Friday, January 30, 2009

GHOST WHISPERER On the Page live after death

CBS has put together a GHOST WHISPERER sub-site that talks up all the comics (and other such printed projects they do...). It just went live, and is being hyped on the show airing tonight, so that's a nice bonus we don't normally see on these kinds of projects. The site, GW On the Page, can be found here.


Running that cover image last night got me some e-mails asking why we've never shown any of incoming artist Dave Ross's pages, to give people a sense of how issue 18 will look. Couldn't really show them before without spoiling the events in issue 16, but now these pages should be safe. So here's a look at what Ross is doing on pencils and inks. issue 18 is out on February 25, two weeks after issue 17.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

ANGEL 21 start to finish

Haven't really spent time showing a look behind the scenes in a while, so an upcoming cover of ANGEL (issue 21) seems like a good spot for that. Especially because the artist, LOCKE & KEY's Gabriel Rodriguez, penciled the cover using blue lines, which not everyone does, and handled all the inks and colors himself. So the three steps after the sketch itself was approved, are the tightened pencils:

And the inked page:

And finally, the finished color version:

I LOVE -- AND CAPES -- New York

Incurable (according to his doctor) romantic Thom Zahler -- who's also the clever cartoonist-type behind LOVE AND CAPES (the TPB of which is now available from us, y'know) -- is going to be at the New York Comic-Con along with myself. At Thom's table, he's going to be giving out little Valentines like the one pictured here. (Or printable here.) On the back of the Valentines will be a printed offer for the ever-popular *free stuff.* So if you're headed to the show, as long as your stop-by doesn't keep you from the IDW panels, go check out his table. The 'Toon Tumblers there are especially cool for old-school fans like me. Now if only there was a Rom Spaceknight pint glass, Thom...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

All Hail Emiliano

It's been a little while since I've shown anything TRANSFORMERS-related here, so let's look ahead at some ALL HAIL MEGATRON. To catch up a bit, we've gotten Guido Guidi some help on a few of the issues. And one of the guys helping is Emiliano Santalucia. Emil did a SPOTLIGHT issue for us a year or so back, but as you can see by these pages, from issue 10, he's gotten even more comfortable with the characters and is a nice guy to have around. Which is why we're making some plans to keep him around after this.

Counting Up

Our STAR TREK movie lead-in comic, COUNTDOWN, began its run on January 14, when issue 1 was released. The first issue got some great reviews from places like AICN and some Trek sites, and now, just under two weeks later, issue 1 -- which was considerably overprinted to make sure there were many more copies beyond what was initially ordered -- is a complete sell-out, too.

Issue 2 is in stores on February 25, and here's a couple pages from that issue just to give those of you who haven't grabbed the first issue a taste of what it looks like. Art and colors courtesy of David Messina.

Update: a live link to the COUNTDOWN #1 review that was mentioned in the blog responses here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

RIP and Tear

Yes, I am quoting an old L.A. Guns song from the '80s, in case you're curious about the title of this entry.

We announced today, through Heidi MacDonald's blog at Publishers Weekly, that in September, we (the "we" here is primarily Dean Mullaney) will be collecting Alex Raymond's masterful RIP KIRBY series in deluxe hardcovers a la our Eisner-winning TERRY & THE PIRATES.

For those who don't know Alex Raymond, or have only seen bits of his work in the form of Dave Sim's new comic GLAMOURPUSS, you're in for a treat.

The text of the press release:

Following the Eisner-award winning Terry and the Pirates, IDW’s Library of American Comics will present Alex Raymond’s modernist classic Rip Kirby in a definitive five-volume archival hardcover series.

Edited and designed by Dean Mullaney, Rip Kirby will contain every daily from the strip’s inception in 1946 through Alex Raymond’s tragic death in 1956. “It’s going to look gorgeous,” Mullaney says. “We are reproducing the strips from pristine syndicate proofs that will allow readers to see, for the first time, the full luxurious detail of Raymond’s brushwork.”

Rip Kirby was the first hip and cool detective in newspaper comics. Created by Alex Raymond when he was deactivated from the Marines after World War II, it was a fresh approach to the genre, a departure from the prevailing hard-boiled style of detective fiction. Rip Kirby was urbane and cerebral, and used scientific methods as often as he used his fists when solving crimes and mysteries. But there was still plenty of action — Kirby was an All-American athlete and decorated war hero.

Co-written with Ward Greene, Rip Kirby often addressed contemporary issues, including trafficking in black market babies and the attempt to limit the proliferation of atomic and biological weapons. The supporting cast was comprised of Rip’s valet and assistant, Desmond, and plenty of breathtaking women, particularly Rip’s girlfriend, Honey Dorian, and the raven-haired and aptly-named Pagan Lee. Highly conscious of the fashions of the day, Raymond brought post-war and early-50s chic and fashion to the comics page, dressing his female characters in ultra-chic clothes obviously inspired by Dior’s “New Look.”

The strip also signified a grand departure, both thematically and artistically, from Raymond’s first major creation, Flash Gordon. With Rip Kirby, Raymond wedded his incomparable brushwork to a sweeping approach to storytelling and camera movement that was missing in the more static Flash. He promulgated a new art style — one of cinematic photo-realism — that influenced such artists to follow as Stan Drake, Leonard Starr, Al Williamson, and Neal Adams.

Biographical and historic essays will be written by Brian Walker, author of the best-selling Comics Before 1945 and Comics After 1945. The first volume will have an introduction by Raymond biographer and authority Tom Roberts.

You're in big Tribble, mister

When we did our last round of STAR TREK: ALIEN SPOTLIGHT issues, we skipped over my favorite race... the Tribbles. In March, we rectify that with "The Trouble with Humans," a one-issue spotlight on the little hairy Klingon-hating 'sacks, courtesy of Stuart Moore and Mike Hawthorne (new artist on G.I. JOE: ORIGINS). The cover image here is courtesy of David Williams and Moose Baumann.

Monday, January 26, 2009

SMILE High Club

A recent "review" of ANGEL: SMILE TIME gave it a rough score based simply on the fact that the reviewer didn't see the need for an adaptation of a beloved ANGEL episode that tells the story of Angel-as-puppet, a tale we've sequelized in comic form. Fair enough (his sentiment, if not the review itself, which you'll have to seek out if you want it, no easy links here for that one), but then again, many people like this kind of thing--we did it based on requests for it in the first place. In fact, enough people liked it that issue 1 is now a complete sell-out, a testament both to fans knowing what they want and also to the great job Scott Tipton and David Messina did in adaptating the episode. As such, here's a two-page spread from issue 2, in stores on February 18.


Since Barzak's SKATE FARM book comes out this week (with Vol. 2 coming in April), I thought it'd be good to actually show a bit more of it so people would get a better idea of what the book is.

The solcits themselves read like this:

Skate Farm, Vol. 1
Barzak (w & a)
When a shadowy government agency pursues its ceaseless war with Ali Baba and The Dirty Deeds to Southern California, they bring with them pain and suffering for the locals. But they also bring skateboards: skateboards with mysterious and unbelieveable abilities. With these boards, a troubled teen, a pro skater, a malcontent and an overachiever mbark on a quest to rid the world of this evil.
TPB • B&W • $9.99 • 194 Pages • 5.71” x 8.5” • 978-1-60010-408-4

Saturday, January 24, 2009

New releases for Jan. 28

No regular comics this week, making this a perfect time to try something a little bit different. In order below, we have a re-presentation of an award-winning sci-fi prose novel, a collection of classic comics, a children's picture book, Ben Templesmith's portraits of the 44 POTUS's, and a manga-ish digest:*
*Note: the children's picture book shown here is actually coming out next week. The one for this week isn't picture.

Hothouse: The Long Afternoon of Earth
Journey, Vol. 2
Michael Recycle: 4th Printing
Presidents of the United States
Skate Farm Vol. 1

Splashing the JOE pot

I haven't really shown all that much G.I. JOE here, and there's been a good stream of inquiries about our upcoming COBRA miniseries. We still don't want to show off too much of that one since, like Chuckles going undercover to infiltrate Cobra in that series, the mystery works better without showing too much. But still, a couple splash pages shouldn't spoil anything. So here's a page from that first issue, due in March, courtesy of Antonio Fuso and colorist Chris Chuckry:

And also a spread from the also-in-March G.I. JOE #3, courtesy of artist Robert Atkins:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

30 Days of MySpace

I know MySpace is, so 2007 and all, but someone notified me (on Twitter! That's a bit more 2008, at least...) that the site's homepage featured one of our books. And sure enough:

And then over on the MySpace comics page, there's a full preview of the same issue. Fallen out of vogue or not, I do like the Comics page they have there:

GROOM to kill

Ben T. was kind enough to gift me these three pages from our upcoming GROOM LAKE #1. The first issue's done and I'll definitely show some finished pages off soon enough, but for now, this works as a nice glimpse at what's to come.

Positive talkback about STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN

That isn't to say that the actual Talkback section of the review at Ain't It Cool News is filled with positive comments -- it IS still AICN, after all -- but there's a really nice review of this week's issue of STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN, the official lead-in to this summer's movie, up right now.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fallen: Angel

ANGEL: AFTER THE FALL #16, the penultimate chapter in the "After the Fall" storyline, came out today and featured, among other things, a nicely surprising and flattering cameo by yours truly on the final page (I'm the one in the image above who doesn't look like David Boreanaz but seems to wish I did...). And since I'd prefer not to spoil anything in the issue, I clipped just this panel. But if you've read the issue and want to read a review at a place who's reviewed each and every issue, I'll steer you here and just caution against reading it if you don't want spoilers.

44 x 4

I've seen a bit of a 'net-kerfuffle between a couple other publishers' Obama-centric comic covers and one claiming they had the idea first and all that. I stay out of such things, especially when they're both wrong. We were not only first, we're now going back to press for the fourth time on our PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS: BARACK OBAMA comic (for some reason, the John McCain comic hasn't sold quite as well...). The fourth printing will have an all-new cover on it along with a transcript of yesterday's acceptance speech. And not one appearance by the Chameleon on this one--sorry, Cham fans.

Update 1.22.9: covered the news about this 4th printing, with a link back to my blog, so now I'll link on my blog back to their story which links to my blog and... PFAFFF!*

*Sorry, my head just exploded while I tried to follow this whole snake-eating-its-own-tail thing.

Counting Down

The first full review for today's STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN #1 release -- full of spoilers -- can be found here. In the hundreds of responses below the review are a couple replies from TREK co-screenwriter Roberto Orci, too.

Ashtro Boy

Ashley Wood is doing variant covers for our ASTRO BOY: UNDERGROUND series, which starts in May. Here's his take on the character for issue 1.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

With apologies to Shepherd Fairey

(Sure, today's not totally about me but since this just got sent to me, it seemed amusingy topical to run here. Courtesy of an art director friend of mine, putting together a shirt for my upcoming birthday bash in Vegas. Well, actually courtesy of site)


Monday, January 19, 2009

Sal & Joe!

As a longtime fan of both these guys, I'm pretty tickled to have a cover from Sal Buscema and Joe Sinnott gracing one of our books. We don't really ever seem to have the kinds of books available that suit their styles, but I grew up reading comics by both guys separately and then together, like during their ROM SPACEKNIGHT run. So their variant cover for J.M. DeMatteis' THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SAVIOR 28 #1 coming in March takes care of one more thing on my comics bucket list.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

New releases for Jan. 21

Angel: After the Fall #16
Angel: After the Fall Vol. 2 HC [2nd Printing]
Angora Napkin HC
Doctor Who: The Forgotten #6
Fallen Angel #33
Epilogue #4
Dark Delicacies #1
Star Trek: Countdown #1
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Prequel: Defiance #1

(*The covers image above was created a couple weeks ago, while the shipping schedule was still being finalized, so SKATE FIRM and DICK TRACY, pictured above, have since moved to Jan. 28 and Feb. 4, respectively)

Friday, January 16, 2009

LOCKE & KEY: HEAD GAMES #1: "Stand-alone perfection"

G4's Blair Butler has been regularly raving about LOCKE & KEY throughout its first six-issue run, and she just now sent along her link to this week's Fresh Ink, where she anoints it as her pick of the week and says some really great things about it and about Joe and Gabriel (she also kills with a bit about SPIDER-MAN 583's cover, too, so the whole clip is well worth watching).

Update 1.17.9: There's a really solid, although spoiler-laden (as would be expected from the Web site's name) over at, too.

Update 1.18.9:
Two more nice reviews, one at Arcon Citadel and one at Broken

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Back in the New York groove

Senior Editor Andy Schmidt and I are attending the New York Comic-Con in a few weeks, and the schedule for the show is being shorn up now. The con site lists the entire schedule but below are the listings for the two panels we're doing.

Friday's schedule is directly below, although we're likely to add some additional people to the panel beyond the folks listed below -- Ben Templesmith, Dean Mullaney and others, and we'll be talking up not only the fact that 2009 is our 10th anniversary but looking at some new projects for this year and beyond.

And for those sticking around until the end, we'll be doing a TRANSFORMERS/G.I. JOE panel Sunday afternoon, too, and talking up post-All Hail Megatron plans as well as where we're headed with Joe, too.

The early word on G.I. JOE #1... good, according to reviews here, here and, to a little lesser degree, this one from Wizard magazine.

Wizard was a bit more glowing in its praise of our TERMINATOR SALVATION MOVIE PREQUEL comic that also debuted yesterday:

"In this globe-trotting, post-Judgment Day comic prequel to the forthcoming movie starring Christian Bale, the dwindling human resistance in 2018 struggles to mount a life-or-death final offensive that will hopefully defeat the
Terminators. As various cells around the world play their respective parts, the robotic killers make a deadly counter-strike, unveiling the latest models that look more human than ever before. Naraghi's precision-paced plot kept me hooked throughout, while avoiding the usual Terminator burnout by focusing on a new cast of characters, led by the hard-nosed Commander Elena Maric, who, we learn via flashback, has feelings for the present-day but presently married John Connor. Meanwhile, Robinson's razor-sharp pencils make for cinematic visuals that do this film-to-comic franchise justice. The only thing missing is a Governator cameo!"

Launching Joe

Our new era of G.I. JOE officially kicked off yesterday with the release of Chuck Dixon and Robert Atkins' issue #1. Graham Crackers Comics threw a big launch party around the book's release and had Atkins at the store doing signings and sketches. Atkins did a special cover for the issue that is exclusive to their store. You can see from the pics they sent that they really know how to launch a book in style:

Robert even created a character that probably won't ever appear in the pages of an actual issue, but is fun to show, anyway. Meet Smoke Break:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The first official LOCKE & KEY: HEAD GAMES #1 reviews

LOCKE & KEY began its second run today with the release of L&K: HEAD GAMES #1. Comics just run the first official review of the issue, and it's a good'un: 4.5 stars that says, among other things:
"Locke & Key (both Head Games and the preceding chapter, Welcome to Lovecraft) is a wonderful exception. It's the whole package--a gripping story with interesting characters, beautiful art and single issues that tie together, but more often than not can stand on their own."

You can read the entire review here.

And a second review of the issue, from, states:

"Even as he expounds on past events, the author never slaps his mythology across the reader's face. He skillfully, yet succinctly, weaves it into a compelling narrative, and once again, this is where Locke and Key truly shines."

One step closer to a DOCTOR WHO/WORMWOOD crossover

I'm completely cribbing this from Ben Templesmith's blog, and you should all go check it out when you get done here, but today Ben showed a couple of pages from his upcoming DOCTOR WHO: THE WHISPERING GALLERY one-shot written by Leah Moore & John Reppion, and I wanted to pass that along here. The above image shows the artistic process he employs on each page.

For more Ben love here, just wait until those GROOM LAKE pages come flowing in...

Presidential Inauguration

Since the inauguration is coming up fast, I thought that in the spirit of that, I'd show a couple of Ben Templesmith's own Presidents. Being released two weeks from today, BEN TEMPLESMITH'S PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES is an oversize (8-1/2" x 11") book of portraits of all 44 POTUSes, and the finished spreads will include facts and information about each guy, too, which suddenly makes this a valuable text for students and biographers as well as comics fans and political junkies. All played straight, too, as you can see in these images of Abraham Lincoln and Grover Cleveland.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Key Stroke

There are rarely Christmas card surprises any more (although some of the more confessional "here's how our year went" letters do raise an eyebrow). Still, the cards, which, while nice to receive, aren't usually the sorts of things that make your jaw drop. Which is why it was such a thrill to open a small package from Joe Hill and have it accomplish exactly that. Inside the package was this, an actual Skull Key from LOCKE & KEY, expertly designed by a gent named Israel Skelton and Skeleton Crew Studios.

The key sitting alongside tomorrow's L&K: HEAD GAMES #1 and the advance copy of issue 2 (in stores on February 4):

The key sitting next to the original piece of key art Gabe designed:

And finally, the key as shown by Gabriel Rodriguez, artist on the book, designer of the original key, and professional hand model:


Grant Bond's first page for our AMERICAN McGEE'S GRIMM series just came in and was too good not to immediately share.

Monday, January 12, 2009

To Boot or Not to Boot, part 2

The second part of my "To Boot or Not to Boot" columns at just went live, and so far, the response actually seems to be universally positive. I'm sure the wind will shift a bit, but it looks good so far, with the book's impending launch only two days away. The site ran the same 5-page preview that I ran below, too, for anyone who wants an advance look at the first issue. will have a bit more on JOE tomorrow, too.


This spring marks the 10th anniversary of IDW (this summer also marks five half-decade anniversary with the company, too). To help celebrate a decade of existence, we're producing a special double-hardcover book that will be shipped in a slipcase, along with a bonus insert that includes all-new comic book stories, too. It's going to be a nice package. Before showing any little scraps of art here, the official solicits for the book, being offered in May, read like this:

IDW: The First Decade HC
Ted Adams, Peter David, Joe Hill, Kris Oprisko, Chris Ryall, Ben Templesmith (w) • Gabriel Rodriguez, Ben Templesmith, Ashley Wood, JK Woodward (a)

Celebarating IDW’s first 10 years, this comprehensive look at IDW is presented as a two-volume hardcover set with slipcase.

Volume One includes an oral history of the company written by co-founders Ted Adams and Kris Oprisko and IDW’s Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall that includes interviews with many major creators who have worked at IDW, including: Marc Andreyko, John Byrne, Scott Ciencen, Max Allan Collins, Simon Furman, Alex Garner, Mike Gold, Joe Hill, Brian Lynch, Jeff Mariotte, Dean Mullaney, Steve Niles, Gabriel Rodriguez, Ben Templesmith, Ashley Wood, and more, and will include a tip-in plate signed by IDW’s founders, Ryall, Hill, Niles, Templesmith, Wood, and Woodward.

Volume Two features every single cover published by IDW through December 2008. Over 2000 covers by some of the biggest names in comics including Clive Barker, Tim Bradstreet, John Byrne, J. Scott Campbell, John Cassaday, Richard Corben, Kieron Dwyer, Tommy Lee Edwards, Don Figueroa, Alex Garner, Mike Grell, Tony Harris, Dave Johnson, Sam Kieth, Igor Kordey, Ted McKeever, David Messina, Alex Milne, Scott Morse, Paul Pope, Gabriel Rodriguez, Richard Sala, Eric Shanower, Bill Sienkiewicz, Ken Steacy, Ben Templesmith, Billy Tucci, Ashley Wood, JK Woodward, Bernie Wrightson, and many more.

Also includes an all-new IDW: The First Decade comic book with all-new 5-page stories, including:

-- Fallen Angel by Peter David and JK Woodward
-- Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
-- Popbot by Ashley Wood
-- Wormwood, Gentleman Corpse by Ben Templesmith

Now, I don't want to show much of the art for the new comics stories but I have to give a glimpse of a couple of them, anyway. First is the FALLEN ANGEL art by J.K. Woodward:

And next is just a single panel from the LOCKE & KEY story. Even this might show more than it should, just because it loses a bit of the cool factor seeing it early, but it's just so nice. In the story, Bode discovers the "IDW Key," which opens his world to sights such as this one, and allows Gabriel Rodriguez to have a go at many different IDW characters. It's a helluva lot of fun, and a very nice way to celebrate the anniversary: