An eclectic collection of indie comics news from February 18th – 20th, 2013!
Jonathan Hickman’s latest creator owned project from Image Comics!
Perhaps best known for working on large franchise titles for Marvel Comics such as “Fantastic Four” and “Avengers”, Jonathan Hickman is also working on another creator owned project with Image Comics. Uniting with artist Nick Dragotta and colorist Frank Martin, it is called “East of West” and debuts on March 27th. Interviews by Newsarama, the creators state that it is a series about the four horsemen of the apocalypse emerging in a ravaged wasteland and set against the President of the United States. Representing Death, War, Famine, and Conquest, this is described as a science fiction western; a genre Hickman feels is untapped. The debut issue will be priced at $3.50 and hopefully will be another critical success in Hickman’s library of work.
Black Mask Comics now live!
Announced some time ago, the newest comic book publisher/distributor to enter the scene has now activated their website and is selling their first wave of socially conscious comics. Founded by writer Steve Niles, Matt Pizzolo (“Halo 8”) and Brett Gurewitz of Epitaph Records, the company seeks to offer comics whose sales go towards some noble causes as well as distribute comics to venues outside of the traditional direct market – such as music shops. The biggest of these launches is “Occupy Comics”, a book offering work by a slew of talent from Alan Moore to Art Spiegelman whose proceeds go towards the “Occupy” movement. Another of the new titles is “Liberator” by Matt Miner and Joel Gomez, which is about two vigilantes avenging cruelty to animals; a portion of the comics’ sales will go towards animal rescue groups. Other initial titles include “Twelve Ways to Die”, a crime series by members of the Wu-Tang Clan, and “Ballistic”, about a man with a living gun.
It will hardly be the first time comics are used to convey social messages; it will be another thing if capitalizing on the music industry will help lead to increased sales outside the normal venues.
Catastrophic Comics’ “Sparks” set to debut in film adaptation!
Back in 2008, actor William Katt (best known for “Carrie”, several “Perry Mason” TV movies, and “The Greatest American Hero”) co-founded a comic book publishing company called Catastrophic Comics. Among the comics published by the short lived publisher was “Sparks”, written by Chris Folino and drawn by J.M. Ringuet. A pulp superhero story set in the 1940’s, it follows two costumed crime fighters who fall in love while pummeling crooks, but whose lives take a dark turn when they cross paths with a vicious serial killer. The titular Sparks soon has to avenge his lost love while avoiding the police, as he has been framed for her murder. The series was an innovator of digital comics for the time and developed a cult following; alas, only four issues were produced.
Fast forward to 2012, and this comic was not only being prepared to be repackaged as a single graphic novel, but has been adapted into a film set to debut at California’s Cinequest theater on March 1st. The film was written and co-directed by Folino and also co-stars Katt as the serial killer, Matanza. Also starring in the film are Chase Williamson, Ashley Bell, Clancy Brown and Jake Busey. The film will be screened at select locations and likely released on DVD at some point. William Katt announced an appearance at this year’s New York Comic Con, more than likely to help promote this project among others. It is incredibly rare for creators of a comic book to not only aid in the production of a film adaptation but also get to star in it themselves, but that is exactly what is happening with “Sparks”. The trade paperback of the comic goes on sale February 28th. More updates can be had not only at the film’s official website, but on Katt’s Facebook page as well. The time is right for this great but often overlooked comic to once again reclaim the spotlight.
Read last week’s indie comics news here!