Tag: Top Cow

Artifacts #4 Scorecard

As with previous issues of my event series from Top Cow, here’s a one-stop-shopping collection of reviews for Artifacts #4. The issue marks the completion of the first arc of the 13-issue series, and Michael Broussard’s swansong as penciler. Issue #5 is already in the can, with While Portacio taking over on pencils, Joe Weems on inks and Sunny Gho on colors. Obviously I’m a bit biased, but I think the Artifacts #5 pages are some of Whilce’s best work ever, and Joe’s inks and Sunny’s colors are meshing seamlessly. Whilce’s two-page Blood Sword/Ian Nottingham origin in issue #4 is an appetizer for what’s to come.

Issue #5, which introduces Cyberforce into the storyline, will be in stores on Jan. 26, the same day that the Artifacts vol. 1 TPB hits shelves. The TPB collects issue #0 and issues #1-#4, as well as a cover gallery and other extras, for a bargain price of $9.99.



Artifacts #2 Review Scorecard

Reviews of Artifacts #2 are still trickling in, but the list below is the bulk of ’em. First up is a video review from Sara Lima at Comic Vine. The most gratifying aspect to it all is that reviewers and readers seem to be finding the series accessible, even if they’re not regular readers of the Top Cow Universe (yet).

We’re planning to send issue #3 off to press late this week, so it should be in stores a few weeks after that.


  1. Guerilla Geek : http://www.guerrillageek.com/2010/09/review-artifacts-2/
  2. Crave Online : http://www.craveonline.com/entertainment/comics/article/artifacts-2-review-112751
  3. Graphic Policy : http://graphicpolicy.com/2010/09/27/review-artifacts-2/
  4. Newsarama : http://www.newsarama.com/comics/best-shots-advance-reviews-100928.html
  5. Comic Book Revolution : http://comicbookrevolution.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=586
  6. Techland : http://techland.com/2010/09/30/panel-of-the-week-92910/
  7. Comic Attack : http://comicattack.net/2010/09/artifacts2review/
  8. Comic Impact : http://comicimpact.com/2010/09/review-artifacts-2/
  9. Weekly Crisis : http://www.weeklycrisis.com/2010/09/comic-book-review-power-rankings-for_30.html?
  10. Behold the Geek : http://beholdthegeek.blogspot.com/2010/10/my-week-in-comics-october-1-2010.html
  11. Player Affinity : http://playeraffinity.com/comic-reviews/Artifacts2Review.html
  12. CBR : http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=user_review&id=2719
  13. Boutiques & Geeks : http://boutiquesandgeeks.wordpress.com/2010/10/03/comic-pick-of-the-week-artifacts/
  14. PsychoRelik Studios : http://psychorelikstudios.blogspot.com/2010/10/comic-reviews-for-week-of-92910-pt.html
  15. The Comic Addiction : http://thecomicaddiction.com/?p=405
  16. Newsarama : http://www.newsarama.com/comics/best-shots-comic-reviews-101004.html
  17. Comic Vine : http://www.comicvine.com/review-artifacts-2/112-1222/
  18. Phoenix Lantern Corps : http://phoenixlanterncorps.blogspot.com/2010/10/and-you-better-hope-that-not-single.html#more
  19. Weekly Comic Book Review : http://weeklycomicbookreview.com/2010/10/05/artifacts-2-review/
  20. Comic Related : http://comicrelated.com/news/8775/artifacts-1-2

In case you missed it earlier, here’s the Artifacts #1 Scorecard

New York Comic Con

I’ll be at the New York Comic Con this Friday, Oct.8, through Sunday, Oct. 10, held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center on Manhattan’s West Side. NYCC has quickly grown to be second only to the San Diego convention in size and importance.

My “home base” for the con will be the Top Cow booth, #2129. Rather than a set signing schedule, I’ll generally be at the booth to sign and chat when I’m not scheduled to be elsewhere. If I’m not around, you can ask one of the booth personnel when I’ll be back, or even to track me down. Two of my artistic collaborators, Michael Broussard of Artifacts and Nelson Blake 2nd ofMagdalena, will also be among the Cow herd for the show.

Top Cow will also be offering two con exclusive covers, both of which happen to be my books. Stjepan Sejic painted new covers for Artifacts #2 and Witchblade #138, both of which will be available at the booth. And if you’re around the booth at the right times, you might just bump into Aphrodite IV. She might even hand you a nice green balloon.

Here’s the rest of my public schedule for each day:


4:30-5:30 p.m., Image Comics: The Writers panel, Room 1A14. I’ll be joined by fellow writers Robert Kirkman, Nick Spencer and Steve Seagle for a discussion of the writing process, and a Q & A session. Though, let’s face it, we’re gonna end up talking about Robert’s The Walking Dead quite a bit. And deservedly so.


12:15-1:15 p.m., The Image Comics Show, Room 1A22. This is Image’s “company” panel, with announcements, updates, and a Q & A session. Other panelists scheduled are Joe Kelly, Ben McCool, John Layman and James Zhang. I suspect The Walking Dead will come up again.

1:15-2:15 p.m., Top Cow panel, Room 1A06. I’ll be on the panel, along with Filip Sablik, Michael Broussard, Jeff Katz of American Original and GeekWeek.com, Russ Cundiff of DiVide Pictures, and actor and comic geek Milo Ventimiglia (of “Heroes” fame). Expect Artifacts discussion (hopefully we can get just-announced artist Whilce Portacio to swing by), as well as some announcements of upcoming projects. Those who attend the panel can get a ticket for Milo’s autograph session that will follow immediately afterward.

4:30-5 p.m., signing at Graphic.ly booth, #1751. If you definitely want to get something signed, this might be the best time, as I absolutely know I’ll be here for at least 30 minutes.


11 a.m.-noon, Writing Comics panel, Room 1A23. Billed as a “nuts-and-bolts discussion to help aspiring writers,” I’ll be joined by Paul Levitz, Jim McCann and Chris Eliopoulos. And hopefully a gallon jug of coffee.

One more NYCC note. My friends in the band Kirby Krackle will be playing gigs both Friday and Saturday night in the city. Check out their site for the details, as well as some pretty awesome music:




I’m on a Boat

Actually, it was more of a yacht. At this past summer’s San Diego con, Top Cow founder Marc Silvestri got our sea legs for a video interview on the Comic Book Resources yacht. The interview went up on CBR Wednesday, which also happened to be the same day that Artifacts #2 hit comic shops. Marc is the tall one. Heh.



Artifacts info uncovered

Pretty good week for Artifacts last week. Preview pages for issue #2, introducing Jackie Estacado into the storyline, hit a number of sites. You can find them here, among other places. Artifacts #2 will be in stores this Wednesday, Sept. 29.

The third printing of Artifacts #1 also hit stores, the first time a Top Cow release has ever gone to a third printing.

News also broke revealing the identity of the next artist on the 13-issue Artifacts series. Michael Broussard is drawing issues #1-#4, of course. The next arc, issues #5-#9, will be drawn by Whilce Portacio, probably best know for his work on Uncanny X-Men. Whilce and I had breakfast out in San Diego during the con, and discussed the kind of story we wanted to tell, especially in terms of scope. We’re very much on the same page in terms of wanting to bring an epic scale to the page. It’s going to be a great collaboration.

USA Today had the first story, which includes comments from Whilce. You can read it here.



Ron, Aron and Paulie

I made another appearance on the “Funnybooks with Aron and Paulie” podcast for Ideology of Madness. The interview is pretty loose and wide-ranging, covering a lot of topics, from the recent releases of Magdalena #3 and Angelus #5, to general concerns like accessible comics and even Darwyn Cooke’s recent comments. You can listen to the whole thing, clocking in at more than an hour, here.

I really appreciate the support Aron and Paulie have shown the Top Cow publishing line, and my books in specific. Hope you enjoy the interview.


Graphic Interview

This year’s Baltimore Comic Con was an absolute pleasure, as always. Had a great time, and the reception for me, artist Nelson Blake 2nd and Top Cow was very much appreciated. I signed pretty much non-stop when I was at the table, got to catch up with a bunch of friends, and attended the Harvey Awards. Also got to see my nephew, Leif, and his girlfriend, Rachel, whom I hadn’t seen in about four years (they live in Hawaii, but Rachel is doing an internship on Capitol Hill).

I did a few interviews while at the show, including one for XM/Sirius satellite radio, and this video interview with Brett Schenker of the Graphic Policy website. Graphic Policy has been a supporter of my work and of Top Cow’s publishing line, running our previews and some very fair, very well-informed reviews. Check out Graphic Policy at www.graphicpolicy.com

Should’ve brought my sunglasses to the interview. Other than that, I really enjoyed it, as Brett asked a number of intriguing questions, covering topics beyond the standard questions about what I’m working on. Hope you like it.


Baltimore Bound

I’ll be at the Baltimore Comic Con this weekend, Aug. 28-29. While I always have a great time at shows like Orlando’s MegaCon and Seattle’s Emerald City (both of which I’ll be attending in March, 2011), I love the Baltimore Con. It’s a two-day show, which is much appreciated. It’s held in the inner harbor area of Baltimore, a beautiful spot. Promoter Marc Nathan and his army of volunteers, led by Brad Tree, do an all-around awesome job.

But the thing I love most about Baltimore is that it’s a COMIC show. No retired wrestlers, no C-list TV has-beens, no aging Playboy centerfolds hawking pictures taken 20 years ago. It’s all about the comics, and because of that, Baltimore consistently has one of the best guest lists of any show. This year is no different, with a huge list, including Geoff Johns, Frank Cho, Walt Simonson, Jim Starlin, Bernie Wrightson, Todd McFarlane and a hundred others. Go to the con website for the complete guest list: http://www.baltimorecomiccon.com/

I’ll be set up at the Top Cow booth, along with publisher Filip Sablik and my Magdalena artistic partner, Nelson Blake 2nd. I don’t have a set signing schedule, but chances are I’ll spend a good portion of each day at the booth. If I’m not there, ask someone at the booth to track me down via phone.

The Top Cow panel will be held 1 p.m. Saturday in Room 308, with me, Filip and Nelson dishing on all things Top Cow. Nelson and I might also discuss our beloved New York Giants, who are playing the Ravens in a pre-season game a few miles away on Saturday Night. This year’s con exclusive is the sold-out Velocity #1, with a new Michael Broussard cover. Michael and Kenneth Rocafort were both originally scheduled to be at the show, but had to bow out due to deadline considerations. Sometimes that’s the way it goes.

Hope some of you can be at the show. To me, Baltimore Con is one of the best reminders about why we love comics in the first place.



Artifacts #1 uncovered

The comic-shop release of Artifacts #1 this past Wednesday was the culmination of a lot of planning, conversation, brain-storming and … well, work. Top Cow managing editor Phil Smith, and colorist Sunny Gho both damn near killed themselves getting the last bits of the issue together in time to get issues printed to make the planned San Diego Comic Con debut. And everybody was up until the wee hours proofing the issue to get it just right.

Thus far, looks like all the effort was worth it. I’m very happy with the finished product – not something I always say – and issue #1 has already sold out at the distributor level. That means your local shop might still have a few copies on the shelf, but there are no more in the warehouse. A second printing is being rushed to press, with Michael Broussard’s interior spread, in glorious black and white, used as the wraparound cover.

Reviews for #1 have also been great. Especially gratifying to have so many reviewers comment upon the issue’s accessibility for those unfamiliar with the Top Cow Universe. That was the goal all along, to come up with a story that is satisfying for long-time readers, and welcoming to new ones. Some review links:

  1. Broken Frontier : http://www.brokenfrontier.com/reviews/p/detail/artifacts-1
  2. Crave Online : http://www.craveonline.com/entertainment/comics/article/artifacts-1-review-107731
  3. Nfamous Gamers : http://www.nfamousgamers.com/reviews/books/preview-artifacts-1
  4. Battlemouth : http://www.battlemouth.com/2010/07/20/top-cow-unleashes-artifacts/
  5. Newsarama : http://www.newsarama.com/comics/best-shots-advance-reviews-100727.html
  6. Westfield Comics : http://westfieldcomics.com/blog/interviews-and-columns/fifth-degree-ron-marzs-artifacts-1/
  7. Ideology of Madness : http://ideologyofmadness.spookyouthouse.com//archives/14088
  8. Multiversity Comics : http://www.multiversitycomics.com/2010/07/advance-review-artifacts-1.html
  9. Comic Vine : http://www.comicvine.com/news/review-artifacts-1/141740/
  10. CBR : http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=user_review&id=2496
  11. Techland : http://techland.com/2010/07/29/panel-of-the-week-72810/
  12. Techland (again) : http://techland.com/2010/07/27/comics-on-our-pull-list-72810/
  13. Gin and Comics : http://www.ginandcomics.com/reviews/review-artifacts-1
  14. Comic Book Revolution : http://comicbookrevolution.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=469:artifacts-1-review&catid=57:image&Itemid=71
  15. Kitty’s Pryde : http://kittyspryde.forumotion.com/image-comics-f4/review-artifacts-1-t1176.htm#8059
  16. Cosmic Book News : http://cosmicbooknews.com/reviews/artifacts1_review
  17. League of Comic Geeks : http://leagueofcomicgeeks.com/review/17/artifacts-1
  18. Comic Attack : http://leagueofcomicgeeks.com/review/17/artifacts-1
  19. Newsarama’s Best Shots : http://www.newsarama.com/comics/best-shots-comic-reviews-100802.html
  20. Ideology of Madness (podcast) : http://ideologyofmadness.spookyouthouse.com//archives/14135
  21. iFanboy (podcast): http://www.ifanboy.com/podcasts/audio/08_01_2010_-_Episode__245_-_The_Flash__4
  22. The Quarter Binhttp://thequarterbin.com/2010/07/19/artifacts-1-2/
  23. Major Spoilers :  http://www.majorspoilers.com/archives/49826.htm/
  24. Flames Rising :  http://www.flamesrising.com/artifacts-1-comic-review/
  25. Hollywood Jesushttp://live.hollywoodjesus.com/?p=5865
  26. Comic Impacthttp://comicimpact.com/2010/08/review-artifacts-1/
  27. Image Addictionhttp://imageaddiction.net/?p=975
  28. 11 O’Clock Comics (podcast)http://bullpenbulletinspodcast.com/2010/08/11-oclock-comics-episode-120/ (Artifacts discussion begins at 1:06 mark.)
  29. Pop Mattershttp://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/129094-graze-anatomy-artifacts-1/
  30. Comic Book Masters USAhttp://www.comicbookmastersusa.com/witchblade-broken-trinity/

[EXTRA] Comic Geeks Speaking Podcast

The excellent Comic Geek Speak podcasts are undertaking a series of shows dedicated to the Artifacts event series. The plan is for the guys to discuss the issues as they are released, so this inaugural episode takes on issue #1. Chris Partin, from Image Addiction, joins the conversation, and then my pal Filip Sablik, who also happens to be Top Cow’s publisher, also stops by. Enjoy.

Link to the podcast: http://www.comicgeekspeak.com/episodes/comic_geek_speak-1137.php


SDCC 2010 Schedule

If you’re lucky (?) enough to be headed for the San Diego Comic-Con next week, here’s my public schedule. Once again, Top Cow is graciously hosting me, so the majority of my time will be spent at the Top Cow booth (#2629).

Wednesday, July 21
No scheduled signing for Preview Night, but I’ll probably be at the Top Cow booth for a while.

Thursday, July 22

Noon-1:30 p.m. , signing at Top Cow booth (#2629)

Friday, July 23

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., signing for donations at Hero Initiative booth (#5003), accompanied by Artifacts artists Michael Broussard, who will be sketching for donations. Hero Initiative is a great cause, so please come out and support it.

1:30-2:30 p.m., signing at Top Cow booth (#2629).

3:30-4:30 p.m., signing with Michael Broussard at iFanboy booth (#2229)

Saturday, July 24

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., signing at Top Cow booth (#2629).

1:30-2:30 p.m., Top Cow panel in Room 9.

Sunday, July 25
No signings; sorry, flying home a day early to get back to work.

I’ll have new projects announced at both Friday’s Image Comics panel (which I won’t be attending) and Saturday’s Top Cow panel (which I will attend), with accompanying articles appearing on the comics news sites shortly thereafter. Or at least that’s the plan. Obviously I’ll have updates on those projects here on the blog once the San Diego madness has passed.

Artifacts #1 will be debuting at the show (copies aren’t schedule to be in stores until the following week). I just read a PDF of the complete issue, and I have to say, I’m pretty damn pleased with the finished product. Michael Broussard’s art is extravagant, as is the two-page Witchblade origin story penciled by Marc Silvestri.

Top Cow will be selling a couple of pretty awesome Con Exclusive covers for my books, with Michael Broussard’s awesome Artifacts #1 wraparound cover, and Kenneth Rocafort’s Velocity #1 cover (both of which you see pictured above). If you happen to out there in the belly of the beast known as SDCC, please stop by and say hi.



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