Nice Art: Guice’s Ninjak: The Lost Files Art is Covered in Espionage tinged Delight

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

NINJAK #1 [VALIANT NEXT]
Written by MATT KINDT
Art by CLAY MANN with BUTCH GUICE
Cover A by LEWIS LAROSA [JAN151636]
Cover B by CLAY MANN [JAN151637]
Cover C by DAVE JOHNSON [JAN151638]
Cover D by MARGUERITE SAUVAGE [JAN151639]
Blank Cover Also Available [JAN151640]
Valiant Next Variant by TREVOR HAIRSINE & TOM MULLER [JAN151641]
Character Design Variant by CLAY MANN [JAN151642]
B&W Sketch Variant by LEWIS LAROSA [JAN151643]
$3.99 | 40 pages. | T+ | On sale MARCH 11 (FOC – 2/16/15)

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IDWs Ted Adams Interview Part 2: What’s up for Little Nemo, WinterWorld, Ragnarok and V Wars.

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[Concluding our conversation with IDW publisher Ted Adams, we get into digital, new books for 2014 and IDW’s plans for getting into the TV business. Read part one here. ]

THE BEAT: Ted, you were something of a pioneer among comics publishers for going into digital and I quote what you told me when I first asked you about it. You said “I’m just going to do a deal with everybody and see what works,” as opposed to everyone else who was like “Oh I don’t know if we should try this, we don’t know, we don’t know, don’t know.” Your attitude was, let’s give this a shot. I think the first time you gave a figure, you said, oh digital’s 1% of our revenue and our sales. Now I believe it’s 15%?

ADAMS: Yeah, and it’s growing even from there. And obviously I think it’s kind of our strategy in general. We were sort of out front [in digital] before everyone else was there. But my goal as a comic book publisher is to try and get my content in front of as many readers as possible. The best place ultimately for me to have long term readers is the direct market. But I want to try and get the content in front of as many readers as I possibly can, so I felt like digital seemed like a pretty obvious place to get our content in front of people who didn’t know comic books existed. But that’s really our strategy. That’s what drives the Fun Packs, that’s why there’s the toys and Transformers comics, that’s why we’re still agnostic when it comes to E-readers. Every legitimate opportunity that comes by, we’re going to put our content there, with the hope being that we’re going to introduce new readers to comic books and then drive those readers to comic book stores. That’s our path to success.

THE BEAT: Let’s talk a little about the comic shop market because, again, in 15 years, it’s really evolved a lot, even just the makeup of the retailers. I can tell you from personal experience that in the ’90’s when I was working with Friends of Lulu, we went to retailers and said “Why don’t you promote The Simpsons comics? People like The Simpsons.” And this was a very controversial message at that time! But now it’s “Oh My Little Pony! That’s awesome!” Everyone’s feeling pretty good about where it’s at now, but what is the next level for comic shops?

ADAMS: I think that the diversity that we have today is as good as it’s ever been and I think that we want to have content that can appeal to a wide variety of readers and not just one specific reader. The industry for a long time was really good about producing content that was just for one particular kind of reader, but today we have comics for kids. We have people who like super hero books. We have great, smart comic books like Locke and Key if you’re really into that. If you’re interested in the archival side of the business the Library of American Comics and Craig Yoe for us, we’ve got that nailed. The Artist Editions bring in a completely different kind of reader and I think that diversity that you can see in a micro way with IDW—where we have everything from licensed books to creating our own books, archival books, artist editions—that diversity is what we should all aspire to for that success. We don’t want to limit ourselves to just a small percentage of readers. We want to try to appeal to as big a percentage of readers as we possibly can.

THE BEAT: Talking about expanding the market place, you also have launched a TV division? [Read more…]