Author: Bob Harrison

Z2 Producing Blondie Graphic Novel from Comic Legends Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, and John McCrea

Z2 Producing Blondie Graphic Novel from Comic Legends Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, and John McCrea

In recent years, Z2 Comics has committed to partnering with music artists in efforts to create original graphic novel productions. Today, they announced that they are working with the groundbreaking rock band Blondie to create a one-of-a-kind imaginative oral history of the band called “Against the Odds“.

The book is being written by comic book veterans Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti with art from the amazing John McRea. There are multiple covers available and the project is available now for pre-order with pricing options available to suit the casual fan to super-groupie.

This project is definitely exciting. The combination of the publisher, comic creative team, and musical subject seems like a match made in rock heaven.

The book will be distributed in the Fall of 2021. You can check out the order page here, and the full press release from Z2 comics is below.


Press Release:

BLONDIE AND Z2 COMICS PARTNER FOR ALL-NEW GRAPHIC NOVELAGAINST THE ODDS DETAILING THE EARLY YEARS OF THE NEW YORK’S MOST ENDURING ROCK & ROLL, ART AND FASHION ICONS

Blondie Announce Their Comic Book Debut in the Midst of A Huge Year for the Rock & Roll Hall Of Famers, Set to Include the EP & Film Release of Their Groundbreaking Trip to Cuba, Their First Archival Box Set, and More

‘Against the Odds’ to be Written by famed ‘Harley Quinn’ Creative Duo Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, and Available to Preorder Now

NEW YORK, NY –Legendary New York fashion and music icons Blondie announce their partnership with Z2 Comics to produce their first-ever graphic novel! Inspired by some of their most iconic tracks, along with a few “deep cuts,” this book is sure to deserve a place on the bookshelf of every music fan.

Jimmy Palmiotti says “I think it would be impossible to give Blondie and the downtown New York music scene the proper respect and visceral representation it deserves if I didn’t live through it. My life was comic books and music and there was no more exciting time in my life than when Blondie hit the music scene. Amanda and I are having a blast telling the story of the band and how they went from killing it on stage in small clubs to becoming an unstoppable worldwide sensation.”

Amanda Conner continues “When I was a growing up (and still pretty much, to this day), a few of the things I loved were music, comic book heroes, ultra-cool style, and a wicked, wild, and weird sense of humor. Blondie embodies all those things, and when I listen to their music, I can’t not dance. Or if I have to sit and work for long hours, I can’t not at least bounce and bop along in my seat. As a teenager, Debbie Harry was one of the super-heroes I wanted to grow up to be. In fact, I still wanna grow up to be her.” Continue reading “Z2 Producing Blondie Graphic Novel from Comic Legends Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, and John McCrea”

Actress Sasha Calle Will Debut As Supergirl In ‘The Flash’ Movie 

Image from Warner Bros.

The Young and the Restless Daytime Emmy nominee Sasha Calle has scored the feature role of DC Universe’s new Supergirl. The actress plays Lola Rosales on the long running Y&R soap. She is the first Latina to be cast in the role and will soon join the production of the Ezra Miller led Flash movie.

What do you think of this news? We think she is a terrific actress and are happy for her getting the opportunity. Let’s all hope the film is good and she is not wasted in it.

It’s about time we believed a girl could fly again on the big screen.

Check out Deadline for the full details.

Source: DC’s New ‘Supergirl’ Is Actress Sasha Calle; Will Debut In ‘The Flash’ Movie – Deadline

Preview Review for the Week of 2/10/2021

Preview Review for the Week of 2/10/2021

Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.

This week we have two new number ones to review for you. The first is Orcs from the Kaboom imprint of Boom! Studios, and the other is Radiant Black from Image Comics.

You can find these books at your LCS on February 10, 2021.


Orcs #1
Boom! Studios
Written by Christine Larsen
Art by Larsen
Colors by Larsen & H.E. Gregory (Flats)
Letters by Larsen
Cover Art by Larsen

Original Solicitation:

For fans of The Adventure Zone and Critical Role, meet Bog and his misfit crew of Orcs as they adventure through the Known World courtesy of acclaimed cartoonist Christine Larsen.

After being banished from their Orcish village by King Hrograhgah (it was a simple misunderstanding, involving an acorn-related prank!), Bog and his crew venture out into the world to seek their fortune, and hopefully find their way back home again.

Tag along with Bog, Zep, Pez, Utzu and Gurh as they venture through the dreaded Eerieasallhel Forest, face off against Trolls, Gnomes, squirrels and more, and follow in the footsteps of the legendary Orc hero, Drod One-Eye!

Every issue of Orcs! is oversized, featuring more than 30 story pages.

PCS Review:

This book met all of our expectations. It is a fun, fast moving romp with plenty of twists and turns. Christine Larsen uses some interesting framing techniques in storytelling to keep the reader engaged in the the affairs of the interesting characters that she has created.

The visual aspect to the narrative is well-paced and creatively laid out. The use of color to hit thematic story tones is spot on.  This book is really a visual treat.

Overall, this comic is entertaining and enjoyable, while doing a great job in building an intriguing story. We are certainly looking forward to the next issue.


Radiant Black #1
Image Comics
Written by Kyle Higgins
Art by Marcelo Costa
Letters by Becca Carey
Cover Art by Michael Cho

Original Solicitation:

For fans of INVINCIBLE and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comes a brand-new ONGOING SERIES from acclaimed writer KYLE HIGGINS and artist MARCELO COSTA that reinvents superheroes for a new generation!

Nathan Burnett has just turned thirty, and things aren’t great: He’s working (and failing) at two jobs, his credit card debt is piling up, and his only move… is moving back home with his parents. But when Nathan discovers and unlocks the ethereal, cosmic RADIANT, he’s given the power to radically change his fortunes! There’s just one problem: The powers don’t belong to him. And the COSMIC BEINGS who created them want them back… by any means necessary.

PCS Review:

This book is a great start to this series. Kyle Higgins and Marcelo Costa craft a complete “not so” secret origin to the protagonist of this book. The real world scenario that puts the main character in the place to gain super powers is a major factor in the story, and the circumstances that deliver him to that event are both timely and excellently written. There is a real sense of empathy that is developed by the reader toward Nathan.

The art in this book is wonderful. The style is the perfect mix of slightly cartoony, superhero, and indie slice of life. Costa’s art strikes the right balance for this book which has a great action sequence, that takes up the middle part of the book, and plenty of emotional story beats. The color work and background details are the spices that complete this entrée. I need to say that Becca Carey does a fantastic job lettering this book. There are some expository parts of dialogue that the story needs, and the lettering adds to the weight and emotion of the scenes.

We are excited to see what comes next. This book is definitely going on the pull list.

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in February 2021

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in February 2021

This month we give our readers a list of the exciting new comic book series debuting in February. We have compiled an alphabetical list with cover art and the official solicitation text from PREVIEWSworld. Check below for our PCS NOTES to find out what we just have to tell you about the new comics in question.

There are a bunch of great new and interesting series starting this month from AfterShock Comics, Boom! Studios, DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, IDW Publishing, Image Comics, Marvel Comics, Scout Comics, and Valiant Entertainment.

We will bring you reviews of most of these debut issues as they come out, and don’t forget to use the comments section to let us know what you think of this list.

You will find the books listed below in the order of when they are released.

Week of 2/3/21
Week of 2/10/21
Week of 2/17/21
Week of 2/24/21

 


Week of February 3rd


 

Chained To The Grave #1
IDW Publishing
Written by Andrew Eschenbach & Brian Level
Art by Kate Sherron
Cover Art by Sherron

Outlaw Roy Mason has come back from the dead, chained to the headstone that marked his grave. It’s a lawless time, a magical time, and the undead Roy soon finds himself caught between a rock and a hard place as he sets out in search of treasure. But Roy, trying to do right by the wife and children he left behind, soon finds out that everything is not always as it seems…

Writers Brian Level & Andrew Eschenbach and artist Kate Sherron bring you a tail of intrigue, murder, magic, and the good ol’ wild, wild west!

Release Date: February 3, 2021

PCS NOTES: We really like the concept behind this book. 


Deep Beyond #1
Image Comics
Written by Mirka Andolfo & David Goy
Art by Andrea Broccardo
Cover Art by Broccardo

In an underpopulated future Earth, devastated by the dire consequences of the millennium bug, the survival of mankind – and, maybe, of the planet itself – is handled by a small number of people. Talented scientists who, despite the adverse situation and the stupid feuds that continue to divide the small number of people still alive, try to understand and study what is hidden in the depths of the abyss. Something mysterious and dangerous, which could eventually cause an even worse and more destructive catastrophe!

The 100 meets LOW, with a hint of Death Stranding in the brand-new sci-fi thriller series from acclaimed creator MIRKA ANDOLFO, teaming up with writer DAVID GOY and rising-star artist ANDREA BROCCARDO and colorist BARBARA NOSENZO.

Release Date: February 3, 2021

PCS NOTES: We have read this first issue and think you will enjoy it.

Continue reading “New Number Ones: Comics Coming in February 2021”

With Further Ado #131: A Murder of Crows, An Unkindness of Ravens

With Further Ado #131: A Murder of Crows, An Unkindness of Ravens

I just learned that a bunch of crows isn’t called a flock of crows, but a murder of crows. It can also be called a congress, a muster or cauldron of crows. You’d think I’d know this, as my hometown, Auburn, is kind of overrun by crows. It was a bad problem for a while but is better now, thanks.

I am proud of this little town and the entrepreneurs in it.  Despite being overrun by murders of crows, and the largest employer being a prison, local entrepreneurs make the best of it all. For example one local start-up coffee business calls their business Crow City Roaster. And a local (award-winning) brewpub calls themselves Prison City.  Hey, if you can’t laugh at yourself, what’s the point, right?

But back to a murder of crows.  I stumbled across this factoid as I was trying to understand the title of a new comic series from BOOM! Studios: An Unkindness of Ravens. And yes, you guessed it, and unkindness is another of those cool-but-archaic words for a bunch of ravens.

This series is up to its fourth issue, and I’m enjoying it way more than I should.  An Unkindness of Ravens is about a creepy little New England Town and the creepy little secrets it harbors. The protagonist is “the new kid at school”- a  high school girl named Wilma Farrington. And of course, everything and everyone is not what they seem to be.

The most fascinating thing about the series for me isn’t the story, but the way this comic tweaks the business model of a modern-day comics series. Right now, there’s so much innovation going on that it makes the behind the scenes stories as interesting as the comics themselves. Continue reading “With Further Ado #131: A Murder of Crows, An Unkindness of Ravens”

Spotlight SquadCast Interview: Vito Delsante Has a Kickstarter You Need to See

Spotlight SquadCast Interview: Vito Delsante Has a Kickstarter You Need to See

We have another great interview to bring to you. This one is with comic writer Vito Delsante. He has a current Kickstarter campaign in progress for the long awaited graphic novel World War Mob: La Collezione Completa .

We spent some time discussing the origins of this comic project. It sounds and looks fantastic. We highly recommend backing this project.

The elevator pitch for the book is simple.

“It’s the mob from the 1930’s, they take a hit out on Benito Mussolini and I think it is pretty self explanatory from there. If I am worth any kind of salt as writer, there will be obviously nuance involved, but I will let the audience suss that out as they read it.”

The goal of the campaign is to complete and print the book that had been solicited a few years ago but never made it to print.

Artist Giancarlo Caracuzzo is utilizing a fantastic watercolor style bring a unique look to this book.

The Kickstarter campaign ends in twelve days on January 27, 2021, and this is one that you won’t want to miss. The rewards for this project are reasonably priced and as we discussed in the SquadCast, this is one of the projects that you want to see succeed because it deserves to be in the world.

Take a listen to our conversation for more about the history and content of this interesting comic project.

Of course, Vito and I discussed his creator owned book Stray that he developed with co-creator and artist Sean Izaakse. We talked about the plans for the next volume of Stray that he hope to get going this year with artist Marcelo Mueller.

For more of my feelings about Stray check out the Continued After The Next Page column that I wrote about it.

Fans of ’80s comics will enjoy the last third of the SquadCast as we dive into collecting X-Men comics, and you will find out what Chris Claremont has to do with “Luke and Laura” and “Bo and Hope”.


Here is some more art from the Kickstarter campaign.

World War Two! Five men, all members of different crime families, all US soldiers, undertake a clandestine mission ordered by the heads of the Five Families; for crimes against the Mafia, Benito Mussolini must be killed! They must overcome bad blood and family rivalries, the Nazis and the men loyal to Il Duce, and go behind the Army brass’ backs to do it for “La Cosa Nostra!


 

 

 


You can follow Vito’s work at www.incogvito.com

He is @Incognvito on Twitter and Instagram.

And for updated information on what is going on with Stray follow the Facebook page or the Kickstarter page.

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in January 2021

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in January 2021

This month we give our readers a list of the exciting new comic book series debuting in January. We have compiled an alphabetical list with cover art and the official solicitation text from PREVIEWSworld. Check below for our PCS NOTES to find out what we just have to tell you about the new comics in question.

We will bring you reviews of most of these debut issues as they come out, and don’t forget to use the comments section to let us know what you think of this list.

You will find the books listed below in the order of when they are released.

Week of 1/6/21
Week of 1/13/21
Week of 1/20/21
Week of 1/27/21

 


Week of January 6th


Eternals #1
Marvel Comics
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Esad Ribić
Cover Art by Ribić

NEVER DIE. NEVER WIN. ETERNALS. What’s the point of an eternal battle? For millions of years, one hundred Eternals have roamed the Earth, secret protectors of humanity. Without them, we’d be smears between the teeth of the demon-like Deviants. Their war has waged for all time, echoing in our myths and nightmares. But today, Eternals face something new: change. Can they—or anyone on Earth—survive their discovery? From the thought provoking minds of Kieron Gillen and Esad Ribić comes a new vision of the classic Marvel mythology!

Release Date: January 6, 2021

PCS NOTES: I have always enjoyed the Eternals storylines, and I can’t wait to see what Kieron Gillen does with it.


The Last Witch #1
Boom! Studios
Written by Conor McCreery
Art by V.V. Glass
Cover Art by Glass

It’s the one time of the year when the witch known as Cailleach hunts the children of the village – so Saoirse, a brave and reckless young girl, decides this is the perfect opportunity to defy her father and discover the secrets of the witch’s tower!

But when the Cailleach captures Saoirse and her brother Brahm, their lives are forever changed in ways they never expected.
Now, Saoirse will have to save everyone she loves by discovering the truth about the mysterious mark on her shoulder – and embracing her secret magical powers!

Release Date: January 6, 2021


Scouts Honor #1
AfterShock Comics
Written by David Pepose
Art by Luca Casalanguida
Cover Art by Andy Clarke

Years after a nuclear apocalypse, a new society has risen from the ashes…and their bible is an old Ranger Scout manual.

A young Ranger Scout named Kit has endured the harsh survivalist upbringing needed to conquer the irradiated Colorado Badlands. But after discovering a terrible secret once lost to history, Kit must risk everything on a dangerous quest to uncover the truth behind the Ranger Scouts’ doctrine.

From multiple Ringo Award-nominated writer David Pepose and artist Luca Casalanguida comes a post-apocalyptic coming-of-age tale that proves when all you know is a lie, a Scout’s Honor is the only way to move forward.

Release Date: January 6, 2021

PCS NOTES: We are big fans of writer David Pepose and have been waiting to get our hands on this book for a while.

Continue reading “New Number Ones: Comics Coming in January 2021”

Continued After the Next Page #017: Looking Back At The Good In 2020

Continued After the Next Page #017: Looking Back At The Good In 2020

Well, we made it to the end of 2020. I am sure that it didn’t turn out like any of us expected. There have been plenty of low lights, and there are too many people who have been irrevocably harmed by the local and global tragedies that happened this year. That is awful.

However, someone told me something recently that stuck with me. Despite the horrible dumpster fire that 2020 has brought, your mental health can benefit from the activity of looking at the good things that happened in this past year. So, that is what this final post of 2020 will be about.

The SquadCast

This year I finally got off my tush and started presenting the interviews that I do with comic book professionals in a podcast format. In the past, I had merely transcribed the interview, but I found that there was more interesting content in the discussions that people would enjoy that didn’t quite fit in a text post.

So, I went to Buzzsprout and created a hosting site for the Pop Culture SquadCast: Interview Edition. I learned enough of Audacity to edit the interviews and splice some sound together, and here we are.

I need to say thanks to our artistic genius Marc Allan Fishman for the logo and episode art. Also Space In Time is the band that we use for the intro and closing music. You can check there music out at Bandcamp.

And of course, thanks to the pros who to took the time to talk to me about their work.

The Books

While all of you Pop Culture Squad Members know about our digital presence here on the site and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, there is now physical printed evidence that Pop Culture Squad exists. On the back covers of two trade paperback collections, I have blurb quotes for reviews.

I cannot tell you how awesome it is to see my name on a comic book. I could not even have ever imagined that five years ago.

Both of these books are special to me. Hyperbreed from Louise Simonson and Guy Dorian is a fun YA space story from Storm King Comics. Did you notice that? My name is on a book written by THE Louise Simonson!!!!

I have been following the Love and Capes stories that Thomas Zahler creates for years, and when he told me last year that he would be coming back to that universe, I was stoked. He totally made it work, and I am grateful for his putting my review blurb on the back of the book in some seriously impressive company.

The Comics Industry Adapts and Supports Itself

This year has hit the comics industry hard. Publishers and retailers had to deal with a nearly two month shutdown of new comics distribution. But through it all, people worked hard to support each other and save the industry that relies a lot on in-person contact.

So many great new comics were made and you can check out our list of the years best here.

Fundraisers and charity auctions popped up all over the place. We detailed some of those as they occurred.

Give Comics Hope is one of the charities that we highlighted through the year and will continue to do so.

There were plenty of Kickstarter campaigns launched to find different ways to publish and create comic book content. You better believe that we covered them.

Conventions Happened… Sort of

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit America hard in March, comic conventions were scrapped as we all needed to isolate to stop the spread of the dangerously contagious disease. But plenty of talented people scrambled to turn the experience of seeing pop culture personalities and comic creators in virtual cons.

Some were better than others, and none truly replaced the experience of strolling down artists alley and chatting with creators and friends. However, they were good enough to be a decent placeholder for the time that we will be able to be vaccinated and able to go out and see each other in person.

Geek Culture TV

There was a massive amount of quality television programming that was produced and broadcast this year. There are more outlets, streaming and otherwise that are now committed to delivering high quality shows. Here is a list of some of our favorites in no particular order:

  • SCHITT’S CREEK: SEASON 6 – AMC
  • WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS: SEASON 2 – FFX
  • HARLEY QUINN: SEASON 2 – HBOMax
  • THE BOYS: SEASON 2 – Amazon Prime Video
  • THE MANDALORIAN: SEASON 2 – Disney+
  • LOVECRAFT COUNTRY: SEASON 1 – HBOMax
  • THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY: SEASON 2 – Netflix
  • STARGIRL: SEASON 1 – CW
  • I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS: SEASON 1 – Neflix
  • STAR TREK: PICARD: SEASON 1 – CBS All Access
  • KILLING EVE: SEASON 3 – BBC
  • PERRY MASON: SEASON 1 – HBOMax

And don’t forget there were some other shows like Tiger King (Netflix) and The Vow (HBO) that left us captivated, or horrified, or both.

Based on the announcements from Disney, Warner Bros, and others, it looks like this trend of high quality serialized episodic programming with continue.

Pop Culture Squad Thrived

Even before the pandemic shut down a lot of the world, we worried that this would be a slow year for PCS. However, we persevered and continued to bring you content as best you can.

If you are not a regular reader of Mike Gold‘s two columns here, you are missing witty and entertaining stories and opinion.

Ed Catto’s regular With Further Ado column finds new ways to look at comics, books, film and other cool stuff.

While we have bigger dreams for what is to come, it was a pretty good year for Pop Culture Squad and we are excited for making them happen in the next year.

Thanks for being here, and READ MORE COMICS!

YEAR IN REVIEW: Best New Comics of 2020

YEAR IN REVIEW: Best New Comics of 2020

We have made it to the end of 2020. Congratulations, it has not been an easy task. While I doubt many can say that it was a great year in general, there were some seriously good comic related things that happened.

The world has struggled with the catastrophic economic and health related consequences of pandemic not seen in a century. Despite that and a nearly two month pause in comic book distribution, the industry has survived and moved forward. When preparing for this column, I was looking for new books that came out in late spring and had forgotten that there were no new books in April and May. This year has felt like it has taken forever to get through.

In the year of almost no comic conventions, and massive layoffs and shakeups at major publishers, there managed to be some amazing comics produced. The big two delivered a couple of line wide crossover events, and the independent publishers continued to cultivate quality storytelling in a wide variety of genres.

The list you will find below is a selection of some of the best new series that I read this year. Some are limited series and some are new ongoing titles. This list is by no means exclusive of all the good comic books of the year. It is the books that I read and liked a lot.

In a normal year, I would have read more, but this year hit all of us in unexpected ways. You will find excellent story telling and art in books below. As always, we encourage you to find what you like and support it.

The list below is in alphabetical order. I added some notes to let you know why each book is on the list. Let us know what you think.


Alienated
Boom! Studios
Written by Simon Spurrier
Art by Chris Wildgoose
Colors by Andre May
Letters by Jim Campbell

Issue #1 released 2/12/20

PCS Notes: We were instantly smitten with this expertly crafted series. The technical maneuvers that were implemented to tell this cohesive story from multiple perspectives are fantastic.


Billionaire Island
Ahoy Comics
Written by Mark Russell
Art by Steve Pugh
Colors by Chris Chuckry
Letters by Rob Steen

Issue #1 Released 3/4/20

PCS Notes: Mark Russell is a master of satire in comic form, and with Steve Pugh they lampoon the capitalist economic structure of the elites with an entertaining front story. Continue reading “YEAR IN REVIEW: Best New Comics of 2020”

Preview Review for the Week of 12/16/20: Taarna: The Last Taakarian #1

Preview Review for the Week of 12/16/20: Taarna: The Last Taakarian #1

Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.

This week we have a new series by Stephanie Phillips and Patrick Zircher called Taarna: The Last Taarakian from Heavy Metal.

You can find this book at your LCS on December 16, 2020.


Taarna: The Last Taarakian #1
Heavy Metal, Inc.
Written by Stephanie Phillips
Art by Patrick Zircher
Colors by Jessica Kholinne
Letters by Marshall Dillon
Cover Art by Christian Ward

Original Solicitation:

From the death of the last Taarakian and a collapsed universe, Taarna was born. Heavy Metal’s flagship character from the animated film returns in a new series of cosmic mystery and battles throughout the multiverse in her war against Kako, the embodiment of chaos. This is the story of a millennia-old battle between godlike beings, with all sentient life caught in their path. A new life for Taarna begins from writer Stephanie Phillips, artist Patrick Zircher, with covers by Christian Ward (Invisible Kingdom).

PCS Review:

We have been looking forward to this book for quite some time. Soon after it was announced, we spoke with writer Stephanie Phillips about her excitement for the book. The initial installment of this story is visually gorgeous and evokes a lot of the somber and cinematic quality of the Heavy Metal movie that introduced the world to Taarna in 1981.  There is a scene in the last portion of the book that recreates and expands upon a classic part of the Taarna story in the movie. It is masterfully rendered.

This book is captivating in a unique way. Phillips tells the story in mostly from a mostly observational perspective which feels natural considering that the character did not speak in the movie. However, a strong emotional connection is formed to this stoic figure through her actions. The deliberate pacing is perfectly executed. The quiet moments match excellently with the action sequences. Continue reading “Preview Review for the Week of 12/16/20: Taarna: The Last Taakarian #1”