SDCC 2013 – Gallery Wrap-up [Raw]

Over the past week we have worked to present you with images that captured a slice of life at Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) and in their 40th year of expanding and extending opportunities for the development and awareness of comics and popular culture, they did not disappoint.  From Preview Night to Kids Day, attendees, professionals, exhibitors and staff brought us rich cosplay, mingling stars, sneak peeks, how-to panels, inspired art, toys, awards and of course comics.  Below are some final images that continue to reflect the community, evolution and intensity that only SDCC generates.  Who knows, they just might  inspire you to attend and participate.  If so, you might just find yourself in our 2014 SDCC gallery.

Review – Ex Sanguine #3 – A Romance between a Vampire and a Serial Killer

Script by: Joshua Scott Emmons and Tim Seeley
Art by: Tim Seeley
Colors by: Carlos Badilla
Letters by: CRANK!
Cover by: Tim Seeley with Dave Stewart
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Ashley and Saul have a unique relationship, one is a supernatural immortal that thrives on blood of the corrupt of the city and Ashley is a crazed murderer with mother and father issues. While that sounds like a strange pop culture comedy duo, it very much isn’t. Ashley since her introduction has been a thorn to Saul going so far as to frame him for actions he didn’t make in an attempt to validate herself and her legacy pursuit.

Issue 3 of Ex Sanguine continues the struggle and brings in some new blood to the picture, Saul going about his own life now while Ashley continues her streak of mayhem. The difference is that other dark figures have stepped in given the news and have taken interest in what they see as a defenseless city. It’s up to Saul to keep the borders protected and his girl of mayhem in check before something bad happens. Given the streak of the story so far, that sounds like an easy task but it really isn’t as Ashley prefers to only answer to herself.

The city is already in panic as news of her kills spread like wildfire in the paper, the last thing this situation needs is a social nuke drawing in more attention and undesirables to the town. The issue is very much about Ashley’s back story which helps shed some light on what happened to make her this messed up. Fans of the series should give it a read and new readers might want to take a look at the Dark Horse preview pages for a taste of Ex Sanguine.

Release Date: December 12th, 2012

Links: Preview | Order (Print)

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Tokidoki Royal Pride Vinyl Release!

On Sepetember 10th, tokidoki will unleash their Royal Pride collection on the vinyl world.  These awesome 3” PVC beasts are a great (albeit twisted) reflection of social hierarchy as they include royalty who sport crowns and sacks of cash, the business/merchant class who don suits, briefcases and concealed weapons and the working class who get the job done with the business end of their guns, nunchucks, knives, crowbars and uzi’s.  Displaying the fruits of jungle warfare, the ladies in the collection come complete with beautifully detailed hand bags and tiaras.  Each member of the Royal Pride collection has an MSRP of $8.95 and with each “pet adoption” you have the chance at one of 100 golden tickets redeemable for a very limited edition golden John Bronson!  The collection also includes two chase figures; Blue Terror (1/32) and John Bronson (1/64) and will be available at specialty retail shops, tokidoki stores, and on tokidoki.it . Happy hunting!

Visit Tokidoki’s Website here to see more:  www.tokidoki.it/

The Walking Dead Escape at Comic-Con 2012! Updated!

Walking Dead fans get ready for an experience like no other. If you have ever dreamed of being a zombie/walker (really?), a survivor in a zombie apocalypse (who hasn’t?) or you are just a little weird and have wanted to watch humans and zombies fight it out on the sidelines (me!), then this years San Diego Comic-Con is where you need to be. The Walking Dead Escape is going to offer fans the chance to dodge walkers through an obstacle course at Petco Park. If you sign up as a survivor before June 9th you can save some money. The tickets cost $70 right now until June 9th, $80 from June 10th – July 10th and if they are still available, $90 for walk ups. Update: If you just want to watch tickets are $15.  All the information on how to be a walker has been released and it is as follows:  Horde Walker half shift (2.5 hours) $39, Horde Walker full shift (4 hours) $39 (with a $20 credit 14 days after the event so it’s really $19).  Horde Master (lead your own horde) pay $39 now and if selected receive a $39 credit 14 days after the event.  If I’m reading this correctly that seems like free to me!  Horde Hero, this is the big daddy of the event, you get fully made up in zombie make-up, you can get your zombie on as long as you want and you get zombie training (I don’t know what this is, but I like the sound of it), this will cost $149.  As an added bonus, all make-up will be done by Greg Nicotero and KNB EFX! All walkers and survivors will receive an exclusive, special edition 100th issue of The Walking Dead and all spectators will receive an exclusive, special edition poster of the cover of the 100th issue! You don’t have to worry about fitting this into your busy Comic-Con schedule because it will take place over 3 days with a bunch of different times to accommodate everyone!

Order your tickets here!

Review – Star Wars: Blood Ties #2 – Boba Fett is Dead

Script: Tom Taylor
Art: Chris Scalf
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Chris Scalf
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Boba Fett is dead and the world is starting to learn you don’t kill someone so famous and so feared without stirring up the pot, vengeance is on the move and those who tracked him down and killed him are now facing judgement. Connor Freeman is the man on the warpath and the powers that be want him not only silent but dead and gone, unfortunately the cards are in Connor’s favor and the game continues.

Part 2 is a complete twist of sorts, we find out more about this plan and about what’s going on with Connor, unfortunately while he survived this encounter he’s not entirely all himself after the attack. The masked stranger reveals himself to Connor setting off a huge flashback of the events leading into Part 1 and elaborating on everything to the point where the story is flipped on its head for what readers thought was going on. The attack path changes course though, instead of just hunting those who started this mess it goes to Blackfel taking this situation to a whole new level against the conspiring group against Fett and any supporters.

Star Wars: Blood Ties #2 is a huge elaboration over the first issue, in some ways it would have been great to know that out of the gate but it builds up the life of Connor and the stress he was going through leading into this. The art continues the painterly qualities and intense detail throughout the book and there aren’t many instances where it stumbles, the characters are handled with care and the environments are engaging. Fans of the series really need to dive into issue 2 so they can feel the full impact of this story, one can only hope they have a miracle up their sleeve to wrap this up in 2 more issues.

Release date: May 30, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

Story:★★★★★ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – The Guild: Fawkes

Story By: Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton
Art By: Jamie McKelvie
Colors By: Matthew Wilson
Cover By: Paul Duffield
Alternate Cover By: Emma Rios and Matthew Wilson
Pinups By: Ron Chan and Jeff Carlisle
Published By: Dark Horse

Fawkes is in the midst of a breakdown. He has lost himself and is desperately trying to go back to the core of who he thinks he is. After the fallout of his relationship with Codex, he begins a soul-searching journey with(out) the help of his Axis friends. A self-proclaimed Epicurean, he looks for help in his area of study, philosophy. His Axis buddies however have had enough and are looking for a way to oust their not-so-fearless leader. Fawkes, refusing to roll over and play dead, harkens back his roots. This is not a good thing. We get to see Fawkes in his daily life, tormenting his intro to philosophy class, drinking his pain away and writing his feelings in his journal. After some soul-searching, he comes to the conclusion that in order to get back on track he must truly find himself, the real him. His approach is unexpected but will it work and will he finally find a way to erase his feelings for Codex?

Each Guild comic proves one thing, The Guild is awesome in every medium. I absolutely love that they have brought some basic philosophical concepts to the masses! As a philosopher myself I have spent years thinking (hey, that’s what we do) about how to present philosophy in a way that makes it interesting and acceptable to large groups of people. It’s such an important discipline and if comics like these cause people to learn things about Stoicism, Epicureanism and Nihilism then that’s a step in the right direction. I look forward to each Guild comic and I love how each issue focuses on a specific character. Everything in this issue is top-notch, the art, the dialog, the story and it’s a must read for new and old fans of the series!

Release Date: May 23, 2012

Link: Preview

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Captain America & Hawkeye #629 preview art arrives

Captain America and Hawkeye are teaming up again, with so many conflicts they’re willing to put some of it aside for the greater good. Cullen Bunn and Alessandro are on board to help launch the new book later this month (April 25). Their adventure is a bit abnormal, they’ll be fighting dinosaurs and other prehistoric friends while trying to retain some mutual ability to work together in the thick of it all.

Some words from the writing duo on this new character mashup.

“When I originally described this arc, I said something along the lines of ‘Captain America and Hawkeye fight a bunch of dinosaurs,’” Bunn notes. “That was [both] an oversimplification and a bit of misdirection on my part. What they face is much, much worse than just a bunch of dinosaurs. An evil thought long-destroyed is awakening beneath the mountains. It becomes readily apparent that they should have called in [all] the Avengers from the get-go.”

“I’ve always liked Stegron,” says Bunn. “He’s a fun dinosaur guy with a mad scientist’s brain. More importantly, though, his particular power-set made him a perfect fit for the story I had in mind. This is a strange, creepy adventure for Cap and Hawkeye [and] it’s Stegron who sets everything in motion.

“On the surface, Cap may be a little too ‘stuffed shirt’ to be versatile, but nothing could be further from the truth,” Bunn insists. “[That] may be the public persona, but Cap is just as human as the next person. He has his moments of doubt, humor, awkwardness and self-reflection.

“In this series, we’re seeing how Cap intersects with other heroes. [His] partners may enter these team-ups with preconceived notions. In some cases, Cap may live up to their expectations. In others, he may surprise them.”

For those wondering, this will not end up as a steady pairing with Hawkeye and the Captain, instead it will evolve as a group event series allowing Captain America to interact with many heroes in the Marvel Universe and develop his character even more.

Link: Marvel News

Zooniverse Free Comic Book Day Sneak Peak goes out

While we’re late on the updates, Aspen has some panel previews for Zooniverse, a new title coming to Free Comic Book day in May, we’re closing in on the annual event and the art in this freebie looks impressive.Peter Steigerwald is hard at work on this title and we have a work-in-progress series of art that goes from pencil to ink to color.

Link: Aspen Blog

Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire talk Swamp Thing and Animal Man crossover

Marvel isn’t the only one launching crossovers in the market, today Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire sit down to talk about the upcoming Swamp Thing and Animal Man crossover. It’s a tough showdown but Pamela Mullin from DC is able to pull a lengthy interview with both of them. Check it out below for all the goods.

What are the top 3 things you need to know about SWAMP THING or ANIMAL MAN?

SS: Swamp Thing: he’s big, he’s green and he’s badass. Really though, what you need to know is that Dr. Alec Holland was born with a strange connection to the Green – the earth’s network of plant life. As for many people before him, this connection was a sign that he was destined to become the fabled protector of the Green, a powerful creature known as Swamp Thing. But with Alec, the connection was stronger than most, so strong the Green believed Alec might be destined to become the greatest Swamp Thing ever, a warrior-king Swamp Thing. Alec resisted this destiny for a long time, but now he has accepted it out of love for a woman named Abilgail Arcane, to save her from a death force called the Rot, and so Alec has been transformed into the Swamp Thing – a swamp thing more powerful than any that came before. Just like Buddy is Animal Man, the avatar of the Red, the network of all living creatures, Alec is Swamp Thing, the avatar of the Green. Both of them have an enemy in the Rot.

JL: Animal Man is a father and husband first and a “superhero” second. Any decisions he makes are with his family in mind. And in many ways the book is as much about the entire family as it is about Buddy Baker. His 4-year old daugther Maxine is the next Avatar of The Red, the lifeweb that connects all living things. Buddy is her protector, and stands in
her place until she is ready. Buddy can connect to any animal and take on their traits. In upcoming issues we’ll see these powers grow and evolve into something more.

What’s been your biggest challenge working on SWAMP THING or ANIMAL MAN with the knowledge that it will have ramifications in another title (s)?

SS: Honestly, the biggest challenge is simply keeping up with Jeff – his imaginative storytelling and amazing character work on A-Man have me in awe every month.

JL: I agree. Scott’s biggest challenge is keeping up with me. But seriously,
both Animal Man and Swampy have such a revered history that the
challenge is living up to what’s come before, while at the same time
doing something new and making the characters our own.

How often do you talk story?

SS: We talk all the time. Every couple days. We’re like high school girls, but we talk about rot-monsters with baby-heads and such.

JL: If you ask my wife, we talk way too much. But Scott’s my best friend and
we have so much fun talking about comics and coming up with these
stories it’s hard not to.

What’s been your favorite moment of each other’s book so far and what are you most excited for in the other’s book this summer?

SS: There are so many. I think the one I’ll name here though was the moment the Hunters came through into our world through the zoo animals. I knew it was coming from having spoken to Jeff, but it still terrified me.

JL: I love the scene where Abby and Alec lay down in the grass and her side
wilts and his grows all lush. A really brilliant poetic moment that said so much with so little.

I’m most excited for all the other DC universe characters that will be popping up in the crossover…fans are in for more than a few surprises. The scope of the story is much bigger than just Animal Man and Swamp Thing

Team red or team green? Why?

SS: Team Green of course. Swamp Thing forever!

JL: TEAM BROWN!! Go Rot, go!!!

Link: DC Comics Blog

Batman Incorporated #3 gets cover art, awesome shadow puppets

Batman is on the loose, showing up in the strangest of places, the cover for Batman Incorporated issue #3 highlights this as a match lets off the dark silhouette of the caped crusader. It’s a sweet piece of art, kudos to the team for coming up with it as the strong shadow is dominant but still lets focus wander.

Link: DC Comics Blog