INTERVIEW: JD Morvan on Muhammad Ali: Kinshasa 1974 and the epic Rumble in the Jungle

The new graphic novel Muhammad Ali: Kinshasa 1974 covers a lot of history. When Muhammed Ali fought George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire on October 30, 1974, the “Rumble in the Jungle” became arguably the most famed sporting event of the 20th century. Ali, already a galvanizing figure for both sports and civil rights, was a heavy underdog against Foreman’s firepower, and the political events surrounding the fight added to the anticipation – as did a long delay in the match due to an injury to Foreman. The outcome of the match – involving the “rope-a-dope” strategy – stunned the world.

Famed Iranian photographer Abbas was in Zaire to capture the civil unrest, but ended up taking many iconic shots of the fight. Now the fight, Abbas’s photos and the drama surrounding the event has been captured in Muhammad Ali: Kinshasa 1974. This mixed media graphic novel takes the photos and adds a story by French comics superstar JD Morvan and artist Rafael Ortiz.  Published in English by Titan Comics, the graphic novel includes new backstory from Abbas and the comics part adds the social context of the unforgettable fight.

The Beat has joined in a blog tour for the book, which was published on February 23rd. Along with preview pages, we’re happy to provide an interview with writer JD Morvan, known in France for his many fantasy bestsellers and historical graphic novels, available in English from Europe Comics, Magnetic Press and now Titan Comics. I’ve interviewed him several times before and was delighted to get another chance to talk with him

This interview was conducted via email and translated from the French original with some editing by me for flow and clarity.


THE BEAT: ‘Muhammad Ali: Kinshasa 1974’ is such a beautiful book with so many powerful angles – from the photos to the art to Ali himself. 

JD MORVAN: Thank you ! Yes, Abbas’s photos of this fight, and in general, are really powerful. It was a pleasure to work with his material. And an honor!

THE BEAT: I know this project began as part of something you put together with the photo agency Magnum. Can you describe what the goal of that project was? 

MORVAN: A photo reveals an instant, 1/100 or even 1/1000 of a second. Comic strips are the opposite. It’s the ability to tell a long story with drawings on one side, and between each panel, white space that allows readers to make their own mental film. One evening I thought that it would be interesting to write about the lives of photographers because for me, they are really heroes. They take foolish risks to go into dangerous terrain to show us things we wouldn’t want to see but that are important to know.

I was fortunate that Magnum agreed to launch this project with me and I thank them again.

THE BEAT: How did you get involved with Abbas? He was best known for photographing political actions around the world, correct? I understand he was only in Zaire to photograph the political unrest and then shot the fight. The unrest added to the drama, of course. 

MORVAN: Yes, Abbas was also a photographer of religions. Of all religions. It’s a subject he was very interested in and worked on a lot. He finally ended up at that boxing match by chance. If Foreman hadn’t has an injury to his eyebrow, the match wouldn’t have been postponed, and Abbas wouldn’t have been able to photograph it. He was in Africa for a completely different reason. But he was able to do it, and so were we!

THE BEAT: The photo/comics hybrid is an unusual format. In this case, the power of Abbas’ images is so great, what do comics add to it? 

MORVAN: As I mentioned above, we can tell everything that is around the instant captured in a photo. We contextualize the world situation, we tell the lives of the characters, in a way, we make everything converge towards that precise moment when the photographer presses the shutter release.

It’s true that a photograph is sometimes just as powerful if you don’t know the context. But for us, it seemed interesting to tell the whole story. As much for Abbas as for the Normandie landing photographed by Robert Capa, the end of World War II by Henri Cartier Bresson, September 11 by Steve McCurry, or the Chechen War by Stanley Greene. They are also ways to give readers a particular, personal and documented view of the events they have inevitably heard about.

THE BEAT: How did artist Raphael Ortiz get involved with the project?

MORVAN: He was not the first artist  to work on the project, but the power of his action scenes brought a lot of strength to the comic. And that’s important, because it was really a heavyweight match. It had to be felt in the graphic novel.

THE BEAT: How did you approach this hybrid as a writer?

MORVAN: First by interviewing Abbas. Then by reading a lot of books and watching a lot of documentaries on the fight, including the fight itself without commentary. I obviously read history books to be completely clear with the situation of the time and to present its complexity to readers in a simple way. I always tell myself that it’s my job as a screenwriter to tell complex things in a natural way.

THE BEAT: Was that the main attraction of the story to you? That might be an obvious question since Ali was such a transformative figure of the 20th century, and his story is full of dramatic incidents!

MORVAN: What I was really interested in was showing how you achieve your goals. First Abbas, of course, who as an Iranian was not really predestined to do photography but who did it because he wanted to. And then of course Ali, who, knowing that he would have a hard time facing Foreman’s iron fists, tried to come up with a strategy. But he came up a winner. It’s also, in a way, about the importance of the brain in sports. It’s not just biceps that make you win.

THE BEAT: You’re a very well-known comics writer in France, but your work is increasingly seen in English. How has that impacted your career and the kind of projects you work on?

MORVAN: It is thanks to my French publishers who manage to sell my books abroad. But also to the foreign publishers who accept to publish them. I thank them! I don’t pay too much attention to the future of my books, rather, I try to totally immerse myself in their present. What matters to me is to be totally immersed in a story when I write it. I always try to put myself in the reader’s shoes to find out how they will feel, whether I need to speed up the pace so that they don’t get bored, when I need to explain the historical situation more precisely, how to make a character understand a certain reaction, etc. After that, all that happens is a bonus. And frankly it’s a pleasure. I had the chance, a few years ago, to  write a story about Wolverine (Saudade), so my fantasy as a young Frenchman to write superheroes was realized. But if by chance, while reading my translated comics, some American publishers wanted to make proposals, I hope you’ll give them my e-mail address. (laughter)

THE BEAT: Finally what do you think the story of Ali vs Foreman has to say to the world today? 

MORVAN: I believe that everyone can see what they want, and that is the power of the great myths. And this fight is a modern myth. For me, what I see in it clearly now is the realization that the world has not always been as it is today. That if today we judge that there have been mistakes, [we see] they come from somewhere, perhaps from the same place, and that what we find “true” today will itself prove to be a mistake in the future. To understand where we are, it’s not enough to judge, it is very important to know where we come from.

Muhammad Ali: Kinshasa 1974 is out now from Titan Comics – order now at Amazon , Forbidden Planet and digital download
Preview pages below.

 

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A new graphic novel celebrates Muhammed Ali, photographer Abbas, and the flow of history

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You can play as a transgender character in HOGWARTS LEGACY

According to a report from Bloomberg, the upcoming video game Hogwarts Legacy will include the option to play as a transgender character. Author Jason Schrier writes that the game, published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Inc. and developed by Avalanche Software, “will allow players to customize their character’s voice, body type and gender placement for the school dormitories.”

The report comes as something of a surprise, as the creator of Harry Potter and the world on which the game is based, J.K. Rowling, is an outspoken trans-exclusionary radical feminist who holds and frequently shares transphobic views via social media. Alarmed by her comments, multiple individuals working on Hogwarts Legacy reportedly fought to offer more inclusive character customization, as well as the addition of a transgender non-playable character to the game.

The Bloomberg piece states that team members’ push for inclusivity initially faced resistance from management. While they won the fight for character customization, Schrier doesn’t mention whether or not their attempt to add a trans character to Hogwarts Legacy was successful or if it’s still being discussed.

Hogwarts Legacy is just the latest expansion of the world of Harry Potter. Earlier this year it was announced that HBO Max is in development on a Harry Potter TV series. As long as the IP is valuable WB will continue to look for ways to exploit it, but the inclusion of the option to play as a trans character to the game is a big step towards separating the world from its creator. Whether or not it will be successful remains to be seen.

Even if Rowling isn’t directly involved in the development of the game or the TV series, as the owner of the IP she financially benefits from everything related to Harry Potter. And her past comments remain harmful towards trans people, regardless of any game alterations.

Hogwarts Legacy is scheduled to arrive on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC in 2022.

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Warner Bros’ biggest move to date to separate the Harry Potter IP from the transphobic views of its creator.

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Woodrow Phoenix recovering from pneumonia

There is a glut of bad news in the world. Almost every day it seems like something awful is happening and we lose a member of our global comics community. Thankfully this is not that day.

Woodrow Phoenix, UK comics artist, author, lecturer was taken to hospital with pneumonia last week.

Posting on Twitter yesterday, he disclosed the incident happened a week ago and only publicly spoke about it to praise Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) for his level of care.

The NHS is the UK’s public healthcare provider that is free at point of care – so you don’t ever have to worry about having enough money or the insurance coverage to seek help. It is funded via tax revenues.

Woodrow was diagnosed with pneumonia, taken to hospital and was able to return home the same day. While Woodrow Phoenix is recovering from home, he did discover something accidentally left behind by the paramedics – as he relayed earlier today:

UK hospitals are still busy from the most recent wave of COVID-19 and has been in (its third) lockdown since early January.

Woodrow may best be known for his innovative graphic essay on the horrors of cars, Rumble Strip. This site interviewed Woodrow in 2012.

The Beat wishes him a speedy recovery!

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UK-based comics artist Woodrow Phoenix shared on social media that he was recently hospitalized for pneumonia.

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REVIEW: BRZRKR #1 is knee-deep in blood but not in story, yet

BRZRKR #1

Writers: Keanu Reeves & Matt Kindt
Artist: Ron Garney
Color Artist: Bill Crabtree
Letterer: Clem Robins
Cover Artist: Rafael Grampá
Publisher: BOOM! Studios

The hype behind BRZRKR has been palpable, mainly due to Keanu Reeves’s name being attached to the series as co-writer. That Matt Kindt would join the team as co-writer as well, with Ron Garney taking on art…well, there’s really not much one can do but join the hype train.

Thankfully, BRZRKR #1 mostly earns all the attention it’s attracted. The first entry is basically a single action sequence with enough violence and gore flying around to make Quentin Tarantino blush. Everything jumps out of any given page with its eighties’ action movie influences worn proudly on its sleeves, but it comes at the expense of story.

For such a long-awaited comic, this first issue feels more like a #0 issue rather than a proper first issue, meaning readers shouldn’t expect a lot of plot development beyond what we already knew from the series’ synopsis, give or take a new detail here and there. While this means that style definitely wins the battle over substance, style really does go out of its way to make everyone’s interest stay piqued.

The story opens with the main character, B, drawn by Garney to look like Reeves himself, diving headfirst into a suicide mission that seems tailor-made for the half-god/half-mortal soldier. B is a freight train of violence, punching through people’s faces or beating them senseless with their own limbs as he hunts down the mission’s target.

It’s all expertly orchestrated with Garney making each moment seem like a scene that’d feel right at home in a Hollywood blockbuster movie. I once heard the former editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics Axel Alonso say that making comics is like being given an endless budget to tell your story so long as what comes out of it fits inside the comic. BRZRKR takes this to heart, and yet it still feels like millions of dollars were poured over each page to make it look as spectacular as possible (which unfortunately doesn’t actually happen in comics, but one can dare to dream).

BOOM Studios

There’s a fair amount of character development amidst the violence, though. B’s rage does indicate that killing has been the defining factor of his long, long life. There are hints of an internal struggle with all the deaths he’s authored and the memories he has of them. In this regard, B has a certain Wolverine-like vibe to him, perhaps with a little of Greg Rucka’s The Old Guard thrown in for good measure.

This isn’t to say B is a rip-off of either one of them, but it does leave one curious as to how the character will ultimately differentiate himself from both Logan and the immortal warriors of Rucka’s comic. That said, B does feel as if he has his own personality and his attempts at remembering everything from his past can lead into something bigger and unique for the series should it get the attention it deserves.

The final pages give readers a glimpse as to how this will go down, with some very exciting images and ideas coming to the fore. More of that will surely drive the story home and maybe clear the road for a larger universe should the creators want to extend their stay with the character they created.

BOOM Studios

Reeves and Kindt’s script might be light on story, but what’s presented throughout opens up enough questions to justify adding the comic to your pull list. The first issue sets up a long and hard look into an immortal warrior’s past, with more than a few stops in historical battlefields along the way, and the blood and gore we see in the first pages alone seems to tease some truly gruesome things to come, but a bit more story would’ve made this debut astonishing. As it stands, it’s intriguing. It just needs to deliver on story come issue #2.


Published by BOOM! Studios, the first issue of BRZRKR arrives in stores and digitally on Wednesday, March 3rd.

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Going for a bit of the ol’ Ultraviolence.

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Birdcage Bottom Books’ 2021 Kickstarter comes with old-punk flavour

Birdcage Bottom Books 2021 Kickstarter list launched on the crowd-funding platform Saturday. Included in this year’s releases will be an anthology, a graphic novel, and four mini-comics. The headline title will be punk anthology Too Tough To Die.

Too Tough To Die, co-edited by Haleigh Buck and Birdcage Bottom Books owner/publisher J.T. Yost explores the issues and lives of the punk scene and movement decades later.

Too Tough To Die anthology from Birdcage Bottom Books

Describing the tone of the anthology, Yost writes, “From “tired of being pushed around” to “just plain tired”, the Too Tough To Die anthology explores the spectrum of what it means to be an aging punk through personal stories by some of the best cartoonists around. Shifting perspectives on angsty rebellion, the importance of community, persistent racism within the scene, appearance and identity and more are covered within this nearly 300 page tome.”

Birdcage Bottom Books has been using the Kickstarter platform to fund its annual range of titles since 2018. All campaigns have successfully met their funding goal, if occasionally by a narrow margin.

The graphic novel Everything is Super features mature mishaps in a “dead-end, backwater superhero town” collects the first four issues of the original small press release by Captain Rottsteak.

The four minicomic releases are Robert H. Stevenson’s Comfort Creatures, “an all-ages collection of illustrated rhymes with corresponding creatures that play like cautionary tales about some of our delicious escapisms.”; the second, third and fourth mini-comics are collected autobiographical installments in Best American Comics featured cartoonist Lance Ward’s Flop Sweat self-published series (#2 to #4).

Comfort Creatures, Robert H. Stevenson

Birdcage Bottom Books “was an early adopter of using Kickstarter to fund the printing of our comics,” Yost posts, “and we’ve got quite a few campaigns under our belt. As such, we can be realistic with the risks & challenges. At this point, most of the comics for the Too Tough To Die anthology have been finished, but there are a few stragglers. As such, the contributor list may fluctuate a bit, but we will keep you posted. The other publications are either complete or near completion.”

Stately Beat Manor published a profile of the publisher last year.

In a previous post on Kickstarter founder and owner J.T. Yost describes the publisher as, “passionate about promoting compelling handmade comics. We don’t have one unifying theme, tone or drawing style we champion but rather search for comics that are personal and varied.”

Birdcage Bottom Books started life in 2008 with the assistance of a Xeric Grant. They publish and distribute, claiming on their website to represent “over 100” self-published artists, cartoonists and small presses.  They are regular attendees of comics festivals in the US (remember those) and their previous works can be found on their website

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Small press publisher and distributor Birdcage Bottom Books has launched their latest crowd-funder for this year’s slate of titles.

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Marvel unveils creators, new schedule for INFINITE DESTINIES annuals

Nearly a year ago, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic that is still going on, Marvel Comics announced the Infinite Destinies event that would tie together their 2020 slate of annuals. The world had other plans, though, and after a Diamond shutdown, a pencils-down order, and a slow return to a normal publishing slate, Marvel is finally ready to put those annuals out into the world. Today the publisher announced release dates for the first three annuals of the event, as well as revealed a previously-unannounced creative team for one of the annuals.

Here’s the slate of three Infinite Destinies annuals that have been given release dates for this June:

IRON MAN ANNUAL #1
Written by JED MACKAY
Art by IBRAIM ROBERSON
Cover by NICK BRADSHAW
On Sale 6/2

CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNUAL #1
Written by GERRY DUGGAN
Art by MARCO CASTIELLO
Cover by ALEX GARNER
On Sale 6/9

BLACK CAT ANNUAL #1
Written by JED MACKAY
Art by JOEY VAZQUEZ
Cover by C.F. VILLA
On Sale 6/23

Creative teams for the Iron Man and Cap annuals were announced a year ago; the Black Cat annual will be written by the character’s regular series writer, Jed Mackay, and feature art by Joey Vazquez, who previously drew 2019’s Black Cat annual.

Along with the creators, the publisher released new teaser artwork for the event, seen above, as well as an updated release timeline for the annuals, though specific dates or creative teams were not specified for any titles past June. The timeline also teases a follow-up story in the pages of Black Cat, and promises that the events of the annuals will set up stories for “the next FIVE years”:

Where the Infinite Destinies event’s original 2020 timeline spread the annuals over four months, the updated schedule has them coming out in three. Also of note are the ‘CLASSIFIED’ guest-stars for the Thor and Avengers annuals. The 2020 announcement had the same for Avengers, but listed Danny Ketch’s Spirit of Corruption as the guest-star for the Thor annual. Plans may have changed in the last twelve months, though.

Look for the Iron ManCaptain America, and Black Cat annuals, all tying in to Infinite Destinies, to arrive in stores in June 2021.

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The annual event had been previously postponed from last summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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GRAPHIC NOVEL CLUB: Scott McCloud helps us understand comics once again

The Beat is a proud sponsor of Comix Experience’s Graphic Novel of the Month Clubs, which bring comics fans a curated mix of the best of new release graphic novels and conversations with the creators who make them. Each month, the staff of Comix Experience votes on three sets of upcoming books they are most excited about—one gets presented to adults, another to middle readers, and the third is a classic. Each club provides swag like original signed custom bookplates for adults or buttons and magnets for the kids (in this case, the former, to support the featured Comics Masterpiece book, Understanding Comics).

Most excitingly, the Graphic Novel Clubs bring in the creators of selected books to talk exclusively to GNC members in interviews conducted by Comix Experience owner Brian Hibbs, who brings 30 years of experience in comics to the table. These talks are livestreamed to members all over the country and are a fun and informative mix of conversation on craft and form, as well as on the business of making comics. The Graphic Novel Clubs make a point of being inclusive, inviting creators from a wide variety of age, race, sex, and cultural perspectives to speak to members.

Membership is what propels these conversations, so if you like what you see, please support these discussions of comics, and the creators who make them, by joining the club.

Today: Brian Hibbs talks to Understanding Comics creator, Scott McCloud. Coming up on its 30th anniversary, the book uses sequential art to highlight the specificities and beauty of the medium. It – well – who are we kidding, if you read The Beat, you probably know this book. In this episode, McCloud rehashes the artist’s presence in comics, and the reader’s active participation in an enlightening comparison to film.

Make sure to check out the full interview on Comix Experience’s official YouTube page.

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Plus, a progress update on his next comic.

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Mignola documentary has explosive first 24 hours on Kickstarter

The documentary Mike Mignola: Drawing Monsters was launched on Kickstarter just yesterday. As of this writing, the crowdfunding campaign has made over $175,000, well over three times its $58,000 initial funding goal.

In an update post on the Kickstarter, co-director/co-producer Jim Demonakos wrote:

“That was one heck of a first 24 hours! Wow! Now over 1,000 backers? Kickstarter even gave us a thumbs up by making Mike Mignola: Drawing Monsters a “Project We Love”. We are so grateful, what else can we say but: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!”

As if the financial success of the campaign wasn’t enough for one day, Entertainment Weekly got the scoop on an anecdote from the documentary by Neil Gaiman, one of the many creators interviewed for the film. Gaiman’s story reveals the hidden role he played in the making of the Guillermo Del Toro-directed Hellboy 2: The Golden Army:

My only little Hellboy thing, uncredited, is that back in 2007, I was in Budapest where they were filming Hellboy 2 and I got to hang out on set and just watch the filming and learn. None of which I thought at the time was incredibly useful and all of which when I became a showrunner a decade later, became incredibly useful. But. Guillermo Del Toro at some point in there handed me the script for Hellboy 2 and said, can you make the fairy tale that it opens up with sound more like a fairy tale? I’ve written a fairy tale, but can you just can you do the language? And so I got to do a rewrite on that opening fairy story in Hellboy 2 and it gives me an enormous amount of pleasure to know that I sort of cracked in. I’m in there some way you can hear little turns of phrase.

Mike Mignola: Drawing Monsters is currently in production with a planned release of Spring 2022. Stately Beat Manor interviewed the filmmakers on the project just after it launched yesterday. The documentary is co-directed and produced by Jim Demonakos and Kevin Hanna and will look at the career of Mike Mignola as well as the creative influences that led to the emergence and continued development of the Hellboy character and his world.

A devilishly fancy cast of interviews are already announced with the likes of Gaiman, actor Doug Jones, Dark Horse owner/founder Mike Richardson, and Executive Grand Poobah (formally pronounced ‘executive vice president and creative director’) of Marvel Entertainment Joe Quesada will accompany those of the myriad artists and writers which have helped Mignola expand on the world of Hellboy.

Hellboy is a world-saving butt-kicking hyphen-attracting half-demon brought to Earth by occult Nazis as a child to herald the apocalypse. Saved and adopted by the US military and Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, he is trained to fight the extraordinary alongside other misfits in the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defence (BPRD) before a change of heart had him going his own way and enabling a BPRD spin-off title that ran until 2019.

The character first emerged as a concept sketch in a promotional pamphlet for Great Salt Lake Comic Con in 1991, Mignola further developed the character and – with the help of John Byrne – gave the character his own proper debut in 1994’s mini-series Seed of Destruction as a creator-owned comic published by Dark Horse. Seed of Destruction was followed up by a series of mini-series and spin-offs that continue to this day.

The Hellboy-verse continues to tell new stories despite the strict chronology coming to an end with the finale of BPRD: The Devil You Know in April 2019. New Hellboy stories are still being told that fill in the decades of story time that remain unrecounted.

Hellboy has also been adapted into animated and live-action movies, most notably two films by Oscar-winning director Del Toro in 2004 and 2008. A recent reboot movie directed by Neil Marshall in 2019 but was poorly reviewed and bombed at the box office.

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The doc also reveals acclaimed writer Neil Gaiman’s secret role in the making of one of the HELLBOY movies.

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COVER REVEAL: Check out Jock and Tula Lotay’s variants for SHADECRAFT #1 & 2

Shadecraft, the latest collaboration between writer Joe Henderson, artists Lee Garbett and Antonio Fabela, and letterer Simon Bowland, is due out from Image Comics at the end of this month. The next book from the Skyward creative team follows Zadie Lu, a teenage girl who experiences something unbelievable when an apparently sentient shadow tries to kill her. Is she losing her mind, or are the shadows in her small town actually alive? And what connection do they have to her? Today The Beat is pleased to reveal a pair of variant covers for the first two issues of Shadecraft, featuring artwork by Jock and Tula Lotay, respectively.

Along with the reveal of the variant covers, Henderson and Garbett both expressed to The Beat their enthusiasm for having Jock and Lotay help bring their characters to life:

“When I first saw Lee’s art for Zadie, an old friend who had only existed in my head was brought to wondrous life. And when I first saw Jock and Tula’s renditions of her, it was like she became her own person outside of us. That’s what I love about variant covers; you get to see masters of the craft take your character and bring their own voice to them. And look how beautiful these covers are!!!” —Joe Henderson

“When you contemplate who you could possibly hope to get to do a variant cover you immediately think of the best in the business. If you’re lucky enough to have two of the very best in the business being your best pals, you’re in a good spot. Am I above using and abusing said relationships? Absolutely not. I knew Jock and Tula would deliver something wonderful for us but I didn’t realise just how special the images would be. Both have absolutely captured the mood and feel of our book from very different angles. One leans into the horror, the other into the emotion and isolation. Both are absolutely stunning!” —Lee Garbett

The first issue of Shadecraft is a moody, down-to-earth suspense story that brings readers into the world of the series expertly. Jock and Lotay’s variant covers for the first two issues are incredibly striking, and perfectly capture the vibe of the series and of Zadie in their own unique ways.

Check out the variant covers for Shadecraft #1 by Jock and Shadecraft #2 by Tula Lotay, as well as a four-page preview and the main cover for the first issue, below. Published by Image Comics, the first issue of Shadecraft goes on sale on Wednesday, March 31st. Preorders for the main cover, the Jock variant cover, and a blank sketch variant are open until next Monday, March 8th.

Shadecraft #1 Cover B by Jock
Shadecraft #2 Cover B by Tula Lotay

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The new series from the creative team behind SKYWARD arrives at the end of this month.

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Tom King and Bilquis Evely team for SUPERGIRL: WOMAN OF TOMORROW

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, a new 8-issue series within DC’s recently-launched Infinite Frontier era, will launch in June from writer Tom King, artist Bilquis Evely, and colorist Mat Lopes, the publisher announced Wednesday.

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #1 is slated to hit shops June 15, launching a story that will take Kara Zor-El and her frequent sidekick the superdog Krypto back into space. The duo was most-recently in space as part of a story that tied into the Brian Michael Bendis Superman run, which saw Kara tangling with new Superfamily foe, Rogol Zaar. This time around, it seems poised to be lighter on big space punching and heavier on malaise, or perhaps — dare I say — ennui.

Here’s the first part of the Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow announcement press release’s plot description:

Kara Zor-El has seen some epic adventures over the years, but has recently found her life without meaning or purpose. Here she is, a young woman who saw her planet destroyed and was sent to Earth to protect a baby cousin who ended up not needing her. What was it all for? Wherever she goes, people only see her through the lens of Superman’s fame.

The story for Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow also seems poised to perhaps introduce a new character to Supergirl’s world in the form of another space traveling companion. The second part of the PR:

Just when Supergirl thinks she’s had enough, everything changes. An alien girl seeks her out for a vicious mission: her world has been destroyed and the bad guys responsible are still out there. She wants revenge and if Supergirl doesn’t help her, she’ll do it herself, whatever the cost. Now, a Kryptonian, a dog and an angry heartbroken child head out into space on a journey that will shake them to their very core!

The artwork for this new series stands to be fantastic, with Evely and Lopes ranking as one of the finest duos currently working in mainstream comics. The duo has most recently teamed on a stint of Detective Comics issues, having before that illustrated The Sandman sequel, The Dreaming. King, meanwhile, probably by now has a shelf full of Eisner Awards for work on series like The Vision and Mister Miracle. He’s currently writing a trio of maxiseries for DC: Strange Adventures, Batman/Catwoman, and Rorschach (no word yet on whether this series will be a big one).

The cover for the first issue can be found below:

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The new eight-issue series is slated to launch in June.

The post Tom King and Bilquis Evely team for SUPERGIRL: WOMAN OF TOMORROW appeared first on The Beat.