And not just any Dungeons & Dragons, but the ’80s cartoon version, which never looked this good.
Monster Brains has a whole gallery of Sienkiewicz featuring Judge Dredd, Conan and a ton of art from his out-of-print 1985 Vampyres portfolio.
If you’ve never read Bram Stoker’s Dracula–or even if you have–here’s some news that should warm your blood: Harper Design has released a new edition featuring illustrations by Demo artist Becky Cloonan. She shows off a few of the 50 illustrations she did for the book over on her blog. The book came out today, so look for it in finer bookstores everywhere.
Here’s a two-fisted webcomic for fans of Clark Gable and old action movies: Ace Kilroy, the story of a Gable-esque tough guy who is sent by his good friend, President Franklin Roosevelt, to investigate a Nazi plot to harness vampires and other supernatural creatures to further their cause. Ace is a smart guy, but in true B-movie fashion, he knows when to let his fists do the talking. And the strip is smart, too—that’s Secretary of State Cordell Hull hovering in the middle panel, behind FDR. I bet he doesn’t show up in too many comics these days.
The webcomic launched on Halloween (of course!), and it updates daily, with a big color comic on Sundays. The archives are a quick read, and there’s also a nicely designed dossier on the characters that shows that creators Rob Kelly and Dan O’Connor have really put some thought into this comic and are in it for the long haul. Kelly and O’Connor are trying to raise enough money via Kickstarter to work exclusively on the comic for a while, as well as to start work on a print edition and do some publicity. The Kickstarter campaign runs through this Wednesday, so if you like what you see, don’t dally! Awards include, in typical 1930s fashion, membership in Ace’s Allies, which I can only hope includes a secret decoder ring.
Vertigo Comics announced today that writer Dan Abnett and artist I.N.J. Culbard will team up on an eight-issue miniseries titled The New Deadwardians, a comic set in post-Victorian England where the upper class voluntarily becomes vampires in order to escape the lower class, who have all become zombies.
“May I just confess that this is a story that involves both zombies and vampires, two things I swore I would never write about because they had both long since jumped the shark,” Abnett said in his pitch. “Then this idea came to me and wouldn’t leave me alone. Please be tolerant of the zombie-and-vampire-ness of this until you’ve heard me out. It’s essentially a detective story set in an alternate history England, circa 1900.”
Here’s how they described the book on the Vertigo blog:
Set in post-Victorian England, nearly everyone in the upper class has voluntarily become a vampire to escape the lower classes who are all zombies.
Thrust into this mayhem is Chief Inspector George Suttle, a lonely detective who’s got the slowest beat in London: investigating murders in a world where everyone is already dead!
But when the body of a young aristocrat washes up on the banks of the Thames, Suttle’s quest for the truth will take him from the darkest sewers to the gleaming halls of power, and reveal the rotten heart at the center of this strange world.
Abnett, of course, is one half of the DnA writing team with Andy Lanning, who together write Resurrection Man and New Mutants. Culbard has done work for Dark Horse and SelfMadeHero, a British publisher, including the adaptation of Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness that won a British Fantasy Award earlier this year.
The first issue comes out in March.
Courtesy of Andrew Foley, Fiona Staples and IDW, we’re pleased to present a sneak preview of Done to Death, a graphic novel that arrives in shops this week. It’s the story of an editor who gets tired of reading “poorly written Twilight knockoffs,” so she starts killing off the would-be writers submitting them to her. Here’s the official description:
WRITTEN BY: Andrew Foley
ILLUSTRATIONS AND COVERS BY: Fiona Staples
FOREWORD BY: Steve Niles
“Fed up with receiving poorly written Twilight knockoffs, editor Shannon Wade did what any reasonable person would: she started killing the worst of the would-be authors sending them to her. Meanwhile, Andy, a stuttering, overweight vampire has targeted those who portray vampires in a light he deems unrealistic. Not exactly novel but terribly graphic, Done To Death follows Andy and Shannon’s paths towards a collision as darkly funny as it is ridiculously violent.”
“DONE TO DEATH” Drops This September From IDW Publishing! (MSRP – $19.99 Page Count – 136)
I should note that the preview contains violent/gruesome scenes, it’s not safe for work and it’s for mature readers only. Check it out after the jump.
Comic-Con International in San Diego hasn’t officially started yet—tonight was Preview Night—but the news has been rolling in. So let’s take a look at today’s announcements
• Dark Horse announced three new projects earlier this evening. They will publish a comics adaptation of The Strain, the sci-fi/vampire trilogy by filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. The comic will be written by David Lapham with art by Mike Huddleston.
• They also announced a series written by Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello with art by Scott Hepburn. Orchid is about a 16-year-old prostitute in a dystopian future “becoming the Spartacus of whores.” Each issue will come with a music track by Morello.
• And finally on the Dark Horse front, they will publish comics set in the young vampire world of P.C. Cast’s House of Night novel series. It will be co-written by Kent Dallan with art by Joëlle Jones. You can see a trailer promoting all three new books on YouTube.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula may be the most famous vampire novel, but it wasn’t the first: James Malcolm Rymer’s Varney the Vampire; or, the Feast of Blood, published in serialized issues in the mid-1840s, prefigured not only modern vampire stories but modern emo-vampire stories, with a fanged hero who drinks people’s blood and feels just terrible about it afterward. You can read the book on Project Gutenberg if you have a couple of months to spare — it’s over 800 pages long — but outside the shadowy regions of the Internet, Varney is pretty obscure.
Until now! Writer Scott Massino and artist Marcio Takara (whose credits include Incorruptible and The Incredibles, both for BOOM! Studios) are raising funds on Kickstarter for a Varney the Vampire comic that restores this lost character to his rightful place in popular culture. Massino’s Varney is an undead rock guitarist who is determined to reclaim his legacy. He bribes his screenwriter nephew Simon to write a movie script about his life, but a coven of witches is getting in the way. From the pitch:
“Shadow of the Vampire” meets “Get Shorty” and “Crossroads” in this hilarious and horrifying take on the vampire genre that blends the garish pop humor of such adult cartoons as “Family Guy” and “South Park.”
The project seems to be pretty well thought out—these guys don’t just have a charcter and a plot, they have a theme as well—and, according to this local-boy-makes-good article, Massino has the first story arc completely worked out. The first issue is done, and the Kickstarter funding will go toward the next two. They hope to either pitch it to Image or publish it themselves; either way, this is a pair to watch.
Jess Smart Smiley’s all-ages graphic novel Upside Down: A Vampire Tale comes out in October from Top Shelf, and he’s hoping to promote it by making an appearance on the Conan O’Brien show. So he’s drawing pictures of O’Brien and posting them on Facebook to try and get O’Brien’s attention.
“My goal is to be invited as a guest on the Conan O’Brien show and talk about the book in October, when it comes out. We can talk about other things, too,” he says on the Facebook group, “Will Draw for Coco.” “I’m drawing pictures of Conan from every episode from now (May) until October, when the book comes out. Please help spread the word about the awesome drawings and even cooler graphic novel.”
Welcome to the first Food or Comics? for 2011. Every week we talk about what comics we’d buy on Wednesday based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on what we call our “Splurge” item.
Check out Diamond’s release list for this week if you’d like to play along in our comments section.
Hey, it’s the first week of 2011, and time to get some awesome comics, right? Right? So for my $15, I’ll pick up… Oh. Kind of a slow week, then, huh? Well, there’s always Steel #1 (DC, $2.99), the sure-to-be-controversial one-shot that launches the retro “Reign of Doomsday” crossover, and my love of James Robinson’s Justice League will ensure I pick up the Starman/Congorilla one-shot (DC, $2.99), if only to find out what all those interludes in the middle of the current “Omega” storyline are all about. Curiosity compels me to pick up Image’s Walking Dead Weekly #1 ($2.99), if only to see if it’s pretty much an exact reprint of the original first issue with a different cover, but that remaining $6 may just end up burning a hole in my pocket. Maybe I’ll put it toward my $30 haul…
Also, David and Steve are giving away a bag of High Moon swag to anyone who changes their icon to something High Moon related on Facebook or Twitter. Find all the details on their blog.
There is a fundamental tension between the horror and superhero genres. Clearly the two aren’t incompatible, but in the stories which blend them, often one genre will dominate. At the risk of gross oversimplification, there’s no guarantee of a horror story having a happy ending; whereas superhero stories are generally about saving the day. Put another way, superheroes generally stop monsters.
Such was the case with 1991′s graphic novel Batman & Dracula: Red Rain, in which the Lord of Vampires comes to Gotham City. Red Rain was written by longtime Bat-scribe Doug Moench, boasted the distinctively eerie pencils of Kelley Jones, and polished off its sinister, downbeat mood through Malcolm Jones III’s inks, Les Dorscheid’s colors, and Todd Klein’s letters. SPOILERS FOLLOW … but is not much of a spoiler to note that Batman defeats Dracula, because a) that is what Batman does, and b) Tomb of Dracula notwithstanding, that is how Drac usually winds up. Furthermore, Red Rain was far from the Darknight Detective’s only run-in with more malevolent creatures of the night, because he’d been fighting vampires and werewolves as far back as 1939′s Detective Comics #30.
No, what makes Red Rain and its two sequels different is their overwhelming sense of doom. Red Rain is a superhero horror story which eventually turns Batman’s world inside-out more than any traditional deconstruction ever could.
Becky Cloonan’s “Sluts of Dracula” post hinted that this might be on the way, and behold, it’s a thing of beauty: Historical and literary gag cartoonist extraordinaire Kate Beaton takes on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the Victorian classic of horror and sex (and horror of sex). She nails it. Or drives a stake through it, whichever. Read the whole thing.
“Sluts of Dracula” is totally today’s phrase that pays. Seriously, if I were a publisher I’d greenlight a book called Sluts of Dracula sight unseen. Of course, since the phrase was coined by cartoonist Becky Cloonan — who then provided ample, gorgeous, gloriously NSFW illustrations of the concept — it really wouldn’t be that much of a risk.
Bestselling author Stephen King, whose vast body of work includes Salem’s Lot, has some strong opinions about vampires. So it comes as little surprise that he would voice those views in an interview promoting the hardcover collection of American Vampire, the Vertigo series whose initial story arc he co-wrote, and in his introduction to the first volume.
“A traditional vampire is always a taker, and that’s the story of American expansion and laissez-faire and the rise of industrialism,” King tells USA Today, referring to his Western outlaw Skinner Sweet. “The idea that he wants to come back and get his vengeance and he wants to get it as fast as he can and as harshly as he can, that’s a very American desperado thing.”
In the collection’s foreword, reprinted at EW.com, King takes aim at the likes of Twilight and True Blood: “Here’s what vampires shouldn’t be: pallid detectives who drink Bloody Marys and only work at night; lovelorn southern gentlemen; anorexic teenage girls; boy-toys with big dewy eyes. What should they be? Killers, honey. Stone killers who never get enough of that tasty Type-A. Bad boys and girls. Hunters. In other words, Midnight America. Red white and blue, accent on the red. Those vamps got hijacked by a lot of soft-focus romance.”
Read the full introduction at EW.com. American Vampire, Vol. 1, by King, Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque, is in stores today.
On the heels of Georges Jeanty’s cover for Buffy the Vampire Slayer #36, Dark Horse has fired another good-natured shot at Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight empire with a promo for Issue #37, the second part of the final arc of the bestselling Season Eight.
See the full image after the break. Buffy the Vampire Slayer #37 is due in stores on Oct. 6.