09/02/16 @ 9:56 pm EST
Source: Bleeding Cool | Categories: Dynamite

A Writer’s Commentary: Elliott Serrano talks the Army of Darkness: Election Specialone-shot, now on sale from Dynamite. Cover by Elliot Fernandez and interiors byDiego Galindo.


Page One
Hey everyone! Elliott Serrano, former series writer for “Army of Darkness”, here with a writer’s commentary for the “Army of Darkness: Election Special.” I had a lot of fun writing it, when I wasn’t banging my head against a wall trying to balance a number of story elements in a comic book about a store clerk turned monster hunter running for president of the United States.For all you millennials, the title is a nod to the political thriller “The Manchurian Candidate.” The book has also been referred to as “Ash For President,” but we’d rather not confuse it with the current ad campaign Starz has going for the “Ash VS Evil Dead” television series. Some folks have asked me if we were inspired by the television show or anything that happened during the show to produce this story, and I’ll just come out and say…nope.The idea of having Ash get involved in the presidential race was proposed by Dynamite Entertainment editor Joe Rybandt as one of several scenarios where we could use the AoD title to comment on the current state of American politics. And after my experience with the “Ash Saves Obama” mini-series, Joe asked me if I’d take a crack at it. I’m glad that I did!
So we start off with the image of our hero holding the Necronomicon and recounting some of his previous adventures, this way we get a sense of where this story takes place in Ash’s “timeline.”

Page Two
This image of the Necronomicon screaming came to me in the shower, which oddly enough is when a lot of story ideas tend to pop into my head. I wanted to start the story off with a powerful image, and I couldn’t think of another time when the book behaved in this manner.
Notice the little details that artist Diego Galindo puts in Ash’s apartment? I made a note in the script that Ash’s “hovel” not look like the trailer that he lives in in the new series — we didn’t want to get into any problems with the licensors — but Galindo still managed to sneak an Easter egg or two in there.

Page Three
Now we’re off to meet the sidekick for this adventure. Of course when you’re dealing with demons and strange prophecies, you need to bring a psychic into the mix. Originally this character was going to be a man with a daughter who Ash would flirt with, but then I realized that I was just cluttering the story with too many characters and made the medium a woman. She’s named after author and friend Delilah S. Dawson who has written YA novels and even a Star Wars novella. I’d love to see her take a crack at Army of Darkness someday!It should also be noted that the script simply describes Delilah as “a looker.” Diego came up with her appearance all on his own. I wonder if she looks like anyone he knows? I’ll have to ask him if I ever see him.


Page Four
So here’s where we set up the dynamic between Ash and Delilah. Of course Ash is the wise-ass who wants to impress the pretty girl. But I wanted Delilah to come across as someone who could hold her own with him. I had this whole backstory in my head about how Delilah grew up in a family of mediums, witches and warlocks, and that she had many adventures of her own before meeting Ash. She’s not going to be a “screaming mimi” in this story, as we’ll see later on.

Page Five
It’s important for Delilah to demonstrate that she is in fact a true psychic medium and not some fraud since her powers really play a vital part in the story. She establishes a link to the Necronomicon and can see everything the demon presence within the book is experiencing…

Page Six
…which is a threat that is unlike anything Ash has ever faced before (of course it is, this is a 48-page special!) and even has the demon realm frightened. Diego manages to sneak a couple more Easter eggs in this scene, including a cameo by a particular “Evil Dead” demon.
By the way, the name of “The Great Darkness” is my tip of the cap to Paul Levitz’ “Great Darkness Saga” from DC Comics’ “Legion of Superheroes”, my favorite Legion story of all time.

Page Seven
At this point, Ash is justified in being skeptical of anything the Necronomicon Ex Mortis says to him. It’s not as if the book has ever done him any favors. I even have Ash call back to a particular adventure he went on when I was writing the main series. But having Delilah share the vision is where we establish that this appears to be a credible threat and not something the Necronomicon is making up to send Ash into a trap.

Page Eight
We then introduce the political element of the story and the potential “agent” of the Great Darkness, who we learn is one of the candidates running for President of the United States. This makes things a bit more complicated considering the solution the Necronomicon has for dealing with the agent, which makes Ash really uncomfortable!


Page Nine
The “solution” also made the Dynamite Entertainment legal department uncomfortable as well since publishing a comic about a character out to kill a presidential candidate is problematic — to say the least — especially in the current political climate.
It was important to emphasize that Ash wasn’t all too keen on his mission, and that there could be some hidden agenda that he hadn’t discovered yet. Still, having Delilah along lends some credence to the threat and let’s face it, Ash isn’t all that bright, so he needs a smarter head around to point him in the right direction.

Page Ten
Now we see the state of the presidential election in the AoD universe, where the candidates are very similar to the ones from our world but with some noted differences. For legal reasons we couldn’t use the actual presidential candidates, so I created amalgams and mixed up the traits a bit. Senator Brock Anders is the Democratic candidate, who in the script I described as a “college professor-looking type” to account for his appeal to younger voters. And also account for Ash’s eventual disdain for him.

Page Eleven
We then switch over to the Valerie Sexton rally where I dropped some in-jokes that political wonks (like me) will enjoy. The original name of Senator Sexton went through a change because “Chilton” sounded it bit too much like a certain former Secretary of State and New York Senator. Yet another thing that legal got a little nervous over.

Page Twelve
Now, if I get hate mail over this book, I’m guessing it’ll be for this part of the story. Nobody likes it when you poke fun at third party candidates, but in the AoD universe, everyone is fair game! Introducing the 3rd party made perfect sense here, though, and opened up some interesting possibilities.

Page Thirteen
As I was hashing out the plot, I wasn’t quite sure how Ash fit into the story as a potential “candidate”, or if at all. Going through plot ideas, at one point I thought that instead of being a candidate, Ash could be on the fringes of the campaign. He’d be like one of those conspiracy theorists who believes that 9/11 was an inside job, or that Obama was a secret Muslim who was born in Kenya. You know, a nutjob, but a nutjob we liked because we knew him.And again, I found that I was needlessly cluttering the story with overly clever plot points when the most straightforward solution worked best. I also realized that not having Ash in the midst of the race would be a disappointment to many of his fans. The book is often referred to as Ash for President, and I didn’t want readers to feel misled. (For example, I still get grief for not having Ash and President Obama actually meet in the “Ash Saves Obama” miniseries I wrote years ago.)
So here we have Norman Treadwell of the “Patriot Party” using catchphrases and rhetoric that sounds oddly…familiar.

Page Fourteen
Also note that the Necronomicon is an active player in this whole scenario. That was another element of the story that just made it more interesting for me as a writer.
And here is where Ash finds himself going from observer of this whole political process…


Page Fifteen
…to getting thrown into it, quite literally!
Because you can’t have an AoD story without some Deadite mayhem, this seemed like a good time to cut the chatter and throw some action in to move things along.
Again, Diego does a nice job of laying it out and going from comical to brutal, just like in the Evil Dead movies.

Page Sixteen
And here is where people on social media are going to allege that I’m a right-wing gun nut, which I’m really not. You’ve gotta admit, though, the line works.
This sequence is meant to show how the cult of personality often takes hold in the election process. It’s not who you are or what you can do that matters, but how people perceive you.

Page Seventeen
Yet again, the Necronomicon gets involved, and this is where Ash’s role is solidified in the story. How do you get a store clerk to run for president? Same way you get the nation to talk about Joe the Plumber. Give him 15 minutes of fame and fan the flames a bit. I say that this is Shakespeare’s “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them” in play.

Page Eighteen & Nineteen
These pages take me back to my discussions with Joe Rybandt and how the story would play out. After some back-and-forth, I said “Ash runs for president and has the Necronomicon as his campaign manager.” Not that great a stretch when you consider that George W. Bush had Karl Rove as his campaign manager.
Also, I wanted to refer to the National Association for the Right To Bear Arms as NARBA, but it sounded too much like NAMBLA and well…hate mail.

Page Twenty
And now the cable news networks – with their 24-hour news cycles desperate for new content – get involved. Global News Network and CONservative News will play a major part in this election, just like their “real world” counterparts do in ours. Shout out to Diego for the Bill O’Reilly-looking CON News pundit. That was a nice touch.

Page Twenty-One
For those who aren’t familiar, here’s the quote that Ash mangles in his stump speech:
“It is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it… anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.” – Douglas AdamsHe did say he wasn’t very good with words, right?

Page Twenty-Two
If you can’t tell, Sexton and Anders’ campaign rhetoric is inspired by almost a year of listening to Clinton and Sanders going back and forth, and how the media has been disseminating their messages to the public. If you ask me, television and social media have played a greater role in this presidential election than in any before. Especially when you consider that the most controversial candidate of the 2016 election got almost all of his exposure for free via the television news networks. We all agree that Trump is a deadite, yes?

Page Twenty-Three
Here’s is where we get to the “deal with the devil” part of the story. And it’s inspired by a scene from “The West Wing” when Josiah Bartlett admits to a group of farmers that he screwed them on a tax bill. His matter-of-fact speaking is what gets Josh to work for him. Well, Ash is no Josiah Bartlett, but he is a decent guy, so he believes in the inherent good of people. On the other hand, the Necronomicon only knows people for the bad that they can be. And he’s telling Ash that if he wants people to listen to him, he needs to appeal to that darker side of human nature. So when Ash starts off mimicking the rhetoric he’s heard and seeing that it’s not getting him anywhere…


Page Twenty-Four
…he decides to go with the Necronomicon’s advice and lies to the group of veterans. It’s a lie of omission, yes, and in his own head he can rationalize it to himself because while he may not be a veteran of a human war, he has been fighting against the armies of darkness for decades. So using his own amputation as evidence that he is a fellow veteran is rather deceitful, but has it’s own logic.From here on out Ash is using the Necronomicon’s brand of “truth”, which is mostly lies mixed with a bit of truth. He’s finally become a politician.

Back to the 24-hour news cycle and suddenly our man Ash is very popular! The “I shot a guy” line was inspired by Donald Trump saying that he could shoot a guy in the street and still see his poll numbers rise. Which they did. When I wrote this page I thought that I was going a bit too “out there” as far as the stuff Ash could get away with saying. Since then Trump has shown that I was too reserved.And at this point readers should realize that Ash in the Donald Trump of the AoD universe.

Page Twenty-Six
As this chapter draws to a close, and we see how the Necronomicon’s influence has affected the campaign, Ash has his “Howard Dean moment.” If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Google “Howard Dean Yeah” and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s hilarious.

Page Twenty-Seven
Okay, maybe it seems a bit far-fetched that a third party candidate would get on the debate stage on the eve of a hotly-contested election, but we are talking about a comic where a store clerk fights demons and zombies, right?

Page Twenty-Eight
It tickles me that the debate takes place in Atlanta Georgia. This sets up a very subtle jab at “The Walking Dead” to come in a few pages.

Page Twenty-Nine
The jacket that Ash wears was a creation of Diego Galindo and cover artist Elliot Fernandez. The backstory being that Patriot Party headquarters sent him the jacket to wear during the debate, and that Ash initially resisted but then relented. Well, as I’m writing this I realize that I’m getting bogged down in details again and slowing down the story. So I included the line where Delilah says “get your jacket” and the reader can just assume that Ash has horrible fashion sense. Which he does.
The words that Ash writes on his hand are actually Sumerian and is an incantation of truth and revelation.

Page Thirty – Thirty-Two
Gonna make a confession here: as I was writing these pages, I still hadn’t really decided who was going to be revealed as the “agent of the Great Darkness.” I had scenarios planned out for whether it was Sexton (whose name should have been a dead giveaway) or Anders. And each scenario had their strengths and drawbacks.Also, I made myself laugh when I write the “Professor Santa Claus” line. I may be the only person in the world who thinks it was funny, but that’ enough for me.


Page Thirty-Three & Thirty-Four
Oh yeah…if you #StandWithHer you just might be writing some hate mail about this, but remember, it’s just a comic book! I also expect some MRAs to high five each other over this.Guys?Don’t….

Page Thirty-Five
…because I went ahead and made them both demons anyway! This would lead into the very subtle jab that I take at The Walking Dead on the next page. Which is if you put Ash in Atlanta, facing a bunch of zombies…

Page Thirty-Six
…he just needs one page to kill them all!

Remember how I said I don’t think I got crazy enough with the story? I still hold to that, even with this ending. Because with the stuff that Donald Trump has been saying, Ash seems downright reasonable.

And so we close with our hero in the White House and asking the same question that so many have been asking during this election season. (Delilah echoing the end of “Ash Saves Obama” because I just love that line.) And we discover that the Necronomicon has been playing us all along?

Thanks for coming along for the ride everyone! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

07/13/20 @ 5:33 pm EST
Source: Dynamite | Categories: Dynamite

We extended the campaign way back, but again and for the final time we come to this day. It had to happen. Lucio Parrillo's exclusive Vampirella variant cover ends today! Exactly, the clock runs out tonight at 3 AM EST (midnight PST). Don't miss it!

Make sure you get your copy of Lucio's latest masterpiece. Even if you've already backed the campaign, today is a great chance to double-check your pledge for all the sweet add-ons and special packages. Whether we're talking variations like the logo-free virgin or black & white versions, the frame-ready high-quality lithograph print, or all the extra limited edition covers we've added to the campaigns over time.

Additionally, this weekend Lucio joined Dan Fraga on his Fragaboom! Youtube channel to chat live about this cover, his career and more. If you missed it, click here to catch up on this fun conversation between two pros.

Don't Miss It!

07/10/20 @ 10:19 pm EST
Source: Dynamite | Categories: Dynamite

We're very excited to announce the first stretch goal for Mindy Wheeler's Vampirella variant exclusive! If you haven't joined the club already, head to the campaign and make sure you're getting this drop-dead gorgeous collectible cover. Only a limited number will be produced, based on how many backers support it.

When the campaign hits $7,000, every backer will have a sweet promo trading card featuring Mindy's art added to your package. We're not far away, so make sure to tell all your collector buds about this exclusive campaign. Now is also a great time to review your own pledge and see what extra goodies you might be interested in. In turn, raising the total and getting closer to an awesome stretch goal!

Help Unlock the Stretch Goal!

07/10/20 @ 4:56 pm EST
Source: Dynamite | Categories: Dynamite

Dynamite unveils the Cosplay Celebration of the year on Indiegogo! Up right now, fans can get deals and bundles on cosplay collectibles and more.

As one of the only publishers prominently featuring cosplayers consistently on covers, Dynamite is proud to work with these talented members of the comics and geek community. There are few ways for someone to express their fandom and craft at a higher level than some of the top cosplayers, who spend countless hours on costuming, hair, makeup and more, sometimes to wear and portray it for just a single day. The art of cosplay is in the roots of Dynamite and its biggest characters, with signature 1970s Red Sonja artist Frank Thorne hosting look-a-like contests at early conventions and Barbara Leigh gracing the cover of Vampirella back in 1978. The cosplay cover has always been tied to Vampirella, with models like Sascha Knopf, Julie Strain, Maria Di Angelis and more representing the character in the Harris era.

This new celebration of that legacy tips its hat to all the great cosplayers who work with Dynamite today, month in and out. Names such as Ashley Du, Jackie Geohner, Joanie Brosas, Jenifer Ann, Shannon Kingston and many more have featured on covers as Vampirella, Red Sonja, Dejah Thoris, Sheena, Barbarella and others.

In the campaign on Indiegogo, collectors can get several special packages. For just $5, the cosplay covers for all three latest first issues of Vampirella, Red Sonja and Dejah Thoris can be had, with assorted extra issues too! Or choose your favorite character and get a big helping of cosplay covers for them. Special edition trading cards signed by Ashley Du, Jackie Goehner, Shannon Kingston and Jenifer Ann make an appearance as well. ...

07/09/20 @ 1:46 pm EST
Source: Dynamite | Categories: Dynamite

The clock is ticking! Just five days remain to get Lucio Parrillo's breathtaking crowdfunded Vampirella cover. Make sure you don't miss out on this exclusive collectible of the Daughter of Drakulon. A limited run of this cover will be produced based on the number of backers.

We also did some digging and we've got some sweet add-ons added to the campaign for collectors to check out. We were able to find extremely limited quantities of some of Lucio's rare virgin covers from recent bestselling issues. We're talking Vampirella, Vengeance of Vampirella, Sacred Six, Red Sonja: Age of Chaos, Red Sonja: Birth of the She-Devil, Dejah Thoris, and more. Some of them only had two copies available, so they're already off the shelf. But if you go to the campaign right now, there are still a few left.

Get Yours Today! 5 Days Left

07/09/20 @ 10:01 am EST
Source: Dynamite | Categories: Dynamite

Dynamite announces its trio of exciting, newsbreaking virtual panels for this year's virtual San Diego Comic Con. Fans can tune in across three days in July for deep dives on the latest series announcements, teases for future plans, and commentary on their favorite comics from some of today's top creators.

Though circumstances are different this year, with fans having to engage with a "virtual" convention experience, Dynamite is showing up in full force to this seminal annual event in comics, with heavy-hitting reveals and more. This marks exactly a year after Dynamite kicked off celebrations for Vampirella's 50th anniversary with the debut of the new series written by Christopher Priest and a star-studded panel. It was an anniversary extravaganza, with Dynamite as a publisher also celebrating 15 years in business. And last but certainly not least, Executive Editor Joseph Rybandt sat down with legendary artist Darick Robertson to discuss a massive career in comics and the then around the corner release of the streaming adaptation of his co-creation The Boys.

This year anniversaries officially come to a close, but the party never stops. Across three stacked panels featuring a diverse lineup of talent, Dynamite fans will get the scoops and enjoy discussion of their favorite titles.

On Thursday July 23 at 11 AM PST, all things Bond, James Bond 007 in comic books will be discussed by a deep roster of writers. Current writer Danny Lore (Ironheart) is joined by preceding 007 chronicler Greg Pak (Star Wars, Incredible Hulk) and Reflections of Death contributor Mark Russell (Red Sonja, Swamp Thing). Editors Nate Cosby and Matt Idelson chime in as well. And the real surprise guest is... Steve Orlando of Martian Manhunter and Wonder Woman ...

07/08/20 @ 8:05 pm EST
Source: Dynamite | Categories: Dynamite
You still have a chance to get your copy of the new Miss Fury: Joy Division graphic novel from Billy Tucci and Maria Laura Sanapo! Yes, we extended the campaign for another month, for all those fans who have been on the fence, waiting for their budget to work out, and especially everyone who hasn't yet seen it. We've been so inspired by the support already shown for the project that the party just couldn't stop yet!

And that inspiration brings us to the other exciting piece of news. If you've backed this campaign, you've probably seen all the great interviews, livestreams, and more that Billy and Maria have been doing to help promote the book. And not just them, but we're incredibly grateful to have a stellar creative team top to bottom with colorist Ceci de la Cruz and letterer/designer Mindy Lopkin as well. When the campaign hits $100,000, we're incredibly excited to announce that Maria, Ceci and Mindy will all get an additional bonus for the project. This is what the support of fans means to comics publishers and creators, and we can't do it without you. We aren't even that far off either!

So join the party, tell your friends, and let's push this awesome campaign higher and higher!

Get Yours Now! And Check Out All the Great Add-Ons!

07/08/20 @ 8:03 pm EST
Source: Dynamite | Categories: Dynamite

Artist Mindy Wheeler is going live on Youtube tonight for a relaxed stream. She'll be coloring some of her current comic book work, talking about her new crowdfunded Vampirella cover, and hanging out with fellow fans like you.

You can click right here to join Mindy tonight. She plans to go live at 8 PM EST. That's 5 PM for you west coasters and the wee hours across the pond. But if you miss out, can always catch up and watch the archived video later.

What do you want to ask Mindy? Maybe what artists inspired her take on Vampirella. Or how she recommends aspiring creators to get into the industry. Perhaps just how she's doing through all the turbulent events in the world right now. Join us and Mindy tonight for a fun time, and make sure to support her latest project on Indiegogo!

07/08/20 @ 3:23 pm EST
Source: Dynamite | Categories: Dynamite

Dynamite is proud to participate in Humble Bundle's latest industrywide digital comics bundle, with proceeds benefiting multiple organizations involved in fighting injustice in the United States. The bundle is live right now, so check out the deals and support it!

Critically acclaimed and fan-favorite titles from Dynamite included in the bundle feature Black characters and/or Black creators behind the page. Included are both the brilliant Shaft graphic novel A Complicated Man by David F. Walker and Bilquis Evely, as well as Walker's follow up Imitation of Life with artist Dietrich Smith. Superstar writer Vita Ayala's recent run on Xena Warrior Princess joins the lineup, with a take on the character that embraces certain themes known by creators and fans for years. The Alex Ross designed Bring the Thunder completes Dynamite's set. But that's only the tip of the iceberg, as several major publishers chip in to the bundle and totaling a regular value of over 1 thousand dollars. With tiers ranging from just a buck to $20, there is a perfect option for everyone.

Organized by creators and industry leaders like Gail Simone and Karama Horne (TheBlerdGurl), the bundle will support The Bail Project, The Carl Brandon Society, and the National Urban League.

"This is a great program and I was excited when Gail Simone contacted me about Dynamite being a part of this effort," said Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher. "She's a close friend and we've worked well together through the years on Red Sonja and more. I immediately said yes. This country and the world are going through trying times. Every program to help brings us one step closer to a better society. I want to thank Gail and Kelley Allen [Director of ...

07/08/20 @ 3:18 pm EST
Source: Dynamite | Categories: Dynamite
Dynamite extends all titles being returnable for retailers through August 2020, as stores across the country continue to reopen, recover and react to the evolving situations in their areas.

In March, Dynamite announced all titles through the pandemic and business shut downs would be returnable for retailers. This was done to decrease risk as retailers navigate through these challenges, and to give them confidence in ordering for a great comeback. The previously announced end date for the returns program was July. As conditions persist and some retailers continue to get back up and running fully, all titles up to those in stores August 26 are now included.

Dynamite stands with the direct market and hard-working comics retailers. In addition to making releases returnable, Dynamite has been continually running sales on graphic novels and other product categories. Release schedules were also shifted to make the pre-holiday July 1 a "Dynamite Day" with issues of five top titles released on the same day on an otherwise quiet week to ensure retailers had comics to generate as many sales as possible.

"The retailers in our industry currently have had it incredibly hard. Many went 2 months, and some more, without being able to have open stores. Fortunately, retailers have been able to stay open, but we know it hasn't been easy for them. We want to help retailers as much as possible, and we've created a few programs. We've been releasing premium variant covers to retailers at the base cost so that they can capitalize to help make money, we've created deep discounts on our collections, and we've had our entire line returnable to date. We're going to extend the returnability through the end of August," said Nick Barrucci, Dynamite CEO and Publisher. "We're here for our retailers. The industry ...
07/07/20 @ 11:39 pm EST
Source: Dynamite | Categories: Dynamite

The She-Devil With a Sword swings onto Indiegogo, courtesy of superstar artist Frank Cho! Right now, fans can get their own! Including a new version of the cover and more options exclusive to Indiegogo!

Initially debuting on Kickstarter, Dynamite and Cho now bring this hot collectible cover to Indiegogo for those fans that are more familiar or connected with the alternate crowdfunding platform. 550 wise fans have already locked in their packages, so it's your time to join the party!

The limited-edition cover is available in three variations. Of course, a standard option includes the Red Sonja logo for a more traditional look. Another version drops the logo for a clean presentation really showing off the combined talents of Frank Cho and frequent collaborator Sabine Rich on colors. For the Cho collectors and art enthusiasts, a black and white edition really emphasizes the fine linework of Cho and his beloved details in the hair, chainmail armor, and more. Special bundle packages with all three covers, signed editions and more are available on Indiegogo right now. Additional options as add-ons include a high-quality lithograph print and collectible coins.

But WAIT! Even for those who already backed this cover on Kickstarter, we have a new fourth version of the cover only available on Indiegogo as part of this campaign. Add the line art virgin edition to your collection today! Frank will also be signing some, with both options limited to only 50 each! PLUS there are CGC graded options for collectors.

If you don't know Frank Cho, we're surprised you're getting this email from us! Just kidding. But Frank is one of the biggest artists in the industry and has grown that reputation from his early independent hit Liberty Meadows, ...

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