Comics Catch-up

I’ve been busy enough getting issues off to press that I haven’t had a free moment up update the blog with those issues. So here’s an accounting of what’s been released in the last month or so.

This week sees the release of Convergence: Justice League International #2, by me and Mike Manley, with color by Chris Sotomayor. It’s the concluding chapter to the tale that began, naturally enough, in Convergence: Justice League International #1 last month.

My other DC Convergence title has also been released: Convergence: Batman and Robin #1 and #2, with art by the great Denys Cowan, Klaus Janson and Chris Sotomayor.

My run on Witchblade has resumed after a two-issue hiatus with the release of #182, with art by Maan House and color by Betsy Gonia. It’s part one of a three-part story bringing Sara Pezzini back to New York City, and into contact with a supernatural power broker who will change Sara’s life.

Witchblade: Borne Again Volume 2 has also been released, collecting issues #175-#179, by me, Laura Braga, Maan House and Betsy Gonia.

John Carter: Warlord of Mars #5 and #6 concluded the six-part “Invaders or Mars” arc, with art by Abhishek Malsuni and Zsolt Garisa in issue #5, and Roberto Castro in issue #6, and color by Nanjan Jamberi in both issues. Issues #7 and #8 are already in the can, so we’re rolling right along on Barsoom.

Skylanders #8 is also out, written by me and David A. Rodriguuez, with art by Fico Ossio and color by David Garcia Cruz. The story in the second part of the “Return of the Dragon King” arc.

And last but most definitely not least, The Protectors by Israel Idonije, Bart Sears, Mark Pennington, Neeraj Menon and me has launched as a motion book on the Madefire app. We’ll be releasing the first five-issue arc on Madefire through the summer, and the #0 issue is available for free right now.


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:

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:

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.



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:

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.



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:

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:

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:

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:



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:

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:



San Diego Comic-Con 2014

I’ll be returning to the madness of Comic-Con International in San Diego this week, appearing on three panels and doing a couple of signings. More and more, the real business of the con seems to be conducted away from the convention hall itself, so my public schedule is pretty limited. If you want to catch me at the show, these are your best bet:


Noon-1 p.m., signing at Top Cow booth, #2629.

6-7 p.m., Skylanders panel, Room #7AB. I’ll be part of Activision’s Skylanders panel, talking about the forthcoming Skylanders comic series I’m co-writing with Dave Rodriguez for IDW Publishing. At the panel, there’s a Skylanders costume content with more than $5,000 in prizes.


10:30-11:30 a.m., Edgar Rice Burroughs panel, Room #8. I’m part of the “Tarzan, John Carter of Mars, and Edgar Rice Burroughs: What’s New?” panel, along with Jim Sullos (President, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.), Scott Tracy Griffin (Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration), editor Joe Rybandt of Dynamite Entertainment, and artist Diana Leto. I’ll be talking about my work on the weekly strips “Korak the Killer” and “The Mucker” for the ERB website … as well as a new ERB project set to debut later this year.


11 a.m.-Noon, Top Cow panel, Room #9. I’ll be talking about my Top Cow projects, including Witchblade, volume 2 of Ravine, and a new project that will be announced at the panel.

12:30-1:30 p.m., signing at Top Cow booth, #2629.

I’m also participating in a Hero Initiative/CGC signing with a number of others pros, including Walter Simonson, Dan Jurgens, Dave Gibbons, Denny O’Neil and many more. Books must be dropped off no later than 5 p.m. Friday at the CGC booth, #901. The cost benefits Hero Initiative. Complete information can be had here:



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:

And, of course … GO GIANTS!



Headed Down to Dallas Again

Before this year, I’d never visited Texas in my life except on flight layovers.Now I’m headed back there for the second time in five months. I’ll be at the Dallas Comic Con on Friday and Saturday, May 16 and 17; I will not be on the show on Sunday.

My appearance in Dallas is for the official release of 8 Percent, a comic benefiting the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. I wrote a story about my father for 8 Percent, recounting his experiences as a tail gunner in a B-24J bomber in World War 2, as well as his death from pancreatic cancer. The art is by Rick Leonardi (pencils), Andy Lanning (inks) and Ross Hughes (color).

My recent Shelf Life column at Comic Book Resources is about the story, and includes a sizable selection of the beautiful art:

I’ll be at table A220, an endcap in Artist Alley, with Vanbreed Studios. Copies of the 8 Percent issue will be on sale, including some variant cover versions. All proceeds from the sale of 8 Percent will benefit pancreatic cancer research. The original art from the book will also be auctioned online to raise funds.

Hope to see you in Dallas. I’ll have some trade paperbacks of the Shinku and Ravine collections at the show. Complete information on the Dallas Comic Con can be found here:

After Dallas, the next show up for me, on May 31 and June 1, is the new Hartford Comic Con:



Look! Up in the Sky!

In case you missed the announcement, I’ve written a three-part story for DC’s “Adventures of Superman” digital series that will appear early next year. The storyline, “Only Child,” is being drawn by Evan “Doc” Shaner, an artist I was keen to work with, and a perfect fit for the story.

“Only Child” will appear in 10-page segments, available digitally on Feb. 17, Feb. 24 and March 3 for 99 cents each. I can’t reveal much about the story until DC is ready, but it examines Superman’s role as the last son of Krypton. I have huge respect and admiration for the Man of Steel, so I had a great time writing the story.

There’s more information on the next batch of “Adventures of Superman” stories available here:

Up, Up and Away!


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