Rocky Balboa & Apollo Creed by Jarrod Alberich & Mark Hatherley!

Check out this sweet Rocky / Apollo poster created by Jarrod The Yardsale Artist Alberich and Mark Hatherley.  Jarrod took on Rocky and Mark brought his talents to Apollo.

What makes this even cooler is that the created the art during one of their weekly Livestream sessions.  They were joined by John Beatty (creating a commission for one of his fans).  I also provided some color commentary for the video.  I’ve embedded the video below, if you’re so inclined.

Also if you’re interested, Jarrod has made the Rocky / Apollo print available for fans!

Dia de los Muertos by Riley Rossmo and Friends / Z-View

Dia de los Muertos is a paperback that collects the three issue mini-series published by Image Comics.

  • Scripts: Ed Brisson, Alexander Grecian, Joe Keatinge, Alex Link, Christopher E. Long, Dirk Manning, Jeff Mariotte, Kurtis J. Wiebe, Joshua Williamson
  • Artist: Riley Rossmo
  • Colorists: Riley Rossmo, Nick Johnson, Megan Wilson, Jean-Paul Csuka
  • Letters by: Kelly Tindall
  • Cover Artist: Riley Rossmo

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

Inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead, artist extraordinaire Riley Rossmo (Debris, Green Wake, Cowboy Ninja Viking) joins forces with nine different writers to tell tall tales from beyond the grave!

Riley Rossmo teams with 9 different writers to present 9 stories set against the backdrop of Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations.  There is a supernatural undercurrent running through each tale.

It is interesting how Rossmo changes his art style to compliment each story being told.  I enjoyed each of the tales, but I’d the standout for me was Mine by Joshua Williamson and Rossmo.  It has a great set-up and leads the reader to a surprise ending.  If you’re a fan of Rod Serling’s The Night Gallery, then you should like this collection.


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Midnight of the Soul / Z-View

Midnight of the Soul is a paperback that collects the five issue mini-series published by Image Comics.

Writer: Howard Chaykin
Artist: Howard Chaykin
Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
Letters by: Ken Bruzenak
Cover Artist: Howard Chaykin

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

Joel Breakstone, a GI liberator of Buchenwald and brutally damaged goods, follows a path of vengeance that leads to redemption in a violent journey into his own heart of darkness―in a spiritual adventure from comics’ contemporary master of crime and punishment, HOWARD CHAYKIN.

Joel Breakstone is having a bad night.  Of course every day and night since coming back from the war five years ago has been rough.  Breakstone can’t shake the memory of an incident that nearly killed him.  He and his buddy had come upon a Nazi about to execute a POW.  A shootout occurred and when the smoke cleared his buddy, the POW and the Nazi were dead and Breakstone was severely wounded.  He lived, but came home with a drinking problem.

But back to Breakstone’s bad night – After a bad argument with his wife, she leaves for work. Breakstone while looking for some booze finds evidence that his wife has been working as a hooker.  Still half drunk, Breakstone grabs his gun and jumps on his motorcyle to find her.

His wife is with one of her best clients, a musician under contract to mobsters.  Suddenly a man busts in and kills the musician.  Breakstone’s wife barely escapes.

Breakstone is on the hunt for his wife.  The killer and the cops are also looking for her.  Before the night is over she will be found.  Who will get to her first?  And will it matter?

I’m a big fan of Howard Chaykin stories and art.  Often Chaykin doesn’t hold back on the adult situations in his tales and this is one of those. If that’s offensive, this yarn isn’t for you.

Midnight of the Soul has a lot going on besides the hunt for Breakstone’s wife.  There is also the mystery of why the musician was murdered.  Plus Breakstone’s foggy memory of the incident that left 3 people dead and nearly killed him.  All will be resolved before the night is over.

I like that the action takes place over the course of one night.  As Breakstone tracks down his wife his journey takes him across the city to strip bars, diners, and jazz clubs.  Along the way we meet a wide variety of characters some who are also looking for Breakstone’s wife.

Chaykin is at the top of his game with the art in Midnight of the Soul.  Jesus Aburtov’s colors enhance the story without drawing attention to his work in a “look at these hues” sort of way.  Often I think Chaykin’s art works best in black and white, but not this time!  The story reminds me of an old movie with a modern sensibility (or an “R” rating).  Chaykin’s heroes, or in this case, anithero, don’t always do the noble thing, but they do what is right for their character.


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Keanu Reeves is Teaming with Boom Studios for BRZRKR Comic Series!

That’s Rafael Grampá’s cover art to the first issue of BRZRKR coming to a comic shop near you this October. 

Does the hero look a bit like Keanu Reeves?  He should since Keanu is co-writing the 12 issue series with Matt Kindt.  Artist Alessandro Vitti, colorist Bill Crabtree, and letterer Clem Robins will take care of the interior art.  Here’s the synopsis for the series…

The man known only as Berzerker is half-mortal and half-God, cursed and compelled to violence…even at the sacrifice of his sanity. But after wandering the world for centuries, Berzerker may have finally found a refuge – working for the U.S. government to fight the battles too violent and too dangerous for anyone else. In exchange, Berzerker will be granted the one thing he desires – the truth about his endless blood-soaked existence…and how to end it.

Click over to Boom Studios to learn more about the series, see more art and read what Keanu has to say!

Dominic Fortune: It Can Happen Here and Now / Z-View

Dominic Fortune: It Can Happen Here and Now is a paperback that collects the four issue Dominic Fortune mini-series published by Marvel Comics under their MAX imprint.

Writer: Howard Chaykin
Artist: Howard Chaykin
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letters by: Jeff Ecklebarry
Cover Artist: Howard Chaykin & Edgar Delgado

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

The depression’s going strong, so when Dominic Fortune is hired to bodyguard Jock Madison, Vaughn Lorillard, and P.T. Oakley, three drunk and disorderly Hollywood stars, he jumps at the chance to pick up what looks like a few easy bucks, and maybe have a few laughs in the bargain. But when the trio of old school hambones and horndogs prove to be a bigger pain than he anticipated – and he accidentally stumbles across a conspiracy headed by mysterious American businessman Malcolm Upshaw and Delatriz Betancourt, the recklessly sexy granddaughter of Confederates who fled Reconstruction for South America – Fortune finds himself in hot water… with the fate of the USA at stake!

Dominic Fortune is an adventurer, but  the depression has left him with few opportunities.  So when Fortune is offered good money to babysit three out of control Hollywood movie stars, he takes the offer.

The hardest part of the job is keeping the three boozers from getting drunk enough to kill each other or make the papers.  That is until Fortune stumbles across a potential Nazi plot to attack the United States.  Fortune follows the clues and learns that the plan is real, the President’s life and the future of our country are at risk.

I’m a big fan of Howard Chaykin and Dominic Fortune is one of my favorite characters that he’s created.  Because this story first appeared under the Marvel Max imprint (which was designed for mature readers), Chaykin doesn’t hold back on the adult situations.  Yep, that means there is nudity and profanity.  Not all Dominic Fortune stories are for “mature readers”,  but this one is, so if that offends you, this yarn isn’t for you.

I had fun reading  Dominic Fortune: It Can Happen Here and Now.  The adult content didn’t bother me (but could have easily been toned down without effecting the story).  Dominic Fortune going against Nazis is a natural.  Chaykin’s art is always a plus.  Delgado’s colors were nice.  He and Chaykin made a good team.

If you purchase the trade paperback, bonus material is included that was not reviewed above.  The trade also contains a previously only digital story: Astonishing Tales: Dominic Fortune written by Dean Motter and drawn by Greg Scott, along with the Dominic Fortune stories from Marvel Preview #2 by Howard Chaykin and Marvel Premiere #56 by Chaykin and Terry Austin.


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“Killadelphia Volume 1: Sins of the Father” / Z-View

Killadelphia Volume 1: Sins of the Father is a paperback that collects issues 1 – 6 of an on-going series published by Image Comics. .

Writer: Rodney Barnes
Artist: Jason Shawn Alexander
Colorist: Luis NCT
Letters by: Marshall Dillon
Cover Artist: Jason Shawn Alexander & Luis NCT 

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

Featuring the show-stopping talents of Spawn series artist JASON SHAWN ALEXANDER, and the writer behind such hit shows as Wu-Tang: An American Saga, Marvel’s Runaways, and Starz’s American Gods–RODNEY BARNES.

When a small town beat cop comes home to bury his murdered father-the revered Philadelphia detective James Sangster Sr.-he begins to unravel a mystery that leads him down a path of horrors and shakes his beliefs to their core.

The city that was once the symbol of liberty and freedom has fallen prey to corruption, poverty, unemployment, brutality…
…and vampires.

But the mystery goes even further when Jimmy’s investigation leads him to uncover the source of the outbreak is long-thought dead President of the United States John Adams–a man secretly biding his time as he builds an undead army to start a new and bloodier American revolution.

There’s a reason they coin a phrase, “you can’t go home.” Welcome to Killadelphia.

Collects KILLADELPHIA #1-6

Killadelphia is a book you should be reading if you like intelligently written and beautifully drawn horror comics.

Rodney Barnes’ idea of a modern day vampire uprising in Philadelphia led by a centuries old founding father is so audacious that we’re lucky Barnes took his story past the idea stage.   Killadelphia is a very cool, very creepy tale that paints a big picture universe introduced to us through believable characters who find themselves in an unbelievable situation.

Modern day vampires?  Yeah, right.  Read Killadelphia and you’re response will become: Modern day vampires?  Yeah!  Right!

Jason Shawn Alexander provides realistic art for Killadelphia which supports the story;  you believe what you’re seeing.  The characters look like real people (some of whom are vampires).  Alexander has drawn scenes that will creep you out and perhaps inspire nightmares… which is exactly what great horror fiction should do.  I hope that Barnes and Alexander stay together as long as Killadelphia tales are told.

Luis NCT’s colors provide nuance and emphasis that enhance each scene and his contribution to the success of Killadelphia shouldn’t be overlooked.

I thought that Killadelphia would be a good comic.  I underestimated it.  Killadelphia is an exceptional comic and one all horror fans should try.


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Criminal Macabre: The Big Bleed Out / Z-View

Criminal Macabre: The Big Bleed Out is a four-issue mini-series and paperback published by Dark Horse Comics. .

Writer: Steve Niles
Artist: Gyula Nemeth
Colorist: Gyula Nemeth
Letters by: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover Artist: Gyula Nemeth 

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

I first became aware of Steve Niles nearly two decades ago.  Niles was the author of two novels (Savage Membrane and Guns, Drugs & Monsters) featuring Cal McDonald that I highly recommend.

McDonald is a tough as nails detective who deals with things that go bump in the night. After the two novels, McDonald appeared in a number of comic book mini-series written by Niles teaming with different artists.  And that brings us to Criminal Macabre: The Big Bleed Out

Supernatural detective Cal McDonald, found wandering the streets as a disheveled vagrant, is ripped from his self-imposed retirement to resume his monster-killing career.

But Cal is reluctant to return to the fray. What has the hard-bitten investigator so shaken? It’s a long story that begins with a beautiful woman who happens to be a vampire . . . and ends with a bang.

It’s great to have Cal McDonald back.  Who doesn’t love a cynical tough guy who sees the real monsters that walk among us?

The Big Bleed Out follows McDonald as he meets and begins to fall for a mysterious woman who happens to be a vampire.  The romance doesn’t seem to have much of a chance since McDonald is normally a vampire killer.  Meanwhile, Mo’Lock, McDonald’s quasi partner, has gone into the sewers of LA to see if he can discover who/what is down there killing people.

Being a Cal McDonald fan I was excited to see his return.  This was my first time seeing Nemeth’s art and I liked quite a bit of what he brought to the table.  It was interesting to see McDonald falling under the spell of a vampiress and unintentionally venturing into a nest of them.  The romance and its eventual outcome moved at a pretty quick pace with a few surprises along the way.  And let’s not forget that Mo’Lock has his hands full with a sewer monster!  Overall, this was a fun read.

Criminal Macabre: The Big Bleed Out is a nice addition to the Cal McDonald universe.


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Z-View: That Texas Blood #1

That Texas Blood #1 is part of an on-going series published by Image Comics.

Writer: Chris Condon
Artist: Jacob Phillips
Colorist: Jacob Phillips
Cover Artist: Jacob Phillips (Variant Cover by Sean Phillips not shown)

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

CRIMINAL colorist and first time solo artist JACOB PHILLIPS and writer CHRIS CONDON break onto the scene with a brand-new ongoing series! Like Paris, Texas gut-punched by No Country for Old Men, this mature neo-Western crime series kicks off when the search for a casserole dish leads to a dark and tense confrontation on Sheriff Joe Bob Coates’ 70th birthday.

“CHRIS & JACOB pull off something remarkable here. A vivid and bright story that nails a thorough sense of foreboding and darkness. A shocking amount of talent for a duo so fresh to comics!” —CHIP ZDARSKY (SEX CRIMINALS, Daredevil)

If you’re a comics fan, you’ve probably already heard the hype on just how good That Texas Blood #1 is.  Believe it.

A synopsis of the issue wouldn’t do it justice.  Most folks would read it and say, “Not much happens.”  They’d be wrong.  Condon and Phillips lull us with a pace that mirrors small town life.  All is well, until it isn’t and then things go bad in a hurry.  Now we’re left with a questions about a suicide, a possible murder and a sinister (Satanic?) killing from the past.

That Texas Blood #2 can’t get here fast enough.


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Dick Tracy Forever / Z-View

Dick Tracy Forever is a four-issue mini-series and paperback published by IDW. .

Writer: Michael Avon Oeming
Artist: Michael Avon Oeming
Colorist: Taki Soma
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Cover Artist: Michael Avon Oeming 

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

I was never a huge fan of Dick Tracy.  I’d read some of the comic strips and had seen the Warren Beatty movie.  I knew that Dick Tracy was a straightlaced cop who had an interesting gallery of weird-looking villains. Oh, and he had this really cool video watch!  That was about the extent of it.

When I saw the preview cover of Dick Tracy Forever by Michael Oeming, I knew I had to give the series a go.  I’m a fan of Oeming’s art and thought his take on Tracy would be interesting.  Thankfully, I wasn’t wrong.

Oeming created interconnected stories featuring Dick Tracy through the years taking Tracy from the 1930’s to the future.  The tales are fun and show Tracy as being more than just a straight-laced cop (although at the core, he is a law and order guy).  I liked that his girlfriend/wife was more than just a damsel in distress.  Oeming introduces a couple of new characters that deserve to stick around. Oh, and let’s not forget that cool video watch!  I was already a fan of Oeming’s art, now we can add his writing as well.

Taki Soma’s coloring perfectly supports the story.  Dick Tracy newspaper strips and comics were known for the coloring limitations of their time. Soma gives Dick Tracy Forever the feel of the old stories but adds shading and subtlety when needed (at times leaving the art black and white in support of the story).

I really liked Dick Tracy Forever but wondered if true Dick Tracy fans felt the same way.  They do!  Amazon and Comixology reviewers gave it nothing less than 4 of 5 stars.  So if you don’t take my word, you can take theirs.  🙂


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Dead Body Road: Bad Blood #1 / Z-View

Dead Body Road: Bad Blood #1 is part of a six-issue mini-series published by Image Comics.

Writer: Justin Jordan
Artist: Benjamin Tiesma
Colorist: Matt Lopes
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Cover Artist: Matteo Scalera and Moreno Dinisio

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

Bree Hale has left a lot behind in her life. Crime. The military. But she can’t leave behind her own family, and when the local crime boss puts a hit out on her brother, there’s nothing she won’t do to save him. Absolutely nothing. Skybound’s pulse-pounding action series returns, with writer JUSTIN JORDAN (REAVER, LUTHER STRODE) and artist BENJAMIN TIESMA delivering an explosive tale of revenge like you’ve never seen before!

I am huge fan of Dead Body Road.  If you haven’t read it you shouldDead Body Road: Bad Blood isn’t a sequel (but could be set in the same universe) and is on track to be just as good.

Writer, Justin Jordan, has returned and this time he’s brought with him artist Benjamin Tiesma. Tiesma is an excellent choice.  Jordan and Tiesma are joined by colorist Matt Lopes and letterer Pat Brosseau who create a solid team.

Bree Hale is a woman with a mysterious past that involved both military and criminal experience.  Bree has left that all behind (she hopes) and now runs a bar where the biggest problem is dealing with folks who drink to much.

When a detective comes in asking questions about her brother, she can honestly say she hasn’t seen or heard from him.  The detective isn’t convinced, but what can he do?  At closing time a hardcase Bree’s never seen before comes in looking for her brother.  She tells him the same thing she told the detective.  He leaves but Bree knows it isn’t over. She’s being dragged into whatever mess her brother has made and it could get them both killed.

Dead Body Road: Bad Blood is everything a good crime comic should be.  I cannot wait for issue two.


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Joe Kubert’s Cover Layout for Superman vs Muhammad Ali!

At first glance the art above looks like the cover to the classic comic Superman vs Muhammad Ali, right?

Wrong!

It is actually the cover layout created created by the great Joe Kubert.  Yes, it’s hard to believe that beautiful piece of art could be considered a layout.  Neal Adams took Kubert’s idea and created the masterpiece that was actually used for the cover.  Adams also went a step further by drawing the faces of 172 celebrities in the crowd.

The fine folks at The Bristol Board have posted up not only large versions of Kubert’s layout and Adams’ finished cover but also a key listing all of the celebrities in the crowd.  Click over and you’ll see that Superman’s bout against Muhammad Ali was attended by folks such as President Jimmy Carter, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson, Christopher Reeve and many others!