On the heels of the debut this week of Battling Boy, Paul Pope’s much-anticipated (and already widely praised) all-ages graphic novel, First Second Books has announced a prequel, The Rise of Aurora West.
Battling Boy centers on on the son of a war god who’s sent by his father to rid the Monstropolis of monsters after Haggard West, the previous protector of the continent-sized city, is assassinated (another prequel, the one-shot The Death of Haggard West, was released in July).
Co-written by Pope and J.T. Petty and drawn by David Rubin, Wired.com reports The Rise of Aurora West uncovers the backstory of its title character, Battling Boy’s ally and the daughter of Haggard West. The prequel will arrive in July 2014, ahead of Pope’s sequel to Battling Boy.
Despite objections by the San Diego Chargers and concerns about public access to the waterfront, the California Coastal Commission on Thursday unanimously approved the $520 million expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, viewed as critical to keeping Comic-Con International in the city.
While the blessing of the commission — it’s a state agency with regulatory oversight of land use and public access to the California coastal zone — removes one major obstacle, U-T San Diego notes there remains pending litigation to the project’s financing scheme, which calls for a hotel surcharge of 1 percent to 3 percent. Hoteliers have already agreed to the plan, and a judge has upheld the assessment as legal, but opponents have appealed the ruling, arguing the arrangement amounts to privatizing the city’s taxing authority.
These days, every city worth its salt has a pop culture-themed art gallery, running exhibitions filled with art inspired by comics, games, television and film. New York City has one of the best, Brooklyn’s Bottleneck Gallery. This is the first year it has a presence at New York Comic Con (booth #2167), where the gallery is selling new and exclusive prints by 21 artists, hosting signings by artists and giving away free candy. Those Big Slice lollipops may well be the deal-maker.
The signing schedule includes: Timothy Pittides, Friday from noon to 12:30 p.m.; Marko Manev, Friday and Saturday from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Randy Ortiz, Friday from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.; and Bruce Yan, Saturday from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Check out plenty of examples of the comic-influenced work Bottleneck will be selling: Continue Reading »
Nearly a year ago we wrote about Vandroid, Tommy Lee Edwards’ live-action tribute to ’80s action films, shot over just five days near the artist’s home in North Carolina. Dubbed by Edwards as merely the first of many planned live-action projects, the short was to be accompanied by a soundtrack and a comic book — and now the latter has found a home.
Dark Horse has announced the Feb. 29 debut of Vandroid, a miniseries written by Edwards and Noah Smith, with art by Dan McDaid and colors by Jordie Bellaire. Edwards will provide the covers.
Here’s the solicitation for the first issue of the project, described by the publisher as “epic 80’s Sci-Fi action, the likes of which you’ve never seen”:
Before Baltimore Comic-Con, I had the chance to talk with Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai, and he mentioned that not only was he working on a new Nilson Groundthumper story for Dark Horse Presents, but also that the publisher would release a collection next year of previous stories featuring the swordsrabbit and his pal Hermy.
According to ComicsAlliance, The Adventures of Nilson Groundthumper and Hermy will arrive March 19. The 104-page hardcover will include all of the previously published material featuring the duo from the late 1970s/early 1980s. It’ll also include extra art and new coloring by Tom Luth.
Nilson Groundthumper and Hermy preceded Usagi by a year or two, and like Usagi, Nilson is a sword-wielding rabbit — although of the medieval adventurer sort, vs. a samurai. Their stories take place in a sword-and-sorcery setting (some of which feature a wizard named Sénogara, in honor of one of Sakai’s Groo-vy collaborators on another book) and originally appeared in various anthologies like Critters and Albedo. The stories were quite funny, so it’ll be fun to see them introduced to a new generation — and to see the new story Sakai is working on for DHP.
Although this was mentioned Tuesday in the rundown of Oni Press’ New York Comic Con exclusives and debuts, the publisher has now released full details, and a larger image, for The Sixth Gun, Vol. 1: Gunslinger Edition.
Debuting this week at the convention, the gorgeously designed collection of the supernatural Western by Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt and Bill Crabtree packages the first 11 issues with a new dust jacket and cover … inside a coffin slipcase. It also comes with three art prints and tip-in print signed by the creative team. It’s priced at $120, but, hey, the holidays are right around the corner — treat yo self.
There is a catch, though: The set is limited to just 1,000 copies, and only 40 will be sold at the convention. The remainder will be available exclusively on OniPress.com beginning Dec. 4. So you may want to get to the Oni Press booth (#1844). Bunn and Hurtt will be there signing Friday and Saturday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Conventions are always a great place to see creators and celebrities, but it’s rare that you’re given the opportunity to meet a Muppet. At New York Comic Con, Cookie Monster — and his “assistant” David Rudman — will appear Saturday from 11 a.m. until noon and from 2 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the WeLoveFine booth (#1836), where you can also buy an exclusive NYCC steampunk Cookie Monster shirt.
Cookie Monster isn’t the only special guest appearing at their booth:
Just ahead of New York Comic Con, Dark Horse has announced Mandala, an upcoming sci-fi graphic novel by Stuart Moore and Bruce Zick. The first chapter is available beginning today on Dark Horse Digital for $2.99.
In Mandala, humanity is secretly enslaved by a mind-control cage galled the GRID, and it’s up to Mike Morningstar and his spiritual special-ops unit The Thirteen to alter time and take down the GRID before it’s too late.
“Mandala is probably the biggest-scale epic I’ve ever worked on: a saga of original sin and possible redemption that spans millennia and crosses the timelines” Moore said in a statement. “At its core, it’s the story of Michael Morningstar, a guy who — like many of us — has to find his way in a world he doesn’t quite understand. The characters’ alliances shift constantly, along with the timelines.”
The creators will be signing throughout New York Comic Con at the Dark Horse booth (#1175).
At comic conventions, a company like comiXology has to get creative in order to draw traffic to its booth; after all the digital distributor doesn’t have anything physical to sell, and it’s not like you can line up a bunch of creators to sign iPads. (I mean, you could, but why?) At New York Comic Con, however, comiXology is getting physical — by offering limited edition art cards during artist signings.
These limited-edition art cards will be signed and handed out during creator appearances at the comiXology booth, where you can meet Nick Dragotta (East of West), Greg Rucka and Michael Lark (Lazarus), Katie Cook (My Little Pony), Sara Richard (My Little Pony) and Doug Braithwaite (Unity #1). You can also meet Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari, creators of the wonderful The Bunker. They’ll be signing sketch cards that’ll have a code to get the first issue of The Bunker for free.
Drawn and Quarterly has announced its debuts and signing schedule for this weekend’s Alternative Press Expo, which will be your first opportunity to buy the newest book from APE special guest Anders Nilsen (Big Questions).
“Anders has always created pretty epic works in the past, and I think Rage of Poseidon really falls into that category,” D+Q’s Tracy Hurren said in July at Comic-Con International. “It combines his interest in philosophy and religion and myth, which we saw in Big Questions, in a style that’s more similar to what’s seen in ‘Monologues for Calculating the Destiny of Black Holes,’ although you can see the style’s a little divergent from that, too, using silhouettes with very sparse backgrounds.”
As we inch that much closer to New York Comic Con, which opens Thursday, Oni Press has revealed its full rundown of convention exclusives and premieres, ranging from color editions of the fourth volumes of Scott Pilgrim and Courtney Crumrin to the debut of Letter 44.
NYCC will be held through Sunday at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan. Oni Press can be found at Booth #1844.
If you’re attending the Alternative Press Expo this weekend in San Francisco, be sure to check out table 523, which will be the temporary home of Rina Ayuyang’s Yam Books. The publisher will be debuting the latest haunting-yet-mesmerizing book by cartoonist Renee French, Hagelbarger and That Nightmare Goat.
As the press release states, Hagelbarger and That Nightmare Goat is “a stunning vignette full of rich imagery and comics hi-jinx that tells the tale of Renee’s favorite bulbous aquatic hero, Hagelbarger, in a perilous adventure with his pals Tiffo and Hap, battling that villainous goat.” No doubt it will be equal parts adorable and frightening.
Check out the full cover below. The Alternative Press Expo, or APE, runs Oct. 12-13 at the Concourse in San Francisco.
According to writer Justin Aclin, the comic will be available during his signing with artist Nicolas Daniel Selma, which begins at noon at the publisher’s booth (#1636).
The miniseries pits the gun-toting atheists of the Secular Humanist Occult Obliteration Taskforce against some of the very creatures they don’t believe in — like angels and demons.
“I’d say that with S.H.O.O.T. First, I really created the kind of comic that I wanted to read,” Aclin told Comic Book Resources last month. “I would like to think that applies to a lot of other people as well. It’s got insanely great artwork by Nicolás Daniel Selma and wonderful colors by Marlac who did an amazing job bringing this world to life. They get to go crazy on the bizarre creatures the team is fighting. In the first issue, they’re fighting ‘Bottle Jinn’ who are essentially genies who kidnap people and put them inside themselves. It’s very creepy. Then in the second issue, they’re fighting a giant monster that has a unique twist on an old idea. In the third issue, they fight a group of fairies, elves and dragons that call themselves the Folklorics. Then in the fourth issue, it’s a battle royale. In every single issue, you’ll see spectacular battles against really cool mythological creatures.”
New York Comic Con is held Thursday through Saturday at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan.
Oni Press is bringing the first issue of Rick Spears and James Callahan’s The Auteur to New York Comic Con next week, five months before the series officially debuts.
Announced in July at Comic-Con International, The Auteur centers on Nathan T. Rex, a big-time Hollywood producer whose first film in an already-completed tentpole trilogy has just flopped, dooming the rest of the franchise. With his future in Tinseltown looking bleak, he turns to a serial killer to consult on a horror film he’s working on. And that’s only the beginning. Or, in the words of publisher, “join disgraced Hollywood super producer Nathan T. Rex as he crashes through a world of glue-sniffing gurus, hard-nosed magnates, and prophetic exotic dancers on his quest for celluloid immortality in one of the most unique comedy series in years.”
The Auteur: Premature Release Edition #1 will be available at the Oni Press booth (#1844) for $5. The Auteur officially launches in March. Continue Reading »
The second annual Locust Moon Comics Festival will be held in Philadelphia, with a larger space than last year’s showand more than double the number of creators. Hosted by Locust Moon Comics, the donation-based event offers no advance tickets; children 13 and under get in free. A portion of all donations will go toward helping the Jack Kirby Museum create a physical location.
Held at The Rotunda in West Philadelphia (4014 Walnut St.), the festival will include workshops and panels with an emphasis on independent and creator-owned comics. Local creators will off course be present, and Philadelphia residents like J.G. Jones (Final Crisis), Robert Woods (36 Lessons in Self-Destruction), James Comey (Donkey Punch) and Box Brown (Everything Dies) are all scheduled to attend. The event also includes guests from outside the city, though, so attendees can expect to see creators like Jim Steranko (Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Farel Dalrymple (Pop Gun War), Chrissie Zullo (Cinderella), Todd Klein (Fables), Dean Haspiel (Billy Dogma), Tom Scioli (Gødland), Michael Kupperman (Tales Designed to Thrizzle), Jay Lynch (Garbage Pail Kids), Kim Deitch (The Boulevard of Broken Dreams) and Ron Wimberly (Prince of Cats).
Some of the artists are offering festival-exclusive prints (like the Robert Woods poster accompanying this post), and Woods is also debuting his new book, 36 Lessons in Self-Destruction, the complete collection of his Depressed Punx minicomics.
Locust Moon also offers a far better standard of convention food with local vendors like Little Baby’s Ice Cream, Tacos Don Memo, Kung Fu Hoagies and Lovers & Madmen Coffee Lounge. While the festival itself takes place on Saturday, events and festivities at Locust Moon Comics will spill across the weekend, including a 36 Lessons release party and a post-festival pancake breakfast. See the festival’s website for more details.