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Unbreakable Valor #2 for Free

Issue #2 of Unbreakable Valor, which I helped create for Panasonic, is now available online for free. A sequel to last year’s debut, issue #2 is written by me, with pencils by Lee Moder, inks by Mark Pennington, color by Mike Atiyeh, letters by Troy Peteri, edits by Phil Smith, and additional art by Bart Sears.

Once again, it’s a fun superhero yarn highlighting Panasonic’s Toughpad products, featuring the heroes of the League of Valor. This time, they take on their nemesis Doctor Analog, as well as a collection of escaped super-villains with names like Electricindy, Tall Tail and Killa Gorilla. The entire issue can be read for free online, at Panasonic’s site:

http://www.panasonic.com/business/toughpad/Unbreakable-Valor/Issue-2.html

A very limited number of print copies were produced. If you catch me at a convention or signing, you might be able to get your hands on one. We’re already working on the next issue, so stay tuned.

Cheers,

Ron


Convention Updates

My convention schedule for the first few months of 2015 is taking shape. There are more shows confirmed for the year, but I don’t want to step on any announcements those shows have in the works. For now, here’s the initial batch of convention appearances I’ll be making:

*Feb. 27-28, Great Lakes Comic Con, Detroit, MI. Website:
http://www.greatlakescomiccon.org/

*March 14-15, London Super Comic Con, London, UK. Website:
http://www.londonsupercomicconvention.com/

*April 19, Albany Toy Show, Albany, NY. Website:
http://toyshow.albanycomicbookshow.com/

*May 16-17, Tidewater Comicon, Tidewater, VA. Website:
http://tidewatercomicon.com/

As soon as additional conventions and signings are officially announced, I’ll post them here.

Cheers,

Ron


Back to the Blog

Updates have been suspiciously lacking around here lately, and for that I apologize. Between my travel schedule in the last quarter of 2014, and the accompanying deadline doom, updates slid to the back burner and stayed there. But as the New Year sheds the skin of the old, it seems like a good time to get back to regular attention to the blog.

Last year afforded me opportunities that were literally the stuff of dreams. I finally got to write one of my dream projects, taking on John Carter: Warlord of Mars for Dynamite, fully authorized by Edgar Rice Buroughs, Inc. I hitched my wagon to the Skylanders franchise, as IDW picked up the license for comics, which I’m writing with my friend Dave Rodriguez.

I also got to take amazing trips to conventions in Hyderabad, India; the island of Malta; and Mexico City. The promoters and fans at each of the shows were absolutely stellar. I could not have been taken better care of, or felt more welcome. Wonderful experiences in every way.

I was fortunate enough to fly on a 514th Air Mobility Wing C-17 transport jet for refueling training, out of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. I also visited “Saturday Night Live” for the season premiere on Sept. 27, and attend the after party at Tavern on the Green, thanks to my friend Paul Harding and cast member Bobby Moynihan.

So here’s what 2015 has in store, at least as much as I know, and can reveal:

*I’ll be continuing on John Carter: Warlord of Mars for Dynamite on a monthly basis.

*I’m still writing Witchblade for Top Cow/Image. Series artist Laura Braga has stepped aside to do some work for Marvel, so I’ll have a new artistic partner, at least for a few issues. We’re also planning for a five-issue Magdalena mini-series for 2015.

*The Skylanders comics from IDW will be a monthly (and sometimes more) assignment, with Dave Rodriguez co-writing with me, and a host of great artists providing interiors.

*I’m continuing the weekly, Sunday-style strips at the Edgar Rice Burroughs website, writing Korak the Killer for Rick Leonardi, and The Mucker for Lee Moder. Neeraj Menon provides lush color for both strips. You can subscribe to the strips, for a mere $1.99 a month, here:

http://www.edgarriceburroughs.com/comics/

*I’m writing two of DC Comics’ two-issue Convergence series, Batman & Robin with art by Denys Cowan and Klaus Janson, and Justice League International with art by Mike Manley. Look for those in April and May.

*Issue #2 of Unbreakable Valor, starring the League of Valor superheroes we created, was just released by Panasonic. There are more issues planned, and you can read issue #2 for free right here:

http://www.panasonic.com/business/toughpad/Unbreakable-Valor/Issue-2.html

*I’m writing another story for The Ride from 12 Gauge Comics, with art by my buddy Nelson Blake 2nd. There will be a preview of our tale in 12 Gauge’s FCBD offering.

*The Protectors from Athlitacomics, by NFL player Israel Idonije, Bart Sears and me, will see its first five issues released in the coming year, with more plans on the horizon.

*I’m continuing as a columnist for Comic Book Resources, the number one comics-related site. My Shelf Life columns are archived here:

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=column&id=40

*I have a number of convention appearances booked for 2015, but most have yet to be announced. One that has been announced is Tidewater Comicon in Virginia Beach, VA on May 16 and 17.

*Last, and certainly not least, I’m also doing work for a company called Magic Leap, which you’ll be hearing a lot more about in the coming year. I can’t say too much more than that at present.

Thanks for reading.

Cheers,

Ron

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In Stores This Week

I have three new issues being released this week. First up is John Carter: Warlord of Mars #3, from Dynamite, continuing the “Invaders of Mars” story arc. Art is by Abhishek Malsuni (pencils), Zsolt Garisa (inks) and Nanjan Jamberi (color), with covers by Bart Sears, Ed Benes, Emanuela Lupacchino and Abhishek Malsuni. Dejah Thoris takes center stage in the issue, as she tries to escape imprisonment by Union officer Captain Joshua Clark and foment rebellion against his alien occupiers. Meanwhile, John Carter races toward the city of Helium in his quest to rescue Dejah, and expel the invaders.

A preview can be viewed here:
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=25331

Also in stores Wednesday is Skylanders #4 from IDW, based on the best-selling video game franchise. I co-wrote the story with my pal David Rodriguez, and the art is by Aurelio Mazzara (pencils), Gaetano Petrigno (inks) and Tomato Farm (colors), with backup art by Mike Bowden and David Garcia Cruz.

A preview can be viewed here:
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=25352

Next up, Legends of the Dark Knight 100-Page Super Spectacular #5. Yeah, I know that’s a mouthful. The collection includes my Batman story “Nevermore,” with art by Cully Hamner, Derec Donovan and Rico Renzi. Released digitally last month, the story is an homage to Edgar Allen Poe and his body of work, with a villain who models himself after Poe. The tale is stuffed with Poe reference and quotes. In some ways, it’s a companion to the Adventures of Superman story I did with artist Doc Shaner and colorist Matt Wilson earlier this year. In both cases, I got to write “my” story for the Man of Steel and Caped Crusader, and I was thrilled with how both of them turned out.

A preview can be viewed here:
http://13thdimension.com/sneak-peek-legends-of-the-dark-knight-5/

Cheers,

Ron


Some Comics I read

I’m not a lists guy, especially Year End lists. I don’t see much reason to rank artistic ventures, since it’s all subjective depending on one’s tastes. However, as a columnist for Comic Book Resources, I was asked to contribute a Top 10 list to be collated with those of about 50 other people who write or edit for the site. I thought I’d present my full list here, including the comments that CBR requested for each entry.

A few things to mention. This is not a “Best of…” list, per se. This is a list of comics I read and liked. There are a lot of comics I haven’t read yet that likely would’ve landed on this list; “Southern Bastards” and “Wytches” come to mind immediately. I also didn’t include any superhero titles, because I wanted to concentrate on work that was creator-owned, or at least more personal in nature. I adore books like currents runs of “Thor,” “Daredevil,” “Batman” and “Superman” right now.

Anyway, here’s my list:

1) Ragnarok: Walter Simonson returns to Norse mythology and puts his stamp on what happens after the Twilight of the Gods. Powerful graphic storytelling in service of an inspired story, starring a Thor like you’ve never seen before. This is pure comics from a master.

2) Hellboy in Hell: Mike Mignola writing and drawing Hellboy journeying through a shadow-drenched Hell. Any questions? No? Didn’t think so.

3) Starlight: The clever love child of classic pulp and Moebius-inspired sci-fi, with insanely beautiful art by Goran Parlov. Great concept, beautiful marriage of story and art, but what I liked most about “Starlight” was its heart.

4) The Fade Out: I’m a sucker for Hollywood’s golden age, which Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips capture in all its glitz and grime. Brubaker and Phillips make magic every time they work together.

5) Nemo: The Roses of Berlin: Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” saga is back with another tale of Nemo’s daughter, this time in a German expressionist nachtmahr. This is the kind of alternate history mashup that make the original LOEG minis some of my favorite stuff ever.

6) Winter World: Pretty tough to follow in the footsteps of Dixon and Zaffino’s original, but Chuck and Butch Guice found a way to do it. Stark and beautiful. So glad this “World” has finally returned.

7) Flash Gordon: Jeff Parker’s story perfectly captured the adventure of Flash’s world, but the real star here is Doc Shaner’s lovely art. Shaner and colorist Jordie Bellaire made this one of the two or three best-looking series of the year.

8) Velvet: I spy with my little eye one of the best spy stories to ever grace comics, made all the more interesting because of its female lead. Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting are doing everything they together on did on “Captain America” … and doing it better.

9) The Shadow Hero: Another great graphic novel from Gene Luen Yang, with art by Sonny Liew, telling the story of the Green Turtle, the first Chinese-American superhero. It’s part superhero origin, part pulp homage, and part Chinese-American history lesson, and succeeds at all of those.

10) Day Men: Brian Stelfreeze drew it. That’s all you need to know.


Read League of Valor for Free

The names of heroes like Leander, Siddharasa and Airfox probably aren’t familiar to you, but you can get to know them via Unbreakable Valor #1, a comic I wrote for Panasonic starring the stalwart League of Valor. Panasonic put together Unbreakable Valor #1 as a showcase for its Toughpad series of devices, and brought in a creative team that includes me, penciler Rick Leonardi, inker Mark Pennington, colorist Mike Atiyeh, and letterer Troy Peteri to create a group of heroes and a storyline to introduce them. Bart Sears also provided additional artwork.

You can read the entire story online for free at Panasonic’s website. A very limited number of print editions were also published. Check out the story here: http://info.panasonic.com/unbreakable-valor-issue1.html

Panasonic is also offering a contest with a prize that includes a trip to Comic-Con International San Diego in 2015, a Toughpad, and the opportunity to appear in a future issue of League of Valor. Full details on the contest here:

http://www.panasonic.com/business/toughpad/us/toughpad-sweepstakes.asp

We had a great deal of fun putting together the issue, so I’m glad we’ll be continuing the series. The next issue is slated for November release.

Cheers,

Ron


Covering All the John Carter Bases

The cover images for John Carter: Warlord of Mars #1, by me and artist Abhishek Malsuni, have been released. It looks like there will be at least 11 covers, everything from images by J. Scott Campbell, Bart Sears, J.G. Jones, Ed Benes, Abhishek Malsuni and many more, to a black-and-white version of Bart’s cover, to a blank cover for sketching. You can see all 11 versions below.

John Carter: Warlord of Mars #1 will be a completely ground-floor read; you don’t need to have read the previous comics, or the novels, or even watched Andrew Stanton’s unfairly-maligned movie (which I thought was pretty great). If you’re unfamiliar with the Mars of Edgar Rice Burroughs, you’ll learn everything you need to know right in the issue.

I would love to be your tour guide to Barsoom. If you’d like to take the trip, pre-order from your local comics retailer. Pre-ordering is the lifeblood of monthly comics, and often the difference between a series continuing and getting canceled. You must like at least one of those covers, right?

Here’s the preview blurb for the book:

JOHN CARTER WARLORD #1 CVR A CAMPBELL MAIN
(W) Ron Marz (A) Abhishek Malsuni (CA) J. Scott Campbell

John Carter: Warlord of Mars returns in a new monthly series, officially authorized by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.! Superstar writer Ron Marz finally gets to pen the series he has always wanted to write, with amazing new art talent Abhishek Malsuni joining him. Return to the exotic landscape of Barsoom, as John Carter has to save his adopted world, not to mention his beloved Dejah Thoris, from an enemy like no other he has ever faced. John Carter must truly become Warlord of Mars against an adversary who is every bit his equal on the savage red planet. An amazing new era for John Carter of Mars starts here!

Cheers,

Ron


Download Ravine Volume 1 for Free

The entirety of Ravine Volume 1, the fantasy original graphic novel by Stjepan Sejic and me, can now be downloaded for FREE from Stjepan’s Deviant Art site:

http://nebezial.deviantart.com/art/ravine-full-issue1-enjoy-you-have-to-download-469914842

Obviously we hope you still pick up the print version of the book — it’s a beautiful package thanks for Stjepan’s amazing art — but the download should whet your appetite. Ravine introduces a vast fantasy landscape and a large cast engaged in a sweeping story.

After a few delays, Volume 2 will be released by Top Cow/Image on Oct. 1. The book is complete and ready to go, as the story deepens and battle lines begin to be drawn. If all goes as planned, the complete Ravine saga will encompass 10 to 12 graphic novels.

Cheers,

Ron


In Stores This Week

I’m almost certain this is a first for me: this week I have four issues from four different publishers being released on the same day. Not everything was written at the same time, of course, but in a quirk of the schedule, everything is hitting stories on July 30. Here’s a rundown:

From Marvel, 100th Anniversary Guardians of the Galaxy #1, written by me and Andy Lanning, with art by Gustavo Duarte and color by Edgar Delgado. The story takes place 100 years in the future, with an all-new, all-different Guardians team, and amazing art by Gustavo.

Preview here:
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=22769

From DC Comics, Adventures of Superman #15, written by me, with art by Evan “Doc” Shaner and color by Matt Wilson. The issue collects the three-part digital story from earlier this year, which is honestly one of my favorite projects ever, thanks to the chance to write Superman, and the pitch-perfect work of Doc and Matt. Short version: it’s Superman meets “the Iron Giant.”

Preview here:
http://www.comicosity.com/exclusive-preview-adventures-of-superman-15/

From Top Cow/Image, Witchblade #177, written by me with art by Laura Braga and color by Betsy Gonia. Witchblade bearer Sara Pezzini makes a return trip to New York City to uncover some buried secrets. The issue marks Laura Braga’s return to the title after a one-issue break.

Preview Link: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=22718

From Dynamite Comics, The Shadow Over Innsmouth one-shot, written by me with art by Ivan Rodriguez, color by Inlight Studios and cover by Matthew Dow Smith. I’ve always wanted to write a story featuring the Shadow, and I got my chance by combing the classic pulp hero with H.P. Lovecraft’s infamous coastal town. It’s such an obvious combination, I’m stunned no one beat me to it.

Preview here:
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=22779

Cheers,

Ron


John Carter of Marz … and Skylanders too!

Just a quick note before I dash out the door to San Diego. Among the pre-SDCC announcements was this one: I’ll be writing a regular John Carter: Warlord of Mars series for Dynamite, with the first issue releasing in November. If you know anything of my affection for Edgar Rice Burroughs in general, and John Carter in specific, you know I’m pretty ecstatic about the assignment. It is, quite literally, a dream come true.

Indian artist Abhishek Malsuni is joining me on the series, and he’s been turning in amazing work. Obviously there will be much more about the series as we get closer to release, but for now, more details and additional art can be seen at this link:

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=54235

There’s also a recent feature about my work on bringing the Skylanders video game/toy franchise to comics with IDW Publishing. The regular series will debut in October. Check out the article via this link:

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=54221

Cheers,

Ron


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