Friday, July 29, 2011

Image and Top Cow Solicitations: October Highlights

The highlight of October's Image and Top Cow solicitations is, for me, the return of the publishers innovative Pilot Season initiative - a series of original one-shots with the fans getting the opportunity to vote which title becomes a mini series: past winners of Pilot Season include Velocity and Twilight Guardian.

October also sees a couple of landmark issues for longrunning series The Darkness and Witchblade: for the fifteenth anniversary edition of The Darkness long time writer Phil Hester is joined by artist Romano Molenaar for the conclusion of his three year run while Witchblade welcomes a new creative team of Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash) and Diego Bernard (The Man With No Name).

Full details of Octobers solicitations can be found at Image Comics, Top Cow and Comic Book Resources.



PILOT SEASON: TEST #1
story JOSHUA HALE FIALKOV
art RAHSAN EKEDAL
cover BAGUS HUTOMO of IFS
October 5
32 pages, FC, T+, $3.99
PILOT SEASON RETURNS! TAKE CONTROL!
The Harvey nominated creative team of ECHOES, JOSHUA HALE FIALKOV (I…Vampire) and RAHSAN EKEDA (Solomon Kane) reunite to kick off 2011’s PILOT SEASON competition with TEST.
A group of ten strangers wake up in a mysterious town with no memory of who they are and how they got there. They are the lone survivors of an apocalyptic event, chosen to repopulate the Earth. But what is the true nature of their fate?
TEST offers a fresh take on survivalist horror and psychological thriller in the way only FIALKOV and EKEDALcan!

PILOT SEASON: CITY OF REFUGE #1
story MORGAN DAVIS FOEHL
art & cover DENNIS CALERO
October 12
32 pages, FC, T+, $3.99
PILOT SEASON RETURNS! TAKE CONTROL!
Over a decade after Terminal, the residents of San Francisco live a peaceful and prosperous existence thanks to the Program. Every resident of the city is hand-selected and implanted with the chip Secura, which removes the human capacity for violence to maintain the greater good. Only the city's security forces are allowed a brief reprieve from Secura through use of the drug Freestone in order to do their jobs. Now, rumors of Freestone getting out into the open market threaten to upset the delicate balance keeping humanity from extinction.
Screenwriter MORGAN DAVIS FOEHL and artist DENNIS CALERO (X-Men: Noir) deliver a twist on the classic dystopian future in CITY OF REFUGE!



PILOT SEASON: THE BEAUTY #1
story JEREMY HAUN & JASON HURLEY
art & cover JEREMY HAUN
October 19
32 pages, FC, T+, $3.99
PILOT SEASON RETURNS! TAKE CONTROL!
Modern society is obsessed with outward beauty. What if there was a way to guarantee you could be come more and more beautiful every day? What if it was contagious? In the world of The Beauty, physical perfection is attainable and while the mass majority of the population has taken advantage of it, Detectives Foster and Vaughn will soon discover it comes with a terrible price.
Writer/artist JEREMY HAUN (Detective Comics, ARTIFACTS) and co-writer JASON HURLEY offer up a startling reflection on the cost of looking good in this procedural science fiction tale.

PILOT SEASON: FLESHDIGGER #1
story SHANNON ERIC DENTON & BRAD KEENE
art ALEX SANCHEZ
cover FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA
October 26
32 pages, FC, T+, $3.99
PILOT SEASON RETURNS! TAKE CONTROL!
A random act of kindness can be damning. When a man witnessed the ruthless beating of an innocent woman, he rushed to help her and was brutally murdered for his trouble. Now driven by revenge, sorrow, and guilt, the woman enacts arcane forces to resurrect him. From out of the earth he'll rise, a twisted, worm-riddled monstrosity forced to carry out vengeance to maintain whatever life he has left, all while confronting the unimaginable truth of his new, hideous existence. Is he forever damned to be a rotting monster driven by an insatiable bloodlust...or is it possible to shed the curse and return to normal? The torment belongs to the living nightmare they'll call Fleshdigger. God help anyone who gets in his way!
From Harvey Award nominee SHANNON ERIC DENTON (GRAVESLINGER, Common Foe) and screenwriter BRAD KEENE (The Grudge 3) and artist ALEX SANCHEZ (Fathom: Blue Descent) comes a tale of supernatural horror!


THE DARKNESS #96
story PHIL HESTER
art ROMANO MOLENAAR
cover A JEREMY HAUN
cover B SHELDON MITCHELL
October 19
32 pages, FC, M, $2.99
CELEBRATE THE FIFTEENTH ANNIVERSARY!
Since The Darkness first debuted fifteen years ago, the Darkness itself and its headstrong bearer, Jackie Estacado, have often been at odds. Estacado is no saint, but the Darkness has crossed a line and to protect his family, Jackie will take the fight into the heart of theDarkness itself. Leading up to the landmark issue #100, long time writer PHIL HESTER (Wonder Woman, Green Hornet) is joined by artist ROMANO MOLENAAR (The Darkness II: Confession) for the stunning conclusion of his three year run!
Featuring a variant cover by SHELDON MITCHELL!

WITCHBLADE #151
story TIM SEELEY
art DIEGO BERNARD
cover A JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER
cover B DENNIS CALERO
October 26
32 pages, FC, T+, $2.99
DAWN OF A NEW ERA! The new creative team of TIM SEELEY (HACK/SLASH) and DIEGO BERNARD (The Man With No Name) bring excitement and big changes to Sara Pezzini’s world with this debut jump-on issue! Forever altered by the events of ARTIFACTS, Sara finds herself in a completely foreign situation and surroundings. The mystery of how and why will compel readers for the coming year and beyond!
Featuring two covers by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER (ARTIFACTS) and DENNIS CALERO (X-Men: Noir)!
PLUS: WITCHBLADE #151 – Foil Stamped and Signed Collector’s Edition - $14.99

BLOOD RED DRAGON #0
story JON GOFF
art CARLO SORIANO & CRIMELAB SYNDICATE
cover CARLO SORIANO
October 5
24 pages / FC / T, $3.99
Limited print run of 5000 copies
Legendary comic creators STAN LEE and TODD McFARLANE join international superstar YOSHIKI to bring the world an ALL-NEW HERO!
Born of light. Powered by darkness.
Dark prophecies speak of a power beyond comprehension: a noble force that rests, buried in the creative heart of the human spirit. It is said this power is all that stands between existence and the unmaking of all things. One man must unlock his destiny and be re-made – a warrior to defeat the coming of Oblivion.
A hero will rise: The Blood Red Dragon reborn.
BLOOD RED DRAGON combines elements of sci-fi, anime and American superhero comics in a modern gothic adventure story that plays at salvation, while hinting at the end of the world. AND IT ALL STARTS HERE!

THE STRANGE TALENT OF LUTHER STRODE #1 (of 6)
story JUSTIN JORDAN
art & cover TRADD MOORE
October 5
32 pages, FC, M, $2.99
Luther Strode is just your average nerd until he sends away for a bodybuilding course from an old comic book, one that works a whole lot better than he ever imagined. His newfound strength and strange talents make school a lot easier, but they’ve also caused some very, very bad people to take a very, very keen interest in him. Things will never be the same for Luther Strode…if he survives.

FEEL BETTER NOW
A PLUS! Novella
story, art JONATHAN HICKMAN
cover JONATHAN HICKMAN
October 26
40 pages, FC, T+, $3.99
If you're a highly qualified psychologist in Los Angeles, the fake problem capital of the world, sometimes you get bored. And, sometimes, this means you screw with your patients.
For the first time in three years, JONATHAN HICKMAN is writing and drawing a creator-owned comic. Known for the boundary-pushing stories like THE NIGHTLY NEWS and PAX ROMANA, this one-and-done book is the first of three PLUS! stories, will not be collected for over a year, and is intended to have a shelf life of several months.

THE LAST OF THE GREATS #1
story JOSHUA HALE FIALKOV
art & cover A BRENT PEEPLES
cover B PHIL HESTER
October 5
32 pages, NO ADS, FC, T+, $3.99
“THE DEAL,” Part One
There were seven, possessing the power of gods, and representing all that could be right with the world. But now... he is the Last. As humanity stands on the brink of annihilation, he is our only hope. And he hates us for what we've done. From the Eisner and Harvey Award-nominated writer of ECHOES, Tumor and Elk’s Run comes a dynamic new take on how far mankind will stoop to survive.

CARBON GREY ORIGINS #1 (of 2)
story PAUL GARDNER, HOANG NGUYEN & KHARI EVANS
art POP MHAN, KHARI EVANS, HOANG NGUYEN & KINSUN LOH
cover KHARI EVANS & KINSUN LOH
alternate cover HOANG NGUYEN
October 26
32 pages, FC, M , $3.99
“ORIGIN,” Part one of two
Creator HOANG NGUYEN presents an anthology of short stories set in the universe of the Carbon Grey. A boy becomes a god, two fictional characters come to life, a refugee becomes a queen and two sisters become killers. Legends, secret histories, and continuity errors – all will be revealed in CARBON GREY ORIGINS.

XENOHOLICS #1
story JOSHUA WILLIAMSON
art SETH DAMOOSE
cover DAN DUNCAN
October 19
32 pages, FC/ M, $3.50
Are you addicted to aliens? Late night Encounters? Abductions? Probes? The XenoHolics are here to help!
Because everyone thinks they’re a bunch of nutcases, a support group that claims aliens abducted them try to prove that aliens are real. But that’s much easier said than done and they find themselves caught up in not just ONE government conspiracy, but TWO. Oh, yeah and along the way they learn who is lying about being abducted… and who is telling the truth.
Presenting a twisted new series about aliens and the crazy people who believe in them, by creators JOSHUA WILLIAMSON (Superman/Batman, DEAR DRACULA), and SETH DAMOOSE (I HATE GALLANT GIRL) with covers by DAN DUNCAN (TMNT)

CBLDF Liberty Annual 2011
story MATT WAGNER, J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI, KAZIM ALI, DARA NARAGHI, J.H. WILLIAMS III, MARK WAID, CARLA SPEED MCNEIL, AJ LIEBERMAN, MICHAEL BRAMLEY, STEVE NILES, BRANDON MONTCLARE, JUDD WINICK, RICHARD STARKINGS
art MATT WAGNER, KEVIN SACCO, CRAIG THOMPSON, CHRIS MITTEN, J.H. WILLIAMS III, JEFF LEMIRE, CARLA SPEED MCNEIL, RILEY ROSSMO, FRANK QUITELY, SHANE DAVIS, FRED HEMBECK, MICHAEL MONTENAT & JACK PURCELL, JO√čLLE JONES, GREG LAND, GREG HORN, THIAGO MICALOPULOS & RODNEY RAMOS, DUSTIN NGUYEN, DAVE COOPER, IVAN REIS, SHAKY KANE
cover A JOHN CASSADAY
cover B MATT WAGNER
October 12
48 pages, FC, M, $4.99
A COMIC BOOK LEGAL DEFENSE FUND BENEFIT BOOK!
Stand Up For Your Rights! Censorship is the ultimate form of bullying. Censors want to take away the power people have to think, speak, or create freely. In CBLDF LIBERTY ANNUAL 2011, Legendary Editor BOB SCHRECK gathers an all-star line-up of comics creators to stand up to those censoring bullies with 48 powerful pages of ALL NEW story and art about standing up for your rights! All proceeds from this book benefit the important First Amendment work of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, who've been fighting censorship in comics for 25 years!
This year's Liberty Annual includes incredible contributions, including all-new original stories by superstars J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI, FRANK QUITELY, J.H. WILLIAMS III, STEVE NILES, JUDD WINICK, MARK WAID, and CARLA SPEED MCNEIL. Plus, new tales featuring GRENDEL by MATT WAGNER, COWBOY NINJA VIKING by AJ LIEBERMAN & RILEY ROSSMO, and ELEPHANTMEN by RICHARD STARKINGS & SHAKY KANE. Plus a massive, and first ever color story from indy comics master CRAIG THOMPSON! Even Marvel and DC have stepped up to show their support all-new pin-ups including BATMAN by DUSTIN NGUYEN, X-MEN by GREG LAND, GREEN LANTERN by IVAN REIS, and THE AVENGERS by GREG HORN!
All proceeds from CBLDF Liberty Annual 2011 will benefit the important First Amendment legal work of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians and readers.

DOC BIZARRE, M.D.HC
story JOE CASEY
art, color ANDY SURIANO
October 19
72 pages/ FC, T+
STANDARD SIZE, $12.99
From monsters crippled with pneumonia or demons suffering from incontinence, only one manclaims to possess the skills and the training to cure what ails them … DOC BIZARRE, M.D.! He’ll make globe hopping house calls for sick creepers, medically challenged myths and ghouls at death’s door!It’s over-the-top, comedic horror from JOE CASEY and ANDY SURIANO!
DON’T MISS THIS ORIGINAL GRAPHIC NOVEL – JUST IN TIME FOR HALLOWEEN!

LAST MORTAL HC
story JOHN MAHONEY & FILIP SABLIK
art & cover THOMAS NACHLIK
October 26
160 pages, B&W, M, DIGEST SIZE, $19.99
REVENGE NEVER DIES!
Alec King is a small time thief & con man who has always run away from responsibility. When he and his partner get in over their heads after being blackmailed into becoming hitmen and his partner is killed in the process, Alec tries to escape one last time. Alec attempts to take his own life, only to discover he cannot die. What would you do if you had nowhere left to run?
Collecting the hard-hitting noir tale of revenge from Minotaur Press, this hardcover not only offers the complete series, but a wealth of behind-the-scenes bonus material including a complete cover gallery,character designs, and a look at the development of Last Mortal.
Collects LAST MORTAL #1-4.

THE WALKING DEAD SURVIVOR’S GUIDE TP
story TIM DANIEL & ROBERT KIRKMAN
art & cover CHARLIE ADLARD & CLIFF RATHBURN
October 19
112 pages, FC, M, $14.99
Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the cast of The Walking Dead. TheSurvivor’s Guide is a handy checklist of all the characters who have appeared in the series thus far, alive or dead. This series isa can’t-miss supplement to the hit comic book series that is now a hit TV series on AMC!

WHO IS JAKE ELLIS?, VOL. 1 TP
story NATHAN EDMONDSON
art & cover TONCI ZONJIC
October 12
136 pages, FC, T+, $16.99
The multiple-sellout miniseries Newsarama calls "a modern noir package that is not to be missed" and MTV "couldn't put down." Jon Moore is a mercenary spy on the run, protected only by Jake Ellis, a man invisible to everyone except Jon.
Collects WHO IS JAKE ELLIS? 1-5

MORNING GLORIES #14
story NICK SPENCER
art JOE EISMA
cover RODIN ESQUEJO
October 12
32 pages, FC, M, $2.99
RUN!!!
Nominated for four Eisner Awards!

SKULLKICKERS #12
story JIM DEMONAKOS, KYLE STEVENS, HOWARD TAYLER, ZACH WEINER &JIM ZUB
art JOEL CARROLL, MIKE LUCKAS, BEN MCSWEENEY & JOE NG
cover SAEJIN OH
October 26
32 pages, FC, T, $2.99
"FOUR MORE TAVERN TALES"
The Skullkickers tip back a few more pints and you're all invited along to the pub to toast their glory!
This issue is another righteous Skullkicking short story cavalcade by killer comic talent JOEL CARROLL (Flight),MIKE LUCKAS, BEN MCSWEENEY (Joe is Japanese), JOE NG (Street Fighter IV), HOWARD TAYLER (Schlock Mercenary), ZACH WEINER (Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal), JIM DEMONAKOS & KYLE STEVENS (Kirby Krackle) and JIM ZUB (that SKULLKICKERS comic thing).

THE WALKING DEAD #90
story ROBERT KIRKMAN
art, cover CHARLIE ADLARD & CLIFF RATHBURN
October 12
32 pages, BW, M, $2.99
Glenn will soon regret his decision.

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