06/17/16 @ 1:02 am EST
A Writer’s Commentary: David Avallone
talks Twilight Zone: The Shadow
#3, on sale now from Dynamite. Cover by Francesco Francavilla
, interiors by Dave Acosta
I knew this would be the hard one: nothing is less visual than watching a guy write a novel… but I wanted to see if I could meet that challenge.The cover.
I’m relatively new to comics, and this was the first time I asked if I could suggest a cover idea. I would never want to intrude on the artistry of the great Francavilla, but the concept for this one popped into my head and I really wanted to see what Francesco would do with it. Giant hands and giant props feel like a classic pulp cover trope from the thirties, and I love the way it came out.Page one.
Narration. One of my very favorite things about this book is the opportunity to write in Rod Serling’s “voice”. Like most geeks my age, I grew up hearing those Twilight Zone narrations again and again, and loving that vivid style. I hope I captured it here.Page two.
Eagle-eyed Twilight Zone fans might recognize Art’s boss from a classic episode. Hint: he’s the actor who appeared in the most TZ episodes.Pages two and three.
Dave Acosta is the best, as I will say to anyone, whether they ask me or not. In this sequence, the secretary bringing the martini is all him. I love touches like that: they bring the world to life.Pages four and five.
I knew “Art” would have to spend a lot of this issue talking to himself, so why not his “Shadow?” When I was developing this series, I was caught between two very different styles of storytelling. The Shadow has a lot of action and intrigue. Lots of gunplay and fistfights and cars racing down streets. On the other hand, there are a lot of Twilight Zone episodes mostly made up of two guys stuck in a room talking to one another. Serling (and Matheson and Beaumont) were able to make that kind of thing crackle with tension. I make no such claims for my own talent but I wanted to have some of that Twilight-Zone-claustrophobic-one-act-play feeling in this series as well.Page six.
One of the touchstones for this issue was David Cronenberg’s hallucinatory film version of NAKED LUNCH. Like Cronenberg, I have always found manual typewriters to be kind of fascinating things…Page seven.
…and maybe a little creepy.Pages eight.
Another touchstone for this issue is Chuck Jones’ classic “Duck Amuck” cartoon. Daffy runs around on a blank sheet of paper and has some serious issues with his creator. Hopefully this sequence is a little more chilling than hilarious. I think the rest of the book beautifully demonstrates Dave Acosta’s ability to draw anything I throw at him.Page nine.
My colorist, Omi Remalante, did a beautiful job creating a look here that could pass for a blank sheet of paper without just being a wash of white. Everyone rose to the challenge on this issue.Page ten and eleven.
Psychodrama! I’m a big fan of silent panels. I love Kent Allard watching his Id and Superego duke it out in front of him.Page twelve.
I’ve been doling out my own take on the Shadow’s origins in this series, and here I go against a lot of the prevailing trope previous versions of the Shadow. It’s such a cliché these days to have your white hero go to Tibet and learn mystic arts. Yawn. I have it on a good authority (Walter Gibson) that the Shadow spent a lot of time among an incredibly obscure Guatemalan culture called the Xinca (or Xinka.) Why not learn the mystic arts from them? Far less is known about the Xinca than is known about Tibetan Buddhism.Page thirteen.
The Xinca appear in four panels in this comic book. I don’t want to think about the hours I spent researching them to make sure these four panels had some kind of reality to them. Shout out to my Facebook friend Agathe Rigault whose education in pre-Columbian civilizations came to the rescue when I hit a wall. The illustrations here are based on the few photos I could find on the web of the Xinca. I like the poetic names of their gods, and I like that they laugh in Kent Allard’s face for his cornball pitch.Page fourteen.
I wasn’t thinking about it when I wrote this page, but Kent Allard here reminds me a little bit of blissed-out Don Draper in the last episode of Mad Men.Page fifteen-eighteen.
I was trying to think of a creepy action bit to end this sequence: something that would metaphorically dramatize the whole struggle. Since Kent is stuck on a piece of paper, the giant typewriter bars smacking down at him was a natural thought. As for the word they’re spelling out… and Kent getting tied down for the final blow… that came courtesy of Franz Kafka’s short story “In The Penal Colony”. It seemed apt to echo that here.Page seventeen/eighteen.
I didn’t want to do a story about the Shadow’s first novel without a cameo by Harry Vincent. Good old Harry.Page nineteen.
The first draft is often the story you tell your significant other, when they make the mistake of asking “what are you doing?” Note that there’s a one new word on Art’s sheet of paper.Page twenty.
And we’re back to the beginning, now. Dave found the propaganda poster in his research, and added the rat. And we end as we began, with my most sincere attempt to channel the voice of a true genius, a great and moral artist, now lost to us but forever remembered… in the Twilight Zone.
07/03/20 @ 3:33 pm EST
07/03/20 @ 3:25 pm EST
Coming up soon, just as everyone celebrates other fun stuff - we're going to celebrate the underrated skills and talent of cosplayers. In this crazy time with no conventions to get together, enjoy the hobby and experience cosplay in person, we want to tip our hats to the ones we've worked with on our exciting cosplay covers.
Featuring all your favorites like Jacqueline Goehner, Karrigan Taylor, Anastasya Zelenova, Ireland Reid, Ashley Du, Joanie Brosas, and many more! More details coming soon...Sign Up Here for Updates!
07/02/20 @ 12:54 pm EST
This September's Red Sonja #19 kicks off a new arc in writer Mark Russell's critically acclaimed treatise on leadership, war, and sword & sorcery action.
Hot new artist Alessandro Miracolo (Zorro) joins for this next stage of the run, as pieces fall into place and everything connects back around. Fans will want to track down his limited Independence Day variant cover for the preceding Red Sonja #18 in anticipation and to complete their collections. His exciting style follows in the footsteps of other great artists who have contributed to this volume, lead by Mirko Colak and Bob Q. Colorist Dearbhla Kelly and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou will continue on the title with their expert craft. While superstars Jae Lee and Joseph Michael Linsner continue their runs on covers, joined now by Miracolo and other exciting talents like Erica Henderson (Assassin Nation).
"Red Sonja returns to Shadizar in hope of ending the wars that have destroyed every kingdom they've touched," said Mark Russell. "But the end of one war is the cause of the next and how can she find the way out when every dead foe has someone to avenge them? This is the answer that the previous eighteen issues have been building up to."
"I am very happy to join this fantastic team and be welcomed to the Hyborian Age," said artist Alessandro Miracolo. "I grew up with the characters and stories of Robert E. Howard, so for me, this is a dream. And to follow the work of great artists like Mirko [Colak] and Bob Q, as well as collaborate on a book with one of my favorites in Jae Lee, it's hard to believe this ...
06/30/20 @ 3:01 pm EST
No delay - so CLICK RIGHT HERE to join in! If you miss out, don't worry, you can always catch up later.
Billy Tucci and Maria Laura Sanapo join Dan "Couchdoodles" Fraga for a livestream discussion about Miss Fury and comic book history. Haul out those Comics Journals, Comics Interviews and more, as Fraga is bringing the insightful, historically minded questions as he discusses the innovative and boundary-busting backstory of Miss Fury and her creator June Tarpé Mills.
And be on the lookout for even more updates, as we are breaking down our next fun stretch goal soon!
Get Your Copy of Miss Fury: Joy Division Here!
06/29/20 @ 9:31 pm EST
You get a stretch goal! You get a stretch goal! Billy Tucci and Maria Laura Sanapo's Miss Fury campaign
has been such a rousing success that we've been trying to keep up with all the support. Today we're talking about multiple
You may be aware of the first and second stretch goals we unveiled, and that were quickly unlocked. Off the bat, we decided to add 10 extra pages to the book. Then everyone wanted to see the cool "nose art" design in a cool way, so we launched the first promo trading card.
For the third stretch goal - which is already unlocked! -
anyone who picks up the trading card set add-on will now have 6 cards instead of 5. A representation of Maria's alternate cover is now added.
And now on to the fourth stretch goal! Which, guess what...? Has already been unlocked too! With the campaign passing $55,000 now every physical backer will receive a special promo trading card of Marla Drake's glamorous entrance into the story, as we've all seen through Maria's gorgeous art and Ceci de la Cruz's masterful coloring. This is separate from the trading card set, but go for it all!
So with that all said... stay tuned for the next one!Get your copy and all the great extras here!
06/29/20 @ 9:55 pm EST
Thank you to the fans! Mindy Wheeler's spectacular new Vampirella variant was funded on Indiegogo in just a couple hours! Let's see how high we can take it in the next couple days! Make sure to share the campaign with your collecting friends and fellow fans.
Were you able to join her for the launch party livestream? She discusses all the background on the piece and how exciting it is to see the support from fans. You can catch up after the fact here.
We also want to spotlight some of the alternate options on the cover. In addition to the traditional version you would expect, we're also offering with Mindy the options to get a "virgin" edition. This one does not feature the logo and "trade dress," allowing for a more pristine way to appreciate the art and coloring. On the other hand, the black and white line art edition really emphasizes Mindy's precise abilities as an artist. You can pick up either, or all three with the regular version in a package. Also take a look at the options for signed copies and CGC grading!
Get Mindy's Cover Right Now!
06/26/20 @ 11:34 am EST
Dynamite announces a jaw-dropping new exclusive variant cover by artist Mindy Wheeler, live right now on Indiegogo!
"I'm so excited to be working with Dynamite on this 50th anniversary cover! It's especially an honor to be creating a Vampirella piece at this time when she has reached such an important milestone (50 years!)," said Mindy Wheeler. "Fans are the best and to be able to see their response in real-time through crowdfunding is a unique experience for any creator. It really connects an artist with their fan base and offers them perks they can't get elsewhere."
This spectacular piece of art inspired by the likes of Michael Turner and José "Pepe" González will be available in many ways, through the perks of crowdfunding, as noted by Wheeler. The default edition includes the iconic Vampirella logo and the trade dress to match the record-breaking first issue underneath the cover written by Christopher Priest and drawn by Ergün Gündüz. A "virgin" alteration without the logos allows another way for fans to experience the art untouched. Another maintains the intricate pencil work of Wheeler. Special reward tier packages are available with the covers signed by Mindy, as well as graded by CGC to preserve their limited edition value. Awesome add-ons include a tee-shirt featuring the art and a huge 11 by 17-inch high-quality lithograph print - also available signed. Just one lucky collector can also add the original piece of pencil art at full size to their collection!
Mindy Wheeler is a rising artist with work published through IDW, Zenescope, others - and now Dynamite! Entering the industry in 2014 as both a penciler and colorist, she's worked on Grimm Fairy Tales, ROM, and Divinica. She's collaborated with Dawn McTeigue, Sabine Rich, Eric Basaldua, Jamie Tyndall, Jason Metcalf, ...
06/25/20 @ 8:13 pm EST
The weekend is just around the corner, and that's precisely why we want to give you a head's up that this spectacular sale is closing out tonight. In just a couple hours it'll disappear. So don't miss out on this epic deal for almost 75 comic books, 4000+ pages and $320 worth, for just a dozen bucks! Or starting at just a buck! Stock up on great reading for this weekend and those to come!
There are a ton of gems in the bundle. The entirety of Max Bemis and Eoin Marron's unexpected masterpiece take on the classic Centipede arcade game is included. Check out the first full volume of Bettie Page's declassified adventures. Also included are meticulously remastered early adventures of Vampirella and Red Sonja. Also the critically acclaimed adaptation of Casino Royale by Van Jensen and Dennis Calero. In addition to some of the newest hits from Dynamite!
Grab the Dynamite Action Bundle on Fanatical here!
06/25/20 @ 3:16 pm EST
In a can't-miss standalone tale coming this September, just in time for Halloween, Vampirella meets the newest member of her spine-tingling rogues' gallery! Multiple Eisner Award-winning writer Bill Willingham (Fables, Robin) writes the Daughter of Drakulon for the first time ever in Trial of the Soul. Willingham is joined by artist Giuseppe Cafaro (Catwoman, Suicide Squad), colorist Andrew Dalhouse, and letterer Carlos Mangual. The blood-filled cherry on top is the haunting cover by Bart Sears (Justice League, Blade).
This extra-length special tale asks the question, "Does Vampirella have a soul?" New character Prester John has made it his mission to determine this and enact judgment on her. If she passes the test, she will be spared. If not, he must destroy her. No matter how charming he finds her...
"I always found Vampirella so intriguing and I've always had a crush on vampires so this one-shot for me will be definitely a great chance to test my skills with this classic character," said artist Giuseppe Cafaro. "Plus, with Bill at the script, I'm sure that this will be an amazing journey! I always loved what he did with Fables and the Sandman Universe! Can't wait to show fans what we are doing!"
Based on the legend of the medieval Christian leader of a lost wealthy African kingdom, the Prester John of the Vampirella universe represents a force that our heroine has occasionally found herself contending with. Based on a design by Willingham, John is portrayed as a handsome young man, though he's lived well over 1,000 years. When not hiding among man, he dons an ornate armor made in the forges of Heaven. It pairs with his sword, which is actually on loan from Saint Michael ...
06/25/20 @ 3:11 pm EST
This October Dynamite and artist Brent Peeples show respect to one of the industry's most influential figures with a 5-piece set of variant covers homaging Rob Liefeld's famous covers!
Artist Brent Peeples (James Bond, Titans) brings maximum effort to these covers that mirror some of the most recognizable covers of all time. Brent and Rob have worked together on the smash-hit Major X and other projects together, so there is respect and admiration in these pieces.
All six of these covers grace Dynamite's top titles. The Princess of Mars has green martians in her sights, as Dejah Thoris #8 calls back to New Mutants #87, Rob's second issue on the title. Arguably even more iconic is the 98th issue of that series, which Killing Red Sonja #5's cast stepping in for a merc with a mouth. Bettie Page #3 reenacts the pivotal next issue that moved toward a huge shift in Liefeld's career and the industry as a whole. Vampirella/Red Sonja #11 places those two Women of Dynamite into the iconic image of X-Force #1. The blockbuster second and third issues of that record-breaking series are spotlighted with Red Sonja #19 and Vampirella #14.
“Man! What a kick getting to recreate these iconic Rob Liefeld covers for Dynamite!," said artist Brent Peeples. "Rob‘s work was and still is such an influence on me, and being involved in this cover series, recreating some of his most classic and iconic work, is such an honor. I’ve always loved his energy on AND off the page. I just hope I did them justice and did Rob proud."
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