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Forums downtime - 8/01/2004
Due to a technical difficulties with our web host, the Graphic Action Forums are currently offline. We expect to have the forums operating again by the start of next week.

Update: We've recovered from the server crash and the Graphic Action Forums are back online. Head over there to have your say!

Street Angel Comes Up from the Underground to SLG! - 4/01/2004
Street Angel, the urban drama/teen comedy/tragedy/action-adventure/sci-fi/political satire/slice-of-life comic with its tongue firmly planted in its cheek, is bursting forth from its underground roots into the realm of "legitimate" comics as a full-sized, ongoing quarterly series by Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca from SLG Publishing. Described by its creators as "Bruce Lee meets Dan Clowes crossed with Watchmen, if Tony Hawk and Clint Eastwood had a child, and the Matrix crossed with Punky Brewster," Street Angel is a comic series defies any single genre or high-concept description to pin it down.

Creators Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca, who published the Eugene Day Memorial Prize-nominated mini comic version of Street Angel with Aweful Books under the name "Dick Troutman," created the comic to bring fun back to superhero comics. Among the influences artist and co-writer Rugg names for Street Angel are "imaginary memories of Silver Age comics" and Jack Kirby, a sensibility that SLG Publishing won over SLG Publishing's president Dan Vado.

"The only things that could make this comic better are an alien with a giant brain and a talking gorilla," said Vado. "And who's to say those won't show up?"

"There's definitely a lack of fun in comics these days. In some ways Street Angel is a reaction against what I see in the superhero mainstream today," said Rugg. "I think the book has some unique qualities even as a superhero book. It's extremely flexible and open to incorporating elements from other genres like horror, noir, comedy."

Co-writer/creator Maruca agrees, saying of the conception of Street Angel, "We just wanted to take the superhero, use all of the conventions and try to make it entertaining and easier to relate to." (Read More)

Hawthorne and Oni Press hysterical this February! - 19/12/2003
Mike Hawthorne is on a roll. THREE DAYS IN EUROPE, his romantic comedy with writer Antony Johnston, is due to hit stores in the next few weeks. His work on Beckett Comics’ RUULE: GANGLORDS OF CHINATOWN is currently flying off shelves. And his first issue of Greg Rucka’s QUEEN & COUNTRY has met with rave reviews. Well, Hawthorne isn’t satisfied with stopping there! This February he’s breaking out in his own one man anthology, HYSTERIA, VOLUME 1.

"It’s been such a pleasure to watch Mike over the last couple years," said editor James Lucas Jones. "He’s grown so much both in popularity and in his skills as a storyteller—it’s just been a joy. He’s been working hard for years and it’s extremely gratifying for me to see him attain new levels of success."

Forget New York. Push Rio De Janeiro out of your head. Cross Amsterdam off the map. Port Asteria is officially the craziest place on Earth. Malicious madmen, courageous cops, and charming chupa cabras—they all call this peculiar place home and they all spring from the gregarious grey matter of manic Mike Hawthorne! (Read More)

Spider-Man 2 Teaser online - 17/12/2003
The trailer for Spider-Man 2 is now online at http://advision.webevents.yahoo.com/sony/spiderman2/. The movie is scheduled to be released in Australia on the 1st of July, 2004.

SLG to publish Absent Friends - 17/12/2003
No stranger to comic books whose themes include sex, love and personal trauma, SLG Publishing is proud to reintroduce the world to the long-lost collaborations between Phil Elliott and Paul Grist, Absent Friends. Early in their comic book careers, Elliott (Tupelo, Illegal Alien) and Grist (Kane, Jack Staff) collaborated on a series of comic-book-format short stories about sex, young love and struggling artists.

The stories were published in a variety of magazines and then collected into a mini-comic, which was sold mainly through the Gosh! comic shop in London. The distribution was small, however -- only 200 copies -- and both Elliott and Grist wanted to find a wider audience for Absent Friends, so Elliott approached SLG Publishing, which is currently publishing Tupelo, a mini-series written by Matt DeGennaro and drawn by Elliott, with the project. The 40-page digest-sized comic will be released in February to coincide with the 2004 Alternative Press Expo.

While not strictly autobiographical, the stories in Absent Friends are, according to writer Elliott, inspired by "personal experiences, thoughts and traumas." Elliott, known primarily as a comics artist, intended to draw the stories himself, but he wasn't satisfied with his attempts. Meanwhile, Paul Grist had self-published his comic, Short Stories, and Elliott felt that Grist was a match for his own stories. (Read More)

SLG to Release First Crab Scrambly Solo Storybook in February - 16/12/2003
Zazil is an orphan who is cursed with bad luck and trapped in a monotonous life. He longs to escape from the drudgery of his waking life and the troubled thoughts that haunt him....

Crab Scrambly, the artist known to Slave Labor Graphics readers from his paintings in the storybook Everything Can Be Beaten, written by Chancre Scolex (sometimes known as Jhonen Vasquez), now has penned and illustrated a storybook of his own, The 13th of Never. The 72-page novella features more than 30 full-page black-and-white drawings by Scrambly, and is scheduled to be released in February 2004.

In The 13th of Never, Zazil discovers a good luck charm in a dusty curio shop. It proves to be his ticket away from the mundane, but it brings him everything but good luck. When soul-stealing creatures called Charnocks pursue Zazil through strange lands and ghost trains, he must use his wits and courage to escape them -- and to finally face his past.

"The ideas and images for The 13th of Never have been floating around in my head for the last ten or so years," said Scrambly of the book's conception, "but it all became clearer a few years back when I took a train ride through badlands of eastern Europe, where big, creepy castles and monsters still exist. I knew then that I wanted to create a dark fairy tale influenced by the films of Terry Gilliam, Jim Henson and the Brothers Quay with a dash of Edward Gorey thrown in."

No stranger to creepiness and monsters, Serena Valentino, who is the writer of two series for SLG (GloomCookie and Nightmares & Fairy Tales) praises The 13th of Never as an "engaging story that will capture the imaginations of the children inside of all of us. It's superbly illustrated and the story has an endearing fairytale quality." Valentino, who is collaborating with Scrambly on a project about the infamous Delphine Delaurie called 1140 Royal Street, added, "Crab's illustrations are always a marvel, and this is no exception -- it makes me even more eager to work with him on our project."

The 13th of Never is a 72-page illustrated novella in 5.5 x 7-inch digest format. It will retail for $7.95 US. A preview is available at SLG Publishing's website, www.slavelabor.com.

Negation War! - 15/12/2003
The best-kept secret in comic books is about to explode.

For over two years, the NEGATION creative team has generated passionate critical praise with their fast-paced and unpredictable sci-fi thriller. Now, writer Tony Bedard, penciler Paul Pelletier, inker Dave Meikis, and colorist Laura Martin have the chance to show the entire comic book industry what they’ve been missing in NEGATION WAR. This six-part epic, scheduled to blast-off in March 2004, finally brings together the world-smashing Negation Empire and the super-powered heroes of the CrossGen Universe in all-out combat.

For nearly four years, the building storm has been teased and hinted at in the pages across CrossGen’s entire line. The mad-god Charon, having conquered his chaotic universe, has cast his baleful eye across the gulf between realities and covets the bright and thriving worlds in our cosmos. Backed by endless armies and his twisted Lawbringers, the terrifyingly charming emperor has at last given the order to launch the full invasion. Can anything stop the Negation’s path of destruction? And who is the spandex-clad hero shown on the first issue’s cover? Readers will uncover answers as they join the battle in only three months.

"Charon wants to ‘improve’ the CrossGen Universe, whether we want it or not, because he feels he knows what’s best for everyone…and he’ll kill as many people as it takes to do it," explained Bedard. "The CGU crew is definitely outmatched. But that’s what makes things interesting. You gotta love the underdog. In the pages of NEGATION, ex-soldier Obregon Kaine and his rag-tag band of escapees have beaten immense odds in their fight for freedom. And along the way, there’s been a multitude of ‘Holy $#+%" moments, so expect even more of those jaw-dropping shocks in NEGATION WAR!"

NEGATION WAR Part One, created by the writer Tony Bedard, penciler Paul Pelletier, inker Dave Meikis, and colorist Laura Martin, is scheduled to reach stores in late March. The 32-page, $2.95 US debut issue will be available for order in the January issue of Diamond’s Previews catalog.

Cloak & Dagger meet the Runaways! - 13/12/2003
Marvel's cult-favorite, teenage runaway heroes of the past meet Marvel's cult-favorite, teenage runaway heroes of the present in February's RUNAWAYS #11, the start of the latest new story arc from writer Brian K. (MYSTIQUE, Y: THE LAST MAN) Vaughan's critically acclaimed ongoing series.

In "LOST & FOUND", a new two-issue story arc with art by guest-penciler Takeshi Miyazawa and cover artist Joshua (NYX) Middleton, Vaughan's on-the-run team of teenage heroes meet their predecessors - two streetwise crime fighters who can teach their younger counterparts a thing or two about dark forces, dangerous pyrotechnics and 1980's fashion sense - CLOAK & DAGGER!

The 32-page RUNAWAYS #11 goes on sale early April 2004. Look for more information on that new story arc and the upcoming first RUNAWAYS collection in the coming weeks! Readers can also get acquainted with one of the best new series of the year with a full 22-page reprint of RUNAWAYS #7 in this month's MARVEL PREVIEWS #4, on sale now for just 99-cents US!

Shinkiro of Capcom covers Spider-Man Unlimited #1 - 10/12/2003
Marvel Comics is pleased to announce that acclaimed Capcom artist Shinkiro will be contributing the cover to the January debut issue of their new anthology series SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED! The renowned Japanese designer and illustrator of many of Capcom's hit titles will be bringing his acclaimed skills to yet another digital masterpiece that will grace the premiere issue of Spidey's newest comics series.

"I am honored that an artist as revered and respected as Shinkiro has agreed to illustrate the first cover for Spider-Man Unlimited #1," commented Marvel's talent coordinator C.B. Cebulski. "I owe many thanks to our friends at Capcom Co. Ltd. for making this happen. We could not be more pleased with the beautiful cover that Shinkiro-san has so masterfully rendered.

"However, I would also like to express my sincere apologies to Shinkiro-san and Capcom Co. Ltd. for a slight blunder on Marvel's part," Cebulski continued. "When we solicited the book, we ran a pre-production image of the cover that Shinkiro-san had not yet completed. While it was clearly labeled "NOT FINISHED ART", this message was not imbedded in the image itself. This incomplete image was then mistakenly released to the Internet community, but it was not noted there that this was an unfinished piece. It was only after the piece had gone out that we realized our mistake.

"I feel terrible about this," Cebulski explained. "We've done a great disservice to Shinkiro, his art and his reputation by releasing a piece of his unfinished art. Marvel is going to do everything in its power to correct the mistake and see that the actual finished Spider-Man Unlimited #1 cover is distributed through the proper channels and give it the exposure it so rightfully deserves. Again, Marvel's apologies for this error go out to Capcom Co., Ltd. and Shinkiro. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with them, as well as expanding it to get other Capcom artists working on Marvel comics."

The 32-page SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED #1 - the debut issue of a new, bimonthly ongoing series - goes on sale early January with a cover price of $2.99 US. Ask the friendly staff at Graphic Action Comics to reserve your copy!

Get spooked out this February from Oni Press - 9/12/2003
After Valentine’s Day warms your heart, Oni Press is preparing to send a shiver back down your spine with SPOOKED, a new original graphic novel by Antony Johnston (THE COURTYARD, THREE DAYS IN EUROPE) and Ross Campbell (TOO MUCH HOPELESS SAVAGES). The first of three new projects by Johnston scheduled for early next year, SPOOKED looks at the creepier side of London through the eyes of an extremely unusual fine artist named Emily Spook.

"SPOOKED is one of those books that took some time to come together," said editor James Lucas Jones. "Don’t get me wrong, Antony’s pitch was fully formed and realized, but there were some stumbling blocks along the way. Format changes, artist changes, title changes—but it’s true what they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and the challenges that arose in getting Emily’s story from concept to completion only helped to shape into one of my favorite projects."

Emily Spook’s reputation in the indy art scene is growing. Her paintings have a devoted following and the ranks of that group continue to swell more every day. Emily should be thrilled but instead she’s terrified. You see, ever since she was a young girl, Emily has been somewhat of a hostel for ghosts. Visitors from the ether would drop in for a few days or a month or even years and from those specters Emily would draw inspiration. But lately the ghosts have disappeared, leaving Emily alone and unable to touch a canvas. When Simon’s consciousness first shows up inside Emily’s skull she’s relieved, but before long she fallen into the same web of mystics and murder that ended Simon’s life. Can the unlikely pair discover the truth about Simon’s gruesome death or will Emily join the spirits she’s played host to all these years? (Read More)

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