It’s Teen Titans meets Survivor… America’s Got Powers!

Reality TV is EVERYWHERE these days, so why not super-powered teens?

From Image:

Eighteen years ago, the strange crystal landed in San Francisco, and with it arrived Earth’s first super-humans. Every baby born on that day has a power. All but one — Tommy Watts, nicknamed “Zero.” Until one day, he does. British television star Jonathan Ross (TURF, REVENGE) and American comics master Bryan Hitch (REAL HEROES) team up to tell Tommy’s story in the new Image Comics graphic novel AMERICA’S GOT POWERS, due out in September.

america got powerNow, super-powered teens battle each other on reality television for the entertainment of millions, but when Tommy manifests a power different from any seen before, he discovers the behind-the-scenes machinations are deadlier than the combat in the stadium. The United States government and the powered kids’ mentor both have their own plans for Tommy, but neither of them counted on him and his peers having plans of their own.

With sharp, satirical writing from Ross and stunning artwork by Hitch, one of the best superhero comic artists in the business, AMERICA’S GOT POWERS infuses the superhero genre with a dash of Divergent-esque dystopia. It will be in comic book stores on September 3 and in bookstores on September 16.

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AMERICA’S GOT POWERS by Jonathan Ross and Bryan Hitch

  • ISBN 978-1-63215-137-7
  • Diamond Comic order code JUL140467
  • 184 pages, $17.99
  • In comic book stores September 3, in bookstores September 16
  • Collects issues #1-7 of AMERICA’S GOT POWERS
  • Rated Mature

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When belief in magic fizzles, The Lunch Witch needs to look for work.

This Papercutz graphic novel sounds like it’s going to be great – belief in magic fizzles, putting Grunhilda, a witch, out of work. What’s a witch to do? What are her career options? Ah, yes – The Lunch Lady.

Papercutz is rolling out a new line of original graphic novels next year, starting with The Lunch Witch. Just reading the little bit here from Papercutz makes me smile; this is going to be a great book, and I can’t wait to get it on the shelves at my library – finally, a burgeoning, diverse, graphic novel collection!

When belief in magic fizzles, The Lunch Witch needs to look for work.Papercutz, the industry’s leading all-ages graphic novel publisher, is well known for their successful licensed publishing line. In addition to translating and publishing strong European properties like ARIOL and GERONIMO STILTON they’ve originated material for hit licensed characters like LEGO NINJAGO and NANCY DREW. They’ve also produced wildly popular parodies of successful kids’ properties like DIARY OF A WIMPY DEAD KID and THE FARTING DEAD. Now the company’s publishing program is moving to the next stage. In March 2015, Papercutz plans to release its first original graphic novel (not based on a pre-existing property), THE LUNCH WITCH.

The creation of children’s author Deb Lucke, THE LUNCH WITCH is an all-new 180-page graphic novel, detailing the travails of Grunhilda, a witch who has to find other employment because “nobody believes in magic anymore.” Since her only skill is cooking up pots of foul brew, it’s only natural that Grunhilda ends up as a school lunch lady. Although she tries hard to continue her evil ways, she ends up befriending a little girl named Madison. Madison needs Grunhilda’s help, but doing something nice for another person violates the Witches’ Code. Will Grunhilda turn her back on Madison and stay true to her evil upbringing? Or will she decide that friendship is more important than her witchy past?

“We’ve published original graphic novels for adults for almost 40 years at [Papercutz’s sister company] NBM,” explained Papercutz Publisher Terry Nantier. “And ever since we started Papercutz, I’ve wanted to create quality original material for kids. When Deb Lucke sent us her proposal for THE LUNCH WITCH, I knew we’d found the perfect property to launch into all-new, creator-originated graphic novels for young readers.”

With artwork inspired by the likes of Tim Burton and Edward Gorey, two female lead characters, and a tween target audience, THE LUNCH WITCH is decidedly different from most other original graphic novels being published. Throw in a unique format (180 pages, 6 ¼ X 7 ¾ paperback with French flaps) and you have a title that will stand out on the shelves.

“There’s no point in publishing original material if it’s not, in fact, original,” opined Papercutz Editor-in-Chief Jim Salicrup. “Deb Lucke has a unique voice and a unique art style that immediately capture the reader’s imagination. She’s developed a pacing to her narrative that gives you time to really get to know the characters. As a result, you’re deeply invested in what happens to them and seeing how they will resolve their problems. It’s the kind of story that could really only be told in a graphic novel format, free from the constraints of monthly comics or other illustrated media.”

While THE LUNCH WITCH is only the first in a planned series of original graphic novels from Papercutz, it’s a perfect example of the company’s plans for this new line. “If there’s a consistent theme to our publishing philosophy it’s diversity,” said Nantier. “Our goal at Papercutz is to create all kinds of kids comics for all kinds of kids. And THE LUNCH WITCH looks and feels different from anything else that we publish. At the same time, I can totally see it appealing to the type of young reader who has enjoyed ARIOL or GERONIMO STILTON. The common element they all share is quality storytelling and a unique narrative voice that allows kids to experience a whole new world.” Sounds like magic to us.

Papercutz will publish THE LUNCH WITCH (ISBN 978-1-62991-162-5) on March 17, 2015. Order it at you local comic shop or directly from Papercutz!

ABOUT PAPERCUTZ: Papercutz is dedicated to publishing great graphic novels for all ages. Popular with reluctant readers and gifted readers alike, Papercutz graphic novels for kids, tweens, and teens include a wide range of genres, including humor, action adventure, mystery, horror, and favorite characters. We work every day to introduce young readers to the imaginative wonders waiting to be discovered in comics. To find out more visit http://www.papercutz.com.

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C is for Cthulhu – That’s Good Enough for Me.

I have a 2 year-old, and am thoroughly enjoying all the geeky stuff available for wee ones these days. Editor Monkey Chuck sent this Kickstarter my way, and suffice to say, Wee Gozer will be learning his ABCs with H.P. Lovecraft and Cthulhu – as any good child should.

C is for Cthulhu - That's Good Enough for Me.

Jason Ciaramella writes this adorable board book – you’ve heard of him; he’s written The Cape, Godzilla: King of Monsters, and Magic: The Gathering. He’s an Eisner Award nominee. Greg Murphy is a digital artist and illustrator working in the video game industry. The book is 100% complete – there is no reason NOT to jump on this deal. Plus, they’re working with ComixTribe – my Red Ten guys! – to get this Kickstarter done and delivered.

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Check out all the great participation levels at their Kickstarter page, and get in on this! Your kids will thank you. Don’t have kids? Get it for yourself, you know you want one.

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Grimm Tales of Terror – New Twists on Classic Horror Tales

The first Poe story I ever read was The Tell-Tale Heart. I remember hearing it read aloud in class and being completely creeped out. It has remained one of my favorite horror stories through the decades. Grimm’s Tales of Terror takes that story and puts its spin on it.

Grimm Tales of Terror - New Twists on Classic Horror Tales

A man stumbles into a table where a woman is sitting and reading. He apologizes profusely and explains he’s having a bad week. The woman calls him by name and tells him that she knows of his troubles. Shocked and confused he stands gaping at her. She invites him to sit so she can tell him a story and so begins our tale. The woman is Keres, the Grim Reaper and she is here to take us on our journey through horrific sights.

I had a fun time reading this book. It’s very pulpy horror which I enjoy. Keres is a fun storyteller and an even more fun character. I’m not sure I’d want to meet her anytime soon but she does seem to be a reaper with a heart of gold and a keen sense of justice. The art is rich and colorful. Every panel evokes the feeling the story is needing. This isn’t groundbreaking work but what it does, it does well.

I’m giving Grimm’s Tales of Terror 3 1/2 out of five stars. Definitely worth adding to your pull list if you’re a horror fan.

GRIMM TALES OF TERROR #1
Writer: Tedesco, Ralph
Artist: Bifulco, Antonio
Cover Artist: Ortiz, Richard
On Sale July 30, 2014
Publisher Zenescope
Diamond Id: MAY141755
Format: COMIC
Price: $2.99
UPC: 69685923145200111

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Graphic Novels for Kids: Benny and Penny in Lost and Found

If you’ve got kids, I hope by now you’ve introduced them to comic books. When I was a kid, kids’ comics meant Richie Rich, Casper, and Archie. Now? There are virtually hundreds of titles to get kids started on a love of graphic, sequential storytelling.

Toon Books is a great resource for parents and educators that want to get more graphic novels into their little ones’ lives. I have a pretty nice collection of Toon Books in my library, including Jeff Smith’s Little Mouse Gets Ready. You read that right – Bone’s Jeff Smith does comics for Toon. Quality creators making quality comics.

Today, though, I’m talking Benny and Penny, the brother and sister mouse series also published by Toon and written by Geoffrey Hayes, who also won a Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the series back in 2010. The siblings’ newest adventure, Benny and Penny in Lost and Found, hits shelves on August 5th, and is an adorable addition to the series.

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Benny is in a bad mood. He can’t find his pirate hat, and he’s getting more annoyed by the minute. Penny wants to cheer him up, but he’s fuming and wants to storm off. It’s foggy, though, and Penny warns Benny that he’ll get lost – which sounds just fine to Benny. He takes Penny with him on a search for the hat.

The book handles emotions – Benny experiences all sorts of moods in the course of the story, and kids will see how he deals with each mood change. They’ll be able to appreciate and identify with Benny, because honestly, what’s more annoying than misplacing something you really like/want/need?

The art is perfect for young readers. There are cute mice, gardens, and a cartoony look that kids will grab onto and love.

Benny and Penny in Lost and Found is a Level 2 Reader – good for grades 1 and 2, where readers are starting to become more confident with complex sentences and stories. There is a guide to Toon’s levels in the back of the book, including age ranges, various reading level measures (Lexile, Guided Reading, Reading Recovery), and the number of words used at each level. There’s also a page of tips for teachers and parents on getting kids to love comics and graphic novels.

Give Benny and Penny a shot! I know I’ll be ordering this one for my library. Four out of five pirate hats!

BENNY AND PENNY IN LOST AND FOUND
Author: Geoffrey Hayes
Artist: Geoffrey Hayes
Publisher: Toon
Price: $12.95
On-Sale: August 5, 2014
ISBN: 978-1935179641

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Squarriors Are Coming, Which Tribe’s Side Are You On?

At Special Edition: NYC we spent a few minutes talking with the guys over at Devil’s Due Entertainment and they showed us some art from the then upcoming project entitled Squarriors. It was impressive stuff! Now that the Kickstarter has launched I can share some of it with you!

Squarriors Are Coming, Which Tribe's Side Are You On?

Taking place in a post-human world, where animals have developed the spark of reason, Squarriors follows an animal clan known as Tin Kin and their seemingly unavoidable war against the Maw tribe. With the dual nature of intelligence and animal instinct can peace ever truly be an option?

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The art, from Ashley Witter (whose work includes several movie adaptations for Yen Press), is really cool the personalities of the characters show through the animal expressions and body language quite well, and the story itself, developed by writer Ash Maczko, has a great chance of being really rich and interesting.

The plan is to produce four mini-series, each representing a season in one year. The first 4 issue series is “Spring”. Devil’s Due plans to publish the first series this winter but as is the way of comic books these days just how big and how long the series is will be tied to the popularity of its kickstarter campaign.

Go here and check out the kickstarter, get in at the beginning…

Check out this kickstarter exclusive cover (psst there’s a print of this as well…)

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Weapon Brown Explodes at Forbidden Planet!

Wednesday, August 13th, Forbidden Planet NYC come check out Weapon Brown, the epic story of Chuck, post apocalyptic survivor, his loyal pup Snoop, and the most disturbingly familiar array of characters ever to grace the comic page. Creator/author/artist Jason Yungbluth will be there signing his little heart out. You haven’t heard about Weapon Brown? Well read on! Read on!

Weapon Brown Explodes at Forbidden Planet!

First introduced in the pages of Jason’s comic Deep Fried, Weapon Brown garnered an immediate following, so much so that the he collected the original strips into a 48 page comic in 2003. Jason returned to Chuck and his “pals” in 2008 with Weapon Brown: Blockheads War, which expanded the story from a fairly simple Chuck vs the Peanuts Gang to an expanded universe featuring “weaponized” versions of virtually the entire history of newspaper comics. Make no mistake this isn’t a gimmick book, it’s a tightly written and beautifully drawn post-apocalyptic tale well worth your time…

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(…and the gimmick’s are funny too!) I was happy to review this one back in 2013 during the kickstarter (Weapon Brown! A Kickstarter You Should Back!) and enjoyed the book so much I backed it as well, the omnibus edition is gorgeous and a great read!

Weapon Brown gets a 4.5 out of 5! Now make plans to get your but to Forbidden Planet Wednesday August 13th pick up a copy and have it signed by Jason Yungbluth and tell you heard about it at What’cha Reading!

Cover and Author

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Action Lab Announces Puppet Master Comic Series!

One of the comic gods sitting on Mount Olympus likes me. One of my favorite midnight movie series is Full Moon’s The Puppet Master series. Blade, Tunneler, Jester – these guy kept me company through many a late-night cram session during college. Here’s the word from Action Lab:

Action Lab Entertainment announced at their panel today at Comic Con International 2014 that they have secured the license to PUPPET MASTER,  bringing Blade, Jester and Tunneler back to the comics page.

Action Lab Announces Puppet Master Comic Series!

The series will be written and edited by Shawn Gabborin (Fracture, Snowed In) with art by a roster of incredible talents hand picked by series creator Charles Band himself.  Puppet Master is the story Andre Toulon, an elderly puppet maker who discovers an ancient Egyptian potion and uses it to bring his creations to life. At the height of World War II, Andre fled to America, pursued by Nazis.  In a last ditch effort to protect his secrets, the master packs the dolls away and takes his own life.  Years later, a rogue psychic revives the dolls, leaving his associates to face off against the monstrous marionettes.  Decades (and a handful of “masters”) later, the puppets are still raising hell in their own unique way.

The Puppet Master film series has enjoyed a worldwide cult following since 1989 and spawned nine sequels including the most recent, Puppet Master X: Axis Rising.

For more information, retailers can contact Kelly Dale at kdale@actionlabcomics.com. For press and conventions you can reach Jamal Igle at jigle@actionlabcomics.com.

Come on, guys - give me a teaser!

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Titan’s New Doctor Who Books Hit the Sweet Spot!

I hit Midtown Comics with a vengeance Thursday night after seeing Pirates of the Caribbean on the Intrepid (I know, living in New York is awesome), and among the dozen or so books I picked up were the first issues of Titan’s new Doctor Who, both the Ten and Eleven series. I had high hopes for both, particularly Ten. Nine was “my” Doctor, since he’s how I entered the fandom, but Ten grew on me in a way that Eleven never did. That being said, both books were really strong. I’ll take them one at a time.

Doctor Who Review! Titan's New Books Hit The Sweet Spot!Ten’s storyline begins in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and since I live in a nearby neighborhood, it gets bonus points strictly for that—it’s always lovely to see the Doctor in your backyard and pretend that he could be coming for you, after all. The companion-to-be in this book, Gabriela, is the child of a Mexican immigrant, stifled by the expectations her father has for her participating in the family businesses. In the meantime, something sinister is growing under the ground in Brooklyn, altering forms of people and wreaking chaos on inanimate objects like washers and portraits, and the Tenth Doctor is trying to track it down. Gabriela’s and Ten’s paths collide in the subway, and there we hang until the next issue. Gabriela has a compelling story, and the decision not to have Ten meet her until late in the issue is a bold and ultimately good one. Unlike so many companions, I feel like we get a good sense of her before she meets the Doctor instead of along her travels with him. It doesn’t hew strictly to DW pattern in that sense, and I admire the creative team for making that choice. The art is well drawn without being photo-realistic, and although Ten obviously resembles David Tennant, Gabriela occasionally reminds me of Kamala Khan in Ms. Marvel. This was probably unintentional, but I really liked it—I got a subliminal superhero vibe through the whole story. I also loved the slight tip of the hat to Donna Noble, who Ten is thinking of as he makes a bad pun. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to Issue #2.

Eleventh Doctor #1Eleven’s storyline… I’ll just say it up front, I found the Eleven issue to be the more moving of the two. His companion-to-be, Alice Obiefune, has just lost her mother, and her world is grey. Literally, grey, as the panels show her depression. She goes through the paces, but her life has lost all of its color until she meets the Doctor accidentally as he’s chasing what appears to be a dog from a Chinese New Year parade. He disappears briefly, she gets back on with things, and he returns because she’s sad. This Eleven has some empathy, I’m guessing because he lost the Ponds. Alice and Eleven help the rainbow dog and head off for future adventures, with the ominous threat of something waiting in the wings. Of course. I love the artwork on this one (it’s not photorealistic, either, but Eleven does look like Matt Smith), particularly the drab colors of Alice’s depression before she meets the Doctor. Alice seems like she’ll be a good match for Eleven as he deals with the loss of the Ponds and she deals with her mother’s death. Also looking forward to where Issue #2 takes us on this one.

I also have to mention that both issues have a little #WeLoveTitans page featuring a gag with Titans figures. It’s a nice little bonus for the fans who probably have a couple of Titan DW figures around the house.

In recap, both Doctor Who comics have heart and are off to an excellent beginning. Doctor Who: New Adventures with the Tenth Doctor #1 gets 4 out of 5 Lightning Bolts, and Doctor Who: New Adventures with the Eleventh Doctor #1 gets 4.5 out of 5 Lightning Bolts.

DOCTOR WHO: THE TENTH DOCTOR #1
Writer: Nick Abadzis
Artist: Elena Casagrande
Colorist: Arianna Floean
Publisher: Titan Comics
Format: Comic
Release Date: 7/23/14
Price: $3.99

DOCTOR WHO: THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR #1
Writers: Al Ewing & Rob Williams
Artist: Simon Fraser
Colorist: Gary Caldwell
Publisher: Titan Comics
Format: Comic
Release Date: 7/23/14
Price: $3.99

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BOOM Unveils New Series! ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK!!!

Last week, Boom teased us by sending this image:

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Today, they confirmed that yes, we are getting an  Escape from New York comic, starting in December! And Julie, Nancy, and I sent up a mighty cheer.

Check out the news from Boom!:

This is to officially announce that yes, BOOM! Studios will be publishing ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK comics, starting in December! High Crimes and DEAD LETTERS writer Christopher Sebela will be writing, and an artist will be named later. Escape from New York is a cult classic sci-fi film from 1981 co-written and directed by John Carpenter. In the then-near future of 1997, Manhattan has been converted to a maximum security prison. When Air Force One crash lands there, ex-soldier Snake Plissken (played by Kurt Russell in the film) is given 22 hours to rescue the President of the United States and the sensitive information he’s carrying.

Come on, December.

BOOM Unveils New Series! ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK!!!

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