NYCC ’14: Image Comics exclusives include Spread, Wytches, Punks, EGOs and more!

More things to buy at the Image Comics booth (#1544) and elsewhere at NYCC. I’m guessin’ that Wytches exclusive by Scott Snyder and Sean Gordon Murphy will sell quickly, but there are several hot #1 people will be trying to get hold of. New York Comic COn kicks off next Thursday, October 9.

EXCLUSIVE NYCC ISSUES:

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ROCHE LIMIT #1, Michael Moreci & Vic Malhotra, $10 (Artist Alley table #W15)
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BIRTHRIGHT #1, Joshua Williamson, Andrei Bressan, and Adriano Lucas, $10 (Image Comics booth #1544)

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SPREAD #1, Justin Jordan & Kyle Strahm, cover by Tradd Moore & Felipe Sobreiro (the Luther Strode art team), $20 (Artist Alley tables #R4 & R5), (limited to 250 copies)

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WYTCHES #1, Scott Snyder & Jock, $10 (Image Comics booth #1544)

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PUNKS: THE COMIC #1, Joshua Hale Fialkov & Kody Chamberlain, $10 (Dimension X booth #1774)

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EGOs #4.5 minicomic, Stuart Moore & Gus Storms, $1 (Artists Alley table #B3)

EXCLUSIVE NYCC HARDCOVERS:

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C.O.W.L., VOL. 1, Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel, & Rod Reis, $35 (Image Comics booth #1544)

EXCLUSIVE NYCC PRINTS:
NYCC SPREAD #1 cover, $10 (limited to 75 copies, available at Artist Alley tables #R4 & R5)

 

ONE AND DONE: The Trouble With First Issues [The Life After #1]

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Sometimes, it’s just not fair to judge a book by its first issue. They’re just so different from what you’ll end up getting on a monthly basis. First issues have an incredible amount of work to do, work that’s extremely hard to do well in 22 pages–in fact, a lot of first issues are a longer than those that will follow.

I say this because, while The Life After #1–written by Joshua Hale Fialkov and illustrated by Gabo–is a well-executed comic book, with great art and deft storytelling that rewards multiple reads, I am far more interested in what might lie ahead than what actually happened. But more on that later.

The Life After #1 begins with Jude, a young man who leads a terribly monotonous life. It’s pretty standard sad-sack stuff, but really well depicted by Gabo, who chooses to convey Jude’s static life in a meticulously composed fifty-panel grid. It’s one of my favorite things about the book, and it’s the first double-page spread.

But something is off about Jude’s life, and we’re clued in right from the start. He’s being monitored. Everyone is. And when he finally decides to break his routine, to break everyone’s routine, he realizes the truth–he’s in purgatory, and so are the people around him. He lives in a mundane afterlife for people who committed suicide. And now that he’s awake, whoever’s in charge isn’t going to be happy.

At this point, my only real gripe with The Life After is all the comparisons I want to make–not to something like The Matrix, although it did come to mind–but to a little-seen 2006 film called Wristcutters: A Love Story. It’s a black comedy about purgatory for suicides that hits a lot of the same beats. Having seen that film, it sort of robbed me of that thrill you get when discovering something entirely new, and I was worried that The Life After wouldn’t be all I hoped it would.

That’s not to say it isn’t good–there is very deep, somber stuff being explored here, and it’s well worth your time. It just felt familiar to me, and I had trouble adjusting to that.

And then Ernest Hemingway showed up, and I think everything is going to be alright.

I’m serious. Hemingway is going to be a big part of the book. Ask the author, he’ll tell you.

It’s not so much Hemingway’s inclusion that excites me, but what it represents. It was that spark I was looking for, that flash of something new and exciting and full of possibility. It suggests that this world, this story, is only going to get weirder and more whimsical, that there might be more afterlifes to explore than this one, that there are interesting questions and ideas to wrestle with here.

The Life After is off to a slow start, but I’m extremely hopeful for the ride that lies ahead. It could be a good one.

As always, support your local comic shop if you can, patronize your local library if you have one, and say hi on Twitter if you like.

Interview: Joshua Hale Fialkov Dishes on “The Devilers”

By Matt O’Keefe

The first series out of Dynamite Entertainment’s Creators Unleashed program, The Devilers is a comic book about an apocalypse inspired by a number of different faiths. Joshua Hale Fialkov writes and Matt Triano illustrates a group of holy men going into battle against an enemy that’s a culmination of all their beliefs. I spoke with Fialkov to learn what part of himself he tapped into to write his multi-religious armageddon.

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How developed was The Devilers when you came aboard as the writer? How did it grow after you did?

JHF: I think the broad idea was there, and they had a sense of the tone they wanted, but, a lot of it was left up to me to do what I (theoretically) do well. For me, part of the fun is taking the religions not as dogma, and not as hard fast rules, but as a place to build story. The trick is doing it without being, y’know, horrifically offensive, which I think we manage to do pretty well. If you take their religions and the methodology behind their powers as, well, just that, as superpowers, it becomes a lot of fun to play with .

The Devilers features a Catholic Priest, a Jewish Rabbi, an Islamic Mullah, a Hindu Brahmin, and a Buddhist Monk. With such diverse viewpoints, where can they find common ground?

JHF: There’s also our non-believer who’s a bit of our POV character through out. Again, part of the fun is that ALL of them are right. Each of their religions sort of rub up against each other in the evil department, although, obviously, there’s some stretching. Ultimately, the fact that they don’t see the world the same way as each other contributes to the tension and drama of the story. So, stay tuned.

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Each Deviler has a different view of the afterlife. How do you compile those into a single Hell?

JHF: We actually play with that a bit in the issues. It’s a hell, that I think, is fairly pan-religious, and, our villains are not quite the typical renditions of the evil below, so to speak.

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How will the characters’ religions be put to the test in the series?

JHF: I think being constantly confronted by the truth and fallacy of your beliefs forces those beliefs to become a bit more practical. Again, even our atheist character is put in a place where suddenly he has no choice BUT to believe.

Where do God, angels, and Heaven fit into The Devilers? Do they at all?

JHF: Oh they do, but not the way we’re used to seeing them. God himself shows up around the end of Issue 3.

The demons’ looks are far removed from the stereotypical red with horns. What inspired their appearances?

JHF: It’s a mash-up of the various hells. The idea of it being a true place of eternal suffering, and something that every creature sentenced to live there is in abject misery and pain creates some visually wonderful stuff, especially in Matt Triano’s immensely talented hands.

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I love the way sound effects are used for subtle actions like a gulp or look of confusion. Was there a specific intent to focus on those kind of uses instead of the standard “Bif! Bam! Pow!”?

JHF: Jeez, completely unintentional. I think that’s just how I do sound effects, and with Simon on lettering, there’s very cool stuff afoot.

The solicitations say seven issues, but it looks like the story could easily grow bigger than that. Have you considered future Devilers stories?

JHF: Of course. I have a feeling there’ll be Devilers stories for years to come.

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Religion is such a divisive topic. What kind of questions do you hope this series raises about it?

JHF: I don’t know that I’m looking for profundity on the religious front. For me, it’s about a bunch of people who believe things that aren’t quite the same in practice as they are in concept. Each of them is going to be challenged with their understanding of the universe and their roles in it. So, I guess the message is don’t be so damn sure all the time.

You’ve written creator-owned comics for a lot of different publishers. What’s different about the Creators Unleashed program from Dynamite?

JHF: Nick and the crew are throwing their backs behind these books in a way that you usually don’t see from independent publishers. I’ve been given a completely free hand to tell the kind of story that interests me in the way that interests me, which, again, is not quite as easy to come by.

 

The Devilers is on sale July 16.

Fialkov and Infurnari’s The Bunker is Coming to Oni Press

Back in August I was raving about this completely addictive creator owned comic from the Marvel maestro and indie hotshot team, and it seems as if Oni Press agree – in Feburary 2014 they will publish The Bunker #1, collecting the first five chapters of the hit digital series.

The Bunker [Read more…]

NYCC ’13: Comixology offers signings and giveaways

 

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Free stuff and signings with Doug Braithwaite, Larry Hama and more!

Take comics further this New York Comic Con 2013 at the comiXology booth (#1928) with a host of exclusive giveaways, signings, offers and panels happening all convention long.
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ComiXology has produced in conjunction with Image Comics, IDW Publishing and Valiant a series of art cards limited to only 100 to be given out at signings throughout the show. These super rare giveaways will be available on a first-comes, first-served basis during each signing.
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These limited edition art cards will be signed and handed out during creator appearances at the comiXology booth with signings from Nick Dragotta (East of West), Greg Rucka & Michael Lark (Lazarus), Katie Cook (My Little Pony), Sara Richard (My Little Pony), and Doug Braithwaite (Unity #1). See below for signing times.
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In addition, Larry Hama will be making an appearance at the comiXology booth to sign comics for fans. And as a special giveaway comiXology and IDW Publishing will be giving out five copies of G.I. Joe: The Best of Larry Hama hardcover to the first five fans in line.
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ComiXology Submit superstar creators Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari will also be making an appearance at the comiXology booth, signing sketch cards promoting their smash self-publishing hitThe Bunker. Each sketch card will have a code to get the first issue of The Bunker for Free!

A special 12-page review of Mark Waid, Shane Davis & Max Brooks’ Shadow Walk from Legendary Comics will be available to preview on devices at the comiXology both.  Shadow Walk goes on saleNovember 27th.

Here’s a list of the signings, giveaways and panels, for comiXology during New York Comic Con ’13:

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 10
PANELS:
1:30 – 2:30pm Creating Comics The ComiXology Way, Room: 1A10
Speakers: John D. Roberts (comiXology co-founder) with creators Reilly Brown (AvX Infinite Comics), Chris Sheridan (Motorcycle Samurai), & Daniel Govar (ReLaunch)

3:15 – 4:15pm ComiXology Submit: The Future Of Self-Publishing, Room: 1A08
Speakers: David Steinberger (comiXology co-founder & CEO), John D. Roberts (comiXology co-founder), with The Bunker creators Joshua Hale Fialkov & Joe Infurnari

SIGNINGS/EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAYS – COMIXOLOGY BOOTH #1928:
4:30pm – 5:30pm Joshua Hale Fialkov & Joe Infurnari The Bunker Signing: The Bunker creators sign a special sketch card with Free The Bunker #1 code.

6:00pm – 7:00pm My Little Pony’s Katie Cook Signing Limited Edition Art Card featuring Big McIntosh & Apple Bloom: Art Card limited to 100 copies, first-come, first-served.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11
SIGNINGS/EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAYS – COMIXOLOGY BOOTH #1928:
4:00pm – 5:00pm East of West’s Nick Dragotta Signing Limited Edition East of West Art Card: Art Card limited to 100 copies, first-come, first-served.
6:00pm – 7:00pm Larry Hama G.I.JOE Signing: First five fans to signing receive G.I. Joe: The Best of Larry Hama hardcover.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12
SIGNINGS/EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAYS – COMIXOLOGY BOOTH #1928:
2:00pm – 3:00pm Lazarus’ Greg Rucka & Michael Lark Signing Limited Edition Lazarus Art Card: Art Card limited to 100 copies, first-come, first-served. (Due to unforeseen scheduling conflict, Greg Rucka will only be on hand from 2:00 to 2:30pm.)

6:00pm – 7:00pm My Little Pony’s Sara Richard Signing Limited Edition Art Card featuring Rainbow Dash: Art Card limited to 100 copies, first-come, first-served.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13
SIGNINGS/EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAYS – COMIXOLOGY BOOTH #1928:
1:00pm – 2:00pm Unity’s Doug Braithwaite Signing Limited Edition Unity Art Card: Art Card limited to 100 copies, first-come, first-served.

 

Exclusive Interview: Joshua Hale Fialkov on The Bunker

The launch day of The Bunker, a new comic from Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari is finally here! Make sure you don’t miss out, and while we’re all excited over this new epic comic, lets sit down and have a chat with Fialkov himself.

The Bunker [Read more…]

Exclusive Advance Review: The Bunker by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari

What is The Bunker? A brand new comic from the writer of I, Vampire, The Ultimates, Tumor and last week’s Hunger that is guaranteed to get your mind racing. Fancy getting early access? Read on…

The Bunker [Read more…]

The End of I, Vampire and the Cancellation of Creativity

A spoiler-free farewell to my beloved favourite, and a note of regret from an ex-fan of the New 52.

I, Vampire #19 Cover [Read more…]

DC Cancel Saucer Country, I Vampire, Superman Family Adventures and DC Universe Presents

The solicitations for April’s DC titles reveal that four of their books will be ending, including Joshua Hale Fialkov’s I, Vampire and Paul Cornell and Ryan Kelly’s Saucer Country, alongside DC Universe Presents and Superman Family Adventures.

[Read more…]

Marvel announce Alpha Miniseries for February

Confounding those who thought they knew what the identity of the Superior Spider-Man would be, Marvel have announced that top candidate Alpha will be starring instead in his own miniseries next year.

[Read more…]