Tag: Top Cow

Fast Girls and Winged Warriors


Get thee to a comic store today! Angelus #4 and Velocity #1 both appear in shops today. If you didn’t catch the previews for each, you can still do so. The Velocity preview is here

And the Angelus preview is here.

There also a Velocity interview with me, by Josh Wigler, at CBR here.

Velocity is the payoff to the character’s win in Top Cow’s first Pilot Season contest. I didn’t write that Pilot Season one-shot, and Kenneth Rocafort didn’t draw it. “Creative differences” led to the departure of that creative team from the ensuing mini-series. Eventually, the assignment was offered to me, and then Kenneth’s schedule opened up enough for him to sign on. I’m really pleased with the finished product, thanks to Kenneth’s amazing work. And it gets even better. Trust me, there’s a spread in issue #2 that is just stunning.

The critical reaction to Velocity has been very gratifying thus far. I set out to tell an accessible superhero story – a fun story – that wasn’t mired in continuity or over-the-top, get-your-heart-ripped-out violence. If the reviews are any indication, we at least got close to that mark. A sampling:

  1. Graphic Policy: http://graphicpolicy.com/2010/06/29/review-velocity-1/
  2. iFanboy: http://www.ifanboy.com/content/articles/REVIEW__Velocity__1
  3. Newsarama: http://www.newsarama.com/comics/best-shots-advance-reviews-100629.html
  4. Battlemouth: http://www.battlemouth.com/2010/06/29/im-in-love-with-a-girl-called-velocity/
  5. Multiversity Comics: http://www.multiversitycomics.com/2010/06/advance-review-velocity-1.html
  6. ComicNews: http://comicnews.info/?p=11184
  7. Player Affinity: http://playeraffinity.com/comic-reviews/Top-Cow-Velocity-1.html
  8. First Comics News: http://www.firstcomicsnews.com/?p=9775
  9. Ideology of Madness: http://ideologyofmadness.com/archives/13427
  10. Hollywood Jesus: http://live.hollywoodjesus.com/?p=5775
  11. Geekvine: http://www.geekvine.net/2010/06/this-week-in-comics-for-63010/
  12. Quarter Bin: http://thequarterbin.com/2010/06/30/velocity-1-2/
  13. League of Comic Geeks: http://leagueofcomicgeeks.com/review/12/velocity-1
  14. CBR: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=user_review&id=2387
  15. Broken Frointier: http://www.brokenfrontier.com/reviews/p/detail/velocity-1
  16. Newsarama/Best Shots Rapid Reviews: http://www.newsarama.com/comics/best-shots-rapid-reviews-100701.html
  17. True Believer : http://truebelieverreviews.com/wordpress/?p=265#more-265
  18. Comic Attack : http://comicattack.net/2010/07/velocity1rev/
  19. Comics Bulletin: http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/127817683364489.htm
  20. Comic Related: http://comicrelated.com/news/7180/velocity-1
  21. Newsarama’s Best Shots … Again : http://www.newsarama.com/comics/best-shots-comic-reviews-100705.html
  22. Comic Vine : http://www.comicvine.com/news/review-velocity-1/141532/
  23. Panels on Pages : http://panelsonpages.com/?p=25557

Cheers,

Ron





Angelus #4 Preview

Witchblade Vol. 7 TPB preview


Along with Magdalena #2, in stores this Wednesday is Witchblade vol 7 TPB, the new volume in the Witchblade trade paperback series. This one has been a long time in coming, as Top Cow catches up on its TPB program. Since the trades are printed in China – for reasons of both cost and quality– the process takes a few months from start to finish. Top Cow managing editor and all-around awesome fellow Phil Smith put together the material and designed the book, and we all proofed it numerous times before the files were sent to China for printing. Once the entire run is printed, it’s shipped via literal slow boat back the U.S. and then the distributor gets it into stores.

Vol. 7 contains issues #121-#124 of Witchblade, the lead story from Witchblade Annual #1 (which I didn’t write), as well as the 16-page Free Comic Book Day story (which I did write) that’s previewed here. The FCBD story introduces the Gretch character, a journalist for an alternative newspaper who figures in the three-part “Crown Heights” storyline featured in this volume. Each page of the FCBD story is formatted in a 16-panel grid, the same format Frank Miller used The Dark Knight Returns, a story that influences me to this day.

“Crown Heights” is inspired in large part by a photo essay I saw in the New York Times a few years ago, which provided a window into the Lubavitch Jewish sect in Brooklyn. I find those kinds of cloistered societies fascinating anyway, but add n the visual component of the black clothing and fedoras, and I had to use it as a setting for a story. There’s another photo essay, along with a feature and a video, on the Chabad-Lubavitch Jews on the National Geographic site.

Vol. 7 has an intro by Rabbi Geoffrey Dennis, touching on Jewish mysticism, as well as a cover gallery, sketchbook section by Stjepan Sejic, and a scriptbook by me, featuring my complete script and Stjepan’s layouts for issue #121.

The Vol. 8 trade, with the “War of the Witchblades” storyline and an intro by Jim Starlin, is already buttoned up and headed off to press.

Cheers,

Ron


Magdalena #2 Preview

I have two books hitting stores this week: Magdalena #2 and the Witchblade Vol. 7 trade paperback. First up, Magdalena, the opening sequence of which you can see by clicking the simply amazing Ryan Sook cover pictured below.

Response to the first issue was pretty overwhelming and extremely gratifying. We got a wealth of positive reviews, and the issue sold out at the distributor level within a week or two of release. Issue #2 picks up pretty much right where we left off, with Patience and her mentor Kristof confronted by a demonic presence on the island of Elba. The rest of the issue takes us inside the Vatican, including a glimpse of a hall that isn’t part of the usual visitor tour.

The art is by the regular team of Nelson Blake the 2nd (pencils), Sal Regla (inks) and Dave McCaig (color). As great as I think issue #1 looked, I’d venture to say issue #2 looks even better, as the artists get a little more used to the book and to each other. We’re just getting started on Magdalena, so I hope you stick with us for the duration.

Cheers,
Ron


I’m a pod person

I’ve done a handful of podcasts recently, talking about Magdalena, Witchblade, Artifacts, Green Lantern and whatever else came up in conversation. The first two podcasts have been posted, with more to come in the run-up to Artifacts.

First up, John Mayo and Bob Bretall interviewing me for the Comic Book Page Podcast here:

Next, the regular “Funnybooks with Aron and Paulie” feature at Ideology of Madness here.

Ideology of Madness is also doing a series of weekly articles, posted every Wednesday, exploring the 13 Artifacts of the Top Cow Universe. Obviously this is a lead-in to the July debut of Artifacts #1. You can check out the articles here.

Newsarama and CBR are also doing weekly articles leading up to Artifacts #1. CBR’s Josh Wigler interviews me and Top Cow publisher Filip Sablik every Wednesday for commentary on a specific Artifact and bearer. Meanwhile, Newsarama is posting in-character commentary about the respective Artifacts each Wednesday. So now you know how to occupy your time before your trip to the comic shop every Wednesday, right?

Cheers,

Ron


Video vixen

Newsarama’s Pete Lepage caught up with me at the Top Cow booth at C2E2 in Chicago to talk about Magdalena, Artifacts and all the rest of my Cow projects. I seem to be a little bleary-eyed, due to a late night out in Chicago, and a lack of sufficient Starbucks in the morning. But, who knows, maybe I was coherent anyway.

Cheers,

Ron


Free Comic Book Day in Boston

And the whirlwind tour continues. I’ll be in Boston for Free Comic Book Day this Saturday, May 1, signing at two New England Comics locations. I’ll be at the Brockton store from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and at the Harvard Square store from 4 to 7 p.m. More info can be had here.

I’ll be happy to sign anything you bring, but obviously the big item is going to be Artifacts #0, Top Cow’s FCBD offering for 2010. I wrote the story, and my Witchblade and Angelus collaborator Stjepan Sejic provided the art, with some sweet design work by Phil Smith. The story, which focuses on green-haired cyborg assassin Aphrodite IV, serves as a lead-in to this summer’s Artifacts 13-issue maxi-series. If you’re not all that familiar with the mechanics of the Top Cow Universe, this serves as a primer, setting up the important concepts and characters. If you’re already a regular reader, the issue moves the story further along, and drops some hints of what’s to come. A four-page preview can be found here.

We went for a stark cover, hoping it would stand out among the plethora of FCBD titles being offered. Guess I’ll be signing copies with a silver Sharpie, rather than a black one, huh? Hope some of you can make it out to the signings.

Cheers,

Ron


Holy day

Magdalena #1 hits stores this week. I think it’s a pretty sweet book, but I’m probably a little biased. So maybe I’ll just leave it at saying Magdalena #1 is a book that I’m proud of, and I hope you pick up a copy. Putting a new title on the stands is always a risk, even more so if it’s not a Big Two title. I’d like to write Magdalena for years, but the only way that happens is if we sell enough copies to justify its existence.

I’ve previously linked to Magdalena preview pages and interviews. With the book debuting today, a few more have gone up.

Here’s a video interview that Sara Lima of Comic Vine conducted with me and artist Nelson Blake 2nd at C2E2.

And a podcast interview with Josh Flanagan of iFanboy:

Early reviews have also started to appear online, and I know a few more are due soon. The first batch:

  1. Multiversity Comics: http://www.multiversitycomics.com/2010/04/advance-review-magdalena-1.html
  2. Comic Addiction: http://www.thecomicaddiction.com/reviews/2010/4/21/magdalena-1.html
  3. Broken Frontier: http://brokenfrontier.com/reviews/p/detail/the-magdalena-1
  4. Cosmic Book News: http://www.cosmicbooknews.com/reviews/magdalena1_review/
  5. Graphic Policy: http://graphicpolicy.com/2010/04/21/review-magdalena-1/
  6. Newsarama: http://www.newsarama.com/comics/Magdalena-1-review-100421.html
  7. Weekly Crisis: http://www.weeklycrisis.com/2010/04/magdalena-1-review.html
  8. Geeks of Doom: http://geeksofdoom.com/2010/04/21/comic-review-the-magdalena-1/
  9. Omnicomic: http://www.omnicomic.com/2010/04/review-magdalena-1.html
  10. Comic Vine : http://www.comicvine.com/news/review-the-magdalena-1/140971/
  11. Pendragon’s Post: http://pendragonspost.blogspot.com/2010/04/comic-review-magdalena-1-top-cow.html
  12. The Weekly Crisis: http://www.weeklycrisis.com/2010/04/comic-book-review-power-rankings-for_22.html
  13. Quarter Bin: http://thequarterbin.com/2010/04/23/magdalena-1-2/
  14. Crave Online : http://www.craveonline.com/entertainment/comics/article/the-magdalena-1-review-100759
  15. Geek Week : http://www.geekweek.com/2010/04/comic-book-author-ron-marz-has-done-something-quite-interesting-with-his-latest-series-for-top-cow-magdalena-marz-has.html
  16. Comic Attack: http://comicattack.net/2010/04/magdalena1/
  17. Gaming Angels: http://www.gamingangels.com/2010/04/guest-review-magdalena-1/
  18. NEW Newsarama again: http://www.newsarama.com/comics/best-shots-comic-reviews-100426.html

I found the Multiversity reviewer’s comparison of Magdalena to Buffy the Vampire Slayer interesting. I expect there are similarities, but as I said on Twitter, I’ve never actually seen an episode of Buffy in my life. I can definitely say there won’t be any romances with vampires in Magdalena. In fact, no vampires at all … at least until issue #7.

Cheers,

Ron


That’s the Chicago way

Yes, that’s a reference to Sean Connery in “The Untouchables.”

I’m headed to the new C2E2 convention in Chicago this weekend, put on by Reed Exhibitions, the same folks who put on the New York Comic Con. C2E2 is being held at McCormick Place on South Lake Shore Drive. I’m looking forward to actually being in Chicago. Wizard’s Chicago convention was/is held in Rosemont, outside the city. Though there are now more hotel and restaurant choices in Rosemont, for a long time attending that show was like being marooned on Comic Island. Pretty much the only other people you encountered were there for the con. Well, except for the year that one of the hotels was also playing host to a Beatles convention, which meant a lot of people sitting in the halls at 3 a.m. playing “Blackbird” on acoustic guitars. Badly.

I only made it into Chicago from Rosemont once, when artist and Chicago resident Gary Gianni picked me up and gave me a tour of the city. We ended up eating at a Thai restaurant not far from Wrigley Field. Great night.

Top Cow will be debuting Magdalena #1 at C2E2. The issue won’t be in comic stores until next week, but we’ll have copies for sale at the show, with a C2E2-exclusive variant cover (shown below). The series artist, my buddy Nelson Blake 2nd, will be at the show as well, and we’ll be signing all three days. I’m pretty damn pleased with how the issue turned out.

I’m also looking forward to meeting Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, a big-time comics fan, and a Top Cow fan in particular. I’ll be joining Lance for his panel Saturday afternoon, and then he’s going to sit in for the Top Cow panel Saturday evening. Note that Saturday’s programming continues even after the convention floor closes.

My complete C2E2 schedule looks like this:

Friday

4:30-5:30 p.m., signing at Top Cow booth with Nelson Blake 2nd.

Saturday

11:30-1:00 p.m., signing at Top Cow booth with Nelson Blake 2nd and Troy Peteri.

3-4 p.m., panel with Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, Phil Hester, Mark Waid, Nelson Blake 2nd and Matt Banning.

7:15-8:15 p.m., Top Cow panel with Filip Sablik, Phil Hester, Nelson Blake 2nd and an appearance by Lance Briggs.

Sunday

11:30-12:30 p.m., signing at Top Cow booth with Nelson Blake 2nd.

If you’re at the show, please come by and say hi. More info on C2E2 here:

Cheers,

Ron


Two new previews

Preview pages for Angelus #3 and Magdalena #1 were just released.

Issues #1 and #2 of Angelus sold out at the distributor level, so hopefully that’s a good omen for issue #3, which includes appearances by Jackie Estacado, a.k.a. the Darkness, and Tom Judge, who seems to have something of a cult following in the Top Cow Universe. It’s still very much the story of new Angelus host Dani Baptiste, but the issue also lays a little groundwork for this summer’s Artifacts series. It also contains one of my favorite lines of dialogue I’ve written in a while, something that would not be printable in a family publication. You can check out the Angelus pages, with art by Stjepan Sejic, here


The Magdalena preview shows pages 1-4 of issue #1, which is a sequence that was added after I completed the first draft of the script. We decided to include an introduction that would be the Magdalena concept more accessible for new readers. So these four pages serve that purpose, as well as introduce a plot thread that will pay off later in the series. The art is by Nelson Blake 2nd (pencils), Sal Regla (inks) and Dave McCaig (colors). You can check out the Magdalena pages here.

Angelus #3 will be in stores April 14, while Magdalena #1 will be in stories April 21. Advance copies of Magdalena, with a con exclusive cover, will be available at the C2E2 convention in Chicago, April 16-18, which I will attend along with Nelson and other members of the Top Cow herd.

Cheers,

Ron


Showing Patience


Here’s a quick interview link for you while I’ve had my head down getting two books off to press this week: Artifacts #0, which is the Free Comic Book Day offering, and Magdalena #1). The FCBD issue serves as an intro to Artifacts, and gives a pretty expansive intro to the Top Cow Universe. I’ll be at a couple of New England Comics locations in the Boston area for Free Comic Book Day on May 1. More information on that soon.

The interview gives an overview of the upcoming Magdalena series, and shows off a few final art pages from the series. You can see the interview here.

Cheers,

Ron


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