With Further Ado Extra: The Ebullient Artistic Audacity of Neal Adams

With Further Ado Extra: The Ebullient Artistic Audacity of Neal Adams

Cover by cover, page by page, convention by convention – every interaction with Neal Adams was like having him pulling up in a convertible in front of your house, laying on the horn and saying, “Come on! Get in! It will be fun!”  And we’d eagerly get in the car every damn time.

When someone is larger than life, it’s hard to come to terms with their passing.  Neal saw the world as some grand Arthurian Epic.  And through his phenomenal artistic talent, charismatic personality, and warm smile, he helped us to see the world that way too.

He had a big heart and big visions – and to me he was also always welcoming and supportive.  I was a fanboy first and foremost, but became a friend and collaborator too.  I was his so-called ‘art director’ on two projects: one for NYCC and another for a variant Batman cover.  What a laugh to think I was an ‘art director’ to Neal! I was just along for the ride. No one can art direct a wild tornado or a breathtakingly memorable sunset. They happen with a grand design all of their own. Continue reading “With Further Ado Extra: The Ebullient Artistic Audacity of Neal Adams”

New Number Ones: New Comics Series Coming in May 2022

New Number Ones: New Comics Series Coming in May 2022

Welcome to May! We have compiled an alphabetical list with cover art and the official solicitation text from the publishers of some of the cool new comics that are coming out this month. Check below for our PCS NOTES to find out what we just have to tell you about the new comics in question.

This month we spotlight books from the usual suspects: DC Comics, Marvel Comics, AfterShock Comics, Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Boom! Studios, IDW Publishing, Valiant Entertainment, Vault Comics, Comixology, Milestone Studios, Dark Horse Comics, and Archie Comics.

This month is front loaded with new comics. And you will find some special out of the ordinary books on the list below if you look closely enough.

We will bring you reviews 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 5/4/22
Week of 5/11/22
Week of 5/18/22
Week of 5/25/22


Week of May 4


Archer & Armstrong Forever #1
Valiant Entertainment
Written by Steve Foxe
Art by Marcio Fiorito
Cover Art by Bernard Chang

When Armstrong seemingly loses his immortality, Archer refuses to let his best buddy go gentle into that good night. But when you live for millennia, you rack up plenty of enemies who’ll be thrilled to find out you’re no longer indestructible. Archer & Armstrong’s globetrotting quest for (more) immortality begins here!

Release Date: May 4, 2022

PCS NOTES: We are certainly interested in the latest foray into this buddy series, and Steve Foxe has been cranking out a bunch of good books lately.


Avatar: Adapt or Die #1
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Corinna Bechko
Art by Beni Lobel & Wes Dzioba
Cover Art by Mark Molchan

Decades into the advent of the Avatar program on Pandora, pressure to bridge the divide between human and Na’vi has hit a peak. As an ally of the Omatikaya clan, Dr. Grace Augustine begins negotiations to open a school for Na’vi children, but her plans for peace, hope, and unity could trigger an unprecedented disaster—one afflicting the most vulnerable and protected of Na’vi.

Untold story starring popular Avatar heroine Grace Augustine!

Release Date: May 4, 2022

PCS NOTES: As the “Avatar 2” movie has been in the news lately, it seems like fortuitous timing for this new release.


Dogs of London #1
AfterShock Comics
Written by Peter Milligan
Art by Artecida
Cover Art by Andy Clarke

How deep must you bury a body to make sure it doesn’t haunt you?

Frank and Terry are about to find out. They were once members of The Dogs, a feared gang who ruled much of London’s underworld back in the swinging 60s. They thought they’d escaped their troubled pasts, but the past isn’t dead – it’s just bashed about a bit and very pissed off. Spanning different times and classes, DOGS OF LONDON is a brutal, bloody tale of violence, love, revenge…and sleeping dogs who refuse to roll over and play dead.

Written by Peter Milligan and brought to bloody life by Artecida, the Dogs have awoken, and they seek more than mere revenge

Release Date: May 4, 2022

PCS NOTES: If you have ever read anything from Peter Milligan, it is impossible to read this above solicitation and not be excited for this book.  Continue reading “New Number Ones: New Comics Series Coming in May 2022”

R.I.P. Comics Legend Neal Adams 1941 – 2022

R.I.P. Comics Legend Neal Adams 1941 – 2022

Photo by Gage Skidmore at 2019 Phoenix Fan Fusion

The comic book industry has lost another giant. Neal Adams passed away yesterday on April 28. 2022. He was 80 years old and passed after complications from sepsis. Adams’s work as a penciller and storyteller left a massive impact on the medium, and his efforts in creator rights advocacy led to policies that have benefited untold numbers of creators that followed him.

Adams worked in commercial advertising art at the beginning of his career and also worked for Archie Comics in the early 1960’s. He later worked for both Marvel and DC Comics, but his work on Batman and Green Lantern / Green Arrow in the 1970’s is where he began to leave his lasting legacy. The work he did with Denny O’Neil on those books was transformative in comic book storytelling. He also published creator-owned independent works with Pacific Comics and Continuity Comics among others.

He was also an activist for creator rights and is credited with helping to push for the credit for creating Superman that Jerry Seigel and Joe Shuster were long denied. The practice of returning original art to creators is another innovation that he fought for along with various attempts to create creative community collective bargaining units. In his later years, he lent his art to several projects intended to highlight resistance to Nazi aggression during the Holocaust.

Neal Adams was a legend in his time. He was inducted into every Hall of Fame in the comics industry that you can think of and was responsible for helping to nurture the career of young creators. His legacy is immeasurable, and he will be missed.

With Further Ado #195: Whew! A live convention, and it was fantastic!

With Further Ado #195: Whew! A live convention, and it was fantastic!

Whew!  Last week I pulled back the curtain as we were in the throes of planning for ITHACON. It was the first year we’d be back live, after the pandemic restrictions, and there was a lot of anxiety in the air.

And as you might recall, ITHACON is a unique show: Bill Turner, the founder, is still very much involved, but I have the privilege of teaching an Ithaca College course about tradeshows and conventions, and as a part of that class, the students promote, plan, and manage ITHACON.  Having worked for Reed Elsevier, I set the bar really high too.

But you know what? It all worked out. The show was a huge success.

I’ll rely on the photos to tell the tale this week, but I still want to fire away with five random thoughts (If I was trying to impress you, I’d label them as “Five Insights”) about ITHACON 2022.

1. People like people – and they are excited to gather together. There were a lot of happy smiles all around and just about everyone: the attendees, the guests, the dealers/exhibitors, the cosplayers, the students (they did all the work), the volunteers, the Comic Book Club of Ithaca (and even the facilities staff) reported they had a great time.

2. ITHACON attracted the people who wanted to be there. Attendance was down from when we were last in person, but that was expected. And you know what? We didn’t want it too crowded anyways. This resulted in quick lines and opportunities for fans wander about and to discover new things.  The dealers were happy too; many of them told us tales about how ITHACON 45 was their best show in a while/ever!

Continue reading “With Further Ado #195: Whew! A live convention, and it was fantastic!”

Preview Reviews for the Week of 4/27/22: Blood Stained Teeth #1, RetroActive, and Season of the Bruja #2

Preview Reviews for the Week of 4/27/22: Blood Stained Teeth #1, RetroActive, and Season of the Bruja #2

Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.

This week we have three books to review for you. The first is Blood Stained Teeth #1 from Image Comics. The next is RetroActive, an original graphic novel from Humanoids, Inc., and the last is Season of the Bruja #2 from Oni Press.

You can find these books at your LCS or wherever you buy books on April 27, 2022.


Blood Stained Teeth #1
Image Comics
Written by Christian Ward
Art by Patric Reynolds
Colors by Heather Moore
Letters by Hassan Ostmane-Elhaou
Cover Art by Ward

Original Solicitation:

CHRISTIAN WARD, the Eisner Award-winning co-creator of ODY-C, Invisible Kingdom, and Machine Gun Wizards, returns to Image with red-hot artist PATRIC REYNOLDS for an all-new ONGOING SERIES—a fast-paced 100 Bullets-style crime saga with fangs!

Atticus Sloane—misanthrope, criminal, asshole, and vampire—lives in a world where blood isn’t the only thing vamps crave. And for the right price, he’ll make you a vampire too. After all, immortality isn’t cheap.

PCS Review:

This is probably the new series debut with the most buzz this month. Everyone who has seen an early copy of it has high praise, and we are among that group of everyone. This vampire story has a very “crime noir” feel to it. The premise for the conflict is interesting, and the set-up builds like a walk through a dark fun house with more dread around every corner. This book is surprisingly compelling because there is really not a likeable character in the book, but we are hooked nonetheless.

The art team of Patric Reynolds and Heather Moore crafted a stunning visual display in this book. It is really difficult to find the words to describe the beautiful images that grace every page of the comic. Reynolds choice of close up and panned out shots for each panel depending on the flow of the story is brilliant. Heather Moore’s color work in this comic is inspired. From garish reds to radioactive yellows, every stroke is gorgeous. As usual Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou’s lettering work is invaluable to the flow and cohesion of this story.

This book has exceeded expectations, and they were high going in. Everyone involved should be proud of what they have created, despite the nightmares that it will fuel.


RetroActive
Humanoids, Inc.
Written by Ibrahim Moustafa
Art by Moustafa
Colors by Brad Simpson
Letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover Art by Moustafa

Original Solicitation:

Temporal agent Tarik Abdelnasser is trapped in a time loop, living and dying over and over again.

The discovery of time travel is unknown to the general public, but a new Cold War rages between global intelligence agencies as they attempt to alter historical events in favor of their respective futures. When new intel points the U.S. Bureau of Temporal Affairs (BTA) toward a hostile anomaly in the past, veteran field agent Tarik Abdelnasser and his new partner, Lucia Olmos, are dispatched to investigate. They discover a radical adversary wielding a new technology that could unravel everything the BTA fights to maintain. Continue reading “Preview Reviews for the Week of 4/27/22: Blood Stained Teeth #1, RetroActive, and Season of the Bruja #2”

Ringo Awards Nominations Are Now Open

Ringo Awards Nominations Are Now Open

It’s time to vote again. The Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards nomination ballots are available to be submitted. This is the time to vote for the books that you loved most last year and reward the creators for their amazing work.

The Ringo awards are special in the industry because the nomination process considers input from both fans and professionals to make up the final ballot which is voted on by a selected rotating appointed jury. The categories highlight all aspects of the comic book industry including some special “fan favorite” categories.

The Ringo Awards are held during the Baltimore Comic-Con every year. This year the award ceremony will be on Saturday, October 29, 2022  Marc Nathan, the promoter of Baltimore Comic-Con said, “Words cannot express how great it was to be back in person for the Ringo Awards in 2021. Seeing so many of our friends and fans again and celebrating together was simply amazing. Everyone had a great time, the energy in the room was high, and we can’t wait to do it all again in 2022, so please make sure you (and your friends, and your friends’ friends!) submit your ballots — looking forward to another great slate for the final ballot!”

The open nomination season is open from April 15, 2022 until July 30, 2022. Eligible works and creators are based on print and web publications for the 2021 calendar year.

The categories that are available for nomination by fans and working professionals are: Continue reading “Ringo Awards Nominations Are Now Open”

Crowdfunded Ukraine Benefit Comic Anthology Is Available on Zoop

Crowdfunded Ukraine Benefit Comic Anthology Is Available on Zoop

In true comics community fashion, comics creators have come together to give of their talent to raise much needed money for a worthy cause.  The war in Ukraine has cost too many lives and threatens peace in Europe. A STAR STUDDED comic collection has been organized to raise money for Operation USA, and the stars don’t get much brighter than these. The project called Comics for Ukraine: Sunflower Seeds has exceeded it starting funding target and looks to be on pace for astronomic numbers.

If the idea of new content for properties like American Flagg, Chew, Star Slammers, Scary Godmother, Astro City, Groo, and Grendel has you excited, just imagine them all in the same book with a cover by Alex Ross, Arthur Adams, Dave Johnson, or Bill Sienkiewicz. This is a project not to be missed.

The campaign is being run on Zoop.gg. Zoop is an alternative to Kickstarter and has different funding mechanisms. This program allows for customized pre-ordering of products and has been steadily growing in popularity among creators.

This cause is undoubtedly worthy of support, and if you want to get your hands on some truly amazing comic stories, definitely consider supporting this benefit anthology. After two days, the project has already almost doubled it initial goal of $35,000. Below are the intro video by the campaign founders and the press release discussing the progress of the project:

 

 

COMICS FOR UKRAINE: SUNFLOWER SEEDS BENEFIT ANTHOLOGY SURPASSES INITIAL FUNDING GOAL IN TWELVE HOURS

Continue reading “Crowdfunded Ukraine Benefit Comic Anthology Is Available on Zoop”

With Further Ado #193: Convention Planning in the Age of Uncertainty

With Further Ado #193: Convention Planning in the Age of Uncertainty

Planning for a comic convention in 2022 sure is weird!

As Covid drags on, everything seems to be affected as we all, as a society, struggle to shift back to normal. Or to redefine what normal means.  And when you add in the anxiety of world events, the in-your-face impact of inflation (rising gas prices) and a rainy spring season- there’s a lot more to planning an event than there used to be!

But this Saturday and Sunday, April 23 and 24th, we’ll be hosting ITHACON 45.  The nation’s second longest running comic convention, right after San Diego Comic-Con (CCI), will be back in-person and live. This show’s founder, Bill Turner is still VERY active in all aspects of the show, and I have the honor of teaching a class at Ithaca College’s School of Business where we teach students about conventions, trade shows and live events, and then provide them the “hand’s on” opportunity to help promote, manage, and run a real show – ITHACON. Continue reading “With Further Ado #193: Convention Planning in the Age of Uncertainty”

What Did You Miss Most About Not Having Comic Cons?

What Did You Miss Most About Not Having Comic Cons?

Now that we have a full slate of convention season set for 2022, we polled some of the creators who made it out to Fan Expo Philadelphia about how they are feeling. The question being asked of each participant was, “What did you find that you missed the most about being at conventions during the time that we didn’t have the opportunity to attend these events?”

The people that we spoke to were in general excited and happy to be at the show, and that includes creator guests, vendors, and paying customers. The answer to the poll question typically fell into one of two basic categories.

The Fans

Yeah. People. This community is built around comic shops and comic cons.

Mike Hawthorne

The first sentiment involved missing the fan interaction that they enjoy at shows. Missing the chance to talk to fans and checking out the cool costumes that people wear to cosplay at the shows were two themes that were part of those answers.

The feedback that fans give creators is a significant plus for the pros who are working the shows. Often the solitude of creating comic books on their own, takes an emotional toll, and interacting with consumers of their product puts the amount of creative time spent on their craft in perspective.

Chris Campana – Artist

I missed interactions with the people. I know that I wouldn’t be able to do this gig, full-time, without the relationships I made with the people at the show. That’s everything. They sustained me through the pandemic. They supported me even though they were struggling themselves. So, I missed most the give and take at the table, whether people buy something or not. That was the biggest thing. Just seeing everyone.

Kami Garcia – Writer

So, I think what I miss most is actually meeting the readers and the fans in person. It’s totally different. Even when you’re on either a virtual event or you’re interacting with people on Twitter and Instagram, it’s not the same. I love seeing like meeting the readers and hearing the stories about why they love the comics, or which book they got hooked on. Also, I like seeing my creator friends in person.

Stephanie Phillips – Writer

Continue reading “What Did You Miss Most About Not Having Comic Cons?”

With Further Ado #193: Book Review – The Set-Up

With Further Ado #193: Book Review – The Set-Up

If you like boxing and old film noirs, you might know the movie The Set-Up. Directed by Robert Wise, it’s an impactful film about struggle, grittiness and aging all wrapped up in the knowledge you are just “one punch away from being the champion.”

This book isn’t exactly like that.

As it turns out, the story’s original writer hated the film version. Author Joseph Moncure March was a New Yorker born into wealth. He worked hard to understand, and write about, the “real” world and the common man. He is best known for his earlier work, The Wild Party. This story, first published in 1928, is told as a long poem. It is about a black fighter’s battles in and out of the ring.

The author described it as “the story of a Negro fighter who has already been defeated by race prejudice, but doesn’t know how to stop fighting.”

Korero Press, the UK publishing house that is always stretching to try creative new projects, has just published a new version of The Set-Up. It’s a cross between a graphic novel and a heavily illustrated epic poem. It has the feel of a lost treasure one would find on a back shelf of some forgotten bookstore. And yet, somehow it seems crisp and new.

The art is a big part of the experience. Erik Kriek is a powerful modern-day illustrator. He’s based in Amsterdam, and maybe that’s why I’m not familiar with his work.  He has illustrated graphic novels (including In the Pines and Creek County) as well as children’s books. Continue reading “With Further Ado #193: Book Review – The Set-Up”