With almost 300 issues in the core series, Archie's Sonic The Hedgehog stands as the longest-running uninterrupted American monthly comic book that's currently being published. In Hedging Your Bets, I attempt to get up to speed on Sonic the Hedgehog, challenging the odds to hopefully make it all the way to the finish line.
This week, we launch into the second world-shattering crossover between Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man, featuring a completely different Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man.
So let's talk for a second about Annuals. The entire point of those things is to give readers more comics, which is something that I think we as comics writers can all get behind as a pretty good idea. The thing is, they've occasionally gotten a bad reputation because "more" doesn't always translate to "good." I've written about it before, about that tricky tightrope that they need to walk just by virtue of being bigger and more expensive comics that exist just slightly outside the main publishing schedule, leading to a tendency to work as weird offshoots rather than as stories that support the ongoing narrative.
But the Annuals that IDW released this week sidestepped that problem neatly. With Jem, it was a matter of embracing that weirdness with a sci-fi take on the Holograms that exists as an in-universe fan-comic. With Ghostbusters Annual 2017, though, they've done it by embracing the concept of More.
Four of 2016's biggest movie heroes are finally making their way to comics in 2017. I'm speaking, of course, about the Ghostbusters Abby Yates, Erin Gilbert, Jillian Holtzmann, and Patty Tolan. IDW's new series Ghostbusters 101 will feature that quartet teaming up with the original team of Peter, Ray, Egon, and Winston for the first time. The creative team is Erik Burnham, Dan Schoening, and Luis Antonio Delgado, who've already helmed a great many IDW comics about the original Ghostbusters.
On paper, it seems like there are a lot of reasons to be suspicious of IDW's Ghostbusters comics. As much as that company's done really well by its licensed properties, there's so much of Ghostbusters that doesn't feel like it would translate well to comics, that's all tied up in being a movie and carried by the charisma and delivery of the actors. In practice, though, Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening have somehow managed to take everything that is Ghostbusters, from the movies to the video game, and make an expanded universe that works beautifully.
But if you want to see how well it works for yourself, now is your chance: This week's Humble Bundle has a whole bunch of Ghostbusters stuff, and you can pick up everything they've got on offer for fifteen bucks.
Last year's Kickstarter campaign to fund Cryptozoic's Ghostbusters board game was one of the biggest crowdfunding successes in recent memory, racking up over 1.5 million dollars from backers hungry for tabletop Ghostbusting action. With numbers like that, it's no surprise that they'd want to follow it up, and today, Cryptozoic announced plans to do just that with Ghostbusters II, a sequel to the first game that's set to launch its own campaign in April.
I'm not sure that anyone has ever looked at Ghostbusters and thought, "hey, you know what would make this better? Horrifying eye trauma!", but this being the Internet, I'm sure there's at least a few of you out there. If so, good news! It seems that Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening agree with you!
That, at least, is the impression that I'm getting from the handful of preview pages that we have for this week's Ghostbusters Annual 2015, in which the team's reconstruction of their firehouse headquarters is interrupted by the reappearance of the Sandman and... well, let's just say that if you have an "Eye Thing" like I do, you may want to skip page 2. Otherwise, check out a preview below!
When IDW's Ghostbusters ongoing series ended, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before the series picked back up in some form, and when Ghostbusters: Get Real launched a few months back as a crossover between the IDW continuity and the Real Ghostbusters animated series, there were a whole lot of hints that it wouldn't be the final act. Today at New York Comic Con, IDW has announced the next form the series will take, and it looks like the Ghostbusters are going worldwide.
When Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening return to the series in 2016, it'll be for Ghostbusters International, a new adventure that finds the team traveling to battle ghosts in other countries under a contract with the UN.
In a press release that is apparently from the future, the publisher announced Wednesday it'll be publishing a new Back to the Future anthology comic starting in October. Subtitled Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines, the series will follow alternate versions of events from the movies, fill in the gaps between them, and offer up prequel stories. (Maybe we'll see Doc Brown's college years!)
A few months ago, I picked up the first volume of IDW's Ghostbusters ongoing, and pretty quickly realized that it was going to be one of those comics that I had to stop myself from just buying all at once, because otherwise I was going to blow through it all at and then be sad that there wasn't any more to read. That's how it became one of the comics that I get myself as a reward, a little treat to get me through the day. I hit my deadlines, and I get to buy some Ghostbusters comics.
You, on the other hand, should just go ahead and buy them all at once, because there's never been a better time to jump in. Almost every part of Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening's run is on sale at Comixology with the collections at 50% off, and if you love Ghostbusters as a movie, I can pretty much guarantee that you're going to love it as a comic, too.
The impending relaunch of Archie is almost upon us, and that can mean only one thing: variant covers, including retailer exclusives from some of the country's most prominent comic shops. Yes, when Mark Waid and Fiona Staples kick off their new take on Riverdale's favorite son next month, their story will be wrapped up in not one, not two, but seventeen different covers, each one made for a specific store.
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