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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


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


A Giant Among Comics: Eli Manning

Earlier this year I got to write a comic featuring New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, thanks the DC Comics and Gatorade. Being a die-hard Giants fan, I obviously jumped at the opportunity to tell Eli’s tale (especially the part about him beating the Dallas Cowboys).

The entire story, featuring art by Neil Edwards, is now available to be viewed free online, along with stories featuring NFL players Peyton Manning, Robert Griffin III, J.J. Watt and Cam Newton . All of the stories, which include some interesting effects, can be accessed via this link:

http://leagueofcaptains.gatorade.com/#/comics

And, of course … GO GIANTS!

Cheers,

Ron


Jersey Bound for FCBD 2014

For this year’s Free Comic Book Day on May 3, I’ll be appearing at Level Up Entertainment at the Hamilton Mall in Mays Landing, NJ, near Atlantic City. In addition to signing anything and everything you’d care to bring by, I’ll be conducting a workshop on the step by step process of creating a comic.
The last few years I’ve stayed local for FCBD, but Level Up lured me away for this year. Complete information and schedule can be found at Level Up’s website:
http://levelupentertainment.com/

Cheers,

Ron


See You At C2E2!

I’ll be attending C2E2 at McCormick Place on April 25-27, set up at the Athlitacomics booth, #607, to celebrate the release of The Protectors #1. I’ll be at #607 all weekend, along with Athlitacomics founder and Chicago Bears defensive end Israel Idonije, and artist Bart Sears.

We’ll have a strictly limited version of The Protectors #1 available at the booth all weekend (or at least as long as supplies last). I wrote at length about the issue, and especially my inspirations for it, in my latest Shelf Life column at Comic Book Resources:

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=52229

We’ll also have a bunch of comic-book friends stopping by the booth to sign and sketch, including Andy Lanning, Anthony Williams, Todd Nauck, Phil Hester, Mahmud Asrar, Matthew Waite, David Rodriguez and plenty more. Follow the Athlitacomics Twitter feed, as well as signs at the booth, for the schedule.

Bart Sears, Israel Idonije and I will also be signing at Chicago Comics, 3244 North Clark Street in Chicago, from 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Copies of The Protectors #1 will be available at the signing.

Cheers,

Ron


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