10/15/16 @ 6:03 pm EST
A Writer’s Commentary: Scott Lobdell
talks Army of Darkness/Xena: Forever … and a Day
#1, on sale now from Dynamite
. Cover by Reilly Brown
and interiors by Elliot Fernandez
I figured it was important to start the story at Xena’s lowest point ever. Her final battle, a dying Gabrielle in her arms… in part because it is so dramatic, but also because she is about to summon Ash Williams for help.And let’s be honest – if you are going to summon Ash Williams for help, things have to be pretty darn rock bottom! (I kid, Ash! I kid because I love!)One of the fun things about coming so late to the Xena/Gabrielle party is there is no need for “nudge, nudge/wink,wink” allusions to their relationship. I get to call her “life partner”, unambiguously.PAGE TWO AND THREE
Yep. Things are bad.Now, honestly, I would have preferred to use this two-page spread to establish that this village Xena was protecting has been devastated by these advancing hordes of Deadites – but the artist went in a different direction.In this version, there is no indication of a village at all… and as a result there is no sense of place, a sense of a risk that is greater than a risk to, say, Xena and Gabrielle.Also, while the coloring is gorgeous (this is the first time I’m seeing it) I have to say it adds to the “problem of place.” Rather than a village under siege with Xena as its last defender, this scene makes it seem like the battle it taking place in the pits of Hell itself.
But that’s the thing about writing, I’ll be able to adjust later in the series to make things clearer. (Or, honestly, who knows – I may be forced to abandon the idea of an overwhelmed village entirely for this scene to make sense in the larger context of the series. That is one of the strengths of being fluid… you can go with the flow.)PAGE FOUR AND FIVE
Still no context.Again, I’m reading this for the first time. In black and white, it was easier to imagine background colors that would have made this feel like, say, it was outside, at night… on Earth. Our minds might have filled in the idea that this was an actual place under siege. But there’s that red again.Hmm… will definitely have to adjust my thinking re: village moving forward.On panels three and four: To me this is the great joy of writing Xena. Sure, you have drama, you have gods and monsters and epic battles… but more importantly you have the character and comedy that exists between Xena and Gabrielle. I love these two – and more importantly I love them together.PAGE SIX
And here all my frustration with the artist over a sense of place dissolves away – because he really sells the back room of the S-Mart. With this single panel, we learn so much about Ash at a glance:We see his “world” is clearly much different than Xena’s world. This feels like a place where any of us might have worked over the years – the worn down mirror, the graffiti, those damned Employee edicts posted everywhere. (“Wait! I gotta wash my hands?! Thank god that sign is there!”)I also love how happy Ash is here: he is master of his domain, employee of the year again. He doesn’t see the graffiti or the worn mirror – he’s only concerned with that smiling visage of male confidence beaming back at him!PAGE SEVEN
Well, we get some shelves here for a sense of place – I am grateful for that!(One of the things that always bother me in a comic is when we see a SIGN or a COMPUTER MONITOR that should have something written or projected on it and there is nothing there. [“Look at those security cameras! They show all those people sneaking over the fence!” Um, no. They don’t. They’re blank screens. We can see they are blank!”] Like, if we were watching a television show or a movie and someone walked down an aisle and there was a big blank sign there we would scratch our heads and wonder who puts up signs with no writing or images on them? I’ll have to be more aware of this in future issues when I get the lettering pages back.)There is Amber making an appearance! My muse! Eagle-eyed readers will recognize her from her cameo in IDW’s Galaxy Quest comic! Uh oh – I hope I won’t get sued now!(In my defense, that Amber was making out with Tim Allen! This Amber is about to make out with Bruce Campbell. So, really, it has to be two different Ambers who just share the same name! Lawsuit avoided!)There’s that red background again – which (to me) feels too much like the red from the previous scene. If I saw this coloring before now I probably would have asked for an adjustment here.PAGE EIGHT
Love this page. Everything about it. Elliot Fernandez really knocked it out of the park here – and the coloring is gorgeous!While I probably could have gotten away without any reference to “enchanted summoning through time and space” because it is right there in the art… I didn’t mind punching it a little with dialogue because of what Ash reveals about himself in the dialogue.I love the fact that he’s pretty damned nonchalant about it – it has happened so many times already that he’s able to contrast the severity of this summoning against other times.It is that “Okay. This happened” attitude of Ash’s that I love. He takes the most outrageous things that happen to him in stride, but then gets so annoyed by some of the little things as we’ll see in an a bit.PAGE NINE
See? He doesn’t like being poinked!Time and space travel? Piece of cake.But do not poink him — a man has to have his limits!PAGE TEN AND ELEVEN
The character work on this two-page spread is pretty awesome.(This is the same village that we saw was obliterated in the first scene – so that we got a sense here that we are only days away from the devastation about to befall these people, but… Okay, okay! I’ll let it go!)A man can only take so much poinking!PAGE TWELVE AND THIRTEEN
And here it is! The moment we’ve been waiting for: Xena and Ash on the same page, in the same place and time!I love how he is so excited to see her… even as she has no idea who the hell he is! (Ah, the fun of time travel stories!)I love how she easily dispatches him. (Yes, he’s one resourceful guy – but he’s not a warrior woman, and he hasn’t been fighting his entire life like Xena. He might be able to get a punch in here or there, sure, but he’s not about to defeat Xena. C’mon!)That said, I also love that Xena is content to hold him at bay with her sword and not run him through. She’s the best!PAGE FOURTEEN AND FIFTEEN
Again, Elliot really shines here on this two-page splash.The fury, the surprise, the determination… the fight to the draw that can leave the fans of both characters convinced their favorite would have won if the battle might go on a moment longer!PAGE SIXTEEN
Who else but Gabrielle can get the two of them to focus with a single word?!I love that seeing her in a state is enough to focus both Ash and Xena in a heartbeat – nothing is more important to either one of them in this moment.I also love being able to write the last panel on this page, where we see that Gabrielle is the voice of reason between these two. (Let’s face it – both Ash and Xena can get a little immature when defending their own honor. I think it is part of their charms.)PAGE SEVENTEEN AND EIGHTEEN
I’ll confess something here! If I could write an entire mini-series about these three sitting around a campfire, I would!But who would read it besides me?PAGE NINETEEN AND TWENTY
The sign-painters arrived while Ash was trapped in the past!I’m a little confused by Ash’s expression on the last panel of page nineteen. It feels like the tie gag is a reference to his previous attempt at love-making having been interrupted. (If I had noticed this expression earlier, I probably would have adjusted the dialogue to reflect his expression a little more.) Maybe that’s only distracting to me.
That was fun! Did you like it?!
07/10/20 @ 10:19 pm EST
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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, ...
07/03/20 @ 3:33 pm EST