Saturday, February 28, 2009

WonderCon word

At WonderCon this weekend, Special Projects Editor Scott Dunbier is announcing two collections that he is putting together for later this year. Images of both are shown here, although much more to come, additional artwork and specific details, will follow. The first of which is something I've wanted to see for years (or decades), a deluxe presentation of Dave Stevens' masterful ROCKETEER stories. Colorist Laura Martin is re-coloring the entire series, including this image here, which will be presented in both a TPB and an oversize hardcover. The HC will be slipcased alongside a 120-page hardcover of Stevens' art, including an array of never-before-seen sketches, pin-ups and other brilliant ROCKETEER miscellani.

And another addition to our growing Library of American Comics series is a hardcover collection of all of Bil Keane's FAMILY CIRCUS strip, a strip that's been running for a half-century. Who's going to pass on getting these? "Not Me"...

Update: The FAMILY CIRCUS Press Release:


Book One To Be Released In Time To Celebrate Strip’s 50th Anniversary

(San Diego, CA; February 28, 2009) IDW Publishing is pleased to announce The Family Circus Library by Bil Keane. The Family Circus, which was originally published in only 19 newspapers, is now seen in over 1500 newspapers worldwide, making it one of the most enduring and popular comic strips ever.

Drawing inspiration from his own family’s antics, Bil Keane brought the charming adventures of Billy, Dolly, Jeffy & PJ to life where they have been beloved by millions of readers ever since

“Having truly enjoyed drawing my Family Circus cartoons,” Bil Keane said, “it is icing on the cake to see them now preserved in these very special volumes that will go on and on and on! Realizing that future generations may read the Keane family drawings that I penned so long ago is a happy bonus for this old cartoonist. I am eternally grateful.”

The initial book will collect the first two years of daily and Sunday strips, starting from the very beginning, February 29th, 1960. Volume One will be released in November, in celebration of the 50 year anniversary of The Family Circus.

“The Family Circus has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid,” said Scott Dunbier, the project’s editor, “and is even more so now that I have kids that age!” Each hard cover book will be designed by Eisner Award winner Dean Mullaney, and will be part of the critically acclaimed Library of American Comics.

Top 5 Comics You Should Buy Each Month

On Blair Butler's FRESH INK podcast this week, she discusses her picks for the "Top 5 Ongoing Series that you should be buying month after month." And right in the middle of the list is LOCKE & KEY. (Issue 3 of HEAD GAMES is out this Wednesday, and features one of the most jaw-dropping spreads of art you'll ever seen in a comic, on pages 6-7).

Friday, February 27, 2009

Smryall Time

The art for David Messina's ANGEL: SMILE TIME #3 cover came in today (along with all the finished pages. I'd say David was a workhorse but that somehow cheapens the great work he does, finishing this book along with COUNTDOWN #4 at the same time). Each issue of this series had a cover based on a previous image. The first issue was inspired by an old Bob Larkin HULK cover, issue 2 was a take-off on the FIGHT CLUB poster and now the final issue and its inspiration are below. Some dramatic license was granted in making Spike a puppet on this image, too.

And speaking of inspiration, I was working on something to do with "Smile Time" a year or so ago while putting this blog together, which is what led to the "Ryall Time" name (not some of the more... colorful reasons and guesses that a few people offered). There, my secret's out, and entirely uninteresting...


John Byrne's new STAR TREK series launches soon, and while I'll be running a full 5-page preview of CREW #1 prior to its release in mid-March, here's an advance look at some upcoming CREW pages: the cover to issue 4 (which has ties back to an issue of John's STAR TREK: ASSIGNMENT EARTH series) and a spread from issue 3, both featuring colors by Lovern Kindzierski.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fallen Angel vs Illyria -- colorized

On Tuesday, I posted Nick Runge's b&w art for the retailer incentive cover of the upcoming FALLEN ANGEL: REBORN #1. Here's the finished version, colors also by Runge.

Countdown #2 gets high marks from TrekWeb

The second issue of our STAR TREK movie prequel comic, COUNTDOWN, came out yesterday, and gave it great scores all around, averaging out to an "A" grade for the entire issue.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Putting on their Pants two reviews at a time reviewed G.I. JOE: ORIGINS #1 and DOCTOR WHO: THE WHISPERING GALLERY. Both good'uns, too.

Rising Angel

FALLEN ANGEL is coming back in July, and with her will be Illyria for the initial four-part story. The book will still be written by Peter David and art by JK Woodward (who will also provide a cover for the first issue, alongside the already-shown Franco Urru cover). The debut issue, in July, will also feature a special 1:10 incentive cover from ANGEL cover artist Nick Runge. The colors will follow shortly but here's the b&w art for that cover:

And the original pencils for the piece, too:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fun with poodles

I predict the blobs that show up in issue 2 (and especially in issue 3) of GROOM LAKE are the breakout stars of the book. I hope so, since I have endless blob stories to tell...

Incidentally, I'm not just going to push GROOM LAKE in this blog, despite the heavy array of blog entries about it lately. But when a new piece of art like this comes across your inbox, it can't stay hidden for long.

Update 3.25.9: here's a link to a new interview with Ben and I at

Early pencils for the Early Voyages

Showing a bit more of the process today, here are Zach Howard's initial pencils for our second STAR TREK OMNIBUS editions. This one will include the Marvel "Early Voyages" series, all 17 or 18 issues, in one 6" x 9" volume. Zach is still going to add the Enterprise to the space in the background, and then inks and colors will come later, but already at the pencil stage, you can see Captain Pike looking quite bad-ass.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Into the Groom

The first issue's not out until March 18, but a couple more advance reviews of Ben (artist “rock god,” as the first review here says) Templesmith and I's GROOM LAKE #1 have hit, and they're both very solid. First up,, which says among other things that "there’s an air of X-Files to the proceedings, but it’s been retrofitted with an almost Ellis-like flair of snark and guile, which makes the plot and the flow of the story pop to a degree that I wasn’t expecting."

And then Calliope's Realm seemed to take to the first issue as well.

Grimm tidings

The first review of April's AMERICAN McGEE'S GRIMM #1 is up now, in the form of a "Sunday Slugfest" over at It wasn't too bloody a fight either, since the reviewers gave the issue 4 stars and 5 stars, respectively.

Drawing Dru

We announced at the New York Comic-Con that Brian Lynch and Franco Urru would be returning to ANGEL following Kelley Armstrong and Dave Ross's 5-part "Aftermath" storyline (which starts up this week). Brian is going to be accompanied by Juliet Landau for a 2-part story that explores Drusilla's whereabouts in the "After the Fall" world. And outside of a couple earlier cameos/flashbacks, this will be Dru's first appearance in our ANGEL comics. They'll be co-writing it together but the story is all Juliet's. Here's Franco's cover for one of the issues (for those keeping score, this cover will be for ANGEL 25. Issue 23 will be a standalone Gunn story by Lynch and Urru, and this cover now makes more sense for part 2 of the Dru story, so it'll be issue 25. And what's coming after issue 25, you might ask? We'll be talking about that soon enough...).

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Trek/Who crossover

Not exactly the one that some fans have been requesting, but here're previews of both issues out this week.


And STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN #2 (which was supposed to be exclusive to Ain't It Cool News but since the pages are now up at, I'll put them here, too. Although there's a lively discussion at AICN if you want to head there. Ain't It Cool will also have the only preview of issue 3, too:

Saturday, February 21, 2009

IDW's new releases for February 25

Angel #18
Carl the Frog [Worthwhile Books]
Doctor Who: The Whispering Gallery
Dreamland Chronicles Vol. 3 TPB
Next Men Premiere Edition, Vol. 1 HC
Popbot Vol. 8
Star Trek: Countdown #2
Violent Messiahs Vol. 2 TPB

(And for the East Coast and all the other shops that didn't get last week's books, these titles will be in stores this week, too)

Friday, February 20, 2009

All Hail Optimus Prime. Or Megatron. We'll see...

Before we start talking too specifically about what's to come after ALL HAIL MEGATRON concludes, a look at what's coming in the finale in issue 12, courtesy of Trevor Hutchison.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

IGN review of G.I. JOE: ORIGINS #1

Not everyone saw Larry Hama's G.I. JOE: ORIGINS #1 due to a distribution problem--the East Coast will see it hit stores next week. But got their hands on a copy, and based on their review, they liked it a lot.

Grist for the mill

This cover was shown at the recent NYC convention during our panel, but I haven't seen a proper version of it make the rounds online yet. This is JACK STAFF and TORCHWOOD artist Paul Grist's cover for the DOCTOR WHO: THE TIME MACHINATION one-shot he's doing in May with writer Tony Lee. Grist will be involved in some of our upcoming WHO comics as well, which we'll be announcing soon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Summer schooling

It's a bit too soon to really start talking about it, but since I added that sidebar link to the presale, I might as well show a bit more to explain that. I showed the cover to COMIC BOOKS 101 before, a prose book about comics that I wrote with Scott Tipton. The book serves as a sort of primer to comics, covering the history, publishers, creators and characters in a visually appealing style that should give longtime fans some cool things to pore over and give new fans all the overview they need.

We just saw the design pages this week, and it's now off to print and coming in late May. The book's design is gorgeous, and as we get closer to the book being offered beyond, I'll no doubt run more of it, maybe an actual chapter and some of the "celebrity contributions," too. But for now, here's a look at the table of contents, which gives a good look at what we discuss in the book.

No Moore

Our parody of WATCHMEN came out today -- WHATMEN?!, by writer Scott Lobdell and artist Alejandro Figueroa came out today. We'll try to get a cover blurb for the inevitable second printing from Paul Levitz or Alan Moore... but in the meantime, there's an interview with Scott Lobdell about the comic and what he was looking to do with it over at

Using words for the wordless

I feel like I'm sneaking around behind my IDW wife's back here, but there's a new interview with me up at right now, talking all about my one non-IDW dalliance, the upcoming Frazetta Comics release, FRANK FRAZETTA'S NEANDERTHAL. The comic is essentially wordless, so I clearly save all my best comic dialogue for IDW's books...

Astro Boy teaser trailer, comic-style

Just a quick peak at E.J. Su's amazingly Tezuka-like artwork for the upcoming ASTRO BOY movie adaptation comic. It's going to be a weekly release ahead of the movie, and is being adapted by Scott Tipton, the writer of the movie prequel comic, too. But it's Su who is really going to blow some people away with the art on this comic. E.J. credits Osamu Tezuka with making him want to be an artist in the first place, so it's nice to see him be able to pay extended tribute to the man like this.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

IDWeb comics

In addition to the downloadable comics at iTunes, we're expanding our presence in offering paperless comics to those of you who like to read comics on your computer screens, too. We're offering a wide array of comics for download at a site called Eagle One Media. For $2, you can download full PDFs of a few dozen of our comics, with more to come. They download very quickly, are available for download on multiple machines, and cost half (or less than half, in the case of things like the 72-page DOOMED magazine issues being offered there).

The official press announcement will be going out soon but here's the text of the release itself and a list of the titles currently available:

IDW Publishing and Eagle One Media join forces to give comics fans an innovative new way to enjoy IDW’s unique library of titles.

(San Diego, CA; February 18, 2009) IDW Publishing, known for its wide array of comic books and graphic novels, has partnered with Eagle One Media to start a comprehensive backlist on the Web. Featuring a range of books from the Eisner-nominated artist and co-creator of 30 Days of Night, Ben Templesmith, to the Presidential Material: Barack Obama and McCain comics, to work by acclaimed artist Ashley Wood, each title will be available for download as a PDF for a minimal $1.99 fee.

Eagle One Media’s President, Eric Reichert, is excited about this new relationship. "Being able to work in partnership with IDW to make a significant number of their comics available for download to fans worldwide is a great opportunity for us. We've simplified the process so that comic fans can easily and quickly download complete PDF-style issues to their computer. They can also print the issues and save them to more than one computer if needed.

Plus, with a sales price below the printed books, we give fans the opportunity to discover and try out comics which they may not have had access to in the past, in an innovative format. IDW joins our growing list of publishers who have made their comics and graphic novels available in our retail download store at:”

Chris Ryall, IDW’s Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, added “I love seeing our comics expand into areas that allow readers to sample books that are new or unfamiliar to them. Eagle One’s formatting is clean, quick, and easy for anyone who wants to read comics on their computer, and when you consider that you can download an entire issue of the 72-page Doomed magazine for $2, a great value, too.

This pairing ushers in a brand-new platform for fans to enjoy IDW’s extensive backlist, with titles to appeal to a wide array of fans. Currently available for download are Blood-Stained Sword, Cobb, CVO, D’Airain Aventure, Doomed, Everybody’s Dead, Grumpy Old Monsters, Igor, Lore, Lost & Found, Pirat Tales, Presidential Material, ShadowPlay, Singularity 7, Snaked, and Zombies!: Feast. This already impressive backlist will be frequently updated at

Barack like me

The Glyph Awards are in their fourth year now. They celebrate the best black comics and creators. And our PRESIDENTIAL MATERIAL: BARACK OBAMA comic was nominated for a few different categories, as you can see at the full list of nominees here. Follow the link to nominate any book or creator for their fan award, too.

Groom Lake #1 five-page preview

The first issue's in stores March 18, but since I've been talking about this for a while and showing bits and pieces and links to reviews for it, it's past time that I put up a proper 5-page preview so everyone can see a bit more of what this series will be:

Covering ORIGINS

Since Larry Hama's return to G.I. JOE, in form of G.I. JOE: ORIGINS #1, is out this week, it seems a good time to show the primary covers for all five issues of the series, courtesy of artist Tom Feister. While not quite interlocking, they do all spell out a little something when placed end to end.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Working for the 3-day weekend

Working at home today, and thought I'd share with you how my day started, in the form of two new pieces of art that arrived in my inbox this morning. First up in John Byrne's b&w art for ANGEL: BLOOD & TRENCHES #4, the final issue of his coming miniseries.

Next is Jenny Frison's variant cover for THE DREAMER #6. If you haven't seen this series, and you should just because it's a lot of fun, Frison's variant covers alone make it worth tracking down.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Advance review of GROOM LAKE #1

The first review I've seen of the book and it got Ben and I 4.5 out of 5 stars (we got docked a half-star for some letter that was hard to read in the digital copy but reads just fine on the printed page, trust me). The review at is nicely spoiler-free, too.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

5 page previews for the week of Feb. 18

I've posted 5-page previews (including covers) for five big releases coming this Wednesday. If you go to my page at the site, you can get five-pagers for these books out Feb. 18. Or click the individual titles below for links to each issue.

IDW's new releases for February 18

Angel: Smile Time #2
G.I. Joe: Origins #1
Ghost Whisperer: The Muse #3
Sparrow Book #10: Jim Mahfood
Star Trek The Next Generation: Last Generation #4
Terry & the Pirates Vol. 6 HC
Transformers: All Hail Megatron, Vol. 1 TPB
Transformers: Maximum Dinobots #3
Transformers Revenge of the Fallen Movie Prequel: Alliance #3
Transformers: Animated Series Vol 7

Steve Jobs' raison d'etre

We all know that the real reason for Apple's existence, for all the development on innovative products like the iPod and iTunes and ultimately the iPhone and the iPod Touch was this: ZOMBIES VS ROBOTS being offered as Apps on the iTunes store. All three chapters of the first series are now available as downloadable comics (issues #0 and 1 just went live today) for a buck each. The first story, #0, is actually three serialized tales that were offered in D'AIRAIN AVENTURE and the hardcover edition. The first of those serials will likely also be offered as a free app soon, but for now at least, all three issues are ready to go, with ZvRvAMAZONS coming soon, too.

And as a bonus ZvR image, here's the final cover for the first isue of the new comic series coming from Ash Wood and I in June. You Frank Frazetta fans might recognize the image's source material, too:

Friday, February 13, 2009

Rise of the Machine

This image from the upcoming fourth issue of our TERMINATOR SALVATION movie prequel comic is beautifully drawn by Alan Robinson, expertly colored by Tom Smith... and gives me a very unintentional laugh when I look at it. Whether or not you see what I'm laughing at will determine how juvenile (like me) you are. If you need a hint, I didn't exactly go for subtlety in the title of this blog post...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

1 for 12 posted Diamond's January '09 Sales Charts & Market Share today, and we again leapfrogged over Diamond's fourth "Premiere Publisher" to take the number 4 spot from Image for the month of January. Not a bad way to start this year especially. ("Idea & Design Works" is the official name of the company, with IDW Publishing our dba name. If only Diamond would make that fix so it was more obvious who was #4 at the moment, but anyway, it's us.)

NYC Comic-Con memories

A few random and mildly blurry images taken with my iPhone (so you know who to blame for the blur, not the shaky hands of the person taking the pics) from last weekend's con in NYC (and one taken in John Byrne's foyer in Connecticut). All the pics are captioned but you'll need to click on them to read and see who's who and what's what.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pecs on Fire

(With apologies to Kings of Leon for the subject of this particular entry)

Following up on the earlier posting of b&w art for the coming WRATH OF KHAN adaptation, here's a look at one of those images in color, as well as a spread from issue 1. Both courtesy of Moose Baumann.

And for you cut-ups who e-mailed me about our timeliness of doing an adaptation of an '82 movie, yes, you can look for FIRST BLOOD and POLTERGEIST adaptations later this year...


Is there any way to talk about STAR TREK 2 and NOT use that line as the subject?

Anyway, in New York this past weekend, among other things, we announced a STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN 3-parter. Somehow this one had never been done before, and it was time to rectify that. Andy Schmidt is adapting 'er, and Chee is handling the art chores in a sort of more heavily shaded Al Williamson-esque style. For that reason, and to pay tribute to the recently passed Ricardo Montalban and those Khan pecs he had on full display in this classic flick, here's a look at Chee's covers for issues 1 and 2 (there will also be connecting painted covers by another artist for all three issues, too).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Box and Key

Back in December, I posted some pics of a special present that Joe Hill sent to a few of us, an actual Skull Key from his LOCKE & KEY book. It gets better.

The key was created by Israel Skelton (a perfect name, and it's real, for a guy who made us these skeleton keys) and his Skeleton Crew Studio. Israel also created these Shadow Boxes built to house the key. I just got mine a few days back and it's as stunning in person as it looks here. Now if only he could find a way to create a working Head Key, so I could use it to... well, you'll see when LOCKE & KEY: HEAD GAMES hits early next month.

And just to show how Israel's craftsmanship extends to more than just keys and the like, scope out this Eye of Agamotto he also recently created: