To celebrate the season, Boom! Studios has launched one of its comics as a webcomic, DRACULA: THE COMPANY OF MONSTERS by Kurt Busiek, Daryl Gregory, Scott Godlewski, and Damian Couciero. To start off with, the webcomic is serializing the print version, but then will start running new material.

As the PR notes, this is the first DM book from a major publishers to start in print and migrate to the web.

Happy Halloween from Kurt Busiek, Daryl Gregory, Scott Godlewski, and Damian Couciero — who have a trick for the bags of comic book fans worldwide with the launch of the DRACULA: THE COMPANY OF MONSTERS webcomic! Launching right now with 11 pages ready to be read, www.draculacomic.com will update daily with new content, serializing the critically-acclaimed print issues while introducing new digital-exclusive story pages and creator commentary. It’s another ground-breaking industry first for BOOM! Studios as DRACULA: THE COMPANY OF MONSTERS migrates from print to digital!

Fright fest DRACULA: THE COMPANY OF MONSTERS showcases the talent of Eisner and Harvey Award-winning creator Kurt Busiek (ASTRO CITY), World Fantasy and Locus Award Finalist writer Daryl Gregory (PLANET OF THE APES), artist Scott Godlewski (CODEBREAKERS), and Harvey nominated artist Damian Couceiro (RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES).

Serializing the print comic first, the DRACULA: THE COMPANY OF MONSTERS webcomic will soon showcase new, original digital pages not seen in print and host commentary from the series contributors that gives fans an inside look on how the comics are created.

The site updates everyday, including weekends.

A digital innovator, BOOM! Studios’ DRACULA: THE COMPANY OF MONSTERS will be the first Direct Market comic book series that launches in print and then migrates to the web. Continuing to lead the market, BOOM! Studios was the first company to release day-and-date digital download content in 2007 and was one of the first comic book publishers to have their own downloadable app.

DRACULA: THE COMPANY OF MONSTERS tells how a powerful, predatory corporation acquires a valuable asset – Dracula! They think they own him, but no one can own the Son of the Dragon. There’s a monster in their midst that puts Hannibal Lecter to shame – and he plans to gain his freedom in blood. It’s bloodsuckers vs. bloodsucker, as Busiek, Gregory, Godlewski, and Couceiro bring an incredibly modern spin to the Dracula mythos.

Don’t miss this Halloween’s hottest free webcomic at www.draculacomic.com! Starting October 24th and updating each day!

24 Hours of Halloween: Better Zombies Through Physics 01 by Jim Ottaviani and Sean Bieri

More spooky webcomic from Tor.com. This one is by Jim Ottaviani and Sean Bieri and it’s about ZOMBIE KITTENS.

24 Hours of Halloween: The Last Mortician by Tim Hall and Dean Haspiel

Now complete! READ IT!

24 Hours of Halloween: EXTRALIFE – By Scott Johnson

Quite a few holiday-themed strips are up at Johnson’s EXTRA-LIFE webcomic.

What Halloween is Truly About, Or the True Meaning of Halloween

BY JEN VAUGHN – Opening up my mail the other day I was assaulted by religious propaganda from Jack Chick for the most fabulous of holidays, HALLOWEEN. My pack included TWO holiday-appropriate comics that I will not share with you but be certain they took all the fun out of pranks, scary stories and trick-or-treating in their clumsy attempt to remind you that ‘Halloween was created by the devil.’

The included pamphlet encouraged the reader to yell things like “We’ve got comics” to get a swarm of kids at your door, filling their candy buckets with the little comics. More like ‘thank you for the toilet paper.’ What is unfortunate and a poor marketing campaign is that the claim to ‘witness’ to hundreds of people without ever leaving home. Most people prefer you to speak to them face-to-face about your beliefs than sneakily slip it into a bag of fun their kids worked hard to earn. Halloween is an appropriation of many holidays be they Pagan, Catholic or Capitalism. And with that, I will show you what Halloween means to me and give you some bitchin’ comics to hand out.

Halloween is about community. Many towns have events equivalent to ‘Take Back the Night’ or ‘Make Those Streets Safe’. With darkness comes shadows, mystery and all things evil but Halloween is about banding together with your town and neighbors to prance around the place and just be AWESOME. Your town doesn’t have one? Next year organize events fun for adults and kids with all things witchy and pumpkin-dazzling, ask local businesses to sponsor the events to pay for supplies and make sure to thank them copious. My town, White River Junction, has an egg haunt, carnival complete with a monster petting zoo and parade that the whole town marches in that ends in one big dance party.

Halloween is costumes. Not everyone can sew or has money to spend on costumes (not that you want to be Sexy Robin Hood anyway) but there are great ways to make costumes using recycled items and other things from around the house. I make it a point to host an annual workshop where I bring a sewing machine, pounds of fabric, cardboard boxes I’ve hoarded throughout the month of September and more glue guns than you can shake a stick at. The kids also get Halloween comics and their parents get ones on last minute costume tips!

Pictured above and below is one of the participants from my Halloween workshop this year who was going to be an astronaut! Helmet = old bike helmet + white fabric velcroed on + shiny packing tape + cardboard as the mouth guard + buttons + more tape. We painted a cardboard box as her oxygen tank. The kids worked together with their parents and myself to make truly original, handmade costumes they could be proud of!

Halloween is about candy. All kinds save possibly those frightening orange Kit-Kats because they aren’t really chocolate but vanilla bark. And then a lot of flossing.

Halloween is about comics! That is true with October 31st releases of comics like Dracula the Unconquered by Chris Sims & Steve Downer and the popular 31 Days of Monsters drawing challenge cartoonists like to make such as Kelly Doren. Last year, the comics group Trees and Hills created a Halloween one-sheet comic mail-out and this year they have more in store! Colin Tedford spoke with me about this Halloween excitement and the comics available to download, fold and hand out here!

Jen: What made you want to create comics to give out as Halloween handouts as a gang?

Colin: This is our first year doing it as a public project. I drew my first Halloween comic in 2008, and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to invite other cartoonists to try it. Last year did a Halloween swap where each participant sent me a batch of minicomics which I compiled into sets and redistributed back to the participants. Isaac Cates sold copies of his through his website, and that inspired me to reorganize it as a more public project. This year we have comics by Anne Thalheimer, me, Glynnis Fawkes, Madsahara, Sarah Frye, and Stephanie Piro, I announced the project really late this year because I was figuring out the new format, but next year we’ll have more lead time so more people will be able to submit.

Jen: What is Trees and Hills? When did it start?

Colin:Trees & Hills started in 2006 on the assumption that good things would happen if we connected the isolated cartoonists in our mostly rural region of New Hampshire, Vermont and Western Massachusetts. I met Daniel Barlow at a shockingly well-attended 24-hour comics event at the Brattleboro Museum in Vermont in August 2005. He knew some cartoonists in Vermont, I ran a local comics meetup in New Hampshire, and we were both so inspired by the mass of creativity that day that we ended up starting Trees & Hills.

Jen: What reactions did you have from kids and parents last year and what do you expect this year?

Colin: We’ll find out soon! I think they’ll be happy with it. The first time I gave them out was at the house of a friend who was also giving out candy, and most kids wanted both. Last year no trick-or-treaters showed up on my street – it was spooky (and sad)! Stephanie Piro gave some out the other night (along with candy) at her library’s Cartoon Club, and says the kids & staff both loved them.

I haven’t heard any parent-specific comments yet, but have had enthusiastic feedback from grownups in general. People like their Halloween! I know there’s a portion of the parent world who’ll be happy to have something other than candy to give out, too, though we do it for love of comics, not hate of candy. Apparently cartoonists are like rock stars to kids, or so I’ve been told after events by the parents & teachers of those I’ve interacted with!

Jen: Do you make other holiday comics as an accessory to candy?

Colin: Not as a group. I’m not sure if any of the other major holidays would be a great fit, at least for us. Halloween celebrations are more uniform than and lack the explicit religious connotations of, say, the winter holidays, which makes the Halloween comics a simpler project. I do like the idea of getting people to draw comics about their winter holiday traditions, though, maybe making holiday cards out of the shorter ones. I think that would be pretty fascinating because there’s a lot of variety and eccentric little family things. In any case, it’s been really fun for us to do a comics project that’s community-oriented, but in a different way from our usual anthologies.

I personally love seasonal comics that reflect what happens at different times of the year, so I’ve drawn a number of those on my own (e.g. most of the Spinning World strips I drew) & occasionally printed them up as giveaways. I made a satirical Valentine’s Day comic last year & have meant to do print holiday cards the last few years (maybe this will be the year!).

Doing these comics has really revived my enthusiasm for Halloween! I’ve been reading spooky comics and stories all month. I look forward to the time when we’ve made enough Halloween comics to make a leaf-like pile to jump into! (just jump into leaves, though, so you don’t get paper cuts and wrinkled comics)

Thank you, Colin, for your time.

So “What would Jesus do?” He’d probably rock the shit out of home-made costume, working hard on minute details and revel in the community building that happens around the holiday. As for “What would Jen do?” I’ll be sitting on my porch, carved pumkpins aglow, handing out candy with friends until it starts to snow again, then go inside and read comics while eating the rest of the candy. May we all be so lucky to do the same.

Jen Vaughn is a freelance cartoonist, writer, librarian and TARDIS. Additional pictures by Rachel Foss and Graham Robinson.

24 Hours of Halloween: Freelance Blues

In the real life terror dept. we have FREELANCE BLUES created and written by Ian Daffern and Mike Leone and drawn by Vicki Tierney. Here’s a cover by Mike del Mundo.

24 Hours of Halloween: Hound Kids Comics launches

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A new line of kids graphic novels has launched today for iPhone and iPad from Hound Comics, including MY FAVORITE GIANT, about being Chewbacca and being tall by Peter and Angie Mayhew with art by Terry Naughton. There seems to be something terrifying about this so it fits in with the spirit of the season.

Hound Comics, Inc. President and CEO William ‘Brimstone’ Kucmierowski announced earlier today that the Hound Kids Division will have its official launch on October 31, 2011 – the one year anniversary of the launch of their flagship brand, ‘Brimstone and The Borderhounds’. Just in time for the holidays, the launch will offer the worldwide release of its four initial titles on B&N.com and Amazon. “The Hound Kids line up will consist of some very heavy-hitters within the world of entertainment.” says Hound’s Director of Operations, Etan Wish. Leading the celebrity based lineup is everyone’s favorite Wookiee, Peter ‘Chewbacca’ Mayhew. The Peter & Angie Mayhew Collection present the combined efforts of the man behind the iconic Star Wars character and his long time wife Angie. “We are proud to offer the ‘My Favorite Giant’ and ‘Growing Up Giant’ books to the public… what’s cooler for a Star Wars fan than being able to share a character they love with their children, while offering a positive message at the same time.” says Kucmierowski. ‘My Favorite Giant’ features the artwork of former seventeen year Disney animator, “Terry Naughton” who has had a large part in the animating of major characters including the Beast, Genie, Zazu and King Triton to name only a few. ‘Growing Up Giant’ features the art of Dawn DuJour who makes her debut on a grand scale.

Hound is extremely excited for their acquisition of Rich Arons who is best known for his work on Tiny Toons, Animaniacs, Freakazoid and the legendary He-Man. Arons’ title, “Turbie the Turtle-Duck” will be among the four children’s titles available at month’s end. “Although Rich has lent his talents to so many successful projects over the years… we feel as though ‘Turbie’ is the perfect character to appease fans of Arons’ past while grabbing the attention of new fans that will quickly define and solidify his place within pop-culture history.” says Jerry Cates of Hound Publishing. Rounding up the explosive lineup is the first offering to the much anticipated, “Border-Pups” series. The Border-Pups are the juvenile versions of everyone’s favorite Borderhounds while each book teaches children an array of positive messages. “Border-Pups: CrashBat” features the illustrations of Theresa Finnelli with vivid colors by Thiago Castro. The series is authored by the talented Courtney Freeman who is currently putting the finishing touches on the next two Border-Pups books as of press time.

Hound Comics, Inc. has also announced that each of the titles will be made available in application format for the iPhone and iPad via their partnership with developers, “Blue Rocket Labs.” “We are looking to make each of the Hound Kids titles interactive in order to make each child’s experience memorable, fun and unique!” says Mike Hovland of Blue Rocket Labs. Continuing the trend of Hound branded products for children, Hound Comics, Inc. and Little Brass Bird have partnered in the release of the “Little Brass Borderhounds” plush toy collection. The plush toys consist of three major characters including Brimstone, Luscious and female Borderhound, Sasha. “We love the response we are receiving concerning the ‘Little Brass Borderhounds’ since their debut a couple of weeks ago.” says Marcello Carnevali, Hound Comics, Inc. VP. “While as of now our team is in talks with a handful of very recognizable retail chains concerning potential purchase orders, fans can look forward to picking them up at any appearance while we are on tour.”

Robert Kirkman is on The View today

We made it, people. Finally, a comic book person has made The View. Robert Kirkman will appear on today’s Halloween-themed edition of the popular coffee-klatsch chat fest.

The Bluewater biography of co-host Barbara Walters was mentioned in a previous episode, but this sounds like the real thing. Will Kirkman represent our tribe well to the legion of afternoon TV-watching pepperpots?

Our fate is in your hands, Robert.

CBLDF Be Counted Campaign has $23,000 to go — here's what you can do

Charles Brownstein notes that the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s October fundraising goal of $100,000 is 77% there — they have today to raise the last $25,000 and lots of great premiums still available. Check out the list below and see if there’s something on your wishlist.
[Read more…]

24 Hours of Halloween: NIGHTMARE WOLRD

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Dirk Manning sent us the covers of all three NIGHTMARE WORLD collections, by Kristen Perry. The third and final volume just came out.

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NWv3 - Demon Days - Cover.jpg

Kibbles 'n' Bits, 10/31/2011

§ THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN has opened in 19 foreign markets, and thus far made $55.8 million, a healthy start — but since it cost about $150-175 mil, it has a ways to go to hit green.

This weekend, the film about a young reporter seeking hidden treasure was No. 1 in 17 of the 19 markets in which it opened. The movie had the strongest debut in France, where it grossed $21.5 million, marking the second biggest debut of the year behind the eighth and final “Harry Potter” film. It also did solid business in Britain, Spain and “Tintin’s” native Belgium, where the movie grossed $2.1 million.

Reviews have been mixed thus far. Over at Cartoon Brew, animation buffs gives their own thoughts, which are similarly mixed. But the adventures aspect seems to have come on strong:

The great thing in the film is how Spielberg embrace performance capture to go crazy with his camera. I’m not talking about Zemeckis-flying-over-london crazy, I’m talking about breaking barriers of cinematographic language. He invents new way of making transitions, editing and narration that are beautiful, incredibly complicated technologically speaking and yet very simple and fluid on the screen (and I think it’s a great tribute to the art of storytelling of Hergé).

§ Johanna Draper Carlson notes that Papercutz Ninjagogo comics had a print run of 200,000, tops for the the year in GNs. Lego toy tie-in comics — such as this — have been spectacularly successful here in the US. so this isn’t much of a gamble.

§ ICv2 examined the rising tide effect of the New 52 and how and why September was a great month for all concerned:

So for the comics market (as measured by sales on the top 300 comic and graphic novel  titles) to have posted a 12.9% increase (or larger, see “Top 300 Shows Less Growth in August”) in August and a 7.4% increase in September took a much larger push than the numbers would indicate. Sales in comic stores over the last three months before August (May through July) had averaged over a 10% decline. And the seasonal impact is negative in September.  By our calculations, that makes a roughly 10% average increase over the previous year during August and September explainable only with a 20% bump from the previous run rate of 10% decline, without any seasonal effect. If you throw in a normal drop-off in September from the previous months, the effect of the New 52, not only on DC’s sales but on over-all sales, may have been on the order of a 25-30% increase over what would have otherwise occurred.

§ Dustin Harbin reports on the Charlotte, NC comics scene. As scenes go it’s a bit small, but growing.

§ Over in the Guardian, Rachel Cooke has a basic but strong The 10 best graphic novels –you could give any one of your friends a book on this list as a gift and not be considered insane.

§ The mystery of magenta.

§ Today’s “Local man in comics” profile is New Jersey’s Chris Eberle, who despite having two comics stores close over the years due to flooding, is back at it with a central Jersey one day show:

But like a superhero who never quits, the Bridgewater resident has reinvented himself as owner and organizer of the WildPig Comic Convention, which will be conducted at the Holiday Inn in the Somerset section of Franklin Somerset on Saturday.

Eberle sees himself as a crusader for comic books who is hoping to give the tight-knit comics community in Central Jersey a biannual show to call its own.


§ We missed last week’s interview with Library of American Comics principals Dean Mullaney and Kurtis Findlay who have many exciting comic strip reprint books on tap, including a very obscure comic strip by animation great Chuck Jones called Crawford:

Findlay: Believe it or not, I first learned about “Crawford” on Wikipedia. There are four good books on Chuck Jones and his career, but I found that none of them put any emphasis on his post-Warner Bros. career. I know that it is not the best go-to source for information, but that’s where I went to learn more. Buried in there was one sentence about a Chuck Jones newspaper comics strip.

I had to know more, so I did a bit of digging and found a few examples of the strip, but that was it. There was literally nothing more about “Crawford” on the internet. I had to know more, and I figured that others would want to more as well. That led to the decision to collect the strips into a book for the world to see. Really, who doesn’t want a book full of Chuck Jones’ art?

Based on the strips reproduced, it wasn’t the funniest thing, but the art is indeed stunning.

§ We are the last person on earth to link to this profile of Lynda Barry by Dan Kois which focuses on her writing workshops but you have to read it if you haven’t already.

“Kids don’t plan to play,” she told her class in the first day. “They don’t go: ‘Barbie, Ken, you ready to play? It’s gonna be a three-act.’ ” Narrative, Barry believes, is so hard-wired into human beings that creativity can come as naturally to adults as it does to children. They need only to access the deep part of the brain that controls that storytelling instinct. Barry calls that state of mind “the image world” and feels it’s as central to a person’s well-being as the immune system.

BONUS: A starter list of Barry’s books. including Blabber Blabber Blabber: Volume 1 of Everything, out this month which — AT LAST! –begins a reprinting of her complete comic strip works.

24 Hours of Halloween: Mari Naomi's Sleep Deprived

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This is a real-life story, and a pretty familiar one to inhabitants of hip urban areas. But it is still SCARY AS %$^*!!!!

24 Hours of Halloween: the costumes of New York Comic Con

Courtesy of the Science Fiction Book Club, a video remembrance of the great costumes from NYCC.

24 Hours of Halloween: Kevin Colden

Kevin sent along his version of Jack the Ripper, above, and an illo of the story The Pink from a collection of Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

He also notes that he has a story in the new IMMORTALS: GODS AND HEROES book, written by David Gallaher and colored by Jordie Bellaire.

24 Hours of Halloween: Something


We’re not quite sure what this is. But if you see it, run the other way. Click for the NSFW version.

24 Hours of Halloween: Heidi Klum as a corpse



OTOH, the latest from the queen of Halloween might just be the best costume evah.

Klum is known for incredible costumes. Like these.



Note how poor Seal just has to go along with the whole thing while looking kinda dumpy next to his amazing wife.