Showing posts with label zenescope. Show all posts
Showing posts with label zenescope. Show all posts

Monday, June 18, 2012

I'm Writing ROBYN HOOD for Zenescope!

So here it is. The big news I've been teasing for a while and, really, the coolest thing I've done in my career thus far. I am writing Zenescope Entertainment's new flagship series, ROBYN HOOD. I've been plotting and chatting about this with Raven Gregory for a while now, so it feels good to finally be able to let the world know! More will be revealed this week as we continue to tease, but this series encompasses everything I love about comics and I can't wait for you all to read it.

I promise all you Robin Hood fans out there, while this is clearly a new take, I'm as into the original ballads as any English major can be. Hell, when we're able to reveal the title of the first issue, I think you'll be assured that the Robber in the Hood is in good hands.


Friday, April 27, 2012


It's the eleventh hour. Four days left until Zenescope's Grimm Fairy Tales: The Animated Series Kickstarter is either funded or not funded. The goal is $175,000 and they're currently at $148,573. That's a giant number, but it needs to be a bit beefier before this project gets greenlit. Take a second to click on the link and read up on it.

All caught up? Good.

Okay, so I know what you're thinking. Of course I'm saying support the Zenescope Kickstarter. Zenescope pays me to write comic books that I'd be reading even if I were involved in the process at all. I will say this, though - I am not even slightly involved in the Grimm Fairy Tales Animated Series project. I found out about it when you did. I donated my money and I have been promoting it because I want it to happen. It's a show I want to see. It's good for Grimm Fairy Tales as a series. It's good for Zenescope.

It's good for independent comics.

If people watch and like the series, they'll seek out the comics. They'll go into the comic shop specifically for non-Big Two titles - and that's what initially brought me into the shop. Looking for Angel comics from IDW. Now, my pull list has grown and I make it a point to support indie comics over and above all else. I believe this series will get more people into the comic shop the same way The Walking Dead has, and I like that. I like that as a comic book writer and I love that as a comic book fan.

So if you have a few extra dollars, consider throwing it toward this Kickstarter.

If you have $100 and choose to send it toward the Kickstarter, I will send you a signed copy of every Zenescope comic I do this year, starting in June. I've already got a bunch on deck. I'll offer this to five people who support the Kickstarter with new donations of $100 or more. You can message me on Tumblr, Twitter, or Facebook - or you can leave a comment with your contact info here. Send me a screenshot of your Kickstarter confirmation, and we'll start talking!*

*This is in addition to the rewards that Zenescope itself offers.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Grimm 52, Raven Gregory in Wonderland, and GFT: April Fools 2012

So, Zenescope and I got all April Foolsey this week. They leaked two of the pin-ups that I co-created from this week's Grimm Fairy Tales: April Fools edition 2012.

The first was the announcement of the latest crossover: THE GRIMM 52

This pin-up was written by me and drawn by Sarah 'Pickles' Dill, with whom I'm also working on an all ages graphic novel called Thomasina's Human Zoo. The best part of this joke was how serious some GFT fans took this. A few posters expressed outrage that we were copying DC's famous New 52 reboot. Personally, I thought the titles were enough to give the "it's a joke" clue, but I'm glad this one punk'd a few folks.

That said, I really want to write Sela Reading Bedtime Stories in Her Nightie. Sounds like it'll be a compelling story.

And then, they posted this:

Wonderland writer Raven Gregory and cover artist Eric Basaldua get sucked into a world of their own creation. My Blood Pong collaborators Ian McGinty (line work) and Javier Reyes (coloring) brought this wonky idea of mine to life, and... well, I want this on my wall forever. Raven put it up as his profile picture anyway, so that was pretty cool.

Both of these pin-ups will be featured in tomorrow's GRIMM FAIRY TALES: APRIL FOOLS EDITION 2012. You can find it in your local comic shop and find it there, or you can order it right here:

Or, you can head to tomorrow and buy the exclusive Pinocchio cover by Eric Basaldua.

Hope you guys dig the issue. All of the tales were co-written with Ralph Tedesco, who also wrote the plot for my GFT: Holiday edition. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Have yourself a Grimm little Christmas.

There really is no feeling like walking into a comic shop and seeing a bunch of copies of something that you wrote.

I spent my morning finishing up my last bit of grading. I handed in all my stuff, signed a contract for next semester, bullshitted with some final few dedicated students were were still hanging around, and finally left the building. As I do every Wednesday, I headed for Cosmic Comics, my local shop. Today, however, was particularly exciting, because my Grimm Fairy Tales issue hit stands this morning.

Here's a preview of the issue, courtesy of Comic Book Realm.

Limited edition exclusive covers
The Belinda cover (LEFT) is limited to 100 copies at $75 each
The Sela cover (RIGHT) is limited to 500 copies at $15 each

I wrote this year's Grimm Fairy Tales: Holiday Special, and I think it came out really nicely. It's a modern take on Dickens' A Christmas Carol - yep, not one of the original Grimm tales, but it features three major characters from the GFT universe. Those characters were all really cool to play with, and the story itself - which stands 100% on its own - was a blast to write. It's a horror comic, complete with ghosts (obviously) and monsters and creepy ass dead kids, but it's also very much a love story. I hope that you read it, and I hope that you like it.

You can purchase the issue at your local comic shop or any online comics retailer. It's available for discounted digital download for three bucks here!

Happy holidays! My weekly comic book reviews will be back on track tomorrow.

Friday, December 9, 2011

My GRIMM comic in stores 12/21!

Grimm Fairy Tales Holiday 2011 - Cover B by Stjepan Sejic

I'm a bit of a sap. I've always loved holiday specials. I think it may have started with the episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where Angel, taunted by the ghosts of those he has murdered, attempts to end his life. It was a powerful episode, that simultaneously embraced the tropes of the "holiday special" while also flying in the face of stereotypical holiday cheer. Roswell also did Christmas episodes really well.

I guess it was only a matter of time before I tried my hands at a holiday special.

Cover A by Mike Debalfo

In a bit less than two weeks, my issue of Grimm Fairy Tales hits the shelves of comic books everywhere. For those who are unfamiliar with the series, Grimm Fairy Tales is the long-running flagship title of Zenescope Entertainment. The series and its many spin-offs are populated with rich characters that play roles in an intricate mythology that incorporates the realms of Myst (essentially Fairie Land), Oz, Wonderland, Neverland, and Earth.

I wrote this year's giant sized holiday special, which features some of the Grimm characters in very interesting roles. It's a horror comic, and we really go for the scares... but it's also one of the most romantic things I've written.

Page 14. Art by Reno Maniquis.

Here's the solicit: Zenescope presents a very special Grimm Fairy Tales version of a Christmas Carol. Sela puts her own spin on the classic holiday tale while trying to teach a future princess of Myst a valuable lesson.

You can pre-order the comic here, or simply visit your local comic shop on Wednesday, 12/21. It's been incredibly exciting working on this book, and I think the story came out cool. Let me know if you agree!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Upcoming Pat Shandery

Hey all. I promise there will be some original content here as soon as I catch up on grading and whatnot. Whatnot being the eleven creator-owned comic book proposals that I'm working on - mostly because I'm crazy. For now, here's a bunch of stuff that's either out or coming out soon that you might find some me-ness in.


Angel: The End

This is a biiiiig hardcover that collects all of IDW's final Angel stories. It has the entire Bill Willingham run, all of the Eddie Hope back-ups by Bill Williams, the David Tischman/Mariah Huehner final arc, and all of the ANGEL: YEARBOOK stories. That means that this recollects my story Angel: My Only Friend, which was illustrated by the brilliant Stephen Mooney. It's up at Amazon for almost half price now!
ORDER here.

Grimm Fairy Tales: Holiday Edition 2011 - COVER A


I wrote this giant sized issue off of an outline by GFT creator Ralph Tedesco. It's a modern take on "A Christmas Carol" and it's completely new-reader friendly.
ORDER: Cover A and Cover B.

1000 Ways to Die - graphic novel

This is a big collection of stories based on the show from Spike TV. I wrote five of the stories in this graphic novel, all off of outlines provided by Spike. It's very true to the show, but it adds a lot of stuff that could only be done in comics.
ORDER here.


Big Book of New Short Horror

Includes my short story The Dick, the Wife, and the Pen.
ORDER in hardcover or softcover here:

31 Nights of Halloween

Includes two flash-fiction stories that I wrote (The Ghost of Gertrude Garvey and A Pity Party of Monstrous Proportions).
ORDER from Amazon here.

Halloween Frights - Volume One

Includes my short story Kids Playing Monster. I'm partial to this one, as it's a very long story and ended up feeling a hell of a lot more like a novella than a short. I'm proud of this one, so even with Halloween about to pass... I'd definitely encourage checking this one out.
ORDER here:


Includes my short story The Morning Show Host.
ORDER from Amazon here.

Told You So: An Anthology of Conspiracy

Includes my short story Gordon Macduff is Just a Man.
ORDER here:

The Undead that Saved Christmas: Vampire Edition

Includes my short story Not Many Vampires, which introduces my character Winter... something I have been waiting for the right moment to do. My story includes an illustration by the amazing Rachel Dukes.
COMING SOON from Rainstorm Press.

A Hacked-Up Holiday Massacre

Includes my short story Face, which is my first go at straight horror. Just finished copy-editing my story for this one, and it turned out pretty damn creepy.
COMING SOON from Pill Hill Press.

Thanks to everyone for supporting me, working with me, and buying stuff. To those who didn't buy stuff, I'm watching you. It's Halloween. Be afraid. Mwahhahahaa...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Supernatural Caledonia #1 review, Mystic #3 review, Static Shock #2 review

Comic Book Wednesday
Issue #21
Part One (of Two)

Before I get to my reviews, give me a minute to geek out. I went to my local comic shop this morning (Cosmic Comics in Oceanside, NY) and saw the new PREVIEWS book. Naturally, I did what any pretentious comic writer would do. I picked it up to see if it had anything I'd written was featured inside.

I defy you with my Super Work Boots!

Sure enough, my two Zenescope comics coming out in December were solicited. Check it out! My Grimm Fairy Tales: Holiday Special 2011 book is on the left. On the bottom right, Zenescope has featured my upcoming 1000 Ways to Die graphic novel.


For those interested in orders these, they're on pages 336 and 337 of this month's PREVIEWS, and they'll be in store December 2011. If you like this blog, if you like comics, if you like me, if you like gingers, or if you like (insert something that you like right here - doesn't matter if it's relevant), these books are for you!

Now that that utterly shameless self-promotion is out of the way... let's get to the reviews.

Supernatural: Caledonia #1
The Dogs of Edinburgh - Part 1 of 2
Written by Brian Wood
Art by Grant Bond
DC Comics

I was wondering where this series had been hiding.

DC's Wildstorm imprint had been publishing Supernatural comics pretty steadily for a while. They mostly focused on John Winchester, telling tales set before the TV series. Most of the stories were straight horror, which evoked a similar feel to the first season. Thing about Supernatural, though, is that it's the most improved series on television. It started as a pretty straight-faced horror anthology show, but had developed into an epic story of two brothers looking destiny in the face and saying "Screw you." It's currently one of the funniest, most engaging, and daring shows on TV. While the comic was always entertaining, it never really lived up to the incredibly high standard the show set.

Until now.

Fans of the show should be warned, though, that the comic is still not much like the show in tone. It takes place before the series, but this time it focuses on Sam Winchester. Thing is, I like that its tone is different from the show. The comic managed to snag acclaimed comic book writer Brian Wood for the scripts, and it's clear from this issue that Wood is more interested in building atmosphere, character, and the emotion than he is in the action in which the older comics reveled. The plot is simple: Sam Winchester goes to Edinburgh, Scotland on a university trip and ends up meeting Emma, a fellow hunter (Scot's call 'em "breakers"), who shows him around. There's a wonderful scene with a ghostly funeral procession, but it's more atmospheric and romantic than creepy... and I think that's wonderful.

Brian Wood and Grant Bond (the incredible artist, who does pencils, inks, and colors for this issue) are telling a daringly different Supernatural story... and if you watch the show, isn't that what the writers are all about?

Can't recommend this highly enough to fans of the show, Brian Wood, or just comics readers. It's completely new-reader-friendly, and just really, really rocks. I'd love for this to become an on-going.

Mystic #3
Written by G. Willow Wilson
Pencils by David Lopez
CrossGen Comics

Either I love magic in an academic setting (The Name of the Wind and Harry Potter FTW), or this series is quality storytelling. I'm thinking the latter.

Mystic is one of the best comics on the shelves. For the past three months, I've enjoyed the hell out of this funny and compelling story that's different from everything on the shelves. There has been a lot of talk about the misrepresentation of women in comics recently (particularly but not limited to superhero comics), and I think Mystic is just the antidote for that. The leads are two young women that read like - you won't believe this - actual young women. These are characters that you want to root for, that you can sympathize with, and that manage to be pretty and appealing without even coming close to being objectified.

Enough about comic book politics in a post-Red Hood and the Outlaws word, though. This is just a damn good story by an excellent writer and an excellent artist that should be at the top of your pull list. The final page made me hunger for next month's issue, but it also made me a bit sad. The words "to be concluded" are at the bottom. #4 will be the final installment. I hope that another storyline follows this one, and that the G. Willow Wilson & David Lopez team comes back to give us more of these characters and this world.

Static Shock #2
Written by Scott McDaniel and John Rozum
Art by Scott McDaniel
DC Comics

I found the first issue of Static Shock to be one of the best of the New 52. The second issue doesn't quite live up to that, but it was still a fun read. The dialogue is weak in parts, though, which wasn't an issue in the first installment. A scene where Static talks to himself for an entire page, soliloquy style, was pretty painful - it would've been fine if those were thought captions, but it just makes Static appear to be a mouth for the writer's exposition.

The plot develops nicely, though, as the Slate Gang races to kill Static for their bosses. And we also get a very cool surprise appearance of the Joker and a strange, and maybe promising development with Static's sister. It's a very busy book with a lot of action and a break-neck pace, but I think the dialogue in general could've done with a good brush up. That aside, though, I look forward to the next issue. I read that co-writer John Rozum left the series, but I wonder how much of these he wrote and who will take over the writerly reigns.

Anyway, this was a good read, Static is a great protagonist, the villains are fun, and the action is top notch. I hope this book makes it in the long-run, because Static is one of the coolest heroes to come out of DC.


Thanks for reading, all! Catch you tomorrow.

TOMORROW: Action Comics, Detective Comics, Batwing.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

GRIMM Solicitation

The updated solicitation for my issue of GRIMM FAIRY TALES just came out.

Check it out here:


Written by Ralph Tedesco, Patrick Shand, art by TBD, covers by Mike DeBalfo, Stjepan Sejic.

Zenescope brings readers an incredible re-telling of the infamous Holiday story: A Christmas Carol! When a spoiled and selfish Hollywood actress crosses the line of bad behavior on Christmas Eve, Sela intervenes to teach her a lesson she soon won't forget!

48 pages, $5.99.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Writing Grimm Fairy Tales for Zenescope

Hey all. Big news!

A while back, I teased that I got a big comics job. The covers came out yesterday, so it seems that I can talk about it. I'm writing the 2011 Holiday Special of Zenescope Entertainment's GRIMM FAIRY TALES comic. The series has been running for 60+ issues, and is one of the longest running comics not being published by Marvel or DC. I'm thrilled to have written for these wonderful characters.

The solicitation information hasn't been updated (the credits and the plot description are wrong), but just look at those covers below. I am so, so excited for this. It should be out in mid December this year. You can order from the site below site or pre-order at your local comic shop.

Two different versions of the comic will be released. One with this painted cover:

Which you can pre-order here.

And here's the other cover, which is a bit more playful.

Which you can pre-order here.

For those interested, GRIMM FAIRY TALES is a horror comic that began as a series of modern retellings of the classic fairy tales. However, the series ended up developing its own mythology, building its own world, and creating an long, epic story arc.

My story, told in this 42 page comic, tells a very modern version of "A Christmas Carol." It's super fun to riff off of Dickens' work, as I was an English major in college, but the best part was writing for the characters in this series. Sela, the lead character, is outright kick-ass.

Be sure to pre-order from TFAW. They have it discounted.

I love the universe and am eager to work on more of their books, so let's make this book a big hit!

I hope you guys dig this!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Many many thanks to Kostas Lamprou!

On my Twitter account, I wrote that I would write a blog entry dedicated to the first person to retweet my link to my short story THE LAST DAY over at The Absent Willow Review. Kostas RT'ed it quicker than I thought anyone would even see the tweet.

Kostas runs two blogs, one of which is a CHARMED fansite. Clicky. It follows Zenescope's CHARMED comics in the same way that my Buffyverse Comic Reviews site followed all the Buffy/Angel books, so it's a very cool read. And I can't help being partial because of all the work I've been doing with Zenescope recently. They have some great, great stuff coming out that I'm happy to be a part of.

His person blog, which you can find here, includes posts about Lady Gaga, music videos, and a great collection of Harry Potter videos. Check him out, and show him the same love that he showed me!

Again, here is a link to my story that he RTed: The Last Day.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dollhouse Epitaphs #2 review, Fly #3 review

Comic Book Wednesday

Issue #13

This is going to be a quick entry with just two reviews. However, you can head over to IMPULSE GAMER and check out my review for IDW's True Blood: Tainted Love miniseries. I've joined the staff of Impulse Gamer as a comic book reviewer, so I'll be splitting my duties between this site and that one. However, don't expect any less content here. In fact, I've got some new ideas (including a featured YouTube channel) that I'm planning on bringing to this blog.

Dollhouse: Epitaphs #2
Story by Andrew Chambliss, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen
Script by Andrew Chambliss
Pencils by Cliff Richards
Dark Horse Comics

Another solid installment. We see a bit more of the Epitaph crew from the TV show (Felicia Day's Mag and the snarky Zone), which is cool, but the draw of this series can be boiled down to one word: Alpha.

The Big Bad who has somehow become a hero continues his journey to stop Rossum Corp in this issue, and he has to make some hard choices along the way. One of the three Ivys gets imprinted, and Alpha makes the decision to leave her behind. It's totally zombie-world out there, because the rule the two groups seem to be going by is "Imprinted = dead." It becomes an issue for both Alpha and Mag's group, because this isn't like the person goes through the process of dying and coming back as an undead creature. One second, you're talking to a person and one phone call later, that person instantly switches into something else. It's a lot more personal... and a lot more horrific.

And speaking of horrific, Chambliss continues to tease readers about Alpha's mindstate. We haven't gotten a solid reason for his redemption yet (other than guilt), but this issue begins the deterioration of the heroic persona that Alpha has worn in the series so far. We're only two issues in, but things are already heating up.

Fly #3
Written by Raven Gregory
Pencils by Eric J
Zenescope Entertainment

Even at twenty-four pages, this issue is an incredibly quick read. It begins back in present day, where Eddie seeks Francis out and says, "She found me." We cut to a similar situation in the past, where a younger Eddie goes to Francis in a panic after killing Danielle's dad. He is feeling guilty about it, but both Francis and Danielle's reactions show Eddie that he was exhibiting heroism. The dichotomy of the present day scenes to these somewhat lighter past scenes (the childhood element of the scenes is accentuated by the art, especially on the page when hearts fill up the background when Danielle asks Eddie to be her boyfriend) continues to make FLY a textured read. Danielle's reaction to the rape at the hands of her father and his subsequent death seems oddly black & white in its positivity, but when you think about where Danielle ends up, it becomes clear that writer Raven Gregory is creating a purposeful balance between her seemingly carefree attitude in the past and her murderous, batshit crazy persona in the present.

The issue climaxes with the mysterious baddie from the previous issue finally interacting with one of the main characters. I won't give any spoilers on that, but the series continues to get grittier and grittier, shedding more light on how the Fly drug is continuing to destroy lives. This story is a satisfying combination of decompressed, slow-boil plot developments and breakneck-pace. Slow-boil and fast-paced don't seem as if they're ideas that work together, but FLY somehow makes it work. Well.

Looking forward to next month's issue.

NEXT WEEK: The entire blog will focus on Supergirl. The final issue of the series comes out next Wednesday, so we'll have a special little lead-up to the review. More details later.

IMPULSE GAMER: My next review will be for Image Comics' sold out THE VAULT #1.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fly #2 Review, The Cape #1 Review

Comic Book Wednesday

Issue #11

More blogs to come soon. Sorry for the delay on the promised continuing story of The Unfortunate Liquidation of Borders, but that's the thing about working in liquidating store... it kind of kills inspiration. All of my writing time has gone to my scripts for 1000 Ways to Die and the various short story and comic book submissions that I'm prepping. For now, though... let's get to some comic books.

Fly #2
Written by Raven Gregory
Pencils by Eric J
Zenescope Entertainment

This is why Fly works better than the tired old drug allegories you'll find in lesser comics, television shows, and movies. Fucking everyone wants to fly. If you ask anyone you know what superpower they would want, at least half of them would say that they would like to fly. It's something that everyone fantasizes about. The mere concept of this book is brilliant, because it universalizes something--drugs--that, in many cases, isn't universal. But again... who doesn't want to fly?

And in context with the story that this comic is telling... that's a bit scary.

After reading the second issue, Fly continues to show that Zenescope is breaking new ground by churning out creator owned material that easily lives up to the standard that Image, IDW, and Vertigo have set. Raven Gregory's drug epic is only in its second chapter, but it's already become a must-read title for me. Fly is engaging, clever, bizarre, and confidently told.

This time, the issue is almost all flashback. We only get one shot of Present Day Danielle, after her little... let's say beating-the-shit-out-of-Eddie incident in #1. There is also an interlude feature a mysterious (and murderous) white haired man that seems to take place in the present. The rest of the issue shows Eddie's first experience with flying and, more disturbingly, his reaction to finding out that Danielle's father is more than just verbally abusive. It's an intense read, especially when juxtaposed to the art that mades all of the characters seem wide-eyed and innocent. It makes for an engaging dichotomy, but I do have to warn readers that there is a scene that heavily, heavily implies an incestuous rape.

As a side note, I'm really glad that I got the C Cover, which features our resident ginger fly-drug supplier hovering in the air, brandishing a needle. I think the sexier covers might have made the implied rape scene a bit skeevy; however, out of context of any of the covers, the scene came off as horrifying as it was meant to.

One last side note, there are some cool easter eggs in this issues. Here's a hint for those looking to find them... Folks in the world of Fly seem to be pretty big on comics written by a certain mainstay at Zenescope.

Again, Fly is a solid read that promises to weave an intense, disturbing, and absorbing tale.

The Cape #1
Written by Jason Ciaramella
Based on the story by Joe Hill
Pencils by Zach Howard
IDW Publishing

It's rare than an IDW book doesn't satisfy, and it's unprecedented for a Joe Hill book not to kick major ass. If the continued collaboration of these two storytelling giants doesn't at least pique your interest, you should learn how to read good comics.

This is very much a follow-up to the one-shot The Cape story that I reviewed here, but folks who didn't read that shoudn't be confused by this story. Without spending any time on exposition, the story kicks off at full speed, revealing the backstory through images and the actions of characters. But don't kid yourself--if you're going to follow this series (and why wouldn't you?), it's worth picking up the one-shot for the experience of reading that incredibly disturbing book alone.

The larger story of The Cape that begins in this issue is as dark and creepy as the one-shot, but it's a whole lot batshit crazier. Our sociopath of a protagonist takes care of his police problem in one of the most creative and insane ways that I could've imagined. Shit, who am I kidding? I couldn't have imagined that. That scene alone is evidence of the sadistic genius that the Ciaramella/Hill/Howard team have in store for us in this series.

If the strength of the creative team behind the book isn't enough, here's my final word on The Cape #1... if you don't buy it, you deserve to have a very, very angry bear dropped into your car.


SOON: The continuing tale of The Unfortunate Liquidation of Borders.

NEXT WEEK: Reviews for FLASHPOINT #4 and SUPERMAN #714.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My new project: 1000 Ways to Die for Zenescope

I've been waiting to announce this for a while, so I guess SDCC season is a good time for it. After working on Joss Whedon's ANGEL for IDW, I've got my next comic book writing gig. It's another television tie-in, and it's a big one.

1000 Ways to Die for Spike TV and Zenescope Comics.

I've been working with editor Ralph Tedesco, adapting scripts and cooking up sick ideas for the upcoming 1000 Ways to Die graphic novel. The show, for those that don't know, is pretty self-explanatory. People die in gruesome and endlessly inventive ways. I'm a big fan of the tongue-in-cheek style of the show, so I jumped at the chance to write this.

I've written five stories for what should be an awesome, bizarre, and dark graphic novel full of grizzly deaths and more puns than any book has ever had. That I promise. I'm not sure who else has worked on the book but, judging by the source material, I can't see it not being a sickingly gross and hilarious read. You can pre-order it at local bookstores, Amazon, and your comic shops now!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Comic Book Wednesday #8 - Part One - Charmed

Comic Book Wednesday

#8 - Part One

I said that I'll be updating the Comic Book Wednesday section of this blog every Wednesday and DAMMIT I WILL! I, however, can't today. Last night I had a big marathon re-writing session based on notes I got from a TV Studio (whoa) on a tie-in project I'm doing for them (yup) through a great comics company. Which is a blast. A tired-making, super rewarding blast. Today, however, will consist of ten and a half straight hours at the side-side job, which is going to prevent me from running down to the shop and picking up Flashpoint #3, which this review was meant to focus on. I'm going to post a review for that issue tomorrow in Comic Book Wednesday #8 Part Two.

For this special "I Won't Go Back on My Promise to Update Every Wednesday" issue, I've got a guest blogger. He's here to talk about the Charmed comic from Zenescope Entertainment. Take it, Jay.


Jay P.

Series Review
Published by Zenescope Entertainment

Here now the words of the witches…
Years ago, I remember flipping through channels on a boring afternoon. Football. Nah. Wheel of Fortune… Nah. Law & Order’s 913th episode. Nah. Then by chance I stumbled upon something special.
A show about family, a show about sisterhood, a show about magic. A show about three really hot witches--the Charmed Ones, as they are called by the magical community. Almost immediately I was hooked. The first episode I saw involved one of the witches encountering a Wendigo, a unique spin on the werewolf mythos. As I hungered for more episodes, I watched the Charmed Ones overcome various villains and threats. I was immediately drawn in to Charmed’s interpretation of Wicca and magic, while also identifying with the characters and their ever dramatic personal lives.
The years went by. Characters changed and developed in wonderful ways. Others perished and were mourned for. Storylines grew and climaxed. Finally, after eight magical seasons, the series came to an end in 2006. Fans everywhere were sad to see their beloved show gone.
However there was hope. Such popular shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel have been officially continued as comic books. In light of the success that Dark Horse and IDW has seen with those titles, Zenescope Entertainment pursued the rights to develop a “Season Nine” of Charmed.
It has been a little over a year since Zenescope launched Charmed’s first issue in June of 2010. Beginning with a #0 “Sourcebook” issue to catch up new readers to the Charmedverse with character backgrounds and summaries of the TV show’s history, the title then became an on-going comic book.
Series writer Paul Ruditis, author of several tie-novels of various works, weaves a tale that stays true to the source material.I appreciate that new readers can jump in without having watched the show, while long-time fans can pick up on subtle references to past events. Every issue feels like its own episode, while also serving a larger arc, leaving me wanting more.
Be sure to pick up Charmed: Volume 1 (collecting issues #1-5) and keep on the look out for Charmed #12 and, later, Charmed: Volume 2 (collecting issues #6-12)!


Thanks for covering my ass, Jay. I hope to be able to regularly update most Wednesdays, but let's get you back here soonish. Your review was... magical.

See what I did there?

Why do people even let me write things?

I'll see you guys tomorrow for a review of FLASHPOINT #3.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Comic Book Wednesday #4

Comic Book Wednesday

Issue #4

Fly #1
Written by Raven Gregory
Pencils by Eric J
Zenescope Entertainment

Longtime Zenescope writer Raven Gregory and artist Eric J bring the first issue of this deeply personal, allegorical tale about addiction to comic shops today. While, on its surface, Fly seems to be a classic story about what the abuse of true power can do to a person, the true meat of the story is in the allegory of drug use and how the simple choices that people make on any average day can lead to the destruction of their future.

The comic opens with Eddie, who has had a completely shitty day, running into a fiery red head who proceeds to physically obliterate him. She slams him into a wall, flies him hundreds of feet in the air, breaks his hand, and then comes down and throws him through the window like a toy. As he passes out and we turn the page, the gritty and dark art of the opening scene is gone and replaced with the bright, cartoony, wide-eyed pages of the rest of the issue: a flashback. The flashback shows the readers Eddie's first step onto the road that will lead toward his present situation. It's a clever, revealing, and witty (the Vaughan-esque pun that ends the issue made me grin) tale from Raven Gregory that shows that some of the best stories are made of the pain, struggles, and even healing of the writers. The article at the end about the events that inspired this comic is a great read as well. Highly recommended for those looking for an excellent and very human creator owned book now that Brian K. Vaughan's Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina have both finished up.

Flashpoint #1 and #2
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Andy Kubert
DC Comics

I wasn't sure if I should buy this series. I can't afford to pick up more than four or five comics a week, and Flashpoint has been advertised as having more tie-ins than any crossover event in DC history. Not really affordable for me, and I'm the kind of guy that likes the full story. Well, it's been announced that the fallout of this crossover will reboot the entire DC Universe, making the history move of dialing back the long-running series and introducing fifty-five #1 issues in September. That right there made Flashpoint a must read.

While, in a perfect world, I'd have the money and the time to get all of the Flashpoint related issues, that isn't an option right now. Thankfully, though, Geoff John's excellent writing makes Flashpoint easy to understand without even knowing any of the side stories. We, the reader, experience the world of Flashpoint as Barry Allen does. Some of the biggest shocks include that Wonder Woman and Aquaman are at war with each other and are ruthlessly destroying Europe in the process, Superman seems to not exist, and Batman is Thomas Wayne.


The book assumes a decent amount of DC Universe knowledge for some of the big reveals to really matter, but anyone who follows two or three DC books should be able to understand this with no problem. Johns' storytelling is top notch as always, and Kubert's art is at once chaotic and clear. Both issues were full of surprises, emotional moments, and some damn good action.

I'm so ready for #3.

Screamland #1
Written by Harold Sipe & Christopher Sebela
Art by Lee Leslie
Image Comics

Started off with a creator owned book, so let's end with one. This was one of those books that I saw on the shelf and just grabbed, having heard nothing about it. I found out, upon coming home, that there was a miniseries that came before this issue, and I sort of wish I had read that to get a better feel for the characters. This issue does do a good job of setting up the situation (monsters haven't been getting jobs because Hollywood is hiring good-looking teens to play their parts, a Creature from the Black Lagoon type monster named Devil Fish has killed himself, Invisible Man wants to screen a sex tape that the monsters recorded in the seventies, and our protagonists--a werewolf named Gary and a seemingly normal dude named Travis--want to stop him) and introducing the characters, but that's all it seems to do. It's funny and intriguing enough for me to pick up a second issue, but the cover and the plot blurb on the inside made this seem like it would be a balls out hilarious read. It was good, but not that. I'm always happy to support creator owned projects, and Image Comics tend to put out great titles, so I have enough faith to pick up the second part of this series.

NOTE: It includes a back-up story that, while very somber, might be the best part of this issue. I didn't read it at first, because the "Next Time on Screamland" page that precedes it made me think it was a preview, which I tend to not read. Don't make the same mistake. Very good short.