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DC Comics to Relaunch 52 Titles Starting in August

May 31st, 2011 Comments off

DC Comics Relaunches 52 TitlesWow. Both DC Comics’ Senior VP of Sales, Bob Wayne, and USA Today report that DC Comics is relaunching 52 titles–both in print and digitally–starting August 31, restarting them all at issue #1 and featuring new character origins and costumes in an effort to “introduce readers to a more modern, diverse DC Universe.”

This world-shaking event kicks off with Justice League #1, which teams up Geoff Johns and Jim Lee for the first time.

From USA Today:

Starting this summer, the publisher will re-number its entire DC Universe of titles, revamping famous characters such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and others from its 76-year history for a more modern and diverse 21st century.

The first book to be released under this new era: Justice League No. 1, out Aug. 31, a series by writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee that reunites the famous lineup of Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Wonder Woman and Aquaman.

Johns promises a focus on the interpersonal relationships within DC’s trademark superteam. “What’s the human aspect behind all these costumes?” he says. “That’s what I wanted to explore.”

In September, more than 50 more first issues will debut, introducing readers to stories that are grounded in each character’s specific legend but also reflect today’s real-world themes and events. Lee spearheaded the redesign of more than 50 costumes to make characters more identifiable and accessible to comic fans new and old.

“We looked at what was going on in the marketplace and felt we really want to inject new life in our characters and line,” says Dan DiDio, who co-publishes DC with Lee. “This was a chance to start, not at the beginning, but at a point where our characters are younger and the stories are being told for today’s audience.”

In an even more important move in the competitive comics industry, DC is making issues of all the renumbered titles available digitally via apps and a DC website the same day they arrive in comic shops. It marks the first time a major comics publisher has done so with its popular superhero titles.

The company has come in second to Marvel every year since 2002 in market share, according to Diamond Comic Distributors.

While the two companies are making millions off movie adaptations of their comic books, print sales for both have dropped in recent years, as new technology gives readers many more options.

“We’re allowing people who have never bought a comic book in their lives to download them on portable media devices and take a look,” Lee says. “Having the ability to give people access to these comics with one button click means we’re going to get a lot of new readers.”

He says what makes this plan so ambitious is that it’s not just about changes in characters or costumes but setting the stage for how comic books will be consumed in the future.

“We’re trying to set the table for the DC Universe’s future success and health.”

What do you think of this new development? Does it signal a new and vigorous chapter for DC Comics, or will this turn out to be a larger-scale version of Marvel’s Heroes Reborn (which also featured the talents of Lee), which was quickly dropped?

VISIT OUR DC COMICS PAGE

Post your comments below!

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Chris Roberson Takes Us on a Trip to Melniboné–An Elric Interview

May 24th, 2011 Comments off

FCBD 2011 ElricOne of the most exciting books that I picked up on Free Comic Book Day this year was Elric: The Balance Lost #0.

If your local comics shop ran out before you could pick up a copy, or you weren’t one of the lucky few to get this issue randomly included with your FCBD TFAW order, you’re in luck! Our friends at BOOM! Studios have granted us permission to display the entire issue as an Elric: The Balance Lost #0 First Look preview.

Go ahead and take a few minutes to read the story, and then come back here to check out our interview with Elric writer Chris Roberson!

TFAW.com: Hi Chris, how did you come to work on this project?

Chris Roberson: The series had its genesis in 2009 at San Diego Comic-Con, when during a very late-night conversation, Matt Gagnon of BOOM! Studios and I discovered our mutual love for the novels of Michael Moorcock. A few months later Matt approached me about writing a prequel comic to Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and he and the rest of the team at BOOM! liked what I came up with.

Early in 2010, Matt called me up to ask whether I thought Moorcock might be interested in the idea of original comics based on his characters and concepts. I’ve been lucky enough to get to know Mike personally over the last few years, thanks in large part to our geographic proximity (I live in Austin, not far from the Bastrop home where Mike spends a large part of every year). I said that it couldn’t hurt to ask! So I emailed Mike, put him in touch with Matt and the folks at BOOM!, and a short while later they asked me to start putting together a proposal.

I have been a huge fan of Mike’s work since I first discovered a copy of Count Brass in my high school library, a quarter of a century ago. Every few years I go on a big Moorcock reading jag, and it’s only been a couple of years since I sat down and reread virtually everything that Mike has ever published.

Elric FCBD #0 Page 1 pencilsElric FCBD #0 Page 1 pencilsTFAW.com: Can you tell us a bit about who Elric is, and his home of Melniboné?

CR: The Melnibonéans are a race that existed long before the rise of man, who dominated the world for long ages from the backs of their dragons. But the dragons are all asleep now, and the world has come to be dominated by the humans of the Young Kingdoms, leaving Melniboné dreaming of its former glory.

Elric, the last emperor of Melniboné, is doomed to carry the cursed sword Stormbringer, and even though the black blade gives him life and sustenance, it comes at the cost of blood and souls, including those who Elric cherishes most. Elric is just one incarnation of the Eternal Champion, a hero who is fated to serve the Balance in the many worlds of the Multiverse, sometimes fighting on the side of Law, sometimes on the side of Chaos.

TFAW.com: What’s your favorite part about working in the world that Moorcock has created?

CR: Well, more than anything, Moorcock’s view of the multiverse is just a fantastic engine for telling stories in any conceivable environment, on the one hand, and for exploring ideas and philosophies, on the other.

One of the key aspects of Moorcock’s cosmology is the notion of an eternal struggle between Law and Chaos. In the more fantastical settings, this plays out as a literal war between supernatural powers on either side, with gods, demons, and demiurges directing the movement of human agents like chess pieces moving across the board. But in the more mundane settings, stories set in what is effectively the “real” world, this same tension between Law and Chaos plays out, but more often as philosophical tendencies that push characters one way or the other.

TFAW.com: Speaking of Law and Chaos, can you tell us a little about how that will play out in this series?

CR: Readers should note that “Law and Chaos” are not simply synonyms for “Good and Evil.” There is not a moral component to that struggle, at least not in any objective sense. Law and Chaos are simply two different ways of approaching the universe, and the heroes in Moorcock’s novels can often find themselves fighting on one side or the other, and sometimes both or neither!

TFAW.com: Elric’s sword, the Stormbringer, is a supernatural weapon that feeds on the blood and souls of its victims. It powers Elric, yet it also acts like a curse. Are you planning on exploring the turmoil Elric has faced as a result of using the black blade?

CR: Yes. Yes, we will.

TFAW.com: Are you planning on delving into Elric’s storied past at all?

Elric FCBD #0 Page 1 pencilsElric FCBD #0 Page 2 pencilsCR: A bit, here and there, but the main focus of attention will be on what happens next. Elric’s past has been well documented in Moorcock’s various novels and stories, and it would be a little overwhelming for newcomers to the character to be inundated with too much backstory. But there are definite parallels between Elric’s experiences and those of the new Eternal Champion we’re meeting in The Balance Lost, a man named Eric Beck who lives in what is essentially our world.

TFAW.com: You’re right, Moorcock has written many amazing novels that readers have been able to explore. How will new readers be brought up to speed in this series?

CR: The trick is to give just enough information about the characters and the concepts to get new readers up to speed, without boring all of the longtime readers with stuff they already know. Based on my own experiences coming into long-running comic, TV, and novel series when I was younger, I don’t think new readers need to know everything. They just need to know the basics, enough to understand who the characters are in general terms and what the basic conflict is. Reading to find out more is one of the things that keeps it interesting!

TFAW.com: Earlier you had mentioned the Multiverse and how it give you a lot of room to create some great stories. How are you planning on bringing the other Eternal Champions into the fold?

CR: In The Balance Lost, Elric is one of several incarnations of the Eternal Champion who become involved in a war that spans worlds, as powerful forces attempt to upset the balance of Law and Chaos forever.

The series actually takes place across a series of different worlds, some of which will be familiar from the Eternal Champion stories, some of which are drawn from other novels and stories of Moorcock, and some of which are being seen here for the first time.

And the cast is huge, mixing familiar and not-so-familiar faces. In addition to our three main characters–Elric, Hawkmoon, and Corum–we’ll be meeting two new incarnations of the Eternal Champion, one of whom was mentioned once but never seen in Moorcock’s novels, and the aforementioned Eric Beck, who is original to this series.

TFAW.com: How did Francesco Biagini and Benjamin Carre become involved with the series? Can you tell us about some of the artwork that you’ve seen so far?

CR: I have to admit that I wasn’t familiar with Francesco’s work before he was attached to Elric: The Balance Lost, but as soon as I saw the character designs he’d submitted I knew he was perfect for the job. And the pages he’s been turning in have been amazing. As for Benjamin Carre, if you’ve seen his covers with the solicitations, I think they speak for themselves! Add them both together, and I think I can say with confidence that this book is going to look great.

Elric FCBD #0 Page 3 pencilsElric FCBD #0 Page 3 pencilsTFAW.com: Who’s going to dig this series the most? What other titles would you say they’re reading right now?

CR: Well, I hope that longtime fans of Moorcock will recognize the characters and concepts that they’ve come to love over the years, and that newcomers will hopefully be inspired by the series to go and read Moorcock’s novels for themselves. And that everyone, longtime fans and newcomers alike, enjoys the comics series in its own right!

As for what other titles those readers might be enjoying right now? That’s a very good question, and one I’m not sure I have a good answer for. The various worlds across which the story takes place are all quite different, and so the series will read for the first arc or two almost like a mashup of different genres and styles. So readers of Dark Horse’s Conan titles would potentially find a lot to like here, but so would readers of Hellboy, or Fables, or The Walking Dead, or any of dozens of other great books on the stands.

We want to thank Chris for taking time out of his busy work schedule to talk to us about Elric: The Balance Lost.

Elric The Balance Lost #1 at TFAW.com ORDER YOUR COPY OF ELRIC #1 TODAY!

SEE ALL UPCOMING BOOM! STUDIOS COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

Did you dig the FCBD Elric issue as much as I did? Looking forward to what Roberson and the rest of the BOOM! crew bring in July? Post your comments below!

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Comic Book Reviews: Flashpoint, Cobra Civil War, Next Men

May 13th, 2011 Comments off

Reviews of This Week’s New Releases!

Hey everyone! Ready for some new comic book reviews? This week, we review Flashpoint #1, G.I. Joe Vol. 2 #1, which is the kickoff to Cobra Civil War, and John Byrne’s Next Men #6. Did we get it right? Post in the comments and let us know!

Flashpoint #1

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What did you think of Flashpoint #1, G.I. Joe #1, or Next Men #6? What other books stood out this week? Post your comments below!

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Win a Pair of Exclusive TFAW/Dark Horse Nike Air Force 1s

May 13th, 2011 Comments off

At Things From Another World, we always have awesome comics and statues for your collection, but thanks to sports apparel and equipment giant Nike, we have something totally different for you to covet: they’ve created exclusive Air Force 1s customized with the Things From Another World and Dark Horse Comics logos!

There are only seven individually numbered pairs of these uniquely geeky shoes in the world! We gave six pairs away as prizes at our Oregon stores during Free Comic Book Day, but we have one pair, number #7, left to give away online! These shoes are a men’s US size 9 and come complete with an exclusive display case–which is also emblazoned with the TFAW and Dark Horse logos.

How can you win these awesome customized Air Force 1s–the shoe of choice for stylish ballers everywhere? Post your favorite part about 2011′s Free Comic Book Day as a comment on this blog! It can be anything–your favorite comic, a creator you met, etc.–just make sure to comment by May 31, 2011 to enter.

Get the full details on our Nike Air Force 1 Contest Page, and check out the photos below!

So: what was your favorite part of Free Comic Book Day? Post below to enter to win!

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See Photos From Free Comic Book Day!

May 9th, 2011 Comments off

Free Comic Book Day was a huge hit in our three Oregon stores–big thanks to everyone who came out to play! We’ve got a great collection of photos, below, but we need more! If you came out to our Hollywood, Beaverton, or Milwaukie locations and have some great shots to share, please join our TFAW/FCBD Group on flickr today and share them. In the meantime, do you see yourself in any of the photos?

Free Comic Book Day 2011

Did you participate in Free Comic Book Day? Which comic was your favorite? Post your comments below!

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April Product Review Contest Winners

May 6th, 2011 Comments off

We want to thank everyone who contributed a Product Review to our site in April–you did a great job! Of course, that made our job more difficult–picking three winners for our April Product Review Contest. There was some stiff competition, but we’re sending out $25 TFAW gift certificates to the following winners:

Shawn from Ohio reviewed Star Wars: Legacy – War #4.

Legacy War continues to demonstrate why it is the best Star Wars title out right now with the amazing art, colors and story. We finally get to see how a Skywalker goes out with honor, power and one with the Force!


Luke from Oregon gave us his critical account of Spider-Man Reign TPB:

I feel bad giving this book a low rating. It really isn’t a horrible book. It just didn’t engage me like I had hoped. The emotional impact of a broken down, tired, worn out aged Spiderman and compatriots should have been higher in my opinion, but in the end it came across as mostly contrived. The biggest emotional moment for me was a Sandman moment in the final act of the book. Overall, it was a new twist on a character that I haven’t read in years. But at the end of it all, it wasn’t really a memorable book.

Finally, Nathaniel from Michigan reviewed Axe Cop Volume 1 TPB. Here’s what he had to say:

I couldn’t be any happier with the dark slap-stick hurmor of Axe Cop. I purchased it on a whim and couldn’t be any more entertained. The commentaries for the Q and A give a lot of insite on how the Nicolle brothers work hand in hand to produce such a unique comic with endless possibilities. A must read.

Thanks again for sharing all of your insights and opinions with us–and your fellow shoppers! Interested in participating? Do us a favor and please don’t submit duplicate reviews or submissions from other merchant websites. You don’t have to like the product to snag a winning review, so feel free to rant or gush.

So submit your reviews and help your fellow collectors, and us, sort out the “HOT” from the “NOT”! Who knows, you may be one of next month’s winners.

HOW TO SUBMIT A PRODUCT REVIEW:
It’s simple! Just visit any product page and look for this:

Click on it and our product review form will appear in a popup. Just fill out the pertinent information and submit your review, and you’re done! We’ll take a look at your review and get it up on the product page soon thereafter!

There’s also a really easy way for you to call up everything you’ve ever ordered from us and review it. Simply log in to your account and go into the Order History Section. Next to each item, you’ll see a “Review it!” link.

Questions? Comments? Let us know below!

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Get Ready for Hellboy: The Fury

May 6th, 2011 Comments off

Hellboy: The Fury #1 (Francesco Francavilla variant cover)We can say without hyperbole that the upcoming three-issue Hellboy: The Fury story arc is one you do not want to miss. If you usually wait to pick up the trade paperbacks, don’t sit this one out!

We won’t spoil anything for you, but you can bet that Mike Mignola, Duncan Fegredo, and Dave Stewart have something special planned for the final arc of their massive saga that began back in 2007 with Darkness Calls. War ensues between the forces of good and evil as Hellboy finally confronts the Queen of Blood one on one, setting the stage for a new chapter in Hellboy’s life!

To be prepared for what is to come, we’ve got a little homework for longtime fans and new readers:

  1. Re-read or purchase Darkness Calls, The Wild Hunt, and The Storm before the end of May.
  2. Pre-order all three issues of Hellboy: The Fury.
    (Also works if you had a “Hellboy” Series Subscription set up on 4/27/11 when subscriptions locked for the first issue.)
  3. Avoid online reviews or spoilers when they hit.
  4. Read each of The Fury issues once we send ‘em your way.

We can’t wait to see what Mignola and crew have in store, and we know you’ll dig it too. June 1st can’t come soon enough!

  ORDER HELLBOY: THE FURY #1 TODAY!

  ORDER YOUR HELLBOY HOMEWORK BOOKS

What do you think is going to happen in The Fury? Have a theory? Let us know below!

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It’s Free Comic Book Day: Get Free Comics at TFAW.com

May 6th, 2011 Comments off

Free Comic Book Day 2011 is Saturday, May 7! Starting at 12:01 a.m. PST, all in-stock orders (hint–all in-stock items will have a red button like this: next to it) have three special FREE comic books included in their shipments, while supplies last. Even better, these free comics won’t affect your shipping and handling charges!

What’s Free Comic Book Day? For this annual event, dozens of comic book publishers, including Dark Horse, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and more, publish free special-edition comics that are distributed via thousands of comic shops!

How do I get my free comics? Place an in-stock order starting at 12:01 a.m. PST on May 7! Three free comics will be randomly chosen and added to your shipment. Hurry, these free comics will go quickly!

Psst! Here’s a tip: shop our 60% off Nick & Dent sale to get our lowest prices on some great products along with your free comics!

Do you live in the Portland, Oregon area? See our in-store FCBD schedule!

SHOP OUR 60% OFF NICK & DENT SALE

Are you excited for Free Comic Book Day? Post your comments below!

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Earn TFAW Bucks at Free Comic Book Day in Portland

May 5th, 2011 Comments off

TFAW BucksThis Saturday, May 7, not only will you get free comics (while supplies last), meet awesome creators, and save 60% on sale items, but you’ll be able to earn our brand-new TFAW Bucks.

How can you earn TFAW Bucks? You’ll get a $5 TFAW Buck with your initial purchase on Free Comic Book Day in Portland, Beaverton, or Milwaukie, and then you’ll earn another $1 TFAW Buck for every $10 you spend!

How can you redeem TFAW Bucks? Bring them back to our Oregon stores between May 8 and 31 and match them with your own money to save. Got $8 in TFAW Bucks? Add $8 of your own to pick up that graphic novel you’ve had your eye on, or a clutch of new comics.

But wait! There’s more! Make sure to hold onto your receipt from Free Comic Book Day–it’s your VIP ticket to our 60% off sale in our Oregon stores May 21. Doors open at 9 am to receipt holders ONLY–that’s two hours early! Not only will you enjoy first crack at our sale, but you’ll get free coffee and donuts, too.

GET OUR PORTLAND FREE COMIC BOOK DAY SCHEDULE

Are you getting pumped for Free Comic Book Day? Will you try to collect them all? Post your comments below!

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Free Comic Book Day Is This Saturday, May 7!

May 4th, 2011 Comments off

Saturday, May 7 is Free Comic Book Day! On this day of days, not only can you stop by our three Oregon stores between 10 am-7 pm and get special free comics (while supplies last), but we’re offering $2 doorbuster graphic novels, an amazing 60% off sale, TFAW Bucks to spend on your next visit, and signings with 23 creators, including Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson, Steve Lieber, Paul Tobin, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Dustin Weaver, Scott Allie, Patric Reynolds, and many more! See the full schedule here. If you don’t live in the Portland area, you can still participate in FCBD with us–find out how here.

We’ve also put a handy-dandy cheat sheet of which store to visit and when, depending on your interests:

  • Star Wars fans: We actually have the artist for Dark Horse Comics’ FCBD Star Wars comic, Ben Dewey, signing at our Portland store from 2-5 pm! You’ll also want to stick around to meet Dustin Weaver, artist for Star Wars Vector and S.H.I.E.L.D., from 2-5 pm, before going to our Milwaukie store to get your Star Wars: The Clone Wars books signed by writer Jeremy Barlow (also of Dethklok/Metalocalypse), also from 2-5 pm!
  • Whedon fans: Kick off your day by meeting Buffy Season 8 editor and writer, Scott Allie, in Milwaukie from 12-3 pm! Then head out to Beaverton to say hi to Patric Reynolds, artist of the Serenity: Float Out one-shot.
  • Parents and kids: We’ve got some amazing kids comics writers and artists in our stores. You can start off in Beaverton to meet Amy Mebberson, artist for the Muppet Show, from 12-3 pm, as well as Ben Bates, artist for Sonic the Hedgehog, from 2-5 pm. Then, don’t miss your chance to get comics signed by the fantabulous Paul Tobin, writer of Spider-Girl, Marvel Adventures, and more, in Portland from 2-5 pm.
  • Periscope Studio fans: Can’t get enough of your local Periscope Studio creators? Neither can we! The Portland store has them all day–several already mentioned, plus Underground‘s Steve Lieber, Boilerplate creators Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett, and Suicide GirlsDavid Hahn! You can also get your fix in Milwaukie from 2-5 pm and see Jeremy Barlow and The Guild: Tink‘s Ron Chan!
  • Marvel superheroes fans: Meet writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, writer of this year’s fantastic Osborn miniseries, as well as a contributor to Girl Comics, from 12-3 pm. Then come to Portland from 2-4 pm to meet the incredible team of Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson, artists on Uncanny X-Men, X-Men, and more.
  • Indy comics fans: Todd Herman and Herb Apon will be in Milwaukie from 12-3 pm showing artwork from their upcoming Warriors: Jailbreak series, plus, you’ll have the chance to peek at the upcoming series Witch Doctor from Brandon Seifert and Lukas Ketner from 4-7 pm. Beaverton is also chock-full of indy goodness, with Shawn Cruz and Micah Baker of Salem’s Corrosive Comics there from 3-6 pm, and Dane Ault of Monkey Minion appearing from 4-7 pm.

Whew! Don’t forget, doors open at 10 am–get there early to get first crack at free comics and more.

Are you as excited about Free Comic Book Day as we are? Post your comments below!

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