Top Cow

In Stores This Week

Some pre-holiday cheers hits this week in the form of Witchblade #171. The issue continues the “Borne Again” storyline that began in the previous issue, which marked my return to the title after a few years away. A great deal had changed in the ensuing time, with Sara having cast away the Witchblade and become a small-town Sheriff. Sara was shot by an unknown assailant in the issue-ending cliffhanger.

The art is once again by the regular team Laura Braga (line work), Betsy Gonia (color) and Troy Peteri (letters). The issue features two covers, one by John Tyler Christopher and one by Stjepan Sejic.

A full preview can be seen here:
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=19386


In Stores This Week

This week sees my last issue of Artifacts released, as Artifacts #32 hits stores, both your local comic shop as well as digital venues. The issue follows Tom Judge back to Hell as he searches for missing Darkness host Jackie Estacado. The art is by Korean painter Chan-Hyuk Lee, wrapped in a Stjepan Sejic cover.

A full preview of the issue can be seen here:
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=19141

The next few issues of Artifacts are being created by the winners of Top Cow’s Talent Hunt, and the series will likely then go on hiatus. It’s a little bittersweet to close this chapter of Artifacts. I’ll miss writing the book, but I’m proud we were able to extend the series far beyond the original 13 issues. The initial storyline (with artists Michael Broussard, Whilce Portacio, Jeremy Haun and Dale Keown) was successful enough that Stjepan Sejic and I were able to turn the maxi-series into an ongoing, exploring all corners of the Top Cow Universe. All the support that the series received is very much appreciated.

I’ll still be writing Witchblade, of course, as artist Laura Braga and I settle in for a nice long run together. And Stjepan Sejic and I have Ravine Vol. 2 poised for release, and we’re working up a number of other projects. Plenty more to come…

Cheers,

Ron


In Stores This Week

Hitting shelves — both literal and electronic — this week is Artifacts #31, by me and South Korean painter Jung-Geun Yoon. The cover is by Stjepan Sejic. The story picks up threads from the previous issue, and seeds a few hints about the upcoming, ultimate fate of the Darkness, Jackie Estacado.

Preview pages for the issue can be seen here: http://www.topcow.com/moos/43-latest-moos/776-the-plot-thickens-in-artifacts-31

One convention note this week as well. Saturday and Sunday I’ll be at the Granite State Comicon, held at the Radisson Center of New Hampshire in downtown Manchester, NH. This is the first time the con is putting a two-day show, and there’s a pretty impressive guest list.

I’ll have collections of my creator-owned books Ravine, Shinku and Samurai: Heaven and Earth on hand, as well as other odds and ends. And if all goes as planned, I should be debuting the first offerings in a series of Ravine prints, with amazing Stjepan Sejic art. One words: Dragons!

Complete information on the show can be found here: http://www.granitecon.com/

Cheers,

Ron


In Stores This Week

A collection containing some of my earliest work hits stores this week in the Infinity Gauntlet Aftermath TPB. In addition to a number of my early Silver Surfer issues, it also contains some Warlock and the Infinity Watch issues, and a few Doctor Strange tales.

The collection includes Silver Surfer #60-#66, and some other odds and ends that I penned, most of which are drawn by Ron Lim, the first artistic partner I ever had. It’s interesting for me to look back at this material. Yes, some of it’s pretty awkward, with all the hallmarks of a writer trying to learn his craft. But there’s also exuberance, which hopefully makes up for some of the shortcomings.

I also had two releases out last week, one a short story and the other a trade paperback collection. The short story is in Skullkickers #24 from Image Comics, a “Before Skullkickers”-themed anthology showing the series characters in earlier days. Series creator Jim Zub asked me to contribute a story starring Kusia, and I was more than happy to drag in my pal Stjepan Sejic for art duties.

Truth be told, the entire seven-page story took four days to create. One for me to write it, two for Stjepan to digitally paint it, and a few hours on day four to letter it. Yes, Stjepan drew and colored the entire story in two days. Because he’s a beast. I’m still stunned.

The other release is the Progeny trade paperback from Top Cow, collecting the recent storyline that ran through Artifacts, Witchblade and Darkness. My contribution to the collection is Artifacts #25-#26, which bookend the storyline of the Top Cow Universe’s Artifacts bearers confronting Jackie Estacado, master of the Darkness. The entire story was very much a collaborative effort, with David Hine setting the direction and Tim Seeley and I following along.


In Stores This Week

This week brings Artifacts #28, the concluding chapter to the “Truth and Destinies” two-parter featuring Tom Judge, Michael Finnegan and the Magdalena as they hunt for the Glacier Stone. The storyline had a number of inspirations, including the desolate Nordic locations seen in Fincher’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” adaptation, as well as famed crazy person Aleister Crowley.

Marco Turini returns for art duties, with Bill Farmer on color. Stjepan Sejic provides the Magdalena-centric cover.

Next month’s Artifacts #29 will be a special issue written by Phil Smith, with art by Kalman Andrasofszky. I’ll return with issue #30, with a new artistic partner in tow, for an Angelus-oriented issue

Cheers,

Ron


In Store This Week

The next Artifacts collection, Volume 5, hit stores recently, from Top Cow/Image. The collection contains issues #19-#23, all written by me with art and cover by Stjepan Sejic. The book contains two story arcs expanding the Artifacts mythology.

The first re-introduces Heart Stone bearer Rachel Harrison, a doctor who moves back to her small hometown, only to find that the town’s history of supernatural goings-on is coming back to literally haunt her. The second arc takes Rapture bearer and defrocked priest Tom Judge to Washington, D.C. to investigate a murder on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. But what at first seems like a ritual killing turns out to be case of demonic possession, including a confrontation on the grounds of the National Cathedral.

Hope you’ll give it a look. We’re continuing to explore the breadth of the Top Cow Universe, as The Darkness and Witchblade titles head for some changes. If you hadn’t heard, it appears Jackie Estacado will perish in an upcoming storyline, and I’ll be returning to the writing duties of Witchblade with October’s #170. Good stuff coming!

Cheers,

Ron


In Stores This Week

I’m happy anytime I get to write Magdalena. This week brings Artifacts #27, which stars my favorite monster hunter/supernatural enforcer for the Catholic Church, along with defrocked priest Tom Judge. It’s an interesting pairing to write, one I hope to return to even after this two-part storyline is finished. In this issue, Tom seeks out Magdalena to convince her to aid him in tracking down the missing Glacier Stone. Their quest leads to them a spooky mansion above the arctic circle.

This is artist Marco Turini’s second published issue of Artifacts, though it’s actually the first one that he drew. There’s also some very nice color work by Andy Troy and Bill Farmer, all wrapped in covers by Stjepan Sejic and Marco Turini.

A preview of the issue can be seen here:

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=16323

Cheers,

Ron


In Stores This Week

This week brings the release of Artifacts #26, the fourth and final part of “Progeny,” the Top Cow Universe crossover. The issue is by me, artist Marco Turini and colorist Andy Troy. This marks Marco’s first issue of Artifacts, as he settles in for a run after taking over art duties from Stjepan Sejic, who departs to launch Aphrodite IX as a monthly title (and to work on volume 2 of Ravine). Marco’s work shows some obvious sensibilities from his native Italy, so his art is an intriguing mix of European and American influences.

The issue brings the story threads of “Progeny” to a head, hopefully in an unexpected way, and sets the stage for ensuing issues of the title. More than that, I don’t want to say, for fear of spoiling the story.

Also released recently is the Blackburn Burrow #4, the final issue of the supernatural Civil War-era tale by me, artist Matthew Dow Smith and colorist Jordie Bellaire, based on Jay N. Levy’s screenplay for Amazon Studios. Go to the Amazon Studios blog Hollywonk, for more information, and links to read the issue as well as download it for free on Kindle:

http://hollywonk.com/post/45264984398

I also wrote an essay on “Three Rules for Writing Visually” for Hollywonk, with some thoughts on writing for comics. Have a look here:

http://hollywonk.com/post/45351125083/marz-3-rules-visual

Cheers,

Ron


Convention Appearances This Month

I’m appearing at conventions on back-to-back weekends, something I usually try to avoid, but the shows involved were too enticing to pass up.

On Feb. 23-24, I’ll be at the London Super Comic Con, held at the Excel Centre in London. I believe I’ll be set up at the Top Cow booth, and if all goes as planned, I’ll hopefully have a few copies of Ravine Volume 1 for sale. I’ll definitely be bringing the Shinku TPB with me, so please send me home with lighter luggage.

More information on the show can be found here:

http://www.londonsupercomicconvention.com/

On March 1-3, I’ll be at one of my favorite shows, Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, held at the Washington State Convention Center. I’ll be set up at table C-16, and doing a couple signings at the Dynamite Comics booth as well. I’ll also be joining the Dynamite Comics panel, held 6-7 p.m. Saturday in Hall B. I’ll have copies of both Shinku and Ravine at the show.

And the big news: Chicago Bears defensive lineman Israel Idonije will be joining me for a special signing from noon-1 p.m. Sunday. We’ll be in the signing area, giving away an exclusive mini-litho for The Protectors, the series Bart Sears and I are working on for Athleta Comics, the publishing imprint Israel has founded. We’ll have 200 lithos to give away, so come early!

More information on Emerald City can be found here:

http://www.emeraldcitycomicon.com/

My con schedule for the remainder of the year is taking shape. Be aware, this is a only a partial list, as a number of confirmations/announcements are still falling into place. But thus far, I expect to be at:

  • Woodstock Day School Comic Con, Woodstock, NY, April 13.
  • C2E2, Chicago, April 26-28.
  • MCBA SpringCon, St. Paul, Minnesota, May 18-19.
  • Albany Comic Con, Albany, NY, June 16.
  • ComiCONN, Trumbull, Conn., Aug. 24.
  • Baltimore Comic Con, Baltimore, MD, Sept. 7-8.
  • North Carolina Comicon, Durham, NC, Nov. 9-10.

I expect to visit at least a few more shows, so I’ll update with additional appearances as soon as they’re confirmed. Hope to see you this year.

Cheers,

Ron


In Stores This Week

Releasing this week is Artifacts #24, a stand-alone issue that catches up with the current Angelus host in the Top Cow Universe, the singularly-named Finch. The story brings Finch, as well as her girlfriend and NYPD detective Danielle Baptiste, to the Angelus dimension, which is under attack from … well, I won’t spoil the details.

The art, of course, is by my usual partner in crime, Stjepan Sejic. The story is self-contained, but plants some seeds that will bear fruit in the upcoming “Progeny” storyline, starting in Artifacts #25, and continuing in Witchblade #164 and Darkness #111 before concluding in Artifacts #26.

A preview of Artifacts #24 has been released, and can be found at Comic Book Resources, as well as other sites. Here’s a link:

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=14771

The first review of the issue has already been posted, ReadComicBooks.Net rating it 9 out of 10, calling it “…simply another great installment in a standout fantasy series.” The full review can be seen here:

http://readcomicbooks.net/home/artifacts-24/

Cheers,

Ron


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