Saturday, June 3, 2017

Wonder Woman Weekend...

So you just saw the Wonder Woman movie and you're looking to find out more about everyone's favorite Amazing Amazon. Or maybe you want to beef up on Amazonian history before you get to the theater. Or perhaps you've stumbled onto my website because you were looking up the Matthew Manning who is a spiritual healer, and you're really confused about why he's going on and on about Wonder Woman.

No matter which one of the above categories you fall into (and let's be honest, most of you are from the last one), I've got plenty of Wonder Woman books and comics to get you up to date on the legendary Diana of Themyscira.

For those interested in the modern New 52 version of Wonder Woman, be sure to check out The World According to Wonder Woman, my book for Insight Editions. Illustrated by Paul Bulman, the book gives a little insight (pun very much intended) into Wonder Woman's thoughts on everything from working with partners to how to throw a good left hook.

And if it's advice you're after, you might want to read The Wonder Woman Way, a tiny little book I wrote that accompanies a talking bust in this great set. The Wonder Woman figurine says real quotes from the comics, while the book gives you the kind of sage advice that only an Amazon could give (or a 38-year-old man doing his best impression of an Amazon. Same thing.).

Now that you brought up gift book sets (thanks for that, by the way), I also wrote Wonder Woman: The Amazing Amazon, another tiny little book in a boxed set. This one tells a bit of the character's history and an overview of her world, the book packaged with a Wonder Woman Tiara Bracelet.

If it's history you're looking for, I also ghost wrote the first chapter about the life of Wonder Woman's creator, William Moulton Marston in the nice fat coffee table book entitled Wonder Woman: Amazon Hero Icon, otherwise written by fellow comic book historian Robert Greenberger.

If you have young Wonder Woman fans in the house, be sure to snag my chapter book Wonder Woman Wrestles Circe's Sorcery.

Saved for last is my favorite work starring Diana, a comic book collaboration with artist Georges Jeanty from Sensation Comics. In it, Wonder Woman squares off with a monstrous threat thanks to the machinations of her friend and fellow Justice Leaguer, Batman. You can download the digital version of the comic here. It'll only set you back a buck.

Happy reading, and enjoy your Wonder Woman weekend! I can already hear the bracelets clanging from here.

To be continued...

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Wonder Woman Way...

Need a little friendly advice from Wonder Woman? Are you in the market for a talking bust of everyone's favorite Amazing Amazon? Or maybe you just like little toys that make you feel like a giant when you hold them in the palm of your hand. Well I can solve all three of those totally real, not-at-all-made-up problems.

Introducing The Wonder Woman Talking Figure and Illustrated Book set from Running Press. Inside this little box is not just a Wonder Woman half-figure that actually quotes from the comics, but this kit also contains my newest (albeit tiny) book, The Wonder Woman Way. Find out Princess Diana's thoughts on everything from marriage to wearing fierce red boots. It's advice you never knew you needed, available now in bookstores.

To be continued...

Monday, May 8, 2017

Batman/TMNT Adventures # 6...

This week marks the release of the sixth and final issue of Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures. While the main story was resolved last issue, this issue serves as an epilogue special, a self-contained story that sees the Turtles partner with not the original Batman: The Animated Series version of Batman, but the later New Batman Adventures version. In a story set months after the first five issue arc, the TMNT join forces with Batman, a new young Robin (Tim Drake), the grown up original Robin now called Nightwing, and a more seasoned and efficient Batgirl all to fight an alien invasion on a galactic scale. Plus, there's a cameo by nearly every single TMNT character who has appeared on the Nick cartoon.

Artist Jon Sommariva delivers another awesome pencil job this issue, and Sean Parson once again brings it all together with his inks. This issue also features the color art of Matt Herms, whose style is the closest we've gotten to the amazing painted art deco backgrounds of Bruce Timm's Gotham City since that cartoon went off the air. The result is one of the best looking issues to date, and makes me wish I was typing away at a sequel already. (Feel free to bug DC and IDW about that, by the way. We might just be able to make it happen!)

Jon Sommariva's original promotional art was turned into not just the IDW Convention Exclusive edition, but also a black and white retailer summit exclusive variant!

Now that we're all wrapped up, I want to be sure to thank everyone at DC, IDW, and Nickelodeon for giving me the opportunity to pour my toy box on the floor and bang my favorite action figures together. Editor Bobby Curnow at IDW, Joan Hilty at Nickelodeon, and Jim Chadwick at DC were great partners, and I really appreciate the level of encouragement they threw my way while we were working on this book.

Artist extraordinaire Jon Sommariva knocked it out of the park each and every issue, and his dedication to this project matched, if not exceeded, my own. I couldn't have been partnered with a better collaborator, and his ideas were key in making this book stronger with every issue. Likewise, Sean Parsons delivered crisp inks that made Jon's bold art even bolder, while retaining the art's lively qualities. There were several time crunches on this book, and Sean came through with flying colors. And speaking of tremendous colors, a big thanks to the aforementioned Matt Hern, and the colorist for the first five issues, Leonardo Ito. And last but not least, a heartfelt thanks to Shawn Lee, whose lettering was clear and precise, no matter how many changes we tossed his way.

And man, did we have some amazing covers on this book or what? Aside from Jon's great work, we saw the likes of Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird and Steve Lavigne, Jeff Matsuda, Ciro Nieli, Hilary Barta, J. Bone, Dario Brizuela, Derek Fridolfs, Rick Burchett, Billy Martin, Chad Thomas, and dozens more talented artists who helped bring way too much notice to our little all-ages story. It was the work of these guys that helped issue # 1 sell out before it hit stores, and draw enough attention to our series to see us nominated for Comic Book of the Year by the Diamond Gem Awards. For issue # 6 alone, we have variant covers by Sean Galloway, Ty Templeton, Valerio Schiti, and comic book icon Neal Adams. Not too shabby...

Neal Adams and Ty Templeton comic convention exclusives! High School Matt just saw his head explode.

And of  course, a huge thanks to you, the readers. You went from being a bit wary of another Batman/TMNT crossover so soon after the first comic book version, to becoming amazingly supportive of our different direction, tone, and approach to these classic characters. I've done a half dozen signings since issue # 1 was released, and I never get tired of hearing how this comic resonated with both you and your kids.

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles # 6 hits stands Wednesday, May 10th. And look for the trade paperback in July!

To be continued...

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Free Comic Book Day 2017...

Saturday, May 6th, is Free Comic Book Day, a day when comic book shops nationwide offer a selection of brand new free comics for both kids and adults. To celebrate the event, I'll be signing at Comic Envy starting at 11 a.m. Be sure to come in, grab your free issues, and check out my table out front. I'll have all my Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures issues as well as plenty of books for sale. Also at the shop will be Batgirl writer Hope Larson, and several other special guests.

That night, I'll also be appearing at The Magnetic Theatre in Asheville for Jeff Messer's show, Maintaining An Election. I'll be a special guest of the show to celebrate Free Comic Book Day with an interview during the proceedings. Also scheduled to appear is comedian Jason Scholder. The show starts at 10:30 p.m. and costs $8 at the door.

Hope to see you at both!

To be continued...

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Batman/TMNT Adventures # 5...

Main cover by Jon Sommariva.

Out this week is Part 5 of Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures miniseries. This is the big climax to our story now that the Turtles have finally discovered who's the big bad behind the Kraang portals. Can a Michelangelo/Robin team-up save the day? Maybe not, but it'll prove entertaining nonetheless.

Variant cover by Gabriel Rodriguez.

Catch all the action at your local comic shop, or buy it here digitally.

And if you're in the South Carolina area, be sure to stop by my table at this weekend's SC Comicon to let me know what you thought of the issue.

Variant cover by Jeff Matsuda.

To be continued...

Sunday, March 12, 2017

March Conventions...

Comic Con season is in full swing, and I'll be a guest at two shows during the month of March. The first is the Oak City Comic Con in Raleigh, North Carolina on March 18th and 19th. Not only will I have many of my books and comics on hand at my table, I'll also be speaking at a panel with another of the show's guests, my collaborator on Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures, Jon Sommariva. Details of the panel are below, and be sure to visit us at our tables to get your copies signed.

The following weekend (March 25th-26th), I'll be appearing at the SC Comic Con in Greenville, South Carolina. There will be lots of great talent on hand for that show as well, including legendary comic book creators Denny O'Neil, Neal Adams, and Mark Waid. I'll have plenty of Batman/TMNT issues available, as well as several of my new books, including The Batman Files and The Marvel Vault.

Hope to see you at one (or both) of the shows!

To be continued...

Friday, March 3, 2017

So much Scooby...

2016 saw the release of two new Scooby-Doo books that I wrote for Capstone's Stone Arch imprint. Part of Capstone's Comic Chapter Books line, these books feature not just a new prose adventure for the Mystery Incorporated Gang, but also comic book pages sprinkled throughout the story, drawn by Scott Neely. The first is called Mystery of the Mist Monster and is set in a lovely town where I was fortunate enough to live for a few years with my family: Mystic, Connecticut. Scooby and his friends aren't quite as lucky, however, as there they encounter a monster lurking in the famous Mystic fog.

The second book is Secret of the Haunted Cave, showing the Mystery Inc. crew getting into trouble in the Linville Caverns, a cave system not too far from my current home here in Asheville, North Carolina. A cave that seems to be haunted by a variety of Civil War ghosts...

That brings me to my newest bit of Scooby-News, a new You Choose prose book debuting this February. Also illustrated by Scott Neely, The Salem Witch Showdown lets readers "choose their own adventure" as they navigate twelve possible endings, not all of them happy.


To be continued...

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Turtle Trades...

Every four to six issues or so, IDW has been publishing trade paperback collections of our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Amazing Adventures issues. Recently, I received two collections in the mail in great new formats, so I thought I'd share them here.

Cover by the always great Paulina Ganucheau.

The first is Volume 2 of a two-part omnibus collection, reprinting every issue from the previous TMNT TV show tie-in title, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures. This handy little volume features every story I did for that particular series, in one easy-to-read collection. Not only that, it includes stories by a host of other great talent for hours of fun all-ages reading.

Get the "scoop" on my first take on Ice Cream Kitty, see Master Splinter take a Walkabout, and find out what to buy Raphael for "Secret Santa" (in a story accidentally credited to Landry Walker instead of me - but trust me, I wrote it. Donatello will vouch for me!). Plus a story from each Turtle's point of view, a role-playing adventure gone wrong, and a case of a sewer haunting, complete with Mikey-style ghost busting.

Cover by my esteemed partner in crime from the Batman/TMNT Adventures crossover, Jon Sommariva.

The second title that arrived recently on my doorstep is a new hardcover collection of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Amazing Adventures. Entitled The Meeting of the Mutanimals, the collection features my two-part story telling the origin of everyone's second favorite mutant hero team. It also includes plenty of other material, with art by Chad Thomas, James Kochalka, and many more!


To be continued...

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Batman/TMNT Adventures - Director's Cut...

I'm very happy to report that this week marks the release of Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures # 1: Director's Cut. This special one-shot not only contains the sold-out first issue of our miniseries, it also includes every page of Jon Sommariva's fantastic pencils, as well as my entire script for the issue. Also inside is a speak peek at Jon's studio, some great promotional art, and an epic afterword telling the true life story of my first brush with crime in New York City, and how that affected my Turtle fandom for the rest of my life. This is truly heartbreaking stuff here, people. You can't afford to miss it!

To be continued...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Batman/TMNT Adventures # 4...

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures # 4 hits stores this week. Things come to a head between the Joker and Shredder, Raphael and Leonardo get doused in Scarecrow's fear gas, and an unexpected player steps out of the shadows.

Available in three covers. Regular Edition (center) by Jon Sommariva, Subscription Cover (right) by Dustin Weaver, and Incentive Cover (left) by Tony Fleecs.

As always, the art is handled by the brilliant team of penciler Jon Sommariva, inker Sean Parsons, and colorist Leonardo Ito, alongside the additional colors of John Rauch, Zach Atkinson, and Sean Galloway.

If you're a fan of Batman: The Animated Series, you don't want to miss this one for the cameos alone. My wife and I even make an appearance in the crowd!

That's us to the extreme left. Jon Sommariva and his family are on the right, with our editor, Bobby Curnow, giving Batman a fearful glance near the center of the panel.

To be continued...

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Harley Quinn Journal...

Out now in stores is the Harley Quinn Ruled Journal, my latest in a series of journals for Insight Editions.

Written in the voice of Harley Quinn herself, this mostly blank journal features a short illustrated story followed by plenty of empty pages for the reader to fill in what happens next.

While some editorial oversight sadly left my name off the book, this is the third volume I've written for this series, including the Batman Ruled Journal and The Joker Ruled Journal. The production quality of these books is fantastic, so be sure to check them out during your next Gotham City outing.

To be continued...

Monday, January 30, 2017

EOD Soldiers...

2016 was a hectic year for me, and as a result, I'm a bit behind on my blog posts. Several of my books hit the stands last year, and I've still yet to mention them here. So in the interest of playing catch-up, I thought I'd talk a little bit today about a series of graphic novels I wrote for Capstone.

War comics are a longstanding tradition in the history of the comic book medium, and until now, I've never been able to get a crack at writing any. This series of four graphic novels is centered around the same Explosive Ordinance Division headquartered in Afghanistan. Each book delves into the life of a difference soldier as he or she navigates the war-torn countryside, working to disarm bombs placed by local insurgents.

I was outside my comfort zone for these books, and they required a lot of research on my part, but I'm happy with the result. The books in the series are:

The Mist - Drawn by Rico Lima and Thiago Dal Bello
Go Slow - Drawn by Carlos Furuzono and Dijjo Lima
- The List - Drawn by Carlos Furuzono and Dijjo Lima
- Two Sides - Drawn by Carlos Furuzono and Dijjo Lima

In related news, also out last year was Ghosts of the Night, a prose book I wrote for Capstone dealing with a rescue mission in Afghanistan.

More catch-up news to come!

To be continued...

Friday, January 20, 2017

Batman/TMNT Adventures # 3...

Out this Wednesday is Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures # 3! Last issue, we saw the Turtles meet Batman for the first time. Needless to say, things went a bit awkwardly...

Is Jon Sommariva the perfect penciler for this book or what?
This issue, watch as the heroes team up against Batman enemy Poison Ivy and Turtles' foe Snakeweed. All the while, Shredder is waiting in the wings. As is... the Joker. Pick up your copy this week and find out what happens next!

Dynamic Forces exclusive Ken Haeser variant cover.
TMNT movie poster homage variant cover by Erica Henderson.
Variant cover by Ben Harvey.
To be continued...

Thursday, January 5, 2017

DC Super Hero Stories...

New Year, New Books! This week, my newest series of children's books has been released by Stone Arch books. The series is called DC Super Hero Stories, and features text targeted at young readers with artwork drawn in the iconic DC animated style by Ethen Beavers.

For Batman fans (which, c'mon, is all of us), there's Batman Tangles With Terror featuring one of my favorite bat-foes, Man-Bat.

For fans of the Amazing Amazon, check out Wonder Woman Wrestles Circe's Sorcery. While the tongue-twisting title wasn't my creation, the inside action was. So don't miss seeing Wonder Woman battle it out with one of her most powerful enemies.

Flash fans get to see the Scarlet Speedster take on four of his toughest villains in Flash Races the Rogues.

And for those fans of the Man of Steel, Superman fights back against Lex Luthor in Superman Battles the Billionaire Bully.

Hope your little superheroes like them!

To be continued...