today. “A place to explore new ideas, stories, products to share with you instantly.”

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Spider-Man, Avengers + more feel the impact of ‘The Death of Doctor Strange’

Several tie-in one-shots will accompany the miniseries showcasing the death of Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme.

The upcoming The Death of Doctor Strange miniseries won’t send the Master of the Mystical Arts off into the great beyond quietly. Marvel has announced several tie-ins that show the “major impact” his death has on the rest of Earth — and on the Avengers, Spider-Man, White Fox and Strange Academy in particular.

If you haven’t heard, the Sorcerer Supreme will follow in the footsteps of many other heroes who were killed in the line of battle in what’s turning out to be more than just a miniseries, but an entire event. Jed MacKay and Lee Garbett are the creative team for the main miniseries, which kicks off next month.

Then in October, Marvel will release two specials, featuring the Avengers and Strange Academy. Alex Paknadel and Ryan Bodenheim will team up for The Death of Doctor Strange: Avengers, while Skottie Young and Mike Del Mundo will helm Strange Academy Presents: The Death of Doctor Strange. Then, in November, Jed MacKay and Marcelo Ferreira present The Death of Doctor Strange: Spider-Man, while Alyssa Wong and Andie Tong bring The White Fox into the action.

Find out more about all three titles below.

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Mail Call | The Avengers brace for ‘World War She-Hulk’

Plus: More news and announcements from Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, AfterShock, Top Cow, Skybound and more!

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently that we haven’t already covered. Hit the links for more information.

Marvel is dusting off a classic event title for an upcoming Avengers storyline — “World War She-Hulk,” which references the popular “World War Hulk” story from 2007.

The new storyline will find She-Hulk declared a global menace, so the Winter Guard decides to bring her in.

“When the Russian Winter Guard invade Avengers Mountain to arrest She-Hulk, it sets off a global espionage adventure that takes us from the notorious assassin training academy of the Red Room to an undersea kingdom on the verge of violent revolution,” said writer Jason Aaron. “Along the way, traitors will fall, regimes will crumble and the dark evolution of Jennifer Walters will reach its bloody red crescendo, all as we build toward the epic events of Avengers #50.”

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Mail Call | New release dates for the Milestone revival

Catch up on news and announcements from Dark Horse, Vault Comics, DC, Z2 and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently that we haven’t already covered. Hit the links for more information.

DC Comics has modified their plans for the upcoming Milestone Media relaunch. The three launch titles — Static, Icon and Rocket, and Hardware — will no longer arrive digitally before they come out in print. Instead, they’ll be released in both formats on the same day, as well as on DC Universe Infinite. Both Static and Icon and Rocket will come out later, but Hardware will be published earlier than originally announced. The new dates (and creative teams for each title) are:

  • Static: Season One, written by Vita Ayala, with layouts by CHRISCROSS, finishes by Nikolas Draper-Ivey with covers by Khary Randolph launches in print and digital on June 15.
  • Icon and Rocket: Season One, co-written by Reggie Hudlin and Leon Chills, with art by Doug Braithwaite and covers by Taurin Clarke launches in print and digital on July 27.
  • Hardware: Season One, written by Brandon Thomas, with art by Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz with covers by Mateus Mahanini, launches in print and digital on August 10.
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Mail Call | Fantagraphics 40% off sale, Batman, Pearl Jam and more

Rounding up news from IDW, DC, Image and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we received from publishers in our mailboxes recently. Hit the links for more information.

Fantagraphics is holding a 40% off clearance sale on their website right now, which ends this Saturday. There’s a lot of good stuff to choose from, including volumes of the Mome anthology, Dungeon Quest, some Michael Kupperman books, Roger Langridge’s Fred the Clown and more.

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30 years of changing the world: Celebrating the anniversary of the New Warriors

Hear from writers, artists, editors and fans about the impact ‘New Warriors’ has had on them.

Special thanks to Doug Smith, who contributed additional reporting to this post.

Thirty years ago, comic shops were selling the first issue of a brand new comic book series starring a brand new Marvel Comics superhero team. The New Warriors starred a lineup of mostly forgotten and obscure characters by a creative team who had never launched an ongoing series before. Conventional wisdom at the time said the new series would fail. And yet, improbably, New Warriors not only survived, it thrived. At its peak, it was among the top 25 best-selling comics in North America and the United Kingdom.What was it about this underdog series that defied the odds?

Was it the characters? The book starred supporting characters like Namorita from Sub-Mariner and Marvel Boy from The Thing, and stars of previously cancelled comics like Nova and Speedball. Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief at the time, Tom DeFalco, assembled the team. He also included the abandoned co-star of the animated Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends TV show, Firestar, and a new character co-created with Thor artist Ron Frenz, Night Thrasher.

Was it the creators? Writer Fabian Nicieza inherited these characters and immediately embraced them as his own. The first two years of the book was tightly plotted out and featured sharp dialogue, humor, betrayal, adventure and surprise revelations. Artist Mark Bagley, initially inked by Al Williamson and later by Larry Mahlstedt, injected character-driven storytelling with fun action in every issue. After two years, Bagley was moved to Amazing Spider-Man and replaced with Darick Robertson, who brought his own dynamic and expressive storytelling visuals. Even 30 years later, the series is fondly remembered by fans and comic book professionals, even inspiring some of them to become professionals.

We reached out to a number of comic book writers, artists, retailers and others to hear in their own words what made the New Warriors so special to them. We also reached out to Fabian Nicieza and Mark Bagley, as well as the first editor on the series, Danny Fingeroth, and writer Evan Skolnick, who succeeded Nicieza as writer, to get their own thoughts on their time working on this secret classic.

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Comics Lowdown: Standing behind retailers during the coronavirus

Plus: TCAF canceled, BookExpo postponed and more coronavirus news.

As the threat of the coronavirus continues to spread, and federal, state and local governments take action to try and stop it, “shelter in place” and social distancing orders inevitably harm small businesses, like comics retailers. Many retailers around the country have either closed up for a time or have moved to a mail order/”curbside pickup” system. In his weekly newsletter today, writer Cullen Bunn shared some tips for supprtoing your favorite shop during this time:

…SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL COMIC BOOK SHOP as much as you’re able. 

Running a comic book store can be difficult, even in the best of times. Right now, shops are taking a hit. The absolute last thing I want to see—as a reader, a fan, and a creator—is for comic book stores to disappear. It is vital that we all work together to support comic book stores as much as possible and help them get through the coming weeks. When comic book stores suffer, so does the comic book industry. A lot of stores are offering new services during this time of isolation and social-distancing. Some things you can do to help…

  • Inquiring about curbside pickup.
  • Inquiring about mail order or delivery options. 
  • Purchasing any books that are in your pull box.
  • Purchasing gift cards/gift certificates for upcoming birthdays, events, and holidays. 
  • Following your local comic shop on social media for updates on: curtailed hours of operation, events, special accommodations, and cleaning policy. 
  • Tagging your local comic shop on social media & posting photos of the comics you’ve purchased to read during self-quarantine and social distancing.

You can find a comic shop offering “safe services” during the pandemic by using this map from BOOM! Studios.

Image Comics, who issued a letter asking other publishers to help comics retailers during this crisis, also had Alex Cox, Skottie Young and Nate Piekos create a short comic on how fans can support their local shop:

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