Thursday, April 30, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: Tyler Kirkham's Skrull Kill Krew Variant

Marvel Comics has provided CBR with an exclusive first look at Tyler Kirkham's variant cover for "Skrull Kill Krew" #2 by Adam Felber and Mark Robinson, on sale May 20.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Graze Anatomy: Sketches from Your Publisher

Some random doodles while I was watching TV and drinking wine. So the wine influenced sketches are pretty obvious, but the figure in the corner was inspired by the TV show which featured a scene with a transvestite smoking a cigarette in the shadows.

This is Sketch #050.

FULL ISSUE PREVIEW - Berserker #0 on MySpace Comic Books

Check out the full story from Berserker #0 online at exclusively on MySpace Comic Books and see an exclusive video introduction from Milo Ventimiglia and Russ Cundiff of DiVide Pictures!


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Top Cow Releases Free Comic Book Day Signings, Appearances List

Top Cow Productions, Inc. proudly announced its plans today for this weekend’s Free Comic Book Day, Saturday, May 2nd which takes place in comic shops across North America. Free Comic Book Day is an annual event where participating direct market stores give out free comics to anyone that walks into their store.

Top Cow is participating again in the event with their Free Comic Book Day offering, Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer First Look. The issue serves as an introduction to the publisher’s summer event of the same name, which brings together the two popular teams Cyberforce and Hunter-Killer. The series and Free Comic Book Day offering is written by Mark Waid (Amazing Spider-Man, Irredeemable) and drawn by Kenneth Rocafort (Astonishing Tales, Madame Mirage). Both teams were co-created by Top Cow founder Marc Silvestri and Hunter-Killer was co-created by writer Mark Waid. The teams have been absent from a regular series for several years and this marks their return to the forefront of the Top Cow Universe


Monday, April 27, 2009

Graze Anatomy: Sketches from Your Publisher

Occasionally I have an opportunity to bounce a springboard idea to an artist for a cover or a particular panel. For Witchblade #129, I had an idea for a cover for "War of the Witchblades" and forwarded it over to Stjepan Sejic, who is one of the most receptive and collaborative artists we work with. Below you'll see my sketch and Stjepan's final cover.

This is Sketch #049.

Rick Loverd posts Berserker character profile for Farris Jorn

Farris grew up in an old mill town outside of Pittsburgh. His parents were school teachers who couldn’t have children, so they adopted him. He spent his whole childhood quietly wishing he had been taken in by someone more interesting. He fantasized that his real parents were Bonnie & Clyde, vigilantes living by their wits and killing with impunity.


5 Quick Questions with Philip W. Smith

Phil Smith is managing editor of Top Cow Productions, Inc. He self published a comic book 8 years ago with J.K. Woodward and thanks to Fiona Avery, Renae Geerlings and Matt Hawkins has a job in comics. Phil Smith also designs the trade paperbacks and art collections for Top Cow. He has a bachelors degree in illustration and design.

Phil will be making a writing debut in June - Witchblade/The Darkness/Angelus Trinity: Blood on the Sands.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Graze Anatomy: Sketches from Your Publisher

Why is Ripclaw so angry? Maybe he's not, perhaps he's just stoked for Fusion #1 in stores on May 13th or Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #1 in stores in July? Yeah, that's probably it.

This is sketch #048.


LOS ANGELES, Calif., April 23rd, 2009– Top Cow Productions, Inc. proudly announced today the release of Berserker #1 which will be available in stores June 24th, 2009. Berserker #1 is the first full-length Top Cow comic book to be published in conjunction with DiVide Pictures, the production company co-founded by Heroes star, Milo Ventimiglia.

“Berserker is a feel good kill, this is the book I wish I read as a kid,” explained Ventimiglia.


Word Balloon: FX Show - Haun, McCann, Gage, Templesmith & More

On this edition of Word Balloon, coverage of this year's FX International Con in Orlando, Fl.

You'll hear floor chats with Jeremy Haun, who talks about drawing the Batman: Battle For The Cowl oneshot Arkham Asylum, written by David Hine, and drawing the Top Cow series Berserker written by Rick Loverd . Haun calls the Arkham oneshot "A great horror story. I got to draw some of my favorite does focus on the events after Arkham explodes in the first issue of Battle For the Cowl...with hints of what we'll see in the future (Bat books) ."


CBR posts full Image & Top Cow Solicitations for July

Image Comics has released solicitation information and images for new books and products shipping in July, 2009. When you're through checking out these solicitations for new Image releases, be sure to visit CBR's Image Comics forum to discuss these titles and products with fellow readers and fans.


Going 'Berserker' - Rick Loverd Talks New Top Cow Series

Blind rage might be a concept that more and more people have become familiar with in the last year or so. Anyone with a 401k plan has probably fought the urge to do some damage to something - be it an inanimate object like a chair or that financial advisor that talked up putting you investment dollars in Citigroup stock.

But what makes us human is the ability to resist the rage. In writer Rick Loverd's new Top Cow series Berserker, he introduces us to some people, who descended from Norse Viking warriors, don't have that off-switch. In fact, when switched on, nobody and nothing is safe in their immediate vicinity.

We recently spoke with Loverd about the origins of the story, how Heroes co-star Milo Ventimiglia might have saved it from collecting dust in a draw, and the visceral appeal of the sort of carnage he promises in this day and age.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Graze Anatomy: Sketches from Your Publisher

This sketch is still a little unfinished, but I thought the pose was fun, which was basically the point.

This is Sketch #047.

Mark Millar Defends New ‘Wanted 2’ Screenwriter, Says He’s ‘Supposed To Be Really Good’

To the surprise of many, “Pooh’s Heffalump” screenwriter Evan Spiliotopoulos was announced last week as the new writer for “Wanted 2,” the sequel to the 2008 film based on Mark Millar and J.G. Jones’ comic book series.

Spiliotopoulos appears to have taken over the writing duties from original “Wanted” movie scribe Chris Morgan, who told MTV News back in November that he was working on a more “global” story for the sequel.


REVIEW: Wanted: Weapons of Fate

This game, set in the Wanted movie universe, does so many things right. It’s a shame, then, that it took less than four hours to play.

Wanted: Weapons of Fate takes place both after and before the events of the movie. The game jumps back and forth between Wesley (in the “present”) and his father, Cross (in the past), as we discover more about the international Fraternities and how Wesley came to be. If you liked the story of Wanted the movie, you’ll enjoy the story of this game quite a bit. It’s all handled well, acted well, and directed well. The cinematic sequences in the game all look like they could be scenes from another movie, though a few had really odd resolution drops, causing blocky and pixilated images to show up on screen. Other than that, this was a cool story with the same not-taking-itself-too-seriously tone, where the storyline (a basic investigation into a personal mystery) was really there in service of the action.


PREVIEW: Witchblade Compendium Volume 2

A flagship character. A wealth of talent. An unbelievable value. Now’s your chance to get caught up on Witchblade with 50 issues contained in this monster collection! The Witchblade property is on fire with a new movie in the works and the tremendous work currently being done on the series by the creative team of Ron Marz (Samurai: Heaven and Earth) and Stjepan Sejic (First Born). This is an absolute must-have for fans and new readers alike! Collects Witchblade #51-100.


PREVIEW: Rising Stars Compendium

When Rising Stars first debuted in 1999, people hailed its fresh take on the superhero mythos, grounding the fantastic in reality. The groundbreaking series by acclaimed writer J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, Thor) spawned three spin-off mini-series and has influenced successful TV shows like The 4400 and Heroes.

Now, every issue of Rising Stars, from the #0 to the last issue of the last mini-series, is collected into one comprehensive softcover.

This edition includes Rising Stars #1-24, #0 issue, #½ issue, Prelude issue, Rising Stars: Bright, Rising Stars: Voices of the Dead and Rising Stars: Untouchable.


Mark Waid to Headline Free Comic Book Day at Collector's Paradise

Mark Waid will be joining the Hero Initiative Benefit Party during Free Comic Book Day 2009 at Collector's Paradise in Winnetka, California.

Waid will be headlining an all-star line up of the Who's Who in comics today, including Marc Guggenheim (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, GREEN LANTERN movie), Jim Mahfood (GRRL SCOUTS, CLERKS), David Wohl (co-creator of WITCHBLADE, DARKNESS) Mike Kunkel (HEROBEAR AND KID), and more! Collector's Paradise Free Comic Book Day 2009 happening will be host to a full d
ay of events for fans of every stripe and age:

Copies of Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer Free Comic Book Day First Looks will be onhand for fans to pick up!


CBR interviews William Harms about Impaler & Wolverine

Marvel's most popular mutant may be known as the best there is at what he does, but when he's forced to do his worst work at 30,000 feet, things can get a bit tricky.

In this week's "Wolverine: The Anniversary" one-shot from Marvel, Logan squares off against a band of terrorist hi-jackers while aboard a commercial jetliner en route to Japan on the anniversary of his lady love Mariko's death. One of two stories presented in the issue, the close action fisticuffs on display in the short tale will hopefully prove a change of pace to readers inundated with Wolvie comics in the ramp up to the X-Man's May 1st film, or so hopes writer William Harms, who landed the Marvel gig after his creator-owned vampire series "Impaler" caught the eye of editor Axel Alonso.


5 Quick Questions with Phil Hester

Phil Hester is a writer and artist that has worked for several comic companies. He has created Mia Dearden, was the artist on the Irredeemable Ant-man, & is currently writing the new Darkness series.

This Eisner Award-nominated artist was born in eastern Iowa, where he went on to study at the University of Iowa. His pen
cilling credits include Swamp Thing, Brave New World, Flinch, Ultimate Marvel Team-Up, Clerks: The Lost Scene, The Crow: Waking Nightmares, The Wretch (nominated for the 1997 Eisner Award for Best New Series), Aliens: Purge, and Green Arrow.

He agreed to answer 5 Quick Questions

1) What would you say is your greatest achievement in comics?


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

ComicNews reviews Witchblade #126

A highly volatile power, the Witchblade is a mixture of good and evil together. But what happens when the good and evil portions are split? Well that is what we are seeing here, Sara has taken the evil half which is influenced by the Darkness, while Dani has the good half influenced by the Angelus. We are seeing the beginning of the end of the two Witchblades, as both state their plan to take the other half. Sara seems to be allowing the dark side to consume her much like Dark Vader did when he was a teenager all those years ago in Star Wars; while Dani is following the other path.


CBR Advance Image Solicitations, July 2009

CBR has an early look at Image and Top Cow solicitations including information on Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #1.


Graze Anatomy: Sketches from Your Publisher

I'm back from a quick trip to the East Coast with another Cintiq drawing inspired loosely by Berserker. Speaking of Berserker, make sure you check out Rick Loverd's blog which features character profiles.

This is Sketch #046.

The Darkness Accursed Volume 1 spotlighted as "Priced to Move" here’s my new personal stance on the cover price debate that’s been going down the last few months...

While I was typing up the final segment of last week’s column, it occurred to me that there was an opportunity to flip the discussion into something that was more appropriate for my particular forum. Meaning that it would attempt to incorporate the issue without things quickly dissolving into the usual unproductive back and forth that often drowns out many of our online conversations. So instead of wasting anymore time complaining about comics that cost too much, or speculating about what this will ultimately mean for the future of the entire medium, I’m going to start focusing a bit more on comics bucking the current trend by giving us more content for less money. This will become a running theme for a little bit, similar to the “fantastic five” thing I did awhile back which was tacked on to a string of columns.

Naturally, something like this is going to favor collected editions, as the price points are often much more attractive. One of the first things I did after getting laid off was slash my weekly comic budget and switch a bunch of my regular titles over to trade, and I'm sure a lot of you are doing the same. However, all trades are not created equal and this will be reflected in the upcoming listings. And having said that, I’ll be working extra hard to comb the weekly shipping lists to find those unbeatable bargains in singles format---I’m convinced they do in fact exist. To get things properly started this week, I’m going to identify some of the best deals on comics available right this very minute. By no means comprehensive, this list is highly influenced by my own current reading habits (obviously) so feel free to point out things I missed on the thread below. Books are listed in alphabetical order, and intentionally cut across genre and publisher.


CBR EXCLUSIVE: Berserker Designs by Jeremy Haun

Top Cow Productions has provided CBR with an exclusive first look at character designs for "Beserker" by series artist Jeremy Haun. Written by Rick Loverd, "Berserker” is a new miniseries from Top Cow and “Heroes” star Milo Ventimiglia’s DiVide Pictures that depicts what might happen if descendants of uncontrollable Norse warriors were unleashed on the world of today.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Quarter Bin reviews Witchblade #126

Witchblade #126
Writer: Ron Marz

Artist: Stjepan Sejic
Cover Artists: Stjepan Sejic, Tim Seeley

What is going on over in New York City? Sara and Dani, the co-bearers of the Witchblade, are no longer speaking. Sara has gone bitchcakes, while Dani has a new lady friend. The Angelus is still reeling from the loss of its host and looking for a new one. The mysterious Curator is… well… being mysterious.

Maybe it’s just another day in the Top Cow universe.


Rick Loverd posts Berserker character profile for Aaron Bural

Aaron’s just a normal kid doing the best he can with a shit childhood. From a working-poor family in Middle-America, he grew up without much. An unsupportive mother - never knew his father.

His brother left home as soon as he was old enough. Aaron’s barely been out of the trailer park, never mind the state.


Rick Loverd posts Berserker character profile for Rowena Dauven

She’s a drop-everything-and-stare beauty, but don’t let her looks fool you, she’s also a cold-blooded killer. Midgard’s best, she’s single-mindedly trained for the last ten years to control her serk outs. The first to the dojo in the morning and the last to leave at night - a total A-type.


Milo Ventimiglia talks about Berserker & DiVide Pictures with the Associated Press

Check out this cool interview with Milo Ventimiglia as he talks about his production company DiVide Pictures and the new comic with Top Cow - Berserker!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

* Comic Book Publishers On Twitter: A Roundup Of Who’s Counting Characters

With Oprah and Ashton Kutcher finding their way to Twitter recently, it’s pretty clear that our favorite little microblogging platform has achieved a new level of mainstream acceptance — and possibly jumped the shark (or “Fail Whale“) along the way. While I’ll leave it to my MTV colleagues to join the ranks of O’s subscribers, the occasion does provide a good opportunity to point out that there are a lot of Twitter feeds that comic book fans new to Twitter (or looking to update their subscriptions) might find interesting.


CBR video interview of Milo Ventimiglia & Russ Cundiff

The star of "Heroes," Milo Ventimiglia talks to CBR TV about his new Top Cow project, "Berserker!"

In this exclusive on-camera interview filmed at New York Comic Con, Ventimiglia and business parter Russ Cundiff dicuss with CBR Executive Producer Jonah Weiland the premise of "Berserker," the new Top Cow book written by Rick Loverd and illustrated by Jeremy Haun, and why having the powers of a norse god wouldn't be so great. Ventimiglia also discusses his great love of cars.


Comic Box reports Trinity: Blood on the Sands in June

Top Cow Productions, Inc. proudly announced today that Witchblade/The Darkness/Angelus Trinity: Blood on the Sands one-shot comic book will be released June 2009. Following last summer’s blockbuster summer event, Broken Trinity, Witchblade/The Darkness/Angelus Trinity: Blood on the Sands reunites the three core artifacts of the Top Cow Universe in a stand-alone story set in 13th Century Arabia.


Hollywood Reporter reports 'Pooh' writer tapped for Wanted 2

If anyone could bend a flying bullet, it's Pooh.

Evan Spiliotopoulos, co-writer of "Pooh's Heffalump Movie" and its DVD Halloween spinoff, has been hired to write Universal's action sequel "Wanted 2," based on a story by Chris Morgan. Like the original 2008 film, the in-development sequel is based on the comic series created by Mark Millar and J.G. Jones.


Newsarama has FIRST LOOK(s) - 'Berserker #2' Covers

Top Cow slipped a little package under Newsarama's door this morning, a first look at artist Jeremy Haun and Dale Keown's covers (respectively) to July's Berserker #2, the second issue in the new ongoing series produced by Heroes co-star Milo Ventimiglia.


Pop Culture Zoo unveils Top Cow July Shipping Item Solicitations

Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #1 (of 5)
(W) Mark Waid (A) Kenneth Rocafort (Cov) Rocafort, Mike Choi & Sonia Oback

Top Cow’s technology based teams collide in a critical crossover event that will have everyone talking this summer!
The Hunter-Killer team’s directive to hunt down and detain rogue Ultra-Sapiens brings them head to head with the Cyberforce team in a brutal showdown that leaves more than one member bleeding. But who is manipulating these two teams into conflict and to what end?
The team of writer and Hunter-Killer co-creator Mark Waid (Amazing Spider-Man, Irredeemable) and artist Kenneth Rocafort (Astonishing Tales, Madame Mirage) bring you a crossover filled with epic action, intrigue, lies, and betrayal. Featuring two connected covers by series artist Rocafort and a third variant cover by Mike Choi and Sonia Oback (Uncanny X-Men, X-Force).

Cover A – Kenneth Rocafort Hunter-Killer
Cover B – Kenneth Rocafort Cyberforce
Cover C – Mike Choi & Sonia Oback


Full Color 32 pages $2.99 limited series

Expected Ship Date – July 22nd, 2009