comic market

League Podcast Comic Book Picks of The Week for Wed. September 4, 2019

League Podcast Comic Book Picks of The Week for Wed. September 4, 2019

Image Comics, Todd McFarlane and Spawn hit a milestone with Spawn #300 with special art from Todd, Greg Capullo and so many more special guests! Be sure to grab your favorite variant off of the shelf!

Cosmic Treadmill: Call An Ambulance! It's THE GATECRASHERS With ZACHARY MORTENSEN! at FORCES OF GEEK

Zachary Mortensen joins the Cosmic Treadmill today to talk about his future tale, The Gatecrashers, available digitally on his website, TheGatecrashers.com


Grab the first issue or the first volume to take a look at a future where ambulance drivers are heroes that can travel between cities and predicts what a dystopian future based on tech we are developing in real life today!

FOG!: This is an immersive world, how long has The Gatecrashers been in development? How would you describe the world of Palomar City to first time fans?

Zachary Mortensen: I’ve had the world in my mind for many years, but about 4 years ago I decided to officially start writing it all down.

 

Palomar City isn’t a dystopia or a nightmare, it is a very real world that closely resembles any overcrowded mega-city of today like Sao Paolo or Mumbai or Lagos. 

Imagine if the population of New York swells to 35 million people in the same footprint and then something like the Occupy Wall Street protest happens and an already overburdened city hall just gives up and says “you think you can do a better job? It’s yours, the Lower East Side just became an independent city-state.” 

Then another neighborhood says, “Hey we want to be independent too!”

Then another … and another…


This, combined with a decades-old failed urban initiative of traffic gates has created a very real set of neighborhood borders that literally contain and define these new Districts.

[READ MORE AT FORCES OF GEEK]

 

 

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THE PRIVATE EYE #1-7 Gets a Turn on The Cosmic Treadmill

Brian K. Vaughan (Saga, Y: The Last Man, TV’s Lost) and artist Marcos Martin (Amazing Spider-Man, Daredevil) have quietly disrupted the comic book industry with a small crack in the wall.

Beyond the innovative distribution method they have devised with a ‘pay what you want’ donation system at Panel Syndicate site, the story itself is revolutionary. 

‏Within the tablet-friendly landscape format with a DRM-free file formats lies a future tale where nothing is private. The Internet doesn’t exist. The ‘cloud’ has burst and everyone wears a mask. The cops of the future are The Fourth Estate - code word for the press.


You may not know about this sleeper hit, but if you wanted to, you can pay $0 to read it right now.

You’ll quickly find justification for leaving a donation (or not, that’s how they roll). 

[READ MORE AT FORCES OF GEEK]

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COMIXOLOGY ACQUISITION Q & A WITH TIM GIBSON OF MOTH CITY ON THE COSMIC TREADMILL AT FORCES OF GEEK

Moth City (Thrillbent) is one of our favorite and innovative digital comics, so when we heard of the pending merger between ComiXology and Amazon we had questions!

Who better to ask these to than Moth City’s own Tim Gibson?


We get into the nitty gritty of the pinch, swipes, scans, payments and tablet wars with our favorite Kiwi after the jump!




FOG!: Have you ever read a comic on the Kindle app? Kind of atrocious, right?

Tim Gibson: Hah, I’ve only read one comic on my Kindle, and that was Tumor by Joshua Fialkov and Noel Tuazon many years ago. It was a great comic but I haven’t been back to try another comic on that platform.

What’s your initial reaction? Glee, excitement? Disappointment?

Cautious optimism.
  
Do you think creator percentages for something like the ComiXology Submit program will stay the same? How does this affect creator owned projects?

Amazon has always been open about the royalty rates they offer authors, 35% if you sell your work for less than $1.99 or more than $10, and 70% if you sell between $2.99 and $9.99. I believe our royalty rates via ComiXology are locked behind a T&C wall, but they aren’t bad.

There would probably be more comics on Amazon right now taking advantage of that 70% rate if they didn’t also have a strange ‘Delivery Fee’ that cuts into the author’s proceeds for supplying high resolution art at larger file sizes.

I have no idea if ComiXology’s rates will change, but I would like to see our books integrated into Amazon’s store at either rate.

ComiXology seems to be forward thinking and has good customer service (these days). Do you picture a total absorption of the company?

I hope not, and I doubt it. Everything said to date implies that they will keep being the great company they are. Hopefully Amazon just gives them a new audience, and they give Amazon some comic selling tips!

Do you see the iPad comics Apps: iBooks vs. ComiXology going after each other’s throats? At least the competition is healthy, right?  I’d imagine Amazon stops developing it’s various comics properties and shifts all comic attention to the ComiXology app, yeah?

I’m not sure that any independent creators are using iBooks or Amazon in anywhere near the same capacity as they are using ComiXology. But yes, I would hope that Amazon would follow ComiXology’s lead when it comes to technology and systems for comics. I imagine they’ll continue publishing their own stuff through their imprint Jet City Comics.

 

[READ MORE AT FORCES OF GEEK]


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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.

[READ MORE AT 13th DIMENSION]

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KICKSTARTER KORNER: 'Phileas Reid Knows We Are Not Alone' with Scott Fogg

Awoooogah! 
Sound that alarm kids and stop the Word-Presses!  
*Klanging noises *


We’re blowing that Fogg Horn today for our latest Kickstarter Korner to help out our new friend Scott Fogg with his all ages 60’s science family adventure bookeeking toward its campaign goal for December 1st.

Share the story, delight in its majesty, donate what you can but most importantly listen to what Scott has to say about Phileas Reid Knows We Are Not Alone  because he has insights into the future you cannot predict!


Forces of Geek!: Hi Scott! Thanks for joining us for our second Kickstarter Korner. We like to put the focus on some cool comics campaigns that might be ending soon with only a minimal amount of awesome alliteration! First off, tell us who you are and who else is working on Phileas Reid Knows We Are Not Alone? 

Scott Fogg: Thanks so much for having me! I’m Scott Fogg and I’m a writer based out of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Joining me on this project are Marc Thomas, Dean Trippeand Vito Delsante. 

Have you worked with any of these talented gentlemen before? Vito was the inspiration for our very first Kickstarter Korner! And the art is amazing. We saw the first pages today!

That’s really cool, I didn’t know about that. Sounds like we have a lot in common. Vito is really the one responsible for Phileas Reid existing in this form and medium. We met at Heroes Con and I was telling him about this story I was wrestling with. “I’m having trouble finding my narrative voice,” I said. “I know the story and I know how it looks, but I’m struggling with how to tell this story.”

“You can’t force it,” he said simply. “If it’s a visual story, you need to tell it visually. Make it a comic book.” I had originally thought of this story as a graphic novel but since I can’t draw and don’t have the money to pay an artist, I didn’t think it was possible. I was in the middle of my second draft of Phileas Reid: The Prose Novelwhen Vito assured me, “we can make it happen.”

[READ MORE AT FORCES OF GEEK]

 

 

 

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EARTH PRIME TIME: PEACEFUL TOMORROWS WITH SHANE W. SMITH

Shane W. Smith is an Australian independent comics creator with a successful sci-fi series The Lesser Evil under his belt. The sequel books Peaceful Tomorrows Vol. 1 & 2are now available on Amazon. Volume 2 was released just this week. Shane joins Earth Prime Time to tell us about the rich world he has created, with a galaxy at war and corrupt politicians pulling the strings.


DIGBOSTON: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us about The Lesser Evil and Peaceful Tomorrows. Care to tell new readers a bit about the world you’ve created?
SHANE W. SMITH: Thanks for having me here, Clay! Centuries of racial hate have kept a bitter conflict on the verge of engulfing the galaxy for as long as anyone can remember, even though the reasons for the hatred have long since ceased to matter.

Corrupt bureaucrats have been stoking the fires of fear and prejudice to strip their citizens of their rights.

That’s the macro story. The backdrop.

The story in my books, however, tends to focus a little more tightly on individual characters, attempting to navigate the moral pitfalls of a galaxy gripped by terror, and trying to carve out for themselves a place where they feel they belong.

[READ MORE at DIGBOSTON.COM]

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EARTH PRIME TIME: SUMMER OF VALIANT: BLOODSHOT, X-O MANOWAR & UNITY


Before another Summer of Valiant comes screeching to a close, new portals are opening up in the Valiant Universe introducing Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT, Frankenstein: Agent of Shade) to the characters in Bloodshot #0 and November’s Unity. Aric of Dacia (X-O Manowar) faces former brother-in-arms Eternal Warrior in modern day Romania in X-O Manowar #16. The second year of Valiant is just as exciting as the launch, with some of the industry’s top talent.

 
Matt Kindt’s Valiant debut, with Chrisscross on art, in Bloodshot #0 explores the origin of our favorite nanite-covered super soldier. Narrated by the scientist put in charge of throttling back the killer instincts of the nanite-driven soldier to give him a conscience, the story spans several decades of the government-run Bloodshot program. We’re taken through Vietnam, the Reagan assassination, and up to the unfortunate soul chosen for the 1993 Project Rising Spirit experiment.

The Man Who Would Be Bloodshot - Chrisscross Art

The Man Who Would Be Bloodshot - Chrisscross Art

This is the true origin of Bloodshot that you may have been waiting 25 years to read.


Bloodshot #0 - Matt Kindt Variant

As with the previous issues of Bloodshot, we’re treated to some truly horrifying violence and horrors of war. The Vietnam version was in improvement, physically, with self-repair built in, but, like the real soldiers in the war, lines were blurred and unnecessary casualties were par for the course. It was not until the ’90s when the nanites were infused with the memories of dying men, a step closer to garnering a conscience for the killer.

[READ MORE at DIGBOSTON.COM]

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EARTH PRIME TIME: IMAGE, BOOM! AND AMAZON COMIC INDUSTRY NEWS

Image|Boom|Amazon|Comics|2013The comic market hashtag on twitter is really a discussion of the ever-changing landscape of opinions, cancellations, creator-owned titles tying to get off the ground, and musings on ComiXology and other digital formats. Two of the bigger independent companies, Image Comics and Boom! Studios have redesigned their digital presence and commerce leader Amazon steps in with a huge announcement this week, the launch of it’s own Jet City Comics imprint. Earth Prime Time re-introduces you to these websites and shows you what digital offerings they have to offer.

 

Scans and PDFs of comics have been in existence for years now, especially since digital files have been used to produce the books. Before the age of iPads/Kindles/smartphones, reading digital comic meant reading a poorly formatted .CBR/.CBZ archive file on your computer monitor. Likely, these files were scanned in by pirates or those wishing to give access to out of print books, and hosting the files on torrent sites. Our world has changed, and with it the comic market.

ComiXology offers a Guided View that animates panel to panel on your computer or your device, as well as the traditional full page layout. Amazon offers a similar experience to some of it’s graphic novel selections for reading on your computer or Kindle Fire, but the experience is not as great, but serviceable. After watching Man of Steel, I caught up with Mark Waid’s Superman: Birthright as the cheapest digital option on the Kindle app for iPhone and Mac. Not bad, but not great.

Though more expensive, ComiXology would have offered a better experience for my devices.

I do not have a color Kindle. Comics are also available on the Apple iBooks store, and are locked into the Mac ecosystem, but the store does provide an option for publishers. iBooks expands to the Mac from being tablet or phone exclusive with the next version of OS X, Mavericks.

Satellite Sam - Howard Chaykin Art

Satellite Sam - Howard Chaykin Art | Image Comics

IMAGE COMICS / imagecomics.com
Last week at Image Expo 2013, the publisher revealed a new website and web store for both it’s current and expanding back issue catalog. Image recently tapped Ron Richards, formerly of the comic book podcast iFanboy, as the Director of Business Development. Richards gave a great interview to Comic Book Resources last week that goes into Image Comics’ view on piracy and the digital comic market.

The creator owned and creator driven publisher has opened up a direct to the consumer store, at full cover price on Wednesdays new releases available in a variety of formats, with no copy protection.

.PDF, ePUB, .CBZ, and .CBR are all available for the taking when the book comes out. Image Comics even provides you with the resources to read your books. There is no restriction on the files, so you own these comics just like you are comforted by your collection in a longbox. Save ‘em, back ‘em up, let a friend borrow. Yours to keep. By not restricting the files or buying into a particular digital file ecosystem, Image has once again become an industry pioneer.

[READ MORE at DIGBOSTON.COM]

EARTH PRIME TIME: MOTH CITY INTERVIEW WITH TIM GIBSON

Moth City Season 2 - Tim Gibson

Tim Gibson, a New Zealand based artist and writer is taking full advantage of genre, digital comics on devices and innovating how a reader participates in the comic reading experience with his debut graphic novel Moth City. Mainstream and back catalogs of comics have been available on computers and other devices via ComiXology since 2009. Webcomics themselves are nearly 30 years old. Gibson is transforming the page and webpage with panel layers and acting to give a more full reading experience. Moth City #3 is available today on ComiXology. We talk with Tim about process and the importance of word of mouth support for independent comics.

DIGBOSTON: Tim, thanks so much for taking the time today to tell us about Moth City! We’re here to talk about comics, mind telling the fans out there some of the projects you’ve worked on in the past? Your name probably scrolled by them at some point.

TIM GIBSON: Moth City is actually my debut comic, I’ve mainly worked as an illustrator and concept designer in the Film and TV industry. The closet I’ve come to working in comics before this was being a designer on The Adventures of Tintin film and some coloring work on The Red Star (Image Comics) when I was working at Weta Workshop (Lord the of Rings Trilogy, The Hobbit, King Kong, Avatar, District 9).

How long has this idea been growing? Are all art projects eligible for funding in New Zealand?

  The idea of an entire island under the rule of one damaged man has been with me for a while. There is just something about the isolation of an island that makes bad stuff happening so much worse. It’s been with me for many years, but it was really the Creative New Zealand grant that enabled me to dedicate myself the massive amount kind of time needed to translate ideas into comics.

Completing a graphic novel has got to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

There’s so much work when it’s a solo venture, and the things you can’t do (copy editing, websites etc.) you have to convince talented friends/family to help for the lowest wages (i.e. nil) that they’ve ever worked for. 

Moth City - Story and art by Tim Gibson

 

The funding is really the only reason that Moth City exists in the way that it does. It’s not easy funding to get, there’s a lot of competition for it.

You put forth the strongest case possible, because you’re competing with published authors, people with track records and whole institutions who look to Arts Funding to do their work.

It’s probably safe to say that this book takes place in an alternate history, around the 1930s, on an island in China. There’s always been cowboys and rich tycoons wearing cowboy hats around the world, such as your Governor McCaw. He’s there to weaponize the Chinese army for profit. What else can you tell us about the city?

  The island of Moth City shares a lot of features with Hong Kong; it has a highly condensed city center, a towering peak for the elite and scattered fishing villages and docks. There are influences from both Hong Kong’s history, as well as Singapore’s. 

New Zealanders, as (still) a part of the British Empire are obsessed with colonization and imperialism. McCaw’s place at the head of his little empire is a part of that.

The populace certainly doesn’t want him there, but they were effectively sold to him as indentured labour along with the island itself.

Moth City - Story and art by Tim Gibson

This isn’t strictly a military or political thriller set in the past, we’re also dealing with murder set in on a noir backdrop. Do the multiple genres come from you trying to build this world from the ground up?

I think there’s a genre-freedom with indie graphic novels that you don’t get with most mainstream continuity work. There’s this great history of genre work in comics, obviously Wertham and the Comic Code did a lot to hamper that diversity, but looking around at great modern titles like Walking Dead, Saga, Fatale or Skullkickers you can see a strong resurgence. I think it’s what we need if we’re ever going to entice new readers into comic book shops. I didn’t plan it, but the four seasons of Moth City break down into genres surprisingly cleanly.

Season One is largely political thriller and mystery, Two moves into detective and noir, Three has some horror and kung fu and Four is balls-to-the-wall action and conflict.

Moth City - Story and art by Tim Gibson

The artwork is amazing, from the character designs to the architecture and coloring. I compare the art to my friends as that ‘inky’ line, such as your conteporaries Paul Pope and Ming Doyle. I also see the Mazzucchelli influence a bit, please take these as compliments — I’d hate to have you walk away from this interview at the beginning! The book is unique in that way, especially with you being the writer and the artist. Where do you start with the artwork, are you storyboarding the comic as you go?

Oh that’s very generous of you to say so, I certainly don’t mind being included in such fine company. I feel like I’m still finding my feet with inking – most of my illustration work is full color painting where the whole goal is to kill ‘outlines,’ not showcase them. I had to spend a long time, and produce a lot of test art and pages, to find that ‘voice’ when it comes to the inks and the colors.

This being my first comic I went about it all in an odd way. I actually wrote the whole thing as a straight narrative piece, like a novel. No page breaks, no panels.

It meant I could easily give it to people for story feedback and they could respond readily without having to learn to read a new format. When I was happy with that, I went through and picked my page breaks and then figured what I could fit into panels.

Of course, with the way my digital formatting works, I often do one and a half pages of illustration to make up one page of comic.

What makes Moth City so incredible, and the reason I wanted to talk to you was the way you are formatting the book digitally. You are using ComiXology to its fullest potential by animating transitions, pacing, dialogue and more. Much the way a director or editor can cut a film, you are curating the way we see the book. Panel transitions are ‘faux’ animated, layers are revealed in Moth City. Could you tell this story on a 9 panel printed page?

Yes and no. Yes in that I create a ‘print page’ of each digital page sequence. I make a decision on the optimal static version of that scene or sequence. I might break a panel that has two digital states into two smaller, static, panels side by side. Or, I might find that one state can carry the story. What the digital form gives you as a creator is more control of the timing of events, like you point out, it gives you the added control of a film editor, and I would also add actor. So much is conveyed in film with a lingering look, or a character who smiles, and within that same shot you see their demeanor crack and show their inner turmoil for a split second.

To tell that in print comics, you either need to use a lot of ‘voice over’ type, or a lot of panels.

Digital gives us that opportunity. Of course, I still have to draw all those extra moments.

Many, including Mark Waid, whom I respect for his Thrillbent digital comics experimentation are praising your innovation in the digital comics space. What more can you tell us about your motivations? I find your approach to be not only unique but innovative in an instinctual way. There’s some programming involved, too, right?

Moth City is the world’s most elaborate, time-intensive Power Point slide show.

My Web guys did some amazing work with mothcity.com in streamlining what is essentially a slide show of more than a thousand images, but you can read Moth City in a PDF and it works the same way.

Moth City - Tim Gibson Cover for Issue #3 (Season 02, part 1 of 2)

 

The main motivation for doing Moth City as a digital comic was an honest analysis of my chances as a debut creator, with no comic credits, getting a publishing deal with someone like Image, IDW, Dark Horse or Oni without bringing an audience to the table. I felt I had to earn a print run.

Once I made that decision I spent a lot of time looking at what I felt was broken in the presentation of long-form webcomics, and started to explore what I could do with the digital medium. I did a lot of research. A lot. Some of my experiments were happening at the same time as Yves “Balak” Bigerel, Dan Goldman and then Thrillbent’s.

I was borrowing stuff from everywhere and anywhere.

Moth City not only defies genre and moves us away from caped superheroes in the comic book medium, but does so in such an intuitive and familiar way, it outshines panel-to-panel digital comics and makes them look not fully developed comparison.

Thanks, I attribute that to our ability as readers to understand genres and tropes which give creators a certain shorthand when we create stories.

It feels familiar because it is, but where we go once you’re comfortable is a different story.

Issue 3 - or Season 2, part 1 is at the ComiXology store today. The price of entry for all three issues is almost the price of one regular priced comic. What can we tell people to go get all three today?

Oh geez… It’s awesome? It’s awesome and affordable? It’s awesome and affordable and I need a new pair of shoes?

Moth City already twisted my head around and shocked me in different ways at the ends of issues #2 and #3. Do you like to end on cliffhangers? If so, you’re really pushing this to the top of my recommended comics of the year.

Yeah, I’m really happy with the twists and turns in Moth City. The world is filled with great endings, what I’ve tried to do, and I think it works because I have this 8 issue arc all mapped out, is make sure those endings have an impact on the following issues.

There’s nothing worse than being left on the edge of your seat, only to come back next time and that problem/drama/twist is resolved in moments as though it never really mattered.

Of your influences, who in your opinion has changed the way we think of the comic book printed page?

Alex de Campi, Dan Goldman, Yves “Balak” Bigerel, Mark Waid and the whole Thrillbent.com family, Scott McCloud, Kurt Christenson and Reilly Brown and the entire world of Webcomics.

Where can we find you and Moth City online?

If you want to read Moth City in nice, shiny HD then you can grab it from Comixology, and you can read it online and check out videos and blog posts over at my site mothcity.com as well as its second home at thrillbent.com.

[READ MORE at DIGBOSTON.COM]

TRIPLE SHOT DIGITAL: Comixology Submit Presents THE ACCELERATORS #1, SECUNDUS #1, HELL’S BREW at FORCES OF GEEK

This week at our ongoing coverage of creator-owned digital comics reviews at Comixology Submit we time travel for gladiator battles and hot rod desert races.

The leader in the digital comics space opened up the platform to indie creators back in March of this year.

Writers and artists now have the chance to publish comics or graphic novels on the browser, tablet or phone using the Guided View technology. Comixology curates the submissions and soon the comic is put into panel by panel production for the viewer. The comics appear right on the digital store alongside all of the major publisher’s books.


The Accelerators #1
Writer: R.F.I. Porto
Artist: Gavin P. Smith 
Cover: Walt Flanagan
Price: $2.99
Page Count: 29 Pages
Imprint: Blue Juice Comics
Digital Release Date: 5/22/13
Age Rating: 15+ Only
BUY IT HERE

Time crimes! The story starts out in the future in a gladiator arena, good and bad guys throughout history are pitted against each other for dominance. Stormtrooper vs. Caveman, The Mayan vs. The Professor.

We then cut to a doctor being chased by a soldier through time and pick up a smart teenager along the way.

The time travelers are using a device shaped like a donut to travel through time.

By the end, the chase has led our heroes back to the arena, surely to face combat in the Games.

Fun story here, I’m a sucker for time travel stories and superhero battles like Deathmatch andAvengers Arena. Looking forward to issue #2.


Secundus #1
Written and drawn by: Mike Tomas
Price: $2.99
Page Count: 32 Pages
Digital Release Date: 5/22/13
Age Rating: 15+ Only
BUY IT HERE

Secundus is the story of a brave warrior in Roman times, also set in a battle arena.

He always wins his battles, and he got his name by always fighting two at a time.

After winning his last battle and gaining freedom, he’s challenged by a magician who conjures up a creature to aid him in his battle against the mighty Secundus “Secundus fights two”! 

I loved this mostly black and white story, at once a parable and classic story set in ancient time.

A very quick read but a story that makes you think!


Hell’s Brew #1
Story & Art: Michael Liggett
More info: TBA
Imprint: Forgotten Dialect Publishing
BUY IT HERE

This book is drawn like underground comics of the 60s, and is also set in an alternate history 1968. In this land, muscle cars, or ‘firebugs’ are king, and this is the story of infamous racers The Brothers Garcia.

There’s a fun car chase, an element of a murder mystery and some romance in the first issue. I’m really attracted to the art in this book, with a minimal color palette and sometimes awkward but not bad storytelling.

Overall, it works and I enjoyed this hot rod tale.
[READ MORE at FORCES OF GEEK]

TRIPLE SHOT DIGITAL: Comixology Submit Presents MOTH CITY, ULTRASYLVANIA & THE RAPTOR at FORCES OF GEEK

Look at this cool icon!, thanks Stefan!
The leader in the digital comics space opened up the platform to indie creators back in March. Writers and artists now have the chance to publish comics or graphic novels on the browser, tablet or phone using the Guided View technology. Comixology curates the submissions and soon the comic is put into panel by panel production for the viewer.

The comics appear right on the digital store alongside all of the major publisher’s books.

Here are three Comixology Submit titles on the store now worth checking out. 

Moth City
Story & Art: Tim Gibson
Price: $.99
Page Count: 168 Pages
Digital Release Date: 04/24/2013
Age Rating: 15+ Only
Buy it HERE

Moth City truly takes advantage of the digital medium, in the way that Mark Waid has been talking about with Thrillbent for the past year.

Most notable about this book is the stunning art, and page transitions, using layers as a storytelling device.

An American becomes a Chinese crime lord in terrible dealings with the military for canisters of chemical weapons.

Amazing art for fans of Paul Pope’s work. Highly recommended.

Ultrasylvania Vol.1
Written By: Brian Schirmer
Art By: Various
Price: $9.99
Page Count: 92 Pages
Digital Release Date: 05/15/2013
Age Rating: 15+ Only
Buy it HERE


I naturally gravitated to this vampire book on title alone, and was delighted to find a fully realized alternate fictional history where both King Vlad Dracula and King Victor Frankenstein were rulers of their own countries.

This was a fun read, for fans of classic horror.

I quite enjoyed the twist on it, and the war between the two countries.

The art was ‘sourced’ by students at The Academy of Art University. Great work from all of the students and a compelling story.

The Raptor #1
Story & Art: Blair Shedd
Price: $1.99
Page Count: 36 Pages
Digital Release Date: 05/15/2013
Age Rating: 12+ Only
Buy it HERE


Kubert School Graduate Blair Shedd (Doctor Who) unleashes a superhero and cop story with The Raptor.

His cool looking and wise cracking hero looks a bit like Shadowhawk. The story is pretty standard street level superhero fare but that’s not a knock on the book. Great action and cool art makes for a solid superhero read.

No origin story yet for The Raptor, as they are focusing on the murder investigation.

A solid offering, even if the art does outshine the story a bit.
[READ MORE at FORCES OF GEEK

EARTH PRIME TIME: GAIL SIMONE FIRED FROM BATGIRL

Batgirl #5 - Ardian SyafSomething’s amiss in Gotham and the Bat-Family is suffering a huge loss. Sure, some of us have been dumped by text messages or have accidentally posted “I Quit” status updates on our companies’ Facebook page, thinking it was our own. We’ve never been fired for being a role model over e-mail. Last Wednesday, our holiest of comic book days,Gail Simone was fired from DC Comics. What forensic evidence is left behind from this crime against comics? Barbara Gordon as Batgirl and Oracle act as role models to both young women with able bodies and with challenged bodies. Gail stands out as one of DC’s lone female creators in an industry dominated by men. Karen Berger leaves DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint after 20 years early next year. Everyone is baffled.

The comic industry rolls on, churning out the Bat-Family and all the Spider-Man books a month that are the backbone to the thing. Sure, people get fired, creative teams change, books and whole universes get rebooted. Like, constantly. So, why all the drama and shout outs on Twitter andTumblr this week? Because Gail Simone is amazing.

Many think this decision is unfair and we were all caught by surprise. Who are we to comment on the small speck of paint on Warner’s intellectual property canvas that we were staring at? We’re comic fans, dammit. It’s kind of our thing.

We wanted to eek out at least another year of issues with Gail at the helm. She had us going rooting for bad guys with her Secret Six run (Secret Six was a pre-New 52 team book of villains starring Dark Knight Rises taskmaster Bane alongside Deadshot, our favorite CatmanRag Doll, and more). Another team book Simone directed was Birds of Prey with Barbara Gordon as a paralyzed and empowered OracleBlack Canary and The Huntress.

[READ MORE at DIGBOSTON.com]

EARTH PRIME TIME: SUMMER OF VALIANT – X-O MANOWAR

http://digboston.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/XO_MAN_DOUG_BRAITHWAITE1.jpg

We continue our coverage of independent publisher Valiant Comics relaunching and rejuvenating it’s product line with another ’90s favorite superhero X-O Manowar for the last August installment of the “Summer of Valiant“. In issue 4 on stands today, a Visigoth years away from his time and encapsulated by an alien armor is thrust into modern day Italy!

X-O Manowar was the first book to be printed under the banner of the Valiant Universe in 2012. The update is written by New York Times-bestselling author Robert Venditti (The Surrogates) and drawn by Cary Nord (Conan). The book shipped with a creepy QR voice variant cover in May and stoked the fires for an upcoming relaunch of Archer & Armstrong, Harbinger, Bloodshot and coming soon in issue 5 is the return of Ninjak.

EARTH PRIME TIME: SUMMER OF VALIANT – X-O MANOWAR by clay-fernald

[READ MORE at DIGBOSTON.com]

EARTH PRIME TIME: SUMMER OF VALIANT - ARCHER & ARMSTRONG

Archer and Armstrong by Mico SuayanValiant Comics return to the shelves this summer with the launch of four great action books, with more on schedule for the fall. Returning to the industry with a renewed vigor and beloved strong characters, the company wants to fill your summer with the fun kind of summer reading. The relaunch, retelling and rebooting the stories of the likes of Bloodshot, X-O Manowar along with Fred Van Lente’s take on Archer & Armstrong close out your “Summer of Valiant”.

Let’s talk comic book history to introduce you to mainstays of the Valiant Universe, Archer & Armstrong. The company was originally founded in 1989 by former Marvel Editor-In Chief Jim Shooter. By 1992, the first versions of the books mentioned previously were launched. Issues numbered at #0 provided origin stories. Shooter paced the stories in real time and comic fans enjoyed a new interconnected universe that was brand new to fans.

Though not causing as big of a stir as The Image Revolution, The Valiant Universe was popular among fans and critics in the early nineties.

[READ MORE at DIGBOSTON.COM]

EARTH PRIME TIME - ARCHER & ARMSTRONG by clay-fernald

YESSS!

EARTH PRIME TIME: THE MIGHTY TITAN COMIC KICKS AT CANCER


The Mighty Titan - art by Jerry Ordway
Kickstarter is getting loads of projects off the ground—from the OUYA to Amanda Palmer—the fundraising platform provides a diverse spectrum of ventures. Joe Martino is heading the first Earth Prime Time endorsed Kickstarter for comics. The Mighty Titan is the story of a superhero from a two-time cancer survivor and Dad. We talk to our hero Joe in a week where the world can use a powerful example of hope from the men and women in capes.

Thanks for taking the time, Joe!

 We met at our party at Boston Comic Con this year and you signed my Shadowflame book. Thanks for that! Did you have a good time at theLeague party?
I had a great time at the party. Boston Comic Con was a blast and I can’t wait until next year! I felt very welcome and it was really fun. If all goes well, The Mighty Titan #1 will have it’s real world debut there this year.

The Mighty Titan covers were blowing up my Facebook feed and I thought, “Whoa, cool — those look awesome, I’ll check that out later.” And when I did—I saw there was more to this story than your typical superhero story. You are a cancer survivor and you want to share the story of survival. Care to tell us the origin of the Mighty Titan?

The real world origin of Titan is a sad one I guess. I found out I had kidney cancer at an early age. I was 33.

I was waiting to hear about orders for the Chanting Monks release of Ripperman and went to a new doctor. A routine ultrasound of my liver showed that I had a tumor on my right kidney. I was floored. I mean, I had kids, I was married, I had a great day job and was living my dream of writing and drawing comics at night. My whole life fell apart and only until 2 years ago have the pieces been picked up. While I was home from surgery (Incidentally, the original Ripperman Graphic Novel came out the Day of my first cancer surgery, October 20th, 2004) I was thinking about wanting an outlet for all this angst. I was going to write a story where Shadowflame gets cancer. But that didn’t work for me. Shadowflame didn’t have any support structure or family to play off of. I decided to create a new hero. Titan was born of that. I still have the drawing that I did in front of my TV back in December of 2004. Time passed and I put out Shadowflame and Ripperman through Arcana and the Titan thing kept gnawing at me. So, last year I started jotting down ideas. Ideas turned into plot and plot turned into script.

[READ MORE at DIGBOSTON.COM]

EARTH PRIME TIME: DIESEL SWEETIES: INTERVIEW WITH RSTEVENS


ROFLCON III
brought us many a delightful meme and comic culture fodder. Following the map in our choose-your-own-adventure guide, we found our way to the webcomic panel with Richard Stevens of the Diesel Sweeties webcomic and Sam Brown of Exploding Dog. The Q & A got bizarre (as only a self referential Internet conference can get), so I asked Richard to talk to us about the comic market, webcomics, toasters, pixel kittens and more.

Richard — thank you so much for joining us. Are you, in fact, a robot?
I identify as a robot, so I do believe you are supposed to give me the option of a robot bathroom due to the fact that we’re both in Massachusetts.

Sam Brown and R Stevens from ROFLCON informationPhone cam

Sam Brown and R Stevens from ROFLCON informationPhone cam

We usually talk about comics that flop around your hand. While it is true that you can hold an iPad or laptop in your hand, your work does not start out with the intention of being printed. How have digital comic strips grown with you and your style?
I don’t really see a difference between paper and electronic comics as far as the writing and art goes. I don’t think that anyone who focuses on that divide is going to enjoy the next ten or twenty years.

If anything, I think we’re going to see comic books move closer to the webcomics model: Frequent updates published electronically, followed by more expensive permanent copies for the bookshelf.

Working digitally allows you to rapidly iterate ideas as if you were living some kind of high-concept Grant Morrison X-Men ruining secret laboratory so that only the strongest survive, break free, and imprint themselves on paper.

[READ MORE at DIGBOSTON.COM]

EARTH PRIME TIME: ‘REAL HOUSEWIVES OF…SUPURBIA’ WITH GRACE RANDOLPH

SUPURBIA

A common complaint about the New 52 DC Comics relaunch was about the lack of female creators on the books.  That’s OK with me, because that gives the smaller, creator-centric companies concentrated talent.

Pre-orders for Grace Randolph’s SUPURBIA made news last week by selling out of all available hard copies.

DigBoston asked if she was as excited as we were about her sellout!

[READ MORE at DIGBOSTON.COM]

DigBoston and LeaguePodcast Comic Book Picks of the Week for March 7, 2012

COMICS

Red Spike from our pals at Benaroya Publishing brings the Super Soldier motif to the modern age. One the two surviving test subjects’ implant goes awry and terrorizes D.C.. Will his super strong chum Greg stop the madness? Art by Ghost Rider’s Mark Texiera. … Check out the last generation of heroes with Hell Yeah! from Image Comics. Preview at iFanboy. … The New 52 Swamp Thing run from Scott Snyder is the best since the Alan Moore days. Swamp Thing #7 out today! Picks pruned by LeaguePodcast.com.

 

Pass the Daily Dig along! Your friends can sign up here!

 

OUR #COMICS COLUMN’S OUT THIS MORNING! CLAY CHATS WITH GRACE RANDOLPH, CREATOR OF SUPURBIA—THE BOOK SOLD OUT A WEEK BEFORE IT’S RELEASE TODAY (TALK ABOUT LEADING LADIES!) —-> EARTH PRIME TIME: ‘REAL HOUSEWIVES OF…SUPURBIA’ WITH GRACE RANDOLPH.

DEBUT COLUMN at FORCES OF GEEK - T.H.U.N.D.E.R AGENTS / THE WORLD BELOW

AM I CRAZY? HERE’S A NEW SITE I’M WRITING FOR - FORCES OF GEEK! Enjoy! — Clay

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SPENCER FOR HIRE: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS / THE WORLD BELOW

Joss Whedon’s The Avengers will surely be a blockbuster hit this summer and most teenagers are familiar with the Justice League from the cartoons, but today

we focus on the best superhero team you’ve never heard of, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents.

Named after 60s spy thriller The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Higher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserves operates outside the boundaries of national interest, working to achieve world peace. The late artist Wally Wood and writer Len Brown created the first series, and now rising star Nick Spencer (Morning Glories, Iron Man 2.0) leads the team to the future.


Dynamo, NoMan, Menthor, Raven and Lightning fight the organization S.P.I.D.E.R. (Secret People’s International Directorate for Extralegal Revenue) and also a Subterranean society.

[READ MORE at FORCES OF GEEK]