Monday, April 30, 2012

PANEL BEATER: My Comic, Writer, Artist and Moment Of The Month That Was

PANEL-BEATER: Comic Of The Month: Saga #1 

"Sorry. But "We have a family to think about now" is the rallying cry of losers"

Soak your imagination in something new, something vibrant. A universe where a renegade couple from warring planets, have given birth to a child on the run from forces beset from all sides. Forces like a bounty-hunter with a lie-sniffing cat, a unicorn-horned woman with no tolerance for crass talk and a race of monitor headed people, plotting the downfall of magic minds. Welcome to Saga from Image Comics.

The first thing that strikes you about Saga, is the clean design of it's cover. Plus in a move that would send millions of marketers off a cliff, the back cover is peacefully blank. Second thing? The value; a bumper-sized issue at no extra cost. And no 'two behind the scenes pages you already saw on CBR' kind of "bumper" either, but 44 pages of ad free story. Not that Saga needs it.

Writer Brian K Vaughan not only knows his story, he knows his audience, and here he takes off like a robber's dog. No endless back-story or set-up, this first issue is independent and self-assured, and would be, even at a fraction of it's size.

As new found parents Alana and Marko trace the trail of a map that's fallen into their possession, artist Fiona Staples illustrates Brian's trust in the books readership to a tee. Politics, social issues, sex and nudity all raise their head, with Fiona's pen handling each one with just enough detail to tell the story, but not overpower it. 

Sure no adult warning scars the cover, but comics were and are best when not speaking down to their readers, and both Image and their opposition offer plenty of more youthfully packaged reads to attract younger eyes.

Heck, Brian and co. even manage a dig in their first issue. As the core couple laugh off the corniness of naming their child 'Hope', the future self of the baby in question (who serves as part narrator for the tale) qwips "It's not like I grow up to become some great war hero or any sort of all-important saviour..." Saviour of the planets Wreath and Landfall perhaps not. Current saviour of my pull list, she certainly is.

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Magic Moment: Reed And Ben Have A Beer - Fantastic Four #605 Sure he made Galactus the Herald of Franklin Richards, but that doesn't mean writer Jonathan Hickman can't do up close and personal. After a time trip that reveals The Thing keeps the FF spirit right till his far-flung death, Reed returns to his long-ignored friend and does this;

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The Best Wordsmith: Brian K Vaughan - Saga #2 I promise this award isn't a yo-yo on a string, but Brian (as he has done in the past) writes the most realistic dialogue I have ever read, period. In two issues, all the main characters are fully fleshed out, with central couple Alana and Marko actually talking 'couple stuff' while on the run.

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Best Pencil-Pusher: Fiona Staples - Saga #2 When a writer decides they're going to create all-new worlds, you need an artist who can make those worlds seem 'all-new'. When the writer decides to make the galaxies most feared bounty-hunter The Stalk, an armless woman who is a giant spider from the waist down, well you need Fiona Staples.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

MAKING A MARK: Lan Medina - Putting Fantastic Comic Art Into A Deathlok

Twice a week, Making A Mark gives an insanely talented artist some IADW brag-space. Today goes to Lan Medina, an illustrator from the Philippines I discovered on Deathlok a while back, and despite becoming a bit of a fabled artist since then, still hasn't got the attention I think he should've yet. Here are a few examples why;

Black Canary is the DCU's resident butt-kicker, and in this shot she actually looks ready to both claim and defend that title! Meanwhile to her right, despite the fact fact someone has grown extra fingers, Ian takes one of the best buddy teams in comics and shows just what a lethal combination Wolverine and Nightcrawler can be!

As for his Deathlok work I was talking about, just check the above out! Not only does it have the Demolisher going toe-to-cyborg toe with Iron Man, just check out the detail on Deathlok's joints and zombiefied left arm. It's almost a shame to have to colour it!

 What do you think?  Does Elektra remind you of a Terry Dodson in the making? Sound off below in the comments section or click here for more great Making A Markists. To see more of Ian's fantastic fiction and a whole lot more, visit his website after the jump.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Grant Morrison's Playboy Spread, Fox Goes Marvel Mad, Your Cat's Sith New Home And More, When It Comes To THE CRUNCH

The Crunch is back, rounding up all the other big hits of the week.

CRUNCH! See the kitty with the mini bar above? Well that's just the interior of this Star Wars based, home-made AT-AT cat fort. While in my opinion cats are evil manipulators and already part of the Sith, I can't deny how cool this massive thing is! (Via)

CRUNCH! A X-Men: First Class sequel, and now Fox have revealed other planned reboots for Daredevil and The Fantastic Four. Also teasing upcoming news of X-Men spin-off films, and the term 'New Mutants' floated, I really hope Cable and Gambit are in there too.

CRUNCH! Marvellous print-makers MONDO, have released the final parts of their Avengers line. If like me, you can't get the movie out of your head and need a little 24x36" action for your walls, you can grab prints like Kevin Tong's Iron Man (below), right after the jump. (Via)

CRUNCH! Comics powerfulest pen-smith, writer Grant Morrison has his own multipage spread in Playboy magazine. Not the kind you'd think, but rather one where the scribe details the gayness of Batman and why Superman still fears a visit from the relatives. Surprisingly work safe, the feature is online right here. (And hey if the boss catches you, you're only reading the articles right?)

NOW THAT'S A SPLASH PAGE: Aquaman #7 Delivers The Splashie Of The Month

Splash pages, you gotta love 'em. A blank canvas where the artist can hit you with a large dose of illustrated 'wow'. This week, being the month-ender, we look at the best splashie from the month that was. This time around Ivan Reis obliterates any and all competition with an imposing splash, heralding the return of aqua-nasty Black Manta.

The current Aquaman creative team is purely firing on all cylinders now. Aquaman and Mera are re-established, a supporting cast is cemented and now with the introduction of The Others, franchise-former, writer Geoff Johns is starting to build.

Having the heroes of the book sorted adds weight to Black Manta's return and dressed in his assassinly best, he sure looks more than a match for the former King of the Seven Seas.

Kahina the Seer, it was sad but visually stunning to see you go. R.I.P. For more great splashies, click here.

Friday, April 27, 2012

JAFFA JURY: The Avengers Movie Review (Spoiler Free)

Like Lord of The Rings did for Peter Jackson, The Avengers will do for Joss Whedon. For with this movie, he has written the screenplay and directed and delivered a film that defines the term 'blockbuster'.

Epitomising the 'united few against the individually unbeatable' concept of it's comic roots, the current generation will reference the impact of seeing The Avengers movie, in the same way mine do Superman. It is truly sensational. Oh, and Avengers has Hulk vs Loki. 

How is it one movie can have one half of your mind laughing at the humour, amazed at the plot twists and gob-smacked at the battle scenes, while the other half bangs on the cerebral ground screaming "This is how the comics should be!"?

As Loki's plan to have humanity assume a more 'natural state' beneath his heel takes shape, so to do the forces that oppose him. In a stroke of genius they don't all join the fray at once, but rather in a drip-feed motion that benefits all characters involved. 

Just like Joss's run on the comic Astonishing X-Men, the friction between the main characters is glorious stuff, making you wonder if they will ever assemble at all. Hulk vs Thor (both times) may be the best slugfest(s) of any film. Cap's defence of Nick Fury's motives, Stark and Banner's common ground and the Black Widow matching wits with Loki - heck, the dialouge and the chemistry of both actors and roles is simply flawless. 

As The Helicarrier, officially steals the title of 'Hollywood's coolest vehicle', Robert Downey Jnr remains incredible as the show-stealing Iron Man/Tony Stark. While Pepper also features, and the movie explains how S.H.E.I.L.D. have moved Jane Foster to safety, it doesn't cover why War Machine isn't called in (at least not that I heard the first time round - and believe me there will be a few others). 

It's a small thing, but when the alien invasion strikes and the Mjolnir hits the fan, Tony could've really done with Rhodey's firepower, so it does stand out. Oh, and Avengers has Hulk vs Loki. 

As said forces and serpents reign down upon Manhattan, Avengers conveys an alien invasion like few in film have mustered. Having created a commanding presence in ending Thor's tiff with Iron Man, Chris Evans portrays a Captain America who refuses to give up, despite serious wounds suffered beside an armoured man, a demi-God and a Hulk. 

While Black Widow hitches a ride, Banner's 'Hulk controlling' secret is revealed and Hawkeye fires arrows with bulls-eye precision, you realise two key words are missing from the film. In their place, your mind's so busy sceaming over what's infront of you, you're not sure if you actually care. Oh, and Avengers has Hulk vs Loki.  

While like all Marvel films, it would have been nice if they could've worked more of a tip of the hat to artist and co-creator Jack Kirby into the proceedings, since Stan Lee again deservedly pops up, what Joss and every single hand employed by this film has done, both as a multi-film climax and individual piece will go down in movie history. 

Sure the films that lead to this destination may have had their dips, but as the after credits scene reveals the big bad Avengers 2 is going to tackle, you realise 'Earth's Mightiest debut' doesn't share that fate. Infact as I walked out of the theatre, the guy infront of me instantly turned his mobile on and said "Bro, just watched The Avengers..... FU!#KN' SICK!!!!!" Frankly, I couldn't have said it better myself.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

REAL LIFE HEROES: Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith And The Humble ANZAC Spirit

It's move that has been described as something akin to the Spartan soldiers highlighted in the movie adaptation of Frank Miller's 300. In October 2010, in the height of the Afghanistan fighting season, 24 Australian soldiers were pinned down surrounded by multiple points of heavy Taliban machine-gun fire. 

One of those trapped by the barrage of bullets, Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith, with no regard for his own welfare, exposed himself to the enemy and charged down their fire, single-handedly taking out three machine-gun points, saving the lives of his entire unit.

While the above act has earned Ben the Victoria Cross, the highest military honour in many Commonwealth countries, and made the 33 year old, 202cm tall giant the most highly-decorated, currently serving soldier of any Commonwealth army, it is not that that makes him the subject of this post. 

Rather it is the down-to-earth manner and nobility in which he conducts himself, despite his successes. And in reflection of ANZAC Day (this Wednesday just gone), in which both 'Kiwis' and 'Aussies' remember our fallen war heroes. In particular those who gave their lives to bring down the Ottoman defences of Gallipoli in World War I.

When TV anchors on a main Australian network referenced a 60 Minutes story on Cpl Roberts-Smith by focussing on a scene of the soldier weight-training in a pool with comments like; the soldier was “going to dive to the bottom of the pool to see if his brain was still there” and references to his sexual performance, the network was deluged with complaints and a nation's anger. 

While the network apoligised repeatedly as ire increased, Cpl Ben Roberts-Smith never replied even in a mature manner and simply continued to promote his media-generating efforts not as the act of one man, but the act of any soldier fighting for the freedoms he and his teammates in the ANZAC forces continually step out against.

Personally I'm glad there was an outrage against the network. It shows the people of today still have a sense of respect, decency and manners, and that the all to arrogant media networks of this world still have a public that is a higher power to answer too. The public defended it's non-American Idol found hero, as he had defended them. 

As the sun rose this week on ANZAC Day in Gallipoli Cove, no one was more justified to read this years The Ode than he. Describing the moment as one "that filled him with pride and emotion" by the magic of YouTube, here it is for you now.



We Shall Remember Them.

For more, on Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith click the jump.

ONE MARVEL FAN - And His Crazy Cool Wrap-Around Marvel Leg Tattoo

If you are a comics fan who feels 'Marvel Zombies' don't have a leg to stand on, watch how incorrect that stance can be. Abel, an ultra-skilled skin-art professional from the shores of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has within his gallery, this complete leg tattoo, filled with Marvel heroes.

Click to enlarge and you will see, redrawing Jim Lee's Captain America, Adi Granov's Iron Man, Gabriele del'Otto's Silver Surfer and more, is hard enough with just a pad and a pen, let alone encircling an entire 3D canvas with your efforts.

 What do you think?  To see the other works in Abel's portfolio visit his profile after the jump.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

MAKING A MARK: Anthony Castrillo - How Illegally Good Sketching On A Comic Can Be

Twice a week, Making A Mark gives an insanely talented artist some IADW brag-space. Today goes to Anthony Castrillo, and more specifically, this pro's extensive gallery of sketch cover art. From original pieces, to recreations of comics' most infamous moments and scenes, he does it all.

When Marvel revamped their 80's character frame cover technique for their 70th birthday, Jim Cheung did an amazing job on all the various characters. While the idea of sketching directly onto a comic may seem like sacrilege to some, Anthony not only provides pieces deserving of Cheung's fantastic framing - he makes you wish that issue actually came with his 'sketch' so you could own a copy!

What image in comics is more iconic than Cap whacking Hitler? So pivotal is the moment, movie Captain America: The First Avenger made a whole song and dance about it! As for Deathlok, lets just say I always have an eye out for art of The Demolisher!

 What do you think?  Have you seen a better Black Cat? Sound off below in the comments section or click here for more great Making A Markists. To see more of Anthonys coveted covers and a whole lot more, visit his website after the jump. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

SUBWARS: The Awesome Animation Of A Vengeful Old Man Denied A Subway Seat

Finding people that have been dragged up well seems to get rarer and rarer in certain circles. Especially on public transport. Now Sean Soong has created an sweet, stylistic animation that shows what happens when one old man is denied a seat on the subway, and only has a trusty lightsaber to exact his vengeance...



Okay so a black humour warning should've followed but sue me - I was too busy heading back for a second watch. See more of Sean's work after the jump.

SKYFALL: The Top 6 'Bond Girls' In Comics

This week, the upcoming James Bond flick, Skyfall, did a concentrated push on promoting the latest ladies to take out that most prestigious of prestiges; the title of 'Bond Girl'. While Berenice Marlohe as Sévérine and Naomie Harris as Eve prepare to tango with Daniel Craig's 007, let's turn to the world of Black Canaries and Psylockes to discover the Top 6 Bond girls comics have to offer.

6) Death As 007, death literally walks beside you. Globe-tripping over to the universe of Vertigo, Death would get Bond to question his own mortality in her own Mary Poppins-punk-innocent way, and make the hereafter more attractive then ever to audiences across the globe.

5) Shi Shadow Japanese clans and blood-pacts may be a little hard to mix into the world of espionage and action, but with her oriental flare and fighting abilities, Crusade's Ana Ishikawa will prove her stern exterior is more then a match for any Bond who gets in her way.

4) Starfire While she may not have a Bond-girl friendly name like Pussy Galore, few characters in comics suit the 'exotic and powerful' tag like DC's Koriand'r - an alien princess who lights up the skies in a metalic purple bathing suit. Just don't tell Nightwing!

3) Black Widow Arguably Marvel's most powerful, strategic and flirtatious super-spy, Natasha Romanova would exploit Bond's weakness for femme fatales with an accent. From Russia with love, if any woman is going to beat the Bond at his own game, it is she.

2) Valkyrie Independent and in need of the aid of no man, Marvel's Valkyrie brings the beauty and Norse strength needed to wow and whack the forces of corruption to the masses. All on the backs of a flying horse to boot - beat that Aston Martin!

For comics #1 'Bond Girl' click the jump.

BOY CHIMNEY 2012'S BEST NEW CREATION? "Leaked" DC 52 Wave 2 Art Says 'Yes'

This is the problem with DC's Dial H; as the hero at the centre of the story changes with every dial spin, you often get introduced to fantastic new characters that you only have a limited time to enjoy. Over on Buzzfeed "leaked" DC 52 Wave 2 artwork has been posted, and what do you know, the Dial H portion features the instantly addictive appearance of Boy Chimney. Just look at him;

This is the exact type of zany creativity mainstream comics need to embrace more often. Drawn by Mateus Santolouco this splash and the character sketches the "leak" includes have amped my anticipation for this book. To prove I'm not completely bias, here's a few teases from two of the other upcoming hits as well (click to enlarge);

The Earth 2 Huntress by George Perez? G.I. Combat's The War That Time Forgot illustrated by Ariel Olivetti? How can you say no to art like this - it's mind-blowing.

For more preview pages from these titles and the others lining up as part of the DC52 Wave 2, visit Buzzfeed after the jump.

Monday, April 23, 2012

WATCHMEN: The Comic Picks For May 2012

May, it's the month of my birth, and while the day of all days is not as yet a global public holiday, it damn sure should be. With that in mind as I turn my aged eyes towards the releases of May 2012, here are the five comics I'll be wishing for, as I blow out the candles on the increasingly crammed for space roof of my birthday cake.

DR MANHATTAN (The Neon Blue Guy In The Room): DAVID MAZZUCCHELLI'S DAREDEVIL BORN AGAIN: ARTIST'S EDITION (IDW) This is my birthday present to me, and I can't wait. Writer Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli's definitive Daredevil arc, personally scanned by David from his own original art! 200 pages of story, covers and extras at 100% the originally drawn size. Paste-overs, blue pencils, editorial notes, art corrections and more, make this the most unmissable 'behind the scenes' book ever.

NITE OWL (The Dependable Goodie): EXILED #1 (Marvel): Forget AvsX for a minute - this actually feels like a magic Marvel crossover of old, and it's easier on the wallet! Combining The New Mutants with the Asgard forces of Journey into Mystery, this one-shot kickstarts the whole shebang, as a lost hero mightier than Thor returns.

RORSCHACH (The Indie Voice): MIND THE GAP #1 (Image) If you missed out on Morning Glories, you can finish hanging your head in shame and jump on writer Jim McCann's next quality little number Mind The Gap! A psychological thriller, where a comatose victim is the only key to the identity of the brutal criminal menacing the public, you'll need to keep one eye open when reading and presume no one is innocent.

THE COMEDIAN (My Rank Outsider): DIAL H #1 (DC): One of my top DC concepts lands a whole new series! The magical dial that transforms it's wielder into a different super-hero, each time it is spun, is a great recipe to explore the slice-of-life side of the DCU, while really shaking the fantastic from the tree as the same time.

SILK SPECTRE (Stops traffic with looks alone): X-O MANOWAR #1 (Valiant) The Valiant Universe is reborn in this bumper-sized issue, and not only is the barbarian in an alien warsuit leading the charge, he's drawn by iconic Conan artist Cary Nord! Sold, sold and sold again!


 What do you think?  What comics are you looking forward to this May?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT: Daredevil #11 Preview Gets Frank

The preview for this week's Daredevil #11 is out and continues The Omega Effect crossover between Avenging Spider-Man, The Punisher and Daredevil. Setting up the issue by reflecting on the most interesting relationship of the trinity to me, Frank Castle and Matt Murdock.

There are so many great parables between the man that has lost all faith in the justice system and the vigilante who actually tries to be its salvation as a day job, that a great read is assured each time Daredevil and Punisher lock horns.

Throw Spidey into the mix, and you have three iconic Marvel men trying to keep a datadrive containing all the secrets of the Megacrime organisation out of the hands of individual Megacrime parties like A.I.M. and H.Y.D.R.A. Sound tasty? Here's a bite;

Daredevil #11 is released this week from Marvel Comics.

MAKING A MARK: Stephanie Buscema - Retro Art Wowzers From A Retro Art Fan

Twice a week, Making A Mark gives an insanely talented artist some IADW brag-space. Today goes to Stephanie Buscema, an American illustrator/painter from New York. With a last name like 'Buscema' you know illustration runs deep in her veins, so to you'll find, does a deep appreciation of all those great drawing styles of times gone by.

It's an age old question - 'Best females in comics, Marvel or DC?' Here the leading ladies of the latter enjoy an after work drink, good talking about evil and vica versa. Wonder Woman and Batgirl are one thing but Cheetah and Catwoman are a welcome trip down memory lane.

As an established professional, Stephanie still prefers paint or pencil straight onto paper. Her major inspirations include music (Punk, Rockabilly, Jazz), mid century album cover art, monster movies, old Golden books and early animation.

Storm and Wonder Woman above do highlight many of those influences, especially the Golden books style - and even the original opening sequence to the classic sitcom Bewitched.

I chose Liberty Belle for the hero piece of the post for two reasons. One; it is just flat out cool, and two; I think the character is one of the most underused yet iconic characters in the DC library. I first came across the original in JSA: The Golden Age, and now the mantle is now with speedster Jesse Quick, it's still a concept and costume that should never be out of sight (just like most of the Justice Society!)

 What do you think?  Sound off below in the comments section or click here for more great Making A Markists. To see more of Stephanie's retro based wonder versions of the Inhumans, Mary Marvel and a whole lot more, visit her website after the jump. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Marvel's Cross-Media Planning With Phoenix, The Aliens Guitar, Your Own Marvel CEO Chair And More, When It Comes To THE CRUNCH

The Crunch is back, rounding up all the other big hits of the week.

CRUNCH! Marvel's free-to-play Facebook game Avengers Alliance has released a variant of Jean Grey sporting her classic Phoenix number, but white and gold instead of green and gold. Why the colour change? I think this splash I found on my regular trek to the IronFist Fan blog of CBR's exclusive New Avengers #25 preview might hold the answer;

Drawn by the eternally amazing Mike Deodato, while the above splashie features Hope not Jean, the fact it appears around the same time as an Iron Fist palette Phoenix is released in Avengers Alliance not only teases the future, it shows some true across company planning!

CRUNCH! Guitarists treat their weapon of mass destruction like their right arm, so you know Gig Goldstein has made one hell of an offering by creating a carved Alien guitar piece, done in the style of H.R. Giger.

CRUNCH! Lobo, the 'Main Man' crossing the galaxy and everyone in it, is revving up for Hollywood. Warner Bros. have hired Brad Payton to direct a film adaptation. Well I'll be fragged.

CRUNCH! Ever sat in a chair and pretended you were the CEO of Marvel, telling yourself off for not giving Deathlok, She-Hulk or Cloak and Dagger their due? No? Just me? Well, now you can follow my lead with a range of Marvel branded faux-leather gaming chairs! Cap, the Fantastic Four, Spidey, the X-Men and more are available to deck your lounge out in, and at $400 each you can grab one right after the jump.

RANDOM WORK OF WOW: Pobre Turretrato's All-New, All-Different X-Men

Sometimes you stumble across a portfolio where the artist only has a couple of comic based pieces, other times there can be just one work so brilliant, you'd risk being stoned to death by fellow art lovers for putting something else beside it. These are Random Works of Wow, and illustrating the point this week is artist Pobre Turretrato with The X-Men that relaunched the franchise the first time around.

A homage to iconic X-Men artist Dave Cockrum, this piece showcases not only why this team is one of comics' greatest line-ups, but also why it was more entitled to claim the name 'Earth's Mightiest' then the globally themed but often all-American Avengers that often do.

 What do you think?  After you've clicked to really, really enlarge, sound off below or to view more of Turretrato's awe-inspiring work, click the jump.

Friday, April 20, 2012

COVER SHOTS: The Best From IDW Publishing's July 2012 Solicitations

Yip, Megatron is talking to you and why wouldn't he be? In July IDW have more Star Trek/Dr Who crossover-ness, a new Jericho based mini-series, a new Transformers series picking up where Marvel's left off and the return of Hollywood's biggest  gothic cult icon (oh yeah and covers as hot as these three)!

COVER OF THE MONTH: ASHLEY WOOD - THE CROW #1

God I hope this book takes itself seriously and does well - with Ashley contributing a cover to the debut issue, it's off to the right start!

IDW says: “Death and Rebirth,” Part 1. THE CROW is reborn—in Tokyo. Can a dark spirit fight for the light? THE CROW has always done just that—striking from the shadows, a kind of shadow himself. 

The spirit of the Crow is back, transfiguring Jamie Osterberg, an American studying in Tokyo and deeply in love with his Japanese girlfriend, Yumi… until the love of his life is stolen. The Crow must once more make the wrong thing right—but this time he might have to do it by killing his own true love….

CLOSE CONTENDERS: (Click to enlarge)

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES MICROSERIES #6: CASEY JONES - David Petersen The attitude and awesomeness that is Casey Jones has always been my favourite character from the TMNT cannon. As David shows here, Pop needs more hockey-stick wielding heroes!
G.I. JOE: DISAVOWED, VOL. 6 - Sharp Bros. 'I'm suffocating'. 'You're constricting me' are obviously traits the Baroness finds comforting in a relationship. Me, I like my space - and partners that are warm blooded. Call me crazy.

 What do you think?  Sound off below. For more from other publishers in July 2012 as they become available click here, or to find out the rest of IDW Publishing's July line-up, follow the jump!

THE SIN CITY SCENE: Rosario And Rourke Set To Return For 'A Dame To Kill For'

A harsh wind fills the city. Sounds of familiar feet filling familiar shoes tap the sidewalk of the City. Tip, tap, tip, tap, Mickey Rourke back as Marv. Click, clack, click clack, Rosario Dawson returns as Gail. Click, clack, click, clack, the city has it's heartbeat. Two bullets in the chamber of the anthology film that is Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.


NOW THAT'S A SPLASH PAGE: The New Warriors' Turbo Takes Flight

Splash pages, you gotta love 'em. A blank canvas where the artist can hit you with a large dose of illustrated 'wow'. This week, a request splashie by David Holsey, for this shot of Turbo from the post Fabian Nicieza New Warriors, drawn by artist Patrick Zircher;

Fabian established a nice dynamic in the title with both Mickey and her brother Michael sharing the Turbo suit, and Michael's fears he wasn't as capable or as ready to be a super-hero as his more confident sister.

While Mickey eventually won out, Turbo went on to become one of the titles more popular heroes, even joining teammate Darkhawk in the New Warriors-ish Runaways spin-off The Loners as a team founder.

If there is a splashie you'd like to see on Now That's What I Call A Splash Page, why not email me your request to iadwmailbag at gmail dot com! In the meantime for more great s.p's, click here.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

REAL LIFE HEROES: Sean Swarner, 14 Days To Live To Planting Hope On 7 Summits

Being diagnosed with cancer is an incredible climb to overcome, but Sean Swarner once diagnosed with just fourteen days to live has survived cancer twice, and on just one remaining lung, scaled the worlds seven highest summits and competed in the Hawaii Ironman.

The first cancer survivor to conquer Mt Everest, Sean trained for his treks by exploring Colorado's Mt. Elbert with 100 pounds of rock in his backpack. When he reached the top of the worlds highest peak, he planted a flag which carried the names of 100 supporters whose lives had also been touched by cancer.

A decade on and Sean has climbed the highest peak on each of the seven continents, spreading his story of hope around the globe.

Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, Elbrus in Europe, Denali in Alaska, Aconcagua in South America, Kosciuszko here in Australia and Vinson Massif in Antarctica have all fallen beneath Sean's feat of feet. A stark contrast from the boy who was diagnosed with late Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at just 13. There is no Stage V. 

His dreams of joining the U.S. Olympic Swim Team were replaced by radiation and chemotherapy treatments that saw his weight balloon, complete hair loss, endless nausea and a loss of life and 'friends'.

With the cancer spread throughout Swarner’s entire lymphatic system, he was given just three months to live, yet made it to a state of remission nine months, which he relates to a combination of medicine, prayer, humour and family. Not even two years later, a golf ball-sized tumor (Askin’s Sarcoma) was found in his right lung.

More aggressive than the first, the doctors gave him only fourteen days to live. With treatments more painful then the first set to follow, doctors often placed Sean into a medically induced coma so he wouldnt remember the pain.

But Sean survived and better yet in 2001, co-founded the Cancer Climber Association. A non-profit organisation, dedicated to giving cancer patients the tools needed to overcome cancer; the right attitude and a positive outlook on life.

To cancer patients, Swarner advises: “The human body can survive for roughly 30 days without food. The human body can live for three days without water. But no human alive can survive for more than 30 seconds without hope, because without hope we have nothing.

“Keep climbing. Never give up. That’s our motto.”