Archive for July, 2010

Artifacts #1 uncovered

The comic-shop release of Artifacts #1 this past Wednesday was the culmination of a lot of planning, conversation, brain-storming and … well, work. Top Cow managing editor Phil Smith, and colorist Sunny Gho both damn near killed themselves getting the last bits of the issue together in time to get issues printed to make the planned San Diego Comic Con debut. And everybody was up until the wee hours proofing the issue to get it just right.

Thus far, looks like all the effort was worth it. I’m very happy with the finished product – not something I always say – and issue #1 has already sold out at the distributor level. That means your local shop might still have a few copies on the shelf, but there are no more in the warehouse. A second printing is being rushed to press, with Michael Broussard’s interior spread, in glorious black and white, used as the wraparound cover.

Reviews for #1 have also been great. Especially gratifying to have so many reviewers comment upon the issue’s accessibility for those unfamiliar with the Top Cow Universe. That was the goal all along, to come up with a story that is satisfying for long-time readers, and welcoming to new ones. Some review links:

  1. Broken Frontier : http://www.brokenfrontier.com/reviews/p/detail/artifacts-1
  2. Crave Online : http://www.craveonline.com/entertainment/comics/article/artifacts-1-review-107731
  3. Nfamous Gamers : http://www.nfamousgamers.com/reviews/books/preview-artifacts-1
  4. Battlemouth : http://www.battlemouth.com/2010/07/20/top-cow-unleashes-artifacts/
  5. Newsarama : http://www.newsarama.com/comics/best-shots-advance-reviews-100727.html
  6. Westfield Comics : http://westfieldcomics.com/blog/interviews-and-columns/fifth-degree-ron-marzs-artifacts-1/
  7. Ideology of Madness : http://ideologyofmadness.spookyouthouse.com//archives/14088
  8. Multiversity Comics : http://www.multiversitycomics.com/2010/07/advance-review-artifacts-1.html
  9. Comic Vine : http://www.comicvine.com/news/review-artifacts-1/141740/
  10. CBR : http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=user_review&id=2496
  11. Techland : http://techland.com/2010/07/29/panel-of-the-week-72810/
  12. Techland (again) : http://techland.com/2010/07/27/comics-on-our-pull-list-72810/
  13. Gin and Comics : http://www.ginandcomics.com/reviews/review-artifacts-1
  14. Comic Book Revolution : http://comicbookrevolution.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=469:artifacts-1-review&catid=57:image&Itemid=71
  15. Kitty’s Pryde : http://kittyspryde.forumotion.com/image-comics-f4/review-artifacts-1-t1176.htm#8059
  16. Cosmic Book News : http://cosmicbooknews.com/reviews/artifacts1_review
  17. League of Comic Geeks : http://leagueofcomicgeeks.com/review/17/artifacts-1
  18. Comic Attack : http://leagueofcomicgeeks.com/review/17/artifacts-1
  19. Newsarama’s Best Shots : http://www.newsarama.com/comics/best-shots-comic-reviews-100802.html
  20. Ideology of Madness (podcast) : http://ideologyofmadness.spookyouthouse.com//archives/14135
  21. iFanboy (podcast): http://www.ifanboy.com/podcasts/audio/08_01_2010_-_Episode__245_-_The_Flash__4
  22. The Quarter Binhttp://thequarterbin.com/2010/07/19/artifacts-1-2/
  23. Major Spoilers :  http://www.majorspoilers.com/archives/49826.htm/
  24. Flames Rising :  http://www.flamesrising.com/artifacts-1-comic-review/
  25. Hollywood Jesushttp://live.hollywoodjesus.com/?p=5865
  26. Comic Impacthttp://comicimpact.com/2010/08/review-artifacts-1/
  27. Image Addictionhttp://imageaddiction.net/?p=975
  28. 11 O’Clock Comics (podcast)http://bullpenbulletinspodcast.com/2010/08/11-oclock-comics-episode-120/ (Artifacts discussion begins at 1:06 mark.)
  29. Pop Mattershttp://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/129094-graze-anatomy-artifacts-1/
  30. Comic Book Masters USAhttp://www.comicbookmastersusa.com/witchblade-broken-trinity/

[EXTRA] Comic Geeks Speaking Podcast

The excellent Comic Geek Speak podcasts are undertaking a series of shows dedicated to the Artifacts event series. The plan is for the guys to discuss the issues as they are released, so this inaugural episode takes on issue #1. Chris Partin, from Image Addiction, joins the conversation, and then my pal Filip Sablik, who also happens to be Top Cow’s publisher, also stops by. Enjoy.

Link to the podcast: http://www.comicgeekspeak.com/episodes/comic_geek_speak-1137.php

Cheers,
Ron


SDCC 2010 Schedule

If you’re lucky (?) enough to be headed for the San Diego Comic-Con next week, here’s my public schedule. Once again, Top Cow is graciously hosting me, so the majority of my time will be spent at the Top Cow booth (#2629).

Wednesday, July 21
No scheduled signing for Preview Night, but I’ll probably be at the Top Cow booth for a while.

Thursday, July 22

Noon-1:30 p.m. , signing at Top Cow booth (#2629)

Friday, July 23

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., signing for donations at Hero Initiative booth (#5003), accompanied by Artifacts artists Michael Broussard, who will be sketching for donations. Hero Initiative is a great cause, so please come out and support it.

1:30-2:30 p.m., signing at Top Cow booth (#2629).

3:30-4:30 p.m., signing with Michael Broussard at iFanboy booth (#2229)

Saturday, July 24

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., signing at Top Cow booth (#2629).

1:30-2:30 p.m., Top Cow panel in Room 9.

Sunday, July 25
No signings; sorry, flying home a day early to get back to work.

I’ll have new projects announced at both Friday’s Image Comics panel (which I won’t be attending) and Saturday’s Top Cow panel (which I will attend), with accompanying articles appearing on the comics news sites shortly thereafter. Or at least that’s the plan. Obviously I’ll have updates on those projects here on the blog once the San Diego madness has passed.

Artifacts #1 will be debuting at the show (copies aren’t schedule to be in stores until the following week). I just read a PDF of the complete issue, and I have to say, I’m pretty damn pleased with the finished product. Michael Broussard’s art is extravagant, as is the two-page Witchblade origin story penciled by Marc Silvestri.

Top Cow will be selling a couple of pretty awesome Con Exclusive covers for my books, with Michael Broussard’s awesome Artifacts #1 wraparound cover, and Kenneth Rocafort’s Velocity #1 cover (both of which you see pictured above). If you happen to out there in the belly of the beast known as SDCC, please stop by and say hi.

Cheers,

Ron


Liquid Refreshment

Blog posts are apt to be in short supply this week, unfortunately, in the run-up to the San Diego Comic Con and the release of Artifacts #1. I’ll be posting my signing and panel schedule for the con, but most of the other words this week will be in the service of stockpiling scripts.

So in the meantime, here’s a couple links to keep you entertained. Both are from the Heavy.com site, which seems to be a something of an online lad magazine, with bikinis, mixed martial arts … and Liquid Comics. Not really sure how that came about, but the site is offering up a couple of my projects for Liquid (then Virgin) for free.

The first is issue #1 of Beyond, the four-issue mini I adapted, along with artist Edison George, from a Deepak Chopra screenplay. The print version of Beyond #1 was among the last Virgin books to be released, and I’m not sure how much distribution it received. It’s a story of other dimensions and alternate universes, with some dense, beautiful art by Edison. Here’s the link for the full issue

The second is actually a collection of material that doesn’t exist in a single-issue print version. In addition to serving as editor for Ramayan 3392 A.D. , I wrote a series of five short stories meant as origin pieces for the main characters. Each story was only three pages, and I came up with the idea of using one of those three pages as an alternate cover for the respective issues, necessitating that one of the pages be a splash. So the stories were a slightly tricky exercise in short-form storytelling and formatting. But I was in a position to hire my own artists, and I went with some of the best. In order:

  1. Michael Avon Oeming on Rama
  2. Jim Starlin on Ravan
  3. Luke Ross on Seeta
  4. David Petersen on Hanuman
  5. Bart Sears on Lakshman

I tried to pair characters with matching artistic sensibilities (frankly, something writers and/or editors should be doing all the time). Mike’s affection for heroic mythology made him a natural fit for Rama … and his rep for turning around pages fast didn’t hurt either. Jim’s career is obviously filled with memorable villains, his creation Thanos chief among them, so the villainous Ravan was an obvious choice. Luke’s beautiful, flowing lines and attention to detail were a nice match for Seeta. Luke did some gorgeous, full-color covers for Virgin’s Devi, a title featuring a female lead. That’s also Luke’s cover you’ll see on Beyond #1.

I was a little hesitant to typecast David, who is best known for his terrific Mouse Guard series. But pairing David with the monkey-god Hanuman was too perfect to pass up. And finally, Bart’s penchant for muscled warriors and bloody battles made the Lakshman assignment an easy one.

All five of the origin stories are collected here.

Enjoy.

Cheers,

Ron


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