Telltale Games is offering the first episode of its critically acclaimed Walking Dead video game free for download from the App Store for a limited time.
Debuting in April, the episodic role-playing adventure game takes place in the same fictional setting as The Walking Dead comic series, and centers on an original character named Lee Everett, a university professor and convicted killer who rescues and cares for a young girl named Clementine in the wake of the apocalypse. Familiar characters like Glenn and Hershel also appear in the game’s five-episode first season.
Episodes 2 through 5 of The Walking Dead: The Game can also be purchased in-app for $4.99 each, or $14.99 in a bundled Multi-Pack. Watch the story trailer below.
MTV’s Splash Page has debuted Cory Walker’s cover for the landmark 100th issue of Invincible, long teased as the climax of “The Death of Everyone” arc. “Killing one person in your annual is lame, I’m killing everyone,” writer Robert Kirkman told the audience at New York Comic Con, explaining he’s parodying the trend of comics killing characters in their events and annuals.
The issue, by Kirkman, Ryan Ottley and John Raunch, arrives Jan. 23 from Image Comics.
In any entertainment field, the only thing more difficult than breaking through and scoring that first hit is doing it again and again. And in comics, one of the people I’ve marveled at for his ability to top his previous hit and reinvent himself, all while staying true to himself and his style, is writer Andy Diggle.
He’s done a lot during his 15 years in comics: He helped to turn around then-flagging 2000AD with a back-to-basics approach. He dusted off a forgotten set of DC Comics characters and re-made them into a popular Vertigo series with The Losers. He gave readers a modern vantage point for DC’s archer Green Arrow. He took Marvel’s Daredevil to the darkest point. And at this year’s New York Comic Con, he was the belle of the ball in terms of announcements with four new titles, and several more already in the works.
Although we compiled a list of Cyber Monday sales on Sunday, it looks like the comics-related savings don’t end there. Here are some more deals for you to take advantage of today (and in one case, beyond):
• In addition to its continued “Blackest Friday” sale, comiXology today is offering 99-cent digital editions of Marvel’s Avengers titles, 50 percent off select IDW Publishing comics, and up to 80 percent off select Dynamite Entertainment collections.
Why fight the crowds today when you can take advantage of Black Friday savings on print and digital comics from the comfort of your own home? Here’s a roundup of online sales kicking off this morning, with discounts on everything from The Walking Dead and The Incredible Hulk to Star Wars and Adventure Time. If you know of any other, please let us know in the comments.
• Dark Horse’s web store is promoting a “Star Wars Black Friday MegaBundle,” with digital editions of 153 Star Wars comics — they include such titles as The Clone Wars, The Old Republic, Crimson Empire, Dawn of the Jedi and Agent of the Empire, 3,772 pages in all — for $100. The sale ends Sunday.
The question of just how well The Walking Dead #103 performed in the direct market has been answered with Comic Book Resources’ sales estimates for October: 74,372 copies, a more than 39-percent increase from the previous issue and the biggest circulation gain of any title for the month. Mind you, that’s based only on copies sold by Diamond Comic Distributors to the North American direct market.
That jump thrust The Walking Dead from the No. 24 spot on Diamond’s Top 300 in September to No. 9 in October, marking only the second time the acclaimed Image Comics series by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard has cracked the Top 10. The previous instance occurred in July, when the milestone 100th issue seized the top spot with a record-breaking 366,000 copies (383,612 when you add other channels). However, aside from the auspiciousness of the occasion, that issue also benefited from 13 variant covers; Issue 103 had just one — Chris Giarrusso‘s adorable homage to the first issue (at right).
As we did last week, ICv2 gives part of the credit for the sales boost to the October premiere of the third season of the AMC television series. Now add that Issue 103 begins a new storyline — “a new beginning,” in the words of the solicitation text — which won’t be released in collected form until May.
Speaking of collections, a category in which the series thrives, the $60 Compendium Two was third in unit sales (an estimated 10,333 copies) but first in dollars; it was among the five Walking Dead collections in the Top 25 for October. The first volume, collecting issues originally released in 2003 and 2004, came in at No. 4 (with, again, 10,333 copies).
The Walking Dead #103 was No. 9 on Diamond Comic Distributors’ list of comics sold to the direct market in October, marking the rare breakthrough into the Top 10 by an independent title. The question, though, is why.
Sure, the landmark 100th issue of the acclaimed horror series by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard landed atop the sales chart in July with a record-breaking 335,000 copies, propelled by a whopping 13 variant covers, but Issue 103 had just one variant (Chris Giarrusso‘s adorable homage to the first issue).
While there are no sales estimates yet for The Walking Dead #103, we can look to the two previous issues for some comparison: August’s Issue 101 landed at No. 31 with an estimated 51,732 copies, followed in September by Issue 102 at No. 24 with 53,337 copies. Considering that ICv2 is reporting periodical sales increased 7.4 percent in October over the same month in 2011, we can safely say The Walking Dead #103 sold … significantly more than those two previous issues. Again, though, why?
It was billed as “a new beginning for The Walking Dead,” and “a perfect jumping-on point,” so perhaps we’re seeing the television effect that’s kept the collections at the top of the bookstore charts spilling into the single issues (the first volume, originally released in 2006, is a perennial bestseller). It’s certainly possible that, with AMC’s hit adaptation returning for its third season in October, viewers who had already consumed the trade paperbacks (and the retailers who sell them) took Image Comics at its word and jumped on the monthly series with Issue 103, pushing sales to somewhere well north of 53,000.
Next week, we should have a solid sales estimate, and with it a better idea of the title’s trajectory.
News bulletin: The Walking Dead is a friggin’ huge deal.
I’m not sure how to measure it, but at least culturally I think the zombie-survival tale by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard is on track to become the biggest deal to come from indie/creator-owned comics since Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, circa 1988. I think it surpassed Todd McFarlane’s Spawn during Season 1. Heck, it might even be giving some corporate-owned properties a run for their money.
Fortunately, we haven’t quite hit Christmas special saturation, but there are plenty of items in the AMC Walking Dead shop: action figures and figurines, board games, T-shirts, calendars, posters, costumes, busts, music from the show, a companion book, even dog tags.
Telltale Games has released details of the retail version of its Walking Dead video game, available in standard retail and collector’s editions in North America beginning Dec. 5.
The standard edition is, well, pretty standard, with$29.99 getting you what sounds like an entertaining adventure game set in the universe created by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard. The story begins while Rick Grimes is still in a coma, and follows Lee Everett, who takes under his win an orphaned girl named Clementine under his wing.
However, the GameStop Exclusive Collector’s Edition comes with The Walking Dead Compendium One, collecting the first 48 issue of the comic series, a special Collector’s Edition box featuring Adlard’s artwork, and a game disc containing the entire first season. The Collector’s Edition is available for pre-order only for $69.99.
Given the relative ubiquity of The Walking Dead, which has moved from acclaimed comic series to hit television drama, collectible toys, prose novels, a magazine, board games and a video game, it’s probably only a matter of time before the property hits the stage. Make it happen, Robert Kirkman; we hear Julie Taymor is available.
Skybound, Robert Kirkman’s Image Comics imprint, will debut limited-edition hardcovers of the writer’s series The Walking Dead and Thief of Thieves at New York Comic Con, held Oct. 11-14 in New York City.
The Skybound booth (#1229) will offer 1,500 copies of The Walking Dead Hardcover Compendium (Red Foil Version) for $100 each, as well as 1,000 copies of the Thief of Thieves Hardcover, Vol. 1, “I Quit” for $30 each.
In addition, Kirkman will participate in two NYCC panels: “Skybound: On the Rise,” with Shawn Martinbrough, Jason Howard and special guests (2:45 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12); and “Kirkmania!,” in which he’ll take questions from the audience (1:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14). You can read the full Skybound panel and signing schedule below.
Earlier this month, Titan Magazines offered retailers a shot at exclusive variant covers created by Charlie Adlard for the first issue of The Walking Dead: The Official Magazine, a new quarterly publication that offers an inside look at the acclaimed comic series created by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Adlard, and the hit television drama it spawned. Now Titan has provided Robot 6 with high-resolution images of the winning covers for Comickaze Comics (5517 AB Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego) and Wade’s Comic Madness (8750 New Falls Road, Levittown, Pennsylvania).
The magazine arrives in stores Oct. 23, on the heels of the Season 3 premiere of the AMC television series, but New York Comic Con attendees will have a chance to buy the issue with a convention-exclusive cover on Oct. 11.
We posted an excerpt from this bonus feature from the upcoming Blu-ray/DVD release of The Walking Dead Season 2 earlier this month, but now Brazilian website Judao has the nine-minute video of creator Robert Kirkman discussing how the hit AMC drama remains faithful to the long-running comic series in many areas but deviates in others.
“I really like screwing with the comic book readers, to a certain extent,” he says in “The Ink Is Alive.” “I’m always the one in the writers’ room going, ‘Let’s introduce this beloved character from the comic in the opening scene of this episode, and then let’s kill him at the end of the episode.’ [...] One of the most important aspects of The Walking Dead that makes the comic book so successful, that, y’know, keeps people coming back for more, month in and month out, is the fact that you never know what’s going to happen at any time. Anybody can die, anyone could leave, people come in. It’s a very volatile comic …”
If you’re not caught up with the television series, you may not want to watch the video. The second season of The Walking Dead arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on Aug. 28. The third season premieres Oct. 14.
John Jackson Miller takes a hard look at the July sales charts, starting by parsing the numbers for the month’s top seller, The Walking Dead #100. Diamond Comic Distributors estimates place sales of the regular comic at 335,000 copies, plus almost 31,000 of the $9.99 Chromium Edition. That’s a bit less than the 383,612 copies Image Comics announced, but as Miller notes, the Diamond numbers don’t include reorders, overseas sales, newsstand sales and other channels.
Anyway, just adding those first two numbers, U.S. direct-market sales of the regular issue and the variant cover, this comic sold 366,000 copies, setting a new record for the highest orders for a comic in a single month, handily beating The Amazing Spider-Man #583 (the Barack Obama issue), the previous top seller for the 21st century, and The Darkness #11, Image’s previous all-time top seller.
Miller spends a bit of time contemplating whether variant covers should be included in the one-month total. I paused to wonder how many of the variants are being bought by collectors who are picking up the standard cover as well, but in the end, a sale is a sale, regardless of why it occurs.
While all this is great news for Image, Miller makes an observation further down in the post that should give readers pause: “As reported last Friday, the market overall continued to percolate, up nearly 20% over the previous year. A gap is developing between the sales of the Top 300 graphic novels and graphic novel sales overall; the Top 300s for the last seven months are up 25% over last year, whereas everything in the category is only up 14%. That suggests a list that’s been top-heavy with unit volume and/or dollars.”
It would be interesting to take a closer look and see where the drop-off occurs; it may not be at 300, and if it’s further up the list, that would suggest a winners-and-losers scenario that could be bad news in the long run.
If you haven’t watched the second season of AMC’s The Walking Dead, you’ll probably want to skip this video, as it gives away a significant character death. But for everyone else who‘s up to date with the hit series (or else simply don’t care about spoilers), CraveOnline has an advance look at part of a bonus feature from the upcoming Blu-ray/DVD release in which creator Robert Kirkman examines how the television adaptation “stays faithful to the comic book but does it in a different way.” It’s an interesting video that compares and contrasts pages from the Image Comics series with sequences from the TV show.
The second season of The Walking Dead arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on Aug. 28.