Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Holidays...

Still have a pesky comic fan on your shopping list? Well check out Real Simple Magazine's article on the 50 best gifts for Christmas. This year Marvel Chronicle made their list, so brave the snow and slush and head out to your local comic store and pick one up. And if you can't find it there, Barnes and Noble has a nice free-standing display with plenty of volumes just waiting to be ransacked by you.

Here's what some critics are saying about the book:

Comics Worth Reading
Comic Mix's Bob Greenberger

Hope you all have a good holiday season. Check back soon for a couple of announcements of my new projects for 2009. Two involve a certain Gotham resident, while the other deals with a famous flying denizen of a brighter Metropolis...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Chronicling the Chronicle...


If you've been wondering what I've been doing with my time these last few months, look no further than your local book or comic store for the recently released Marvel Chronicle hardcover from DK Publishing. In this 352 page monster, you'll find a year by year, month by month history of the Marvel Comics and its characters. I was given the opportunity to write the 90s and 2000s sections, alongside co-authors Tom Brevoort, Tom DeFalco and Peter Sanderson who reported on the other decades of Marvel's long history. The book also features an introduction from Stan Lee, an afterword by Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, and an impressive slipcase cover to complete the package.

For more info, check out DK's website here.

But I finished that book months ago. So what have I been working on lately? I'm glad you asked, self. As of this week, I finished the text for my next massive project, Wolverine: The Ultimate Guide. Although it won't be released until around the same time as Wolverine's first solo film this spring, I think all you casual and diehard Logan lovers out there will be truly excited about this book. It breaks away from the traditional style of the DK Ulitmate Guides and tries a new and more visually dynamic format, but without losing any of the valuable info. I actually think this might be one of DK's most comprehensive guides to date, so be sure to check it out when it's released this spring.

For a sneak peak at its cover and some preliminary info, click here.

And hey, DC fans, rest assured I've also got something in store for you in the coming months. Keep checking back here for more updates, as I'll be posting about it soon.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Wedding Comic...

After finally catching up on work since my return from Hawaii with the newly crowed Mrs. Manning, it's time to finally fulfill that promise of free comics. So without further ado here's...

For our wedding favor, Dorothy and I decided to create a comic book that would tell the story of our relationship. I wrote the script and drew thumbnails for the artists to follow for the sake of continuity, and then Dorothy and I each drew our own introductory pages. I then asked nine of my talented and generous friends if they would pitch in and draw a page for us. I asked my old friend (and former roommate) Cory Petit to letter the book, and my older friend (and never roommate) Rob Donnelly to color the comic, and both did a bang up job, their work helping to blend the comic's various art styles together. Faithful DC employee and groomsman Mike Zagari then chipped in further to help me lay out the book for the publisher (and again to convert these files to jpegs for publishing here on the web). The whole thing was topped off by a painted cover by my now wife, which we had also used for our wedding invitation.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy our story or, as the kids call it...












The Creators:

Cover Painting and Art for Page 2: Dorothy Manning
Art for Page 1: Matt Loux
Art for Page 3: Yours Truly
Art for Page 4 and the Title Page: Chad Coleman
Art for Page 5: Erin Gallagher
Art for Page 6 (and layout assist): Mike Zagari
Art for Page 7: Tom Valente
Art for Page 8: Jon Roscetti
Art for Page 9 and Coloring: Rob Donnelly
Art for Page 10: Matt Roscetti
Art for Page 11: Farel Dalrymple
Letterer (and painter in his own right): Cory Petit

Thanks again to everyone involved in the making of the comic, and for those of you who made the long trip out to Michigan for the wedding.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I'll be reading mine in Hawaii...


On the week of September 3rd, be sure to stop by your local comic store and take a gander at The Batman Strikes # 49, my final issue for the series. Ending at issue # 50 due to Kids WB canceling its tie-in show, this issue should nonetheless be a really fun read, and I'm very happy that we managed to slot it in before the bell. With great art from series regulars Christopher Jones and Terry Beatty, the issue features Robin in a solo adventure. Click here for more info from DC.

Oh, and after you've bought the comic, call my brother. It's his birthday, and he'll be lonely.

For those still on the proverbial purchasing fence, here are a couple of people who liked my last comic:

Legion Abstract

Comixtreme Forum

Legion World Forum

In other news, I'm off to Michigan to marry my longtime girlfriend Dorothy DiComo. The wedding is to take place at my parents' lakeside home, and from there, we're off to Hawaii for a honeymoon complete with research reading for two new upcoming book projects that I'll post about soon. If the marriage lasts after a honeymoon that chock full of comic books, look forward to an interesting post in the coming weeks with the one thing everyone loves even more than weddings: free comics.

Unless Dorothy takes half of my things by then.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hold on to your hat, and your limbs...

Be sure to head to your local comic shop this week to pick up issue # 16 of The Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century. The issue features the untold origin of your new favorite character Arm-Fall-Off-Boy. Yes, his only super power is that his arm falls off. Find out what happens when he tries to apply for a position in the Legion.

Here's a hint. It doesn't go well.

Click here to check out the official solicit on DC's site.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Robin Strikes…

Here’s Andie Tong’s cover to my final issue of The Batman Strikes! for DC’s Johnny DC line. The series is set to come to a close with issue # 50, but we managed to sneak this little Robin solo tale in before the buzzer at # 49. The issue is slated for a September release and features art by series regulars Christopher Jones and Terry Beatty.

Get more information here from DC’s website.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hulk out...


This week, be sure to check out the new updated edition of DK Publishing’s Hulk: The Incredible Guide. It features an updated version of Tom DeFalco’s text from the book’s original publication, along with sixteen new pages by me that will fill you in on the latest happenings in the life of Dr. Banner and co. Find out everything you ever wanted to know about Planet Hulk, World War Hulk, and even the mysterious new Red Hulk, in this $24.99 oversized hardcover, now available in comic and book stores nationwide.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Get your nerd on…

For those of you in the New York City area, stop by the Theater under St. Mark’s (94 St. Mark’s Place, between 1st Avenue and Avenue A) for the AMC Batman night, at the Sci Fi Screening Room. The show is this Wednesday, June 4th and starts at 7 pm. It’s seven bucks a person, but well worth it for a chance to chat comics with me, not to mention a chance to see Batman as a Hobbit…

Here’s a bit more info from the source:

BATMAN NIGHT!
at the Theater Under St. Mark's
94 St. Mark's Place, btw 1st Ave and Avenue A
Wednesday, June 4 @ 7:00 PM $7

The Sci Fi Screening Room presents an evening of rare Batman videos, from the 1943 serial to a Tolkien-esque episode of Challenge of the Superfriends. Plus fan films, screen tests, trivia, prizes, Batman haikus, and a visit from Batman Strikes writer Matthew K. Manning.

Hosted by Kevin Maher (AMC's Sci-Fi Department)
And Nick Nadel (Huffington Post, AMCTV.com columnist)

The Sci Fi Screening Room has been a Voice Choice, Time Out NY Best Bet, and featured in the New York Times.

After-party at the Hanger Bar (217 E. Third Street)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Putting Arm-Fall-Off-Boy together...

As promised, here’s a brief look inside the process of Alex Serra, the artist behind the cover for my upcoming issue of Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century.

Here are his original ideas, including an homage cover to Adventure 247 that he was kind enough to draw up from my suggestion (choice B):






After the powers that be approved the homage cover, Alex then took a different shot at the composition, making it a bit more visually exciting.


But decided on his original sketch, which he then worked out into the pencil stage.


And then into the final inked version.


Be sure to check out Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century # 16 this July to see what lurks beneath the cover. I’ve seen some of Shawn McManus’s interior pencils, and I promise they won’t disappoint.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Check your appendages at the door...


No, the solicit isn’t wrong this time. DC is really letting me dedicate an entire issue of The Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century solely to the origin of Arm-Fall-Off-Boy, a character famous (but not really) for his embarrassingly pathetic super power. And to top it off, Shawn McManus (Sandman: A Game of You, Aquaman) will be providing the artwork, topped with a great homage cover by series regular Alex Serra. The issue is # 16, and will be released nationwide this coming July.

Stay tuned for some behind the scenes images from the comic, and in the meantime, click here to see more info about the issue on DC’s website.

And for those of you attending the New York Comic Con this weekend, be sure to stop by my table in artists' alley. It’s booth # J 29-30, listed under my tablemate’s name, Wes Craig. Swing by, say hello, get stuff signed, or just laugh at me and point. It’s your call.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Signings and such...

This Saturday I’ll be in midtown Manhattan, participating in Kid’s Day at Jim Hanley’s Universe, one of New York’s finest comic stores. I’ll be signing from four to six in the afternoon, along with George O’Connor and Nick Bertozzi. There’ll be plenty of other comic book creators also on hand as early as ten in the morning, along with live readings, drawings and even a free cookie or two.

Check out Hanley’s site to see who else will be there.

Also, for those of you attending the New York Comic Convention on April 18-21st at the Jacob Javits Center, make sure you stop by my table and say hello. I’ll be sharing space with Wildstorm artist Wes Craig in artist’s alley at booth # J29-30. Hope to see you all there.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Now that's service for you...


The good men and women at DC Comics have heard your frantic pleas and have answered your desperate calls. Looney Tunes # 161 is being released earlier than expected and will be gracing a comic store near you this week. I know, I know. It all seems too good to be true. You thought you'd have to wait all the way until the end of the month to read about Bugs' dubious foray into the world of real estate. Well, the future is here. Or here, rather.

And don't say I never did anything for you.

In other news, here are a few quick reviews about my newest Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century issue, in case you're one of those word of mouth types:

Comics Bulletin

Superman Homepage

Legion Abstract

Comics in the Classroom

And finally, for you New Yorkers, I'll be doing a few signings as we approach the New York Comic Con. Keep checking back here for the details and such. Thanks, guys.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Call of the Wild...



Be sure to drop by your local comic shop this week and pick up The Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century # 12. The issue features my second Legion script, with art by Ethan Beavers, and a solo story focusing on Timber Wolf. And tell your storeowner that Matt sent you. When he asks you to be more specific, refuse any further details, and just give him the old wink and nod routine. When he continues to ask you what you’re talking about, just stand still and smile widely at him until he feels so awkward that he slowly backs away from you and retreats into the backroom.

Repeat as necessary or until someone calls the cops.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Don't believe the hype...


Despite what the solicit on the DC Comics website would have you believe, issue # 12 of Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century is actually my second issue for that title, featuring a story starring Timber Wolf. While the rest of his team is off celebrating National Legion Day, Timber Wolf uncovers an assassination plot that just might be targeting the very heroes the people of New Metropolis have gathered to honor. The issue goes on sale March 12th, and features art by the talented Ethan Beavers.

Many thanks to editor Jeanine Schaefer for supplying the sneak peak at issue twelve's cover.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Real estate brokers and other heartless pirates...


Be sure to reserve your copy of Looney Tunes # 161 at your local comic store this week. The issue will be released on April 28th, and features a story I wrote where Elmer Fudd tries his hand at the real estate business, much to the dismay of a certain famous gray hare. It also features work by Sam Agro, Robbie Busch, Walter Carzon, Pablo Zamboni, Ruben Torreiro and Horacio Ottolini, with a cover by Scott Gross.

Click here to see the solicit on the DC website.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Fighting is good for you...


Last Wednesday, comic stores nationwide saw the release of my new book from DK Publishing, Marvel Heroes Greatest Battles. This week, this 48-page book for young readers (available in both hard and soft cover) is now available at books stores all over the country. Now all of you who maintain unhealthy fears of rooms crowded with action figures and back issues can shamelessly walk into your local corporate chain store, and read the book for free while you accidentally spill drops of coffee on it in the cafe. Oh, and be sure to get one of those brownies while you’re there. Those things are awesome.

In other news, here are a couple of nice reviews for my first issue of Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century:

Comics Bulletin
The Legion Abstract blog

Thanks to everyone who took the time out to comment. And while you're wasting time on the internet, why not check out LegionWorld.net? It's a great site for diehard and casual Legion fans alike to share their opinions on the latest comics and Legion-related news. After all, what are the odds that your boss will come to your cubicle today? I say, take the risk.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Corrupting yet another generation...





Thanks to everyone who came out to the Gallery 194 signing in Michigan. We had a great turnout, and it was really refreshing to see so many young faces in the crowd. Hey, maybe this industry won't die before I do.

If you missed the Q and A and the signing, don't worry your pretty little head over it. You can at least check out the comic art hanging on the walls until the exhibit closes on February 8th. And for those of you who did catch the show, tell your friends, and your friends' friends to go take a look for themselves. Hopefully your phone conversations with your friends' friends won't be too awkward. I mean, your friends seem like nice people, so I'm sure their friends aren't too bad. Just put a little effort into it.

Head to www.gallery194.com for more info.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Why I Like Saturn...


Be sure to visit your local comic store this week for my first issue of Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century. Issue # 10 features art by series regular, Alex Serra, and inks by Jeff Albrecht. Read all about the true story of five evil strangers as they are forced to live in a house (with Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad) and have their lives taped (sort of). Find out what happens when they stop being polite, and start getting real.

Or something like that.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Hey Michiganers...


For those of you around the Detroit-ish area, be sure to check out a new exhibit of comic book art at Gallery 194 in my parents' home town of Lapeer. The show will feature art from local cartoonists, as well as from a few of my friends in the comic world. Omega the Unknown's Farel Dalrymple, JSA Classified and Legion of Super-Heroes' Steve Uy, Sidescrollers' Matt Loux, and The Mighty Skullboy Army's Jacob Chabot will all have artwork proudly hung on the gallery's walls. And about halfway through the exhibit (on the 19th), I'll be flying to the show to give a talk about writing comics and to do a signing. There'll be other workshops there and such, so don't miss your chance to help spread a little comic culture to the Midwest.