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Results 1 - 25 of 403
1. Archie taps Obscure Video Game Licenses from Sega and Capcom for Worlds Unite


Archie previously revealed that the Worlds Unite crossover is going to feature two huge video game characters (Mega Man and Sonic) teaming up together. The publisher confirmed several more beloved franchises from Sega and Capcom that are coming out to play in the storyline. A brand new teaser from the crossover shows some wish fulfillment that you wouldn’t believe. Everything from Golden Axe to the obscure Alex Kidd franchises are contained in the full scope of this crossover. Here’s a quick lowdown on some of the different franchises teased in the image released today from the publisher.

Let’s kick things off with Sega:

Alex Kidd

  • First Appearance: Alex Kidd in Miracle World (1986)
  • Why do we care?
  • Kidd was Sega’s answer to Mario in the late 80s, and while he hasn’t been seen in a little while, we still have a soft spot for the Kidd.

Billy Hatcher

  • First Appearance: Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg (2003)
  • Why do we care?
  • Anything from Sonic Team is worth a second look.

Golden Axe

  • First Appearance: Golden Axe (1989)
  • Why do we care?
  • College.


  • First Appearance: NiGHTS into Dreams… (1996)
  • Why do we care?
  • NiGHTS was one of the first games to take advantage of the video game art form featuring a heroine flying around on the Sega Saturn.

Skies of Arcadia

  • First Appearance: Skies of Arcadia (2000)
  • Why do we care?
  • The game is an early 3D RPG sporting good characters and a strong setting.

Panzer Dragoon

  • First Appearance: Panzer Dragoon (1995)
  • Why do we care?
  • Dazzling visuals and a unique approach to gameplay made this game an essential entry into the Sega Saturn library of games.

Onto the Capcom games:

Breath of Fire

  • First Appearance: Breath of Fire (1993)
  • Why do we care?
  • Breath of Fire is a Japanese title early on in the NES library that contained an actual plot and cast of fleshed out characters.

Ghosts N’ Goblins

  • First Appearance: Ghosts N’ Goblins (1985)
  • Why do we care?
  • Ghost and Goblins was one of the first games that really challenged gamers on consoles while still being fun and intuitive to play.

Monster Hunter

  • First Appearance: Monster Hunter (2004)
  • Why do we care?
  • While the game initially may seem archaic to some American gamers, there’s something mystifying and deceptively simple about the original Monster Hunter that makes it an incredible game to play.

Street Fighter

  • First Appearance: Street Fighter (1987)
  • Why do we care?
  • Street Fighter earned it’s acclaim as a staple game among fans in the arcade fighting scene.


  • First Appearance: Okami (2006)
  • Why do we care?
  • Okami took it’s time melding Japanese folklore with a more cerebral Zelda-style game design.

Viewtiful Joe

  • First Appearance: Viewtiful Joe (2003)
  • Why do we care?
  • This is one of those major gamecube built around the personality of the main character that can rewind time. Viewtiful Joe was an original idea in the space of video games.

A full prologue is launching along with Free Comic Book Day on May 2nd from Archie, after that this comic is directly spinning off into an epic 12-part crossover. Thanks to Comics Alliance for the cover. The tale is broken up into a flipbook featuring separate Mega Man and Sonic versions. Ian Flynn is writing the story. The Sonic comic includes art from Adam Bryce Thomas, with the Mega Man portion complete with art contributions from Patrick Spaziante, Jonathan Hill, Powree, Ryan Jampole and Jamal Peppers.

2 Comments on Archie taps Obscure Video Game Licenses from Sega and Capcom for Worlds Unite, last added: 3/1/2015
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2. Cosby and Salas Bestow Fantastic Presentation upon Prince Valiant (Review)

KingValiant01-Cov-CookeCol-600x922Written: Nate Cosby

Pencils: Ron Salas

Color: Luigi Anderson

Letters: Marshall Dillon

Cover: Darwyn Cooke

Dynamite’s recent relaunch of King heroes is finally here. This week’s title is Prince Valiant. While I’m not familiar with Valiant, author Nate Cosby, or even artist Ron Salas, I did find an emotional hook here that is incredibly distinctive. This comic book has a voice that is all it’s own employed early on in the very first scenes. The prose within the tale is written with a swagger and efficiency that’s unlike anything I’ve seen in a comic of this nature.

“Once, there was a boy. He had a burden. Ever present and persistent.”

This first installment is full of similar language that can alienate the reader at first, luckily Cosby is spinning a yarn that fans should be familiar with regardless of previous exposure to the Prince Valiant character. Cosby pulls from Greek Mythology in telling the story of an arrogant God that has to figure out how to cope with everyday life. Think of a mortal version of young Thor.

The bottom line is that when Valiant falls, he takes a massive descent resulting in him being cast out of his own land. This is the story of how his reckless abandon can be redeemed through later pursuits. Deeper questions lie within this comic than that of Valiant’s own morals. The plot thickens at the last page featuring a cliffhanger notable in it’s own sheer ambition. This surprise spins the story in even more new directions, and perfectly bookends the tale through following up on a story weaved within the first pages of the comic. One of the only negative aspects of this story is how the language provides some distance with readers at times. It’s hard to decipher exactly what point these characters are trying to illustrate with each other in the dinner scenes, thankfully that’s where the art of Ron Salas comes in.

Salas’ art in this comic book story is abstract in it’s versatility. The story has a slight independent vibe supported by the colors of Luigi Anderson. At times, the fluid motion can be slightly lost in how the panels connect to each other. There are several styles employed within this comic, with the aforementioned dinner scene sporting a minimalist spark that is extraordinarily different than the detail in the framing scenes earlier in the story. There is great potential here, and hopefully Salas can just be slightly more consistent with the plethora of different styles at play throughout the course of this issue. The penciller definitely deserves some praise for the highly unique layouts and experiments in the form on display throughout the issue. The layout featuring negative space seen in preview pages should engage fans on a craft level. The caves soaked in darkness evoke just the right shade from Anderson.

One word to describe this entire affair is subversive. Through engrossing language, deft characterization, and the last twist throwing readers for a loop towards the end of this comic, Prince Valiant is something that should stay on your pull list – especially if you it was never on your pull list in the first place.

3 Comments on Cosby and Salas Bestow Fantastic Presentation upon Prince Valiant (Review), last added: 2/27/2015
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3. Nice Art: Sorrentino goes Marvel Exclusive, Shows off X-Men Artwork

all new x-men 38

Marvel welcomed artist Andrea Sorrentino to the Bendis-verse with Uncanny X-Men Annual #1. The penciller is continuing his work with author Brian Michael Bendis and Marvel with the upcoming All-New X-Men #38 and his exclusive Marvel contract. The comic is the fourth entry into the Black Vortex crossover with the X-Men and the Guardians of the Galaxy characters. Comics Beat recently covered the announcement that saw Sorrentino move with Bendis on the upcoming Old Man Logan #1 launching in May which takes place during Secret Wars.

“I’m very, very excited about this new chapter of my career,” said Sorrentino. “I’ve always been a huge fan of Marvel characters and I’m thrilled at what is coming in the next couple years now that I’ve joined the family full-time.”

The artist first dazzled the critics during the Big Two with I Vampire alongside author Joshua Hail Fialkov, turning the comic into a fan favorite New 52 launch title. He once again delighted the press with his run on Green Arrow with Jeff Lemire. CBR ran the press release and announced the news this afternoon.


1 Comments on Nice Art: Sorrentino goes Marvel Exclusive, Shows off X-Men Artwork, last added: 2/24/2015
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4. Aaron and Sprouse Extend a Secret Wars Invitation to the “Thor-cop bar”


“This is basically me doing a cop story, but with hammers instead of guns,” exclaims Thors author Jason Aaron to Marvel.com. “This is me getting to do ‘Homicide: Life on the Street’ with lots of cosmic cops. It’s every version of Thor you can imagine, all walking beats, solving murders, getting yelled at by their commissioner and blowing off steam at their local Thor-cop bar.”

Marvel is looking to expand Secret Wars even further (10+ series have already been announced) with a new comic entitled Thors. The tale features the incredible creative team of Jason Aaron and artist Chris Sprouse. Thors follows up on some crucial plot points that have yet to be revealed in Secret Wars #2, but the cover features various characters (the new Thor, Ultimate Thor, Beta Ray Bill, Frog Thor, and more) equipped with hammers. Little regarding the plot is known except that all these different characters are investigating a murder case for the ages.

The comic ships in June, and is cited to be one of the more important titles for Secret Wars.

“I’ll just say that this book is probably more of a direct tie-in to the main SECRET WARS series than a lot of the other tie-ins you’ll see, in that the role of the Thors is something that is set-up quite extensively in SECRET WARS #2,” says Aaron.

2 Comments on Aaron and Sprouse Extend a Secret Wars Invitation to the “Thor-cop bar”, last added: 2/24/2015
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5. Sundowners, The Ghost Fleet, and Resurrectionists continue as Digital First Comics


Dark Horse is turning their distribution model inside out for three of their low selling series. Sundowners, The Ghost Fleet, and Resurrectionists are all shifting to digital first comics for sale on the Dark Horse application. Graphic novels will be available, but only after the stories finish their digital runs. These titles are all creator-owned series and set to become branded as the ‘Dark Horse Digital Exclusives.’

Anyone who has been reading either Sundowners, The Ghost Fleet, or Resurrectionists will have to seek out these titles digitally to finish the stories, unless they wait until the graphic novel versions launch in the fall.

Big Comic Page announced the news and included a blurb from author Tim Seeley with his take on the story:

“I’m not sure why some books succeed while others don’t, especially when I know Dark Horse has been making some super-cool, all-new, creator-owned material that I was proud to be part of. But I’m glad they’ve got the dedication and respect to ensure readers and creators get to bring their stories to a logical conclusion.”

Author Donny Cates also chimed in with his thoughts on the series:

“Since my very first baby steps with the company, Dark Horse has been incredibly welcoming and supportive—they take wild chances on wild creators with bananas ideas (Go get The Paybacks in September!)”

Finally, Fred Van Lente added his perspective:

“They’re all great comics, and moving them to the digital space is a great opportunity to give them another chance to thrive.”

Here is the solicitation information for the next set of trades for each series:

The Ghost Fleet Volume 2: Hammer Down

Donny Cates (writer), Daniel Warren Johnson (artist)

$14.99, 978-1-61655-711-9

Available 10/7/2015

Resurrectionists: Near-Death Experienced

Fred Van Lente (writer), Maurizio Rosenzweig (artist)

$19.99, 978-1-61655-760-7

Available 8/19/2015

Sundowners Volume 2

Tim Seeley (writer), Jim Terry (artist)

$19.99, 978-1-61655-785-0

Available 8/26/2015

3 Comments on Sundowners, The Ghost Fleet, and Resurrectionists continue as Digital First Comics, last added: 2/24/2015
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6. Secret Wars: To Me My Ghost Racers!


Marvel’s Ghost Rider is a character inexplicably tied to the 1970’s. The best treatments of the character have embraced this silly premise of a dude with a fire-laced whip riding a motorcycle beating up dudes. The upcoming Ghost Racers storyline is mixing the character up with a few friends, but keeping in tune with the psychedelic 70’s roots of the hero. The tale is one of those wackier Secret Wars tie-ins along the tune of Where Monsters Dwell – a previously announced Secret Wars comic with dinosaurs and World War I. The upcoming Ghost Racers comic book see’s a horde of Ghost Riders from several different eras teaming up together to kick butt.

The relatively new Ghost Rider Robbie Reyes is confirmed to play a role in the story alongside author Felipe Smith. Juan Gedeon is tackling pencils for the series that’s launching in June. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fantastic cover for the comic illustrated by Francesco Francavilla. While the details on plot for the series are limited as of this moment, Smith went to Newsarama where the story was announced for a fantastic quote on how to depict the visuals of racing when writing for another artist in a static medium. This advice will really come in handy for authors looking to write excellent craft and fans interested in taking a peek behind the curtain of the process within comics.

I see this a lot in articles; people commenting on how hard it is to depict motion (and racing) in comics as a medium. I can’t say that I really agree with that statement [laughs].

But I guess the key to doing it correctly is the pacing of your panels, the sizing and distribution of them across the page, and what moment of the described action you chose to depict visually.

The amount of things you choose to show and not show in a sequence is what determines how quickly the reader’s eye moves through the page and goes to the next one.

Races (and successful action) are fast-paced, and the key is guiding the reader’s eye quickly through the sequence, and then slowing his eye down during certain moments for visual payoffs.

Ghost Riders launches in June.

GHOSTRS2015001011-col-v1-0f9d8 GHOSTRS2015001008-col-v4-22044


1 Comments on Secret Wars: To Me My Ghost Racers!, last added: 2/21/2015
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7. Injection, Material, Valhalla Mad and More: Meet the New Image Comics Launching in May

Image launches an assortment of brand new number ones each month, however, May‘s selection of new Image titles features some huge names creating important new properties. Before May comes around the pipe, lets take a look at all the new titles launching in that month. Thanks to CBR for posting these solicits and covers.

We heard about projects like Valhalla Mad at the Image Expo before last, so it’s a relief to finally be seeing author Joe Casey‘s take on the god flavored funny fiction. Casey’s new batch of comics riffing on Marvel’s Thor with veteran artist Paul Maybury deserves to be on your radar come May.

ValhallaMad-01-46538VALHALLA MAD #1




MAY 20 / 32 PAGES / FC / T / $3.50

Their names are legend: the Glorious Knox! Greghorn the Battlebjörn! Jhago the Irritator! Three warrior gods vacationing on Earth, just looking to get their drink on and have a good time! Join the drunken festivities with toastmasters JOE CASEY (SEX) and PAUL MAYBURY (SOVEREIGN). The new mythology begins now!

The hottest new title coming from Image in the next couple months has to be Injection, the new comic book series from the awesome creative team of Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey. The two creators are coming off of a fan-favorite run of Moon Knight. With their new Image project solicited with a brand new beautiful cover here:

Injection-01-f7a0dINJECTION #1



MAY 13 / 24 PAGES / FC / M / $2.99

Once upon a time, there were five crazy people, and they poisoned the 21st Century. Now they have to deal with the corrosion to try and save us all from a world becoming too weird to support human life.

INJECTION is the new ongoing series created by the acclaimed creative team of Moon Knight. It is science fiction, tales of horror, strange crime fiction, techno-thriller, and ghost story all at the same time. A serialized sequence of graphic novels about how loud and strange the world is getting, about the wild future and the haunted past all crashing into the present day at once, and about five eccentric geniuses dealing with the paranormal and numinous as well as the growing weight of what they did to the planet with the Injection.

Next up is Mythic, a new title from Phil Hester and John McCrea about how science is dead. With a stunning cover and an excellent first two names associated with the project, the story is due for a look from fans searching for something a little different in the comics market. The high concept is that magic has to be suppressed from the surface world as science doesn’t exist. Take a look at the cover and solicit:

mythicMYTHIC #1




MAY 6 / 32 PAGES / FC / T+ / $1.99


Science is a lie, an opiate for the masses. The truth is, magic makes the world go ’round. And when magic breaks, MYTHIC fixes it. Apache shaman Waterson, Greek immortal Cassandra, and cell phone salesman Nate Jayadarma are the crack field team assigned with keeping the gears of the supernatural world turning, and more importantly, keeping you from ever knowing about it.

Join Eisner nominee PHIL HESTER (Green Arrow, The Coffin) and Eisner winner JOHN McCREA (Hitman, The Boys) on their latest expedition to the dark heart of weird comics.

Ed Brisson, the creator of hit indie comic Shelter is working on a new comic entitled The Mantle. Brian Level is joining him with art for the title. The two creators are telling a superhero story about a young man getting the powers of mysterious object called (you guessed it) The Mantle.

the mantleTHE MANTLE #1




MAY 13 / 32 PAGES / FC / M / $3.99

Robbie never asked for any of this. While drunkenly walking home from a punk show, he’s hit with lightning and wakes to find that he’s been chosen as the new host for The Mantle, a power set of unimaginable scope. Despite his lack of interest, he’s forced into action. The Plague, a being who has spent 50 years killing every previous host of The Mantle, is already coming for him.

Ales Kot and Will Tempest‘s Material contains the high concept ideas of Kot’s other work, as the story tells various plot threads seemingly unrelated to each other that will all line up to something? Tom Muller is back designing the covers for the project, showing off the artwork in some exciting new ways. The cover should be enough to hook some into the brand new Image comic.

materialMATERIAL #1




MAY 27 / 32 PAGES / FC / M / $3.50

A man comes home from Guantanamo Bay, irrevocably changed. An actress receives an offer that can revive her career.

A boy survives a riot and becomes embedded within a revolutionary movement.

A philosopher is contacted by a being that dismantles his beliefs.

Look around you. Everything is material.

We conducted an interview with Brian Buccellato on his upcoming Sons of the Devil project, a story that he’s launching with artist Toni Infante switching from Kickstarter to Image comics. The comic is contained in both a short film and this upcoming project about a man that learns of his dark familial ties to a deadly cult.

SonsOfTheDevil-01-a68f6SONS OF THE DEVIL #1





MAY 27 / 32 PAGES / FC / M / $2.99

From New York Times bestselling writer BRIAN BUCCELLATO and artist TONI INFANTE comes a psychological horror story about TRAVIS, an average guy trying to get by, who discovers that he has familial ties to a deadly cult.

Told across three decades, SONS OF THE DEVIL is an exploration of cults, family, and the dark side of human nature. It’s TRUE DETECTIVE and ORPHAN BLACK meets HELTER SKELTER.

1 Comments on Injection, Material, Valhalla Mad and More: Meet the New Image Comics Launching in May, last added: 2/18/2015
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8. Nice Art: Guice’s Ninjak: The Lost Files Art is Covered in Espionage tinged Delight


In comics we usually put a spotlight on the writers of storylines, however, Butch Guice is the star of this article. The artist’s excellent linework and shading add an extra layer to the story of Ninjak with Ninjak: The Lost Files. The tale is the second feature in the upcoming Ninjak ongoing series debuting from Valiant Entertainment. Via a press release Valiant gave a staggering preview of the upcoming second story that will lift even the heaviest of eyebrows. March 11th, see’s the debut of the issue written by comics superstar Matt Kindt. The author is writing both features, as the first includes pencils from up-and-coming comics illustrator Clay Mann. The Lost Files storyline investigates the origin of Colin King’s life as he trained to be Ninjak working for the MI-6. King is hunting down the Shadow Seven in this tale – a secret cabal of shinobi that have important plot threads tying back into Ninjak’s own origins.

Written by MATT KINDT
Cover A by LEWIS LAROSA [JAN151636]
Cover B by CLAY MANN [JAN151637]
Cover C by DAVE JOHNSON [JAN151638]
Blank Cover Also Available [JAN151640]
Valiant Next Variant by TREVOR HAIRSINE & TOM MULLER [JAN151641]
Character Design Variant by CLAY MANN [JAN151642]
B&W Sketch Variant by LEWIS LAROSA [JAN151643]
$3.99 | 40 pages. | T+ | On sale MARCH 11 (FOC – 2/16/15)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

4 Comments on Nice Art: Guice’s Ninjak: The Lost Files Art is Covered in Espionage tinged Delight, last added: 2/17/2015
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9. Final Verdict: She-Hulk wraps with Next Week’s Issue #12 (Preview)


Fans of Marvel Comics got something radically different in the lawyer/superhero adventures of author Charles Soule’s She-Hulk. However, the comic quickly turned into a fan favorite and sparked new interest and love into the character. Unfortunately, low sales caused the beloved series to come crashing into an early cancellation. We’re sad to run this preview with the comic’s final issue from CBR. Fortunately the incredible original artist Javier Pulido is back to celebrate the end of an era for Jennifer Walters. February 18th see’s the end of the series, in which Jessica discovers who’s really behind her investigating what’s left of the mysterious blue file and why. Marvel and Soule are resurrecting Nightwatch for the finale, an absurd 90’s character that seems to be pulling the strings of the series from the background. Celebrate the end of a great series with these preview pages.







  • The end of the Blue File…and the end of an era!
  • But when one door closes, another one opens, and Jen finds herself face to face with her most important case yet.





1 Comments on Final Verdict: She-Hulk wraps with Next Week’s Issue #12 (Preview), last added: 2/13/2015
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10. Marvel Drafts a Redux of Planet Hulk for Secret Wars with Humphries and Laming


The mystery behind what Marvel was planning with their Planet Hulk teaser has just been officially revealed with a comic entitled…Planet Hulk! The tale features the creative team of Sam Humphries on writing and Marc Laming on art, who are chronicling the new adventures of Hulk, Steve Rogers, and Devil Dinosaur during the upcoming Secret Wars crossover. CBR broke the news and ran an exclusive interview with Jack Kirby creation Devil Dinosaur on the inception of the brand new series–Yes, you read that sentence correctly.

The Dino was interviewed in place of author Sam Humphries, who took a vacation to New Attilan. Fans can look for Planet Hulk in May, and take note that this series falls under the Warzones! banner of Secret Wars.

“RAAAAAAUGH!! The scent of blood burns my nostrils,” said Devil Dinosaur to CBR. “The Captain and I are far, far from the colosseum. The colosseum of battle, and death. The colosseum where we are warbound. “May he who dies, die well.” But death follows us to Greenland. This is a place where we HUNT. We hunt the RED KING!”

This crossover bodes well for the company, as Marvel is continuing to take advantage of some really quirky ideas for tie-ins including the Garth Ennis project announced earlier this week. Where Monsters Dwell mixes World War I with more Dinosaurs. This week’s new Marvel announcements contain all the dinos that we could possibly ask for.

It seems that the extinct animal is hunting for Steve Rogers who appears to be caught in his crosshairs:

“ROOOOOAWL! The Captain and I are WARBOUND. We fight in the coliseum. Every day, the Captain’s mighty axe, bathed in blood. From different lands, yet we are brothers. Brothers in battle. I will kill all who fight the Captain! I will smash their skulls in my TEETH. I will rend their flesh in my CLAWS! They will know THE FURY OF DEVIL DINOSAUR!!”

Finally, lets give the creature a hand for some extraordinary etiquette in the manner in which the Devil Dinosaur signs out his emails:


If you have any follow up questions, I will be happy to address.

Many thanks and have a great day.

— DD

1 Comments on Marvel Drafts a Redux of Planet Hulk for Secret Wars with Humphries and Laming, last added: 2/13/2015
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11. Picture Book Publisher – Flashlight Press

FlashLight Press is celebrating their 10 year in the publishing business. They are a small publisher and only publish a few books each year, but they specialize in picture books. Check out their awards pages. I was impressed with what they have accomplished. You may even recognize some of the artwork on their covers, since many of their illustrators have been featured on Illustrator Saturday. Click on the illustration that shows off some of the character in their books to look over their book catalog.



If you have a story you want FLASHLIGHT PRESS to consider:

First, make sure your manuscript fits the following criteria:

  • is a fiction picture book (NOT a concept book, non-
    fiction, an early reader, a chapter book, or a YA novel)
  • has a universal theme (but no holiday themes, and no
    talking inanimate objects)
  • deals with family or social situations
  • targets 4-8 year olds
  • is between 500-1,000 words
  • feels like a Flashlight book (Please read about our
    books to determine whether your story really feels like a

If your manuscript meets their criteria:

  • send a query email describing your story (plot, word
    count, target audience, what makes this story unique) and
    a bit about yourself, to Shari Dash Greenspan at
  • do not send snail mail queries. We disregard and
    recycle all snail mail submissions.
  • do not send attachments (instead, type your query
    into the body of the email.)
  • do not send your full manuscript (neither attached nor
    pasted into the email).


  • you will receive an automated reply within a week or so
    that we received your email query.
  • if we wish to see your full manuscript, we’ll let you know
    by email within a month or so. If you do not receive an
    email requesting your full manuscript, please realize that
    your story was not considered a fit for our line.

Manuscripts, when requested, will be evaluated within three to
four months.

Important tip: unless you are also an artist, do not include
illustrations with a requested manuscript.

If you create artwork that you want them to consider:

  • Explore our site to be sure that your style could be a fit.
  • Please do not send any samples by snail mail – we are going
    paperless and will recycle all paper samples we receive.
  • Do not send attachments. Instead, please paste a few sample
    jpegs into an email. Then we don’t have to open any files and
    can easily view your artwork.
  • Do include links to your online portfolio in your email.
  • Send the email to artsubmissions@FlashlightPress.com.
  • We‘ll keep your information on file for future reference, and will
    be in touch if we have any projects to offer.

Make this the year you revise and submit. Gook Luck!

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: authors and illustrators, inspiration, need to know, opportunity, picture books, Places to Submit, publishers Tagged: Flashlight Press, Picture book publisher, submission guidelines

1 Comments on Picture Book Publisher – Flashlight Press, last added: 1/8/2015
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12. Highlights 2015 Fiction Contest




Mystery stories


Three prizes of $1,000 or tuition for any Highlights Foundation Founders Workshop. (For a complete list of workshops, visit http://www.highlightsfoundation.org.)


All entries must be postmarked between January 1 and January 31, 2015.


No entry form or fee is required.

*Entrants must be at least 16 years old at the time of submission.

We welcome work from both published and unpublished authors. All submissions must be previously unpublished and not found online.

Stories may be any length up to 750 words. Indicate the word count in the upper right-hand corner of the first page of your manuscript.

No crime, violence, or derogatory humor.

Entries not accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope will not be returned.

Manuscripts or envelopes should be clearly marked FICTION CONTEST. Those not marked in this way will be considered as regular submissions to Highlights.


Highlights for Children
803 Church Street
Honesdale, PA 18431


The three winning entries will be purchased by Highlights and announced on Highlights.com in June 2015. All other entries will be considered for purchase by Highlights. For details about our purchase policies, please see our contributor guidelines: https://www.highlights.com/contributor-guidelines

Good Luck!

Talk tomorrow,



Filed under: Contest, magazine, opportunity, Places to Submit, publishers, writing Tagged: Highlights Fiction Contest, No fee Contest, No more than 750 words, Three $1000 Prizes

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13. Traditional Publishing

Twenty-five "secrets" about how traditional publishing works. 


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14. Valiant Debuts an Imperium Prelude: Get an Early Harada Fix!

1 harby 289x300 Valiant Debuts an Imperium Prelude: Get an Early Harada Fix!

By: Alexander Jones

Modern mythmakers Valiant Comics are implementing something new with a prologue for their upcoming Imperium comic with Imperium: Prelude. February 4th see’s select Valiant comic books equipped with the special prelude story. The tale is written by Joshua Dysart, the regular author of the hijinks of Imperium main character Toyo Harada. The comic is drawn by Doug Braithwaite.

The story can be detached from these upcoming Valiant titles:

  • X-O MANOWAR #33: February 4th
  • RAI #7: February 11th
  • Q2: THE RETURN OF QUANTUM AND WOODY #5 (of 5): February 11th
  • UNITY #15: February 18th
  • IVAR, TIMEWALKER #2: February 18th
  • QUANTUM AND WOODY MUST DIE #2: February 25th

The prelude bridges the gap between Harbinger and Imperium, showing Harada’s upcoming rise to power after the descent chronicled in Harbinger and Harbinger: Omegas.

Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani chimed in with the following:

“IMPERIUM is unlike every other book Valiant has ever published before, and this exclusive prelude story is a great chance to find out why,” Dinesh Shamdasani said. “Joshua and Doug are doing phenomenal work, and, together, they are about to unleash a politically charged series with global stakes and what are sure to be some of the most compelling characters anywhere in comics today.”

2 harby 195x300 Valiant Debuts an Imperium Prelude: Get an Early Harada Fix! 3 harby 195x300 Valiant Debuts an Imperium Prelude: Get an Early Harada Fix! 4 195x300 Valiant Debuts an Imperium Prelude: Get an Early Harada Fix! 5 195x300 Valiant Debuts an Imperium Prelude: Get an Early Harada Fix!














Cover A (Harada) by RAUL ALLEN (DEC141700)

Cover B (Lord Vine-99) by RAUL ALLEN (DEC141701)

Cover C (Mech Major) by RAUL ALLEN (DEC141702)

Valiant Next Variant by TREVOR HAIRSINE & TOM MULLER (DEC141704)

Character Design Variant by DOUG BRAITHWAITE (DEC141705)

Artist Variant by DOUG BRAITHWAITE (DEC141706)

Blank Cover also available (DEC141703)

$3.99 US | T+ | 32 pgs. | On sale FEBRUARY 4 (FOC – 1/12/15)

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15. Try, Try Again

So this week I sent out six new agent queries. I'll do more next week; it takes a lot of time to explore agents and pick those who you think will connect with your writing. I feel good about it, even though statistically speaking I likely won't end up with any of them as my agent. I am pretty sure I'm not the only one who gets frustrated by this merry-go-round of submissions and rejections. Why do we keep doing it?

I'll tell you why I keep doing it. I am not interested in self publishing. I have nothing against it, per se. It gains more and more credibility every year as a viable path. But I want to write. I don't want to negotiate contracts, pay for my books to be printed, market all by myself. I just want to write my books. So I keep doing it. (I will say that most of the self-pubbed books I've read have not been of the same caliber as traditionally pubbed books. This isn't to say it's not possible, but traditional publishers have teams of people who work on your book. It's bound to improve the quality of the thing. I should also add that I edit for self-publishing authors, and I think those who hire an editor end up with a much better book.)

I have several friends who were almost at the end of their proverbial ropes when they finally signed with an agent and sold one or more books to traditional publishers. Their stories lift my spirits when I want to give up.

Here are a few of things I've learned over my many long years of writing, submitting, being rejected, and trying again.

1. If the same work keeps getting rejected, maybe it's time to set it aside and work on something new. I know for a fact that each book I write is better than the last. And every time, I think this one is it, until it's not. Each one teaches me something I didn't understand before. So don't put all your eggs in that one basket.

2. I am confident that I am a good writer. Maybe even a great writer. I know this because I go to a lot of workshops, conferences, retreats, and critique groups with professionals, and they tell me this. Also because I've been practicing for a very long time. Also because I read by the ton, and I know what's out there. Also, because I have no ego left, so I can assess my own writing in a fairly unbiased way.

3. It's a good thing that some of the agents and editors I've submitted to have rejected me. As mentioned, I been in this rodeo quite a long time, and I've seen the big stall that can happen to a writer with an agent who isn't right for them. Inevitably, that partnership ends, and one has to start all over. As I have gotten to know some of the agents I once thought would be perfect for me, I cry happy tears that they didn't sign me.

4. Agents are just people. Very fallible people. Very nice people. Professional people. But there is nothing to be afraid of. I have given up the role of sweet little author who needs the help of an agent (if that ever was me), and I have started being completely myself when I query and submit. I tell people straight out what I want, what I'm willing to do, and what my vision for a particular book is. I am too old to tiptoe around, hoping my good behavior will get me in the door. You know that saying about well behaved women rarely making history? That.

5. Even when nothing happens, something is happening. I spent the last year hoping to nail down a particular agent. She asked for fulls of two manuscripts, read them, sent back copious editorial notes. I spent two months revising one manuscript per her notes, resubmitted at her request, and waited. For six months. Nothing. All my writing friends said to move on, which I am doing. But that was a good experience, because it gave me more confidence, revision notes to work with, and some good revisions came out of it.

6. Never, ever sit around and wait for that reply. Be working on new things and revising old things and researching and everything else. It gives me so much energy to be working on the next, new, shiny manuscript that I can forget there is ever one making the rounds out there. It keeps me from obsessing or worrying. It keeps me moving forward and writing better books.

I wish us all the best luck this year in achieving our writing and publishing dreams.

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16. Dark Circle Comics share Terrifying New Titles Shipping in April

 Dark Circle Comics share Terrifying New Titles Shipping in AprilArchie Comics is going bleak with the Dark Circle Comics line. The new titles are following up on the recent successes for the comics company via Afterlife with Archie and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series.

The publisher has revealed titles shipping from the upcoming Dark Circle Comics line in April to CBR. The new issues include the debut of The Shield, a brand new female incarnation of the 1940’s character. In addition, The Black Hood reaches issue #3. Waid and Haspiel’s The Fox is following up it’s debut issue as well. The talent on the books is a diverse cast of writers and artists including: Chuck Wendig, David Williams, Michael Gaydos, and more.

TheShield 1var2 459dd 668x1028 Dark Circle Comics share Terrifying New Titles Shipping in April



“Daughter of the Revolution, Part 1” Since the dawn of the republic, whenever her country faces its blackest days, she returns: a spirit of the revolution sent to fight for what is right. But when she reappears for the first time in a generation with no memories—not even of her own identity—and encounters an evil force expecting her arrival, all the Shield can do is… run!

Script: Adam Christopher and Chuck Wendig

Art: David Williams, Gary Martin, Rachel Deering, Kelly Fitzpatrick

Cover: David Williams

Variant Cover: Wilfredo Torres

Variant Cover: Andrew Robinson

Variant Cover: Rafael Albuquerque

Dark Circle Movie Throwback Variant Cover: Robert Hack

On Sale Date: 4/15

32-page, full color comic

$3.99 U.S.

BlackHood 3FFvar 631ea 668x1028 Dark Circle Comics share Terrifying New Titles Shipping in April



“The Bullet’s Kiss, Part 3” The Black Hood is supposed to be dead. Shot, de-masked, autopsied, buried. So who’s running around town in a ratty black hood, declaring war on the underworld? The City of Philadelphia is electrified by the fleeting glimpses they see on social media—but both the cops and the drug gangs want him stopped at all costs. However, the new Black Hood may not have to be stopped. He’s coming unglued all on his own…

Script: Duane Swierczynski

Art: Michael Gaydos, Rachel Deering, Kelly Fitzpatrick

Cover: Francesco Francavilla

Variant Cover: David Mack

Variant Cover: Howard Chaykin

Dark Circle Movie Throwback Variant Cover: Robert Hack

On Sale Date: 4/22

32-page, full color comic

$3.99 U.S.

Fox 2Dino ee943 668x1028 Dark Circle Comics share Terrifying New Titles Shipping in April



“Fox Hunt, Part 2 – The Other Shoe”: The fox-hunt has begun, and Impact City’s most dangerous criminals are out for BLOOD. When Paul Patton Jr. decides to take his son, Shinji, on a trip to the Museum of the Moving Image, he’s hoping to make an effort to finally be a present father and not the superhero freak magnet known as The Fox. But when a violent bank robbery derails their plans, and Paul is unwilling to don his superhero suit and save the day, a new kind of superhero will need to step in and save the day. So why is this new hero The Fox’s WORST NIGHTMARE? Emmy award-winning artist Dean Haspiel and Eisner Award-winning writer Mark Waid bring you the next chapter in Dark Circle’s most twisted tale yet! Featuring variant cover art from Howard Chaykin and Robert Hack!

Plot: Dean Haspiel

Art: Dean Haspiel, John Workman and Jose Villarubia

Script: Mark Waid

Cover: Dean Haspiel

Father and Son Variant Cover: Howard Chaykin

Dark Circle Movie Throwback Variant Cover: Robert Hack

On Sale Date: 5/6

32-page, full color comic

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Fox 2Dino ee9431 195x300 Dark Circle Comics share Terrifying New Titles Shipping in April

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17. Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X-O Manowar, and Unity!

Unity 014 CoverA Larosa 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity!Ever since the relaunch of the publisher, Valiant Entertainment has always been up to something new. This morning, fresh previews of ongoing series from the publisher were scattered across the internet.

Unity is in the middle of a great story-arc featuring a cast of characters called The United. The team of villains have been expertly hand crafted by author Matt Kindt to go up against the current Unity roster. After taking a break around the big Armor Hunters storyline and getting the chance to pick up the pieces, it’s been excellent to get some added characterization with these heroes. The addition of Faith is a strong new aspect that will likely to add something new to the team dynamic. Excluding on-again off-again Unity member X-O Manowar, this comic now has a direct male to female split in the cast.

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by CAFU
Cover by LEWIS LAROSA (NOV141693)
Handbook Variant by FRANCIS PORTELA (NOV141694)
Variant Cover by RYAN LEE (NOV141695)

A world on fire! Unity vs. The United!
A dark secret at the heart of the Unity team has led the world to the brink of global war. Only Unity and their international counterparts, The United, can broker a peace…but that might not work, seeing as how they’re trying to kill each other. All hope lies with Unity’s newest team member, who may not be able to shoulder the weight of the world!

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale JANUARY 28

 Unity 014 Variant Lee 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! Unity 014 001jpg 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! Unity 014 002jpg 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! Unity 014 003 300x230 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! Unity 014 004 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! Unity 014 005 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity!

Next up, Valiant shared a few pages of Quantum and Woody Must Die! The title is a four-issue mini-series written by author James Asmus with art from Superior Foes of Spider-Man alumni Steve Lieber. The comic continues it’s irreverent tone with this solicitation text also provided by the publisher, where it seems that Quantum and Woody are trying to beat Sex Criminals at their own game.

Written by JAMES ASMUS
Cover by MIKE HAWTHORNE (NOV141684)
Variant Cover by JOHNNIE CHRISTMAS (NOV141685)
Variant Cover by CHIP ZDARSKY (NOV141686)

They came. They saw. They pissed off a whole lotta folks. And now a team of mystery vigilantes has singled out the world’s worst superhero team for complete and utter destruction. Their first target: their minds! But who are these all-new enemies? Are Quantum and Woody hitting it off with a sexy duo of cat burglars? And, dear god, what have they done to the goat? Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Sex Criminals isn’t the only comic that can quote Queen, comics fans – here come Quantum and Woody! (Or so they think! [Trippy, right?!])

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale JANUARY 28

QWMD 001 001 194x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! QWMD 001 002 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! QWMD 001 003 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! QWMD 001 004 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! QWMD 001 005 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! QWMD 001 006 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! QWMD 001 007 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! QWMD 001 COVERA HAWTHORNE 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity!

X-O Manowar is in the middle of a brand new arc focusing on The Armorines as the title makes way for the upcoming Dead Hand story-arc. The creative team has been in constant stride on this comic with Robert Venditti writing the narrative, and Diego Bernard on pencils. In the solicitation text, something new is teased regarding a fail-safe melded into place by a mysterious figure.

Interlocking A & B Covers by RAUL ALLEN (NOV141696/NOV141697)
Variant Cover by RYAN LEE (NOV141698)

The bleeding-edge commando unit codenamed: ARMORINES has finally undermined the X-O Manowar armor and the man inside it – Aric of Dacia, one of the most feared men alive. But who are these hardened men and women, and just who orchestrated their lethal combination of technology and cunning? The new generation of ARMORINES are more than just mercenaries…and the figure pulling their strings is about to activate a fail-safe that will leave the world reeling.

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale JANUARY 28

XO 032 001 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! XO 032 002 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! XO 032 003 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! XO 032 004 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! XO 032 005 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! XO 032 006 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! XO 032 CoverA Allen 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! XO 032 CoverB Allen 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity!

1 Comments on Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X-O Manowar, and Unity!, last added: 1/23/2015
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18. Howard the Duck Dies on a Marvel Variant Cover (Not Really)

Screen Shot 2015 01 23 at 10.09.18 AM 218x300 Howard the Duck Dies on a Marvel Variant Cover (Not Really)Howard the Duck’s life is in jeopardy, or so the newest Marvel variant cover on the first issue of his ongoing series makes us believe. The new comic book has an interesting new cover that shows Howard in various stages of life. Towards the end of the the seven cycles, fans get a sneak peak at a gravestone.

Howard the Duck #1 will be available for purchase on March 4th.

The gravestone states:

Here Lies Howard T. Duck 1973-2015. “Valiantly gave his life during the Secret Wars.”

Will Howard die before the debut of his ongoing series?

With Chip Zdarsky’s irreverent sense of humor, it’s likely that this is some kind of hoax. The very last image in the evolution cover shows Howard alive and well. As Newsarama states, the duck is playing a part in the upcoming Secret Wars story as he is attached to the “New Quack City” region in the crossover.

To figure out some of the nuts and bolts on how the cover actually works, Marvel sent out a video. It’s important to note that all these covers are numbered and unique.

Marvel stated that the idea for this slightly gimmicky variant cover was born out of the successful launch of the recent Ant-Man #1 shrinking cover.

Marvel Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing David Gabriel explained:

“The Ant-Man #1 Shrinking Variant was such a successful experiment, we knew we wanted to try it again right away,” Gabriel said. “Each one of these variants is numbered and completely unique, showcasing a different Howard at a different size. Waugh!”


1 Comments on Howard the Duck Dies on a Marvel Variant Cover (Not Really), last added: 1/24/2015
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19. Kot and Gorham leave a Dead Drop on the Valiant Universe

1bd75a78 f6fa 4910 bfaf e60a5ea8875d 197x300 Kot and Gorham leave a Dead Drop on the Valiant UniverseAuthor Ales Kot and penciller Adam Gorham are entering the Valiant Universe with a four issue mini-series entitled Dead Drop. The story features Archer, X-O Manowar, and more of the Valiant stable of characters. In keeping with the unexpected tone of Kot’s work, each issue follows a different character as they explore a contagion deep within the black market of New York City. The contagion is also set to have alien origins. CBR broke the news along with the first covers and interview with Kot on the tale.

“When I looked at the characters and clicked with the right ones, I did more research. I had some familiarity with the Valiant Universe,” said Kot. “I rarely read superhero comics these days. That’s not a diss — they just don’t resonate with me. So the challenge here is, how do I make a superhero comic that would resonate with me? “Secret Avengers” is a good example of me figuring that out. I want Dead Drop to be another.”

Among the characters already mentioned, some supporting cast members from the greater Valiant Universe like Detective Cujedo (Quantum and Woody) and Neville Alcot (Unity) are also included.

“Yes. I want to tell everyone who already reads Valiant comics to come in and take the ride. Then I want to steer the ride somewhere unusual and new. The strategy is calculated, but not cold.”

Those following Secret Avengers by the author have grown accustomed to the style that Kot has been writing, featuring action and Twin Peaks-style black humor. When asked what tone he would be incorporating in the series with it being either silly or dramatic, the author had this to say:

Both. And more.

With any luck it will feature the same brand of hard espionage and bloodthirsty robots that fall in love with their adversaries.

DEAD DROP #1 (of 4) unnamed 193x300 Kot and Gorham leave a Dead Drop on the Valiant Universe
Written by ALES KOT
$3.99 US | T+ | 32 pgs. | On sale MAY 2015

Dead Drop is Dropping in May, (Sorry for that pun!)

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20. Imperium #1 Review: A Beautiful Lie

IMPERIUM 002 COVER C GUICE 673x1028 Imperium #1 Review: A Beautiful Lie

When Valiant Next was first announced, the biggest question mark for fans was: why Imperium? What is the series? Where’s Harbinger?

It turns out we were asking all the wrong questions, or so author Joshua Dysart would have us believe in Imperium #1. We should have been asking:

What will the future look like?

Thanks to the incredibly well designed cover by Raul Allen, the questions multiplied. Even though various interviews like the ones here disclosed more information about the book, there is still lots of secret information about this comic regarding the Renegades and other cast members.

What we do know about Imperium is that series takes the premiere Valiant nemesis, Toyo Harada, and teams him up with an assortment of ragtag villains.

Within the description text in the first issue villain and protagonist Toyo Harada notably wishes to: “end global conflict and bring about world peace…at any cost.” That’s a great window into this character, especially when thinking about how world peace may not be the absolute answer to all our problems on a global scale.

Joshua Dysart is a writer with political concerns in mind, a perspective that superhero comics rarely include. This story takes those elements to ground and enhance the backdrop of the story.


Cover A (Harada) by RAUL ALLEN
Cover B (Lord Vine-99) by RAUL ALLEN
Cover C (Major Mech) by RAUL ALLEN
Valiant Next Variant by TREVOR HAIRSINE & TOM MULLER
Character Design Variant by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
Artist Variant by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
Blank Cover also available

What will the future look like?

Have you ever found yourself asking that question? That’s the thesis on the first half of Imperium #1, a tale that might be one of the most bold superhero works since Dysart chronicled Unknown Soldier at Vertigo.

The author’s consistent choice to veer into the unexpected does not alienate readers, but fully draws them into the narrative surrounding the text. With that in mind, this comic is not for readers looking for a more traditional superhero story. This is not a more static reinterpretation of a villain in the Valiant world, it’s the start of something completely new.

Similar to Rai, there are various stray links to the Valiant Universe, equating to a stronger and more interesting storyline. Even if this comic is innovatively formatted, it’s still part of a huge shared Universe. The story never lets the reader forget that, and it’s all the better for it.

IMPERIUM 001 VARIANT NEXT HAIRSINEMULLER Imperium #1 Review: A Beautiful Lie

Readers will never see the plot twist coming, as the title has so perfectly evaded a concrete story synopsis. After a long form interview with Joshua Dysart conducted with Comics Beat, never once did the author mention nearly anything that happened in Imperium #1. The only clues to what the opening of the series are the preview pages already solicited.

This first installment of the story uses the protagonist in an extremely creative manner, having him interact with the story in an innovative hands-off approach. A new psiot taking the point-of-view narration is fully realized and reflected positively upon numerous interactions within the story.

Imperium #1 is built upon a lie, a potent beatiful lie that creates an exciting narrative thread. The implications for what this story could possibly mean and what the greater Valiant Universe holds for the rest of the series is left wide-open, but it’s for the better. If Dysart continues this streak of really using Imperium to make it’s audience second guess every decision they have ever made, this could be something really special. Imperium #1 stands out against a thousand #1’s in a crowded comics market. This is a comic that demands focus but culminates in an incredibly emotionally charged reward.

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21. Nice Art: Valiant Debuts Mico Suayan’s ENTIRE artwork for Bloodshot Reborn #1


Valiant Entertainment are unveiling the interior artwork in full for the upcoming Bloodshot Reborn #1 written by Jeff Lemire with art from Mico Suayan. The company is launching each page on their brand new Tumblr account. The Tumblr is set to reveal daily updates with a behind-the-scenes peek at all the big artwork happening with Valiant Next. Bloodshot #1 debuts on April 15th.

Valiant’s Director of Marketing Communications & Digital Media Hunter Gorinson chimed in to explain what else the company has in store for their new social media account.

“Valiant prides itself on its close relationship with fans around the world, and this is a terrific place for us to add a whole new depth to that experience,” said Gorinson. “Every day, we’ll be showcasing something special from the walls of Valiant HQ – advance artwork, covers, webcomics, interviews, and more – beginning with each and every page of artwork from the biggest Valiant release of 2015 thus far: BLOODSHOT REBORN #1”

After becoming aware of Project Rising Spirit guiding his every move, Bloodshot is now living in exile. How does a killing machine controlled by others cope with life? Keep your eyes peeled on the Tumblr, as it will be receiving updates throughout the day.

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22. Does Morrison Spin his Astral Projections towards Redundancy in Nameless #1? (Review)

Namless-01-ff75dWith a conscious effort to stray away from superheroes, author Grant Morrison is taking even more chances than usual in the comics world. Even Multiversity, his only DC Comics project at the moment is bending the traditional superhero narrative into the world of psychadelics. Annihilator from the Legendary Comics imprint is a great example of taking chances, spinning the expectations of critics, and defying genre. In the same vein as Annihilator, The Filth, and 2012’s Happy! mini-series comes a comic entitled Nameless. A few outlets have drawn some comparisons between Annihilator and Nameless in that they are similar stories with different tones and ideas melded by each artist. The script for Nameless in particular seems tailored for Author Chris Burnham’s special brand of lunacy.

With an immoral character being introduced to a world he never knew existed, could this comic be carrying too many ideas echoed in Morrison’s other comics work?

Any tale by the author is nearly impossible to summarize in one paragraph, but this one involves an action story heavily influenced by the writer’s previous works with a certain sinister corporation (more on that later.) There is an explanation into strange and obtrusive words belonging to alien species littered throughout the issue. The rest of the plot gets even more funky, that’s where Image’s solicitation text is going to come in handy:

An astronomer kills his family, then himself, leaving a cryptic warning.
A Veiled Lady hunts her victims through human nightmares.
An occult hustler known only as ‘Nameless’ is recruited by a consortium of billionaire futurists for a desperate mission.
And the malevolent asteroid Xibalba spins closer on a collision course with Earth.
But nothing is what it seems—a terrifying inhuman experiment is about to begin.
Abandon all hope and experience ultimate horror in NAMELESS.

Whew, did you catch all of the in the first issue?

In many ways, the organization in this comic is a mirror reflecting Spyral, created by Morrison on his Batman tenure at DC Comics with Burnham. Visual cues and themes from that story are present here. It’s hard to deny that this issue isn’t fun and will likely turn into something unique provided the creative continue to work on the story. Still, it’s hard not to get a slight feeling of repetition from Morrison and company after work like The Invisibles and Annihilator reflect similar shades of this premise.

Burnham’s art in this comic can be described here as visceral. Fans will buy into the plight of everything that’s happening in this frenetic comic. At times it’s hard to understand exactly where this story is going, and what’s actually on the page. Also, the way that these pages are laid out in this issue is stirring. One page in particular shows Burnham’s maturation as an artist, as he’s taking some risks with layouts in this issue that are more than commendable. The fact that we can buy into the everyman perception of this hero, while intense dark sci-fi is going on in the background is a testament to the quality of the craft. Nathan Fairbairn is an important piece of the equation, and a rising talent that makes it easier for readers to pick out the mind-melding ideas of Nameless.


Not everything needs to be absolutely understood in a Grant Morrison comic, but enough information has to be absorbed for fans to be interested in where the story is going next.  It’s interesting to see what the team can do without the constraints of DC Comics, yet still there’s not quite enough for fans to sink their teeth into to force them to run out to comic shops and grab the next issue. There’s something special in regards to getting a tale from the famed writer that is more action packed yet still contains his immense ration of ideas to page.  The author’s style may be more versatile than we could have ever thought.

While Nameless is an interesting beast, it’s not something that can quite rise above the immense amount of content from Image comics. However, this comic still contains an immense amount of great ideas worth celebrating. Fans hesitant about this story should keep an eye on what the critics say, as it could be just a few feet away from tipping into greatness.

1 Comments on Does Morrison Spin his Astral Projections towards Redundancy in Nameless #1? (Review), last added: 2/8/2015
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23. Visit for Poison Ivy, Stay for Black Hand: DC shakes up the New Suicide Squad Roster


DC’s New Suicide Squad team is about to get shaken up yet again. In the aftermath of Convergence, DC is rebranding the team with an all-new set of villains. No, the comic will not renumbered, but will see a roster change. The news was announced in the Channel 52 backmatter page on this week’s releases from DC. Sean Ryan is still on the writing duties of the comic when the title shifts cast with issue #9, with Carlos D’Anda tackling the pencils on the comic.

This cast is really strange, as we have Reverse-Flash hot off the fame from the brand new tv show and his guest appearance from New Suicide Squad #5. Poison Ivy joins the fray who’s seen some interest in her exploits with Harley Quinn. Black Hand is an important character, but not someone who would usually be associated with the Suicide Squad meeting. Cheetah is a villain getting some play thanks to Wonder Woman. Seeing a Talon added to the full team is a great way to up the popularity of the infamous new Batman rogue. The only true question mark is Parasite, a Superman villain that DC is trying to push as much as possible as of late.

Group Desk Sergeant/Editor Brian Cunningham chimed in on some mission orders for the New Suicide Squad team:

Parasite will be the team’s secret weapon against ISIS in the next arc beginning in June’s issue #9. Black Hand has a power that Squad taskmaster Amanda Waller might covet for a team that can go boom on any given mission–he can resurrect the dead!

Look out for the comic in June, featuring the new team roster in New Suicide Squad #9.

2 Comments on Visit for Poison Ivy, Stay for Black Hand: DC shakes up the New Suicide Squad Roster, last added: 2/12/2015
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24. Review: Divinity #1 adds meta-textual richness to the Valiant Universe


By Harper Harris

Valiant Entertainment has been gradually earning a loyal fanbase since their return in 2012, but in the last several months their line has skyrocketed to the top of the list of publishers to watch. This is largely due to the inclusion of some fantastic talents that have joined up in the Valiant Next initiative, including Matt Kindt, Jeff Lemire, Jen Van MeterPaolo Rivera, and more. Kindt in particular has really carved out his own section in the Valiant Universe, writing The ValiantUnityRai, and now, with Trevor Hairsine on pencils, Divinity, an original book that brings a new character to this fast-growing superhero universe.

The basic concept is pretty interesting: a Soviet cosmonaut is sent on a 30-year mission during the Cold War to the farthest reaches of our galaxy, only to mysteriously return in modern day with god-like powers. This allows for some potentially violent politicking between the communist god and the American military (and perhaps some of Valiant’s other heroes), not to mention the obvious culture clash inherent in the man returning to earth after several decades archetype. However intriguing this all might be, it isn’t wholly unfamiliar; what really makes this issue stand out, though, is the careful and complex style in which it is written.

Kindt takes the approach of utilizing a great metaphor to both describe and tell the story: the idea that time is like a book, with pages that can be flipped between at will. There are obvious ties to the famous Watchmaker chapter of Watchmen, but it is used quite well in its own right here. It allows the narration to skip around, introducing both Abram Adams (the cosmonaut/god) and David Camp, who might be our POV in the modern era. This overarching metaphor works brilliantly as a storytelling device and adds meta-textual richness to the actual comic book readers will hold in their hands.

It’s worth noting, too, that while the issue primarily lays the foundation of the story rather than focusing on its characters, the pieces that build up Abram Adams are unique and allow for some subtlety that could really pay off down the line. I particularly like the fact that Adams is a person of color in an otherwise Caucasian group of scientists, students, and soldiers in Soviet Russia. This is obviously a conscious choice, especially interesting as we see the contrast between the racial riots in America on TV while Adams’ comrades recommend him for the most important mission in their country’s history without a second thought as to his race.

The art by Hairsine, who has pencilled many issues of a variety of Valiant books, is mostly serviceable, but shines in small bursts. The talking heads pages where we see a bit of Adams’ education are nothing special, but the more action packed segments–those with rockets taking off and of a wince-worthy rock climbing accident–pack a surprising gut punch. As we get a glimpse of the oddly beautiful powers of Adams returned to Earth at the end of the issue, I’ll be interested to see how Kindt and Hairsine design future uses of this god’s unique and terrible power set.

Divinity doesn’t pack the excitement of The Valiant, but what it lacks in epic superheroics it makes up for with fantastic writing. It’s hard to tell whether the distinct style will continue with the book or whether it was just a great way to introduce the story, but either way Divinity is one to watch in an increasingly exciting line from Valiant Entertainment.

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25. Space Goat Productions launches its own print line


There’s a fool born every minute, but a comics publisher every other minute. But this one is launching with a pretty sound roll-out. Shon C. Bury’s Space Goat Productions is most known as a packaging and talent-management company, but in May they’re jumping into the publishing world with Space Goat Publishing. The line will launch with three titles, and has also snagged the license to Evil Dead 2. SG publishing will be making its debut at this weekend’s ComicsPRO meeting.

The launch includes

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• Big Game Hunters #1 – A three-issue miniseries of Victorian monster hunters killing their way through a Steampunk world, “Hellboy meets Walking Dead.”.


• Mage, Inc.: The Intern #1 – A three issue miniseries about a non-paid internship at a modern Mage Guild and all of the magic and paperwork that goes with it, “Hermione Grangers first after school job.”


• Space Goat Presents Vol. 1 – The premiere 120-page hardcover anthology features seven genre-spanning stories by both veterans and new talent.



• An Evil Dead 2 prequel written by Frank Hannah (The Cooler) and drawn by Edgar Salazar (DC’s Smallville and Constantine).

In June, Evil Dead 2: Beyond Dead by Dawn a three issue mini series written by Frank Hannah and drawn by debuts, and in July an anthology title Evil Dead 2: Tales of the Ex-Mortis comes out. Beyond Dead by Dawn is also written by Frank Hannah, with art by Barnaby Bagenda and Oscar Bazaldua. Tales of the Ex-Mortis reads more like Hellraiser with jokes and features stories from industry veterans Greg Pak, Jeff Mariotte, Justin Peniston, Georgia Ball, Ivan Cohen, and more.

These titles are a completely different license and storyline than the Army of Darkness books that Dynamite has been publishing for some while, I’m told.

“The market has matured so much since we opened our doors as a packaging and creative services company—and we feel very strongly there’s a market for the type of material we personally want to bring to readers in print and digital,” Bury explained. “We’ve packaged and provided talent and creative services for the world’s biggest comic book companies for a decade–DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Penguin Books and more. We love the editors we work with at those companies and consider them friends and partners. But there’s still talent and voices that aren’t being heard. And I want to fix that with Space Goat Publishing.”

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