13th Dimension

DEATHSTROKE #1: TONY DANIEL Takes You Behind the Deadly Scenes - at 13th DIMENSION

Our old friend Clay N. Ferno was able to grab some time with Deathstroke‘s new writer and artist, Tony S. Daniel, at NYCC for this MIGHTY Q&AIssue #1 is out 10/22, from DC.

Clay N. Ferno: I’ve been a huge fan of yours since Battle for The Cowl, how did you become one of the rare writer/artists as opposed to just drawing?

Tony S. Daniel: Going back to the ’90s actually, I was doing a creator-owned book called The TenthThat’s where I started getting my desire to start writing. I didn’t set out to write the book to begin with. I was working with Beau Smith as the writer. As the series went on, I wanted to get more and more involved with the story itself. Eventually, I just flew with it. I learned that I really enjoy writing. After that, I wrote a few other series (such) as the creator-owned Image series,Silke, Adrenaline, F-5.

When I came to DC in the early 2000s, 2004, they asked me if I was interested in writing anything. At the time I said “No, I really just want to focus on the art right now,” and it didn’t really come into play until years l later when the opportunity for Battle for the Cowl came in. Then I decided, “Hey, think that’s something I might want to do.”

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EXCLUSIVE! BEHIND THE SCENES WITH MOTORCYCLE CATWOMAN! - at 13th DIMENSION

 

Fan-fave artist Dustin Nguyen and DC Collectibles honcho Jim Fletcher take you into the Gotham City Garage for this week’s GOTHAM TRIBUNE.

When I was at Toy Fair over the winter, I saw a lot of awesome stuff, but as soon as I saw this statue, I stopped dead in my tracks:

 

 

MOTORCYCLE CATWOMAN! A rival to my beloved Chainsaw Wonder Woman! I was so thunderstruck, I declared her the Winner of Toy Fair 2014!

And so I was eager as all heck to get the story behind this epically cool collectible, which comes out in October at the if-you’ve-got-the-means-I-highly-recommend-picking-one-up price of $350. Time pressures being what they are, I was unable to actually conduct the interview with Jim Fletcher, DC Collectibles’ design director, and Dustin Nguyen, one of the artists on Batman Eternal, but our ol’ pal Clay N. Ferno pinch hit for me for this week’s regular GOTHAM TRIBUNEcolumn! (Below you’ll still find my pick for the Batbook of the Week!)

Oh, and check out the fancy concept art by none other than Mr. Nguyen himself!

 

Clay N. Ferno: Where did the idea for ‘Motorcycle Catwoman’ (Gotham City Garage Catwoman) come from? We’ve seen sketches going back to 2009 with the design. How is this coming to statue form?

Dustin Nguyen: I’ve always had an obsession with a character and their vehicle. You have Batman and the Batmobile … Luke and his Landspeeder. It’s cool to have a weapon or vehicle that always leads back to them, kind of like their companion. Even in SilverHawks they had birds that turned into their cars. I always thought that would be cool to have a bird that could turn into a bike and ride it through space, but I was 10, so that was cool back then for me.

Jim Fletcher: Now you’re 11! (Laughs)

DN: I just always thought it would be cool if each character can have a vehicle I could identify with them. This is also just fun to draw, I love machines, motors, things with big tires.

JF: Dustin gave me a poster of this before we moved out to California, maybe 6 years or so ago. I thought at the time these were really cool and we should do something with these. We just kept waiting for a space where we could actually do them and get them out. We pitched them in a yearly meeting of cool things we wanted to do and this finally got greenlit. I presented these a number of times and Geoff Johns saw them and said, “Oh my God, these are really cool.” Luckily, Dustin had done a lot of preliminary work on it. We were able to jump right in.

DN: Once you guys moved out there, it seemed easier to get things going.

JF: I know we had changed the designs a lot too, this is slightly different than what Dustin first presented. We have a couple of other designs in the wings we can’t discuss yet, but a lot of DC women have been associated with bikes which is another thing that’s really cool about this program. Huntress has a bike, Batgirl’s been on a bike, Harley … a lot of them have been riding motorcycles.

DN: Originally they were bicycles! Just kidding, that would have been cool though.

JF: Tricycles! (Laughs)

 

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JC DE LA TORRE’S STAR MAGE: FROM KICKSTARTER TO IDW at 13th DIMENSION

Last week saw the debut of JC De La Torre and Ray Dillon’s Star Mage from IDW. We caught up with JC for a MIGHTY Q&A about his influences, the Kickstarter process and merging a classic war-in-space tale with magic to give us an identifiable teenage hero!

Clay N. Ferno: Thanks for joining us, JC! Care to tell us how you got from Kickstarter to IDW with Star Mage? It seems like the response so far is spectacular!

JC De La Torre: Thanks so much for having me. It was such an interesting process to get to where we are now. The story of Star Mage actually started out as a novella that I was dissatisfied with. It just didn’t feel like it was coming together as I hoped. I happened to be reading an IDW Doctor Who comic and that dim light bulb of mine had a momentary flicker and I realized that Darien’s story belonged in a visual medium — what better place than with comics?

I started doing research and whatnot. I knew I wanted high quality artwork and I can barely manage stick figures — so I needed to hire an artist. I went through several potentials before realizing that if I truly want the best art, I needed to pay for a pro. I found Ray Dillon and he was exactly what I was looking for. I paid for the first issue out of my own pocket but to continue the series we were going to need some help, so we turned to Kickstarter. If our Kickstarter failed, Star Mage would have been DOA. It was thanks to those supporters, my defenders of the realm as I like to call them, we kept the lights on and allowed us to continue to develop the series.

IDW knew of the project thanks to Ray, who had previously done work with them and got some of the artwork of Issue #1 in front of Chris Ryall of IDW. There were a ton of starts and stops in the first year and a half developing Issue #1. There were days where it truly seemed like we’d never finish — but IDW stood by us through and through. When we finished Issue #1 and realized due to his demanding schedule Ray wouldn’t be able to finish the series, they trusted me to find another artist of the same caliber. Franco Cespedes took over and once we got our first three issues in the can, the IDW machine began churning.

Response to Issue #1 has been overwhelming. We’re very close to a sell-out of our initial run and we just had a signing at Heroes’ Haven Comics in Tampa where the line was out the door, the store sold out of their copies and we actually had to dip into our convention stock to be able to support the masses. The reviews have been mostly positive so it appears to really be well liked.

It’s very exciting.

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MIGHTY Q&A: A G.I. JOE #200 EXTRAVAGANZA! - INTERVIEW WITH TIM FINN OF HUB COMICS AT 13TH DIMENSION

Tim Finn is a G.I. Joe expert. He’s also the owner of Hub Comics in Somerville, Mass. He’s also giving away 200 copies of G.I. Joe #200, starting Wednesday, the book’s release date. 

CLAY N. FERNO has the interrogation!

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Clay: What was your first Joe comic?

Tim: Issue #90, which I got a few weeks before heading to summer camp. The cover shows two Joes about to get brainwashed, so I couldn’t not buy it, even though I wasn’t into comics. And the “Next Month” blurb shows a ninja fight, but that issue was off the stands by the time I got back home from camp, and it was two years before I tracked it down.  Those brainwashed Joes are fine, by the way. More or less.

What does Yo Joe Cola taste like? I think R.C. Cola, not The Big Two.

Yeah, RC or a supermarket generic. I always liked that the Joes had their own cola to counterbalance the Dreadnoks loving grape soda so much, even though it makes about as much sense as Delta Force having its own line of jeans.

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UPDATE: Picked up by ROBOT 6 at CBR!


 

 

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HELLBOY WEEK: MIKE MIGNOLA, PART 2 — MEETING YOUR HEROES - AT 13TH DIMENSION

 

Continued…

 

With Dark Horse declaring March 22 Hellboy Day, we decided to bring you HELLBOY WEEK. Today is Part 2 of Clay N. Ferno’s interview with the masterful Mike Mignola.

If you missed Part 1, shame on you. To make amends, it’s right here.

 

Unlettered cover to Hellboy in Hell #6: The Death Card, due out in May.

Unlettered cover to Hellboy in Hell #6: The Death Card, due out in May.

By CLAY N. FERNO

Just curious now, what is it like for you when you meet a Will Eisner? You’re a giant yourself, and you are rubbing shoulders with your heroes. Are you sort of intimidated to meet other artists like that? Or are you all pals? How does it feel for you?

I’m trying to think of guys like that that are still around. It is very strange to me now, that people I’ve known for a very long time have achieved a sort of legend status. I knew them when they weren’t that. It is very cool. And the 16- and 17-year-old version of me — if that kid I was could have ever imagined that I’d be eating lunch with Richard Corbin!

Richard was probably the guy that I worked with in the past few years that I grew up in awe of his stuff. He is one of those guys that never in a million years would I have thought I’d have any contact with that guy, let alone work with him, or go to his house to eat lunch with him. That is possibly the biggest leap for me, as far as being a fan to the intimacy of working with the guy. I can’t think of another case like that.

The weirdness or another one of those, is Bernie Wrightson. I’ve had lunch with Bernie Wrightson, I’ve hung out with Bernie Wrightson. As a kid, I wanted desperately to be Bernie Wrightson! So, even though we haven’t really worked together, the fact that he even knows who I am is pretty amazing. I have been very fortunate to interact with some of my heroes.

Wrightson's handiwork.

Wrightson’s handiwork.

I even met Frazetta once, and he said something very nice. He was one of those guys I didn’t want to meet because I was so in awe of him, he was such a huge influence on me. (But) I heard some not terrific stories about Frank as a guy. Someone had introduced us, Hellboy had just came out, I showed him a copy and he made a nice comment. I just thought, “Holy shit! I just met Frazetta. I’m not gonna push it, or make it a longer conversation.”

But it was very nice and it is a wonderful memory. I have been very fortunate to have met a lot of these guys.

And then you have your peers, who are all absolutely amazing.

And it is weird when your peers are guys like Art Adams, and I knew him as a kid. To me, while I think if him as a phenomenal artist, to me, he will always be the guy who broke into the business around the same time I did. It is very cool to sit back and watch, your contemporaries are guys that are legendary and people are in awe of.

One of my best friends from art school was the co-director of the last Pixar movie, “Brave.” It is wild when you grew up with these guys who grew up to do these things.

Adams print at his website.

Adams print at his website.

As a fan, it makes you feel good that there is a) reverence and b) respect for one another. I know there can be rivalries but besides that, it seems very nice.

It is always nice when there aren’t rivalries. I am very fortunate that my group of close friends, and not a lot of us went into the comics field, but a lot of us went into such different places and we achieved success in completely different ways. I was never going to be Art Adams, we weren’t going up for the same jobs. Steve Purcell (Pixar) went in a completely different direction.

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HELLBOY WEEK: MIKE MIGNOLA TALKS LITERARY AND PULP INFLUENCES - AT 13TH DIMENSION

The first Hellboy collection.

The first Hellboy collection.

Dark Horse has dubbed this Saturday, March 22 as Hellboy Day. If you’re reading this, you’re probably well aware of who Mike Mignola is and how considerable his impact on the comics industry has been. But it’s still an eye-opener to read his official bio:

MIKE MIGNOLA’s fascination with ghosts and monsters began at an early age; reading “Dracula” at age 12 introduced him to Victorian literature and folklore, from which he has never recovered. Starting in 1982 as a bad inker for Marvel Comics, he swiftly evolved into a not-so-bad artist. By the late 1980s, he had begun to develop his own unique graphic style, with mainstream projects like DC’s Cosmic Odyssey and Batman: Gotham by Gaslight. In 1994, he published the first Hellboy series through Dark Horse. As of this writing there are 12 Hellboy graphic novels (with more on the way), several spinoff titles (B.P.R.D., Lobster Johnson, Abe Sapien, and Sir Edward Grey: Witchfinder), prose books, animated films, and two live-action films starring Ron Perlman. Along the way he worked on Francis Ford Coppola’s film “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992), was a production designer for Disney’s “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” (2001), and was the visual consultant to director Guillermo del Toro on “Blade II” (2002), “Hellboy” (2004), and “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” (2008). Mike’s books have earned numerous awards and are published in a great many countries. Mike lives somewhere in Southern California with his wife, daughter, and cat.

In this first installment, Mignola and our Clay N. Ferno jump right in and talk about the literary and pulp influences behind everyone’s favorite demon — such as Conan and Solomon Kane.

By CLAY N. FERNO

Clay N. Ferno: Tell us what sort of literary influences come up in Hellboy.

Mike Mignola: It’s funny, I was doing an interview the other day and trying to pin down the roots of the Hellboy stuff — not comic book roots as much as they are pulp magazine roots.

I was listening to the 8 billionth comment about H.P. Lovecraft and I said “Yeah, that stuff is in there, but I think that the bigger, fundamental structure of the Hellboy stuff came from pulp magazine guys like Robert E. Howard and Manly Wade Wellman. Specifically the idea of this kind of character who kind of wanders around and runs into stuff. Also, the short story format, which, at least in most mainstream comics is not the most common way for doing stories, but after the first miniseries, I went quite a bit to doing short stories, and not just short stories, but short stories that don’t take place in a chronological order.

We saw this with Robert E. Howard doing Conan and Solomon Kane and these kind of characters that kind of wander all over the world and they’ll run a story on a character who is old, and then about when he is young, and it is for other people to cobble them all together into some kind of coherent order. I think that was very much informing the way I did Hellboy.

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MIGHTY Q&A: 13 COINS AT 13TH DIMENSION

 

The screenwriters of stealth video game Hitman: Absolution (Square Enix), Martin Brennan and Michael B. Jackson, team up with Simon Bisley (Biz) to tell a dark, supernatural story in a stand-alone app available on Android devices Friday 2/28. You are already able to buy the comic on iOS. Here’s all about 13 Coins on 13th Dimension! 

 

By CLAY N. FERNO

Clay N. Ferno: Thanks for joining us! Tell me, we’ve been hearing about this graphic novel for some time, why are we getting this delivered in an app?

Martin Brennan: The decision to release 13 Coins as a stand-alone app came after a meeting with former Namco president, Barry O’Neill.  We had one issue of 13 Coins almost completed, and Barry expressed interest in bringing it out through his new venture Corinthian — making it Corinthian’s first comic series. Given Barry’s past experience and his enthusiasm for 13 Coins we knew we had to go with him. Corinthian worked with tech company inlifesize, and animation genius Greg Maguire on bringing the digital comic to life. Greg is a legend, having previously worked on “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azakaban,” “Happy Feet,” “Avatar,” “Terminator,” etc. — the list goes on.

Issue 2

Issue 2

Clearly, there is more to the 13 Coins app than just the comic. We get a soundtrack, in-app purchase bonus material and 3-D parallax covers. Did you want to develop further than what the popular ComiXology app can provide?  

Michael B Jackson: ComiXology is great at what they do — deliver comics in a digital format. We want our app to deepen the entertainment experience. Music, 3D motion, freebies (like wallpaper) and a few more surprises are planned for the app as exclusives.

Promo art

Promo art

I’m lucky enough to be reading this on a Retina tablet. Biz’s art is on a whole new level than what we might be used to from the newsprint days.

MB: Simon is one of those rare artists who captures and expresses emotion exceptionally well in his work. Simon’s drawings touch people. He’s able to see the pain, anger, frustration or joy in a character at that moment in the story and show it to you in his art.

MJ: Exactly, we took the art of one of the best comic artists in the world and enhanced it with technology, and are presenting it on devices that are truly extraordinary. It’s as close as you can come to bringing a character to life right off the page.

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WILL EISNER WEEK - MIKE MIGNOLA INTERVIEW - MIGNOLA ON EISNER: “A SHINING EXAMPLE OF WHERE YOU CAN GO” - AT 13TH DIMENSION

WILL EISNER WEEK: Clay N. Ferno spoke recently with Hellboy creator Mike Mignola on a number of topics (more on that soon). But it’s Eisner’s birthday today so Clay made a point of asking one of comics’ modern masters about one of the all-time greats:

Clay N. Ferno: Do you have a favorite Will Eisner story?

Mike Mignola: You know, I’ve never thought about it. I love Will’s stuff — it would probably be one of The Spirit comics … it all kind of blurs together for me. I know there is a period of The Spirit stuff I like more than other Spirit stuff, but it is hard—I couldn’t specify a story. I have a general love for Will Eisner, but not a specific story in mind. …

Certainly, as an artist that transformed as a guy doing The Spirit to other work like “A Contract With God” and these kind of things, he’s just one of those artists that is a shining example of where you can go if you don’t stand still and retread the same material. “The Building” — about the transformation of a city — it is just genius stuff.

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Will is a guy I always thought was extremely intimidating. I spent a little bit of time with him but I was always afraid to say anything. Because even in his later years, he was someone who was more knowledgeable about what was going on in comics than I was.

Here I was, a guy five or ten years into my career, and Will was more current about what was going on in Europe, the future of where comics would go. Here I was trying not to embarrass myself by saying something stupid. He was a very sweet guy.

I guess you would include Eisner in the group of guys that you would be shocked if people came up to your table and the person didn’t know them. Or you’d want to enlighten them, I suppose.

Sadly, I guess I wouldn’t be shocked. It would be sad. He is one of the guys like Kirby, or Wally Wood that you assume everybody knows them. One of the inspired things about Will was that when he died, he had work at the printers. He was working right up to the end.

One of the last things he did was The Spirit and The EscapistIt is just so good. To be that good, right up to the end. Already, I can tell with my stuff that’s not gonna happen. But yeah, Will is just one of those huge inspiration guys.

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MIGHTY Q&A: STEVE ORLANDO GOES FOR A DEEP DIVE WITH IMAGE’S UNDERTOW AT 13TH DIMENSION

Steve Orlando and Artyom Trakhanov’s Undertow takes a new look at the Atlanteans — and Steve invites us below for a taste of the salty brine before the launch this Wednesday, Feb. 19.

UNDERTOWCOVER

By CLAY N. FERNO

Clay N. Ferno: How long have you been working on this concept?

Steve Orlando: Undertow has been coming together in one way or another for almost four years. From early development as an underwater police procedural, it grew into something more, something less rooted in Dick Wolf story structures and more launched out of Jules Verne adventure. Artyom and I bounced around two years ago with some short stories, and when I told him what I was thinking about for a longer story, he was instantly sold on my strange fish people.

UNDERTOW1

This is a very different world in which the Atlanteans are exploring the world on land as explorers. It does not look like surface humans are using tools yet. And the Atlanteans are as advanced as space explorers. Did I catch that right?

The feral humans actually can use tools, but that’s about as sophisticated as they get. Atlantis, though, is far more advanced. It’s almost like the spark that jumpstarted our evolution maybe sparked somewhere else. Being under water, there’re some things they just don’t have that we have, and some things they have that we wouldn’t think of. It’s maybe not taking place during human development, but maybe in place of it. The humans have developed in a different way. They kept evolving and specializing physically, with different coats and furs for different climates, but they never quite developed higher consciousness.

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CAITY LOTZ on the Stunning Developments on ‘Arrow’ Tonight! (BIG SPOILERS!) - at 13th Dimension

OK, have you watched ARROW tonight? Holeeeeeee … As promised, here’s CAITY LOTZ with her take on everything that happened!

Yesterday, Lotz spoke to our Clay N. Ferno (I spoke to Stephen Amell last week) about her thoughts ahead of tonight’s “Heir to the Demon.” Now, here’s her take on the aftermath … and Sara’s big smooch with Ollie!

Uh, oh Olicity ‘shippers … Team Sara is in the lead!

Caity Lotz as Canary -- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW

Caity Lotz as Canary — Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW

Clay N. Ferno: This season, fans have been debating who Ollie should be with: Sara, Laurel or Felicity. Now we see Sara and Ollie in a passionate embrace. What effect will that have on all of these relationships going into the second half of the season. How will Felicity and Laurel take this?

Caity Lotz: There’s some fun stuff planned with Felicity’s character. I think it is a bit of a transition for Felicity to have Sara being in Ollie’s life and Ollie having “this girl.” It changes the dynamic between Oliver and Sara because they finally have someone that really understands what they’ve been through together. But there is still a lot of external things that make that difficult.

With Laurel, it is a little messed up — you can only imagine how difficult that would be to see that happen. And I understand how she would be not so happy about it.

At the same time, for Oliver and Sara, they have been denied so much happiness in their life and have given up so much for everyone else. They’ve never really been able to have love. I think for them to get this kind of chance, both characters really do deserve it. Even with all the drama it might bring.

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MIGHTY Q&A: Caity Lotz Talks Canary’s Turning Point in Wednesday’s ‘Arrow’ Episode, Heir of the Demon - 13th Dimension

No spoilers, but the actress who plays Sara Lance has a lot to say about her character’s future in anticipation of Wednesday night’s major episode of “Arrow.”

Caity Lotz as Canary in "Heir to the Demon" Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW

Caity Lotz as Canary in “Heir to the Demon” Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW

Last week, we gave you Stephen Amell, this week it’s Caity Lotz, who plays “Arrow’s” version of Black Canary. Tomorrow night’s episode (the last new one for several weeks because of the Olympics) promises a major turning point for the troubled heroine, and Lotz was very candid when talking with our Clay N. Ferno today about Sara’s place in Starling City — and Oliver’s personal life.

But that’s not all! We’ll have a post-mortem with Lotz right after the credits roll on “Heir to the Demon,” so bookmark13thDimension.com and make sure you see what she has to say then. Because you dare not miss it!

Katrina Law as Nyssa al Ghul and Caity Lotz as Canary. Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW

Katrina Law as Nyssa al Ghul and Caity Lotz as Canary. Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW

Clay N. Ferno: There’s a lot of buzz that tomorrow night’s episode will have some major developments for the show. Without giving anything specific away, what can viewers expect?

Caity Lotz: They can expect that Sara’s past is going to come back again. This time it is the real depth of it, the emotional core of her past is coming back. She’s going to have to come to a place where she feels like she has no options. I think it’s really about this big, gray area. It’s not figuring out what to do, and how to handle the situation, there’s a lot of emotions with it.

Another part of the episode, which is really cool, is we get some Lance family flashbacks. We get to see a little bit of the story of what their family was like before all the drama and everything that happened, before all the death. You’ll see the lightness that they had, which is a really cool thing to do, we had fun shooting it. It’s a cool thing to watch on screen.

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MIGHTY Q&A: Tim Gibson Expands Moth City with ‘The Reservoir’

Tim Gibson is back to talk with us about his first Moth City expansion, The Reservoir. While still an amazing use of the digital and tablet comics page, this black-and-white stark Western is as home on the range as it is forward thinking. Meant as an introduction to the Moth City world, this standalone one-shot is coordinated with a ComiXology sale on Wednesday, Feb. 5.

The-Reservoir-Preview-Image-00

By CLAY N. FERNO

Clay N. Ferno: Tim — thanks for joining us again and giving us a preview of your latest. You’ve returned to the frontier for a prequel to Governor McCaw’s Moth City years. What is different about this McCaw?

Tim Gibson: McCaw has been doing some pretty bad things in the Moth City series, I mean really reprehensible. In ‘The Reservoir’ he is a much younger man on the cusp of great things. Life is looking up — he has a new wife, baby on the way, and he and his brother are venturing into the plains of Texas to make their fortune.

McCaw is a messy and complicated guy, and this one-shot explores what makes a man what he is and looks at the events that create (or possibly just reveal) our darker tendencies.

The-Reservoir-Preview-Image-01

Besides the landscape and webcomic format used to tell the story, you’ve chosen to keep this black and white, a change from Moth City. The change seems quite deliberate, care to tell us more?

The art is all full-screen — everything is a splash page from a moment of realization to a murder. It gives some real impact, both to the art and the writing. It just seemed a good fit for a Western, those expansive vistas and small figures in large landscapes. In New Zealand, we have our own Western sub-genre — ‘The Man Alone,’ which McCaw is, emotionally.

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2-BIT COMICS: Waid, Palmiotti and Conner’s Gatecrasher at 13th DIMENSION

We continue to expose the truth! This almighty truth is that there are plenty of neglected comic books and graphic novels hiding in your discount bins and long boxes at your favorite store just begging for attention. This week, Gatecrasher Vol. 1: Ring of Fire, from the sure-fire team of Mark Waid, Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner.

This teenage tale of interdimensional invasion is exactly what I look for in a 2-Bit comic: There are space crews with big guns, angry mentors and broken dates with a hot girlfriend all in the first chapter.

Our hero is college jock Alec Wagner, who by day is swooning over girlfriend Mia. He’s got a bit of the Peter Parker luck, always being called in to fight bug-eyed aliens on his covert team — the Split-Second Squad — just in time to break their dates. Because of his human instincts and his age, he’s routinely given a hard time by his crewmates.

On the other side of the “gate,” the evil Solen Cagliar has stolen an important piece of technology — the Thinktank. When Alec steals it back, he is covered in a liquid computer goo. Will this new goo make Alec more valuable to the team? I think Vol. 2 has the answers!

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Why You MUST READ VALIANT at 13th DIMENSION

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By CLAY N. FERNO

Valiant Comics‘ Must Read Valiant Greatest Hits Volume 1 is out now and the oversized comic is priced at $5.99 to get you into the increasingly popular Valiant Universe for the price of two regular comic books! Superheroes, space travel, top talent and an unflinching editorial eye for quality makes for a rich universe. Are you one of those fans that thinks the X-Men have too many books and The Avengers are cool on the big screen, but Avengers Mansion seems like a Spanx-filled flop house? Come on over to the Valiant side, there’s room for everyone over here and it all makes sense together!

Let us first take a look at the offerings in Greatest Hits Vol. 1. Back in MY day, we called this a 100-Page Giant. We’ll keep it short so you can start working on your Shadowman and Ninjak cosplays by the end of the article.

We start off with Valiant’s Iron-Prince-Out-Of-Water, X-O Manowar #5. The Visigoth from ancient Romania was taken away from the Vine aliens to toil on their farms before escaping and bonding with their most powerful weapon, the X-O Manowar armor. This issue reintroduces Ninjak, kind of like a Ninja Boba Fett. Killer issue!

Quantum and Woody #1 deals with two knucklehead step brothers who step into their late Dad’s  science lab when, of course, a life-altering scientific accident leaves them just as annoying to each other but all the more powerful! Who’s responsible for their Dad’s murder? What’s all this about a goat? For fans of snarky humor but also butt kicking!

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2-BIT COMICS: Harlan Ellison’s “Phoenix Without Ashes” at 13th DIMENSION

In this new segment — 2-Bit Comics — Clay N. Ferno digs deep into back-issue bins and discount trade shelves, refusing to pay more for great comic stories found on discount! First up, Harlan Ellison’s IDW hardcover for “Phoenix Without Ashes.”Sharing his love for great stories found in the quarter bin may prompt you to revisit these books wherever you can find them, in a yellowed longbox or on your tablet!

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By CLAY N. FERNO

The Seventies were a great time for science fiction, though the genius of Harlan Ellison’s stories were often mucked with enough to make him take his name off plenty of projects. A TV version of this graphic novel appeared on Canadian and American stations in 1973 under the new name, “The Starlost.” Audiences were told Ellison’s alter-ego Cordwainer Bird created and wrote the show.

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As a concept for sci-fi and comics, this merges the best of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Lost,” “Doctor Who” and of course a bit of “Star Trek.” All the action starts out in an Amish town, where our main man Devon is accused of being a heretic, speaking out against the Elders, who have lied to the villagers about the will of the Creator.

Devon is driven to the edge of the mountains by an angry mob after revealing the hoax to his beloved Rachel, to whom his love is forbidden as she has been promised to a man named Garth since birth.

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The naturally curious Devon has had questions all his life about where the sky starts and ends, and why the Creator has only given his people 50 square miles of land on which to live.

Devon discovers, by his exile, an escape, in the quite literal form of a hatch that drops him into a most unusual place — the life support system of a very large space ship en route to certain doom into the heart of a nova!

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THE MIGHTY Q&A: Ben McCool - 13th Dimension

 

British comic creator Ben McCool has a string of indie Image Comics books you’d be familiar with from the racks (Pigs, Choker, Memoir) as well as more mainstream titles such as Justice League Unlimited. He also has the honor of being the only comic creator who lives in New York that I’ve done any barhopping with, including a stop at Fenway Park’s Bleacher Bar.

In November, Ben and Valiant Comics released a new type of digital comic combining the best parts of digital native storytelling with 8-bit video games of our youth. I quite literally bought an iPad days later. Here at the Mighty Q &A, Ben tells us about Valiant 8-Bit Adventure: Unity.

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Thanks for joining us, Ben! Writing Valiant 8-Bit Adventure, a prelude to Unity, must have been different for you. Did you work with the artist Donovan Santiago on the pacing and animations?

My pleasure, good sir! And for sure, the Valiant 8-bit Adventure was a break from the norm for me. In the best possible sense, though! It’s also the first project I’ve written for Valiant, and it appeared to go down very well with fans.

Donovan Santiago was brilliant to work with — the guy’s skills are off the charts, especially as he’s producing such unique and imaginative art. My script was put together in a format I’d never really used before, mainly due to the “motion” effects that incorporate two, three, sometimes even four different images within a single (oversized) panel. And Donovan was certainly a big help in me figuring that out, along with our top-notch editor, Josh Johns. But once I’d got the hang of it the transition was pretty straightforward, not least because the story was so much fun!

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MIGHTY Q&A: DARICK ROBERTSON AT 13TH DIMENSION

Artist Darick Robertson of Transmetropolitan, The Boys, and Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker joins the punk rock Occupy Comics crew at Black Mask Studios for his talking-gun tale in Ballistic. This week also sees the deluxe hardcover release of Happy! from Image Comics, a hard-boiled Christmas story about an imaginary horse friend, written by Grant Morrison. Darick joins us today for the Mighty Q&A.

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By CLAY N. FERNO

Clay N. Ferno: Hi Darick! We’re just though with reading Ballistic #3 from you and Adam Egypt Mortimer. As bonus fodder there are some script notes in the back about odd science and weird history. Are you at home working in this hyper-future? Butch and Spider might be related somehow, right?

Darick Robertson: Well, world building is something I’m familiar with, but Spider and Butch wouldn’t really exist together. Transmetropolitan is a future where the world we live in now just kept expanding and expanding, and we built upon and into what exists to maintain an ever-growing population and city life. Butch inhabits a world where it’s utopia by technology. The West as we know it is a crumbled, environmentally destroyed memory and the entire truly surviving civilization is inhabiting a continent born of bio-formed trash and manipulated DNA that rests upon terraformed rock, twice the size of Texas. Where Spider Jerusalem’s Government was ridiculous, it was still a government. Repo City State is run by a cabal of glorified gangsters.

 

 

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MIGHTY Q&A: TIM GIBSON AND MOTH CITY - DEBUT AT 13TH DIMENSION

New Site! New Column! Same Great Comics Coverage!

Really stoked to be writing for these guys! Thanks for checking it out. - Clay

 

 

Tim Gibson’s murder mystery Moth City is a genre-spanning digital comic that draws from the Western, Kung Fu, zombies and historical fiction. The slippery ink line work and muted palette is combined with an instinctual approach to digital-native comics creation, made of hundreds of swipes per issue, animating and exposing sections of the page. The New Zealander, whose tale is based in a place similar to 1930s Hong Kong, joins us today to preview his latest issue.

Clay N. Ferno: Hi, Tim. Moth City returns to ComiXology today. When we last spoke in June, you said you wrote this first as a narrative piece. Issue #6 is bringing all of the story lines to a head. Is the pacing on point to end at issue #8?

Tim Gibson: Yes, the story is definitely ramping up. A lot of the characters are reaching breaking point, having already made some decisions that they can’t come back from. The last few pages of Issue #6 imply that the characters are going to be coming back together again. Last time they were in close proximity, a man got his throat cut. This time there’s a heck of a lot more teetering on the edge. Issues 7 and 8 are going to play that out, and not many characters are going to be happy with the result (evil grin).

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Going through the issues, almost each added a new twist or an entirely new genre to the book. Can we expect genre exploration in the home stretch?

We’ve had mystery and crime/detective, a bit of thriller, some horror, this issue has some Western tones with the showdown on the roof, so yeah, it’s a nice little gumbo. The story dictates a lot of conflict and drama to wrap it all up so the remaining issues are moving towards all-in action. Which is great because previously we’ve only had moments interspersed here and there.

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