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GOODBYE TO ALL OF YOU by Lu, Kurtzhals and Laiho coming in ’22 from Abrams

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Well, file this under “we knew you when!” The Beat’s former New Media Editor/Managing Editor Alexander Lu has just announced his first graphic novel! Goodbye to All of You will be drawn by Tara Kurtzhals with colors by Maarta Laiho and it’s coming from Abrams in 2022.

According to the PW blurb,

This middle grade graphic novel follows two Chinese American siblings who feel untethered by the death of their mother. The night of her funeral, they wake up in a place that looks like Chinatown but is actually a space between Earth and the afterlife, populated by animal spirits. Terrance and Delilah must adapt to a new world while learning to make peace with their mother’s passing—and with each other.

The deal was repped by Inkwell Management’s Charlie Olsen and Jessica Mileo.

This sounds totally awesome and we couldn’t be happier for Alex!

The artist on Goodbye to All of You, Tara Kurtzhals, is another up and comer – you can check out their webcomics Girls Have a Blog and Knight and Beard on Webtoons. Colorist Maarta Laiho has worked on Lumberjanes, Hilo and much more.

Kurtzhals posted some preview art on Twitter, which you can see above.

Since leaving the Beat last year, Alex has been very busy working on this and also editing graphic novels for First Second — including the multiple award winning Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang. In fact it’s definitely Alex Lu Week since you can also listen to him talk editing on the podcast Portrait of an Editor!

As Kurtzhals noted in a tweet, Alex has a way of helping people:

Feeling a little teary here — Alex was such a huge support for me and the rest of the team as an editor, contributor and friend during his time at the Beat — we’ve shared so many ideas, convention adventures, and spicy Chinese soups. I knew immediately on meeting him that he was a comics lifer, and seeing his career take off is no surprise — his talent and dedication guaranteed that.

I’ve said this many times in interviews and podcasts and panels, but seeing talented people forge their creative journey, and being a part of it, no matter how large or small, is the best thing about being in comics for me, and the main reason I keep doing this.

Congrats, Alex, Tara, and Maarta! I’m sure there will be much more to come from them all.

CAB Debuts 2019: 56 fresh new comics you can pick up tomorrow

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Tomorrow it’s Comic Arts Brooklyn from 11-7 at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and  as is Beat tradition, we are here to presentn the 2019 CAB Debuts! These are by no means the only new books debuting at the show, but it’s a parade of fresh faces, fresh books and fresh looks, and perhaps something here will tickly your comics reading fancy.


KOYAMA PRESS

The Death of The Master

By Patrick Kyle

An absurdist, art brut rumination on society’s structures presented in Patrick Kyle’s singular style.

After the sudden death of a beloved patriarch who promised eternal life to his followers, a topsy-turvy society attempts to reconcile the deluded teachings of their late leader with the harsh reality he left behind.


Schmutz!
Jess Worby
jworby.com
@jworbeast

A collection of recent comic strips, including “The Netflix Saga”, various personal crises involving adult life in New York, and a couple interludes featuring the cartoonist’s dog.


On A Hot Summer Night I Like To Eat My Favorite Cartoon Characters
Sam Grinberg
www.samgrinberg.com\

@samgrinberg/

A 32 page collection of comics, stories, and images from the perspective of suburban youth.


Perishable Goods
Liz Bolduc Sux
lizbolducsux.com
@liz_sux

With food and relationships as threads throughout the comic, Liz explores the abstract anxieties one can face as they grow up and search out for the non-perishable items in life that will last.


Fool’s Wish
Shawn Kuruneru
foolswish.tumblr.com

Inspired by Eastern landscapes, Asian folktales and surreal imagery, Fool’s Wish is a fantasy horror story about disrupting the natural order to obtain your greatest desires.


HANDS UP, HERBIE!
Joey Perr
joeyperr.com

Hands Up, Herbie! follows the author’s father, Herb Perr, from a mob-linked Jewish family in Brighton Beach of the 40s and 50s, through the studios of Helen Frankenthaler and Mark Rothko, Reagan-era art activism, and a reckoning with the responsibilities of raising a family.


Nice Slice pizza zine
Brian Butler
@upperhandart

Nice Slice is a collection of new and exotic pizza slices, that can only be won by spinning a Pizza Prize Pie™️ at table K19.


STRANGE TALES
Alan Jennings
George Washington, miracles, a tragic case of acne and UFO’s are considered in this limited edition comics anthology.


Harry Nordlinger

The Men in Power Are Fucking Your Kids
@HarryNordlinger
An art zine of Harry Nordlinger’s original illustrations from 2019

Softer Than Sunshine (east coast debut)
A collection of surreal/existential horror stories, by Harry Nordlinger, designed to stick in your head and leave you with a lingering sense of dread.


FACEMELTER
By Bill Wehmann
The cosmic journey of psychedelic skull fleeing its own body.


AN ODDLY ORGANIZED YEAR: AN 18 MONTH CALENDAR

by Holly Simple

NOV ’19 – APRIL “21 + MYSTERY CENTERFOLD!!!!!

  • 19 original ink drawings
  • 8.5″ x 11″ zine style
  • NO MAJOR HOLIDAYS NOTED!


Natasha Brennan

Not much else is known about this zine!


UNTITLED PENCIL COMIC
Caroline Cash
https://www.instagram.com/cash_browns

Untitled Pencil Comic is a risographed mini comic with a vellum cover, that tells the story of a girl’s communication with an ex solely using clickbait articles.


Simulation
By Nicole Rodrigues
@lost.mirage

An android ship starts picking up floating frozen humans throughout space where they live in simulation rooms on the ship.


The Pumpkin Party
Sara Sarmiento
sarasarmiento.com

“The Pumpkin Party” is a spooky party at a pumpkin patch, made in the format of a victorian valentine form called a puzzle purse: a single sheet of paper that folds into itself.

2.

A Girl & Her Dog

“A Girl & Her Dog” is a series of four-panel comics of a woman and her dog taking rambling hikes in a strange woodland world.


Grace, Jerry, Jessica & Me: Vol III
Derek Marks
@derekgmarks

In the final issue of the series, the author meets Grace Jones and reflects upon how icons helped navigate his identity.


Silver Wire
by Kriota Willberg
kriotawelt.blogspot.com twitter.com/Kriota

This book is the product of Kriota’s artists residency at the New York Academy of Medicine Library, and it includes a graphic memoir and her images of embroidery based on historical medical illustrations.

6.5” x 9”, 28 pages. $10


Constitution Illustrated: Sampler
by R. Sikoryak
rsikoryak.com twitter.com/RSikoryak

The opening text of the U.S. Constitution, including the Preamble and Article 1, Sections 1 – 4, as illustrated in the styles of American comics from the 1900’s to today.

5.5” x 7.5″, 16 pages. $3


Vanity Floppy

By Karl Stevens


Rotten Faith
Corinne Halbert

Irreverent b+w horror comics that explore witchcraft, Baphomet eroticism and arachnophobia.


“Cicero” (Preview
By Jason Mojica & Tim Kinsell

Comics

16 year-old Justin wants to forget a humiliating robbery while his father is hell-bent on getting even, so they embark on an ill-conceived, all-night manhunt that exposes glaring differences in their attitudes toward conflict, violence, and masculinity.


VENOMYTHS 00
By Joshua Ray Stephens
www.thursdaycity.com

VENOMYTHS 00 is an arts and culture mag from the underground intergalactic resistance at least three hundred years in the future. When every thought and even biological minutia are regulated via a vast digital network, a printed book is an act of rebellion in and of itself.


Mermaid Parade

by Natalie Wardlaw

@Natalie.Wardlaw

Mermaid Parade is a memoir comic about sexual liberation, violation, death, and two very different parades.


Ratman

By Tony Chao

www.tonychaoillustration.com

@thechaoman

Ratman is a graphic novel following the journey of a homeless man in New York City battling a sinister force pulling him farther and farther away from his humanity.


West Coast Soft Boys

By Matt Goldberg and Ian Mackay

Published by Hi-Bred

mattgoldberg.net / @goldmatt / hi-bred.net / @hi__bred

Two soft boys take a wild ride in this 20 page risograph comic full of triply colors and goofy antics.


DAVID SANDLIN

@david_sandlin

Belfaust Episode 2( My Mother was a War bride)

David Sandlin

Betty Grimm tells the story of her Mom’s WW2 romance.

FrightHouse

Trump and his Cronies as Yokai in full color silkscreen


NOODLE FIGHT ISSUE 4

By Haan Lee

@leezusconleche

The 4th Issue of Noodle Fight, a comic about kickboxing, drug cartels, and hip hop.


Misery

by King Louie’s Lab

@kinglouieslab

A Halloween special about a father preyed on by a shape shifter who takes the form of his deceased son.


 

Johnny Sampson

TFU 2 (Total Fuck Up 2), which follows our favorite burnout on a day of debauchery and delinquency. 32 pages, B&W.

Slow Leak 3, my annual collection of comics and drawings I self-publish. Screenprinted cover, 40 B&W and Risograph color pages.


Channel Termination part 2

Mike Taylor

@late_era_clash

The second chapter of a long work exploring the IRL costs of social media celebrity.


ROUGH ONES

Written by Lucas McCaslin Illustrated by G. Davis Cathcart

roughonescomic.com

@gdaviscathcart

Longform 90’s post apocalyptic junkyard brawler friendship tale.


LOUDER & SMARTER

Alex Krokus/Pyrite Press

The second collection of comics by famed anthropomorphic raccoon cartoonist Alex Krokus.


warm winter
kimberly edgar
@deadbirdparty
www.kimberlyedgar.com

a short comic drawing parallels between the change in landscape in the far north due to climate change, and the changing of the main character’s body as they discover that they are actually very sick.


SCHAPPI
Anna Haifisch
www.hai-life.com\

@the.artist942

In five short stories Anna Haifisch blurs the boundaries between humans and animals in a subtle way: carnivores and herbivores meet at a nerve-wracking congress, we get to know a merciless, art-collecting lizard, meet dancing ostriches and a melancholy meditating octopus.

MELLOM COLLECTION No 4 – HUNGER
Rita Fürstenau
www.rita-fuerstenau.de
@rita_fuerstenau

The Mellom Collections assemble small scenes of natural curiosities. The focus of the fourth issue “Hunger” is on colorful songbirds and their favorite dishes.


NOBROW PRESS

DEADENDIA: THE BROKEN HALO
Hamish Steele
https://hamishsteele.co.uk

In the second installment of this quirky, heartfelt LGBTQ adventure comic, war is brewing across the thirteen planes, and as always, haunted house attraction (and portal to hell) Dead End is right at the center of it.


Follow the Doll, issue 1
By Daryl Seitchik
@Daryl.seitchik

The first part of a serialized, fully-watercolored graphic novel inspired by Russian folklore and magic.


The Grass is Always Greener When You Go Outside
by Timothy Reed
www.timart.info
@timart.info

Sometimes it’s good to stop and smell the proverbial roses.


BABIES HAVING GARFIELDS: AN EPIC TRAGEDY

By Aaron Shattuck

@aaron.shattuck

https://gumroad.com/aaronshattuck

Garfield adopts himself to Nermal; it doesn’t go well (three-color risograph mimicking Ben Day processing; six pages + cover),

KILL YOUR DARLINGS

By Aaron Shattuck

A collection of mostly comedic ephemera, including short comics, illustrations and shameless fan art (two-color risograph cover; 16 color pages; 16 black-and-white pages).


Balthasar
Julia Kim
@juliabkim
nothingfactory.net

Origin of a 17th century Dutch microscopist named Balthasar.


Pride, in Seven Parts

Mitchel Hunt

www.myowndog.com

@myowndog

Written during the summer of World Pride 2019, “Pride in Seven Parts” is an attempt to understand the want for connection through sexual identity and community.


Existential Gardening
Gerard Dalbon
gerarddalbon.com

A 42 page sketchbook zine featuring a misc of messy drawings and writings (spelling mistakes included)


Neoglyphic Media

 

Boutique Mag #4
by Marc Bell & Friends
https://marcbelldept.com

Boutique Mag #4 is a community newsletter written for these, our end-of-empire times. Steeped in a half-hearted nihilism, and geared towards a community that may or may not even exist, this mag is packed full of plenty for it’s hypothetical audience to pour over!

An Unknown Power
Edited by Cullen Beckhorn and Panayiotis Terzis
www.neoglyphicmedia.com

A book edition with work by over twenty artists from across the world. The theme centers around ambiguity in spiritual encounters, religious icons or worship imagery.

Contributors include:

Robert Beatty
Sarah Lammer
HOPE
Drew Miller
Lando
Baptiste Virot
Brie Moreno
Matt Lock
Ron Rege Jr.
Ben Marcus
Jinhee Han
Juli Majer & Cristian Hernandez
Enormous Face/Kalan Sherrard
Joel Skavdahl/Seagull Invasion
Lilli Carre
Kari Cholnoky
Margot Ferrick
Leon Sadler
Panayiotis Terzis
Nichole Shinn
Hayley Dawn Miur


My Irrational Fears
Marie Oh
marieoh.com
@bonebruised/

Are you afraid to be alone?


Below the Surface
Vikki Chu
Vikkichu.com
@vikki.chu

Warthog goes under the surface in this second Frog King & Warthog adventure.


Towns
Joe Maccarone
www.joemaccarone.com
@joemaccarone

“Towns” is an illustrated, wordless book that follows two people traveling to their brand new home, passing through many interesting and weird towns, and picking up some friends along the way.


IDK Sounds Fake: A Gender Scrapbook
KJ Martinet
kjmartinet.com

Diary comics grappling with gender identity, fictional representation and performance

A MONTH OF GREAT ROMANCE: 14 Romantic Webtoons to make you fall head-over-heels in love

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romantic webtoons

Is there anything better than the heartache of a good romance story? Whether it’s unrequited love or young love or enemies-to-lovers, romance comes in all flavors and it’s dealer’s choice when it comes to perusing the genre on Webtoon. As one of its largest genres, it can be hard to pick from the plethora of offered stories (even if you limit yourself to the Originals) but I’ve compiled the following list. From the supernatural to slice-of-life, here is a look at some of my favorite romantic Webtoons to make you fall in love.


Always Human by walkingnorth

Almost Human
Credit: Webtoon

After falling in love with Aerial Magic, I found myself checking into other works by walkingnorth and found myself reading Always Human. Set in the high-tech future where people can use nanobots and genetic engineering to “mod” themselves, Sunati, a frequent modder who is always altering her appearance, develops a crush on a girl named Austen, who always appears the same. On top of walkingnorth’s fantastic artwork, nearly every episode of Always Human has a fantastic backing soundtracking. The is a completed series with 78 episodes.

Brass and Sass by antlerella
Editor: Bre Boswell; Colorists: Achjayel, Fatherrjo

Brass and Sass
Credit: Webtoon

As a former band geek, Brass and Sass holds a special place in my heart (and has a claim over my Webtoon coins). When newcomer Camilla joins the school band, whatever she lacks in skill she makes up for in passion and eagerness. Bumping up against the serious and buttoned-up virtuoso Victor, the two personalities clash. A delightful story about young love with adorable art from antlerella, this story keeps me coming back week after week, hungry for more. It currently has 69 published episodes, with 4 locked under Fast Pass (take my coins!!)

Empyrea by OHKATES

Empyrea
Credit: Webtoon

After a five-month hiatus, I was overjoyed to see this Webtoon return last year in August. Set in a fantastical kingdom, Empyrea is not just a romantic story but a supernatural story with mystery and action elements. With inspirations from fairytales and steampunk, there is so much to enjoy when it comes to Empyrea, but what takes the cake is OHKATES’ art nouveau-inspired style that makes every panel enchantingly beautiful. It currently has 50 published episodes, with 5 locked under Fast Pass.

Gourmet Hound by Leehama
Flat Colors: Kelsey Kato, Sydney Brunzell

Gourmet Hound
Credit: Webtoon

While this does eventually become a romance between the supertaster, Lucy, and the chef she befriends, Graham, Gourmet Hound is primarily an emotional tale that talks about loss and forgiveness and the passage of time. Throughout its 166 episode run, Lucy encounters all the chefs who once looked up to her grandmother and her cooking school. As a food lover, Gourmet Hound is a treat. As a romance lover, the slow burn between Lucy and Graham comes to a satisfying end (even if it takes the whole series!)

House of Stars by saltacuentos with art by Lion Illustration
Editors: Dayna Broder, Paul Jun; Art Assistant: Mai Martin

House of Stars
Credit: Webtoon

At 26 episodes, this is one of the shortest completed series on the list but deserves a high place of honor for the mythic inspiration and absolutely stunning artwork reminiscent of Studio Ghibli. House of Stars is the story of a girl named Lily, who is pulled into a quest that takes her to a strange world with an evil queen. But everything is not as it seems and what unfolds is a story about love and loss with a healthy injection of fairytale magic to boot.

The Kiss Bet by Ingrid Ochoa
Editor: Breanna Boswell; Flats: Paulina Klabacka, Monica Sivayavirojna, Erika Vasquez

The Kiss Bet
Credit: Webtoon

Just turned 18, Sara Lin is worried about her first kiss. Goaded by her friend Patrick into a bet, the two inevitably fall into problems when Patrick catches feelings and while Sara crushes on another boy in their class. Flashback reveals plot twists and side characters enter the fold in this cute (and sometimes infuriating) story about young love. The current story is on its second season with 71 published episodes and 3 locked under Fast Pass.

Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe
Copy Editor: Christina Anton; Art Assistants: Jaki Haboon, Lissette Carrera

Lore Olympus
Credit: Webtoon

No list would be complete without Lore Olympus. With just under 150 episodes published since March 2018, this retelling of the myth of Hades and Persephone has been a fan favorite for years. Not only is this a myth that fans have gravitated to for years, but Smythe’s artistic take on your favorite Grecian gods is bursting with life and color. With an upcoming television show in the works based on the Webtoon, it’s hard to imagine this flying under anyone’s radar.

Midnight Poppy Land by Lilydusk
Editor: Paul Jun; Art & BG Assistants: Lester G., Kent E., Kuro.Mono, Sander B.

Midnight Poppy Land
Credit: Webtoon

Who doesn’t love a bad boy? When it comes to mafia member Tora, he is the definition of bad news. As the bodyguard of a mafia prince, Tora is tough and deadly. Until he comes into contact with Poppy, a book editor who bumps into Tora in a series of meet-cutes. There is an obvious dark edge to their relationship, with their meetings attributed to a key piece of evidence that Poppy has in her possession. But Poppy manages to get beneath that broody exterior and soon her and Tora’s stories become one. This series is currently on hiatus after completing its first season at 58 episodes.

Miss Abbott and the Doctor by Maripaz Villar
Proofreader: Kiley Venables

Miss Abbott and the Doctor
Credit: Webtoon

The soft-spoken and kind Doctor Andreas Marino gets his life turned upside down when he meets Miss Abbott. She’s wild, she’s funny, she’s weird, and it isn’t long before the doctor ends up totally smitten. Set in Victorian times, Miss Abbott and the Doctor is a light-hearted rom-com for the casual reader. Villar’s sketchlike art style and small-town storylines can be refreshing to those who might not want the dramatic convoluted storylines of other romances. This is a completed series at 173 episodes currently and participating in Daily Pass.

My Dear Cold-Blooded King by lifelight
Assistant Colorist: Leeloo; Editor: Paul Jun

My Dear Cold-Blooded King
Credit: Webtoon

My first official obsession when it came to Webtoon stories. Set in a fictional kingdom, one day Kihara Mei’s life changes when she becomes entangled with the famed Blood King. With an art style reminiscent of josei manga, lifelight paints stunning landscapes and swashbuckling adventure alongside torrid romance and court intrigue. Full of twists and turns, this 161 episode keeps you on the edge of your seat until the end and you’re sure to need a conspiracy connection board to keep all of the plot lines straight.

Spells from Hell by WmW/Silke Tara
Flats & Background by Leni Lee; Concept, Writer, Producer: Sarah Wang; Concept & Storyboard: Maria Li; Editor: David Lee, Quinn Sosna-Spear

Spells from Hell
Credit: Webtoon

A part of the Webtoon Greenlight program from last year, I was eager to see this Webtoon finally come to life beyond the three episodes. While still in its infancy, only 6 episodes down with 3 under Fast Pass, this was easily one of my favorite of the lot when it came to the Greenlight series. With a story based on the East Asian nine-tailed fox spirit, Spells from Hell features the fox spirit, Scarlet, who suddenly appears in hard-working and practical college student James Chao’s room, forcing him to not only reckon with the existence of magic but also this intriguing new person in his life.

SubZero by Junepurr
Editor: Paul Jun; Assistants: Yingcha, Whalesharkollie, Tanvikun

SubZero
Credit: Webtoon

Arranged marriages? Enemies to lovers? People who can turn into literal dragons? Sign me up. I’ve been following SubZero since its Discovery days and despite sometimes feeling pretty frustrated by the story, I am addicted to finding out the ending. Princess Clove has agreed to marry Prince Kyro of a rival dragon clan after years of bloodshed between the two peoples and what starts as a begrudging peace accord obviously develops into something so much more. Come for the dragons and angst, stay for the art and plot twists. This series is currently on hiatus after completing its first season at 91 episodes.

Suitor Armor by Purpah
Editor: Eunice Vaik; Color Assistant: KeylligraphyInk

Suitor Armor
Credit: Webtoon

I’ll admit I’m a recent convert to Suitor Armor. After being recommended the Webtoon a dozen times by a friend, I finally started reading it and now I’m hooked. It tells the story of a lady-in-waiting named Lucia who ends up developing a crush on an animated suit of armor named Modeus. Yes, Modeus is literally an empty suit of armor, and yet the ship works. There is obviously more beneath the surface, and with only 25 episodes published so far (with 3 under Fast Pass), we’re all poised to learn about Lucia and Modeus together!

The Wrath & The Dawn by Renée Ahdieh with art by SilvesterVitale
Writer/Producer: Stephen Lamm; Editor: David S. Lee; Art Asisstant: Jean; Storyboard: Maria Li; Inks: Madeline C.B.; Backgrounds: ITSURYUU

The Wrath and The Dawn
Credit: Webtoon

Based on the book series of the same name (which is a reimagining of 1001 Nights), the concept is a familiar one. Shahrzad is the new bride to Khalid, the Caliph, who has killed all of his previous brides after just one night of marriage. In order to stave off the Caliph’s killing spree, she spends her night telling him stories that lead to inevitable cliffhangers that ultimately keep her alive. An expansive story, Ahdieh takes the classic story and stretches the narrative out and fills in the gaps between the frame narrative in an addictive read. This series is currently on hiatus after completing its first season at 67 episodes.

Your Throne by SAM
Additional Assistance: DD, Bakbak, Ssal, Sewoo, Delico, Ma-Bongchu

Your Throne
Credit: Webtoon

Does this technically fall under romance? Maybe not. Romance is hardly the main topic in the dramatic world of Your Throne, and yet it serves as a main catalyst to some of the most impactful events of the story. Set in a Game of Thrones esque world of backstabbing and subterfuge, the Lady Medea Solon is eager to reclaim her position beside the Crown Prince Eros. But when her plans go awry and a magical spell it put on her and her rival, Psyche Callista, both must wrestle with new changes and struggle to survive in their cutthroat world. The series currently has 54 published episodes, with 5 locked under Fast Pass.


Did I miss one of your must-reads? Sound off in the comment section below or on social media @comicsbeat!

SHUT IN THEATER: Weekend Reading 49

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It’s Saturday once again, and that must mean it’s time for Weekend Reading 49!

As usual, we’re holing up in Stately Beat Manor to spend the weekend lost in a good book. What will you be reading this week? Let The Beat know in the comment section or on social media @comicsbeat!

Weekend Reading 49
Weekend Reading 49: Seed to Harvest and Power Pack

AVERY KAPLAN: Thanks to a trip to Torpedo Comics inspired by last weekend’s Pokémon GO Kanto Tour event, I’ve not got 3 issues of the current Power Pack run to read by Ryan North, Nico Leon, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Travis Lanham. And as far as prose goes, I’ll be reading Mind of my Mind, the second novel in the Patternist series by Octavia E. Butler. The first book in the series, Wild Seed, was my introduction to Butler’s writing, and I subsequently took a detour into The Parable of the Sower, The Parable of the Talents, and Xenogenesis. However, now that I have Seed to Harvest, an edition collecting all four of the Patternist novels, I’m excited to read the next entry in the narrative that kindled my interest in one of the greatest favorite speculative fiction authors.

Weekend Reading 49
Weekend Reading 49: Siege and Storm

THERESE LACSON: With the coming release of Netflix’s Shadow and Bone, I have been making my way through Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse novels. After finishing the first book in her series, Shadow and Bone, on audiobook. I’m excited to move on to the sequel Siege and Storm. Although it looks like the first season of the show will cover the first book, it also will include characters from Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology. Bardugo has a richly descriptive prose and I’m excited to explore more of the world she’s created. Given that the Grishaverse has a plethora of books, a trilogy and two duologies, I’ll have plenty to keep me busy by the time April rolls around.

Weekend Reading 49
Weekend Reading 49: Hardware

TAIMUR DAR: It’s the last weekend of Black History Month so I’d be remiss if I didn’t include some Dwayne McDuffie work for Shut in Theater duringFebruary, particularly with the Milestone relaunch news. Seems fitting then to check out some of Dwayne’s original Milestone works such as Hardware, Icon, and Static. And even though I already ready it within the last year, rereading Static Shock: Rebirth of the Cool for good measure!

Weekend Reading 49
Weekend Reading 49: Rest in Peace

BILLY HENEHAN: I’m really getting my money’s worth from the Libby app (just kidding, it’s free). This weekend, I’m reading the final two volumes of The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Stefano Guadiano and Cliff Rathburn. I don’t know why it took me so long to sit down and finally read these last two volumes of the series. I think the longer I put it off, the longer it felt like there was still new The Walking Dead out there for me to read.

Weekend Reading 49: The First Kingdom
DEAN SIMONS: This weekend I am reading Jack Katz’ stunning The First Kingdom (Titan Books) which reminds me of reading 1970s Fantasies (especially the Moorcock variety) but with immensely detailed artwork. Some might blanch at the cleavage and nudity but once you overlook that, you are reading a dense epic work of comics storytelling. Oh and i am also reading the Pokemon manga in celebration of Pokemon Day. It is a very fun aside.

THE BARBARIAN AND THE TROLL puppet comedy series debuts “explosive” trailer

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The Barbarian and the Troll trailer

Last September Nickelodeon announced a new live-action puppet series from Drew Massey and Mike Mitchell. Previously titled Brendar the Barbarian, now titled The Barbarian and the Troll, today Nickelodeon not only revealed the first trailer but announced that the show would premiere on Friday, April 2, at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

Barbarian and the Troll

Check out the trailer and details below.

The quest is yet to come in Nickelodeon’s all-new live-action puppet comedy series, The Barbarian and the Troll (previously Brendar the Barbarian), premiering Friday, April 2, at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT).  The series follows Evan, a bridge troll in search of adventure, and Brendar, a fierce female warrior on a quest to defeat the evil demon who has imprisoned her brother.

In the premiere of The Barbarian and the Troll, Evan the troll decides to burn his bridge and venture out into the world of Gothmoria for the first time to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a singer.  He soon meets Brendar, who had been expelled from the Royal Order of Warrior Princesses and is now known as a “feared and revered” barbarian.  After Evan convinces Brendar to bring him on her quest to vanquish the evil demon, they cross treacherous terrain to confront bizarre and magical creatures and encounter an eclectic puppet cast of wacky characters.

The series stars Spencer Grammer (Rick & Morty) as the voice of Brendar, Gothmoria’s most feared and revered warrior; and Drew Massey (Mutt & Stuff, Sid the Science Kid) as Evan, a bridge troll with a dream of becoming a singer.  Joining Massey as puppeteers and voice talent are Colleen Smith, Allan Trautman, Sarah Sarang Oh, Nicolette Santino, Peggy Etra, James Murray and Jeny Cassady.  The series also features the voice of comedian Gina Yashere.

The Barbarian and the Troll is co-created and executive produced by Mike Mitchell (TrollsThe Lego Movie 2: The Second Part) and Massey.  Mitchell also serves as the show’s primary director.  Production of The Barbarian and the Troll for Nickelodeon is overseen by Zack Olin, Senior Vice President, Live Action; and Shauna Phelan, Senior Vice President, Live-Action Scripted Content.

Episode 103 – Pictured: Brendar, Evan, Stacey, Horus and Ax in THE BARBARIAN AND THE TROLL on Nickelodeon. Photo Credit: Michael Courtney/Nickelodeon ©2020 Viacom, International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Barbarian and the Troll

Hasbro unveils IG-11 and Lando Calrissian Vintage Collection figures

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After unveiling the upcoming Bad Batch Wrecker action figure earlier this week, Hasbro has once again revealed some new Star Wars action figures this time from the Vintage Collection line. Fans of the The Mandalorian will be delighted to hear that former bounty hunter turned nurse droid IG-11 is getting another figure. Sadly no Baby Yoda Grogu included. Meanwhile hands down the most suave character in the Star Wars universe Lando Calrissian (played by Billy Dee Williams) is also getting the Vintage Collection figure treatment. Naturally, Lando is sporting his look with stylish cape as he appeared in The Empire Strikes Back.

Check out the images and details below and be sure to keep an eye out for these figures when they hit shelves this fall.

STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION 3.75-INCH LANDO CALRISSIAN Figure

(HASBRO/Age 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $12.99/Available: Fall 2021)

Featuring premium detail and design across multiple points of articulation, original Kenner branding, and inspired by STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, this collectible STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION 3.75-INCH LANDO CALRISSIAN Figure makes a great gift for STAR WARS fans and collectors. Highly articulated with fully poseable head, arms, and legs, this 3.75-inch-scale figure can be displayed in action figure and vehicle collections. Includes figure and accessory. Available at most major retailers.

STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION 3.75-INCH IG-11 Figure 

(HASBRO/Age 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $12.99/Available: Fall 2021)

Featuring premium detail and design across multiple points of articulation, original Kenner branding, and inspired THE MANDALORIAN live-action series on Disney+, this collectible STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION 3.75-INCH IG-11 Figure makes a great gift for STAR WARS fans and collectors. Highly articulated with fully poseable head, arms, and legs, this 3.75-inch-scale figure can be displayed in action figure and vehicle collections. Includes figure and 2 accessories. Available at most major retailers.

IG 11 IG 11 IG 11 IG 11 IG 11

2021 Pokémon Direct announces remakes and… an open-world game?!

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Pokémon Direct 2021

Only a week after the last Nintendo Direct, one of the company’s most important partners aired a presentation of its own with some big announcements. The first Pokémon Direct of 2021 shared additional information about New Pokémon Snap, which arrives in April, as well as the reveal of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes and what very much looks like the first open-world Pokémon. Here’s everything we learned from the 2021 Pokémon Direct.

FANDOM FLAMES: All of the streaming services, none of the time

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Netflix was THE streaming service once...now it's one of many streaming services

Fans have a lot of choices in today’s media landscape. Too many choices, honestly. The streaming wars are upon us, with Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Netflix, the old giants, continuing to triumph, and newer services like Disney+ coming to meet their challenge. Then you have services like HBO Max, that make you wonder, “Is it HBO, or is it HBO Max?” CBS All Access is rebranding to Paramount+ on March 4th, because a streaming service dedicated to the oldest viewer per capita network just made sense. Peacock exists. Apple TV+ is starting to get quite the acclaim with shows like Ted Lasso and Dickinson — nd personally, I love their sci-fi show For All Mankind, too.

But piracy is still massively active during these days, with shows like The Mandalorian, The Boys, and Westworld claiming the top three spots for 2020, according to TorrentFreak. It’ll be interesting to see what 2021’s top three will be—I’m guessing Marvel will dominate: WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki are all sure to captivate fans, but will they be willing to pay the Disney+ price tag? Some fans I know say yes, and some will say hell no, preferring to pirate every piece of media they view, not wanting to give money to controversial corporations like Amazon, Disney, and Apple.

How will these streaming wars end? Netflix learned the hard way that overloading on content can mean un-renewing shows, making them gone too soon — RIP, GLOW and several others. We’ll see if Amazon’s $250 million The Lord of the Rings gamble pays off, or HBO’s gradual transition to HBO Max. Will CBS All Access being renamed Paramount+ actually get more eyeballs? Paramount is still a movie studio, but it’s mostly known in popular culture for Star Trek, which ViacomCBS appears to be banking on (see below).

Disney+, which earned the most eyes for a show this January with WandaVision, appears to be on pace to eventually be in the same ring with Netflix and Amazon Prime. Netflix still dominated how many hours on average people were on a streaming platform, but that Disney+ claimed the top spot for the show that was watched the most is nothing to sneeze at.

Premium services are getting absorbed, too; Cinemax’s library began the transition to become HBO Max’s as of June 2020. Nearly every premium service has become an add-on to streamers like Amazon, Hulu, and Apple. You can add Starz, Showtime, and Epix (and much much more) for an added fee for various amounts of money — essentially, their libraries have become a part of the pre-existing streaming services.

This boom is similar to the “prestige TV” boom — which to some extent, is still going on. It was a boom that started with AMC sinking their teeth into the HBO market with Mad Men and Breaking Bad. It opened the floodgates for many, many basic cable networks and premium services, which formerly were spaces for reruns and movies, to become spaces for shows like The Americans (FX) and Homeland (Showtime).

Each streaming service also has its own vibe, so to speak. CBS All Access/Paramount+ has become the place for Trek; HBO Max is the space for edgy dramas and fantastic movies (much like its predecessor, HBO); Peacock has The Office; Netflix has all the different types of shows you could imagine (which they like to cancel).

But if you were only allowed to take one of the streaming services with you to a deserted island, which one would it be? I think mine would be HBO Max — if only for all of the TCM, The Criterion Collection, The West Wing, and Westworld. But, oof, leaving behind Apple might be hard for me. And if you had to keep one streaming service from this era to carry into the next era of television, whatever that may be, which one would you spare? Because as we’ve seen, nothing lasts forever in the media landscape. Remember Blockbuster?

SILBER LININGS: Remember that time Swamp Thing had sex?

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The Beat’s Gregory Paul Silber has been accused of having a bit of an… obsessive personality. Each week in Silber Linings, he takes a humorous look at the weirdest, funniest, and most obscure bits of comics and pop culture that he can’t get out of his head.

I love Swamp Thing, especially Saga of the Swamp Thing written by Alan Moore, drawn primarily by Steve Bissette and John Totleben (with several guest artists throughout), colored by Tatjana Wood, and lettered by John Costanza. It’s one of my favorite Big 2 runs, right up there with Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s Daredevil or Grant Morrison and Chas Truog’s Animal Man. Issue after issue is a stunning achievement, balancing horror, humor, and heart for a transcendent epic from 1984-1987.

That’s why today, we’re talking about that time Swamp Thing had sex.

Waitwaitwait hear me out: 1985’s Swamp Thing #34, “Rite of Spring,” is sincerely one of the most beautiful, poetic comic book issues of all time. That’s not a joke, and I don’t mean it in a creepy or gross way either.

It’s important to contextualize Swamp Thing’s (Alec Holland) relationship with his long-running love interest, Abigail Arcane. Abby had been a prominent figure in Swamp Thing comics since her first appearance in 1973 by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson (the duo who also created ol’ Swampy himself). By 1985, Moore had been seeding (pun intended) Alec and Abby’s romance for over a year throughout his run, not to mention the groundwork laid by previous writers like Wein, Gerry Conway, and David Michelinie.

“Rite of Spring” finds Abby at a pivotal moment of her life. Her husband, Matt Cable, had just died following a series of horrifying misadventures (Swamp Thing is primarily a horror title after all). Abby and Matt’s relationship had been turbulent, to put it mildly, as Matt succumbed to madness and developed frightening, abusive powers. “She felt an ache, but not of mourning,” the narration reads. “She knew who she wanted to be with.”

Who else but the sexiest swamp stud in Louisiana? Swamp Thing may not be my type—the kind of women I’m attracted to, at minimum, are made of human flesh rather than sentient plant matter—but within the context of a series about a sweet yet scary-looking plant elemental who uses his powers to fight evil monsters, save innocents, and advocate for environmentalism, it’s easy to see why an old friend of Swampy’s might start to catch feelings. Besides, what’s more romantic than a boyfriend who could grow fresh flowers out of his body just for you?

The creative team does an excellent job making the Beauty and the Beast-like love story plausible, but as Abby confesses to Alec that she’s had feelings for him, the text acknowledges the inherent absurdity of their romance. “I mean, it’s just so ridiculous, right? It’s impossible, it’s bizarre, it probably isn’t even legal…” Abby says tearfully. “Oh hell. There’s something wrong with me. I build things up in my mind… I read things into the way you look at me, kid myself that maybe you feel the same as I do, but… you’re a plant, for God’s sake! Just saying it out loud, I mean, it’s just so funny! How could you love me?”

“Deeply… silently… and… for too many… years,” Swamp Thing answers, Casanova that he is.

There’s no question that what follows is essentially a sex scene, but upon first glance, one wouldn’t recognize it as anything so literal. In fact, most questions about how the mechanics of sex between a human woman and plant man would work are left blessedly ambiguous. Even Abby may not have been fully aware of how they “did it,” as their foreplay starts with Swamp Thing offering her a gourd, imbued with mysterious psychedelic properties, that he grew from his chest. After eating it, she didn’t just have sex. She had the wildest trip of her life.

From there, Bissette and Totleben’s art becomes increasingly abstract, complimented by Moore’s lyrical prose poetry and Costanza’s inventive blending of the two lovers’ caption boxes. In a breathtaking sequence, the pages shift from standard horizontal orientation to vertical, forcing the reader to experience the story in an unusual manner that reflects Abby’s transforming consciousness. The next several pages are so beautifully strange that it’s impossible to describe precisely what happens in them.

It’s a surreal experience that needs to be had firsthand, in its entirety. As you’re reading, please don’t focus so much on trying to make sense of Moore’s words that you overlook what Bissette and Totleben say through their art. It deserves to be seen and studied like the expressionist masterpiece that it is.

I should add that I’m constantly disappointed by how rarely Tatjana Wood is mentioned in the conversation about great colorists, because in this issue and throughout the run (as well as in other Bronze Age gems like Steve Gerber and Gene Colan‘s Howard the Duck), she gifts the series with a unique visual identity that pushed the limits of what could be accomplished with the limited palette offered to colorists before the advent of digital coloring. Recent editions of Saga of the Swamp Thing have been recolored, so if you can, please avoid those in favor of older printings with Wood’s original colors. Her palette is just as impressive as ever, and these comics deserve to be read with all the magic they had in the 1980s.

If you’re still weirded out—and hey, I get it—keep in mind that “Rite of Spring” reads more like the piece of psychedelic pop art that it is than as a comic book about monster-fucking (even if that is literally what happens). The “sex” itself is less about that physical act than it is Abby’s expanding consciousness. Even Guillermo Del Toro‘s The Shape of Water presented its woman-on-monster sex more explicitly, and that’s a movie that won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Abby is not just making love to Alec Holland/Swamp Thing; she’s communing with the natural world that he represents. Her journey, as she develops a closer relationship with the plants and animals around her, is certainly erotic (perhaps the most telling image of this sequence is of Abby straddling the globe), but it’s not strictly sexual. It’s spiritual.

Silber Linings is a humor column, and I realize how incongruously heady this may sound for a DC comic about a lady who has sex with a swamp man. Yet the creators knew exactly what they were doing. Moore’s reputation as a mad-genius magician who writes “dark” and “literary” comics rich in theme and political complexity often undercuts his keen grasp of how to write a fundamentally entertaining story, with a sense of humor to boot. As Abby comes down from her trip and gets dressed, she shares a tender moment with Alec that reads like Moore and company welcoming us back to a more familiar world.

“Does this… uh… does this mean we’re going out?” she asks. Swamp Thing answers with a passionate kiss.

Capital-R romance comics have a rich and important history, although I haven’t read many myself. I’m not drawn to romance, as a genre, the same way that I gravitate towards other genres that Swamp Thing tends to occupy like horror and superheroes. I don’t know if romance fans would place “Rite of Spring” in the canon of great romance comics. All I know is that it’s the most romantic comic I’ve ever read.

Comics Crowdfunding Round-Up: NIL, THE NEKROS and 3 more campaigns we love

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nil

Welcome to The Beat’s crowdfunding round-up: a collection of some of our favorite campaigns from the week including one-shots, on-goings, anthologies and everything in-between. This week, we’re checking out sever debut series, including the boy-and-dinosaur story of Nil, the dark fantasy world of The Nekros, and more.

Let’s get started!


Planet Comics – issue #2!

planet comics

Creators: Jeff McClelland (writer), Andrea Schiavone (artist), Rafer Roberts, Mike Norton, Marissa Louse, Crank, Dani Grew, Larry Franks
Goal: $3,000
End date: March 29, 2021
Goodies: Grab a PDF for $8, get the physical version for $12, or pledge more for back issues, variants, and more.

The retro sci-fi comics anthology returns for a big second issue!

Planet Comics is returning for more golden age sci-fi adventures. Paying homage to the original 1940s pulp magazine, this collection will continue a few storylines from the debut issue, as well as introduce a some new ones in a 40+ page, full-color comic. This time around, stories will follow a Kirby-esque adventure through a black hole, the continued The Old Man and the Sea of Love, and not one, but two stories each with their own unique good dogs. 

Become a backer here.

But I’m A Cat Person – Master’s Edition complete boxset

but im a cat person

Creators: Erin Ptah (author)
Goal: $9,900
End date: March 26, 2021
Goodies: Get all three digital volumes digitally for $25, or get the physical version for $120 along with an exclusive min-print, digital wallpaper set, and more.

Broke queer millennials accidentally adopt a magical shapeshifting battle monster. Big beautiful omnibus edition of the full series!

But I’m a Cat Person is a familiar story – it follows two queer millennials, recently graduated, down on their luck and looking for work. They find a pet and the usual problems arise: it’s an immortal shapeshifting battle monster whose presence pulls its owners into a magical war against the rich and powerful. This campaign will bring all three volumes of the series to print, collecting 9 years of the acclaimed webcomic in nearly 1,000 (yes, one thousand) pages.

Become a backer here.

The Nekros #1: A Dark Fantasy Thriller

the nekros

Creators: DC Burton (writer), EMax (artist), Gitizee (colorist)
Goal: $1,200
End date: March 24, 2021
Goodies: The digital version is $5, the physical is $10, and higher tiers include prints in signed or metal varieties.

Clash of the Titans meets Alien in this epic tale of man vs. beast.

The Nekros is set in a dark fantasy world where – in most cases – the titular creatures are battled for survival and honor. For Mathias, though, it’s something more. His father was killed by the Nekros six years ago, and it’s that weight he carries that spurs him into learning more about the link between the gods he and his people worship and the demons that kill them. This first entry is nearing completion, and will be the first of a planned eight-part saga.

Become a backer here.

NIL – Issue #1

nil

Creators: Aaron Sullivan (writer), Tadd Galusha (artist), Mikael Hankonen (colorist), DC Hopkins (letterer)
Goal: $7,000
End date: March 26, 2021
Goodies: Grab the digital version for $5, go physical for $10, or pledge more for decals, enamel pins, and more. 

The survivor of a decimated tribal nation battles his anger and grief as he integrates into modern society with his dinosaur companion in Nil. 

It’s tough enough being a teen and figuring out how to navigate things like school. It’s much more difficult when you feel isolated and that your only real friend is an endling dinosaur with whom you have an empathic connection, and is also one of the last remnants of your culture. That’s life for Nil, the title protagonist of this upcoming series. Jump on board this first issue of Nil for 24-pages of full-color content, and the introduction to this story of anger, grief, and growing up.

Become a backer here.

Young Rebels #1: YA Superhero Team

young rebels

Creators: Marcel Dupree (writer), Alti Firmansyah (artist)
Goal: $4,800
End date: March 16, 2021
Goodies: Grab a digital version for $5, go physical for $10, or pledge more for additional comics, prints, and more.

Tech prodigy Marco Martinez creates a team of teen superheroes to prevent an apocalypse that they’re supposed to create. 

Young Rebels is the next all-ages story of super-powered teens. It follows an over-ambitious boy genius who dreams of creating a viable means of time travel – and predictably ends up in a huge mess. It’s up to his new friends, an alien, a wizard, a gladiator, and a psychic, to help him and save the world. This debut issue will be 32-pages and fully colored. For a look at character bios and a preview, head over to the campaign page.

Become a backer here.


Here are some great, already funded campaigns:

And don’t forget to check out last week’s campaigns!

VIDEO: SHADOW AND BONE reveals the Shadow Fold in new teaser trailer

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Shadow and Bone
Credit: Netflix

It’s here! After being announced over two years ago, we have got our first official look into the Grishaverse through the new teaser trailer of Shadow and Bone. Based on the first book in the Grishaverse, Shadow and Bone is helmed by show creator Eric Heisserer with author Leigh Bardugo as one of the executive producers on the project.

Heisserer is probably best known for being the writer for 2016’s Arrival. Bardugo played as an advisor for the series, as the creator of the Grishaverse, which is probably a relief for book loyalist who might be afraid the series could be misrepresented. Although much of this season looks like it will take place in the kingdom of Ravka — where the first book in the initial trilogy finds its setting — the series has also taken the opportunity to introduce characters from the Six of Crows duology, so we are likely to see Kerch as well.

In their panel during IGN Fan Fest, Heisserer and Bardugo explained that the Six of Crows arc in the story would be new and they would be pulling from flashbacks in the duology to fill in some of the gaps for where Kaz, Inej, and Jesper are in this timeline of the story.

For the cast, we have Jessie Mei Li as the protagonist Alina Starkov; Ben Barnes as General Kirigan aka The Darkling; Archie Renaux as Malyen Orestev; Freddy Carter as Kaz Brekker; Amita Suman as Inej Ghafa; and Kit Young as Jesper Fahey.

Check out the official teaser trailer below:

Based on Leigh Bardugo’s worldwide bestselling Grishaverse novels, Shadow and Bone finds us in a war-torn world where lowly soldier and orphan Alina Starkov has just unleashed an extraordinary power that could be the key to setting her country free. With the monstrous threat of the Shadow Fold looming, Alina is torn from everything she knows to train as part of an elite army of magical soldiers known as Grisha. But as she struggles to hone her power, she finds that allies and enemies can be one and the same and that nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. There are dangerous forces at play, including a crew of charismatic criminals, and it will take more than magic to survive. Shadow and Bone is a Netflix production from 21 Laps Entertainment, starring Jessie Mei Li (Alina Starkov), Archie Renaux (Malyen Oretsev), Freddy Carter (Kaz Brekker), Amita Suman (Inej), Kit Young (Jesper Fahey), and Ben Barnes (General Kirigan).

Shadow and Bone will be released on Netflix on April 23, 2021.

TA-NEHISI COATES and J.J. ABRAMS developing SUPERMAN reboot

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A Superman reboot written by Ta-Nehisi Coates and produced by J.J. Abrams under the Bad Robot label is currently in development, according to a report from Deadline.

Few details are currently available regarding the Superman reboot, which has Hannah Minghella serving as a producer.

Coates is currently attached to Wrong Answer, a drama directed by the very busy Ryan Coogler (Black Panther). An accomplished, award-winning writer with a resume that includes several books and an a national correspondent position at The Atlantic, Marvel Comics fans may be most familiar with Coates through his stellar runs writing Black Panther and Captain America.

Abrams is the writer and director of Star Wars: Episode 7 – The Force Awakens and Star Wars: Episode 9 – The Rise of Skywalker, among many other accomplishments, including founding the Bad Robot label (which has previously produced shows like LOST on ABC, 11/22/63 on Hulu, and is currently developing a series based on the Justice League Dark universe).

And while there is no news regarding possible casting for the Superman reboot, Deadline has previously reported that Henry Cavill hopes to return to the role. However, some are hoping the reboot is accompanied by a new actor in donning the cape as well as a new creative team.

You can stream Zack Snyder’s Justice League on HBO Max beginning on March 18.

However, you will still have a chance to see Cavill as the Man of Steel in the upcoming Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which will be made available for streaming on HBO Max beginning on March 18th, 2021.

Who do you hope to see in the role of Superman in the reboot? Just what is it about the robot in the logo that makes it so bad? And how many people are making the same uninspired lens flare joke at the same time? Let us know on social media @comicsbeat or in the comment section.

 

Creative teams for STATIC, ICON & ROCKET, and HARDWARE relaunches revealed

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Today DC Comics released the digital edition of Milestone Returns: Infinite Edition #0, the expanded version of the comic that originally debuted at the Fandome event last year. Along with new story pages, the issue also features ads for the three forthcoming new Milestone Returns titles – Static, Icon & Rocket, and Hardware – that reveal their creative teams. The house ads also reveal that each series, announced as digital-first earlier this month, will be available same-day on the DC Universe Infinite service.

Check out the house ads featuring the newly-announced Milestone Returns creative teams, along with the descriptions for each series from DC Comics:

The new six-issue Static series will be written by Vita Ayala, with art by ChrisCross and Nikolas Draper-IveyKhary Randolph will provide covers for the series, which debuts in April.

In this monthly miniseries (20 pages per issue), bullied nerd Virgil is gifted with incredible electromagnetic powers in the wake of the Big Bang. Now he finds himself caught between an over-militarized police response to Black kids getting special abilities and some of those kids who are using those powers in dangerous and destructive ways. But when the bullies who terrorized him before the Big Bang show up with powers of their own, can Static be the hero that Dakota needs?

The new Icon & Rocket series, arriving in June, will be written by Reginald Hudlin & Leon Chills, with art by Doug Braithwaite and covers by Taurin Clarke.

What happens when superheroes actually make a difference? When Raquel Ervin broke into the home of a wealthy Black lawyer, she didn’t expect to learn that he was a nearly omnipotent alien, lost in despair of ever returning home—and he didn’t expect that she would inspire him to emerge from the shadows and become a force for change on the planet he’s trapped on. What starts out as a simple request to stop the drug trafficking in her neighborhood turns into a mission to eliminate the drug trade worldwide. However, this act of heroism has unexpected consequences, making the pair the two most wanted criminals in the world when actually stopping crime leads to the collapse of the global economy!

The third series, Hardware, will come from the creative team of Brandon ThomasDenys Cowan, and Bill Sienkiewicz. Artist Mateus Mahanini will provide covers when the series arrives in August.

All his life, young prodigy Curtis Metcalf was told he was special, and that he would save the world. But it turns out that Alva Industries wanted his beautiful mind for something a lot less noble than that—and his technology has made him the fall guy for the tragedy of the Big Bang. But Curtis is smart enough to not go out like that—and smart enough to steal his inventions back from Alva and start the process of remaking the world his way.

The creative teams feature a mix of new talent and returning Milestone creators, signaling that the Milestone Returns initiative will be as much about pushing the imprint forward as celebrating its history. The decision to release each series same-day on DCU Infinite is also a bold one, and, along with today’s earlier news about the Batman/FortNite crossover also being available same-day on the service, is further incentive to drive new subscribers to the service.

The first issue of the new, monthly six-issue Static miniseries arrives digitally and on DC Universe Infinite on Monday, April 12th.

INTERVIEW: Wesley Snipes talks his COMING 2 AMERICA debut

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wesley snipes coming 2 america

One of the most highly anticipated sequels of 2021 is Coming 2 America, and just in time for the release, we spoke to Wesley Snipes about his debut as General Izzi!  

Directed by Craig Brewer, Coming 2 America takes place decades after the original and introduces King Akeem (Eddie Murphy) not only to an elevated crown and new kingly responsibilities, but also a son, Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler), he never knew existed. This takes him back to New York City, but not before a run-in with General Izzi, the man whose sister, Imani (Vanessa Bell Calloway) was left at the almost altar by Prince Akeem, who fled their arranged marriage to follow his quest for true love. 

Watch The Beat’s exclusive chat with Wesley Snipes and all things General Izzi, from wardrobe to choreography and collaboration with comedic icons and legends. 

Coming 2 America streams on Prime Video on March 5th!

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