Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ninja Turtles, Basketball, and Frogs With Spears...

A few months ago I was hired to write a comic book with probably the strangest premise of any I've worked on so far. It was a team-up special starring professional basketball player Carmelo Anthony and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It's an admittedly absurd concept, and so I responded in kind with one of the oddest pitches I've ever worked up. Happily, Nickelodeon, IDW, and Carmelo's people were right on the same page, and let me run with the idea. The result is a way-too-much-fun 30-page one-shot, brought to life in style by artist Chad Thomas and colorist Heather Breckel. The issue debuts this week at comic shops.

But wait, there's more!

This Wednesday also signals the release of the second part of my current two-part tale in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Amazing Adventures featuring the Punk Frogs. It's also rendered by the ever-busy Thomas and Breckel, and features a back-up tale by writer Caleb Goellner and artist Ben Harvey.

For a free preview of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Amazing Adventures: Carmelo Anthony Special click here.

For a free preview of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Amazing Adventures # 10, click here.

And don't forget the variants!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Free Comic Book Day 2016...

May 7th is Free Comic Book Day, the one day a year that the majority of comic book stores offer up a great free selection of brand new issues for anyone who pops into their shops. Much like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or other addictive street drugs, the first taste of comics is absolutely free for everyone (in many cases, shops allow shoppers to pick five free titles from their Free Comic Book Day selection). Store owners are hoping you enjoy the quality comics on the stands and keep coming back every Wednesday for another fix, so they're quite happy to start your reading addiction.

This year, a variety of great titles are being offered, from a Marvel tie-in to their new Civil War II event, to an issue of DC Comics' new kids' property DC Super Hero Girls, to independent titles like Love and Rockets. My daughters are pretty excited about nabbing Strawberry Shortcake and SpongeBob issues.

I'll be celebrating the day here in Asheville, North Carolina at Comic Envy (144 Tunnel Rd.), with table set up and a wide variety of my past books and issues for sale. The store is also hosting a raffle and a costume contest, so if you're in the area, be sure to drop by. Free Comic Book Day will be running from 11:00 am until 7 pm., and I'll be sticking around as long as my Batman-like endurance can maintain.

Hope to see you Saturday!

To find your nearest participating comic book store and for a full list of the new batch of free comics to be handed out this years, visit freecomicbookday.com.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

TMNT - Amazing Adventures # 9...

Cover by Jon Sommariva.
In December of 1987 I was a fourth grader living on a farm way outside a tiny town called Tipp City, Ohio. We had all of five TV channels at that time (including PBS), so whatever Fox would opt to show in the afternoons was what I watched. (This is why I've committed the Mr. Belvedere song to memory. Thanks, Fox. Thanks so much.) I had a weird little brain into things like The Far Side, Calvin and Hobbes, karate, drawing, and superheroes, so when the first episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles premiered during a trial airing of sorts, fourth grade me flipped the hell out.

I bought the toys, the cereal, and regaled my parents with the latest adventures of the TMNT whenever we took a long car ride. Again, we lived in the middle of nowhere. Every outing included a long car ride. My mom said she didn't mind, however. Since the Turtles were named after renaissance artists, I think she was just happy I was learning something.

Then came my favorite Turtle villains, the Punk Frogs. Mutant Turtles fighting Mutant Frogs, each Frog named after a famous despot?!?! This is what a fourth grader views as sheer genius. This was everything to me for a good few months.

The original Punk Frogs.
Their very wardrobe strikes fear into the hearts of heroes everywhere.
In stores this week is part one of my newest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Amazing Adventures two-part tale, "The Frogs of War." This issue features my first attempt at writing the Frogs, and at appeasing the still very vocal voice of Fourth Grade Matt. I'm happy to report the Turtles cartoon has matured over the years, evolving from something of a 22-minute toy commercial to true all-ages entertainment. The Frogs have matured as well, now serving as parodies of famous characters ranging from Marlon Brando to Napoleon Dynamite. They were a blast to write, and artist Chad Thomas did a great job of bringing life to the many, many Frogs I requested he draw.

Today's Frogs. The years have been kind.
To see more of this issue, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Amazing Adventures # 9, please click here for a free preview. To, like me, get the Mr. Belvedere song stuck in your head, please click here. You're welcome, and also, I'm sorry.

Variant cover by Ben Harvey.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Batman Character Encyclopedia and Signing...

On Saturday, March 19, starting a 4pm, I'll be signing copies of my newest book for DK Publishing, Batman Character Encyclopedia at the Barnes and Noble in the Asheville Mall in North Carolina as part of the Batman v. Superman Day promotion.

New on book shelves last month, the Batman Character Encyclopedia is a 208-page guide for the current continuity of the DC Comics Universe, a great primer to Gotham City for fans young and old alike.

Check out the sample pages below, and if you're an Asheville Bat-fan, I hope to see you on Saturday!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Gotham City's Guardian...

I'm happy to announce that my book for Scholastic, Batman: Gotham City's Guardian was released a few weeks ago to bookstores nationwide. It's my first book for this particular publisher, and it was a fun little project that gave me yet another excuse to dive into my Batman comic book collection.

Set entirely in the current DC continuity established in the New 52, this book is the perfect entry point for readers new to Gotham City, featuring Batman's origin, a glimpse at his many gadgets and vehicles, and the stories behind some of the most notorious faces in his rogues gallery.

Check out a few sample pages below, and be sure to stop by next week when I talk about yet another new Batman book to hit the shelves, my Batman Character Encyclopedia from DK Publishing.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Batman and Scooby-Doo...

Two of my newest projects are hitting stores this coming week. First up is the Batman: Talking Bust and Illustrated Book set. This is a fun little history of Batman I wrote that comes complete with a mini talking bust of Batman guaranteed to scare evil-doers away from even the fanciest book shelf. It hits book stores on the February 9th and comic shops on the 10th.

Next up is my first You Choose book, Scooby-Doo! The Mystery of the Mayhem Mansion. Originally scheduled for the 1st of March, this book seems to be hitting stores and Amazon already. It features a Mystery, Inc. story told in the famous "Choose Your Own Adventure" style with 12 possible endings (some of them even pleasant).

For everyone's safety, don't follow the mystery waiter. Just listen to me this one time.

I'll be back with a new post soon, including some info on my first book for Scholastic, Batman: Gotham City's Guardian...

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Experience the Wonder...

I've been a little bogged down with a few new projects (like the upcoming Batman Character Encyclopedia for DK Publishing), so I've neglected to mention my newest book on the shelves, The World According to Wonder Woman.

Illustrated by Paul Bulman, this book follows the same format as my previous books for Insight Editions, The World According to Wolverine and The World According to the Joker, but at a slightly larger size. It's written from the perspective of Diana herself, detailing her entire New 52 history, offering Wonder Woman's advice on everything from fighting styles to being a role model for an entire generation.

You can pick up the book at your local bookshop, or by clicking here.

Another Wonder Woman book to keep an eye out for hit stores this past December in the form of Wonder Woman Tiara Bracelet and Illustrated Book, a small little gift box that contains not only a miniature replica of Wonder Woman's iconic tiara, but also a little book I wrote called the The Amazing Amazon, which details Wonder Woman's history in a handy pocket size.

And as long as we're talking everyone's favorite Amazon, be sure to order a copy of Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman Vol. 3, a trade paperback collection of the recent Sensation Comics series. This particular volume features a short comic story I wrote that was illustrated by the great team of penciler Georges Jeanty, inkers Karl Story and Dexter Vines, and colorist Wendy Broome. Find it in book and comic shops this May.