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.
The Walking Dead #100 has already been trumpeted as the bestselling comic, in initial orders, since 1997, so it comes as absolutely no surprise that those 383,612 copies were more than enough to lead Diamond Comic Distributors’ Top 10 list for July. It’s the first time in its nearly nine-year run that the horror series by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard has topped the chart.
However, it also marks another milestone: It’s the first time in almost a decade that a comic published by a company other than Marvel or DC has claimed the top spot in the direct market. That honor, in November 2002, went to another Image title, Masters of the Universe #1, by Val Staples and Emiliano Santalucia. Of course, that comic sold about 270,000 fewer copies than the 100th issue of The Walking Dead, according to the invaluable Comichron archives.
Before that, though, the now-defunct Dreamwave Productions had a pretty good run, with its Transformers series leading the monthly sales charts for a full half of 2002.
The milestone 100th issue of The Walking Dead sold more than 380,000 copies — that’s without counting the second printing — making it the bestselling comic in 15 years. Now for an encore, Skybound and Image Comics are sending the first three issues of Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard’s “Something to Fear” storyline back to press. For the second printing, Adlard has created a landscape image so that the covers of Issues 97-99 come together to show the new villain Negan and his baseball bat Lucille.
The three issues are available for order now (Diamond codes JUN128147, JUN128148 and JUN128149) for release Aug. 22.
On the heels of this weekend’s announcement that the 100th issue of The Walking Dead has sold more than 380,000 copies, more in initial orders than any other comic since 1997, Image Comics has released Charlie Adlard’s cover for the second printing. The illustration provides readers with another look at the villainous Negan and “Lucille,” who play central roles in the milestone issue. We’ll just leave it at that …
The second printing (Diamond code JUN128066) is available for order now.
• Of course you can’t have Comic-Con without news about Comic-Con itself. CBR’s Kiel Phegley spoke with CCI’s David Glanzer about the show, while Ryan Ingram spoke with Scott Morse about the Tr!ckster satellite event. And it seems like every non-comics media outlet reports on the show in some form or fashion; here’s an article by The Christian Post about religion and the show, for example. And finally, Tuesday brought the tragic news that a con attendee camping out for today’s Twilight panel was killed in front of the convention center after being struck by a car.
• I’m not 100 percent sure if it qualifies as Comic-Con news, but since it was officially announced in the Entertainment Weekly Comic-Con issue, let’s just go with it. Marvel’s big news going into the Con is that they plan to relaunch several titles later this year as part of “Marvel NOW!” Their recently released solicitations reveal they plan to cancel nine titles in October, but of course you can expect many if not all of them to come back in some form or fashion as Marvel NOW! rolls out.
• Mike Mignola and Hellboy return this December in Hellboy in Hell, the first four-issue miniseries in a series of miniseries about the title character’s post-demise adventures.
Retailing | Although the 16th volume of The Walking Dead wasn’t released until June 19, 11 days’ worth of sales was enough to propel the latest collection of the horror series by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard to the top of BookScan’s chart of graphic novels sold in bookstores June. Four volumes of the popular series, including the first one, appear in the Top 20. [ICv2.com]
Publishing | Hermes Press, which has been publishing the vintage Buck Rogers collections, has announced a new Buck Rogers project: An original comic series written and drawn by Howard Chaykin, one that Publisher Dan Herman promises will be strongly reminiscent of the original. [ICv2]
Publishing| The animation studio Klasky Csupo, which gave us The Wild Thornberrys and Rugrats, is branching out in a number of different directions, including print and digital comics. Its first comic is Ollie Mongo, which stars a blue zombie skateboarder. [USA Today]
Saturday’s programming for this year’s Comic-Con International continues the grand “big movie panels” tradition typically associated with the third day of the con. Both Warner Bros. and Marvel Studios are on the schedule for Hall H; no doubt Marvel will have more than just Iron Man 3 to talk about at that 6 p.m. slot. Warner Bros., meanwhile, will talk about Man of Steel in their panel, which will also include The Hobbit and Pacific Rim.
Comic publishers are well represented, with BOOM!, Marvel, DC Comics, Archie, Archaia, Dark Horse, Image, Top Cow, Drawn & Quarterly, Skybound, Vertigo, Top Shelf and more scheduled for various panels on Saturday. CCI also puts the spotlight on Mark Waid, Morrie Turner, Klaus Janson, Stan Goldberg, Gary Gianni, Jim Lee and many more creators, and celebrates anniversaries for Funky Winkerbean, Love & Rockets, Bob the Angry Flower, Courtney Crumrin and the Gays in Comics panel. And don’t forget about the always entertaining masquerade.
Here are some of the comics-related highlights below; visit the Comic-Con website to see the complete schedule.
Entertainment Weekly has revealed the final variant cover — the magazine says it’s the twelfth, but by my count its the tenth total — for the landmark 100th issue of The Walking Dead. The cover, by Robert Kirkman’s former Battle Pope collaborator Matthew Roberts, will be available only to people who buy tickets for “The Walking Dead Escape obstacle course, held next month at at San Diego’s Petco Park during Comic-Con International. Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment imprint will give the comic free to “survivors,” “walkers” and spectators.
Roberts’ cover joins those previously revealed from Charlie Adlard, Todd McFarlane, Bryan Hitch, Marc Silvestri, Sean Phillips, Frank Quitely and Ryan Ottley. The 100th issue of The Walking Dead arrives July 11.
When we wrote last week about Hyundai’s offbeat cross-promotion with Robert Kirkman’s Skybound imprint to celebrate the 100th issue of The Walking Dead, we knew it involved a sweepstakes to win an Elantra GT — we just didn’t know which Elantra GT. No, it’s not the customized zombie-proof car with deadly cowcatcher that Kirkman discussed in the video (so push those commuting fantasies out of your had). It’s actually — well, if not better then arguably more macabre.
It turns out the sweepstakes winner will be the proud owner of an Elantra GT hatchback (above) wrapped in Charlie Adlard’s cover art for the landmark 100th issue. Yes, the one that features Rick Grimes standing amid the corpses of every prominent character who’s died in the series to date. So when you lift the latch on the driver’s door, you’ll be … pulling a piece of Jim’s skull? It’s probably best not to think where the gas tank is …
Although we caught glimpses of the Kirkman-designed Hyundai Zombie Survival Machine last week, you can now get a better look below. Or, if you’re attending Comic-Con International next month, you can see the real thing.