Artifacts

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

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


In Stores This Week

This week, Artifacts #23 hits stores, concluding the two-part “Blood Rites” storyline, focusing on everyone’s favorite defrocked priest, Tom Judge. It’s got a demon, it’s got an exorcism, it’s got Tilly Grimes in some cool pants. The issue’s art is, as always, by my Croatian brother in arms, Stjepan Sejic. (He hates it when you call him the Croatian sensation.)

You can view a six-page preview of the issue here:

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=14517

Some nice reviews of the issue have already been published.

ComicBooked:

http://www.comicbooked.com/book-review/review-artifacts-23/

Comic Hype:

http://www.comichype.com/2012/12/10/artifacts-23-let-the-exorcism-begin/

Unleash the Fanboy:

http://www.unleashthefanboy.com/comics/artifacts-23-review/36804

Comic Attack:

http://comicattack.net/2012/12/artifacts23rev/

One Geek Nation:

http://www.onegeeknation.com/2012/12/13/review-artifacts-23/

Read Comic Books:

http://readcomicbooks.net/home/artifacts-23/

I also did an interview with Newsarama about Artifacts past, present and future. That can be read here:

http://www.newsarama.com/comics/witchblade-vs-darkness-artifacts-25-ron-marz-interview.html

Cheers,

Ron


Comics for Tots

This marks the third year for what’s become known as Comics for Tots. I offer up signed comics in exchange for donations to Toys for Tots. All the money collected (after shipping costs) is spent on toys donated to the Toys for Tots drive. Last year’s drive resulted in donations of more than $500.

Yes, there are many worthy causes that need donation, especially at this time of year. I chose Toys for Tots because my own childhood memories of Christmas are so fondly held, that I hope in some small way, this effort helps make magical memories for those who might not otherwise have them.

We have a couple of unique sketched/signed items this year that are still being prepared, but I can tell you they include artwork by Darryl Banks and Dan Jurgens. I’ll post an update as soon as they’re ready, and then set up an auction (likely on Twitter) to maximize the donation. Check back for updates soon.

Postage is included in the price of each book (or set of books). All books are signed by me, and can be personalized if you desire. Here’s what’s available this year:

*Shinku Vol. 1 TPB, signed by me and artist Lee Moder, who has also sketched a head shot of Shinku inside each volume. The accompanying photo shows the general type of Sketch Lee has done. There are only six of these available, and they’re first come, first served, $50. Mature readers.

*Green Lantern #49, also signed by penciler Darryl Banks. There are only six of these available, and they’re first come, first served, $25.

*Shinku #1-#5, the single issues of my creator-owned book with Lee Moder (mature audiences), all five issues for $30. Mature readers.

*Mystic Volume 2 TPB, art by Brandon Peterson and George Perez, cover by Phil Noto. This is the original CrossGen printing, collecting issues #8-#14, plus CrossGen Chronicles #5. There are five of these available, and they’re first come, first served, $30.

*Scion #6, #7, #8, #9 set, art by Jim Cheung and Rick Leonardi, all four issues for $25.

*The Path Prequel and #1, art by Bart Sears, both issues for $20.

*Friday the 13th: Bad Land #1, #2, art by Mike Huddleston; not exactly a holiday tale, but at least it’s set during a blizzard, both issues for $20. Mature readers.

*Magdalena #1, art by Nelson Blake 2nd, with one of my favorite covers ever by Ryan Sook, $15.

*Broken Trinity #2, art by Phil Hester and Stjepan Sejic, $10.

We also have a unique item donated by my pal, sculptor and artist Paul Harding. Paul has signed and donated a Fables Snow White bust, designed by series artist Mark Buckingham and sculpted by Paul. The first donation of $60 takes it.
SOLD!!!

Payment details and shipping notes

The easiest method of donation is PayPal, so please PayPal your order to: kmarz@nycap.rr.com

On the PayPal form, please include the address to which you want the issues sent. If you’d like the books personalized, please include that info as well. I try to have issues in the mail within 24 hours of the order being received. All comics will be sent via USPS.

For anyone who doesn’t have a PayPal account, please use the Contact button on this website and drop me an e-mail; we’ll figure out something. Also, I WILL mail out to international addresses, but there will be an additional postage charge. If you let me know your location, a postage quote will be sent.

We’ll accept donations right up through Christmas. However, many Toys for Tots drop-off locations are collected by the middle of December (as the Marines need time to sort and deliver donations). So ordering as soon as possible is appreciated.

Thank you all. Your generosity makes this possible. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season.

Happy Holidays,

Ron


In Stores This Week

After last week’s barrage, just one new release for this week, Artifacts #22 from Top Cow/Image. The issue begins a new two-part storyline, featuring Tom Judge and Tilly Grimes investigating a ritual murder in Washington, D.C. As always, my artistic partner is Stjepan Sejic.

The “Blood Rites” storyline brings together Tom Judge’s present work as special investigator for the F.B.I., with his past as a defrocked Catholic priest. Though Artifacts regularly touches upon other characters in the Top Cow Universe, Tom Judge is the spine that runs through the series.

Originally, we had planned a Magdalena storyline for these two issues, but some timing issues caused us to delay that storyline until after the “Progeny” crossover that will run through Artifacts #25-#26 and respective issues of Witchblade and Darkness. That Magdalena story will now appear in Artifacts #27-#28. It’s also worth mentioning that Nelson Blake II and I will soon begin working on a five-issue Magdalena/Tom Judge series that was announced at New York Comic Con.

So what’s coming up in Artifacts #24, you ask? Angelus.

Cheers,

Ron


In Stores This Week

This week brings Artifacts #21 by me and artist Stjepan Sejic to store shelves, the third and concluding chapter to the “Phantoms of the Heart” arc. Our new Heartstone bearer, Dr. Rachel Harrison, has returned to her hometown in search of a simpler life. However, she didn’t count on the supernatural complications of the Artifact she has inherited, much less horrific hauntings at the hospital where she’s taken a job.

As I was creating Rachel’s hometown, I was very conscious of the kind of cozy, yet somehow menacing small towns Stephen King writes to such great effect. We’re seeing only a bit of the town in these three issues. I have more characters and deeper mysteries percolating, so I hope we get a chance to return and tell further stories featuring Rachel.

Cheers,

Ron


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