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‘Cerebus: High Society Digital’ collection gets August release

cerebus-high society

IDW Publishing has announced an August release date for Dave Sim’s Cerebus: High Society Digital Audio/Visual Experience DVD set.

Funded in July 2012 through Kickstarter, the multimedia collection of the well-regarded “High Society” storyline (Cerebus #26-50) was originally serialized online. It features Sim reading each issue, in character, accompanied by music and sound effects, with motion effects added to the story art. There’s also commentary and a virtual tour.

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Comics A.M. | Is the world ready for a cosplay invasion?

Cosplay | The Christian Science Monitor looks at how cosplay is spilling out of comics and sci-fi/fantasy conventions and into “daily life,” such as movie theaters, pubs and public squares: “The spread of cosplay owes a lot to the Internet. Social media sites build buzz around the next big cosplay event. Tumblr and Instagram allow strangers to pass around photos of past work and offer words of encouragement from afar. YouTube videos reveal how to craft foam core into realistic-looking armor and braid hair like an elf.” [The Christian Science Monitor]

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Our man Megatron: ‘Transformers MTMTE’ #28

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 10.26.06 PMTransformers lore can be hopelessly convoluted. You think the DC Comics and Marvel universes are hard to keep track of? Try being a Transformers fan: There are various comic book universes, Michael Bay’s movie universe, the one from Japanese anime, the all-ages cartoon universe from Cartoon Network, the all-ages cartoon universe from the Hub, the original 1980s cartoon universe, and one where everyone’s an animal, which may or may not be the same universe as the 1980s cartoon.

Making it even more complicated, this canon multiverse is often acknowledged by the characters themselves, and its existence frequently becomes the basis of storylines. In March, the Transformers: Regeneration One series, which boasts a lineage to the very first Transformers comic, came to the end at Issue 100 with the Autobots untethering their universe from the rest of the multiverse. That made the Transformers mortal, ending the original comic book universe continuity permanently.

However, even if you’re not a Transformers fan, chances are you know the basics: Autobots, good; Decepticons, bad. Expanding on that: Optimus Prime is the hero, Megatron is the villain. It’s white hats versus black hats, except the cowboys in this situation can transform into vehicles, cassette tapes and guns.

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‘Locke & Key’s’ Gabriel Rodriguez signs exclusive deal with IDW

SONY DSCGabriel Rodriguez, the Eisner-nominated artist of Locke & Key, has signed an exclusive contract with IDW Publishing, the company announced over the weekend at WonderCon Anaheim.

Since making his comics debut in 2003 with IDW’s CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, the artist has gone on to draw more than 2,000 pages and covers for the publisher on titles ranging from Angel to Land of the Dead to Clive Barker’s The Great and Secret Show. However, Rodriguez is best known for his lengthy collaboration with author Joe Hill on the bestselling horror series Locke & Key.

“I’m deeply honored to start this new journey with my long term friends and partners from IDW Publishing. I’m excited, thrilled and thankful,” he said in a statement. “This is not only a major step in my professional career over time, Ted Adams, Chris Ryall and everyone from the IDW team have become close friends of mine, making me feel part of a family. It’s both amazing and challenging to start this new stage in our creative collaborations, sharing a common vision: passion for art and comics, deep love for storytelling, high standards in personal and professional relationships. I hope to be able to give my very best in projects to come, and the few things we’ve already discussed hinted a path of amazing possibilities! It’s somehow overwhelming, it can’t get better than this.”

Rodriguez’s next IDW project is Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, a collaboration with Eric Shanower announced last year at Comic-Con International. The eight-issue miniseries is scheduled to debut in August; an eight-page ashcan was distributed over the weekend at WonderCon.

WonderCon | ‘X-Files: Year Zero’ reveals origin of X-Files unit

xfiles-yearzero

Karl Kesel, Vic Malhotra and Greg Scott are teaming up to tell the secret origins of the X-Files. The X-Files: Year Zero, a five-issue miniseries debuting in July, will see Agents Scully and Mulder tackling a mystery that dates back to the 1940s and the beginning of the FBI’s X-Files unit.

“The origins of the X-Files unit of the FBI were only hinted at in the TV show, and we’re proud to present the story of how the precursors of our favorite paranormal agents established the division in the late 1940s,” said editor Denton J. Tipton in a press release. “I think Bing and Millie will become fan-favorites alongside Mulder, Scully, Reyes and Doggett.”

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Liefeld, Piskor recruited for ‘Transformers vs. G.I. Joe’ covers

transformers-piskor

While looking for some art earlier I can across something cool — artist Tom Scioli, who is hard at work on IDW’s Transformers vs. G.I. Joe comic, posted some alternate covers for the project from Rob Liefeld (Youngblood) and Ed Piskor (Hip Hop Family Tree) on his Tumblr.

“I can’t believe they’re letting us do this,” John Barber, who is writing the project, said yesterday at WonderCon. “It’s coming from a real pure place. The storytelling is crazy innovative, pure sci-fi, army cosmic clash between Earth and alien invaders. The Free Comic Book Day story on May 3, the Joes are engaging in a final showdown with Cobra and that’s right when Starscream shows up pursuing Bumblebee, that’s when things get out of hand. It’s so much fun. I’ve been a fan of Joes and Transformers since I was able to read.”

Check them out below. The comic kicks off this summer.

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WonderCon | ‘Doberman’ takes a bite out of crime in July

doberman-tease

Darby Pop, Jeff Kline’s comic imprint that’s distributed by IDW, announced today plans to publish Doberman, the story of a former bad-boy cop who rejoins the force in a quest for vengeance.

“From the minds” of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Unsupervised producers Rob Rosell and Scott Marder, with writer Jack Lambert and artist Brandon McKinney, the humorous comic will make its debut this July.

“Doberman is the tale of a roundhouse-kicking, beer-shotgunning, Dodge Stealth-driving badass with a badge, shamed into years of personal exile. But, now he’s back, with only one thing on his mind — revenge!” Lambert said in a press release. “Simply put, if Sylvester Stallone, Steven Seagal, and Jean-Claude Van Damme had a child, Frank Doberano (aka Doberman) would be that bastard’s name.”

Check out the full cover by Bernard Chang below.

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That time Evan Dorkin almost wrote ‘Popeye Vs. Mars Attacks’

Art by Terry Beatty, from "Popeye Vs. Mars Attacks" #1

Art by Terry Beatty, from “Popeye Vs. Mars Attacks” #1

Last year IDW Publishing released an amazing series of one-off crossovers featuring Mars Attacks and different titles in its line. It covered a lot of ground and showed some unusual and fun pairings, but one we never got to see was Evan Dorkin’s Popeye Vs. Mars Attacks.

He relates in a blog post a situation where, in the span of a few hours, he was offered to write the book, pitched to IDW despite initial reluctance, got his pitch accepted, and then opted out. Although the 2013 one-shot was ultimately written by Martin Powell and illustrated by Terry Beatty, it’s interesting to read Dorkin’s ill-fated pitch and his summary of events behind the scenes.

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True story: Tom Beland brings ‘Chicacabra’ to IDW

chicacabra-beland

Tom Beland, creator of the multiple Eisner-nominated True Story, Swear to God, ventures down a supernatural path in June with the debut of his new graphic novel series Chicacabra, from IDW Publishing.

The story focuses on Isabel Sanchez, a Puerto Rican high school student who, following a family tragedy and a mysterious incident, “finds herself with a monster capable of great brutality living inside her. But is it her friend or foe?”

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IDW expands search for the truth with ‘X-Files’ board game

idw games-xfilesIDW Games, which has already announced big-box games based on 30 Days of Night and Kill Shakespeare, will expand its lineup in July with the release of The X-Files.

Designed by Kevin Wilson (Arkham Horror), with art direction and box art by menton3 (The X-Files: Season 10) the board game will draw heavily from the first three season of Chris Carter’s television series.

According to a press release, it’s designed for a playtime of between 60 and 90 minutes, with two to five players facing off against another, who will control the Smoking Man and the nefarious Syndicate.

IDW Publishing, which publishes The X-Files: Season 10, a canonical continuation of the television series “executive produced” by Carter, formed IDW Games  in October through a partnership with Pandasaurus Games.

“To me, there’s no more exciting title than The X-Files,” Jerry Bennington, IDW’s director of new business, said in a statement. “Who wouldn’t want the chance to play as the wise-cracking Fox Mulder or the incredibly intelligent Dana Scully? And what show created more classic villains than The X-Files?”

Comics A.M. | ‘Stroker McGurk’ creator Tom Medley passes away

Stroker McGurk

Stroker McGurk

Passings | Tom Medley, creator of the comic Stroker McGurk, which ran in Hot Rod magazine for many years, died on March 2 at the age of 93. Medley was a hot-rodder himself, which is how he got his big break: He used to post his cartoons at a local hot-rod builder, and the publisher of Hot Rod, which was just getting off the ground at the time, spotted them and hired Medley as his comics and humor editor. Medley’s son Gary said his father’s humor sometimes foreshadowed reality: “Stroker’s — or Medley’s — inspired genius came up with a host of crazy ideas that appeared impractical at first, but were later adopted by everyday car builders and racers. Multi-engine dragsters, wheelie bars, and drag chutes all sprung from Stroker’s fertile mind before they were embraced in the real world.” [AutoWeek]

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‘Kill Shakespeare’ sets sail again with ‘The Mask of Night’

kill snakespeare-the mask of night1IDW Publishing has announced the return of Kill Shakespeare in June with The Mask of Night, a four-issue pirate adventure from series creators Anthony Del Col, Conor McCreery and Andy Belanger.

Debuting in April 2010, Kill Shakespeare is an epic adventure in which Hamlet, Juliet, Othello, Falstaff, Romeo and Puck search for William Shakespeare, a reclusive wizard believed to have the ability to help them in their fight against evil forces led by Richard III, Lady Macbeth and Iago.

The initial 12-issue miniseries inspired a 2013 sequel, The Tide of Blood, and a Kickstarter-funded board game, which is scheduled to arrive in May.

In The Mask of Night, Hamlet, Juliet, Othello and Shakespeare become pawns in a game of survival between the masked pirate Captain Cesario, his first mate Viola and Titus Adronicus’ warship the Lavinia.

“Not only does it include characters from our previous books but [it] incorporates one of Shakespeare’s most famous heroines, Viola, who we have refashioned into one of the coolest female pirates ever,” Del Col said in a statement. “I think fans — both new and old — are going to find this homage to classic pirate tales a real treat.”As the cast of characters ties in to the board game, IDW Games is offering all four issues of The Mask of Knight to anyone who backs the Kickstarter campaign at the game level.

IDW to adapt Harlan Ellison’s classic ‘Star Trek’ script

star trek-ellisonHarlan Ellison’s original teleplay for the acclaimed 1967 Star Trek episode “The City on the Edge of Forever,” which was rewritten before filming began, will be adapted in a miniseries debuting in June from IDW Publishing.

“Presenting Harlan Ellison’s brilliant original script for ‘City on the Edge…’ has been a goal of ours since IDW first began publishing Star Trek comics in 2007,” IDW Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall said in a statement. “The episode justifies its position atop ‘best Star Trek episodes’ lists but even it ain’t nuthin’ compared to what Ellison did in his original teleplay. This is truly going to be a Star Trek adventure unlike any other, even to fans who have that beloved episode memorized.”

The five-issue Star Trek: Harlan Ellison’s City on the Edge of Forever: The Original Teleplay is adapted by writers Scott Tipton and David Tipton and artist J.K. Woodward, with regular covers by Juan Ortiz and variants by Paul Shipper.

“The City on the Edge of Forever” follows Kirk and Spock as the pursue a temporarily delusional McCoy through an ancient time portal, where they end up in 1930s New York City. There they must not only rescue their friend but save their own future, which has been changed by McCoy’s actions in the past. The episode won the 1968 Hugo Award for best dramatic presentation.

“It was a superlative joy of my long life to have worked with Leonard Nimoy, who became my friend, and many others at Star Trek,” Ellison said, “and an equally heart-happy joy to be working with J.K. and the Tipton Bros. and Chris Ryall on this long-awaited visual of my (humbly, I say it) brilliant original ‘City…’”

IDW Games and Pandasaurus expand partnership

tammany hallIDW Publishing, which just last week launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the Kill Shakespeare board game, is expanding its partnership with Pandasaurus.

The publisher teamed in October with the Austin, Texas-based tabletop gaming company to launch IDW Games, with Pandasaurus overseeing design, production and distribution of 30 Days of Night and the aforementioned Kill Shakespeare.

The expanded agreement calls for the re-release Pandasaurus games, beginning with Tammany Hall and continuing with Rattus Cartus and Yedo.

“Pandasaurus has done an excellent job building a catalog of rich, engaging and in-demand board games,” Jerry Bennington, director of IDW Games, said in a statement. “They’re veterans in the industry and we look forward to developing some amazing titles together. This is a partnership that will have an immediate positive impact for both sides and you can be sure you’ll be hearing big things from us soon.”

With 16 days remaining, the Kickstarter campaign for the Kill Shakespeare board game has already surpassed its initial $25,000 goal.

Eastman & Laird reteam for ‘TMNT’ 30th anniversary

tmnt specialCreators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird are marking the 30th anniversary of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in May by collaborating on a cover for IDW Publishing’s special issue. It’s the first time in more than 20 years that the two have worked together on the property that launched a multimedia empire.

“Working on the TMNT comics with the wonderful and amazing IDW team over the last three years reminded me how much I missed and loved the four green guys,” Eastman said in a statement. “Getting to work with my co-creator Peter Laird again is the icing on the cake — and then some! It really took me back 30 years, to the earliest days, with the fondest memories, and why we got into this business in the first place.”

Debuting in 1984 as a black-and-white self-published comic, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles began as a parody of Cerebus, Daredevil, New Mutants and Ronin. However, the property soon spawned animated TV series, movies, video games and endless merchandise. Laird, who in 2008 completed a buyout of Eastman’s interests in TMNT and Mirage Studios that began eight years earlier, struck a deal in 2009 for Viacom to purchase the property for a reported $60 million.

IDW’s 48-page 30th Anniversary Special features new short stories by such creators as Dean Clarrain, Chris Allan, Gary Carlson, Frank Fosco and Jim Lawson.

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