Thursday, April 30, 2009

Comic-Con Key party

The keys are officially on their way to me right now courtesy of Skelton Crew Studio, so at Comic-Con this year, we'll have 500 of these suckers, numbered and signed by Joe Hill (if you're around on Friday during his signing) at the con. Details here.

A logical progression

Since some people thought the "Hailing Frequencies" reference yesterday was going to lead to a STAR TREK mention, I figured I'd make up for that today by showing David Messina's cover to his coming STAR TREK: SPOCK: REFLECTIONS book, also being solicited for release in July. I'd call this Messina's follow-up to STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN if he hadn't already been doing ANGEL: SMILE TIME and working on another ANGEL miniseries. So let's call SPOCK *one of* his COUNTDOWN follow-ups (although it's set in the period just ahead of COUNTDOWN, and looks back over his entire life and career). It's written by Messina's frequent co-horts, Scott & David Tipton, too.

And then there's that other "Messina STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN follow-up" project that we haven't announced yet. But more on that soon.

Meanwhile, since I did already post the image above before, albeit without explaining it, how about the cover for issue 2 here, too:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hailing frequencies still open

Also being solicited for July release in today's issue of Previews is TRANSFORMERS: ALL HAIL MEGATRON... #13.

The series was only ever slated to be a 12-part saga, but word and sales on the book have remained so steady that the four-part "Coda" we talked about before has become AHM 13-16. Each of these four issues will contain two 11-page stories by different creative teams--a couple of which will factor into future plans in a big way--and each of these stories either wraps up elements from Shane's 12-part story, sets up events for the future or delves into plot points that fans that early on were inconsistencies (meaning, Nick Roche will tell the story of how the Kup from his SPOTLIGHT issue became the cigar-chomping fighter in AHM).

Details of all of these stories will be forthcoming in a press release (and plans beyond AHM will be announced at BotCon at the end of May) but for now, here're a couple covers for issue 13, one from returning artist Don Figueroa:

The other from AHM cover artist Trevor Hutchison (who celebrated a birthday yesterday). Check out Previews in stores today for more information on issue 13, and a press release announcing this and more will be working its way around the 'net soon, too.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Arlen Specter's new favorite comic

Among the other comics being offered in the issue of Previews hitting comics shops tomorrow is the second issue of our two-part BARACK OBAMA follow-up. The second issue, due in stores in July, covers Obama's first 100 days. This two-part follow-up is also done by the creative team who produced the first Obama comic, writer Jeff Mariotte and artist Tom Morgan and cover artist J. Scott Campbell. This issue also comes with an Obama trading card, some of which will be randomly inserted hand-drawn sketches by many noted comic book artists.

Our next sequel will look at all the Obama comics that have followed our initial lead... or maybe not.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Grim tidings

Our new partnership with kicks off in earnest in September, with the launch of GRIMJACK: THE MANX CAT, shown here as just cover art from Timothy Truman and also with the logos and credits mocked up, too.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009


Next Saturday, May 2, is Free Comic Book Day. I'll be at the new Earth-2 Comics store, signing copies of pretty much any and every IDW book I've done, as well as the new Image Comics FRANK FRAZETTA'S NEANDERTHAL book (just out this week). I'm signing alongside ANGEL writer Brian Lynch and COMIC BOOKS 101/STAR TREK/ANGEL writer Scott Tipton. And we'll actually have five advance copies of the COMIC BOOKS 101 book available for sale that day, weeks ahead of its actual release. So anyone in the LA area reading this, hope to see you there. We'll also have a good stack of the IDW FCBD issue, a flip-book featuring TRANSFORMERS and G.I. JOE. And you'll get a chance to see Earth-2s newest location. They've just taken over the former Golden Apple Comics store in Northridge and will be re-opening the place just a few days before the signing, so the place will still have that new comics smell on Saturday. C'mon by!

Full details here.

Play mates

David Chapman at PLAY Magazine interviewed me about the coming COMIC BOOKS 101 book, and covered IDW's 10th anniversary and other things.

Chris Ryall is a man of many talents. Ryall first made a name for himself running the Movie Poop Shoot website for Kevin Smith, before diving headfirst into the comic industry. These days, Chris gets his paycheck over at IDW Publishing as the company's editor-in-chief. This June, though, Chris (along with co-writer Scott Tipton) will focus his expertise on teaching readers about the ins and out of the comic industry with the release of Comic Books 101: The History, Methods and Madness from IMPACT Publishing. Chris took some time out of his schedule to school us on the upcoming book, his thoughts on the comic industry, and what's to come from IDW Publishing. Take your seats and get ready for roll call … class is officially in session.

Full interview here.

This doesn't suck

Just got an advance copy of the hardcover edition of BRAM STROKER'S DRACULA that we did with 27 all-new, full-page and full-color illustrations from Ben Templesmith. And as you can see, the book's a thing of undead beauty. In stores on May 13.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Origins-inal Fire

Hmm, is this blog title a bit of a reach? Probably, especially since I'm trying to reference an Audioslave song most people don't even know.

Anyway, a single panel to show right now, but it's a damned good one. And besides, to show more from this page would give too much away, so for now, just this one great image from G.I. JOE: ORIGINS #4, art courtesy of Mike Hawthorne, colors by Hawthorne and Erik Swanson.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Parker previewed

Diamond Comics' Previeworld Web site is offering up the first extended look at July's THE HUNTER, cartoonist Darwyn Cooke's adaptation of the first Parker novel. Follow this link and you can download a 12-page preview of the standalone graphic novel, currently available for pre-order in Diamond's Previews catalog.


John Byrne's current STAR TREK: CREW series has gotten off to a very well-received start. But the reason I'm showing a page from the fifth and final issue here isn't to mention that fact, it's to show the amount of care Byrne puts into his pages. On this series, starting with issue 3, he's been greyscaling the b&w lineart, which brings added depth to the finished, colored art (Lovern Kindzierski is the colorist on the final three issues of this series and complements the greyscale work perfectly). In addition to that extra step, Byrne also places the balloon guides on each page, directing the letterer where to best place dialogue, sound effects and captions. In fact, his balloon guides for each issue offer a nice clinic to anyone who wants to see how best to make the balloons work in tandem with the art and not cause bad tangents with the lineart. This all on top of writing, penciling and inking each issue...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

IDW X-men has put up a new interview with IDW founding partner/President Ted Adams and I, where we both discuss IDW's 10th anniversary, where we've been, where we're going, and how much better the company's been since I started five years ago (well, the latter might just be me editorializing). Full interview here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Dru sings (and writes)

At the FX con in Orlando this past weekend, actress/director Juliet Landau (Drusilla), who is co-writing ANGEL 24 and 25 with Brian Lynch, sang a couple songs at the show in between talking up her ANGEL gig and other projects. The performance is available for viewing here:

Which seems the perfect lead-in to showing the covers for her two-part story that brings Drusilla into the ANGEL universe (and features a bonus pictorial with Juliet in issue 24). Leading off will be the artist for the storyline, Franco Urru, who offered up two variations on his original SPIKE: ASYLUM cover (colors by Paolo Maddelini. The B&W lineart is available below, too):

Nick Runge is doing a cover for each issue, too:

Finally, U.K. illustrator and Juliet's friend Sam Shearon provided this special cover for issue 24, too:

Extending Joe

We announced earlier today (seen here or elsewhere) that G.I. JOE will be carrying on into its second year with an extended run on G.I. JOE: ORIGINS (originally a 5-issue miniseries, now an ongoing series). You can read the details of the release at the link above but I wanted to also show the images here.

First, we're doing a gatefold cover to kick off a new storyline in the main G.I. JOE title. Artist David Williams and colorist Kelsey Shannon worked up this piece:

And cover artist Tom Feister continues his run on ORIGINS with this cover for issue 6:

Ghost of a chance

People have asked if there are more GHOSTBUSTERS comics on the way. Courtesy of Nick Runge, here's an initial answer, with a more detailed reply to come...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

IDW's new releases for April 22

Angel: After the Fall #20 (Click the title for a 5-page preview)
G.I. Joe: Best of Larry Hama HC (click to see covers of every issue included in the book)
Transformers: Animated Series Vol. 8

Comic Books 101 multi-page preview

I received an advance copy of COMIC BOOKS 101 a week ago (and will have five more advances available for sale at my Free Comic Book Day signing at Earth-2 Comics in LA on May 2, ahead of the book's general release at the end of May) and thought it came out great. Here's a bit more of a look at what the book will be:

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Talking about silence

This Wednesday, April 22, the issue of Image's FRAZETTA COMICS that I wrote, NEANDERTHAL, hits stores. Tim Vigil and Jay Fotos handled the art, and I scripted what is essentially a silent issue. So we'll know very soon if the story works for others the way I saw it in my head. Until then, there's a new interview at with Tim, Jay and I, where we discuss the process of bringing this issue to life.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


G.I. JOE: COBRA has surprised a lot of people so far, based on reviews of the first issue. The second issue, just in stores this week, looks to continue that streak if this review is any indication. About the book, IGN said:

"G.I. Joe: Cobra forces the Joe mythos under the microscope, telling a story in many ways comparable to a Greg Rucka penned Queen and Country installment.

This story is much more meaningful to our re-establishing JOE mythos than just a separate miniseries, too, with some long-term repercussions in store that will be followed up on in another run by the same creative team and beyond...

Full review here.

Standing in the Q

In August, our array of STAR TREK ALIEN one-shots turns to NEXT GEN era with a
Spotlight on Q. Here's a look at the cover inks by the book's artist, Elena Casagrande. It seemed time for Q -- we'd put off using him long enough, so he finally gets his due in this story written by Scott & David Tipton.

Update: Just got a color version, courtesy of Elena and colorist Ilaria Traversi:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

You don't know Ditko

This fall, we're doing an ART OF STEVE DITKO book with designer Craig Yeo. Which is in itself pretty great, just to be doing it, but it got even better yesterday. A stack of Ditko's original art, from TALES OF SUSPENSE and other older comics, these great grey-scaled mystery and monster tales from a half-century ago, were in our office. When working on comics all day every day, it's rare to have those moments that revert you back fully to nothing but a raving fan, but holding these pages in my hand did have that effect. This book is going to be great just for the chance to show off at larger size so many old pages and stories beyond his SPIDER-MAN or DOCTOR STRANGE work. The detail and care that went into these pages was pretty amazing to behold. Details on the book are up at right now.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Launching Grimm

AMERICAN McGEE'S GRIMM, based on the videogame and featuring the amazing art stylingf of Grant Bond (who works in two styles in every issue, parodying classic comic book art similar to the genre being messed with in the comic, as well as the fully CGI art of Grimm and the game itself) launches tomorrow. And it really needs to be seen to give you a good idea of just what it is. So I encourage everyone who sees it in the shop to at the very least thumb through it and see if it looks interesting enough to try. I do really think it's a sleeper title in that it worked great, it's just not something familiar to too many people.

Helping increase the familiarity is Dwight MacPherson, the book's writer. Not only are Dwight's scripts pretty hilarious and very spot-on as he parodies superhero comics, romance comics, westerns and more, but he's great at talking up his projects, too. has just posted a new interview with both Dwight and Grant, where they discuss the comic and show a good amount of art, too. The full interview can be found here.

First glimpse of Metroplex

Other than pages 1 and 22, the upcoming TRANSFORMERS SPOTLIGHT: METROPLEX features are that spreads across both pages for the entirety of the issue. Which not only means that artist Marcelo Matere is really earning his money on this one, but it also means you'll get a real sense of scale as befits a character the size of Metroplex. It's too soon so show much of the book's interiors, but since I haven't featured the Transformers here in a while, here's a look at a single panel stretching across pages 10-11 of the issue. Which is enough to convey not only the scope of this story but also the great job Marcelo's doing on the art.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fan-tastic ZvR

Gotta love Google Alerts when it brings you stuff like this. Nothing I like more than having been a part of something that inspired a fan to offer up their own version of it. The same reason I reached out to different artists to do pin-ups in each issue of GROOM LAKE, just to see alternate takes on the characters (issues 2 through 4 of that series feature four pinups in each issue). But back to this, I love this take on the ZvR series. Always nice to come across stuff like this, and it makes me wonder what else is out there I haven't seen.

Beam Me App

I'm prety sure I already used that hokey subject line before but, you know, nothing like running a bad pun into the ground through repetition.

Anyway, the iTunes store has updated the page for our STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN app and I wanted to show that off here. Great to see this e-comic getting this kind of attention and support.

Time-line enough, at last

Closing out the talk about IDW celebrating its 10-year anniversary this month, here's the timeline for the company that we produced to send around to media and show a few of the assorted highlights over the past decade.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

101 Things I Love

I don't know how many people delve into page 300 or beyond in the Previews catalog, but in this case, for the current one soliciting books shipping in June, I hope you make it to page 317. That's where COMIC BOOKS 101, the book I co-wrote with Scott Tipton, is being offered:

The book, the same one I mention here periodically and have the Amazon ad for directly to the right, will actually be in stores around May 18. It's a fun little tome all about comics and featuring some fun contributions from all kinds of comics luminaries. A close-up look at the book, which was Spotlighted by Diamond:

And then, last Thursday, I got two different advance copies on the same day: GROOM LAKE #2 (coming May 6, with either the Archibald cover or the blobs-eating-the-poodle edition) and an actual copy of COMIC BOOKS 101. So this project, which started at the end of 2007 (if you don't count the five years of pitching and proposing and tweaking that came before) finally came to fruition with the completed book.

Finally, I have a first-generation Kindle, so its ability to reproduce graphics aren't as great as the current second-gen model that Amazon is selling now. Still, I thought I'd try out our STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN comic on there just to see how it looked on the first-gen model. And as you can see, even then, the greyscaling works pretty well. Although now more than ever it makes me want to upgrade to the current model...

IDW's new releases and 5-page previews for April 15

Click the below links for 5-page previews:

American McGee's Grimm #1
Angel: Smile Time #3
Ashley Wood's Art of Metal Gear Solid SC
Doctor Who Classics Series 2 #5
G.I. Joe: Cobra #2
Resistance TPB
Star Trek Alien Spotlight: Klingons
Terminator Salvation Movie Adaptation #0
Terminator Salvation Movie Prequel TPB
Transformers: All Hail Megatron #10
Transformers: Maximum Dinobots #5
Transformers: Armada Vol. #3 TPB

My Mom [Worthwhile Books]

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tommy Lee, 10 years later

Looking back and forward at the same time on today, the official 10th anniversary of IDW. One of the earlier books we published was an art book featuring Tommy Lee Edwards. Tommy's gone on to do all kinds of great things, most recently Mark Millar's 1985 series for Marvel. He also did a cover for the debut issue of our monthly DOCTOR WHO series that kicks off in July. And as any of us who saw his work then and now, he was good back when we did that art but has only gotten better and better.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The new triumverate

Diamond Comics released their March numbers today, and for the first time ever, we've hit number THREE. Which is a nice way to celebrate IDW's 10th anniversary this week.

This is especially noteworthy news to us since we don't receive front-of-Previews placement like Marvel, DC, Image or Dark Horse. And since we're not a "premiere" publisher, it costs retailers more to order our books than it does those four. So to attain this with the deck stacked against us is even more of a great feeling.

Locke & Key's Best Week Ever (so far) continues

First LOCKE & KEY got a couple Eisner nominations earlier in the week (a nod for Best Miniseries and a second mention for Joe Hill as Best Writer). And now yesterday's HEAD GAMES #4 got its first glowing review:

"Beautiful art, imaginative panel layouts, character driven writing and the potential to learn the secrets of the greatest alligator wrestlers of all times--what else could you ask for? Locke & Key: Head Games #4 has it all.

Joe Hill must love comic books because, given his professional track record, he could have easily turned Locke & Key into a prose book series. This love for the medium shows throughout the book and, lucky for readers, through IDW he has found a crew that loves the craft as much as he does. From the pencils, to the colors, right down to the lettering, no detail is below the notice of the team behind Locke & Key."

Full review here.

And now a second glowing review for the issue, this time from

"Most of my reviews have been nothing but non-stop compliments and it’s simply because I don’t want to spoil too much of the book. Grabbing one review of mine for this series should encourage you I would hope to seek out as many issues as you can get your hands on and simply read them.

...It’s wonderfully written, still richly emotional and all around a borderline masterpiece. The only reason I say borderline is because it’s not finished yet and I’m sure when it is it will be something I keep close to my bedside for years to come."

Full review here.

Another update:
5 our of 5 stars at Major!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Still Groomin'

GROOM LAKE #2 isn't in stores until late May (it's not running late; we skipped a month between issues 1 and 2 since it was a new title and wanted to give retailers a chance to see how the first issue sold through before they had to finalize orders for issue 2), and since that's a ways off, I figure I should periodically between now and then put some focus back on the title. So here's a new review of issue 1 that Templesmith just sent me. The site would get style points on its name alone even if they hadn't also really enjoyed the first issue and given it a good review, excerpted here:

"Writer Chris Ryall and artist Ben Templesmith take their own crack at the alien mythos in IDW Publishing’s Groom Lake, crafting an incredibly amusing and satisfying debut issue. Disturbing and irreverent, Groom Lake humorously plays on every alien contact staple out there. Hillbilly alien abduction—check. Government cover-up—check. Evil giant robots—check. Anal probing—unfortunately—check. Little green men—well, actually they’re gray, but close enough. Check. It’s a veritable cornucopia of alien goodness. An extraterrestrial smorgasbord, highlighted by Ryall’s delicious scripting and Templesmith’s one-of-a-kind visuals.

And it’s funny as hell."

Full review here.

We also got a great write-up from Beau Smith in his latest Busted Knuckles column:

"Groom Lake is smart, fun, creepy and promises to interest anyone that is a fan of science fiction with a tinge of horror. This is by far the most commercial art that Ben Templesmith has done yet in his skyrocketing career. With the script and dialogue of Chris Ryall, Templesmith shows that he is a real storytelling craftsman. Ryall and Templesmith make an excellent team and I really believe they bring out the best in each other."

Full review/column here.


In celebration of IDW's 10th anniversary this week, we've been running full chapters from the coming IDW X oral history book at this week. Later chapters in the book include discussions with creators like Joe Hill, Gene Simmons, Clive Barker, Steve Niles, Ben Templesmith and others, but right now, we're showing the first chapter of the book and another that features a discussion with Ashley Wood:

Chapter 1

Chapter 5

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

2009 Eisner Award nominations are live!

And we got the most nominations we've ever had in one year. Congrats to all the nominees, but especially to these folks (full list of nominations here):

Best Limited Series
Locke & Key, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)

Best Reality-Based Work
Fishtown, by Kevin Colden (IDW)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips
The Complete Little Orphan Annie, by Harold Gray (IDW)
Scorchy Smith and the Art of Noel Sickles (IDW)

Best Writer
Joe Hill, Locke & Key (IDW)