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:
I also wrote an essay on “Three Rules for Writing Visually” for Hollywonk, with some thoughts on writing for comics. Have a look here:
Yes, that’s Radu’s Coffee Shop, from my Green Lantern run with Darryl Banks, looking very much like a real place.
The photo was snapped by my buddy (and letterer) Troy Peteri while he was visiting Six Flags Magic Mountain in California. The signs, unfortunately, are merely for atmosphere; the coffee shop is only a facade, not actually open. As you can see, there’s also a sign for Coast City around the corner, all window dressing near the Green Lantern ride. Troy reported there were also signs for Ferris Air, Big Belly Burger from the Superman titles, and Planet Krypton from Kingdom Come.
I had no idea such a thing existed before Troy sent me the photo. The signs appear to be taken directly from the original design created and drawn by Darryl and inker Terry Austin. Would be pretty cool to have one to hang in my office…
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:
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:
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.
This week sees the release of Prophecy #7, the concluding part of my crossover for Dynamite Comics. I’d like to tell you that I had every last detail of Prophecy figured out from the start, and that I knew how everything would tie together at the end, in issue #7. I’d like to tell you that … but it would be an utter fabrication.
I always had a general idea of where we were headed in Prophecy, and that it was ultimately a Red Sonja story. Because of that, the climax need to be driven by Sonja, and her enmity for Kulan Gath. I also knew that by bringing Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson into the story early on, I’d need to pay off their involvement. Everything would have to be brought full circle: Sonja, Sherlock, all of it. It’s a juggling act, keeping all these characters in the air. But no matter how deft your juggling, if you drop everything at the end, that’s what the audience remembers. You have to catch what you’ve been juggling, and then take a bow.
I think artist Walter Geovani and I pulled it off. But, of course, the audience is the ultimate judge. A five-page preview of Prophecy #7 can be seen here:
Volume 1 of the original fantasy graphic novel Ravine, by Stjepan Sejic and me, will be released in comic stores on Feb. 20, according to the latest update we’ve received. Ravine introduces an expansive new fantasy world, one Stjepan has been dreaming up for the past decade. The book is at press right now.
Volume 1 checks in at a hefty 160 pages, with more than 120 sequential pages, plus almost 40 pages of extras, including maps, character bios, a glossary, an illustrated prose story, and historical entries. It’s certainly the biggest package of original material I’ve ever been involved with, and absolutely the best work of Stjepan’s career. All for $15!
The Amazon listing indicates the book will be available to ship from them on March 6:
We’re planning on releasing Volume 2 this summer. Hopefully the reception … in other words, the sales … for the first two volumes will allow us to continue the series to completion. Ultimately, we’re planning on a total of 12 volumes. Here’s a look at some more art from both Volume 1 and Volume 2.
Recently, ESPN ran a nice story on The Protectors, the comic project I’m doing with Chicago Bears defensive end Israel Idonije and his Athleta Comics imprint. The story showcased a new image (seen below) by series artist Bart Sears, and included some quotes from Israel, including this one:
“I wouldn’t necessarily say superheroes are athletes but whether they like it or not, athletes are heroes. To have the platform that you have, people look up to you and watch the things that you say. Because of that, there’s a certain level of influence. In that sense, as an athlete, you have the potential and the ability to be a hero.”
You can read the entire story on the ESPN site:
Okay, so the world didn’t end last month, as the Mayans predicted. Or, at least as the people who couldn’t properly read the Mayan calendar predicted. Another explanation, though, lies in Prophecy #6, by me and artist Walter Geovani, from Dynamite Comics. Doomsday impends, and only a disparate collection of characters can save the world.
The issue continues the Dynamite crossover, featuring Red Sonja, Dracula, Vampirella and more. Newsarama reviewed the issue and rated it 8 out of 10, calling it “…well worth reading and … a model for a good crossover.”
A five-page preview can be found here:
Prophecy concludes next month with issue #7.
The final total for this year’s Comics for Tots was a bit more than $2,300 raised, by far a record for the drive. Thank you to everyone who donated, everyone who spread the word, and especially to my artist friends for donating sketches and even commissions to raise funds. Everyone’s generosity is truly inspiring.
We purchased and donated multiple loads of toys for the local Toys for Tots effort, everything from action figures to dolls, board games to sports equipment, books to iPods. Here’s a photo of me with the first load of toys, which were dropped off at the local elementary school for pick up by Toys for Tots personnel. Subsequent loads were dropped directly at the Toys for Tots collection point, staffed by a dedicated collection of retired Marines.
This is all possible because of you. We were able to make Christmas brighter for some children in need. Again, thank you so much.