The Red Planet on the Four-Color Page: Mars in Comics by Jerry Whitworth
Recently, NASA landed the Curiosity Rover on the surface of Mars providing a vast resource of information on the “red planet” that we never before had access toward. Man has told tales of the fourth planet from the sun for many years, a medium frequently employed in this way is the comic book. One of the earliest stories applied to the four-color page was from a source predating comic books by several decades. The Barsoom series written by Edgar Rice Burroughs describes Earthman John Carter as he is transported to Mars where he becomes that world’s champion and weds its princess. Created for pulp magazine (one of the chief progenitors to the comic book), Carter’s story would be applied to a comic strip for the Chicago Sun in 1941 but would be published for comic books in 1952 for Dell Comics, 1972 for DC Comics, 1977 (and again in 2012) for Marvel Comics, 1996 for Dark Horse, and 2010 for Dynamite Entertainment.Read More
Untold Tales of the Punisher Max #1 Review by Derf
Writer: Jason Starr
Artist: Roland Boschi
Color: Dan Brown
48 Pages – Full Color
The Punisher is one of my favorite characters of all time. That is why his books are some of the only titles that I get from Marvel. The first time I was introduced to the Punisher was in the Amazing Spider-man vol. 1 #135. When I saw this vigilante dressed in black with a large skull on his chest, I was immediately interested.
Let’s fast forward to 2012. I just read the Untold Tales of the Punisher Max #1 and I was very impressed. For those of you who do not follow Marvel, the Max titles are the ones with explicit content and are not suitable for minors. Issue #1 tells the story of a man named Jimmy who is asked to kill someone to clear a debt he has with a loan shark. If he doesn’t do it by midnight the next day they will come back and kill him. The comic shows the anguish going through his mind and follows him throughout the 24 hours he was given. Well, eventually his decisions lead to a meeting with the Punisher. And for those of who know how the Punisher operates, you know that can’t be good.Read More
The Comic Book Industry: Creator Rights or Wrongs? by Jerry Whitworth
The American comic book industry was largely built from anti-Semitism. The United States (the Americas in general) started from one people imposing their will on other people, Europeans came to the Western hemisphere’s prominent continents and claimed the land therein for their native nations, often pushing out or killing natives that opposed them. This continued on throughout its history, with the prevalence of slavery and minority rights that have since legally made those of different skin color equal but the struggle remains today between people and their differences (skin color, religion, sexual-orientation, economic class, etc). A hatred that continues to fester today is that against the Jews, a hatred since ancient times when the Egyptians held them as slaves and later when Europeans saw them as unscrupulous money lenders and Christians and Muslims held their own special contempt for them. The United States of America, founded as an independent nation with the freedom to practice whatever religion you believed in, made it illegal to hate someone for having different beliefs, but that didn’t stop people from discriminating despite this fact. Jews, regardless of their skill or ability, were often the target of being blacklisted from work. It was often the case you would have a Jewish businessman hire almost exclusively Jewish workers, under the idea of looking out for their own people, but likely more prevalent with a knowledge it would mean cheap labor. Jewish publishers like Maxwell Charles Gaines, better known as M.C. Gaines (formerly Max Ginzberg), Martin Goodman, and Harry Donenfeld founded companies like All-American Publications, Timely Comics, and National Periodical Publications, respectively. Donenfeld, a salesman turned printer, founded National with Jack Liebowitz and was compared to a gangster in Gerard Jones’ Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book (2005) for his aggressive approach to business, promising clients the world and bullying his employees to get what he wanted.Read More
Through the Ages: Transition in Comics – Part Four by Jerry Whitworth
While Grant Morrison and Alex Ross helped nudge a new direction in the comics industry, they certainly didn’t get there alone. Two men who helped push this new direction to what it is today are Geoff Johns and Dan DiDio. Johns was an up-and-comer in the film industry mentored by legendary director Richard Donner (Superman, Lethal Weapon series) when he met DC Comics editor Eddie Berganza who offered Johns the opportunity to pitch ideas. One of those ideas reached fruition with Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., an update on the DC property Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy. However, his next two projects at the publisher would provide much more fanfare. The Flash, coming off a longtime critically-received run under scribe Mark Waid, needed a fill-in team to cover the book while an ongoing team could be established. Johns came aboard with the storyline Wonderland and fans enjoyed it so much, DC found their new ongoing writer. When James Robinson moved on to work on projects in Hollywood, Johns would replace his position as co-writer on JSA with David S. Goyer and he struck gold again. Meanwhile, Dan DiDio, who was a writer and story editor for Mainframe Entertainment (ReBoot, Beast Wars: Transformers), was hired as an administrator at DC, first as vice president of editorial in 2002 and two years later as executive editor for the DC Universe. It was around this time DC Comics vigorously pursued exclusive contracts for work at the publisher, including luring talent from Marvel.Read More
Through the Ages: Transition in Comics – Part One by Jerry Whitworth
History for the American comic book has traditionally been broken into eras, known in the industry as ages, that generally denote some change in the approach, representation, and writing of the medium. This isn’t necessarily uncommon in any medium but it’s more discussed for comics because where many works go through progressive, gradual alterations, comic books have often had fairly significant leaps. So, lets take a look at this form of media as it progressed.Read More
Here is what’s coming from Zenescope Entertainment this March:
Grimm Fairy Tales presents Alice In Wonderland Issue #4
Raven Gregory (W) Robert Gill (A) Jason Embury (C)
Cover A: Sean Chen
Cover B: Stjepan Sejic
The adventures of Alice continue…
Alice escapes the clutches of the Mad Hatter and the tea party only to find herself captured by someone much worse… someone who embodies the very insanity of wonderland and who’s thirst for bloodshed cannot be matched. Hold on to your heads because it’s about to get a whole lot more insane! Zenescope’s newest Wonderland series that every fan has been waiting for is here!
Follow us back down the rabbit hole!!
32 pgs, FC, $2.99
Charmed Issue #20
Paul Ruditis (W) Dean Kotz (A)
Cover: David Seidman
Magical beings run amuck in the streets sending the powerless into hiding. Cut off from the Elders and the Angels of Destiny, there is no one to turn to for help. All hope seems lost in a world in which The Charmed Ones are no longer Charmed!
32 pgs, FC, $3.50
Philadelphia, PA October 10th, 2011- Zenescope Entertainment has announced plans to release a brand new Wonderland prequel series under its Grimm Fairy Tales label entitled Alice in Wonderland. Zenescope’s initial visit to Wonderland came in the form of a trilogy that first hit shelves back in 2007. Return To Wonderland was the original release which quickly found a loyal and rabid fan base as it sold out of multiple re-printings.
Return was followed by two equally successful mini-series (Beyond Wonderland and Escape From Wonderland) as fans flocked to pick up the edgy publisher’s dark and twisted reinvention of Lewis Carroll’s famous writings. Return To Wonderland followed Alice’s teenage daughter, Calie, as she journeys into a realm of madness called Wonderland and tries desperately to find a way out. Zenescope’s new series will now tell Alice’s infamous story with the dark twists and horror-laced tone that Zenescope is best known for.
“After we finished the trilogy we agreed that we would only do another Wonderland series if there was a great story to tell. What none of us wanted was to run this into the ground.” Said Zenescope’s Editor-in-Chief Ralph Tedesco “After a while we threw around the idea for an Alice prequel and it didn’t take long to realize the potential. We had created this entirely new mythology by reinventing Carroll’s original characters and also introducing entirely new characters into the mix. There is so much material left to explore and many of our fans have been waiting patiently for more Wonderland. So that’s what we’re going to give them.”
The new series will follow Alice Liddle, a young girl who decades ago was sent by her own family to a mysterious realm that feeds on the sanity of all those who enter. Alice grows up as a prisoner of the terrifying yet mystical realm and must learn to adapt to her surroundings or perish.
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Alice in Wonderland #1 hits shelves in December and will feature covers by Artgerm, Eric Basaldua and Nei Ruffino. It is currently available for order through Diamond Previews at 32 pages for $2.99 and in full color. Go to Zenescope’s website at www.zenescope.com and Facebook page www.facebook.com/Zenescope for more information.
Zenescope Entertainment was founded by Joe Brusha and Ralph Tedesco in 2005 and has quickly grown into one of the top comic book and graphic novel publishing companies in the world. Zenescope’s Grimm Fairy Tales and subsequent spinoff series such as Escape From Wonderland, Neverland and The Piper, which put a dark twist on classic fables, are some of the best-selling and longest running original independent comic books on shelves today. Zenescope’s licensed titles include the on-going, critically acclaimed Charmed series, based off of the long-running popular television series, as well as Se7en and Final Destination, based off of New Line Cinema’s successful film franchises.Read More