Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop 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 a “Splurge” item.
If I had $15, I’d first get the third issue of my favorite New 52 title, Batwoman #3 (DC, $2.99). Seriously, J.H. Williams III is hitting a home run on every outing here when it comes to my tastes. Although the writing isn’t up to the level of Greg Rucka’s time on the book, it’s close and only bound to get better. Next up I’d get Point One #1 (Marvel, $5.99). I think this format–an extra-size preview book for what’s coming next–is an interesting experiment, and I’m intrigued most by the Nova story, but also interested to see what the others do. Third would be Uncanny X-Force #17 (Marvel, $3.99), to get the one-two punch of Rick Remender and Jerome Opena. Iceman as a bad guy? I dig this.
As we noted on Sunday, The Walking Dead co-creator Robert Kirkman was a guest on The View‘s “Halloween Spectacular” episode, where he survived a gauntlet of questions about his popular creation, zombies and zombie survival. You can check out Kirkman’s appearance below; his “Zombies 101″ segment begins at about the 11:20 mark, after the first commercial break.
Back in May the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took a fun approach to encouraging folks to prepare for disasters with a blog post about how to get ready for the zombie apocalypse. That post proved to be very popular, so they’ve followed it up with a comic on the same topic.
Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic was created in-house, the CDC’s David Daigle told USA Today. The same article points out that the initial zombie blog post cost $87, to buy a stock photo as an illustration. “We got an estimate for the blog that it’s worth $3.4 million in marketing value,” Daigle said. So maybe lightning will strike twice with the comic.
Their timing, of course, couldn’t be better, what with AMC’s The Walking Dead returning to television this past Sunday. Both the show and the CDC claim Atlanta as a home, which has led Atlanta Magazine to declare the city “the Zombie Capital of the World.”
The Alamo Drafthouse theaters held six “Mondo Mystery Movies” in Los Angeles this past weekend, and they had different artists create limited edition posters for each of them. One of those artists was Charlie Adlard of Walking Dead fame, who created the above poster for 28 Days Later (with title treatment from Jon Smith).
There’s also a variant edition — same poster, different title treatment — after the jump, along with the other movie posters they released for Iron Giant, City of Lost Children, Hellraiser, Assault on Precinct 13 and The Mist.
That’s the story cartoonist Chris Moreno is telling in his new comic book Zombie Dickheads Are NOT Coming To Get You, set for release in October. Moreno’s produced a diverse amount of work in his short career, from Disney’s Toy Story to a World War Hulk one-shot, but this book sees him doing his first creator-owned book from the ground up.
“[The title characters are] total jerks,” Moreno says in the press release. “Imagine the idiots who get everyone killed in zombie movies the day after they come back from the dead, and now they have to stick together. I’ve heard them referred to as ‘hipster zombies’, since they have a sort of ‘been there, done that’ attitude to the whole zombie thing. In a way, they’re sort of commentators on the whole zombie invasion of pop culture.”
The October release clocks in at 48 pages, and will debut at Chris’ table at the Nashville Comic and Horror Fest on Oct. 1. After that it’ll be available at all his future convention appearances, as well as a website he set up for the book.
It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. As usual, we’re focusing on graphic novels, collected volumes, and first issues so that I don’t have to come up with a new way to say, “Jeff Lemire’s Frankenstein is still awesome!” every month. And I’ll continue letting Tom and Carla do the heavy lifting in regards to DC and Marvel’s solicitations.
Also, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell me what I missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.
The Grave Doug Freshley – A lot of publishers are doing Weird Western comics lately and that’s just fine with me.
Spera, Volume 1 – I like the sound of this fairy tale in which a couple of princesses combine efforts to save their kingdoms. It’s not that I’m anti-prince, but that’s a cool, new way to do that story.
Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island – Warren Ellis doing Steampunk sounds thrilling, but really all they had to say was “pirates.” I bet this is still really good though, even if you’re pickier than I am.
Roger Langridge’s Snarked #1 – After a well-loved zero-issue, Langridge’s version of Wonderland gets its real, official start.
There’s only one page up so far, but Hairy Steve already has a bit of a history: Creators Jamie Smart and Steve Bright lived up to their last names with an indiegogo campaign that has already overshot its goal of $2,000. (The funding levels run from “stubbly” to “hirsute.”) Smart and Bright only have one page up so far, but it has a distinct EC vibe and the promise of plenty of mashup madness. Hairy Steve is, well, a hairy beast, who hides from humans because he finds them annoying but isn’t averse to rescuing them if he sees them getting into trouble. And there’s a whole lot of trouble when he accidentally crushes a zombie’s skull, bringing a plague of walking dead into his city. Smart and Bright say they can pull this story off in 24 pages, which seems like a feat in itself, but it should be fun to watch them try.
For the last few years, when not busy with his day job teaching sequential art at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Brian Ralph has been busy working on his latest graphic novel, Daybreak. The book is a slight departure of sorts for Ralph — best known for his early work as part of the highly influential Fort Thunder collective and for books like Cave-In — in that it delves into the horror genre. Yes, it’s another zombie book, but it’s a zombie book with a unique twist, with everything viewed from the perspective of an unnamed survivor (i.e. the reader), as he explores a foreboding landscape and finds a potential friend amidst all the devastation.
Daybreak makes it debut at Comic-Con this year, and Ralph will be on a panel at 5 p.m. (Pacific time) 14today with Anders Nilsen and Jeff Smith on the subject of “Epic Literary Adventures” (in Room 9).
I talked with Ralph over email about the panel, the new book, and the adventures of teaching comics to college students.
Daybreak is a horror story told from a unique, first-person perspective. Which came first for you, the desire to do a horror tale or the unique way of telling it?
I don’t play video games, but I felt there was something exciting about how a person could be immersed in the world of a video game. With comics the reader isn’t an active participant in the storytelling. I wanted to make a comic that, in it’s own way, achieve some feeling of participation and immersion. I was looking for interactivity of some kind.
I had not seen a “first-person shooter” style of comic before. It turned out to be very exciting approach to storytelling. I was constantly trying to figure out new ways for the reader to feel like they were interacting with the characters and become characters in the story as well. I made some decisions along the way; to never show the reader’s “character” such as in a mirror. I didn’t want the reader to talk with a word balloon. I felt those things would break the illusion. It was tricky to work with those constraints, but such a fun challenge.
Plenty of zombies typically attend Comic-Con — whether they’re dressed as characters from The Walking Dead or simply love Marvel to death — but this week BOOM! Studios announces a new humor comic that pits Comic-Con attendees vs. actual zombies.
Per the press release, Fanboys vs. Zombies details what happens when a group of fanboys “find one of their greatest nightmares turned reality as San Diego becomes zombie ground zero. Armed only with the undead know-how they’ve gained from comic books, video games and horror movies, it’s up to one group of friends to navigate the Comic-Con feeding frenzy, and make it out alive! But will the zombie hordes be deadlier than they ever imagined? Can they save their friends along the way, and still make it out with some Comic-Con exclusives?”
The comic was conceived by Ben Silverman and Jimmy Fox of Electus. Silverman is the former co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, as well as executive producer of such shows as The Office, Ugly Betty, The Tudors and The Biggest Loser.
“BOOM! Studios is the ideal partner for this initiative as no one understands what serves this audience better than they do,” said Fox in the release. “We wanted to create this for the real fans. The comic book junkies, the sci-fi nuts, the horror enthusiasts, the hardcore gamers–every one of them will be represented in our cast of characters. This is for any fan who has ever wondered what would happen if they had to play the role of the hero.”
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…
Via the March solicitations for Avatar Press comes word that Stray Bullets creator David Lapham is writing a six-issue miniseries starring notorious Roman Emperor Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, otherwise known as Caligula.
Here’s the solicitation text: “In March, David Lapham (of Stray Bullets fame) debuts a new six-issue sweeping epic with CALIGULA #1. In an age of depravity, one man’s perverse appetites horrified the entire Roman Empire. A ruler who began as a generous man but who ended as the most debased of monarchs, Caligula exemplifies the very concept that absolute power corrupts absolutely. No stranger to horror (as fans of his CROSSED: FAMILY VALUES series can attest), Lapham delivers the bloody tale of the infamous emperor – but with a supernatural twist – as illustrated by new talent German Nobile.”
Avatar also has a new Night of the Living Dead miniseries kicking off in March by Mike Wolfer and Dheeraj Verma. You can see the cover and solicitation info after the jump.
[Johnny Ryan:] You and artist Tony Moore are longtime friends and collaborators. You created The Walking Dead comic together. What prompted Tony to leave the series? Any drama, I hope?
[Robert Kirkman:] Well, there’s always drama when people as close as Tony and I work together. So, you know, sure. My favourite response to this question is that Tony got pregnant and had to leave the book, because that leaves things interesting and mysterious which is the best way to leave them.
The real answer is much more boring. We were very adamant about scheduling early on, and Tony—fantastic artist though he is—is much more the type that works best on a variety of projects, rather than a single, constant deadline, so we decided it would be best if we went our separate ways for the time being.
[Johnny Ryan:] I’ve collaborated a few times with other artists. It always starts off cool, but then I quickly become irritated and want to get the fuck away from the other guy as quickly as possible and then talk major shit about him on the internet. Which collaborations made you do this, too?
[Tony Moore:] Well, Kirkman and I have clearly gone our separate ways. We had our disagreements about how things were supposed to operate, and since then, our different perspectives have given rise to what each believes to be the key issues leading to our split. Over the years, he’s publicly espoused some views on the artistic process that are so fundamentally dissonant from my own that they will likely remain a wedge between us for a long, long time. I don’t talk shit on anybody, but I’m not going to hide or sugar-coat my feelings on the matter.
–The Walking Dead co-creators Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore mince few words in explaining why Moore left the hit zombie comic-turned-TV-show to Vice magazine interviewer (and Prison Pit cartoonist!) Johnny Ryan (himself no stranger to TWD). Read both interviews — after all, it’s Johnny Ryan interviewing Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore.
Think of it as Swamp Thing Lite: Darell Toland’s Stix and Bones is a cheery, all-ages webcomic about a little girl named Bones and her bull terrier Stix. This is no saccharine girl-and-puppy comic, though: Bones’s father is a genetic engineer, and some of his chemicals made their way into the family graveyard, resurrecting her grandmother as a tree and some of the other relatives as zombies. There’s a zombie cat, too, a couple of crows who comment on everything, and an assortment of human friends. It’s a nice evil-genius comic, smart-alecky but not mean, and although it’s kid-friendly (well, for kids who are OK with zombies), the humor is smart enough for adults. Tolland’s expressive art pulls the whole thing together nicely. The comic has been going since February so the archives aren’t overwhelming; now is a great time to jump in and get up to date.
…and in so doing makes my head damn near explode with her talent. Emily Carroll, as you may recall, was the cartoonist between the Halloween sensation “His Face All Red,” a chillingly subtle horror comic that took the comics Internet by storm around All Hallows Eve. Her latest post is a gallery of fan art for a variety of nerd-beloved franchises: Zombies from Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare and Fallout: New Vegas, the “Fear is the mindkiller” speech from Dune, and more — even a pin-up from Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski’s berserk conquistador classic Aguirre: The Wrath of God (see below). It’s always exciting to watch someone go from unknown to must-read (or must-gawk-at, in this case) overnight.
Editor’s note: As a part of Robot 666 Week, we welcome guest contributors Johnny Zito and Tony Trov, writers of Black Cherry Bombshells, Carnivale De Robotique, Moon Girl and the upcoming D.O.G.S. of Mars.
by Johnny Zito and Tony Trov
Zombies are kind of our thing. So, in honor of Halloween we conducted an informal survey on Twitter to determine what the most effective zombie killing weapon might be.
We received some pretty unique answers including katana swords, monster trucks, bear traps and “kindness.” Taking the top five suggested methods of murder, death and mayhem, we then looked to pop culture for help ranking them by body count.
The results are reflected in the graph below:
The same rigorous, scientific research also proves that while just about anything can kill a zombie, only one thing makes them hilarious:
To participate in more horror related polls that’ll be transcribed into grossly inaccurate infographs, please check out SOUTH fellini.