AJ Mendez and Aimee Garcia rolls a new Dungeons and Dragons quest for comic readers

IDW recently announced Dungeons & Dragons: At the Spine of the World, a new comics adventure co-written by New York Times bestseller and former WWE superstar AJ Mendez aka as AJ Lee (and author of Crazy is My Superpower) and actor Aimee Garcia (star of Lucifer and Dexter).

This comic series if of course based on Dungeons & Dragons, the role-playing table-top game that remains popular for nearly a half-century now. At the Spine of the World will star a cast of fresh-new characters, with a new storyline spanning four-issues. The artist is Martín Cóccolo (Magic: The Gathering, Star Trek: Year Five). The series is set for a late summer release.

In the story for At the Spine of the World, the never-ending winter’s night is slowly driving an isolated town in the depths of Icewind Dale to the brink of insanity. To save them all, a perilous journey awaits a band of adventurers as they battle a furious icy god and uncover the plot of an ancient primordial evil.

“The fantasy genre is a source of solace, love, and belonging for me, so entering the world of Dungeons & Dragons is exciting and squeal-inducing in a way that probably isn’t professionally acceptable. But it’s too late
now, IDW is stuck with me!” says Mendez in a recent PR release. “This is a prestigious and beloved title and we’re proud to join the party.”

“As a kid, I thought I could do magic. As an adult, I never stopped believing in magic. And, as an actor, I play make believe every day,” says Garcia. “Fantasy has always been a part of my life. So, I’m excited and honored to create fantastical stories of brave adventures, because in some way, if they can slay monsters and keep fighting when the odds are stacked against then, then we can keep fighting… no matter what odds are stacked against us.”

The new four-issue Dungeons & Dragons miniseries marks the second IDW comic book collaboration between AJ Mendez and Aimee Garcia, who previously stepped into the ring of the Netflix Original comedy series GLOW with the GLOW vs. The Babyface series.

Dungeons & Dragons: At the Spine of the World #1 will be available with multiple cover variants for retailers and fans to enjoy, including Cover A by Martin Coccolo, a roleplaying game-style Character Sheet design by Max Davenport as Cover B, and two Retailer Incentive editions by Catherine Nodet and Max Davenport, respectively.

For more info, check you local comics retailer, or visit IDWPublishing.com.

Here’s some new concept art in the meantime!

Kieron Gillen, Jim Rossignol, Jeff Stokely team up for LUDOCRATS fantasy fun

Here’s some silly news from Image Comics, the company that has brought much nutso serious joy with Rat Queens, I Hate Fairyland, and other fan-favorites. Now comes new funny fantasy fun, as detailed in the following press release…

Bestselling writer Kieron Gillen (Die, The Wicked + The Divine) will team up with writer Jim Rossignol (Sir, You Are Being Hunted) and artist Jeff Stokely (The Spire) with colorist Tamra Bonvillain (Once & Future) for Ludocrats.

This five-issue, gonzo-weird fantasy miniseries will launch from Image Comics on April Fools’ Day (!).

“I have a reputation of making intense grimoires about crying,” Gillen told The Hollywood Reporter, while reclining on his throne of skulls. “This isn’t that. This is an explosion of glitter and slugs, arranged artfully, nonsense and lack of sensibility. Its aim is to make you happy. Also, horrified.”

In short: The Ludocrats! The aristocrats of ludicrous! A collision of the ornate fantasy of Dune and an M-rated Asterix & Obelix! Baron Otto Von Subertan and Professor Hades Zero-K are here, and they’re going save us all have a nice time.

“I’m just happy to be implicated in whatever is happening here,” said Rossignol.

Stokely added: “Please help me. They have me trapped. Send help.”

Ludocrats #1 will be available at comic book shops on April Fool’s Day—Wednesday, April 1. Not joking.

Meanwhile, here is a sweet two-page preview:

New Gaming Preview Trailer: Lost Words

Publisher Modus Games and developer Sketchbook Games, recently unveiled at the New York Game Awards, Lost Words: Beyond the Page, “an inventive and touching tale of a young girl’s personal growth.” Also, a puzzle platformer, mixed with fluid, dreamy animation.

This new trailer above is narrated by the game’s female protagonist, Izzy, provides a glimpse of the fantasy world of Estoria and the moving emotional journey of a young writer using creativity and her journal to deal with life’s adventures. Izzy’s recollections and imagination inspire breathtaking scenes of a vibrant, evocative world, unfolding new moments within an emotional story brimming with joyous, childlike zeal and mounting poignancy as that innocence adapts to life’s realities.

Lost Words: Beyond the Page featured a narrative script from writer Rhianna Pratchett (daughter of fantasy writer Terry Pratchett). Her writing credits span through two decades, and includes such notable story-driven hits hits as Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider (2013), Rise of the Tomb Raider, the Overlord series, Mirror’s Edge, and more.

Lost Words is set for a Spring 2020 launch on Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. To read more about Lost Words: Beyond the Page, visit the official site, www.lostwordsgame.com.

Norroway, continues with Book 2 of its graphic novel Scottish fairy-tale revision

Image Comics recently announced the next volume for Norroway, its critically acclaimed, Eisner Award-nominated Scottish fairy-tale retelling from writer Cat Seaton and artist Kit Seaton (Wonder Woman: Warbringer, Afar), with Book Two: The Queen on the High Mountain.

This second book in the series continues in graphic novel format, and carried on as part of a trilogy as it hits shelves from this August, 2020.

“I’m really thrilled to showcase an older, wizened, more grizzled Sibylla,” said Kit Seaton said in the recent press release. “Plus, there’s a new cast of characters who will add depth, as well as twists and turns to the narrative. We’ve really taken the story to new heights (pun intended) and can’t wait to show readers this widened view of the world of Norroway.”

Seven years have passed since the disastrous events of Norroway, Book One, and now it’s time for Sibylla to face her curse-breaking destiny. When Troll Kingdom soldiers arrive in the once-safe town of Fiskeby, she’s forced to flee up the Glass Mountain. But the moment she steps foot on Troll lands, she’s thrown into a jail cell, where she discovers her amnesiac ex-fiancé is set to wed the Troll Queen’s daughter. Using all of her wits, she must convince the princess to turn against her own mother, or else face execution on the day of the wedding—and doom the kingdom to remain cursed forever.

Cat Seaton added: “In this book we really start to break free of the mold of the original fairy tale—most of the set up has happened, and now we’re seeing the payoff, and the consequences. Canonically, it’s seven years between the lead character’s fall down the mountain and her climb back up. In the original fairy tale you have a girl who waited. With Sibylla, she stopped waiting. She moved on. And then her past came knocking.”

Norroway, Book Two: The Queen on the High Mountain will be available on Wednesday, August 26 and in bookstores on Tuesday, September 1. It will also be available for purchase across many digital platforms. Norroway, Book One: The Black Bull of Norroway remains available now, where the best new graphic novels and books are sold.

Image brings The Marked, a new series from Brian Haberlin and David Hine, this Fall

the Marked

Image Comics recently announced all-new ongoing dark fantasy series this October, titled The Marked, from the critically-acclaimed creative team behind the smash-hit series Sonata—Brian Haberlin and David Hine.

The Marked may look like cool young influencers, but beneath the designer clothes, their bodies are tattooed with the magical glyphs of an ancient order that secretly protects the world against evil forces.

“The Marked is my chance to do magical, dark and sexy!” said Haberlin in a recent press release. “The world may seem familiar but what lies beneath is certainly not. A world readers of my old series Aria and The Wicked will recognize and maybe we’ll even see some characters from those books appear along the way in this new series!”

With no new occult threats, The Marked use their tattooed powers solely for the pursuit of pleasure until a young woman called Liza creates a dangerous new form of Hybrid Sorcery. The party is over for The Marked. You’ll believe in magic—terrifying, soul-destroying magic.

Hine added: “One of the highlights for me is the way Brian has used his digital skills to create amazing tattoo designs for The Marked. That and the chance to play with magic. The only limit to what these characters can do is the limit of our imagination.”

The Marked #1 will arrive at local comic shops on Wednesday, October 16.

ElfQuest returns to comic stores this Fall with “Stargazer’s Hunt”

ElfQuest

Wendy and Richard Pini’s cherished fantasy epic of over 40 years, ElfQuest, continues with “ElfQuest: Stargazer’s Hunt”

The new ElfQuest series will be published by Dark Horse comics for a six-issue run, with co-creators Wendy and Richard Pini on board, and a script by Wendy Pini. Veteran ElfQuest alumnus Sonny Strait returns as the artist (over layouts by Wendy) and colorist for the new series.

When ElfQuest: The Final Quest concluded, it ended the hero’s journey of Cutter Kinseeker, chief of the Wolfriders. But that was only the start of a new adventure for Cutter’s “brother in all but blood,” Skywise. Now the stargazer elf, who thought he knew everything about Cutter, discovers how mistaken he was. That, combined with a tragic accident involving his daughter Jink, sends Skywise on a quest of his own, from the elves’ ancestral Star Home through uncharted space, and back to the World of Two Moons.

“I feel both thrilled and anxious as I hurtle into new writing territory with Stargazer’s Hunt. Always the ‘champion’s companion,’ Skywise is now a hero unto himself, questing for a prize no one could possibly guess,” said ElfQuest co-creator Wendy Pini. “While Cutter’s story arc on the World of Two Moons was meticulously planned, Skywise’s hunt encompasses all of space and time, and surprises await. Who can know what will befall him?”

ElfQuest: Stargazer’s Hunt #1 (of 6) goes on sale Nov. 13, 2019, at better comic stores everywhere. For more on Elfquest, visit www.elfquest.com.

Dark Horse announces Jia and the Nian Monster, a new graphic novel of fantasy and adventure

Monster

In partnership with Vanguard Visionary Associates, Dark Horse Comics recently announced Jia and the Nian Monster, a new original graphic novel from Mike Richardson and Megan Huang.

Based on an ancient Chinese legend, Jia and the Nian Monster blends fantasy, fable, and the invention of gunpowder into a tale of courage and friendship. Written by Dark Horse Comics President and Founder Mike Richardson (47 Ronin, Father’s Day, and The Atomic Legion), and illustrated by artist Megan Huang (Princeless, Double Jumpers), Jia and the Nian Monster sets up to be a new classic for all ages.

“I’m pleased to work with artist Megan Huang to bring this Chinese legend to life for readers of all ages,” said writer Mike Richardson in a recent press release. “I’ve always been interested in Chinese lore and hope to impart that interest on a new generation of readers.”

In Jia and the Nian Monster, each new year is marked by a monster’s attack on their mountain village. This year, young Jia and her friend Deshi have decided to fight back. For Deshi, it is the grand adventure he has always dreamed of taking part in. For Jia, it is revenge for the loss of her mother—who was taken by the monster five years before. But it will take more than mere pluck and courage to best the beast of the mountain, which is where the mysterious stranger who has befriended Jia and Deshi comes in…

“Jia and the Nian Monster has been a pleasure to work on,” said artist Megan Huang in a recent press release. “With this being my first original graphic novel, the pressure was on, but everyone involved has been so lovely and helpful. I’ve really pushed myself throughout the past few months to do Mike’s script justice and make the team proud. The honor really has been all mine, and I hope readers can see the passion that we all put into it.”

Jia and the Nian Monster goes on sale in comic shops on March 18, 2020, and in bookstores on March 31, 2020. This 80-page original graphic novel retails for $12.99 and is available for pre-order now.

Comics legend Walter Simonson continues his Ragnarök saga, this summer

unnamed (40)

Legendary creator and comics master Walter Simonson continues his epic Norse tale from IDW, with Ragnarök: The Breaking of Helheim, coming this July.

This will be Simonson’s third part of his Ragnarök: saga, as a six-issue odyssey into the deepest corners of the Nine Worlds.

In the Ragnarök series, the gods gathered together and met their foes on the Battle Plain of Vigrid. The gods and their great enemies slaughtered each other, the stars fell from the sky, Midgard itself sank into the all-encompassing ocean, and the Nine Worlds were destroyed. When we begin Ragnarök: The Breaking of Helheim, Thor will hear a voice from out of the past and learn that not all the old stories are true…

“After so many years, I finally have a chance to draw the last battle of the Norse Gods and their great enemies,” says Simonson. “I couldn’t be more thrilled. And I have entered Helheim, the realm of the dead, on a journey from which few return. But I have done so and lived to tell the tale — this tale — the breaking of Helheim.”

Walt Simonson remains known for building upon Norse mythology in his own special way for the sequential arts for decades, as he is also well-known for his acclaimed run on Marvel Comics’ Thor from 1983 to 1987.

Ragnarök: The Breaking of Helheim #1 will have Regular and Variant Edition covers by Walter Simonson, a rare Variant Edition – featuring a jam collaboration between Simonson and fellow epic storyteller Stan Sakai – will connect to a Variant Edition of Usagi Yojimbo #1.

Ragnarök: The Breaking of Helheim #1 will release in comic stores and popular digital comics apps, this July of 2019.

unnamed (41)

 

 

 

New Comic Series Preview: Ascender #1

Descender (Cover)

Ascender, a new comic book series is coming this April, by the Eisner-award winning team of Jeff Lemire (Gideon Falls, Sweet Tooth, The Underwater Welder, Black Hammer) and artist Dustin Nguyen (Batman: Little Gotham, Descender). This will a new adventure of fantasy and science fiction set connected to the previous Descender series, but provide as a fresh jumping on point for new readers.

Set ten years after the conclusion of Descender, in Ascender the machines have gone away, and in their absence magic has reclaimed the universe. Now one girl must embark on an epic quest to find robotkind and its fabled boy messiah, TIM-21, before it’s too late…

“Dustin and I love the world of Descender and we’re re-energized by this new direction, which has opened all sorts of new storytelling possibilities for us,” said Lemire. “Ascender will feel like a continuation of the Descender saga and like a brand new book all in one.”

Nguyen added: “Plus, it’ll be fantastic to switch from drawing machines and metal all day, to all flesh and fantasy for a while!”

Ascender #1 will be available in comic shops, and popular digital comic apps on Wednesday, April 24.

Here is a 4-page preview…

Huge thanks to Image Comics for providing the preview pages. For more Image Comics info, visit imagecomics.com. 

Canto, an upcoming comic book fantasy mini-series, in search of a heart!

unnamed (56)

IDW Publishing recently announced Canto, a surreal six-issue journey created by writer David M. Booher and artist Drew Zucker and featuring the talents of colorist Vittorio Astone and letterer Deron Bennett. Canto is an all-ages comic book miniseries that explores a strange and fantastic new world in search of the greatest prize of all: a heart!

Enslaved for generations, Canto’s people once had hearts. Now they have clocks. When slavers damage a little tin girl’s clock beyond repair, Canto must brave the darkest corners of his hostile world to bring back her heart. Can he overcome the dangers that await to save the one he loves?

David M. Booher said, “We set out to create a character in Canto who finds hope where there seems to be none. Drew, Vittorio, and Deron have done a spectacular job bringing this world to life with Canto as its light. We couldn’t be happier to team up with IDW and have readers join us on his adventure.”

“Canto has been one of the great joys of my career to work on and see evolve,” says Drew Zucker. “It has been amazing to see a sketch that was done just for fun evolve into this amazing story and universe about finding hope in the bleakest of worlds. I can safely say there is something here for everyone.”

“When you think about myths and fables, you think about stories that have lessons to teach and that will resonate for years to come—and Canto absolutely fits that bill. The joy and awe that the team puts into every page—even when things seem dark—make this story last with you long after you put it down,” says Associate Editor David Mariotte.

Canto #1 is set for release in June, in comic stores and digital platforms everywhere. For info, check with your comics dealer or visit www.idwpublishing.com.

Meanwhile, here is a look at a variant cover and inside art…