IDW Publishing, the San Diego-based publisher of original series such as Locke & Key and 30 Days of Night and licensed comics including My Little Pony and Transformers, has acquired Top Shelf Productions, the publisher best known for literary works by authors such as Jeff Lemire, Craig Thompson, and James Kochalka, plus many of the recent works of Alan Moore, including League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Lost Girls.
Top Shelf co-founder Chris Staros will remain with the company as editor-in-chief, and the publisher will retain its identity as an imprint of IDW, and its base in Marietta, Georgia. Staros's business partner Brett Warnock has announced his intention to retire from comics.
The last twelve months offered comic book readers a wide variety of work ranging from the most crowd-pleasing superhero epics to the most idiosyncratic of indies, and the return of old favorites to the emergence of exciting new talent. It was a busy and productive year for the industry, and one we’re pleased to celebrate with what we’re certain will be an uncontroversial, unenumerated list of awards that will prompt only resounding agreement and unbroken fellowship amongst our readers in the comments below.
A great comic book cover is an advertisement, a work of art, a statement, and an invitation. A great comic book cover is a glimpse of another world through a canvas no bigger than a window pane. In Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month), we look back over some of the most eye-catching, original and exceptional covers of the past month
For the final covers of 2014, we showcase excellent work by some of the year's most reliable talents, including Kris Anka, Michael Del Mundo, and Riley Rossmo; some truly standout work by R.M. Guera and Jay Shaw; and the very best 'theme month' of the year.
Ghostbusters is basically perfect. It's one of those rare films where, with very few exceptions, there's not really any way that it could do what it does any better. As a result, it's easy to think that it could make for a great foundation to build on, especially when you consider that the characters talks about different classifications of ghosts, and the books that lay out all their stats are right there in the movie. There's clearly a rich world in place. Yet it's rare to see Ghostbusters expanded in a way that really works, maybe because the characters are tied so closely to the actors that play the roles, and the chemistry they bring to the film.
But that never stopped me believing that the potential is there, and since the first volume of IDW's Ghostbusters ongoing was on sale at Comixology this week (and I'd had great luck with IDW's TMNT book that I picked up on a similar whim), four bucks was exactly the right price for me to give it a shot. I'm glad I did -- it might not be as perfect as the movie, but it nails the voices of the characters and throws them headfirst into an adventure that's every bit as fun as you want it to be.
If you asked me to pick my favorite comics of the year, there's not even a question about it: Transformers vs. G.I. Joe would be at the top of the list. Even aside from my well-known love of America's daring, highly-trained special missions force, writer/artist Tom Scioli and co-writer John Barber have been doing something amazing with this book, creating an ongoing series combining two toy franchises that has the kind of raw, unstoppable energy that you almost never see from corporate comics.
Now, with the first volume of the series hitting shelves this week, I spoke to Scioli and Barber about how they created one of the most transgressive comics of the year, why they think of the Jose as "nasty, destructive creatures," and just how much more they want to push the book until it's as strange as they want it to be.
Of all the comics that I've always wanted to learn more about but never had the chance to actually read, Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese is at the top of the list. The long-running Italian adventure hero has been a massive influence on some of my favorite creators, but it's never been fully printed in English -- an oversight that will be corrected next week when IDW publishes Corto Maltese: Under The Sign of Capricorn in paperback.
I think we can all agree that the announcement of a new Jem and the Holograms series by Kelly Thompson and Ross Campbell is the single most important comic book news of 2014/ever, but until now, we've only really had half of the equation. Sure, the book and the creative team were announced, but we only got to see the new designs for Jerrica Benton and her sisters. The Misfits, the rival group that bears no relation to the real-life Glenn Danzig/Jerry Only band of the same name, had yet to take the spotlight.
Now, though, Roxy, Pizzazz, Stormer and Jetta have been revealed in all their punk rock glory, ready to both make better songs and also commit seriously egregious felonies in the name of rock supremacy.
Listen, I don't know if you've seen the two My Little Pony: Equestria Girls movies, but I have, and I can tell you that they raise a whole lot of questions that they never get around to answering. Not only is it an alternate universe where the world's friendliest horses are (relatively) human students at a high school, but they also occasionally magically transform into winged half-horses in order to fight actual Satans. And now, it seems they also have the Holidays.
This is the revelation at the core of next week's Equestria Girls Holiday Special by Ted Anderson and Tony Fleecs and Heather Breckel, in which Sunset Shimmer -- she's the one who turned into Satan -- is spending her first Christmas with her new friends, and folks, if you were hoping this would answer some of the questions you had from the movies, I get the feeling you're out of luck. On the other hand, it's a story of Holiday Friendship, and there's a good chance that someone will turn into a demon.
If you're a fan of Don Rosa's work on Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge, now is a great -- and somewhat expensive -- time to be alive. Not only is Fantagraphics putting out hardcover collections of Rosa's work on Disney's most adventurous waterfowl, but IDW Publishing announced today that Rosa's masterpiece, The Life And Times of Scrooge McDuck, was getting the prestigious Artist's Edition treatment.
At this point, I honestly hope you're all reading Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, because if you're not, you're missing out on one of the most beautifully drawn, cleverly constructed comics on the stands right now. No to be confused with Locas Moon Press' Little Nemo: Dream A Little Dream anthology, the next issue of Eric Shanower, Gabriel Rodriguez and Nelson Daniel's IDW book asks one of the most soul-sizzling questions in comic book history: What happens when Slumberland sleeps?!
Okay, so maybe it's not quite "Who Watches The Watchmen," but when Nemo starts exploring Slumberland while the rest of the residents are snoozing, he comes across the Tessellated Tower, and with it, one of the most beautiful pages of the year.
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