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Archive for February, 2010

“A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste.”

One of the most striking covers I’ve seen this year! Gwen’s face front and center on the cover both soothes and terrifies us, and of course, it’s captured by Allred’s signature pop sensibilities perfectly. Great work Mike, and I’m really looking forward to this.

Also, don’t miss the (freaky!) I, Zombi prequel online at Vertigo’s blog, Graphic Content:

I, ZOMBIE #1
On sale MAY 5
32 pg, FC, $1 US
MATURE READERS
Written by CHRIS ROBERSON •Art and cover by MICHAEL ALLRED
1:10 Variant cover by DARWYN COOKE

Gwen Dylan is a gravedigger in an eco-friendly cemetery…and a zombie detective. Once a month, she has to eat a human brain – both to keep from going all “Night of the Living Dead,” and to keep her own memories intact. As a result, Gwen’s mind is crowded with the dead person’s thoughts. And lately, she feels compelled to fulfill their final requests. Torn between a mysterious mummy and a dashing young monster-hunter, Gwen is set for adventures beyond imagination! A were-terrier, a swinging ’60s ghost and a pack of paintball blasting vampires complete the cast of I, ZOMBIE.

Written by World Fantasy Award finalist Chris Roberson (CINDERELLA: FROM FABLETOWN WITH LOVE) with art by Eisner Award-winning superstar artist Michael Allred (X-Statix, Madman), I, ZOMBIE is a monster of a tale with razor-sharp prose and powerful pop artistry. Don’t miss this special debut issue launching Vertigo’s next monster hit, priced at just $1.00! Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.

That’s right, $1.00.

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A quick Usagi update to let readers know that Usagi Yojimbo: Book 24, Return of the Black Soul will be out this July! You can view the contents of the collection via the Usagi Zone at Dark Horse Comics:

In the collected Usagi arena, this summer also sees the release of Book 24(!) in both standard paperback and signed-and-numbered hardcover editions. Return of the Black Soul is Stan’s latest epic, featuring the return of the demon Jei! Thought dead since Grasscutter, Jei has in fact possessed the swordswoman Inazuma, and has been hunting Usagi ever since, making this a showdown ten years in the making! The collection will include “Sparrows,” Jei’s epic return; “The Darkness and the Soul,” Jei’s origin; and a short story from 2009’s Free Comic Book Day comic.

Also worth noting (!) is that there will be another Usagi Yojimbo short story in color this  year at MySpace Dark Horse Presents! I’ll be sure to remind you when we get more details and when it goes online. In addition, expect more Usagi surprises as well throughout the year.

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Just a friendly reminder that our friend Jake Parker’s very own Missile Mouse Vol. 1: The Star Crusher is in stores now, and that you can preview it at Scholastic’s Graphx mini-site.

I just received my copy  recently, and am about of a third of the way through, so expect a review in the near future either here, or at the Follow That Raven blog spot.

Also, be sure to check out the nifty trailer that Jake created to coincide with the release.

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Terry Dodson will be Atlas' regular cover artist

One of the things I lamented most in comics late last year was the cancellation of Jeff Parker’s Agents of Atlas series (not that I had to lament too long what with the back-ups and one-shots), and I know I wasn’t alone in that, so here’s a bit of welcome news: In May the return to thier new ongoing series, right there with Jeff Parker at the helm. How’s that for a Wednesday bump!?

Anyhow, courtesy of Newsarama:

Speaking of two things that go good together, the creative team is one of them. In this new ongoing series, long-time scribe Jeff Parker returns with another familiar face – artist Gabriel Hardman, who has been a key part of the Atlas stories in recent months.

‘You can’t imagine the confidence it gives us all to have Gabe drawing from the start here,’ said Parker. ‘For one, I know I can blue-sky as high as I want with ideas, and Gabe can make that happen- there is nothing he can’t draw and draw extremely well.’

Editor Mark Paniccia, who has been shepherding the team since their modern debut, echoes Parker’s sentiments.

‘We couldn’t be happier with Gabe,’ said the editor. ‘He brings a style that’s both modern and nostalgic in just the right mix. That and a touch of noir give it a very cool edge and sense of excitement that really makes the book stand out. Gabe’s also an absolutely brilliant storyteller and you can tell how much he’s enjoying his work just by looking at the energy in his pages.’

‘And Elizabeth Breitweiser is coloring,’ added Jeff Parker, ‘and I feel they have gelled like a classic art team. Together they give it a feel that makes it really stand out when you’re flipping through the books on Wednesday at the comics shop. It really inspires me to make the best use of their time, so I put a lot into this book. Pick up number one and I think you’ll find we’re doing something well worth your time.’

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Ah, leave it to Groo to brighten a Wednesday afternoon. And provide an example of the kind of self-motivation so many of us could emulate! ; )

Check out the rest of the 3-page preview of Groo: The Hogs of Horder #3 here:

If you thought things were bad in the land of Groo last month, just wait. This month makes last month look like it warranted a rousing chorus of “Happy Days Are Here Again”! Nothing Groo the Wanderer has ever done with his swords has achieved the unparalleled destruction now wrought by the bankers — an unlikely defeat indeed, and we are just as surprised as you are. This issue will make you tremble with fear and awe!

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I had been so busy the end of last year that it completely slipped my mind that Mike Allred and his band, The Gear would be releasing their newest album: To the Left of the Center of the Universe in August ’09. So, after checking last night on the availability, I happily found the album on iTunes and quickly downloaded the puppy.

My long commute each day is not something that I necessarily look forward to, but I was able to take advantage of it this morning by listening to the album in its entirety, and having done so, I wanted to take a few moments to say just how impressed I was with The Gear’s newest effort, and no doubt I’ll be spending a lot more commute time digesting all of the messages unique to each of the dynamic tracks, and enjoying the instrumentals that are nothing if not interesting.

Deploy,” the first song on the album, is undoubtedly my favorite song in the collection. Even if its themes of eternity hadn’t’ hit home due to their familiar religious echoes, honest questions and bold declarations (and it certainly did!) then I would still have been blown away by the Pink Floyd-esque melody and style. I don’t know if Pink Floyd acted as sole inspiration for the track but I do know that they remain a major influence on The Gear and this one could have easily lay nestled in any number of their albums and I would’ve felt it appropriate. “Deploy” just hit on all cylinders for me and I find that I can’t get it out of my head, humming it often since previewing it last summer, thanks to Mike sharing a variation of it with CBR (I was in Tokyo, Japan at the time and it was just the shot from home that I needed). I haven’t consciously caught those “secret messages” yet, but I’ll ahem…keep it in mind. ; )

I will admit that not all of the songs are quite my style of music, but the majority of them definitely resonate with me to one degree or another and I can’t wait to spend more time dissecting “Pop Rocket” in particular, after re-reading my shiny new paperback copy of Red Rocket 7. A great effort all around guys! The album will provide me some great entertainment and I honestly can’t wait for the next one!

But if we’re not from here, when will we leave here and how…

Deployed…deployed…

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