Friday, October 30, 2009

Ron Marz Dispenses Artist Advice on Twitter

Parting Wisdom for the Day:

@ronmarz The artist's primary job is to tell the story, NOT drawing cool figures and rendering everything with a million tiny lines.
-Ron Marz, Writer ("Green Lantern," "Witchblade")


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Newsarama Sits Down with Darkchylde Creator To Talk Darkness/Darkchylde

Comics are getting a lot darker this December.

Randy Queen and his character, Darkchylde, are returning to comics – and they're sharing the stage with Top Cow's own Darkness. It's no coincidence that Queen got his start in comics at Top Cow way back in the early 90s, and he's coming back to where it all began to re-introduce himself – and Darkchylde – into the comics' world.

This new comic marks Queen's return to comics, and he's reintroducing Darkchylde and bringing a new creation, Starfall, as an 8 page preview at the end of the book. For more, we talked with Queen by email from his West Coast home.

Newsarama: So Randy, what can you tell us about the upcoming Darkness/Darkchylde: Kingdom of Pain one-shot?

Randy Queen: The book has three big selling points. Jackie's suit gets corrupted, so you're getting the premier of brand new Darkness armor, you're getting the return of Ariel Chylde, and you're getting nine pages of Starfall. And you're getting gorgeous color art by Sarah Queen.

When I go to the comic shop, I look for something fun, with real craftsmanship and love on the page, and I look for production values. We have that for you.


Broken Frontier: The Darkness/Darkchylde/Witchblade: Kingdom of Pain

Written by fan-favorite writer and artist Randy Queen and colorist Sarah Queen, the 48-page The Darkness/Darkchylde/Witchblade: Kingdom of Pain standalone finds Jackie Estacado, the bearer of the Darkness, with new nightmarish armor, and Ariel Chylde, the girl who can become creatures from her nightmares, with a new beginning. In addition to creating Darkchylde, Queen has the distinction of being the first artist to draw The Darkness after Marc Silvestri designed the character over 10 years ago.

In the crossover, marking the first appearance of Darkchylde since 2002, Jackie intercepts a psychic plea for help and inhabits Ariel’s nightmares. In doing so, he awakens her from a seven-year, self-imposed exile. However, summoning his Darkness Armor in her Nightmare world, Jackie’s armor comes over corrupted and darker. With a guest appearance from Sara Pezzini, the bearer of the Witchblade, what happens when these monster makers encounter a new threat that can create anything?

Additionally, the one-shot comic will include a brand new original 8-page preview of Queen’s next epic series, Starfall. The sci-fi series was announced by Top Cow at Comic-Con International 2008 and has been hotly anticipated by Darkchylde and Top Cow fans alike.


Top Cow Shows Off Albany Comic Con Witchblade Variant Cover

Just in time for Halloween, Top Cow will be offering the Ron Marz/Matthew Dow Smith Albany Comic Con Witchblade #131 variant this weekend. Marz will be signing at the convention and talking to fans about what will happen next following the War of the Witchblades storyarc. Smith will also be attending the show to sign this cover for fans.


IGN Lists Impaler As A Horror Movie That Must Be Made

With Batman, Spidey and Iron Man hogging the comics-to-film spotlight, IGN Movies decided to turn its attention to a few comics just outside the mainstream -- movies that still deserve the big screen treatment: Comics with a horror theme to them. We know, we know... that genre isn't exactly the easiest or most successful to be adapted. We've seen some success with The Crow (which is getting a reboot), 30 Days of Night (which is getting a direct-to-DVD sequel) and Blade, but nothing on par with Shellhead or The Dark Knight's success.

We looked through our bookshelf and came up with a list of five titles that could deliver both narratively and visually what modern audiences like and need. With Jonah Hex on the way and Halloween even closer, we present five comic series that deserve your box office admission.


Looking at this fall's slate of vampire-themed movies, it's easy to assume the last thing Hollywood needs is another batch of bloodsuckers. We like to think that vampire movies just need to work a little harder to stand out these days. They need an interesting pitch, and Impaler certainly has that.

Impaler is a series following the exploits of Vlad Dracula, the historical inspiration for the legendary vampire. However, this isn't a period piece, and this isn't the Dracula you're familiar with. This version of the character isn't a vampire at all. In fact, he's a holy crusader who sought out supernatural powers in order to combat the growing vampire onslaught in 15th Century Wallachia.

The bulk of the series actually takes place in modern New York City. A freak snowstorm has completely overrun Manhattan, and a new horde of vampires have chosen the city as their hunting grounds. Unfortunately for them, Dracula is still around and still eager to draw vampiric blood.

Films like Bram Stoker's Dracula have attempted to cast the iconic figure in a more sympathetic light, but how often have we seen Dracula serve as the hero? Impaler offers a fresh look at a familiar character. Moreover, both the premise of the series and its moody art style are reminiscent of 30 Days of Night, which itself was a pretty entertaining comic book-turned-horror movie. Under the right hands, Impaler stands a good chance of surpassing 30 Days in chills and thrills.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Francis Tsai Talks About "Tracker" Art Process

Jonathan Lincoln and Francis Tsai are taking the werewolf mythology for a spin in "Tracker," the upcoming miniseries from Top Cow Productions and Heroes and Villains Entertainment. "Tracker" tells the story of Alex O'Roark, a federal agent with an expertise in tracking down his targets – but after contracting the werewolf-inducing lycanthropy disease, Alex is forced to hunt the monster that infected him before his clock runs out.

Tsai, a freelance illustrator with roots in architecture and the video game industry, is the artist on "Tracker." In addition to his work on a variety of games, including "The Bourne Conspiracy" and "Darkwatch," Tsai has also written a number of how-to-draw art books, and illustrated other comic book projects as well. Despite having worked for Marvel Comics in the past, "Tracker" might be the title that takes Tsai to the next level, thanks to the book' reimagining of the werewolf mythology.

CBR News spoke with Tsai about his experiences as a freelance illustrator, his process on "Tracker" and his thoughts on the current state of the comic book industry.


SciFi Pulse Interviews Randy Queen on Darkchylde/Darkness Crossover

Currently, Randy Queen is spreading the word about the upcoming Darkchylde/Darkness crossover titled The Darkness/ Darkchylde: Kingdom Pain; which, in addition to containing new Darkchylde material, will also have nine preview pages for Starfall. Set to come out in December, this one-shot is the ideal gift for any fans of Ariel Darkchylde.

Nicholas Yanes: The big news and topic of this interview is The Darkness/ Darkchylde: Kingdom Pain. Can you share with us how this project came about? Did you approach Top Cow, or were you approached first?

Randy Queen: It was brought up during Starfall talks that because it’s such a huge project, it might be nice to reintroduce fans to my work with something smaller in the interim. So that’s how it began. And I saw it as an opportunity to make some important things happen, with Jackie being responsible for bringing Ariel back, and with him getting a new costume in the process. Suddenly it became more interesting beyond just my drawing Darkchylde again.


Newsarama Encounters Werewolves for the 1st Time w/ TRACKER

With sharp teeth, inhuman strength and a savage bloodlust, those infected with lycanthropy -- the werewolves -- have long since sunk their teeth into popular culture.

But Top Cow and Heroes and Villains Entertainment are taking a new spin on the beast in the upcoming series Tracker, written by newcomer writer Jonathan Lincoln teaming up with artist Francis Tsai. When FBI agent Alex O'Rourke encounters a werewolf for the first time, it begins a long struggle not only to bring a monstrous killer to justice, but to fight the virus from taking over his own life.

In short, forget about the silver bullets and exposure to moonlight -- Lincoln and Tsai were kind enough to chat with Newsarama, about process, the story's goals and inspirations, and why Tracker isn't about ghouls and goblins, but about cops, robbers, and a whole lot of bite.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Multiversity Comics Presents: Francis Manapul

This week on our interview feature Multiversity Comics Presents, we have one of our favorite artists and a rising star in the industry: Francis Manapul. Manapul is perhaps best known for his recent work on Adventure Comics with Geoff Johns, who evidently liked him so much he decided to take him over to the Barry Allen Flash title. His work on that title looks like will quickly make him one of the biggest names in the industry as his work is on par with some of the great names who have drawn that title.

Hope you enjoy this, and if you haven't yet make sure you check out Manapul's work. It really is quite incredible.

How did you get started in comics and, more specifically, at DC?

FM: I got my first work published in a book called Love in Tights which was written by J. Torres for SLG. This lead to us working on Monster Fighters Inc. for Image comics and eventually to Top Cow. I had been in contact with DC for quite a bit before I actually began working for them but I took some time off to work on a french graphic novel (Sept Guerrieres, and Iron and the Maiden. Once I was ready they welcomed me with open arms and started work in the Legion.

After moving from Top Cow to DC, was it hard drawing clothing on your characters again? I could imagine it would be quite the change for an artist.

FM: Actually I found it quite the opposite. I drew more clothing at Top Cow than I did at DC. Main reason is that even though the DC characters I've tackled have costumes on they are pretty form fitting so they might as well be naked. LOL. It's quite a misconception how books were visually portrayed at Top Cow. When I was working on Witchblade since it was a police crime drama, there were more civilian clothing than I was used too. I didn't think I'd be clamoring to draw tights as much as I did after that run. It was strange because prior to working at Top Cow as an aspiring comic book artist all of my samples portrayed heroes in tights. When I started working at Top Cow I had to learn how to portray drapery quite fast. So it was a very valuable experience in learning how to portray real world scenarios.


Quarter Bin Posts Top Cow January Solicitations

What’s coming from Top Cow in the first month of 2010? Read on to find out.

The Darkness: Shadows and Flame One-Shot
(W) Rob Levin (A) Jorge Lucas (Cov) Jorge Lucas

A Tale of The Darkness!

Go back to the turn of the 20th Century and read a tale of lost love, the depravity of man and powers beyond our understanding in the tradition of H.P. Lovecraft! Salvador Gomes is a broken man. He has lost his beautiful wife and young daughter in a fire and now spends restless days and sleepless nights looking for solace. In desperation, he makes a bargain with “The Shadow God,” but every bargain has its price…

Full Color 32 pages $2.99 one-shot

Expected Ship Date – January 27th, 2010


Ron Marz's Tweets Cited In Splash Page's Twitter Report

@ronmarz Much Witchblade writing this week ... but first, proofing 400+ pages for the limited, slipcased "First Born/Broken Trinity" hardcover.

-Ron Marz, Writer ("Green Lantern," "Witchblade")


Broken Frontier Exclusive Preview: Tracker #1 Tsai cover

Tracker #1 (of 5)

(W) Jonathan Lincoln (A) Francis Tsai (Cov) Tsai, Darick Robertson

The first property from Top Cow and Heroes & Villains Entertainment is here!


Monday, October 26, 2009

Famous Monsters Reviews Pilot Season: Declassified

Anyone who loves comics knows – and loves – Robert Kirkman and Marc Silvestri. It’s exciting news, then, that for this year’s Pilot Season, Top Cow has Kirkman and Silvestri co-creating not one, not two, but five new ongoing comic series. Evidently, Kirkman just has too many ideas buzzing around in his head to even know what to do with them, so the publisher is taking a few of them off his hands. And from the looks of Pilot Season: Declassified, they’re gonna do some pretty cool things with them.

It’s tough to review something that’s already a preview of something else, but here I am, doing my best. Declassified is a $1 preview issue, and for the price, you’re getting some pretty cool stuff. It’s a first look at five characters that have the potential for very, very great things. What’s more, it offers a cool inside glance at the process of putting a new comic together, as we’re treated to the scripts, concept sketches, and messages the creators sent back and forth in putting together each story. Kirkman’s the kind of writer whose scripts are a joy to read in and of themselves, and as a longtime devotee, I was pretty excited to get my grubby little fingers on ‘em. What’s more, Markc Silvestri’s concept art is beautiful. He’s really in top form with these characters; each of the five is incredibly badass, in a way that’s menacing and more than a little frightening.


Advanced Image and Top Cow solicitations for January

Image Comics has provided CBR with a first look at cover artwork and solicitation information for new comics shipping in January, 2010. The full January solicitations will be released later this week, right here on CBR.


Friday, October 23, 2009

They’re just boys, Newsarama Commenters, not communists

Greetings Top Cow Herd,

I know I haven't been attentive to our relationship/journey, as I promised. I'm working on it! (Please forgive me if my thoughts deviate, I'm all hopped up on cough syrup and manuka honey.)

Now, there appears to be some hullabaloo over a blog Filip wrote for Newsarama (you can catch the article here). Cliff notes version of the blog: what up with the notion that Top Cow is a T&A comic publisher.

Here are the facts: I'm a girl. And I work for Top Cow.

What do I make of this? The uproar? The arguments? I know you didn't ask, but I'd like to share. (I feel like I’m treading on Betty Draper’s territory. I have thoughts.)

I'm not a feminist (I don't think they'd like me to rep them), nor am I speaking on behalf of all the chickadees out there (this is where Jessie Spano would interject with a monologue about referring to women as chicks). What I do value is putting your best foot forward and having some propriety. (I know, coming from a girl who has an agenda against pants.)

Let's talk about sex, baby. It still boggles my mind that a soccer mom can carry a handgun to her children's game (I know, bad example), but god forbid mommy Sara Pezzini shows some extra skin, plus an ankle or two.

Browsing the past ten covers of Witchblade, I'm not offended nor did I think anything was overdone or of poor taste. The images didn't make me feel bad about myself nor did they make me doubt my kickbutting skills (I'm Asian; I'm born with ninja skills.) Nor do they sway me from entering a comic shop (paying for parking does, though).

[Random Sidenote: Girls have girlcrushes. Take a look at what drives women to pick up a magazine. I have girlcrushes on fashionable women. And well, muscular men scare the bejesus out of me. So I’m not contributing to sales there. Archibald ‘Archie’ Andrews is the boy for me.]

It really all just boils down to business. All anyone has to capture someone’s attention is seven words (that’s a fact) and a few seconds. One commenter hit the nail on the head: “It’s hard to depict ‘intellectual maturity, a good sense of humor, and a nice personality in one image.” And this issue does span multiple industries. Even outside of business. For example, on a social networking site with a dating angle, my profile has, at most, if that, three minutes to get your attention. How is that time spent? No question about it. The pictures. Would you even consider any recipient worthy of your attention sans photo? I’m quite certain a girl on the couch in her pjs watching TV isn’t going to illicit a call-to-action from you. Presentation matters. Simple.

What happens next? You can read the solicitation/one-sentence or 3-word descriptor. Now, you make the decision to send a woo/purchase the comic. And good job if you do because Ron Marz is a fan-flippin-tastic writer. And, a small percentage of you would not have come to this realization unless Stjpan Sejic brought you there.

It is what it is.

I, personally, think the system isn’t broken. Flawed, sure. Broken, I think not. Top Cow doesn’t do things because the herd is doing it.

Witchblade works because once you get past the pleasing-to-the-eye Sara Pezzini (Of course, she’s fit. She’s a lady of the law. Just like Olivia Benson), there’s depth to her. She has worries. She’s sassy. She’s set in her ways. She’s human (not accounting for her mystical powers), in that she’s trying to figure out how to live her life the best she knows how with what comes at her.

It all boils down to – content.

A relationship with a girl next door, or with the femme fatale, just isn’t going to work out if you’re making snap judgments about who they should be based on what they look like without taking time to get to the layers. (Look at that, Professor Selby. I still remember.)

If you made it this far, thank you. Now pardon me, as I rip off my stars and be just like everyone else. I kid, I kid.

While there may be overlap with other companies, so be it. It’s life. It’s messy; it’s not within lines. One doesn’t have to be one thing and not the other.

For real this time, pardon me as toss my white gloves aside but keep my hemline the length I see fit. You do you, and let me do me.

Christine Dinh the First, Emperor of the United States

Image/Top Cow Solicitations, January 2010

Image Comics and Top Cow have released solicitation information and images for new books and products shipping in January 2010.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Filip Sablik defends Top Cow covers

Top Cow Productions publisher Filip Sablik has spoken out in defence of the use of sex appeal to sell comics.

Top Cow, who publish popular titles including Witchblade and The Darkness, are regularly accused of producing 'T and A' (Tits and Ass) comics, with scantily clad and sexually provocative women pictured on its covers.

In a blog written for Newsarama (titled "Getting Over Preconceptions Is Hard to Do"), Sablik exhorted comics readers to put aside their preconceptions about Top Cow.


Plan Ahead: Albany Comic Con

The Albany Comic Con will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Holiday Inn on Wolf Road and will feature comics, toys, collectibles, original artwork and a Halloween costume contest.

The one-of-a-kind variant cover of Witchblade No. 131, created exclusively for the convention by local comic book professionals, Ron Marz who wrote it, and Matthew Dow Smith, who created the cover art, will be featured. The creators will sign their work at the event.


CBR: First Look of Joe Benitez's "CYBERFORCE/HUNTER-KILLER" #4 Cover

CBR presents this exclusive first look at the Joe Benitez illustrated cover for "Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer" #4.

The conflict between the Cyberforce and Hunter-Killer teams against Morningstar and Cyberdata comes to a boiling point! But can the two teams trust each other long enough to survive the encounter?


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Newsarama Previews Pilot Season: Declassified & Stealth #1

The most exciting year of Pilot Season begins next month, but thanks to an inside source at Top Cow HQ, fans can find out the secrets behind inception of the five new properties from Kirkman and Silvestri! Pilot Season: Declassified is filled with top secret design sketches, documents, along with trailer pages from the five properties. And the best part is the fans will determine the winning property!

The $1 PILOT SEASON DECLASSIFIED comes with a bonus first look at the cover to STEALTH.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009 Reviews Darkness #79

Regicide“: If you don’t know who Jackie Estacado is then you definitely need to jump into this issue of The Darkness! It’s the starting point for a new direction in his life as he embarks on a mission of revenge. He was duped by a guy named Sovereign who is cursed to only live through statues that were made in his image. Jackie finally discovered he was the Sovereign’s patsy and attacked one of his safe houses. He ended up taking out the mercs who were trained to kill him leaving all but one and actually hired him to help take out the Sovereign permanently. They take over the safe house which also has info on the location of other secretly stored host bodies and provides them a base of operations.

Again I say if you haven’t started this series and want to check it out this is a good time to do so.


Berserker #1 Makes Cameo in Last Night's Episode of Heroes

Guess who was the surprise guest on last night's Tabula Rasa episode of Heroes? Berserker #1!

Check out the screen time Berserker #1 shares with Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka) and Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia). The full episode is available on Hulu, and the clip begins at 4:32.


Broken Frontier Covers Angelus Series Release

Top Cow Productions, Inc. proudly announced today that the Witchblade character Dani Baptiste will assume her new role as the Angelus in Angelus #1, the first in a six-part series, hitting comic book store shelves December 2, 2009.

Written by Ron Marz (Witchblade, Magdalena) and featuring art by Stjepan Sejic (Witchblade), Angelus #1 finds Danielle Baptiste returning home to New Orleans and coming to grips with her new role as the Angelus—the human bearer of the primal force of light. To complicate matters, Dani must sort out her undefined relationship with Finch, all while maintaining control of the Angelus host who covets her power.

“Sara and Dani were really dual leads for the better part of the last three years in Witchblade, and I liked having both characters be part of the storyline. But now that we've paid off everything we'd been working toward since issue #100, I'm looking forward to Sara regaining the solo spot in Witchblade.” said Marz. “Moving Dani into her new role as the Angelus, and into her own mini-series, allows me to approach her character and the concept from a fresh perspective. Just like when I took over Witchblade, my goal with Angelus is to start with the foundation we already have, and build something new and exciting from there.”


Monday, October 19, 2009

Dani Baptiste Is The Angelus, New Series On The Way

Have you been reading Witchblade lately? We recently had the War Of The Witchblades and things didn't go too well. Top Cow has announced that former co-Witchblade bearer, Dani Baptiste will assume her role as the Angelus in Angelus #1. The first in a six-part series will be on sale December 2, 2009.

Angelus will be written by Ron Marz (Witchblade, Magdalena) and feature art by Stjepan Sejic (Witchblade). In the first issue, Dani will return home to New Orleans and has to come to grips as the Angelus, a human bearer of the primal force of light. To make things more complicated, Dani has to sort out her undefined relationship with Finch.


The Darkness Ranked One of Top 8 Under-Rated Games

The Xbox 360 has had some of the best games this generation. From Gears of War , Fable 2 to Mass Effect, Xbox 360 has something for everyone. Here we list some of the games that were awesome but missed out due to some reasons.

3. The Darkness

Although this game is not a Xbox 360 exclusive, The Darkness was a great game in all departments. The game had a very strong plot and a very likeable character in Jackie Estacado. The game had very good graphics for its time and most importantly the game had amazing gameplay. The Darkness’s powers were a lot of fun to use. Having said that a lot of websites gave lower scores and on top of that the sales of the game were disappointing. Just about 700,00 copies of this game were sold.


Marc Silvestri & Whilce Portacio Jam for Philippines Flood Relief Auction

A new item has been added to the benefit auction! It’s an awesome piece by Marc Silvestri and Whilce Portacio! Marc drew Witchblade and Whilce Drew Dane (of Wetworks) and the rest. Whilce and Marc were pretty excited to do it, and took time out of their extraordinarily busy schedules to put this awesome piece together.

I hope it does well at the auction, and well, I know it’s tough times for everybody, but I know that there ARE a few people out there who aren’t hurting and are just aching to do a good deed. You know who you are. Why not help out and help raise funds for a very VERY good cause and bid on this? It would be very much appreciated!

Marc Silvestri and Whilce Portacio Witchblade and Dane Original Art Jam! - Bid here.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Second Shot: Cover Lovers

Comic Vine spotlighted not one but two really cool comic covers yesterday-- one from the new Top Cow Pilot Season project (shown left), which I've mentioned before and still sounds really cool (they issue a first chapter for a bunch of comics and let readers decide what series continue), and then a new cover for a very familiar comic: Spawn (shown right). Make sure you check out the higher-res copies of the pics, especially the Top Cow one, to get the full effect.


Paradox Comics Group's Ten Forward: December 2009

Every month Paradox Comics Group spends an evening scouring the pages of the latest issue of Previews and pick the ten titles they are looking forward to the most. This month it's the October issue of Previews which includes comics scheduled to ship in December 2009.

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Art: Joe Benitez
Image/Top Cow $2.99

Matt T: On the surface this month's Pilot Season one-shot from Top Cow sounds like your usual, bog-standard 'vicious vigilante' story, but the last line of the description caught me: “What if the Demon isn't real?” Posing the question that the title character's bloody swathe through the ne'er do-wells is all in his head, and the barter made with said supernatural body-sharer is nothing more than a psychological disorder really does intrigue me. I'm all for the darker end of superheroics, but if there's nowt more than a tortured mask slashing and stabbing I quickly reach for the lighter end of the scale. With Kirkman doing the honours with the words I'm not too concerned that it'll step into formulaic fare, and the cover art looks decent enough.


BCC: ComiXology Panel

"Everybody says that digital comics are coming, but we think they've already arrived," said David Steinberger, ComiXology CEO, as he began Saturday's panel at Baltimore Comic-Con. Panelists included Top Cow Publisher Filip Sablik, Richard Starkings of Comicraft and writer of "Elephantmen," Michael DeVito from Th3rd World Studios and David Gallaher, writer of Zuda Comics' "High Moon" and the ComiXology exclusive "Box 13."

Sablik explained the role of digital and mobile comics in Top Cow's business model. "Our first foray into digital was through IGN's Direct-to-Drive," Sablik said. "I think as a publisher we look around - and I'm well aware of the people who are downloading BitTorrents of 'Witchblade,' and I'd like to have a few of those sales - I know that not everybody torrenting is willing to pay for it, but we'd like to get as many of those people as we can."


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Geek Brunch Talk Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer (explicit)

Host Mike Myers is joined by Eric, Micah, and Bill and their comic talk includes Cyberforce/Hunter Killer, Sword in my Mouth, PS238, Amazing Spider-man, Streets of Gotham, Aspen Comics, Cable, Uncanny X-man, Superman/Batman, X-babies, Wonder Woman, Locke and Key, North 40 and much much more.


Robot 6's Shelf Porn spotlights Collector's Darkness & Witchblade

Yes, it's Shelf Porn time once again! Our Guest this week is Mark Poulton, the VP of Operations at Arcana Comics, as well as the writer/co-creator of Koni Waves. Since Waves takes place in Hawaii, Poulton decided to build a tiki bar in his basement to display his collectibles.

He has all his Cable/Deadpool tpbs and Witchblade/Darkness tpbs on display, as well as some custom tpbs he had made.

You then have his Punisher poster signed by Thomas Jane, as well as my Darkness skateboard deck which he got signed by Stjepan Sejic this year at the Arcana booth.



Two sides. Two players. One is light, the other is dark.

No, that's not just the infinite wisdom of "Lost's" John Locke – it's also an accurate summation of "War of the Witchblades," the recently concluded story-arc from Ron Marz and Stjepan Sejic's celebrated "Witchblade" run.

Over the course of several issues leading up to the storyline, the Top Cow series featured two protagonists wielding different halves of the mystical artifact known as the Balance – longtime heroine Sara Pezzini held the dark portion of the Witchblade, while relative newcomer Danielle Baptiste wielded the light. By the end of the story-arc, Sara once again became the sole Witchblade-bearer, while Dani moved on to become the new host of the Angelus.

Marz and Sejic joined CBR News for a detailed reflection on the creation process of "War of the Witchblades," offering their insight into some of the story-arc's most significant and notable scenes.


Comic Box: Pilot Season: Murderer #1

Top Cow Productions, Inc. proudly announced today that Pilot Season 2009 will kick of with Pilot Season: Murderer #1. Due to arrive in comic books stores across the country on November 18, 2009, Pilot Season: Murderer #1 is 32 pages of moral torment in a character study spuriously conjured from the minds of Image Comics partners Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead, Invincible) and Top Cow founder Marc Silvestri (X-Men/Dark Avengers: Utopia, The Darkness).

READ MORE. The Turn of the Witchblade

Just what I needed, a precursor to the squaring off of two incredibly hot gals who wield the "Witchblade". Although a little dated, I finally sat down to read Issue #124, which was published back in February '09 by the Los Angeles publisher Top Cow.

For two years I've been a fan of the art. Recently I'm now a fan of the story. Who wouldn't be? It's hard to resist the idea of a New York City police woman who holds an incredible, ancient force of both power and destruction.


ComicVine: Top Cow Pilot Season: Kirkman & Silvestri on Murder #1

Top Cow has announced the book that will kick off Pilot Season 2009. Pilot Season: Murderer #1 is due to arrive in stores on November 18, 2009. It will be 32 pages of 'moral torment in a character study' from the minds of Robert Kirkman and Marc Silvestri.

Kirkman writes the story of Jason Sparks, a man that is cursed to spend every waking moment bombarded by the thoughts of strangers around him. He is aware of every dirty little secret and hidden desire as they scream out in a cacophony of voices in his head. The only way Jason can stop the voices and the only thing that buys him a moment of murder.

The art will be handled by up and coming artist Nelson Blake II (The Darkness, Broken Trinity: Witchblade).


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Baltimore Comic Con: Top Cow Panel

Writer and Image Comics partner Robert Kirkman welcomed Baltimore Comic-Con attendees to the "Robert Kirkman Panel," but those in the room immediately sensed that something was awry--after all, this was supposed to be the Top Cow Panel! Kirkman handled the proceedings on his own for a few short minutes, making idle chitchat with a New Zealand-born fan about beards, baby faces, overeating and other such topics.

The rest of the Top Cow gang--publisher Filip Sablik, Top Cow founder Marc Silvestri, and "Witchblade" writer Ron Marz--joined Kirkman shortly thereafter, launching straight into the topic of "Pilot Season." Sablik described their annual contest as "American Idol" for comic books--essentially, fans are presented with several different pilot issues from several different creators. The readers then vote for the issue they'd most like to see continue on past the pilot, which results in a miniseries for that particular title.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Newsarama Previews WITCHBLADE #131

In this field of comic book-related journalism, I get asked a lot about what would I recommend. Every now and then I get a new reader and they have no idea where to start. The feel overwhelmed about mega-events and seventy years of continuity to bog their way through. I ask what they are gravitated towards. Usually it’s one of two things: Invincible for the super-hero lover, and Fables for the non-spandex type. However, I’m finding myself recommending Witchblade more and more to both those audiences.

Yes, Witchblade.


Project Fanboy Reviews Witchblade #131

If you've ever wanted to try the Witchblade series, issue 131 is the perfect jumping on point. Normally, people will say that when a new story arc starts or maybe when a new writer comes on board for a series, but very few of those moments compare to this complete recap of the Witchblade universe. Admittedly, there isn’t a lot that actually happens in this story as far is action is concerned, but the characters get to shine through and give readers a chance to care. There are some tender moments in the main character’s family as well as a Wolverine-like “contain the beast within” kind of moment.


Comic Related Talks All Things Darkness w/ Phil Hester

Welcome to the latest edition of Controlling the Darkness where Phil Hester and I talk all things Darkness related. In this issue we meet a mysterious swamp monster as Jackie and the Sovereign both attempt to capture an artifact that could turn the tide of their war. Also in this issue Phil is both pencilling and writing. So let's hope right into things!

Eric: My first question right off the bat Phil, how is it being back on both art and story on something? Feels like it's been a little while since we viewed your art.

Phil: Yeah, I haven't really done any pencilling since El Diablo for DC, so it was fun to stretch my legs there. I really enjoy pencilling, but now that I know what it's like to write a book it's getting harder and harder to pencil books that I haven't written, or at least weren't written by someone I'm on the same wavelength with.


Friday, October 09, 2009

ComicVine Interviews Matt Hawkins at LBCC 09

It seems that Hollywood is looking to the comic book industry to get their "next big hit," and vice-versa with all the news that we have been hearing about upcoming comic book movie adaptations. If you have ever wondered how comic books become movies, then Matt Hawkins, the President of Top Cow, is your go-to guy. I had the opportunity to meet and talk to Matt about the current film projects that Top Cow has in the works, his personal favorite books, and what sorts of goals he has for the future of the independent publishing company.


Superheroes clobber Long Beach Comic Con

Unlike major conventions like San Diego Comic-Con where geek community celebs are often only at panels and then quickly whisked away, Long Beach’s first con was small, yet intimate and very surreal.

In an interview with the Daily Titan, Seth Green said about the convention, “I thought it was good. It’s small, so the floor is manageable. There wasn’t a lot of action figures for sale beyond, like, ‘Star Wars,’ so … a little variety wouldn’t hurt.”

Green and Hugh Sterbakov co-created the comic book “Freshmen” which Sterbakov said is the “awesomest comic ever.”


Thursday, October 08, 2009

Top Cow Takes On Baltimore Comic-Con This Weekend

Top Cow is heading to Baltimore Comic Con this Sat. Oct. 10 from 10a-6p and Sun. Oct. 11 from 10a-5p.

Stop by the Top Cow Booth (#1902) to meet CEO and Founder Marc Silvestri (X-Men/Dark Avengers: Utopia, Pilot Season) and writer Ron Marz (Witchblade, Broken Trinity).

Exclusive to the Baltimore Comic-Con is a Halloween-theme convention variant cover to Witchblade #131 by current series artist Stjepan Sejic.

Fans are also invited to join publisher Filip Sablik, Silvestri, Marz and Robert Kirkman for a special panel on Sun. Oct 11 from 11a-12p in the "Avengers Mansion panel room.


Top Cow and Heroes and Villains Entertainment Present "Tracker: First Look"

Top Cow Productions, Inc. proudly announced today that fans who were unable to get the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive First Look of Tracker, the first collaboration between the publisher and Heroes and Villains Entertainment, can purchase the 32 page, full-color preview book beginning October 7th for $2.99 at their local comic book shop.

Tracker: First Look previews the upcoming five-issue limited series created and written by newcomer Jonathan Lincoln and featuring art by Francis Tsai (Marvel Comics Presents, Mercy Thompson). Tracker explores the shattered life of Alex O’Roark, the FBI’s top tracker, after his pursuit of the world’s most dangerous serial killer leads him straight into the maw of a werewolf.


Project Fanboy Reviews Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #2

Tuning into issue 2 of this, I knew I’d be a little lost. I was a little lost at first, but as I got through it I started to get a good picture of what was going on. Mark Waid’s writing is...well, Mark Waid’s writing. It’s always good. By no means is it anywhere near his best work, but for someone who churns out as much stories as he does, it’s pretty awesome. The writing is well paced, gripping and fluent throughout the issue.

The artwork is just phenomenal. I really love this style. ) Kenneth Rocafort does an excellent job in telling this story visually. He has such an odd style that if it where anyone else, it probably wouldn’t work, but he nails it. Extremely cool and stylish look to this comic, definitely my favourite part. The colors match the pencils perfectly with its great use of textures.


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Famous Monsters Previews Witchblade 131

Top Cow Comics begins a new Witchblade storyline in the series’ 131st issue, available in stores tomorrow. I’ve been given access to a seven-page preview, and it looks like this is a great time for new readers to jump on. Following the “War of the Witchblades” story arc, the Witchblade is whole again, with Sara Pezzini back in control of the unified weapon. However, it’s also hinted that the personality changes she underwent while wielding the Darkness half of the broken Witchblade may still linger, and will most likely come into play in future story arcs.

The new issue – or at least the first seven pages – is one part artful recap, to one part revelation of a new status quo, to one part setup for a badass action sequence.


Phil Hester Talks The Darkness on Fanboy Radio

On the second half of the hour, Phil Hester stops by Fanboy Radio to chat up The Darkness.

Follow the link below to give it a listen.

READ MORE. Reviews Witchblade #130

“War of the Witchblades” Part six of six: By the end of the last issue, the Witchblade had been unified and the Angelus had chosen a new host body! Too bad things didn’t quite work out the way some had planned, and there were still a few issues that needed to be dealt with. Sabine, who is an Angelus warrior, had planned on becoming the new host, and Dani is bleeding out while Sara ended up becoming a tool for the Darkness. When it rains, it pours!


CBR First Look: Cover Art for "Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer" #4 & #5

CBR presents an exclusive first look at the finished covers for "Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer" #4 by Kenneth Rocafort and Christina Strain and #5 by Rocafort and Emily Warren.