On Playfeed: 5 big game releases to get you through the coming summer drought

Dark Horse Presents #1You can’t beat the power of the hammer. There’s a new Thor trailer floating around that feels much more impressive than the earlier Fortress of Solitude one. I’m liking it more and more, even if the big battle in the desert town looks very movie set-ish.

Now let's read some stuff...

Chaykin: Here’s an interview with one of my favorite creators, Howard Chaykin, talking about his upcoming work at Dark Horse.

Chew: Marc-Oliver Frisch at Comics Beat tackles John Layman to the ground and asks him lots of questions about food, comics and work-for-hire.

Smart: I wanted to conduct an interview with Darryl Cunningham, but he’s so smart that it would only serve to point out how not-smart I am. Fortunately, Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter is a smarty and he landed an excellent interview with the creator of Psychiatric Tales.

Batman: The Pullbox talks to my old friend, the comics historian Peter Sanderson. Subject: The Batman TV series from 1966.


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Here's a comic that might be flying under your personal radar that I think merits a look. Mighty Samson is part of Jim Shooter's Gold Key revival at Dark Horse (which also includes Magnus, Turok and Dr. Solar) but it's the only one of the bunch that was never part of Valiant.

This relaunch of the classic character is spearheaded by Shooter and his co-writer J.C. Vaughn, and illustrated by Patrick Olliffe (who does pencils and inks).

Set 500 hundred years after the end of the world in a now-primitive city known as N'Yark, Mighty Samson is filled with "mutated monsters, marauders, and savage subhuman predators." From the ashes of those ruins rises a super-strong champion, Samson, who will defend and protect his piece of the apocalypse from all comers, including the barbarian hordes from across the bridge in Jerz.

It's N'Yark vs. Jerz – a battle as old as time itself! I'm biased because I've met Shooter a couple of times, I'm friends with J.C. Vaughn and I used to work on projects with Patrick Olliffe. That's one heckuva bias, but I also know they can bring the goods, so I'm in.

Here's an interview with Dark Horse editor Chris Warner  talking about the series.

And here's a preview of the interiors of the first issue that's on sale now.

Now go and get yours and let me know what you think.

[Artwork: Patrick Olliffe's cover Mighty Samson #1]


Kavalier & KlayMichael Chabon, who will always be a nerd favorite for his book The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier & Clay (and its spinoff Dark Horse comic book The Escapist), has gotten himself a new gig.

The Pulitzer Prize-winner will take over as the chairman of The MacDowell Colony's board of directors.

He replaces the outgoing chairman, Robert MacNeil, who’s been there since 1993. If that sounds surprising, it shouldn’t. Chabon is a nine-time MacDowell Colony Fellow.

But what is The MacDowell Colony, and doesn’t it sound like an M. Night Shyamalan movie? It’s an artist residency program that’s been going since 1907, headquartered on a “450-acre woodsy estate in Peterborough, N.H.”

Creative types can apply to go up there for a month at a time, give or take, and just devote themselves to their own creativity and see what pops out.

Lunch is delivered to your door, and you don’t have to interact with anyone until dinner. And the program is free if your application is accepted.


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Brad MeltzerRemember when The History Channel was just D-Day Invasions, tank battles and old guys talking about shooting Nazis?

That changed with shows like American Pickers and Pawn Stars.

And it’s going to be a little different tonight (December 2; check local listings). Author and comic book writer Brad Meltzer (DC Comics’ Identity Crisis & Dark Horse’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer) is the host of a new reality TV series called Decoded, about solving some of history's mysteries.

Of course, this is the modern era so it won’t be a bunch of gray-haired white people sitting in leather-bound conservatories holding court and being intercut with archival footage of beachheads and bombing runs.

Nope. Meltzer and his gang of historians have made it a race.


Star Wars Knight Errant 2Do you want to work where it rains a lot? That would be Milwaukie, Oregon in the Pacific Northwest, home to Dark Horse Comics, publishers of various Star Wars and Hellboy titles, and hundreds of others. (I recommend John Jackson Miller’s Star Wars: Knight Errant, issue #2 is on sale now.)

They’re looking for a couple of people, and one or both of them could be you.

First up is a Marketing Coordinator for their Digital Store. You’ll be managing their promo work for their digital comics, y’know, the future, and working closely with Marketing and Sales to make it all happen.

This includes writing copy, managing promotions and discounts, and developing the all-important blogging and social networking posts that make everyone seem like one big happy family. (Hint: Look at how Chris Ryall at IDW does it.)

You gotta be familiar will all the usual buzzwords like Google Analytics, SEO, A/B Testing, and so on. But it’s a job with a future.


Camelot 3000Prince William has finally picked a bride, Kate Middleton, the only girl in London without a tattoo of an old boyfriend’s name or an upskirt photo on the internet. It’s a terrific moment for the Royal Family and for journalists who can postpone writing about the economy for a few more months.

But now you have some hard choices to make. You’re a comic book fan and a fan of the Royals. So what can you give them as the perfect wedding gift? Yes, you could get them something spectacular from Harrods, but won’t the rest of England be doing that? And do they really need a new toaster or some monogrammed tea cozies?

You can’t go wrong with comics. It’s the universal language, especially if your universe’s language is in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. So don’t panic. Here are some friendly comic book choices. Pick the right gift and you might even get a knighthood. Apparently they give them out like tiny Cadburys at Halloween.

King Aroo (Library of American Comics/IDW): The comical and fantastical adventures of a different kind of king, by the acclaimed cartoonist Jack Kent. Dean Mullaney and his crew have put together an awesome book that both Royals can enjoy while their bodyguard reads it to them.


Mighty SamsonThank you internets, you’ve been great this week. So let’s share that bounty with others:

Mighty Samson: Writer J.C. Vaughn has a preview of Mighty Samson #1 at his blog. Shooter’s involved, Patrick Olliffe is the artist. Dark Horse is the publisher. I’m in!

Here’s a little more about the series at Comic Attack.

Shadow: Novelist James Reasoner has a Forgotten Book that’s a must have for fans of Maxwell Grant’s The Shadow: Gangland's Doom: The Shadow of the Pulps, by Frank Eisgruber Jr.

British Comics: Matthew Murray at Comics Beat goes all out for the new Dandy and breaks down its contents.

Peanuts: Zach Weiner finally lets Charlie Brown kick that football.

Peppers: Mark Evanier lives the sitcom life.

3-D: Ricky Sprague at Project Child Murdering Robot tells how Marvel Comics (in 3-D!) turned him into an atheist. Bonus: 3-D artwork on the internets!


Remember that whole digital thing that’s supposed to knock off the printed comic book? Oh wait, that’s still happening!

If you want to be part of the industry now that we’ve passed “peak comic book,” ComiXology the “digital comics leader” is looking for a couple of new people.

First up is a LAMP Developer, someone with “2+ years of experience with Linux, Apache, mySQL and PHP. Additional experience with AJAX/JavasScript/HTML5 (jQuery), XML, HMTL, XMLRPC, SOAP and other development environments is preferred.”


Star Wars: Knight Errant #1 CoverJohn Jackson Miller is a friend of the blog. I've known him since he used to work for Krause Publications and edited Comics Retailer magazine for them. He knows more about comic book circulation figures than any person alive, and can tell you how many copies Jughead sold relative to Batman in any month back in 1965.

He's also a Star Wars junkie, and he's written a lot of licensed comic books and novels that prove that. Now he's got a new comic book series, Star Wars: Knight Errant, and the first issue is out from Dark Horse right now. At his Star Wars blog, JJM describes the series as "breaking new ground…with stories set a generation before the Darth Bane novels -- a time when Jedi are few and Sith Lords are many." The series will also introduce a new female Jedi, 18-year-old Kerra Holt.

Miller, who also wrote the Knights of the Old Republic series, said at the Star Wars official website, "Knight Errant asks what it means to be a Jedi outside the Republic, in a time and place where no other hope exists."

Artwork for the new series is by Federico Dallocchio.

Read More | John Jackson Miller

Let Me In posterComic book publishing house is teaming up with Hammer Films to print a series of comic books and graphic novels in the horror genre (fitting, right?).

First up on their list is a storyline based on Hammer’s upcoming remake of last year’s Swedish film, Let the Right One In (which you must add it to your Netflix queue right now if you haven’t yet). Despite the fact that it has been released in the midst of the current teenage-vampire-lust trend, this tale of a 12 year-old boy and his friendship with a girl who only comes out to play at night is far removed from your typical fare—trust me!

No word yet as to the novels’ storyline, but the companies claim that it “will incorporate some of the film’s characters and mythology with some fresh themes.”

The American remake, starring of current Hit Girl fame and Richard Jenkins, is set to hit theaters on October 1st. Knowing those smart marketers, I’m sure we can expect some of the said comics to be sold in conjunction with the film’s release.

Read More | Reuters

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