Tag Archives: Baz

Comic Rack: Avengers Lineup Grows, Marvel NOW Teasers Baffle Me, & Superman’s H’el on Earth

Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…

DC New 52 Resets All First Appearances

For a while now, fans have been asking DC just exactly what the new timeline in the NewDCu is, and how it’ll directly unfold. This month, a bevy of “Zero” issues came out, all meant to explain, or give origins to the current DC lineup. Included in these issues is a series of “Who’s Who” listings, giving out character information, backstories, and of course, listing their first appearances. Way back when, for Superman, this would have said Action Comics #1, it now lists Justice League #1 (2011).

via [The Source]

[This] marks the release of the first week of DC Comics’ #0 issues. Each of these special issues is filled with everything from secrets to revelations to origin stories. These will both explain what happened before the launch of DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 last summer, as well as plant seeds for future story arcs!

If you’ve already picked up your #0 issues today, you’ve probably noticed that in the back of each book (and now online!) is a Who’s Who entry on a major character in DC COMICS-THE NEW 52. These pages share information such as each character’s first appearance, base of operations, powers, history, and other appearances. Below, check out the list of which character is being spotlighted on each of this week’s releases and be sure to click on their names to read up on who they are!

via [Newsarama]

DC Comics has a new take on their classic “Who’s Who” listings, giving basic details on their characters, teams and concepts. Power Sets, basic origin stories, current affiliations and recent appearances are all included, as they were in the old “Who’s Who” sets. For example, Superman’s entry in Action Comics #0 looks like this:

First Appearance:

Justice League #1 (2011)

Base of Operations:

Metropolis

Powers:

Under a yellow sun Superman is extraordinarily strong in addition to being nearly invulnerable. He can run and fly at incredible speeds and possesses other abilities such as super-hearing, heat vision, x-ray vision, and much more!

Other Appearances:

Batman: The Dark Knight #5-7

Swamp Thing #1

Supergirl #1-3

O.M.A.C. #7

History:

As the planet Krypton exploded and a civilization died, baby Kal-El was rocketed to safety by his parents…

Well, at least they’re committed to going whole hog, and saying that yep, they’re all brand new, and their first appearances were in the books we labeled as #1. Deal with it. I know there’s probably still some old DC fans out there who are hurt, or feel betrayed, or just plain don’t like the New 52. Frankly, I think they ought just get used to it, or keep reading their old stuff. Clearly the New 52 is here to stay, and we just have to hope that everything can be as interesting and cool as Animal Man, Swamp Thing, or Batman.

New Avengers Lineup Grows In Numbers!

Marvel NOW! expands the roster of the Avengers, as lead scribe Jonathan Hickman teases Marvel fans with the full list of Avengers. When will they assemble? WHEN?

via [Newsarama]

Three interlocking covers for Avengers #1-#3 show all six of the movie Avengers — Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye — plus Brian Michael Bendis-era additions Spider-Man, Wolverine and Spider-Woman; along with frequent team members Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) and Falcon.

New to the squad is Cannonball of the New Mutants, along with two unconfirmed characters: One that looks Human Torch-esque (Johnny Storm? Jim Hammond? Or perhaps a slightly tweaked look for Cannonball’s New Mutant buddy Sunspot? [This has since been confirmed]) and a shadowed figure between Captain America and Captain Marvel likely intended to remain a mystery for now (though feel free to speculate — the chest symbols bring to mind Ikaris of the Eternals, maybe?)

In a July interview with Newsarama, Avengers editor Tom Brevoort said that by issue #12 of the relaunched Avengers, the team has an “an active roster of about 18,” indicating that there are around four more members to come not seen in this image. Upon the original announcement of Marvel NOW! two months ago, Entertainment Weekly reported that Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu, would be on the team.

Dustin Weaver, who is scheduled to draw an upcoming Avengers arc, illustrated all three covers. Current Fantastic Four and FF writer Jonathan Hickman is launching the new twice-monthly Avengers series in December, and New Avengers with artist Steve Epting in January.

Update: Jonathan Hickman has commented on the covers on Twitter, writing, “Image released today is not the complete roster, we intentionally left off new characters for spoiler reasons.” and “And the roster starts at 18, grows to more.” In later tweets, he disclosed that there are eight more members still to come.

I love Jonathan Hickman. He’s an amazing writer, and one of my favorites of all time. I think his work elevates the medium to heights it’s never been, and captures ideas, concepts and thoughts that utterly fascinate and baffle me in turn. So I’m very conflicted on his tenure at Marvel, because he IS writing great Superhero stories, man, I’d rather he work on his independent, original work. In my opinion it’s more important, in every sense. That’s not to say that his Marvel work isn’t important, I just really REALLY like his original work, and crave it day and night like heroin. Yummy heroin.

Marvel Releases A Series Of New Marvel NOW! Related Teasers

To promote new books, sometimes they’ll pop a teaser ad in the middle of a book that’s popular. It’s a quick way to get people talking and speculating, and it generally creates a buzz for the project, and what it could be. Go on and click each one of the teasers for links back to Newsarama, where people much more knowledgeable than I, give far better analysis and guesses as to their meaning.

Teasers via [Newsarama]

Holy crap there’s a writer whose pen name is HOPELESS? I don’t know if that’s foreboding, ominous, or just badass. Probably all three. Who do I think this teaser is for? I’ve no clue actually. I’ll take a guess and say… Ant-Man? Yep. Ant-Man. Ahem.

People think this one is Deadpool, from the red crosshairs, and they’d have a solid point. An astute reader connect Lightning>Thunder, and come up with Thunderbolts. Who may be persecuted, and thusly have a target on their heads? Since they’re villains? Maybe Deadpool is gonna fight them? In a cage? On fire? During a storm? Brb, writing awesome superhero cage match fanfic.

These two are allegedly linked to the same project, so they’re going together. On my gut instinct alone, this makes me think Punisher. I know folks think that the Lightning one is for Punisher [EDITORS NOTE: My thoughts are of the Thunderbolts for this one], but the words WANTED and KILLER(s) make me think of ol’ Frank. The only thing throwing me off is the plural of KILLERS, so chances are I’m probably wrong.

So while all of my speculation is probably wrong, I’m allowed to dammit. You should go check out each teaser’s article over at Newsarama, if you’re putting money down on this sort of thing. Also, go see someone for your gambling problem.

Geoff Johns Talks About New Arab-American Green Lantern’s Creation.

Considering today is a very important day, I found this interview enlightening and relevant. I think the choice made here to portray an Arab-American by Geoff Johns is gutsy, but bold. It’s also notable that we get just a quick snippet of background history for Baz, who so far we know very little about.

via [SpeakEasy]

Did 9/11 inspire you to introduce a Arab-Muslim character, considering that it plays an important part of Simon Baz’ life?

When we re-launched our universe last year, diversity was a very important of the thinking when introducing characters. When I thought of the story, I had to introduce a new character into the “Green Latern” Corps. There was a lot of thought about his background, and that’s when I came up with the Arab-American “Green Lantern.”

What parts of your own life did you use when creating Baz?

My father is Lebanese so I have some of the cultural experience. I also worked with the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn on the script to make sure it had the authenticity of an Arab-American.

An Arab protagonist seems timely since there is this swirl of social issues that Muslims in post 9/11 America have to deal with.

True. As fantastic as the concept of “Green Lantern” is of an intergalactic police force, the comic has had a history of grounding in the now and dealing with modern characters and concepts and Simon Baz is that. I wanted to create a character that everyday Americans have to deal with.

When 9/11 hit, he was 10-years-old. His family was devastated, just like every other American. He’s grown up in that world. It’s just part of the daily life, the new normal.

The fact that the color green has a historical connection with Islam is probably coincidental but will religion play any part in future stories?

The background is in the DNA of who he is but it doesn’t define who he is. It’s more about a compelling character than anything else.

Geoff Johns is a writer you either love or hate. I’ve heard plenty of hate for him from friends, in real life and on the internet. Fortunately, I love him, and his work. I think he makes great, fun to read, yet not retardedly simple popcorn comics. He’s exactly the kind of guy I think should be working on superhero titles, rather than the Hickman’s of the world. This character he’s created, is a potentially risky step in a good direction, and follows through with the theme of diversity that DC execs touted at the beginning of the reboot of the DCU. I look forward to seeing the new stories with Baz, and hope his lineage, faith, and back story are written respectfully and tastefully by Johns, and any other who will be handling this character. It’s a great opportunity to reach out to the large muslim comics audience that’s out there, who I’m sure are craving some representation on the page.

New Writer For Superman, Introduces New Kryptonian Villain!

Even if it was hell for George Perez, his run on Superman was pretty goddamned boring. So boring, I stopped reading it. Being a big fan of Supes, I’ve been looking for a good point to jump back in, and start reading good Superman stories again. Hearing about a new Kryptonian villain, definitely sounds like the main foundation for the building blocks of a great Superman story.

via [Newsarama]

 Lobdell — already one of the most prolific writers at DC — will take over the Superman title, launching the second year of the iconic hero’s New 52 story with a new villainous threat.

Working with Kenneth Rocafort on art, Lobdell will start his run with this month’s Superman #0, then will take the title into November’s “H’el on Earth” event with Supergirl andSuperboy. The three “Super” characters will deal with a new Kryptonian supervillain named H’el, which Lobdell is introducing.

They then go on to conduct a LONG interview with Lobdell, who goes into detail about his plans, Superman, and what’s coming in store for him come issue #14, with the introduction of H’el. Here’s a choice snippet from the interview:

“Nrama: The “H’el on Earth” storyline that we’re seeing in the Super-books in November features what appears to be a new villain, but he’s got a Bizarro look about him. Is H’el a new take on Bizarro, or something new that you guys created for this story?

Lobdell: In my effort to re-imagine Superman’s villains, I went so far afield in re-imagining Bizarro with Kenneth, that editorial started saying “Um, Scott — this character is so not-Bizarro any more; he’s a whole new character, with new motivation, new history, new look, new origin.  You’re at the point where it doesn’t make any sense to call him Bizarro any more.”

And they were right.  

And for everyone who wonders about the “S” on his chest? It is so far removed from Bizarro or Prime or anyone else that you can relax: By the time this story is over, you’ll see that H’el and Bizarro can exist in the same world.”

You should go and read the whole thing over at Newsarama, because it’s fascinating, and worth the read.

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Comic Rack: New JLA, A New Green Lantern, & Jack Kirby’s Birthday!

Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…

A New Justice League In 2013!

Jim Lee and Geoff Johns have been hitting it off pretty hard with the New 52’s Justice League, a book that’s been breaking sales records in an industry that people thought was growing stagnant. Now with a book that’s selling well and a movie that’s in the works, it’s clear that the Justice League is back to the forefront of fans’ interest. Accordingly, Geoff Johns, DC”s head maestro, is looking to re-debut the more traditionally named Justice League Of America, next year.

Via [GEEK]

“This is a very different kind of team book,” says Geoff Johns in a DC blog post. “On first glance, people might think the heroes of the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA stand in the shadows of Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the JUSTICE LEAGUE, but [they] thrive in the shadows. They’re underdogs who have everything to prove and something to lose. They’re a team of unlikely heroes who will help one another discover they’re as A-List as anybody — yes, even Vibe. Though getting there won’t be easy. Why they’re formed, why each member joins, what they’re after and who the society of villains is they’re trying to take apart will all be clear in the first issue when it hits early 2013. David and I are really focused on delving deep into what it’s like to not be a member of the big seven and why, sometimes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”

The roster of heroes to be joining will be Green Arrow, Katana, Martian Manhunter, The New Green Lantern (Baz I presume), Star Girl, Vibe, Hawkman, and Catwoman. Which really does sound like an… eclectic team to say the least. But if there’s one thing that Geoff Johns is good at, it’s making lesser, forgotten, or wayside characters shine and pop like they’re brand new again. Case in point being Aquaman, which is one of my favorite DC books right now, and that in and of itself is a sentence I never thought I’d type. So I’m looking forward to the new JLA, since at the very least, it’ll be interesting to see Green Arrow try to hit on Catwoman.

Invincible’s Spin-Off Finally Looming Into Becoming A Reality.

For a while in 2010, Invincible was probably the best superhero book on the shelves. Not that it’s gotten bad or anything, just the opposite, but back then the Viltrumite War was happening, and that story arc was really kind of the climax of the entire story that Invincible had been building up to. Now it’s rebuilding it’s world, and it’s heroes to that effect, and in doing so, is expanding it’s actual line up by bringing back the Guardians Of The Globe, who fans of the book will remember as the Justice League analogue in the book. A few months ago,the book’s writer, Phil Hester, spoke about the book, and where it falls into place regarding the Invincible Timeline:

Via [Newsarama]

“The Invincible Universe has outgrown its parent title and I’m very excited about being able to tell larger, more in depth stories with some of the key players from that book in this series,” said GUARDING THE GLOBE creator/writer Robert Kirkman, “Phil Hester and Todd Nauck are well known to fans of superhero comics and I think people are fully aware that they’re going to knock this book out of the park.”

I’m interested to see where he takes the heroes we’ve come to know and care about in the Invincible/Image universe, and the idea of seeing Brit back in action sounds pretty great. Best of all, you can even check a 6-Page preview of the book right here.(link)

The New Green Lantern, Baz, Is Arab-American.

I know, for some of you, this shouldn’t mean anything, and good on you for thinking it doesn’t, because it shouldn’t. However, it unfortunately does, and a small section of xenophobic comics fans, whether they want to admit it or not, will have a problem with this.

via [Newsarama]

 “The confirmation comes from an unlikely yet reliable source:  Green Lantern writer and DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns is appearing on Sept. 8 at the Arab American National Museum in Detroit to mark the hero’s debut, according to a story in the Detroit Free Press.

The article, which called the hero the “first Arab-American Green Lantern,” is also the first DC confirmation of the character’s name — ‘Baz’.”

Believe me, I want to say that this kind of story should be no big deal, but the fact is that some people will make it out to be. A similar thing happened a long time ago when they had Nightrunner back in 2011 for Batman Inc. Nightrunner was a Muslim character who lived in France, of all places, who was taking up the mantle of Batman there. Unfortunately, the mere fact he was Muslim led people to thinking he was “Terrorist Batman”, (which is literally what Mark Millar does, but that’s neither here nor there), and people judging the character before even reading anything or knowing anything about him, and that’s without that character even BEING Arab or anything. Hopefully, I’m over-speculating, and it’ll be no big deal at all, but I do have to give kudos to Geoff Johns for trying to expand the idea of an establishing the idea that a superhero doesn’t need to be a white person, and having a representation in the book there for the plenty of Arab-American comics fans.

Wait, what? Why are they beating him up? Oh Man…

Uncanny Avengers Spearheads The Lineup of Marvel Now, Marvel Insists It’s Not A Reboot.

Fans of Marvel will have a lot to look forward to in the coming months, as we’ve previously detailed here at GB. But what’s interesting is the basic idea of trying to unite the two different sides of Marvel fandom. One being the Avengers/Marvel U fans, and the other being the longtime X-Men fans. This summer’s big event AvX was an attempt to start this, and really has kicked things off for them to cancel, revamp, and re-begin (I’m trying to avoid the word “re-boot”) certain main titles in the effort to make all X-Men fans, Marvel fans, and vice versa.

via [CBR]

“It’s a team of characters comprised of characters coming both from the Marvel heroes, Avengers side of the fence and characters from the X-Men side of the fence,” said Brevoort. “It’s our cats and dogs in the same pen book.”

Alonso added that part of the major appeal of “AvX” is that it spans the entire Marvel Universe as opposed to just the Avengers, Spider-Man or the X-Men segments — something he hopes will continue with “Uncanny Avengers.” “With ‘Uncanny Avengers,’ you’re going to see a book that’s going to be relevant to both types of fans: the fans who gravitate towards the Avengers and the larger Marvel Universe and fans who are all about the X-Men.”

That’s just one of the main focal points that they’re trying to get across to their fan base, but along with that is their plans to with Marvel NOW! Point One, which is a collection of stories by big name Marvel Creators such as Brian Michael Bendis, Steve McNiven, Jeph Loeb, Ed McGuiness, Nick Spencer, Matt Fraction and more.

“Marvel NOW! Point One’ is sort of the kickoff of our entry into Marvel NOW! and also gives a new setup and little taste,” said Brevoort. “Completely all-new stories that are not the first eight pages of the individual books that are involved of a number of new titles that are coming out in the context of a full story. All — I think it’s 50 pages of this thing — are new content by the biggest creators.”

There’s a ton more in the article where they even mention the New 52, and it’s switching of creative teams early on, as an example of what they will NOT be doing. Along with that, there’s the brief mention of digital content codes being included in books priced at $3.99, and a few other tidbits that are all very enlightening about the longterm goals of this re…launch. Ahem. Anyhow, make sure you go back to CBR and read the whole thing, because there are loads more interesting anecdotes from the Marvel VP of Sales and Marvel’s Editors on the whole shebang.

In Case You Didn’t Know Or Forgot, This Week Was Jack Kirby’s Birthday!

August 28th was the day, and if the man was still alive today it would have been his 95th birthday. If for some sick reason you don’t know, Jack Kirby is the one who many believe to be TRULY responsible for the myriad Marvel characters you enjoy, and that the credit is unfairly balanced towards Stan Lee in his stead. Personally, I’ve always loved both, but it is pretty prevalent that Kirby, outside of the comics world, has never gotten the recognition for his work that Lee has. Regardless, Kirby has contributed to the comics landscape with unforgettable, imaginative characters and worlds that are timelessly evocative and creative. He was the guy who brought us Captain America, many of the X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Hulk, Thor, Darkseid, The Fourth World, The Anti-Life Equation, The New Gods, and so many others that we love.

I’m not hating on Stan Lee, but there’s a reason he’s Stan “The Man”, and Kirby is “The King”.

Comic Rack: New DCu Unites Animal Man & Swamp Thing, New Green Lantern’s Name, & Jonathan Luna’s Solo Project!

Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order.

New DCu Event Unites Animal Man & Swamp Thing

In case you didn’t know, Animal Man and Swamp Thing are two of the best new books out in the New 52. Arguably, for a while at the beginning, Animal Man was by far the best, but things have certainly balanced out a bit by now. As it would progress however, both Swamp Thing and Animal Man began to slowly seed connections to each other, and the new DCu as a whole, by mentioning the vaguely defined threat of The Rot. As the books continued, we found out more about The Rot, its counterpart The Red and The Green, and the very important impact they’d have on the status quo of the DCu. Now that both books have taken time to explore those respective places/ideas, its culminating in an event that I’m actually looking forward to, called Rotworld. Scott Snyder, the writer of Swamp thing had this to say about Rotworld and its prelude:

Via [The Source]

To say this is the culmination of our year-long stories on these books would be an understatement. This moment is the culmination – the Rot, Arcane, The Hunters Three all have led us here – but it’s also the start of something even bigger. Because in Rotworld, you’ll get to see the DCu completely transformed by the Rot. You’ll see which of your favorite heroes and villains survived the Rot’s invasion (not many, we’re afraid). And you’ll get to see which have been overtaken and transformed by the Rot. You’ll get to see Gotham, Metropolis – this is the whole  DCu, but rotten.

The whole “dark reflection of the universe” story trope has been done before plenty of times, but the uniqueness of The Rot, and the talent of both Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder, (seriously, go read ANYTHING they’ve written, it’s amazing), has me optimistic and downright anxious to read this crossover event. Animal Man has been one of my favorite books for a long time, even back when Grant Morrison wrote his seminal run on the character, so getting to see his newfound unique world come into play in a major way is really exciting.

New Green Lantern’s Name Is Revealed!

In Green Lantern’s Annual #1, we learned a bunch of details, but one of the more puzzling ones was that there is a new Green Lantern for Earth, only he’s masked, and his identity, at the time anyway, was a mystery. Well coming soon with Green Lantern #0 and #13 (numbering in DC is weird), we’re going to find out some more info about him, but a solicitation of #13 from Diamond Comics Distributors, has revealed his name is Baz. Yup. BAZ.

via [Newsarama]

Here is how the copy originally appeared in DC’s October solicitations released to the pubic and currently on their own website:

“• Earth’s new Green Lantern battles The Justice League!”

And here is how it now appears on the Diamond retailer site according to a retailer:

“• Baz, Earth’s new Green Lantern battles The Justice League!”

It’s funny, I know an artist named Gaz. While I don’t think he’s a HUGE Green Lantern fan, I’d like to think that somehow, he put his influence out there into the Mind-Ether, and willed his name into the collective consciousness of Geoff Johns, in a roundabout way to eventually seduce Johns into hiring him as the new artist for that book, thus leading him into a new plateau of success in the comics industry. If you knew Gaz, you’d probably agree with me. Then again, I have been re-reading The Invisibles and a lot of Grant Morrison comics in general, so maybe my whole tertiary-world/psychedelic mind melding/spirit consciousness obsession is getting a bit out of hand. But hey, Baz! That’s fun to say right! BAZ!

Marvel’s Civil War Adapted Into An Audiobook.

First off, I didn’t even know Civil War was adapted into a prose novel, that was a surprise on its own, but then to find out it’s gonna be an audiobook? Well that’s just damn wacky if you ask me. Not to say it’ll be bad because of being an audiobook, it’ll just be bad because it’s an adaptation of Civil War. Oh snap!

Via [Newsarama]

Marvel Comics’ new prose novel, CIVIL WAR, will be adapted to GraphicAudio®…A Movie in Your Mind® audio productions.  The Cutting Corporation and Marvel Entertainment have entered into a licensing agreement where four of Marvel’s prose novels will be released in the GraphicAudio®…A Movie in Your Mind® unique audiobook format.  GraphicAudio® audio productions are six hours on average of action packed audio entertainment with sound effects, cinematic music, narration and a full cast.

So poor source material aside, this does sounds kind of cool. It sounds more like an old timey radio play than a boring old audiobook read by Stan Lee huffing and puffing his way through each paragraph. Presumably, they’re even going to get voice actors, and hearing, oh I don’t know, Clone Thor will be interesting.

On a side note, I thought this would be a good moment to mention WHY I have my particular… let’s call it… Avoidance, of Marvel comics. It all started with Civil War. For a while, I had been out of the loop in the comics industry, the 90’s boom had past, and I had closed my pull list for a solid half a decade, until Sin City came out, and reinvigorated my interest in being up to date again. A year or so later, Civil War came out, with its fascinating concept. A Civil War between some of my favorite superheroes? It’s like the Keene Act from Watchmen! How brilliant!

Then, it turned out that every single month would bring new, stupider, lamer things to the table with each issue. First dumb things like Spiderman unmasking himself, then the previously mentioned Clone Thor (any comics fan from the 90’s will have a Pavlovian hatred of clones), then the ultimate retardation of making Tony Stark an Asshole Fascist Supreme™, and Captain America a die-hard liberal quitter. The fact that Captain America, you know, the guy who never quits, or gives up hope, GAVE up the war because of some destruction, really irked me as lame and a cop-out to a story that wasn’t thematically planned well, or executed with real love at its core. Unfortunately, this can all be attributed to Mark Millar, so I forgave it and followed on to the next Marvel event.

And the next. And the next. And as my dollars dwindled, and my stack of event books I really didn’t like grew larger, I found myself experiencing what many fans named as “Event Fatigue”. Add to that, Marvel’s editors and runners kept repeating this mantra of “This matters, this matters, nothing will be the same again”, and at the end of nearly every event, everything went the same again, It really seemed disingenuous. This attitude in general, along with the (IMO) the poor quality of the majority of their books, made it easier for me to take them all off my list, and be done with their universe for a long while. By no means am I done with Marvel forever, but my sabbatical from that universe is one I don’t see ending particularly soon.

But I probably will listen to that audiobook adaptation, because radio plays are pretty awesome.

Jonathan Luna Of Luna Bros Fame Working On Solo Project

For those of you who haven’t heard of The Luna Bros, I highly recommend you go out and pick up any of the 3 books they’ve done together. They’re a highly imaginative creative team who have taken conceptual comics and really run with them in amazing ways. Their first book, Ultra, is a really well done exploration of femininity and superheroes, that manages to balance a grounded, emotional,realistic story about relationships, with the fanciful nature of a superhero yarn. Their follow-up, Girls, turned the isolated zombie like horror story on its head, by making the looming threat a bunch of  identical, alien, beautiful, naked women, with violent homicidal tendencies towards the women in a small farm town. Their most recent project was The Sword, which was a fascinating blend of revenge story and fantasy, that ended perfectly or disappointingly depending on who you ask, but everyone will agree getting there was amazing.

So after The Sword, they’ve taken a break, but have now come back with each taking their shot at solo projects. This year we saw Joshua Luna with his EXCELLENT ‘Whispers’, which is a book that I don’t even want to tell you about, because half the fun is even finding out what it’s about, and now Jonathan Luna, is going to be releasing his own storybook. It’s a 72 page collection of his original story, combined with his own watercolor paintings accompany the narrative. [CBR] has a great interview with him, and you can read a neat excerpt here:

CBR News: How long have you been kicking around the idea of doing a storybook-type project like this?

Jonathan Luna: I kind of surprised myself with the decision to make a picture book. After “The Sword” ended, I took a two-year sabbatical, but I was still creating. I played with photography and film, and I learned how to paint with oil, acrylic and watercolor. For the past decade I’ve wanted to make an art book — which I still might do — but as I got into it, I questioned its meaningfulness. I realized it was missing the story element I was used to working with in comics. So I decided to do a fairy-tale picture book. I’ve been working on “Star Bright and the Looking Glass” since December 2011.

There’s definitely been a certain kind of imagery in my head I’ve been dying to put on paper. I’ve been into pop surrealism for many years, so I wanted to incorporate that kind of art into my new work. I wanted it to be ethereal and a little dark. That may not completely come across in the work, but it’s at least inspired by it. Also, the theme of beauty runs throughout my other works with Joshua, and it’s central in this book. But, ultimately, this is a story about friendship.

Also, I don’t think I’m going to call “Star Bright and the Looking Glass” a “storybook.” The term implies it’s more for children. I’m hoping anyone of any age will read it.

The whole interview is really worth a read. Head on over to [CBR] to read the entire thing.

Aurora, Colorado Comic Shop Schedules A Benefit Event.

I know this isn’t technically a comics story, but it’s something that I thought was important, as well as good gesture to share and express to others.

via [Newsarama]

All C’s Collectibles, the only comic book store in Aurora, has scheduled Aurora Rise for Aug. 25 and 26, with billed in-store appearances from creators Matt Fraction, Mike Mignola and Steve Niles.

Additionally, several items — including original art and signed merchandise — have been donated for a silent auction. Due to demand, the silent auction has been moved off-site to a nearby Embassy Suites. According to store manager Jason Farnsworth on  the event’s Facebook page, “All proceeds from the event will go directly to the victims, their families and/or designated charity or foundation.”

It’s comforting and rewarding to be reminded that comics fans aren’t all the crude, anti-social, jaded blowhards that they are sometimes stereotyped out to be, because a gesture like this is one that goes a long way towards making the world a better place. Again it’s easy to be cynical about something like this, but what has cynicism ever brought to a situation like this that was positive? I know if I was in Aurora right now, I’d be at that benefit, and I’d gladly help contribute donations and proceeds for the victims and their families, or whatever designated charity they wished to receive funds. I’d like to think that people who read comics, if anything, should have a good moral compass. That’s what superheroes are there for, to reminds us to be good people, and to take care of each other. What’s more heroic than helping another who is in need?