Current Transmissions

Valiant sponsors U.S. luge team, designs X-O Manowar uniforms

In what The Wall Street characterizes as a low six-figure deal, Valiant Entertainment has signed as a sponsor of USA Luge for the 2014 Winter Olympics. The comics publisher has also designed the team’s uniform to look like the armor of X-O Manowar.

“The sponsorship is going to help the team in a couple of ways,” explained Gordy Sheer, USA Luge’s director of marketing. “… They’ll look good and they’ll feel fast, but also Valiant is helping the team with financial support. We’re a small sport, and every bit of help that we get is absolutely meaningful and directly affects our ability to perform.”

In the video below, Wall Street Journal reporter John Jurgensen notes that while movie studios (including DC Comics parent company Warner Bros.) routinely promote projects through NASCAR sponsorships, this appears to be the first time a company has used a national athletic team to advertise a character.

“For Valiant the idea is to kind of become a household name,” Jurgensen said. The publisher relaunched its comics line in May, with X-O Manowar as its flagship.

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Comics A.M. | Brett Ewins out of jail; Ali Farzat continues to fight

Brett Ewins

Creators | Former 2000AD artist Brett Ewins has been freed on bail after a judge reduced his charge to assult. Ewins, who has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, was accused of stabbing a police officer in a January altercation that left the 56-year-old artist hospitalized in serious condition. Because Ewins has already served nine months, part of it in a hospital (where he was in a coma), it’s unlikely he’ll have to go back behind bars. [Sex, Drugs, & Comic Books]

Creators | Syrian cartoonist Ali Farzat, who escaped to Kuwait after the Syrian security police beat him and broke his hands, is now living in Egypt and continuing to draw cartoons supporting the Syrian revolution. “Fear has been defeated in Syria when the people marched 19 months ago against tyranny,” he said. “I began to directly draw people in power including Assad and his government officials, to break the barrier of fear, that chronic fear that Syrians suffered from for 50 years.” [Reuters]

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Whedon endorses Romney (and his vision for zombie apocalypse)

In between writing the screenplay for the sequel to The Avengers, developing ABC’s S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot and executive producing Dark Horse’s Buffy-verse comics, Joss Whedon somehow found time to shoot a video “endorsing” Mitt Romney for president. Sure, it’s a bit surprising, considering that Whedon and Romney differ on myriad social issues (today, in any case), but the filmmaker has found common, if post-apocalyptic, ground.

“Y’know, like a lot of liberal Americans, I was excited when Barack Obama took office four years ago,” Whedon explains, “but it’s a very different world now, and Mitt Romney is a very different candidate — one with the vision and determination to cut through business-as-usual politics and finally put this country back on the path to the zombie apocalypse. Romney is ready to make the deep rollbacks in healthcare, education, social services, reproductive rights that will guarantee poverty, unemployment, overpopulation, disease, rioting — all crucial elements in creating a nightmare zombie wasteland.”

There’s more, of course. And along the way, Whedon gets in a little jab at Ayn Rand devotees, sure to make a few libertarians rethink their interpretations/warm embrace of Firefly.

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What Are You Reading? with Rafer Roberts

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, where every week we talk about the comics, books and other stuff topping our reading list. Our special guest today is Rafer Roberts, creator of Plastic Farm–“The strange, terrifying, and hilarious story of Chester Carter’s messianic journey through madness and self-loathing.” Roberts is currently raising money for the second volume on Kickstarter.

To see what he’s been reading, along with the Robot 6 crew, click below …

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Shelf Porn Saturday | Comics and music collide in Canada

If you’re a fan of music and comics, this Shelf Porn goes to 11 … today we’re pleased to present shelves from Jay in Canada, who shows off his collection of comics, toys and music-related items.

If you have some shelves of comics, action figures or other related collectibles you’d like to show off, send me a write-up and some jpgs at jkparkin@yahoo.com.

And now here’s Jay …

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Comic Couture | Cyclops was right, Bat eyegear and more

Cyclops was right

If you’re a Cyclops fan and still smarting from the end of Avengers vs. X-Men, WeLoveFine.com has a constructive way to express your anger–at least more constructive than, say, unleashing a Sentinel or something. They received a ton of requests for a “Cyclops was Right” shirt (a la their “Magneto was Right” shirt) and were able to turn one around fairly quickly.

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Robot Roulette | Tim Seeley

Welcome once again to Robot Roulette, our interview feature where we throw random questions at comic creators and see how they respond. We’ve come up with 36 possible questions, and each week I will randomly select which of those questions our guest has to answer.

Today Tim Seeley, who you can find on Twitter and DeviantArt, takes my random questions and turns them into gold. Seeley is sometimes an artist, sometimes a writer, and sometimes both — you know him from Hack/Slash, Revival, Bloodstrike, Witchblade, Ex Sanguine and many more. My thanks to Tim for answering my questions.

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The Fifth Color | The finality of now

Captain America #19

the final issue until next month

Comedian Demetri Martin has this great, short bit about how he loves digital cameras because they allow you to reminisce instantly. That we can take a picture and immediately look back with clarity and fondness at something that happened only seconds before — “We were so young!” — is essential to current comics culture. The world so quickly and drastically changes for readers that events that happened just last month can feel oh, so long ago. Characters die and return, sometimes within months of our grieving. It seems like only yesterday when we were still under the threat of the Phoenix, because it was only yesterday, relatively speaking.

This week sees the ends of five titles, and each one takes a final bow with all due gravitas for its moment in history. Invincible Iron Man #527 says goodbye to Matt Fraction and Salvador LaRocca, who began their run when the first Iron Man movie was hitting theaters. Ed Brubaker relinquishes his Captain America writing duties with Issue 19; not exactly an illustrious numbering to leave on, but when you look back at all the work he’s done and how it’s changed the common reader’s understanding of Steve Rogers, it’s a remarkable career. Kieron Gillen leaves Journey Into Mystery with #645, after which the whole title gets a new face to focus on, a new creative team and a new mystery to journey into. And Jonathan Hickman leaves FF, a book he created to serve a beautiful purpose for Marvel’s First Family, and I dare anyone not to get a little misty eyed after turning those final pages.

These are all weighty doors closing on eras that changed the face of our comics, and we may never see their like again. Times, they are a-changin’ … but are they, really? This moment with these books written in such a way is over, but Captain America lives on. Iron Man will fly again, as will Fraction, both just moving in new directions. Heck, Loki isn’t even leaving Gillen’s hands; they’re just moving into a new apartment with different roommates.

So why do we mourn? Why do we read these books as the final issue of Captain America when we all know logically that Captain America will continue next month with a new issue? What exactly are we losing when so many things stay the same? I’ve got an idea; see if you agree.

WARNING: we’re talking about this week’s comics listed above but might spoil some Avengers #32. So grab your copies (and a couple hankies because man, FF is a tearjerker!) and follow along!
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Give $5 to Aurora Rise for a chance to be on Enormous cover

In the wake of the tragic shootings in July in Aurora, Colorado, Jason Farnsworth of All C’s Collectibles organized Aurora Rise, a benefit for the victims that drew creators like Matt Fraction, Mike Mignola and Steve Niles and publishers like Image Comics, Skybound, Dark Horse and Top Cow productions. The August fundraiser generated more than $20,000 in just two days. However, Farnsworth didn’t stop there.

Now Aurora Rise is no longer just a weekend-long event, but rather an organization dedicated to assisting those “victims of the theater shooting who still need surgery, who still need to see doctors, who can’t afford their medical bills, or who have taken a financial hit from lost wages.”

As part of its continuing efforts, Aurora Rise has teamed with Enormous creators Tim Daniel and Mehdi Cheggour for an interesting new fundraiser: A $5 donation to the organization will enter you for a chance to be featured on the cover of Enormous #5, debuting in October 2013. One male and one female will be selected at random to be depicted being chased by a giant monster.

Winners will be announced Jan. 1, 2013.

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Amazon halts sales of Saga trade paperback

Amazon.com has stopped selling Saga, Vol. 1, only days after its release, labeling the collection of the critically acclaimed sci-fi/fantasy series by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples as “under review.” An Image Comics representative told Comic Book Resources the online retail giant hasn’t explained why the book was pulled.

The generic “Item Under Review” label on the retailer’s Saga listing states “it is not currently offered by Amazon.com because customers have told us there may be something wrong with our inventory of the item, the way we are shipping it, or the way it’s described here.” According to the Outhousers, there’s been at least one report of an Amazon-shipped copy of the trade paperback being “‘extremely wavy’ due to heat warping.”

As Image notes on its Twitter feed, Saga is still available through the Barnes & Noble website, and from direct-market stores. It can also be purchased from other sellers through Amazon.com.

Debuting in March, Saga follows two soldiers from opposite sides of an intergalactic war who fall in love and risk everything for their newborn daughter, in the process becoming fugitives on the run from their own governments.

We’ll update when we know more.

Go behind the scenes of Amelia Cole and the Unknown World #4

Ahead of the Oct. 31 release of Amelia Cole and the Unknown World #4 from Monkeybrain Comics, artist Nick Brokenshire has provided ROBOT 6 with a look at his process for creating Page 4 of that issue. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, by Brokenshire, writers Adam P. Knave and D.J. Kirkbride, and letterer Rachel Deering, the first three issues are available on comiXology.

A wee while back, my friends Adam and DJ asked me if I fancied doing a process diary-type thing for Comic Book Resources. I was surprised because I am a new artist in the wondrous world we know collectively as “comics.” Of course, what with our book being picked up by Monkeybrain and put out on comiXology, I said yes. We are obviously in the business of drawing attention to our work so that we can sell copies which in turn will allow us to make more comics. … But that isn’t the real reason that I want to share this little snapshot of the way we do things. The main reason for me is: love of the process. Even as an unknown, I relish the chance to share the little I have learned with anyone that may enjoy or benefit from this information.

A few years back while I was training to be a high-school art teacher (which is what I do as a day job now), I stumbled upon the revelation that the only way to achieve anything is by starting. I had been drawing comics characters and chopped-up bits of comics but never managed to finish anything. Then, upon listening to the experiences of professionals on podcasts like Word Balloon and Art and Story, as well as interviews on blogs and magazines, the same little snippet of advice kept popping out: start. Start to write and start to draw. After you start, don’t stop. Even when you don’t think the work is that good, don’t stop. That’s the only way to get better. So I started and I think I’m getting better. I’m a long way from being as good as my heroes, but I’ve made a start. So, for those of you who want to make comics, whether you dream of super-stardom or like me, just like to tell stories, here’s a brief breakdown of the process I go through to make comics. Hope it helps you start.

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Conversing on Comics with Matt Bors

It seems every time Superman, Spider-Man or any comics character steps near a political issue it becomes front-page news, not just on Comic Book Resources but in mainstream publications like USA Today. But politics and comics aren’t that unfamiliar to each other — in fact, they cross paths every day in editorial cartoons and comic strips. And one of the strongest and most popular voices in modern editorial cartooning is Portland, Oregon-based cartoonist Matt Bors. A 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist, Bors can be read regularly nationwide in independent papers, as well as on Daily Kos and, of course, his own website.

It’s a busy time of year for Bors, as he just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the first collection of his editorial cartoons and essays under the banner Life Begins At Incorporation: Cartoons & Essays By Matt Bors. He’s taking time away from his post as comics journalism editor at Cartoon Movement and moving forward with more projects of his own. I talked to him about his career, his thoughts on the industry, and the perceived divide between comic books and editorial cartoons.

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Chain Reactions | Multiple Warheads: Alphabet to Infinity #1

Multiple Warheads: Alphabet to Infinity #1, written and drawn by King City creator Brandon Graham, arrived in stores on Wednesday. It’s not the first time the characters have appeared, but it’s been five years since the first Multiple Warheads one-shot was published by Oni Press, so likely they’re new to a lot of readers. Our own J. Caleb Mozzocco shared his review Thursday, but if that wasn’t enough to help you decide whether it’s worth your hard-earned dollars, here are some reviews from around the web:

Greg McElhatton, Comic Book Resources: “If this is your first experience with Multiple Warheads you don’t need to worry; not only is there only a little material already out there, but Graham brings you up to speed on the few things you do need to know about Sexica, Nikolai, and Nura. The reason why it’s just a few things is that in part half of the fun of Multiple Warheads: Alphabet to Infinity #1 is just soaking up the strange world that Graham’s created as his characters make their way through it. The book opens and closes with Nik and Sex traveling across the country, picking up singing cigarettes and testing the local water to see if it’s safe to drink or if it might be poisoned or haunted or worse. When some of the other water options include ‘living water’ and ‘forced immortality,’ it’s the first hint on just what a strange yet wonderful world Graham has created.”

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Good Gorn Almighty: Dusty Abell’s amazing Star Trek: TOS tribute


The first time I came across the work of Dusty Abell was in 1991, when he was tasked as the artist to bring some Silver-Age brightness into the gloomy dystopia of the Keith Giffen/Tom & Mary Bierbaum-era of the Legion of Super-Heroes. As far as I can tell, he hasn’t worked regularly in comics for more than a decade, and these days mainly plies his trade as a character designer for television animation, working on King of the Hill, Ben 10 and Young Justice, among others. He does, however, occasionally post incredibly detailed labors of love at his deviantART page, such as his heavily-blogged Saturday Morning Action Adventure TV and SciFi Heroes of the ’70s pieces from a few years back.

It’s taken a while, but he’s followed those pieces up with Star Trek: The Original Series, attempting to include “at least one, sometimes more, character, entity, starship or structure from every episode of the original series, 80 in all including the pilot, in this piece”. Thankfully, for us less-committed Trekkers, he’s also included a key.

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This weekend, it’s Detroit FanFare

Detroit FanFare-exclusive variants for "Uncanny Avengers" #1, "Bedlam" #1 and "Black Dynamite" #1

The Dearborn, Michigan, Press & Guide previews the third annual Detroit FanFare, which kicks off this evening with a Zombie Walk at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn (anyone dressed in undead attire gets in tonight for free).

The three-day convention then launches into full gear Saturday morning with a comics lineup that includes Jeremy Bastian, Talent Caldwell, David Finch, Jimmy Gownley, Ben McCool, Bill Morrison, Tom Orzechowski, Yanick Paquette, David Petersen, Keith Pollard, Nick Spencer and Ryan Stegman. The programming schedule can be found here.

A weekend pass is just $15; admission children under 12 is $5 on Saturday, and free on Sunday for kids day.


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