Flying Below the Radar: May 2014

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This is a Blog I do once a month as I read through the advance solicits for comics shipping in two months.  Every month your local comic shop (LCS) places orders with Diamond Comics for what comics will be on their rack two months down the road.  That means in May they’re ordering the things that they’ll be selling in July.

Comic shop owners are typically aware of the books from the big publishers particularly superhero stuff and “hot” indie books (usually AFTER they become hot) – beyond that there are no guarantees.  Even if they know about a particular comic they may not order it to put out on their racks.  I keep track of advance solicits that get posted on-line on the ComicSpectrum website each month, if there is something you really want that’s not guaranteed to be on the rack (like Batman or Avengers), you should consider letting your comic shop know you’re interested so they’ll know to order it.

I’ll point out stuff here each month that catches my eye and I typically do not see on the racks in every comic shop.  If it looks cool to you, make sure you ask your LCS to order it.  Heck, start a pull list at your shop and add the books you’re interested in so your shop will save them for you and you don’t have to worry about them selling out.

CREDIT: Dynamite Entertainment          CREDIT: Dark Horse Comics

The Devilers #1 (Dynamite)
Writer:Joshua Hale Fialkov Art: Matt Triano
When the world is under siege from the pits of hell, it’s up to the DEVILERS to set things right. Seven of the world’s greatest exorcists pit themselves against Satan’s army, and all of creation hangs in the balance. From the writer of THE BUNKER, THE ULTIMATES, and I, VAMPIRE comes a horror fueled adventure through hell itself.
32 Pages $2.99

Groo vs. Conan #1 (of 4) (Dark Horse)
Mark Evanier(W), Sergio Aragonés(A/Cover), Thomas Yeates(A/Cover)
It had to happen: The most heroic warrior in history meets the stupidest as Robert E. Howard’s immortal Conan the Barbarian crosses swords with Sergio Aragonés’s Groo the Wanderer in Groo vs. Conan #1. Years in the making!! Sergio Aragonés illustrates the tale, aided by Thomas Yeates (who draws Conan). Will Conan annihilate Groo? Will Groo turn out to be the man who can defeat Conan? We’ll see.
On sale July 23 – 32 pages – $3.50

CREDIT: IDW Publishing                              CREDIT: Image Comics

Ragnarök #1 (IDW)
Walter Simonson (w & a & c)
Ragnarök…the Twilight of the Gods in Norse mythology…the destruction of the Nine Worlds. And now, three hundred years later, the birth of vengeance.
My wife and my children are dead. My brothers and sisters are dead.
My parents are dead. The Great Enemies still live.
But I swear on the shattered bones of my kinsmen… they will not live forever.
I shall become… the storm.
Walter Simonson returns to comics in a BIG way with an all-new series… and doing what he does best in his first creator-owned series in 20 years, he brings his tremendous artistic arsenal to a brand new world… the twilight world of Ragnarök!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

LOW #1 (Image Comics)
In the far distant future, the sun’s premature expansion has irradiated Earth, sending humanity to the lowest depths of the seas, hidden within radiation-shielded cities, while probes scour the universe for inhabitable worlds to relocate to. After tens of thousands of years, a single probe returns, crashing on Earth’s surface, a now-alien place no human has seen for many millennia.
Frequent collaborators RICK REMENDER (BLACK SCIENCE, Uncanny Avengers) and GREG TOCCHINI (Last Days of American Crime, Uncanny X-Force) dive into an aquatic sci-fi/fantasy tale following two teams from the last remaining cities undersea as they race to the most unexpected alien world of all—the surface of Earth.
Special introductory issue features 30 full pages of painted art!
JULY 30 / 36 PAGES / FC / M / $3.99

CREDIT: Image Comics                                 CREDIT: Image Comics

story: WARREN ELLIS art / cover: TULA LOTAY
You are not dreaming. We are trying to communicate with you. Local reality has been reinstalled. Things have gone wrong. The revision has corrupted. Finding Ethan Crane is your supreme priority. We are speaking to you from the ultimate bunker within the structure of multiversal time. Do not trust Darius Dax. We are all going to die. Re-introducing the central Image Comics character with Warren Ellis, this could be a surprise hit!
JULY 23 / 32 PAGES / FC / M / $2.99

SPREAD #1 (Image)
story: JUSTIN JORDAN art / cover: KYLE STRAHM
Ten years ago, we dug too deep. We unleashed something ancient that couldn’t be controlled. Something that couldn’t be stopped, twisting everything it touched into more of itself. The Spread. Humanity was nearly destroyed before we found a way to slow the Spread to a crawl. Now, deep inside the quarantined zone, one man has found the key to stopping it forever: a baby girl. And if he can save her, he might save the world.
I love the art for this, could be a hit!
JULY 9 / 32 PAGES / FC / M / $3.50

CREDIT: Aspen MLT Inc.                          CREDIT: Boom! Studios

Vince Hernandez – Story / Mirka Andolfo – Art
Five realms. Five princesses. Zero men.
In the land of the Five Realms, the existence of men has long since been evaporated from the hearts and minds of women. Princess Bethany–ruler of Evanfar, the largest and most prominent kingdom, finds herself at the center of a vast conspiracy that could not only threaten her kingdom—but also her life! Journey to a place where magic is abundant, unicorns and ferrets can command armies, and five women struggle to find balance—and power–in an ever-changing fairy tale world!
DAMSELS IN EXCESS #1 is in stores July 23rd, 2014!
FC 32 pages $3.99 (3.99 digital)

REVELATIONS: PEN & INK #1 (Boom! Studios)
Author: Paul Jenkins  Artist: Humberto Ramos
With one of the most recognizable styles in the industry, Humberto Ramos has made his indelible stamp on everything from superheroes to vampires and even the Vatican! As fans of Humberto’s work, we couldn’t wait to showcase the art that Humberto is proudest of in its purest form.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Collecting REVELATIONS #1-2 in an oversized prestige format, REVELATIONS: PEN & INK #1 presents Humberto Ramos’ artwork stripped down to the inks side-by-side with in-depth annotations from the entire creative team. This item will be limited to the initial print run.
This is essentially a softcover version of an IDW Artist’s Edition and is a steal at $14.99 to get your hands on full sized reproductions of Ramos’ original art.
Retail Price: $14.99

CREDIT: Archie Comics

LIFE WITH ARCHIE #36 (Magazine Size) (Archie)
Script: Paul Kupperberg
Art: Pat & Tim Kennedy, Fernando Ruiz, Jim Amash, Bob Smith, Jack Morelli, Glenn Whitmore
History is in the making in this epic finale to the acclaimed series LIFE WITH ARCHIE, as America’s most beloved character makes the ultimate sacrifice to save a friend. The unthinkable happens: Archie Andrews dies! Fans will experience an epic tale of Archie’s future sure to make headlines, generate discussion and stand as one of the most-talked about Archie stories of all time. Do not miss this game-changing tale of love, friendship and true heroism. This double-sized issue combines all the material from Life with Archie comic issues #36 & #37.
On Sale  7/23 / 
96-page, full color magazine / 

(Comic Trim) Also available as 2 comic book sized issues #36 & #37
There are 5 different variant covers to each of the comic sized issues with covers by:
Each issue is a 
48-page, full color comic / 

CREDIT: Action Lab Comics                        CREDIT: Avatar Press

MIDNIGHT TIGER #1 (Action Lab)
Writer(s): DeWayne Feenstra, Ray-Anthony Height
Artist: Ray-Anthony Height
Having lost all hope in the heroes of his world, fate steps in and gives young Gavin Shaw the power to do the things they have not. Only as the teenage hero Midnight Tiger does his city have a chance at redemption. Retailer incentive cover by Jerry Gaylord!
32 pgs./ All Ages/ FC $2.99/ $3.99 Variant

Writer: Max Brooks
Cover & Art: Raulo Caceres
Jump on here, as the epic conflict continues right after Vol 1 with a super-sized battle issue! MAX BROOKS returns to the frightening world of zombies versus vampires in his groundbreaking follow up series: Extinction Parade: War! Well known for his breathtakingly original fiction, Brooks pushes the limits of the horror genre with his trademark meticulous research and vision for the next evolution in zombie storytelling. The subdead were always a joke to the aristocratic vampire race. Just a spec on the radar of their immortal lives, nothing worth even a moment’s notice in their quest for self-gratification through the veins of their host, the human race. But at last they have been pulled from their ignorance into the reality of the world. The human race is facing extinction and should they succumb so too shall the vampires disappear beneath the waves of rotting walking dead. Extinction Parade: War opens the doors to the next violent chapter in Brooks’ epic tale with an oversized issue starting the all-out battle for the survival of the races!
Mature Readers, Color, 40 pages, monthly / $4.99

CREDIT: Oni Press                                         CREDIT: Titan Comics

Writer: Joshua Fialkov
Artist: Gabo

In an infinite city built on infinite sadness, there is one man capable of breaking free. He will go through Heaven and Hell to save us all. Literally. A fantastical coming of age journey through the afterlife and beyond.
32 pages, $3.99

Writer: Julien Blondel
Artists: Didier Poli, Robin Recht

The ancient island of Melniboné has been ruled by Elric, the albino emperor, for millennia. Reliant on magic and herbs for his strength and prolonged life, Elric’s grip on Melniboné is crumbling, as his people slide into decadence. Now his envious cousin Yyrkoon, Prince of Melniboné, plots to overthrow him and claim the Ruby Throne for himself!
Lavishly illustrated, this new comic adaptation has been produced with the full and enthusiastic endorsement of Moorcock himself, who has written an original introduction for this edition.
Full Color 64pp HC / Vol. 1 of 4 / $12.99/$14.99/£10.99
On-Sale Sept 16, 2014


Future’s End (DC Comics)
There is a real lack of details on the specific contents of DC’s September Event “Future’s End”, but we do know that DC will be returning to the 3-D Motion covers that sold out almost immediately in shops last year.  This time around they are advance soliciting the 3-D titles in July.  If you want to pick up a set of 3-D covers, let your comic shop know NOW so that they can put in the order and reserve them for you.  These covers take additional time to manufacture, so must be ordered earlier than the 2 month advance order on regular comics.  DCBS is asking you to pre-order the 3D covers in advance now in May, so you need to get your orders in to guarantee getting these if you’re interested.

More info on the event, and a sample image of the 3-D animation, can be found over on Newsarama.  According to the Newsarama article:

While last year’s Villains Month event incorporated variant 3D covers that DiDio said sold “extraordinarily well,” he said the 2014 covers are more complex because the characters will be changing.
“All the lenticular covers — all the Futures End stories that will be told in September — will be in the titles of the ongoing series,” DiDio said. “The covers now will also have the ability to have a ‘flicker’ effect. That means that the images change and show the transformation going on. … There is a level of change that is taking place with our characters during the course of this story.”

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