A sly, feline hand slips into the back pocket of an unsuspecting businessman, gently pulling, in an unnoticeable fashion, at a black leather wallet.
A small pill made of unknown chemical substances is quickly and reprehensibly dropped into the hot cup of coffee of an oblivious newspaper reader.
A fry cook and a waitress antagonistically raise spatula and bagel knife against one another, the comedic scene betrayed by tempers raised amid overcooked hash.
These are the crimes, or perceived crimes, that exist on the front cover of Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes, a promise to the even stranger wrongdoings found within the inside pages, not to mention the back cover. Strange crimes, indeed.
Got your attention? Good. With crime, not all is as it seems.
There are lots of new comic books out on the store shelves today. Lots.
All of the publishing companies, big and small, are pushing books out on the last before-the-holidays Wednesday even though there’s still one more Wednesday Run to go before the end of the year. That means that there are a lot of great comics to read while sitting by the fire and watching (hopefully) a little snow fall and whiten the ground, a cup of hot, chocolaty cocoa nearby.
That’s how I’m hoping to be spending some of my December days. It sounds like a bit of a nostalgic throwback to a bygone era, doesn’t it? A time when newspapers were sold at kiosks on street corners and movie theatres showed adventure films in weekly instalments! Well, that’s exactly what The Black Beetle: Night Shift #0 is. A throwback. And you should be picking it up today!
Ah, December. The season of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa; gift giving, love, family and friendship. How nice would it be to curl up beside the fire on a cold December evening with a hot cup of cocoa in one hand and a comic book whose theme matches the good-will of all mankind in the other? Sounds absolutely lovely, doesn’t it?
So, in the spirit of the season, of peace and pristine, white, softly falling snow, ladies and gentlemen, pop culture and comic book aficionados, I offer you…hell.
Well, to be more precise, I offer you the first issue of the new mini-series, To Hell You Ride, published to (probably not) tie in with the holiday season! It’s an enticing proposition, a horror comic written and illustrated by names you’re sure to recognize, some heavy-hitters in the pop-culture world, indeed!
Oh Hell Yeah! Hellboy In Hell #1 And A Hell Of A Hellboy Megabundle On The Wednesday Run – December 5, 2012
If you’re a fan of the gothic horror, pulp adventure and/or fantasy genres in comic books, then the holiday season has come early for you. Yes! Happy Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Happy Kwanzaa. Oh! Happy Day, indeed!
Hellboy is back! And fan-favourite writer, artist and creator of that character, Mike Mignola, is back at the helm, driving the big red lug…well, straight to hell, actually. Hey, it’s a destination that Hellboy was always heading.
In addition to the highly anticipated new series, there’s some (a-hem!) hellishly great savings in the Hellboy back catalogue going on right now too – savings you just can’t pass up!
Many people are familiar with the historical “Forty-seven Ronin” story. It’s legendary in Japanese culture – but make no mistake to think it mythical. No, the revenge of the “Forty-seven Ronin” is a true story from 18th century Japan and the most famous account of the samurai code of honour called “bushido”.
Plays, novels, movies and even operas have been made of the famous tale.
And now you can experience it in the form of sequential art, in a five issue mini series published by Dark Horse Comics. And, in keeping with the theme, the creators behind the monthly series are also something of legend.
Every other week, Jason Shayer will highlight an issue or a run of issues pulled from the horde of comic book long boxes that occupy more room in his house than his wife can tolerate. Each of these reviews will delve into what made that issue or run significant as well as discuss the creative personalities behind the work. “Long Box” refers to the lengthy, white cardboard boxes most comics find themselves stored within – bagged, alphabetized and numerically ordered.
Today’s special guest Tales From The Long Box columnist is JP Fallavollita.
It’s summer in the early 1980’s and I’m standing alongside a couple of buddies in the sequestered “Horror Movies” room of our local Jumbo Video. For the last few weeks, we’d been renting the types of VHS films our parents would never rent for us. But this was summer holidays. And our parents were at work. And we were mobile on our banana-seat bicycles, with a penchant for trouble and an idle time thirst for some scary stuff.
This year, digital is making waves in the comics scene. So it was great to hear it from the horse’s mouth at Comic-Con 2012: David Steinberger, CEO of ComiXology and John D Roberts, co-founder, were on hand to tell us all about what’s next for digital comics.
Read about the future of comic books after the jump!
Christopher Golden is a New York Times bestselling author who has put words into the mouths of iconic characters such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer and the X-Men. Recently, he’s been crafting the comic book exploits of Lord Baltimore, the character who first appeared in the novel Baltimore, or The Steadfast Tin Soldier and The Vampire, co-written by Golden and Mike Mignola. You can read our review for that classic book here. Christopher was kind enough to chat with me via email about the latest Baltimore mini-series from Dark Horse, Dr. Leskovar’s Remedy, his collaboration with Mike Mignola and artist Ben Stenbeck, he’s writing method, and much more.
Andy Burns: As someone who thought the original Baltimore novel was a wonderful and thoroughly engaging story, I’m wondering if the plan that you and Mike Mignola always had involved bringing the character to the comic book world? Or was there even a plan for him?
Christopher Golden: The only thing planned from the beginning was the novel. We had some very vague conversations about writing a sequel to the novel, even while I was writing the original, but nothing concrete. Once in a while, during the process of developing the initial Hollywood version that ended up not happening, we did sort of acknowledge to each other that one day it would be nice to fill in those missing years from the novel…that there were a lot of adventures to be told in that space. At some point, one of those conversations just turned into, “let’s do it,” though I can’t honestly remember when or how that happened.
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Exclusive Interview: Matt Kindt On The Mind, The Artistic Process And His New Monthly Series, MIND MGMT
Last month, the first issue of MIND MGMT, Matt Kindt’s new monthly series published by Dark Horse Comics, hit comic book store shelves with high praise. Of course, it also made our weekly Wednesday Run column! Those with great expectations surrounding the series were not left disappointed.
In MIND MGMT, Matt Kindt, acclaimed artist and author of Revolver, 3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man and Super Spy, weaves a blend of sci-fi, speculative fiction and government conspiracy story, that is both action-packed and engrossing. Multiple (and absolutely fun and rewarding!) readings of each issue seem to be the order of the day. He spoke with JP Fallavollita via email about the series, its’ beginnings, his creative process, and the pleasures of monthly comic book storytelling.
JP Fallavollita: Congratulations on a thrilling first issue, Matt! MIND MGMT immediately evokes many different aspects of pop culture and speculative fiction: the stories of Philip K. Dick, the television show Lost and late-night conspiracy radio shows spring to <a-hem> mind. And it’s got a government black-ops twist, of course! What can you tell us about the genesis of the series?
Matt Kindt: It started with the title – I loved those words together – and then started to build something around it. It really just seemed to suggest itself. And I liked the idea of revisiting a sort of “Super Spy” world but in the present day (most of the time) and adding an extra crazy element that I haven’t really played with before with the sort-of-sci-fi mind powers.
Then it’s just a matter of thinking of what kind of people would be in this organization and what would it be like for them? The scenarios and stories then just sort of suggested themselves as well.
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There’s a lot of post-apocalyptic…stuff…around these days. Whether it’s books, film, television or video games, end-of-days pop culture abounds. And comic books are no different than those other forms of media.
A dystopian future, it seems, sells.
More important than moving product, however, the apocalypse allows for great character-driven stories, doesn’t it? And the permutations of character and plot, wrapped up in a big final days bow, seem endless.
Brian Wood (he of Rockstar Games once upon a time), can write story and plot. His well-regarded, creator-owned projects like DMZ, Demo and Northlanders, despite their varying genres, all contain story and characters as their major strengths. And now he brings those aspects to the fore on an eagerly anticipated post-apocalyptic series.
And believe me, it’s gonna be…yeah!