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TFAW Helps Kickstart Cincinnati ComiCon as Premier Co-Sponsor

November 28th, 2012 Comments off

Cincy ConWe’re proud to announce that TFAW is the premier co-sponsor of Cincinnati ComiCon, known affectionately as Cincy ComiCon, a brand-new convention debuting September 6-8, 2013 at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center (just across the river from Cincinnati).

Founded by a board of directors that includes artist Tony Moore (The Walking Dead, Deadpool, Fear Agent), Kendall Swafford, the owner of Cincinnati comic shop Up Up & Away, Kara Fairfield, and many more, Cincy ComiCon’s mission is “To present Greater Cincinnati with the very best that comic books, comic art, and related pop culture have to offer.”

After attracting world-class guests like Ben Templesmith, Steve Niles, Katie Cook, Rick Remender, Jason Aaron, Geof Darrow, Jill Thompson, and many more (seriously, check out the guest list here), Cincy ComiCon reached out to the comics community to raise the $25,000 it needed in funding–and then some–via Kickstarter, blowing right past its goal six days before its deadline!

“When Cincy ComiCon was brought to our attention, we were impressed with the organizers’ passionate commitment to creating an incredible experience for comics fans,” said TFAW.com Senior Director of Retail Operations Andrew McIntire. “We’re thrilled we were able to help push their Kickstarter over the top and join the many backers, creators, and organizers who are making this event possible.”

Mark your calendars September 6-8 next year for a brand-spanking-new convention that everyone is going to be talking about: Cincy ComiCon! You can find their entertaining video, starring many of their famous guests, on their Kickstarter page. While you’re there, make a contribution to help get Cincy ComiCon off the ground!

CONTRIBUTE TO CINCY COMICON 2013

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Brian Schirmer and Jeremy Saliba Take Us to Ultrasylvania

November 21st, 2012 Comments off

UltrasylvaniaFans of classic horror, take note! Creators Brian Schirmer and Jeremy Saliba are here to introduce us to Ultrasylvania, an epic that offers a unique twist on the stories of Dracula and Frankenstein.

Much like Dracula or Frankenstein’s monster, Ultrasylvania has quite the origin story: it began as a class project at San Francisco’s Academy of Art University. Under the guidance of writer Brian Schirmer and art director Jeremy Saliba, eleven artists brought this tale to life — first as a web comic, and now, after a successful Kickstarter effort, as a graphic novel available here at TFAW!

Brian and Jeremy took us behind the scenes for a fascinating interview, below, and also shared a five-page preview! Read on to learn more:

TFAW: Ultrasylvania is unique in that it was a class project with the Academy of Art University. Did that affect how you selected your subject matter?

Brian Schirmer: Not at all. Actually, the story had been brewing in my head since a trek around Europe in the summer of 2011 — but I didn’t know what to do with it. Initially, I thought it might make a good novel. It wasn’t until a former student came to me and suggested not only that the Academy should have some sort of comic collaborative class, but also that it should be built around something I wrote. From there, the two concepts coalesced.

Ultrasylvania Preview Page #1TFAW: What drew you to the tales of Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster?

Jeremy Saliba: My favorite thing to do in storytelling is to take an existing known story and turn it on its head. In this case, starting off with the classic literary version of these characters and then taking them someplace new, while trying to remain historically grounded, seemed like a great idea and one I haven’t seen a lot of.

BS: I’d certainly grown up with the books and the films, and really dug most of them. That said, prior to this, it had never crossed my mind to write anything involving those characters. It wasn’t until the basic hook came to me — What if these creatures were leaders on the world stage? — that I found something I could sink my teeth into. No pun intended.

TFAW: Ultrasylvania features the work of an astounding 11 artists! Jeremy, what were some of the challenges of managing so many students and styles?

JS: Having these 11 guys come on board was a big relief for me from the beginning. We were able to hand-pick the cream of the crop from a very impressive pool of talent at the Academy, and I knew that our art was going to be in very capable hands.

Ultrasylvania Preview Page #2From the outset I wanted the artists to each have a lot of creative input and bring their own individual styles to their respective sections of the book. Keeping control of that and making the book and characters consistent was probably the toughest part of my job. I feel we were able to keep things on track by establishing some key elements to the character designs that would be a constant throughout the book. Victor’s long hair and sizable frame, Dracula’s overall wardrobe and style, and the color palette were all elements that helped keep the look consistent. We’re hard at work on Volume 2 to tighten those elements up and keep the look of things even more solid this time around, and the results so far are outstanding.

TFAW: Was Ultrasylvania influenced by any other comics creators?

BS: Far more than I’m likely conscious of. Steranko, Butch Guice, Kevin O’Neill, Morrison, Moore, Ellis, Rucka, Hickman, Fraction, Cooke, Bendis, Brubaker, Bill Mantlo. There were plenty of cinematic influences to the story, too, but I’d rather let people discover those on their own.

JS: Visually we referenced a lot of comic artists throughout the production. Mike Mignola, Greg Capullo, Jerome Opena, Dave Gibbons, Jim Lee, Joe Madureira, Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon — well, the list goes on and on. Basically anyone awesome.

TFAW: Brian, you’ve made a lot of dramatic changes to the original stories of Dracula and Frankenstein. What influenced your decisions?

Ultrasylvania Preview Page #3BS: Context, really. They needed to be products of the world we created. Everything that happens in Ultrasylvania stems back to what occurs on page 1, wherein Napoleon’s Commission des Sciences et des Arts unearths something it shouldn’t in Egypt. This one event changes the world, spurs Dracula to return to his native land, and results in the reactionary creation of Frankenstein. And, yes, Frankenstein. Not Frankenstein’s monster, or anything like that. There’s reasoning behind the name change, but it won’t be revealed until Volume 2.

TFAW: You teach a Writing for Comics class. Did this put extra pressure on you? Will this experience affect your curriculum, going forward?

BS: No and yes. No to the extra pressure. Yes to the effect on the curriculum. The entire process of creating Ultrasylvania has informed the writing class, allowing me to share the experience with those students as it happens — which is great. Furthermore, based on the success of this project and other endeavors in the Academy’s School of Illustration, the school is broadening the scope of its comics program.

TFAW: What can you tell us about the future of Ultrasylvania?

BS: Volume 2 is being illustrated right now, with an eye toward a spring 2013 trade release, and I’ve begun writing Volume 3.

Ultrasylvania Preview Page #4TFAW: Jeremy and Brian, can you describe your experience seeing this comic from the page, to the web page, through Kickstarter, and finally to the published book?

JS: The biggest moment for me was probably the first “walk through” we did of the book with everyone together, when we had all the pages penciled. It was the first time I saw the scope of the book and the quality of the art in one go. After that, I was confident we had something that people would be interested in checking out, and the success and support that’s followed has, for me, been incredible.

BS: The whole experience has been awesome — as in, I am in awe of what these guys have done. Everything that we’ve done thus far — the webcomic, Kickstarter, the published trade — these steps were planned from the beginning. We just didn’t know that it would be so well received.

TFAW: Would you recommend Kickstarter to other independent comic book creators?

BS: Absolutely. This was my first crowd-funding campaign, but I had decided soon after the launch of Kickstarter that I would never pay for another creative project out-of-pocket. There’s no reason to do so. However, you need to offer something of quality, you need to have some established network of potential supporters, and you need to treat it like a second job. You need to do all three.

JS: Kickstarter is amazing — but Brian is right, it’s a full-time job, and one which he spearheaded. My advice is to do your research first, talk to people who’ve done it successfully, and listen to everything they say.

Ultrasylvania Preview Page #5TFAW: What comics are you reading right now?

JS: Anything Rick Remender writes, Batman, just finished AvX . . . and I’m just now starting to get into Hellblazer, which is an amazing book.

BS: It’s a long list for me. I tend to follow writers over artists or characters. Just a sampling in no order — Conan the Barbarian, Manhattan Projects, Casanova, Saga, Prophet, Batman, Inc., Fatale, Winter Soldier, Hawkeye. I’ve been more of a Marvel than a DC [reader] in recent years, and a lot of their titles are ending before they kick off their NOW! initiative. I’ll give many of those books a try.

TFAW: What other types of stories would you like to tell?

BS: We’ve both been rather keen on crafting an epic space opera. It’s a project that is slowly coming to life. When we started on it, there was no Saga, no Prophet, and certainly no promise of new Star Wars films. We were clearly tapping into the zeitgeist. Will there be room for one more amongst that lauded crowd? I’d like to think so.

We want to thank Brian and Jeremy for taking the time to answer all of our questions. Make sure to order your copy of Ultrasylvania now.

ORDER YOUR COPY OF ULTRASYLVANIA NOW

Have you ever contributed to a Kickstarter comic? Are you excited to see more Ultrasylvania? Post your comments below!

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TFAW and Hollywood Theatre Cancel Walking Dead Screenings

November 20th, 2012 Comments off

Walking Dead Season 3 Screenings - CANCELEDDue to forces outside of our control, Things From Another World and the Hollywood Theatre regretfully announce that we are canceling our free weekly screenings of The Walking Dead Season 3, effective immediately.

TFAW has sponsored free screenings of The Walking Dead with hosts cortandfatboy for two and a half seasons, and we’re greatly saddened to cancel this popular Portland event, after the Hollywood Theatre received a cease-and-desist letter.

“We’ve had a great run with The Walking Dead, and we are still huge fans of both the comics and the television show,” said TFAW Senior Director of Retail Operations Andrew McIntire. “It’s allowed us to reach out to the community in a unique way, and we’re grateful for all of the awesome people we’ve met through this. We’re sorry to disappoint anyone, but we have no choice in the matter.”

Stay tuned for future events: Follow us on Twitter at @TFAW or Like us at Facebook.com/ThingsFromAnotherWorld for further updates.

BROWSE WALKING DEAD COMICS, GRAPHIC NOVELS, AND MORE

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Jae Lee Reveals the Secrets to His Masks Cover

November 5th, 2012 Comments off

Masks #1 Jae Lee CoverDynamite’s Masks brings classic pulp fiction characters — like Green Hornet, Zorro, and The Shadow — together, but it’s also bringing some excellent cover artists together as well: Masks #1 ships randomly with four different covers by Alex Ross, Francesco Francavilla, Ardian Syaf, and Jae Lee!

As part of Behind the Masks, we chatted with superstar artist Jae Lee, who has dazzled fans with his work on the Dark Tower and Before Watchmen: Ozymandias series, about the secrets behind his Masks cover, how he approaches his work, and more!

TFAW.com: What is your personal history with the characters of Masks? Were you a fan?

Jae Lee: Aside from the Shadow and Green Hornet, I wasn’t familiar with the others. It’s great that Dynamite can bring awareness of these great characters that had long been buried in the sands of time and give new life to them. They deserve it.

TFAW.com: Your cover for Masks is eerie–it really emphasizes the masks themselves over the individuality of the characters. What was your thought process behind this piece?

JL: I wanted to create a nightmare vision of them. What criminals dream of when they sleep their unjust sleep. Imagine these guys bearing down on you.

TFAW.com: Do you have a favorite pulp fiction character?

JL: The Shadow. Without him, I doubt the long flowing cape would ever have come into play. He’s left an incredible visual legacy that we all follow to this day.

Masks #1TFAW.com: Who were your favorite artists, growing up?

JL: Growing up, it would be John Byrne and Mike Zeck. Those were the best times.

TFAW.com: What are some of the major milestones of your career?

JL: Any time I can land a new project, I consider that a milestone.

TFAW.com: Who or what haven’t you drawn yet that you’d love to tackle?

JL: Superman would be up there. It goes against my style, but I’d like the challenge and it would inspire me to draw in a way I’ve never drawn before.

TFAW.com: What do you think is the hallmark of a successful cover?

JL: It has to stand out against the sea of hundreds of other covers trying to do the same thing. It has to be interesting and appealing enough that it would make someone want to pick it up and take a look inside.

TFAW.com: How do you approach covers? What elements do you focus on?

JL: I try to create a self contained image that conveys as of the story as possible, and yet will look good enough on its own out of context. And then I want it to be as pretty as possible.

TFAW.com: What comics are you reading right now?

JL: Right now, I’m a happy passenger on the Snyder bandwagon. I love what he’s doing with Batman. Jeff Lemire’s Animal Man is also wonderful.

TFAW.com: What’s next for you?

JL: Nothing concrete yet. I’m still wrapping up [Before Watchmen:] Ozymandias.

Our thanks to Jae Lee for the interview! Remember to pre-order Masks #1 now and save 20%. Plus, make sure to check out our special Masks #1 Retailer Exclusive Variant, a steal at $1.99, a 50% discount!

PRE-ORDER MASKS AND SAVE 20%

VISIT OUR MASKS PAGE FOR GREEN HORNET, THE SHADOW & MORE

Are you excited for Masks? What classic pulp heroes are you hoping to see?

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October Product Review Contest Winners Announced!

November 2nd, 2012 Comments off

Wow! Thanks to everyone who submitted amazing product reviews last month. As part of our monthly Product Review Contest, we’ve picked people who submitted product reviews and are awarding $25 gift certificates to the people who posted them.

Nate from Longview, WA is the first of this month’s winners. Here’s his review for Saga TPB Vol. 01:

I’m late to the party, so I picked up the TPB and found out what everybody else has known for months. The characters are amazing and the creativity of the art is stellar! Get on board this book asap !

Robert from Cartagena, Colombia also wrote a review that caught our eye. His
review of Rachel Rising: Shadow Of Death TPB Vol. 01 was short, but it got us interested in the book:

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one. I picked it up based on Terry Moore’s name alone and I don’t regret it for a second. Quirky, humorous, mysterious. The list goes on. This is a series I’ll be following for sure.

Amber from Hedgesville, WV wrote this review last month of Dark Horse’s Dragon Age: Those Who Speak #2.

As with the previous comics, the artwork is colorful and vibrant and really brings these characters to life. It was nice to see some development in the character of Isabela, as she had seemed somewhat one-dimensional, shallow and selfish up until now. Can’t wait to see how this story unfolds!

Thanks so much to everyone to everyone who wrote reviews last month. You’re helping people decide what to read (or not to read) next.

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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