Sunday, June 25, 2017

Images From First State Comic Con

Things were hopping at the First State Comic Con today, held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mill Creek Fire Hall in Marshallton/Wilmington, Delaware. I arrived shortly after 11:30 a.m. and stayed for a little over two hours. The parking lot was nearly full, and during that time there was a steady flow of traffic into the Con. Saw a lot of familiar faces, including folks from Captain Blue Hen in Newark, DE and The Maroon Hornet in Oxford, PA . . . . . .
The first thing participants spotted upon arriving was a replica of the Batmobile (from the 1960's tv show)parked just outside the entrance.
I also saw plenty of familiar vendors among the aisles, including Paul's Comics (Captain Blue Hen affiliate), Basement Comics, Frankenstein Comics, and The Comic Book Shop (Wilmington, DE). There were tons of comics and toys everywhere . . . .
There were plenty of artists and creators on hand, including PLB Comics from Salisbury, MD, Aspire Comics, Ron Wilson and others - - including legendary artist Greg Larocque, show below with a sketch in progress . . . .
If you missed the excitement, there are plenty of comic conventions and shows coming up in the four-state area, including: *** CLANDESTINE COMICS July 2 Timonium, MD www.clandestinecomics.com *** FRANKENSTEIN COMICS SIDEWALK SALE July 2 Woodbury, NJ www.frankensteincomics.com *** PHILADELPHIA COMIC-CON July 9 Philadelphia, PA www.philadelphiacomic-con.com *** SOUTH JERSEY C.H.U.D.COMIC-CON 19 (Comics Here Under A Dollar) Cherry Hill, NJ www.frankensteincomics.com *** THY GEEKDOM CON November 4-5 Claymont, DE www.thygeekdomcon.com *** 0CEAN CITY COMIC CON December 9 Ocean City, MD www.oceancitycomiccon.com

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Book News: Upcoming horror anthology -- BEHOLD

Editor’s Note:  This looks to be an interesting collection, with a  stellar line-up of well-known contributors.  The video showcases the evocative art of Luke Spooner. Upcoming Release (out July 28th)

Book trailer for the phenomenal BEHOLD anthology
The official YouTube Trailer for Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders.  Go to   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9cuTdV9XbU


Sneak Peeks at Luke Spooner's interior artwork for Behold

WRITERS BLOXX, a new game available on Kickstarter

EDITOR’S NOTE:  WritersBloxx is LIVE on KICKSTARTER.

Go to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/garyzenker/writersbloxx-storytelling-party-game-and-writers-p?ref=profile_created to get all the details and support the game.

 As a member of the Wilmington Writers Group, I have played this game and can speak from personal experience:  It’s a lot of fun, doesn’t take long to play, and I highly endorse it.  I’m ordering my copy today.  WritersBloxx is more than a game designed to help writers unleash their creativity - - it’s a great party game as well!  Let’s hear from the creator, Gary Zenker . . . . .

Several Writers Groups helped me develop the rules and identified it as a party game as well as a writers tool. The web site is live also: http://www.writersbloxx.com

WritersBloxx generates six random storytelling prompts that individuals need to meld into a story. But think fast, in Party Mode, you only get six minutes and there's a PlotTwist in the middle of your writing that can change...everything.

Here's how you can help:

Support WritersBloxx with a pledge. Kickstarter is a crowd sourcing platform. Think of it like Facebook for projects. Your pledge there gets you a copy of the game. There are a couple of different versions. There are also genre-specific PromptGrids to challenge different types of writing (romance, Sci Fi, horror, kids and more). It makes a great gift for writers. You join Kickstarter for free, then make a pledge for a project like WritersBloxx.

The fundraising runs until July 30, 2017. Pledging early in the campaign is important and makes a huge difference. Others will be more interested in learning about it if they see people have already pledged. Plus it's easy to let time slip by and accidentally forget. Please do it now. Expected delivery of the game is September although I hope to ship in August.

VISIT AND LIKE the videos and the Facebook Page. This is hugely important. Larger numbers of likes tells others it is worth watching or visiting.

The Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/WritersBloxx-1205090709523093/

YouTube Video 1 is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDXTNPZ2RQs&t=15s

YouTube Vido 2 is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dTKTzeUNd8&t=160s

 

Tell your friends and social media contacts about WritersBloxx.

WHY SUPPORT WRITERSBLOXX?

  • Support it because you like the game and want your own copy. It's an amazing play because people bring the magic and cleverness to the game.
  • Support it because you feel the potential WritersBloxx offers to make storytelling more fun 
  • Support it because you see how valuable a writers tool WritersBloxx can be.

Thanks!

Gary Zenker

 

COMIC SHOP SURVEY for May 2017: Button and Secret Empire rule

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:  This month, I heard back from CAPTAIN BLUE HEN COMICS in Newark, Delaware regarding best sellers for May and other topics.  Let's check in with Joe Murray, co-owner/operator of Captain Blue Hen for his comments:

 

JOE MURRAY:  “Four out of five of the best selling comics for the month of May came from two stories - - THE BUTTON crossover from DC with BATMAN #22 selling a good one-third more than the second place holder, fellow Button arcer, FLASH #22.

 

SECRET EMPIRE #1 and #2 from Marvel filled the third and fifth slots of the Top Five for May, with perennial powerhouse BATMAN #23 holding the #4 position. 

 

WALKING DEAD #167 was the highest selling non-Big Two title at the #10 slot.

 

Looking ahead to June, based on pre-orders the two BATMAN and SECRET EMPIRE issues look to be our best sellers, although that’s subject to change as SECRET EMPIRE has been selling well below expectations and leaving unsold copies on the shelf.

 

Gazing into the crystal eight ball for July, the new DC event DARK DAYS: THE CASTING is our predicted sales favorite, with BATMAN and SECRET EMPIRE unsurprisingly rounding out the Top Five. 

 

For May, a big sales disappointment was brought about by Marvel’s over-saturation and glut of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY titles.  The re-launch of the GOTG title with a new #1 issue was muddled and muted by it shipping with two other GUARDIAN #1s the same day.  So, two one-shots, a five-issue weekly mini-series and a re-launch #1 were more than the market ever wanted

 

The talented team of Alan Davis and Jim Starlin deserved a better showcase for their work than the ignominious death knell in the eyes of retailers regarding a weekly series for their GUARDIANS: MOTHER ENTROPY.

 

Whenever retailers see a mini-series released weekly it is usually seen as a lack of support and an attempt to beat the system by rushing it out so that orders can’t be adjusted.  Conventional wisdom is to order extremely low, and the glut of GUARDIAN titles made MOTHER ENTROPY a sales failure that couldn’t even sell half of our worst case expectations.”

 

BC REFUGEES:  “Thanks, Joe!  Great info, and I believe - also of interest to our readers.  Just curious - - did you get any pre-orders for MOTHER ENTROPY, and how many?

 

JOE:  “I’m not sure exactly how many pre-orders we had for it, but I know it was less than three.  These days subscriber pre-orders have little bearing on initial order numbers as virtually no one signs up for new titles in advance.  The best we can do is guess and roll subs from a  related title into a new title.  

 

Your average GUARDIANS ongoing series sells at least twice what we ordered for MOTHER ENTROPY.  The problem with weekly titles is that we have to order  ALL the issues blind with no opportunity to adjust the quantities up or down based on actual sales data.  With a normal title, if the first issue turns out to be a dog, we can slash orders by issue #2 or #3, but not so with this rushed-out mini-series.”

 

We ordered very low (for a title featuring these guys, very, very low) and still only sold about 20 percent of them.  When the series is over, we would’ve done better to have not ordered the title at all.  Given the books creative pedigree, it would have done much better released as a traditional monthly mini-series.  I had the opportunity to ask Marvel about this exact situation regarding this title, as was effectively told “yes, we know sales will be much lower because of the release schedule.”

 

BC:  “Thanks, Joe.  I appreciate your taking the time to explain it in detail. We hope to hear back from you again.  Thanks for the information, and I hope to hear from you again.”

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:  I’m a little disturbed by Marvel’s response to Joe’s question.  Sounds like they don’t care about the sales numbers.  They know they have a willingly captive audience, and demand for Marvel titles is huge.  Seems like they focus on the pre-order numbers, and putting out a weekly makes sense from their side of the fence. I’ve long suspected that the reason both Marvel and DC put out so many titles every month  (averaging at least  70 books per publisher every freaking month) is to keep the numbers down for the other publishers.  Case in point - - look at Diamond’s monthly sales report, which features the top pre-ordered books, and you’ll see Marvel and DC dominating almost all of the 100 spots. 

 

Well Marvel and DC, it’s not working!  You may dominate the Diamond monthly list, but those other publishers are still making a good living.  They sell enough books to stay in business and continue to grow.  Look at the increased market presence of Boom, Dark Horse, Dynamite, IDW, Image, and Valiant over the last five years.  And watch out for Aftershock, Alterna, and Titan to name just a few of the newer publishers putting out good books.

 

Marvel and DC have benefit of some extremely talented creative writers and artists working for them, and both produce some excellent books worthy of your comics dollar.  But overall, more than half of their output is average, and just glutting the market.  I wish both of these publishers would concentrate on putting out the best books they can instead of seeing how many titles they can throw against the wall each month in an effort to out-do each other.  End of sermon.

 

Book Review: NORMAL by Warren Ellis

NORMAL  by WARREN ELLIS Farrar, Straus and Giroux  ISBN: 978-0-374-53497-4  148 pages softcover  2016

 

    Normal is a short novel, but more complex than many longer works. While it took less than a day to read, Normal raises questions and concerns that will remain with the reader for far longer. 

 

     Warren Ellis manages to pack a slew of thought-provoking ideas within it’s tightly scripted pages. The situations within Normal will remind of other classic works of literature, such as 1984 and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

 

     The Normal of the title refers to Normal Head, a retreat for burned-out brainstormers secluded from civilization within the wilderness of Oregon.  The residents have been placed there for recuperation, therapy, and preparation for re-entry into the working world, with no time limit or deadline.  Some tenants have been there for years, while others work hard to earn their departure as quickly as possible.  Technology within Normal is limited.  Internet access is prohibited, and permitted for only a select few. 

 

     Residents have been segregated into two groups, in line with their former occupations in the outside world.  All of them were formerly seers or forecasters, in jobs of great consequence as well as tremendous stress. Members of both groups are burned out, depressed and mentally traumatized.  As the story details - - “gaze into the abyss all day and the abyss will gaze into you.” 

 

     One group is comprised of foresight strategists, “civil futurists who think about geo-engineering and smart cites, and ways to evade our Coming Doom”. The other group are strategic forecasters, “spook futurists who think about geopolitical upheaval and drone warfare, and ways to prepare clients for our Coming Doom.”  Nonprofit agencies and charities employ the foresight strategists, while corporate think tanks, global security groups, and covert government agencies employ the foresight strategists.

 

     Adam Dearden, a foresight strategist suffering from mental illness and depression, comes to the retreat and immediately becomes involved in the locked room mystery involving the disappearance of a highly regarded resident.  During the course of his probing, Dearden befriends as many tenants as he angers, and manages to unite the two groups in revolt to expose a conspiracy within Normal.  To reveal anymore would be to lessen the impact of the novel for readers. Dearden’s findings provide a frightening image of how advances in surveillance, concealment technology, and the use of miniature drones may affect our future. Normal raises many questions about who’s in charge, what “they” want, and what direction “we” are headed in.  

 

     Warren Ellis is the author of Gun Machine and Crooked Little Vein, as well as some classic graphic novels and comics including Planetary, Transmetropolitan and Red.  He also writes about technological and cultural matters for Wired and VICE magazines, and Reuters News.

 

   Before print publication, Normal was serialized in four parts as a weekly digital series. 

 

 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sneak Peek: FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE #1 on July 26


Eisner Award Nominee Jody Houser and Blockbuster Artists Stephen Segovia & Barry Kitson Lead Faith to Rai, X-O Manowar and Two Millenia’s Worth of High-Powered Heroes 

 
 
This summer, every second counts…and Valiant’s stratospheric hero is assuming her rightful role at the forefront of Valiant’s greatest champions for a millennia-smashing conflagration at the end of existence itself!

Valiant is proud to present the first lettered look inside FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE #1 – the FIRST ISSUE of A SPECTACULAR SUMMER EVENT launching Faith out of her Eisner-nominated solo adventures and into the highest-stakes team-up history has ever known alongside Rai, X-O Manowar, the Harbinger Renegades, Timewalker, and a near-infinite army of the Valiant Universe’s greatest heroes of the present and future! On July 26th, the time stream gets turbulent as Eisner Award-nominated writer Jody Houser (FAITH, Mother Panic), explosive artist Stephen Segovia (WAR MOTHER, Action Comics) and comics legend Barry Kitson (HARBINGER, Fantastic Four) join forces to send Faith and Neela Sethi, Timewalker on a centuries-spanning rescue mission to save history from all-out eradication at the hands of a megalomaniacal intelligence too powerful for a single hero!

Faith “Zephyr” Herbert – former member of Unity, current Harbinger Renegade, and Los Angeles’ #1 superhero – is the universe’s last, best chance at survival! Centuries from today, a devious artificial intelligence has unleashed a blistering attack on the very foundations of time…one that is unwriting history from beginning to end! Now, with her options exhausted, Neela Sethi, Timewalker – the self-appointed protector of what is and will be – has returned to the 21st century to recruit Earth’s greatest champions of today and tomorrow to oppose this existential threat…and she needs Faith to lead them! But why Faith? And why now?

“[FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE] was more about having a villain different in style and scope than we’ve seen in [Valiant] before, while still feeling like a villain that fits into Faith’s world specifically,” series said writer Jody Houser. “He’s weirdly cute for an entity that wants to kill everything and everyone. Hopefully Faith and the others don’t underestimate how dangerous he is…”

On July 26th, an enemy unleashes entropy at the far end of time…and Faith leads the die-hard team of Rai, X-O Manowar, the Harbinger Renegades and special surprise guests recruited from the ancient world to 4001 A.D. to save the modern day from a malevolent force bent on eradicating existence one century at a time! The clock is ticking, so don’t miss a moment as Valiant’s high-stakes summer event presents a timeless jumping-on point that will forever be etched in history, only in FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE #1 – featuring covers by Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic (DIVINITY), Kano (Daredevil), Marguerite Sauvage (FAITH), and Felipe Massafera (Shaper)!
 
 

FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE #1 – Cover A by Jelena-Kevic Djurdjevic


FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE #1 – Cover B by Kano


FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE #1 – Variant Cover by Marguerite Sauvage


FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE #1 – Interior Artwork by Stephen Segovia with Ulises Arreola


FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE #1 – Interior Artwork by Stephen Segovia with Ulises Arreola



FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE #1 – Interior Artwork by Stephen Segovia with Ulises Arreola


FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE #1 – Interior Artwork by Stephen Segovia with Ulises Arreola


FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE #1 – Interior Artwork by Stephen Segovia with Ulises Arreola
 

Advance Look at NINJAK #0, coming in September

Valiant Presents NINJAK #0 – A Star-Studded Jumping-On Point from Matt Kindt, Francis Portela & Special Guests Galore in September! 
Plus: The Road to NINJA-K #1 Begins with an Essential Prelude by Christos Gage & Tomas Giorello


 
Valiant is proud to announce NINJAK #0 – an all-new jumping-on point for the Valiant Universe’s most dangerous intelligence operative, and a massive 40-page milestone, arriving in comic shops everywhere this September! 

FIRST: New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (X-O MANOWAR, Mind MGMT) brings his masterful, record-setting run to a close as he puts Ninjak’s past and present in the crosshairs with a shocking and revelatory tale – as illustrated by fan-favorite artist Francis Portela (FAITH) and an all-star cast of comics luminaries, each detailing a different moment in Colin King’s bloodstained path from boyhood to international infamy…

Behind the years of training… Underneath the high-tech gadgetry… MI-6’s most experienced operative is still flesh and blood. So just how is a mortal man like Colin King able to survive in a world filled with telekinetic psiots, eternal warriors, and sentient suits of alien armor? The key to Ninjak’s survival is buried deep in the past…and today the world’s most dreaded super-spy prepares to reveal his most closely guarded secrets! 

THEN: Before Ninjak launches into a riveting new ongoing series this November in the pages of NINJA-K #1, the torch is passed to acclaimed writer Christos Gage (Netflix’s Daredevil) and blockbuster artist Tomas Giorello (X-O MANOWAR) as they prepare a startling introduction to Colin King’s next mission with a shocking prelude to the winter’s most anticipated new series! 

This September, discover how the man behind the sword fortified his mind, body and soul as Francis Portela and an all-star arsenal of special guests celebrate the final chapter in Matt Kindt’s adrenaline-addled run on NINJAK…and then, get ready for a startling introduction to Colin King’s next mission as Christos Gage and Tomas Giorello present an essential prelude to November’s NINJA-K #1! The past, present, and future bleed together here with an unstoppable 40-page jumping-on point, only in NINJAK #0 – featuring a blockbuster lineup of covers from David Mack (Daredevil), Clayton Henry (HARBINGER WARS), rising star Yama OrcePeter Bagge (Hate), and Javier Pulido (She-Hulk)!

Plus: Ninjak strikes again this November with a deadly new beginning in NINJA-K #1 – A NEW CAN’T-MISS ONGOING SERIES! Coming this fall from acclaimed writer Christos Gage and superstar artist Tomas Giorello, the United Kingdom’s most dreaded intelligence operative delves into the cold, calculating world of espionage and international intrigue!

For nearly a century, MI-6, the most elite branch of Britain’s clandestine intelligence service, has honed a ruthlessly effective, top-secret division – THE NINJA PROGRAMME – into one of its nation’s most finely wielded weapons. Tasked as the first and last line of defense for queen and country, this small shadow army of agents and assassins has produced a succession of notable assets, including NINJA-A, the Queen’s silent weapon of World War I; NINJA-E, the globetrotting secret agent that pulled the Cold War back from the brink of armageddon; and, most recently, NINJA-K, aka Colin King, a brash but fearless instrument of lethality that has saved the world from madmen and terror at every turn.

But now…an unknown enemy is hunting and killing members of THE NINJA PROGRAMME one by one – and NINJAK is next on the list.

Out of the aftermath of Matt Kindt’s NINJAK, Colin King’s next mission begins in NINJA-K #1 – coming this November from razor-sharp creators Christos Gage and Tomas Giorello!


NINJAK #0 – Cover A by David Mack


NINJAK #0 – Cover C by Yama Orce


NINJAK #0 – Variant Cover by Peter Bagge


NINJAK #0 – Variant Cover by Javier Pulido
 

FRANK MILLER coming to BALTIMORE COMIC-CON 2017

 

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - June 15, 2017 - You won't want to miss the 2017 Baltimore Comic-Con, taking place September 22-24 at the Inner Harbor's Baltimore Convention Center. The Baltimore Comic-Con is pleased announce the addition of Frank Miller for a Friday-only appearance at our 2017 event.
Daredevil

Frank Miller is a comic book writer and artist, a screenwriter, a film director, and a movie producer. Originally from just down the street in Olney, MD, Frank was raised in Montpelier, VT, and eventually found his way to New York City and the comic book industry in the late 1970s. 

Batman_ The Dark Knight Returns
Finding work in Gold Key Comics initially, he went on to work with DC and Marvel. At the latter, after recurring fill-in and cover artist gigs, he took over art and, eventually, writing duties on
Daredevil. He co-plotted the Wolverine limited series with Chris Claremont, and would continue working on titles (his own and those of the companies for which he worked) including
Sin City

RoninDaredevil: Born AgainElektra Lives AgainThe Dark Knight ReturnsSin City, and 300. In addition to his comic book work, Miller wrote the scripts for Robocop 2 and 3, directed the film version of The Spirit, shared directing duties with Robert Rodriguez on the Palme d'Or-nominated Sin City and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and produced the film 300. Eagle-eyed viewers can spot him in cameo roles in Robocop 2DaredevilSin CitySin City: A Dame to Kill For, and The Spirit. Miller is known for creating Elektra for Marvel Comics' Daredevil series, and a female version of the Robin character, Carrie Kelley, for DC Comics.

Miller will be appearing on Friday only, and a limited number of tickets are available for fan interaction during his appearance. To purchase tickets to the Baltimore Comic-Con and the Frank Miller events specifically, please see our tickets webpage:  http://baltimorecomiccon.com/tickets/

 

IDW follows REVOLUTION event with FIRST STRIKE



IDW Publishing Presents “First Strike” – A Hasbro Comic Book Event


San Diego, CA (June 19, 2017) – This August, General Joe Colton, the original G.I. JOE, will take the fight directly to the TRANSFORMERS home world of Cybertron in the Hasbro Comic Book Event of 2017 – First Strike!
 
This six-part, bi-weekly series will feature the talents of writers Mairghread Scott (TRANSFORMERS) and David A. Rodriguez (SKYLANDERS), with art by Max Dunbar (DUNGEONS & DRAGONS), and colors by Ander Zarate (MICRONAUTS).
 
Earth’s heroes have united after the explosive events of last year’s REVOLUTION! Bringing together G.I. JOE, ROM, the MICRONAUTS, M.A.S.K.: MOBILE ARMORED STRIKE KOMMAND, ACTION MAN, and the TRANSFORMERS, Earth has never been more secure now that it has become a member of the Council of Worlds due to Optimus Prime’s leadership.
 
But oversight and control isn’t what everyone wants; especially when that control is in the hands of alien forces…
 
The premiere season of post-REVOLUTION titles are heading towards their natural conclusions to make room for First Strike so fans can enjoy the action in one place (and go easy on their wallets during the event)! In addition to the main series, six additional one-shots will set the stage for the second season of the Hasbro comic universe, where fans will witness their favorite characters forming new alliances, paving the way for exciting adventures to come.
 
Look for Micronauts: First Strike, by Christos Gage and Chris PandaG.I. Joe: First Strike, by Aubrey Sitterson and Ilias Kyriazis, and Optimus Prime: First Strike by John Barberand Guido Guidi in September.
 
M.A.S.K.: MOBILE ARMORED STRIKE KOMMAND.: First Strike, by Aubrey Sitterson and Ilias KyriazisRom: First Strike, by by Christos Gage and Chris Panda, and TRANSFORMERS: First Strike by John Barber and Guido Guidiwill follow in October.
 
These one-shots will explore more corners of the event for completest readers who just can’t get enough, while also providing a glimpse into what the future will bring for our heroes when the dust settles on the scorched planet of Cybertron at the conclusion of First Strike.
 
IDW’s Editor-in-Chief, David Hedgecock says, “This is what REVOLUTION has been building towards over the past year. It’s been an exciting first season of action in the Hasbro shared universe which laid the foundation for all-new stories and adventures, but now with FIRST STRIKE, we’re shaking things up and, once again, disrupting the status quo forever. It’s a perfect time for readers, new and old, to jump on board and join us for one raucously fun ride!”
 
The event kicks off in First Strike #0, now available as a GIVEAWAY in comic shops (ask your local retailer) and online at idwpublishing.com/first-strike. Inside you’ll discover more of what Joe Colton is plotting against the TRANSFORMERS and what our Earth’s heroes are up against! (Available while supplies last.)
 
In the back of the #0 issue, you’ll find a handy checklist for the entire event running through October, as well as a couple new #1s scheduled for November and December titled G.I. JOE: UNMASKED and ROM & THE MICRONAUTS, respectively. Keep checking the IDW site, as well as following IDW on social media, as more info about these exciting new titles becomes available!
 

INKWELL AWARD 2017 winners announced

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Announcing the 2017 Inkwell Awards Winners

From the Press Release . . . . . 

(New Bedford, MA/USA—June 19, 2017) 
The Inkwell Awards has released the names of the winners of its 10th annual awards for excellence in the art form of comic book inking. As before, nominees were chosen by a separate and independent nomination committee; this year had more nominees than ever. Voting by professionals and fans alike took place via live ballot at the non-profit advocacy’s website. One winner was chosen in each of five categories based on American-based interior comic-book work cover-dated 2016.

Separately, the Inkwells internally selected the two recipients of the annual Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award and, this year, two recipients for the Special Recognition Award (SRA) category. Winners were contacted and many of the invited guests were present to receive their trophies during North Carolina’s Heroes Con, the host show for the Inkwells, for their seventh live ceremony. Winners and nominees are listed below, along with the percentage of votes received, where applicable.
 
 
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FAVORITE INKER: Scott Hanna (21.06%)
(Action Comics, Batman, Justice League, Superman: Lois & Clark, Wonder Woman [DC]; A-Force, All-New Wolverine, Avengers: Standoff, Civil War II: The Fallen, Drax, Nova, Squadron Supreme, Uncanny Inhumans, Web Warriors, [Marvel]).
Other nominees: Sandra Hope-Archer (16.02%), Danny Miki (12.95%), Jonathan Glapion (12.53%),  Matt Banning (12.22%), Tim Townsend (11.44%), Eber Ferriera (9.15%),  Stefano Gaudiano (6.92%) and Mick Gray (5.2%)

MOST-ADAPTABLE INKER: Walden Wong (19.97%)
(Earth 2, Robin War [DC]; Jupiter's Circle v2 [Image]; All-New Wolverine, Guardians of Infinity, Max Ride, Web Warriors [Marvel]).
Other nominees: Scott Hanna (14.87%), Sandra Hope-Archer (12.43%), Jonathan Glapion (12.38%), Mark Morales (11.23), Victor Olazaba (9.57%), Norm Rapmund (9.2%), Danny Miki (8.01%), Jay Leisten (4.42%), Wayne Faucher and Dexter Vines, both at (4.06%)

PROPS (inker deserving of more attention): Scott Hanna (24.34%) (Action Comics, Batman, Justice League, Superman: Lois & Clark, Wonder Woman [DC]; A-Force, All-New Wolverine, Avengers: Standoff, Civil War II: The Fallen, Drax, Nova, Squadron Supreme, Uncanny Inhumans, Web Warriors, [Marvel]).
Other nominees: Jonathan Glapion (19.14%), Klaus Janson (18.72%), Dexter Vines (13%), Tony Kordos (12.64%), Andrew Hennessey (9.67%) and Jason Paz (6.76%)

S.P.A.M.I. (Small Press and Mainstream Independent): Jonathan Glapion (23.45%) (Reborn [Image]).
Other nominees: Stefano Gaudiano (23.09%), Karl Story (22.93%),  Brian Shearer (13.68%), Ryan Winn (12.43%) and Cliff Rathburn (6.66%)

ALL-IN-ONE (pencilling and inking together): Erik Larsen (18.46%)
(Savage Dragon [Image])
Other nominees: Nicola Scott (16.33%), Liam Sharp (16.28%), Stan Sakai (13.99%), Walter Simonson (12.95%), Jerome Opena (9.98%) and Joelle Jones (6.71%)

THE SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD (SRA): Violet Barclay, aka Valerie Smith (Golden/Silver Age) and Allen Milgrom (Bronze/Modern Age)

Other nominees (in alphabetical order): Michael Allred, Sy Barry, John Byrne, Ernie Chan, Jack Davis, Tony Dezuniga, Will Elder, Mike Esposito, Frank Frazetta, Gerhard, Geoff Isherwood, George Klein, Frank McLaughlin, Mike Mignola and Mike Royer.

THE JOE SINNOTT HALL OF FAME: Jerry Ordway and Rudy Nebres. Other nominees: Mike DeCarlo, Mark Farmer, Bob Layton, Pablo Marcos, Bob McLeod and Mike Royer.

Joe Sinnott, the award’s namesake and first recipient, made a statement regarding this year’s inductees:

“I have always been in awe of the fabulous art that Rudy Nebres does. Such detailed and beautiful ink lines are displayed on every page. I really enjoyed the outstanding work that Rudy did on The Savage Sword Of Conan. It is in my opinion some of the best illustration that I have ever seen. It is always a pleasure when we get together at shows. We always have such a good time. I only wish we could do it more often.

“Jerry Ordway, much like Rudy, is such a great artist in his own right. I greatly enjoyed his work on Superman. It is some of the finest that I've seen. I did have the pleasure of inking one of Jerry's Fantastic Four issues, #296. He was one of many artists that I was able to ink on the FF through the years, and certainly one of the best. I only wish that we could have done more than just that lone issue together.

“I am so proud that these two fine gentlemen can now join our elite group. Welcome to the Joe Sinnott Hall Of Fame Class of 2017, Rudy and Jerry. You are both well deserving, and it is great to have you on board as members.

“Also, once again, a huge thank you to The Inkwell Awards for doing such an outstanding job in promoting and educating about the art of comic book inking. And to the Inkwells' committee for electing Rudy and Jerry. To all the comic book fans, a big thank you for your continued support of The Inkwell Awards. And lastly to Bob Almond. Without Bob, none of this would be possible.”

The ceremony began with a special appearance by Guest Speaker and industry legend Joe Giella, who discussed the artform of comic-book inking, his career in the medium, and its artists. Inkwell Awards founder and director Bob Almond acted as both ceremony host and co-presenter, joined by hostess “Ms. Inkwell,” as portrayed by Hailey Skaza-Gagne (formerly Holly Black).  Artist and Inkwell Assistant Director Mike Pascale acted as co-presenter. Industry pioneer Allen Bellman acted as guest speaker to discuss his days in art school and at Timely Comics alongside SRA award recipient Violet Barclay. Joe Goulart gave a tribute for his friend, Rich Buckler, the recently departed legendary creator and Inkwell Ambassador. Almond offered a tribute for long-standing and inspiring Inkwell member Stacey Aragon, who recently passed after a decade-long battle with cancer. He renamed the SRA Award the Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award (SRA), starting in 2018. All acceptance statements from the winners can be found in the “Results” section of the Inkwell Awards' website in the near future.

The Inkwell Awards is the only existing official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to educate and promote the art form of comic-book inking, as well as annually recognize and award the best ink artists and their work. Now approaching its 10-year anniversary, the organization is overseen by a committee of industry professionals, and assisted by various professional ambassadors and contributors. They sponsor the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Kubert School and host the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award.
Web site: http://www.inkwellawards.com

New version of SAMURAI JACK comes to comics in September

 

Critically Acclaimed Team Behind “Helena Crash” Take On The Adult Swim Character in New Comic Series From IDW Publishing This September  

from the official IDW Publishing press release . . . . . .


San Diego, CA (June 20, 2017) – Jack is back! Samurai Jack, that is, and he’s making his grand return to comics, courtesy of writer Fabian Rangel Jr. (‘Namwolf) and artist Warwick Johnson Cadwell (Tank Girl). Hot off the heels of the critically acclaimed Helena Crash, the pair are re-teaming for a bold new take on the iconic samurai.
 
The story, entitled “Quantum Jack,” sees Jack like we’ve never seen him before. After getting zapped by an experimental Quantum Ray, Jack is sent hurtling into one alternate reality after another, his memories erased, but his spirit intact. Can you imagine Jack as the leader of a ruthless biker gang of bounty hunters? Thanks to the warped minds of Rangel Jr. and Cadwell, you don’t have to. They’ve done it for you! And that’s just the beginning…
 
Rangel Jr. says "I'm beyond thrilled to be working on new Samurai Jack comics. Samurai Jack is a huge influence on my storytelling, and on Helena Crash especially. I think fans of the show will dig what Warwick and I have been cooking up!"
 
Cadwell adds, “Samurai Jack has been an inspiration and constant source of encouragement for me since I first saw it, in terms of art, narrative, and just plain enjoyment. It’s fantastic to be able to work on and I hope our love for the show will come through in what Fabian and I are doing here.”
 
In addition to Cadwell’s highly stylized art giving Samurai Jack fans a different, yet familiar, spin on the character, artists Michael Avon OemingAlexis Zirritt, and Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky, will all be providing cover art for the debut issue.
 
IDW’s acclaimed history of publishing high-octane Samurai Jack comics will resume this September as a new chapter emerges from the time stream and new versions of Jack with it!
 

Crowdfunding for SUPERHERO 2044 game launches August 2017

      Web Version
     
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Checker BPG Floods The World With Superheroes 
Following the 2044 RPG


From the official Press Release - June 20, 2017

Checker Book Publishing Group has released 70 new images from a projected total of 700 images to appear in the  game.

Superhero 2044 was the first comic book themed role playing game at the dawn of the role-playing industry and the artists that Checkerbook is bringing to the table are impressive: Sean Chen, Herb Trimpe, Jamie Tyndale, Ernie Chan, Daniel Kamarudin, Bob McLeod and dozens more...

"Our goal is to upgrade the entire system and game to be the pinnacle of super hero gaming art included", said Publisher Mark Thompson. "To bring back a legend is no easy task and today’s art in every aspect of pop culture is drop dead gorgeous. We know we have to bring our A-game. We were well into production when I had to put the company on hold to take care of my family. Much of the production is already complete and it’s all way too awesome to keep to myself.”
 
Superhero 2044 will be crowdfunding production for both a role playing game and card game based on the world. The first campaign should launch in August 2017.

Contact sheets are attached while normal sized imagery will be available for viewing and dissemination on Checker BPG Social Media outlets located on Facebook, TwitterDeviant Art, Pinterest (yet to come) and Instagram (yet to come).

More information can be found here:   http://checkerbpg.com

About Checker BPG:
Checker BPG is a graphic novel publisher that published nearly one hundred graphic novels from 2001 to 2013. Checker BPG  launched titles with such high profile licenses as Star Trek, X-Files, Flash Gordon, and Clive Barker to name a few. The publisher put the company on hiatus after the death of his fiancĂ©, father, uncle, and the  cancer diagnosis and death of his sister in 2015.  
Superhero 2044 will hit fans in 2018 as both an RPG and card game.
 
 
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