11/06/13 @ 3:41 pm EST
In another peer to peer interview from Dynamite Entertainment, Nancy Collins chats with Devin Grayson and Gail Simone about taking on Red Sonja as part of the new Legends Of Red Sonja series being released during the characters 40th anniversary.
First Devin Grayson:
NANCY COLLINS: What inspired you to give your Red Sonja story in LEGENDS OF RED SONJA #1 a nautical spin?
DEVIN GRAYSON: I haven’t played with magic much in my comics writing, but it’s been factoring heavily into some prose work I’m doing now–a YA novel series about a young ghost hunter and her friends, one of whom is a mage. So the chance to work with an artist who could bring some of those themes to life was irresistible. Magic in Sonja’s world—as shown so beautifully in your story– is dark, powerful, raw and dangerous…essentially a force of nature in and of itself. So I wanted something that would echo that visually, a setup in my story that would lead to people being visibly out of control of their environment, such as fire at sea. And the moment I seized on that, a whole mood and tone and antagonist for the story fell into place.
Or maybe I just watched that Science Friday “Where’s the Octopus?” video on YouTube too many times.
NC: Did you have an interest/background in heroic fantasy prior to being brought on the Legends of Red Sonja project?
DG: Not in my reading or writing life, but I’m an avid RPGer, and when you’re gaming—whether online or in traditional pencil and dice campaigns—you’re going to end up submerged in heroic fantasy. Most relevant to this project was the online game Age of Conan. I never actually played it, but before the game officially launched, the role playing crowd took over one of the Beta message boards to use for Conan-themed round robin story-telling. I was very active there, playing an Aquilonian guard, so Sonja’s world felt like a place I’d already lived.
NC: You’ve worked in the video game industry in the past. How does writing for games compare to writing comics?
DG: There are a lot of similarities. Both start as blank pages but grow up to be primarily visual media, both have a commitment to inviting the audience to identify with the characters in as immediate a way as possible and both are shaped by external story limitations—continuity in the case of comics and game mechanics in the case of video games. Both are also unusually social experiences for a writer. Unless you’re working with a partner, writing is usually a pretty solitary exercise. Being alone with a story is one of my favorite parts of the writing experience. But with both comics and video game scripts, you’re just a cog in the wheel, working as part of a team and relying on those other team members to bring your vision to life. I love finishing a manuscript and eventually getting to hold an actual book in my hands, but it’s a whole different kind of thrill to finish a script and eventually get to see the characters acting out the dialog.
NC: Do you have anything on deck for 2014 that your fans should keep an eye out for?
DG: In addition to the YA novel series I briefly mentioned –which won’t make its debut in 2014–I’m currently working on a radio play, which will, and a few other projects it’s too early to talk about. I’m really enjoying being back in comics though and, who knows, there may even be some more work with Dynamite in my future.
And now over to Gail Simone:
NC: What inspired you to propose an All-Woman jam to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Red Sonja?
GAIL SIMONE: I have to give a lot of credit for this to Dynamite and to Nick Barrucci. They are just fantastically open to ideas, and consequently, you don’t feel like the doors are all shut and locked before you even try to open them.
I had what I thought was a fun idea, to have all the covers of my run on the ongoing RED SONJA title be drawn by women, all my favorites, and it’s just worked out amazingly well…they all turned out beautiful. And it made this nifty little side statement, as well, that some of the very best artists in the business are female, AND could draw this sword and sorcery stuff beautifully.
It was such a success, it made me think of how fun it would be to invite a bunch of my writing heroes to try the same thing, women who had provided inspiration to me with the quality of their work.
It turned out to be one of the most fun and rewarding things I’ve ever been a part of, we were all collaborating immediately. And we brought back people like Devin Grayson, Tamora Pierce and yourself, Nancy, to comics, who have been gone for too long. And we got Mercedes Lackey’s and Meljean Brook’s first comics stories, and a-list artist Nicola Scott’s first scripting credit…it just makes me happy. I am proud to be in this company, even if I cheated and put myself in!
NC: Did you have an interest in heroic fantasy prior to landing the monthly RED SONJA gig?
GS: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I often see people who object to the blood or flesh in this genre, particularly in the Robert E. Howard-inspired stuff, but really, I like it. It feels very primal, very ill-mannered. It’s not like the Tolkien stuff that I also love, it’s sweatier and lustier. But you can tell very sophisticated stories with the genre, heartbreaking and heart-soaring stuff. I love it.
C: How does it feel being the first woman to write for Red Sonja in the 21st century?
GS: Is that actually true? I believe one of my other heroes, the great Jen Van Meter, did a Sonja one-shot just a couple years back.
But as ONE of the first, what can I say, it’s one of those joyful things that happen that could never be predicted. I always loved Sonja, now I get to do ferocious things with her.
NC: What up-coming comics and special appearances can your fans look forward to in 2014?
GS: A lot, and some things I can’t mention yet, but the hugely successful Kickstarter graphic novel I did with co-creator and artist Jim Calafiore, LEAVING MEGALOPOLIS, is finally out to backers, and I am thrilled about that. I’m writing the TOMB RAIDER comic for Dark Horse, which has all the good history and travel stuff I love so much. I’m writing BATGIRL and THE MOVEMENT for DC Comics, both very close to my heart.
And of course the LEGENDS OF RED SONJA anthology and the ongoing Sonja monthly title for Dynamite. There may be a few surprises, as well, it’s been a year of big changes for me.
As for appearances, yikes, my convention calendar is mostly filled up until 2015, but very few have been announced yet, so I have to keep mum about that.
Legends Of Red Sonja #1 goes on sale November 6th and features a cover by Jay Anacleto and interior art by Jack Jadson, Noah Salonga and Carla “Speed” McNeil.
Nancy A. Collins is the author of numerous novels, short stories, and comic books, including DC Comics’ Swamp Thing. A recipient of the Horror Writers Association’s Bram Stoker Award, The British Fantasy Society’s Icarus Award, as well as a nominee for the International Horror Guild, John W. Campbell, James Tiptree, Eisner & World Fantasy Awards, her works include Sunglasses After Dark, Lynch: A Gothik Western, and Knuckles And Tales. Legends of Red Sonja #1 marks her return to comics, and her newest novel is Magic And Loss, the 3rd book in the Golgotham series, scheduled to be released November 5th.
11/15/19 @ 5:16 pm EST
Dynamite has just a few days left to go on its mega-gigantic Humble Bundle. Add it all up, and you can get almost 350 issues and 12,000 pages of comic books & more for under $20. That's a deal! Check out all the tiers and make sure to sneak in your purchase before it ends soon!
Don't miss the Dynamite 15th Anniversary Bundle
Your friends at Dynamite want to show you this sweet Army of Darkness story. It's written by Scott Duvall, who Ash Williams fans may remember from Army of Darkness / Bubba Ho-Tep.
The art is masterfully handled by Edu Menna and Jordan Michael Johnson, with colors and letters by Salvatore Aiala and Taylor Esposito. Fitting for a Humble Bundle stuffed full of great books, Ash is on a book tour. But he has bad experiences with a certain book...
Before or after you read the story, check out this interview with Scott about the story - CLICK!
And probably after you finish it, check out Scott's page-by-page commentary on the issue - CLICK!
11/08/19 @ 7:00 pm EST
Joseph Michael Linsner's limited edition Vampirella #1 cover is available to order right now on Indiegogo! Make sure you're getting one in whatever variation you prefer! Click Here!
The cover is available dressed with the iconic Vampirella logo, as a logo-free "virgin" cover, in black and white OR black and white virgin! Joe is signing and even doing sketches on a limited number for his fans. Additionally, you can get a sweet folio case to store your Linsner covers in and/or stack on his two fan-favorite Vampi graphic novels! There's something for everyone!
Check out this sweet GIF showing both the process and different versions of the cover available!
11/05/19 @ 7:12 pm EST
Legendary independent artist Joseph Michael Linsner launches his exclusive cover for Vampirella #1 on Indiegogo, in partnership with Dynamite.
Just launched, the campaign is live this moment! Click Here!
When the new Vampirella comic series broke sales records, with a final print run of over 150,000 within and outside of the direct market, Joe offered to contribute his own cover to the launch with the intention that he could introduce his amazing fans to an all-new Vampirella being written by the legendary Christopher Priest. Linsner will always be associated with the best of Vampirella, first contributing to the character professionally over 20 years ago and being a fan long before that. His continued contribution to her library of stories and art helps cement her as one of the most enduring characters in comics today.
The cover is available in multiple editions. These include the standard version in full glorious color and with Vampi's iconic title logo - fun fact: the modern iteration of the logo goes way back to 1971's Vampirella #12! Collectors can also get a version without the logo, a black and white pencil sketch with or without logo, any combination and any of them signed by Joe himself.
Linsner shared, "This cover helps celebrate Vampirella's 50th year in print, and my 30th year of drawing Dawn. Let this pave the way for my next 30 years -- the best is yet to come."
For the Linsner superfans, he will even be doing a limited number (only 30!) of one-of-a-kind remark sketches on the black and white covers.
The cherry on top is ...
10/30/19 @ 8:01 pm EST
Dynamite Entertainment is celebrating its 15th year of publishing in 2019. To celebrate this benchmark and give back to the loyal fans both new and old, the publisher is teaming up with Humble Bundle and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund to offer an unparalleled digital comics bundle! The biggest Dynamite bundle to date!
The bundle will only run for a limited time, so fans should jump on it! - Dynamite 15th Anniversary Bundle
The bundle pulls together classics, overlooked gems and today's hottest hits from throughout Dynamite's storied history. Including the very first comic published by Dynamite, Army of Darkness: Ashes 2 Ashes #1 by Andy Hartnell (Danger Girl) and a breakout performance by artist Nick Bradshaw (Wolverine & the X-Men). Other touchstones included are the earliest Red Sonja issues under the Dynamite banner, Alex Ross and Jim Krueger's Golden Age-turned anew superhero epic Project Superpowers, the mega event Chaos! by hardcore fan turned celebrated creator Tim Seeley (Nightwing), and the most ambitious Dynamite crossover to this day, Gail Simone's (Birds of Prey) Swords of Sorrow. Plus of course 2019's big mainstream rediscovery of The Boys is represented. And the biggest hits of today like the new Vampirella by Christopher Priest (Black Panther) and the critically acclaimed Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt by Kieron Gillen (Uncanny X-Men, The Wicked + The Divine).
A portion of all proceeds will be contributed to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. This important organization plays a pivotal role in the comic book industry and art form by researching, educating about and fighting against censorship and other injustices enacted against cartoonists and their work.
"Driven by an authentic and sincere passion for the comics medium, Dynamite creates entertaining comics for a wide range of readers. We're grateful to receive their support, ...
10/01/19 @ 2:44 pm EST
The 50th Anniversary celebration of Vampirella rolls on with another smash hit debut, with Dynamite proud to announce that VENGEANCE OF VAMPIRELLA #1 sold in excess of 63,000 copies!
This is a great number following on the record-setting 150,000 for July's VAMPIRELLA #1 - higher than recorded totals for any historical Vampirella comic or magazine issue. This could not be achieved without the passionate fans and retailers who supported the title, and Dynamite could not be more grateful. This Wednesday, everyone will finally get to read it! Dynamite welcomes fans to share their opinions and haul photos on social media and tag @dynamitecomics.
Tom Sniegoski returns to his signature character in comic books and the genesis of his career in the medium, 25 years after he left in 1996. He has the opportunity to do what few creators get the chance to, pick up exactly where he left off. Well, he's also chosen to incorporate that quarter-decade gap into the story as a time skip. In 1996, Tom closed his run on the Daughter of Drakulon with quite a bang, by literally killing his heroine in the epic Death & Destruction miniseries. This followed a nearly four-year run, anchored by the original Vengeance of Vampirella series but strewn across over 50 issues including tie-ins and crossovers.
In that original tenure, Tom shepherded everyone's favorite vampiress through the turbulent 1990s and at the forefront of the "bad girl" craze alongside crossover buddies Lady Death, Witchblade, Shi and others. Joined by artists like Buzz, Lous Small Jr., ...
10/01/19 @ 1:36 pm EST
Bite into this! Dynamite reveals an avalanche of official Vampirella apparel and merchandise available directly to fans - right now!
By partnering with Teespring and Amazon, Dynamite is able to offer a theoretically limitless array of designs for Vampi fans of all eras to apply to over a dozen items of their choosing and have them delivered to their steps in record time!
Fans can check out all the options on Teespring here. And here for Amazon's offerings.
Countless articles of clothing are available, including tee shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, hoodies, socks and even leggings! Shirts are available in multiple variations, down to fit, sleeve length and material. Additional items range from mugs, tote bags, stickers and phone cases.
Dynamite's production and product development teams have assembled eight designs for this initial wave, with more to come later - and even more characters/titles! Vampirella clothing would not be complete without options for Frank Frazetta, Jose Gonzalez, Mike Mayhew and Vampi's signature bat-inspired yellow logo. A couple more fun designs have been added, such as the tongue-in-cheek, teeth-in-neck "Blood Drive." As well as a "Drakulon Athletics" design that one might see in the gyms on her home planet.
10/01/19 @ 1:32 pm EST
In a very Vought-like move, Dynamite Entertainment is inviting fans to join The Boys by sporting some sweet apparel inspired by the classic Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson epic, now enjoyed by many more thanks to the Prime Video series!
Dynamite is offering two shirt designs, and they're actually a matching set. One reproduces the iconic cover of the first issue, with the titular group looking down at the reader and the initial series tagline "This is Going to Hurt." For the seventh issue, and first initially published by Dynamite, Darick Robertson and colorist Tony Aviña depicted the brutal scene The Boys were actually looking down on. This shirt is accompanied by the matching "We Told You This Was Going to Hurt" tag. These gilded-cotton tee shirts are available in sizes US Small through XXL.
It's (finally) getting cooler up in the Northern Hemisphere, and Dynamite has just the item to keep your head warm in the winter months - a The Boys knit beanie cap! This one-size-fits-all hat is made of cotton and goes for a more simplistic style with just the series logo. Still a great way to show off one's fandom and a perfect match for the shirts!
The Boys fans new and old can stay tuned for more exciting clothing options as Dynamite expands the line in coming months to include socks, caps and more! Dynamite also welcomes fans to share their Boys outfits on social media and tag @dynamitecomics!
“I’m delighted to see The Boys doing so well, especially with a whole new audience that now has a chance to see Butcher, Hughie and the rest of the gang in ...
10/01/19 @ 1:33 pm EST
Dynamite is proud to announce that the omnibus reprints of The Boys have sold over 110,000 copies to date in 2019 for Volumes 1 through 4, and with current unfilled orders of these volumes, plus the upcoming Volume 5 release, will ship in excess of 150,000 copies since the first volume's initial release in March! The final volume will be released in January 2020.
Despite continuing to go back to press, and specifically doing so in North America, Dynamite has been fighting to keep up with demand from retailers and fans interested in diving into the "blueprint" after loving the Prime Video adaptation. This overwhelming interest and support is incredibly meaningful to the publisher and creators of the legendary 90-issue series.
"At the moment the BOYS TV show is hitting peak exposure and has emerged as Prime's top show, Dynamite has smartly repackaged our work into these wonderful new Omnibuses, full of extra material and sketches from the creation of the book all the way back to 2006," said Darick Robertson, artist and co-creator. "They are a perfect way to complete your library or experience the comics that inspired the biggest show on streaming television."
Advance solicited for a January 2020 release, the sixth and final omnibus is available in two variations. An art cover by Darick Robertson depicts the full team, after each previous volume spotlighted one member of the five person core team. The special Prime Video photo cover features Frenchie, as brilliantly portrayed in the show by actor Tomer Kapon.
Underneath the covers, this volume recollects the previous final two volumes Volume 11: Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men and Volume 12: The ...
09/30/19 @ 4:30 pm EST
Dynamite is releasing a horde of Vampirella extras and collectibles for fans to stuff their stockings with this December! Everything from reprints, statues, high-quality prints, trading cards and much more!
Dynamite is also continuing the Replica Edition program that ran alongside the debut. Vampirella #2 from 1969 will be reprinted at full size and featuring all of the original editorial content - ads and all! This hard to track down, 60-plus page comics magazine is noteworthy for being the first appearance of Vampi's cousin, Evily the Witch! The iconic cover by Bill Hughes depicts the spellcaster and fans can catch up with her latest escapades in the recently collected Vampirella: Roses for the Dead by Kristina and Joseph Michael Linsner. Not only that, Vampi’s blonde-haired, black-clad twin sister Draculina also makes her first appearance here! Forrest Ackerman writes the second-ever Vampirella story, joined this time by longtime Jack Kirby inker Mike Royer. Other contributors include Don Glut, Billy Graham, Ernie Colon and more.
Dynamite is releasing the Stanley "Artgerm" Lau Vampirella bust and this December is soliciting the Underworld variant. This edition features an alternate paint scheme, draining the color from Vampirella, the intricate base of skulls turned black and piercing eyes for both Vampi herself and all the poor souls beneath her. This nearly 8-inch tall resin piece will be available in limited quantities for the ultimate collectors of Vampirella and Artgerm, one of the most popular artists in the industry today!
To further celebrate the Artgerm Vampirella extravaganza, Dynamite is offering two collectible coins featuring his previous beloved paintings of the Daughter of Drakulon from issues #2 and 4. These coins use US John F. Kennedy Half-Dollars as a base, then ...
09/30/19 @ 4:27 pm EST
Dynamite is proud to announce that a third breathtaking depiction of Vampirella by chart-topper and fan-favorite Artgerm will grace not only VAMPIRELLA #6, but also the front cover of Diamond Comics Distributors' October for December 2019 Previews catalog!
This is the perfect way to wrap up the year, as Dynamite has been celebrating Vampirella's 50th anniversary since July when the smash-hit new series by Christopher Priest and Ergün Gündüz premiered during San Diego Comic Con. Vampi superfans have nothing to worry about either, as the celebration will continue well into 2020! Dynamite can also update that upon final review, the print run on the first issue actually came out to slightly over 150 thousand copies with sales inside and outside of the comics market!!
This issue marks Stanley "Artgerm" Lau's third cover for the series, contributing to every even issue to date. For this piece, he used more traditional techniques than usual with a charcoal layer. Dynamite wanted to highlight this eye-catching cover even more and chose to enhance it with an acetate layer. Typically these covers consist of the logo on the overlay above virgin cover art. Artgerm opted to design the design himself, with a dripping blood effect. Most exciting, Dynamite is keeping the price for this main acetate Artgerm cover at the standard $3.99 so every Vampirella fan can continue their run without worry and new readers can jump right in!
On that note, everyone is welcome to check out the series with this issue! After all, a wise man once said 'every comic book is someone's first,' and Dynamite's creators and editorial team work hard to make every issue as approachable as the first. Priest is in for the long haul, with his run currently planned out past issue #14, with ...