The All-New! from
07/08/16 @ 3:25 am EST
Source: Bleeding Cool | Categories: Dynamite

Ben Fisher, best known for writing Grumpy Cat, is now shifting gears and working on a post-apocalyptic drama series called The Great Divide. He talks with Byron Brewerabout the first issue that will be on sale from Dynamite in September. Cover A by Mike Henderson, Cover B by Adam Markiewicz, Cover C by Kyle Strahm.


BYRON BREWER: Ben, Dynamite readers may know you best as a writer on the tremendously popular Grumpy Cat title, but this is something worlds away. Tell us how you came to create The Great Divide as a concept and how it came to Dynamite.

BEN FISHER: As a writer, I’m always interested in exploring how people with different backgrounds and viewpoints interact – particularly if they’re forced to come together under unusual circumstances. That concept holds true whether the premise is comedy or (in this case) post-apocalyptic drama.One day I was standing on an overcrowded bus heading into downtown Portland, uncomfortable and claustrophobic, and the thought occurred to me: how would the world operate if physical contact was literally a death sentence? Could personal relationships exist if just being in the same room as someone else was a potential risk?So I reached out to Adam Markiewicz, who really has a gift for letting human emotion shine through his panels, and together we brought the concept to Dynamite. They were immediately enthusiastic about the idea, and we really couldn’t have asked for better partners.

BB: How closely have you Adam collaborated on the look and design for this book? I would imagine atmosphere is important in this type of series.

BF: Atmosphere is essential, absolutely. Adam and I had many discussions about how people completely lacking human contact might express themselves in art, and the post-Divide world is filled with examples of that. We also wanted to capture a society at the beginning stages of admitting defeat – of recognizing that its extinction is a foregone conclusion.As a matter of pure aesthetics, Adam (along with Adam Guzowski, the book’s colorist) put a ton of consideration into conveying loneliness in their depiction of the landscape.

BB: Tell us, if you will, about the world in which this series takes place.

BF: The series is set in the near future, where all of humanity suffers from a mysterious affliction that causes any skin contact to result in agonizing death. But things only get stranger from there: when two people touch, only one dies, and the victim’s memories transfer to the survivor – usually with devastating effects (such as mental instability and the complete loss of the ability to read and write). To make matters worse, the entire planet periodically enters a temporary sleepwalking trance.And nobody has any idea why all of this is happening. (Well, okay, Adam and I might have an idea.)


BB: Simply, what is the “Divide” that occurs?

BF: The “Divide” refers to the exact moment when every person simultaneously contracted “dermadik” – a condition that results in instant death upon skin contact. It also refers to the time when “walkabouts” (the unconscious, uncontrollable bouts of migration) first started.It speaks to the gap in genuine human connection that plagues so many of us in real life, only in this world it has become literalized.Wait, was that “simply?” Sorry, I’m terrible at following directions.

BB: A post-apocalyptic environment is very popular in today’s comics, it seems. How will The Great Divide set itself apart from those other series?

BF: The concept itself is a bit of a departure from traditional post-apocalyptic stories. We’ve created a fairly unique world and populated it with some very non-traditional characters.But truthfully, almost every action/adventure/horror story is “pre-apocalyptic,” with the protagonists valiantly struggling to stop the Really Bad Thing. A “post-apocalyptic” story just happens to take place after the Really Bad Thing has already happened. I think there’s a lot of headroom for both.

BB: Who are the protagonists for this horror-fueled sci-fi drama?

BF: At the heart of the story are two people who connect in traditional Hollywood romantic fashion: Paul is an aimless wanderer content to run out the clock on his life. At least, until he meets Maria, who immediately beats him unconscious, robs him, and leaves him for dead.During their journey, we’ll be introducing a strange and diverse cast, including a former solider who often serves as the group’s moral compass, a sociopath who collects memories, and a “baredevil” who thrives on the adrenaline rush of over-exposure.


BB: From what I understand, this is a very character-driven story. Was there any particular inspiration for the challenges our pair face?

BF: That’s exactly right, and the post-Divide world allows us to focus a spotlight on the fears of intimacy and human connection that we all share. That’s the real inspiration for Paul and Maria’s relationship. Getting too close to another person is – literally – dangerous. And all the voices from your past encounters echo around your head until you aren’t sure if your own thoughts and emotions can be trusted.So it’s the same issues we all face – just with deadlier consequences and the occasional roving marauder.

BB: I understand each issue of The Great Divide will also contain unique bonus content. In fact, #1 includes a download code for “Teowawki,” a doomsday-oriented song written and performed by … Ben Fisher! Tell us about it, and some of the other bonus content which may be coming.

BF: Adam and I wanted to include additional digital content with each issue as our way of thanking readers who choose to spend time with us. The first issue will include a tongue-in-cheek song I wrote about a doomsday prepper on a first date. It felt like a thematically appropriate choice. The second issue will have downloadable pages to a post-apocalyptic adult coloring book drawn by Adam.We’ve got a lot of fun stuff planned and, as I hope is evident, we’re not letting the dark tone of the book suck all the fun out of the room. The story is filled with bits of humor and lighter moments to offset humanity’s grim situation, and the bonus content will certainly reflect that.In addition to the digital content, our enthusiasm for The Great Divide has spilled over into our other passions. We’re both musicians (Adam in particular has an ear for ambient soundtracks) and we’ve written a full original score for the series, which we’ll make available online (for free!) to help set the mood.
04/16/24 @ 2:24 pm EST
Source: Skybound | Categories: Skybound

Skybound and Image Comics today unveiled a chilling first look at Dark Ride #12, the epic series finale from the iconic Birthright team of writer Joshua Williamson (Duke, DC’s Superman), artist Andrei Bressan (DC’s Justice League Incarnate), colorist Adriano Lucas (DC’s Nightwing), and letterer Pat Brosseau (Creepshow). The finale of the acclaimed amusement park horror series arrives in comic book shops on May 15, 2024. "Thank you to everyone who bought the Dark Ride series,” said Joshua Williamson. “It has been great to find so many readers who were looking for a series that mixed two things that I'm obsessed with...horror and amusement parks. From the start the series was about horror and sacrifice, but it was really about family and letting go. Andrei, Adriano and Pat have done fabulous work on this series, and this is our second go around with doing a book from start to finish together. They are a team that I would ride a rollercoaster into hell with, and I look forward to our next projects together. Keep your arms and legs inside the ride vehicle, because this last issue is a dangerous one." Arthur Dante’s most haunting creation yet is brought to life, and a final sacrifice must be made to take control of Devil Land. But who will it be?   Dark Ride #12 concludes the impressive variant cover lineup that has run throughout the series. In addition to the main cover by Andrei Bressan and series colorist Adriano Lucas, Dark Ride’s Cover B variant features a frightening collage of Halloween and Danny D. Evil with an issue #12 cover by Caspar Wijngaard (Home Sick Pilots), while Cover C spotlights Devil Land’s femme fatale and horror aficionado, Halloween, by Luana Vecchio (Lovesick). Additionally, megastar creator Tony Fleecs (Stray Dogs, Star Wars Adventures) continues art directing the classic homage poster variant program that has run throughout the course of the series. The 1:25 incentives now span the Cover D slot of Dark Ride’s third arc, with Jay Fosgitt (Star Trek) at the helm for issue #12. "I can’t wait for readers to take one final ride and finish our saga at Devil Land!” said series editor, Amanda LaFranco. “From the very beginning, Josh has been weaving a tale of family horror and laying down the pieces for this big finale, from Arthur’s very first deal with the Devil, to the sacrifice now placed in the hands of each member of the Dante family. The entire creative team has been on fire for this final arc, and Josh, Andrei, Adriano, and Pat have been hellishly delighting on every page. I’m excited for readers to see what we’ve been building to.” Dark Ride #12 (Lunar Codes below SRP: $3.99) will be available at comic book shops and digital platforms including Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

The full list of covers is below:

Dark Ride #12 CVR A by Andrei Bressan and Adriano Lucas (Lunar Code 0124IM243)

Dark Ride #12 CVR B by Caspar Wijngaard (Lunar Code 0124IM244)

Dark Ride #12 CVR C by Luana Vecchio (Lunar Code 0124IM245)

Dark Ride #12 CVR D (1:25 Incentive) by Jay Fosgitt & Tony Fleecs (Lunar Code 0124IM246)

04/16/24 @ 2:19 pm EST
Source: Deadline | Categories: MIsc

Warner Bros Pictures Animation is heading to the Discovery vault to adapt its Animal Planet series Meerkat Manor into an animated feature. Think Happy Feet: That George Miller-hatched franchise, which centered around tap-dancing penguins, raked in over a half-billion dollars at the global box office.Warner Bros. Discovery’s Animal Planet first aired Meerkat Manor in 2005, with the series becoming the network’s highest-rated show over its four seasons. The Emmy-nominated series reached 204 million households in more than 160 countries on the Animal Planet platform alone.The docuseries followed the Whiskers, a family of meerkats, as they struggled to survive in South Africa’s Kalahari Desert. Similar to Happy Feet, Warner Bros Pictures Animation will use photoreal animation to capture the Whiskers for their feature film debut.The Meerkat Manor movie will be produced by Seth Green and Tracy Falco of The Green Room. The film’s EPs are original series creator Caroline Hawkins as well as Clare Birks of Oxford Scientific Films. OSF is owned by ITV Studios. (via Deadline)

04/16/24 @ 2:15 pm EST
Source: Marvel | Categories: Jean Grey

In the X-Men’s upcoming From the Ashes era, one of the team’s most crucial members goes solo! Announced last week, Jean Grey will become a galaxy-traversing super hero in Stephanie Phillips and Alessandro Miracolo’s PHOENIX. Emerging from the explosive finale of Krakoa with renewed purpose, Jean embraces what was always hers: the breathtaking power of the Phoenix Force. Alone in space, she not only must do what no one else can: she yearns to. Whatever Jean does – or fails to do – will bring darkness to the universe and haunt her in ways she can scarcely imagine… Today, fans can see her reborn on an assortment of new variant covers for the debut issue! Best-selling cover artists Aka and Rose Besch spotlight Jean’s new Phoenix costume, designed by series artist Miracolo. Both pieces will also be available as virgin variant covers. In addition, iconic Phoenix artist Greg Land reminds readers how terrifying the Phoenix can be with an incredible depiction of Dark Phoenix. Check out all three covers now and preorder PHOENIX #1 at your local comic shop today!


04/15/24 @ 9:43 pm EST
Source: Deadline | Categories: Sonic

Keanu Reeves, Shadow the Hedgehog

Keanu Reeves (John Wick franchise) has been tapped to voice the role of Shadow in Paramount Pictures‘ Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Deadline has confirmed. Paramount had no comment, but Reeves joins an ensemble led by Ben Schwartz, who plays Sonic. In all three films, James Mardsen plays Sonic’s human ally, Sheriff Tom Wachowski, with Jim Carrey as the mad scientist Dr. Robotnik. The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise launched with a 2020 film of the same name, which grossed over $319M worldwide and was followed up with a hit sequel in 2022. Jeff Fowler has served as the director for all three films, with the newest to hit theaters on December 20.

04/15/24 @ 9:41 pm EST
Source: Marvel | Categories: Wolverine

Over the last few years, readers have gotten to experience all-new mutant sagas from the mastermind behind the X-Men’s most influential stories—Chris Claremont! The groundbreaking writer has introduced a multitude of hit limited series that fill in the gaps of X-Men canon, answering dangling questions and adding further depth to his historic and unparalleled run on the franchise. To celebrate Wolverine’s 50th anniversary this year, Claremont is back with artist Edgar Salazar for an all-new Wolverine story set during one of the X-Men’s most beloved eras in WOLVERINE: DEEP CUT! WOLVERINE: DEEP CUT sees Claremont return to the period when the X-Men operated out of the Australian Outback, and Wolverine was jetting off on secret adventures around the globe in his first solo series, also penned by Claremont. Now, witness Wolverine’s untold hunt before the Reavers’ brutal attack brought the X-Men’s time in Australia to a tragic end in Uncanny X-Men #251. OUT OF THE OUTBACK ON A LIFE-AND-DEATH MISSION! Logan sets off from the outback, leaving behind what was left of the X-Men, for a mysterious mission. After decades of mystery, Claremont reveals just what Wolverine got up to before his unforgettable battle with the Reavers! Featuring sinister revelations and claw-to-claw confrontations with Sabretooth, this is an ideal entry-point Wolverine story for new and long-standing fans alike that simply cannot be missed! “One of the amazing things about Chris Claremont’s work is how rich and multi-layered his X-Men stories have always been,” Editor Mark Basso shared. “In Uncanny X-Men #246, he had to move Wolverine off-stage to get to the plethora of other characters and plotlines he had going. DEEP CUT is going to finally step back and show what there just wasn’t time or space to show of Wolverine before he returned in #251, and make good on that title in all senses of the word! And, in true Marvel fashion, the story here will stand completely on its own, so if you have no idea what those plots entailed, rest assured you’ve got a complete adventure in this series.” WOLVERINE: DEEP CUT will be Claremont and Salazar’s latest “retro pick” adventure with Wolverine, following the Wolverine: Madripoor Knights series that launched earlier this year. Check out Phillip Tan’s WOLVERINE: DEEP CUT #1 cover and be there for the next Chris Claremont-penned mutant saga with this untold story of Wolverine’s most personal mission!

WOLVERINE: DEEP CUT #1 cover by Philip Tan

04/15/24 @ 12:37 pm EST
Source: Deadline | Categories: MIsc

Godzilla x Kong, Kung Fu Panda 4, Detective Conan

As it crossed the $1B international box office milestone this past weekend, Warner Bros again owned the frame with Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire and its third session haul of $33.7M from 71 markets. That was good for a 47% drop from the previous weekend and lifts the overseas cume to $278.6M and global to $436.6M. Meanwhile, WB and Legendary’s other major title in the marketplace, Dune: Part Two, now has a shot at getting to $700M worldwide. While 2024 may end up down on 2023, coming out of last week’s CinemaCon exhibition conference, it’s not all doom and gloom — something heard in a refrain — as several titles continue to post solid numbers. There’s also plenty of local play doing great business, notably in Japan this frame where the 27th movie in the Case Closed series, Detective Conan: The Million-Dollar Pentagram, has opened to a franchise best launch of $21.8M, including $1.5M from only 50 IMAX screens. Universal/DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 4 added five markets this weekend, kicking up another $25.9M in 81 total (just 39% down in the holdovers). The offshore cume is now $279M for $452.6M global. Excluding China and Russia, KFP4 has topped Kung Fu Panda 3 overseas and is now the second biggest global DWA franchise behind Shrek. (via Deadline)

04/15/24 @ 12:26 pm EST
Source: Variety | Categories: Disney

Lion King' Hollywood Bowl Concert Casts Jeremy Irons, Jennifer Hudson

The 30th anniversary of the original animated film version of “The Lion King” will be celebrated at the Hollywood Bowl next month with a live-to-film concert/screening that will include cast members from both the movie and theatrical versions — and beyond — including Jeremy Irons, Nathan Lane, Billy Eichner, Ernie Sabella, Jason Weaver and Bradley GIbson. The shows will take place at the Bowl May 24-25 and be produced by Disney Concerts, Fulwell 73 Productions, AMP Worldwide and Live Nation-Hewitt Silva. The general on-sale begins Friday at 10 a.m. via Ticketmaster, with an American Express cardholder presale starting Tuesday at 10 a.m. (via Variety)

04/15/24 @ 12:25 pm EST
Source: Marvel | Categories: X-Force

This summer may mark the end of Krakoa, but Forge’s mission is just beginning! Announced last week, Forge will lead the all-new iteration of mutantkind’s deadly strike team in Geoffrey Thorne and Marcus To’s X-FORCE. Set in the X-Men’s upcoming From the Ashes era, X-FORCE kicks off with Forge unlocking an Omega-Level aspect of his one-of-a-kind power of invention. Witnessing everything broken in the world, he builds the ultimate solution—X-FORCE, a team of handpicked mutants for off-the-books missions so dire, so integral to the fate of the Marvel Universe, there’s no time to stop for permission! Today, fans can see this elite team on an assortment of new variant covers for the debut issue! Superstar artist Clayton Crain returns to the world of X-Force with his own line of character-focused variant covers, starting with the team’s leader, Forge. Acclaimed Excalibur artist Mahmud Asrar draws mutantkind’s hottest new couple, Betsy Braddock and Rachel Summers, in action. And Tony Daniel assembles the entire squad including former New X-Men leader, Surge; the mastermind behind Krakoa’s X-Force, Sage; and Tank! Wait… Who? Plus, like all of Marvel’s major launches, X-FORCE #1 will shine on stands with a special FOIL COVER. The title will frequently feature A-List guest stars that Forge recruits for specific missions, starting with regenerating degenerate, Deadpool! See him steal the spotlight in an outstanding piece by best-selling cover artist David Nakayama. Check out all four covers now and preorder X-FORCE #1 at your local comic shop today!

New 'X-Force' #1 scores a number of variant coversNew 'X-Force' #1 scores a number of variant coversNew 'X-Force' #1 scores a number of variant coversNew 'X-Force' #1 scores a number of variant covers

04/14/24 @ 12:16 pm EST
Source: Bleeding Cool | Categories: X-Force
Rich Johnston over at Bleeding Cool has an article posted talking about Mark Millar and how he’s been talking about doing more Superman comics over the last few years. Millar has been vocal about his desire to do the comics and work with a top-notch artist, but it seems that working on a deal with DC may not be going all that well as Millar wants the company to share profits 50/50 after 60,000 copies are sold rather than the normal 2% royalty. Now Millar is talking about waiting until 2033 when the character ends up in the public domain and anyone can make books about him… or at least the version that first appeared in the early days of Action Comics. This would mean no Jimmy Olsen, no Perry White, no Kryptonite and definitely no flying. Rich also seems to think that Millar would be competing against other companies also putting out their versions of Superman like Marvel, Image, Todd McFarlane, etc. And of course, none of them could make a comic called Superman as DC Comics will still own the trademark, so they would have to call it something like “Into Action” or “Metropolis” and then just call him Superman inside the book. But would people want to read a Superman story that’s not part of the DC Universe? Is the draw of the character exactly what Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel put on the page in 1938 or is it all that plus the 85+ years of continuity that makes people want to read his adventures? This will be important to figure out as once Superman goes into public domain, Batman won’t be far behind.Action Comics 
04/14/24 @ 11:47 am EST
Source: Twitter | Categories: X-Force
Even though he is no longer working on the series after being let go by Marvel Studios, X-Men ’97 creator Beau DeMayo broke his silence to speak about the shocking fifth episode of the series. DeMayo wanted to give context to the ending and how everything was specifically done to set this up. He posted on Twitter: “Lotta questions and so I’ll momentarily break silence to answer. Episode 5 was the centerpiece of my pitch to Marvel in November 2020. The idea being to have the X-Men mirror the journey that any of us who grew up on the original show have experienced since being kids in the 90s. The world was a seemingly safer place for us, where a character like Storm would comment on how skin-based racism was ‘quaint’ in One Man’s Worth [the season 4 premiere of the OG series]. For the most part, to our young minds, the world was a simple place of right and wrong, where questions about identity and social justice had relatively clear-cut answers.” DeMayo then shifts to how everything changed after September 11th, 2001. “Things weren’t so safe anymore. Grassroots populist movements began to rise around the world as a whole nation struggled to deal with collective trauma and fracture at the seams of every diverse demographic. The effects we still feel today, and have only been exacerbated by more collective traumas like COVID or several recessions.” His plan for the series was to reflect on similar attacks in American history. “Yes, it looked like Gambit’s story was going a specific direction. The crop top was chosen to make you love him. Him pulling off his shirt was intentional. There’s a reason he told Rogue any fool would suffer her hand in a dance, even if it ended up not being him suffering. But if events like 9/11, Tulsa, Charlottesville, or Pulse Nightclub teach us anything, it’s that too many stories are often cut far too short. I partied at Pulse. It was my club. I have so many great memories of its awesome white lounge. It was, like Genosha, a safe space for me and everyone like me to dance and laugh and be free. I thought about this a lot when crafting this season and this episode, and how the gay community in Orlando rose to heal from that event. Like many of us who grew up on the OG cartoon, the X-Men have now been hit hard by the realities of an adult and unsafe world. Life’s happened to them. And they, like we did, will have to decide which parts of themselves they will cling to and which parts they’ll let go of in order to do what they’ve been telling humanity to do: face an uncertain future they never saw coming. As Trask told Cyclops in the premiere: ‘you have no idea what it’s like to be left behind by the future.’ Now the X-Men do, and like each of us, they’ll have to weigh whether this is a time for social justice — or as Magneto preached at his trial — is it a time for social healing.”Gambit  ...

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