Vikings, Pirates and More Populate Edwin Acevedo's RAID OF THE WHITE LEOPARD

Raid of the White Leopard

Is a 20 page black and white comic book (16 pages of story plus bonus material) about a band of Vikings who get caught in a storm and wash up on a mysterious island. This first issue contains two connected stories, bringing the tale together from opposing sides and meeting in the middle.

Written by Edwin Acevedo (The Ace) and drawn by Avery Butterworth (The Lost Pages), Raid of the White Leopard sports a cover from Donal Delay (Brutas the Badass) and colors by Allen Alonzo (The Lost Pages 2).

We sat down with Acevedo to talk about the story, how it came to be, and what directed him to use the Fund My Comic platform as the launch pad for this endeavor. That video, and the funding campaign, both follow.



Ethan Van Sciver Secures Trademark for Comicsgate: What That Means Going Forward

Ethan Van Sciver Comicsgate Trademark

Ethan Van Sciver has long been regarded as the de facto head of the independent comics creation movement dubbed Comicsgate. Now that title becomes a little bit more official as Van Sciver has been awarded the commercial trademark for the Comicsgate brand, after a contentious legal battle for the claim against a filing made by Preston Poulter, another indie comics publisher of Pocket Jacks Comics.

The ruling in favor of Van Sciver, and his subsequent announcements of intent for use of the mark, has sent ripples throughout the various online communities, many of which lay claim to the ideologies of Comicsgate at some fundamental level. Questions arose as to how the use of the term may be regulated, if at all; who would be granted the approved use of the mark, and what sort of barriers might be in place to make that process difficult.


Private American vs. Daily Kos: Anatomy of a Kickstarter Takedown

Private American vs. Daily Kos

Mike Baron's Private American has been fighting an uphill battle since the project first launched to be crowdfunded. From having the project'sTwitter account suspended to being silenced (along with other projects) on Indiegogo, the book's publisher, Chris Braly, finally brought the project to Kickstarter.

On that platform, he began to get messages from another creator on Kickstarter, 'Gavriel Discordia', who asked the loaded question, "Why is this book so racist?" When Braly countered that it wasn't, Discordia continued that "It's by far the most racist comic book since Flick by Frank Miller," following that Braly's published books by Baron, including Thin Blue LIne and Florida Man, would "sell well at a Klan rally."


Remembering Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, with authors Bob Batchelor and Glenn B. Fleming

Bob and Glenn and Stan and Jack

Two of the most seminal figures in comic book culture are inarguably -- and yet, very arguably -- Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Individually, each made their contributions to the pop culture medium, but together they forged the stuff of legends.

Bob Batchelor has written two biographies on Stan Lee. Glenn B. Fleming has recently published and produced a book and DVD detailing his time spent with Jack Kirby. Critical Blast brings both these authors together to discuss their fascination with the topics of their work, and the unique intersection that existed between them.


Mike Grell Fires Up Kickstarter for Omnibus Edition of Jon Sable, Freelance

Mike Grell Live

Mike Grell. He's a verified legend. That's not hyperbole -- he's been officially inducted into the Hall of Legends, so he's entitled to use the honorific. He's given us iconic visions of superheroes like the Legion of Super-Heroes and Green Arrow, before becoming a trailblazer in the realm of creator-owned projects like Starslayer and Jon Sable, Freelance.

Grell's Jon Sable series is now being collected into hardcover omnibus editions, the first of which is funding on Kickstarter, and is well on it's way to becoming a fait accompli.

It was our honor to sit with Mike and talk about some of the highlights from his much-storied career, as well as focus the attention of our readers on this extremely cool project that is bound to become a sought-after classic.


Critical Blast Announces Online Launch Party for New Book, The Devil You Know

Launch Party for The Devil You Know

Critical Blast Publishing will be releasing their newest anthology, THE DEVIL YOU KNOW on July 1, 2020.

The speculative fiction collection -- featuring the works of Jared Baker, Erica Ciko Campbell, Sarah Cannavo, Michael W. Clark, Christopher Cook, Andra Dill, Cara Fox, R.A. Goli, Gerald A. Jennings, Kevin Kangas, Daryl Marcus, Damascus Mincemeyer, Steve Oden, Evan Purcell, Troy Riser, Joseph Rubas, Hannah Trusty, Wondra Vanian, Henry Vogel, and KD Webster -- recounts tales of meetings with the literary Devil, in the vein of "The Devil and Daniel Webster," "Faust," and other such similar conventions. With stories set in the past, present, and future, and ranging from comedy to horror, THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is designed to appeal to as wide a readership as possible.


The DC / Diamond Divorce Dominates Discussion: The LCS Guys

The LCS Guys talk DC and Diamond

The buzz of the comics industry this week has centered around the shocking (or not so shocking) news that DC has ended its decades-long arrangement with Diamond Comics Distributors in favor of splitting their workload over two smaller distributors, Lunar and UCS.

Naturally, that was the dominating topic in this week's round table with The LCS Guys -- Uel Carter of Fantastic Comics, Berkely, California; Dave Dyer of Cosmic Comics in Belleville, Illinois; Michael Tierney of The Comic Book Store in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Ryan Seymore of Comic Town in Columbus, Ohio. Find out how retailers feel about the decision, their hopes and concerns, as well as what's selling this week and what's languishing on the shelves, as we settle in for another bullpen session.


Emerging from the Comics COVID Crisis: Retailers Speak Out

LCS Round Table 20200520

This week saw the return of New Comic Book Day -- kind of. DC Comics, which has been ahead of the distribution game since Diamond Comics Distributors closed their doors for the coronavirus outbreak, is putting comic books out, while Marvel is still waiting a later production date. Our team of comic shop retailers from around the country -- Michael Tierney of Arkansas, Dave Dyer of Illinois, Uel Carter of California, Ryan Seymore of Ohio, and @ComicPerch of Washington -- talk about why this is going to be a powerful negotiating tool for DC when signing creators in the future.

Also discussed is the first shipment from Diamond since the reopening -- and whether the comeback is truly bigger than the setback with Diamond's #BackTheComeback hashtag campaign. Plus -- opinions on Ruby Rose leaving Batwoman, Brec Bessinger debuting in Stargirl, and HBO Max releasing the mythologically legendary Snyder Cut of the Justice League movie.


Broadsword Comics Celebrates 20 Years

Broadsword 20th

At the auspicious rolling of the celestial odometer -- also known as the year 2000 AD -- Jim Balent, who had come to stardom through his work on DC Comics' CATWOMAN series, took a foolhardy leap into the realm of independent publishing. He didn't have the backing of a Kickstarter or an Indiegogo; it was just him and fellow artist and spouse Holly Golightly, and a dream. That dream coalesced in the form of TAROT, WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE, where the team's pin-up style and background in magick could have expression.

Twenty years later, TAROT is still going strong, and the company has celebrated with a successful Kickstarter campaign to cap off two decades with a limited edition trade paperback (plus other goodies).


Wizards of a New Oz: Zeb Hatfield and Eric Weathers on Battle Brick Road

Battle Brick Road

Some classics lend themselves to modern exploration. Lewis Carroll's ALICE IN WONDERLAND has been exploited in films such Disney's iconic animated masterpiece, to books like Frank Beddor's LOOKING-GLASS WARS. James Barrie's PETER PAN has been a mainstay of musical production for decades while going through dark reimaginings like Brom's THE CHILD THIEF.

Similarly, L. Frank Baum's WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ has been interpreted and reinterpreted over the past century in television mini-series, animated cartoons, and comic books, either in adaptive retellings or wholly imagined variations.


Comics Retailers Weigh In on Changes in Distribution Paradigm

After the Great Disaster

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Critical Blast has been meeting regularly with comic shop owners through online roundtable meetings to discuss how they are finding ways to stay afloat. Some stores are in states where business closures have been mandated. Others are in states where they are open but without new product because the sole distributor for comic books, Diamond Comics Distribution, closed down, leaving those stores essentially closed as well.

With new distributors entering the game, thanks to intervention on behalf of DC Comics, we meet once again with Dave Dyer of Cosmic Comics in Belleville, Illinois, Michael Tierney of Collector's Edition in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Uel Carter of Fantastic Comics in Berkeley, California to catch up on how the latest shifts in this new and untamed business landscape have affected them.


Martina Markota's Long Road to Bring Lady Alchemy to Comics

Lady Alchemy

There are so many different crowdfunded comics popping up these days of varying degrees of quality. And with the mainstream comics market in a state of flux, the projects at Kickstarter and Indiegogo are poised to reap the benefits of the comics distribution shutdown.

One such project is LADY ALCHEMY, a magical hero's journey from Martina Markota and MONSTER M.D.'s Von Klaus. LADY ALCHEMY originally funded two years ago, but then ran into choppy waters with the original creative team. Now, with a fresh writer and artist, Markota's vision is on track to be released soon.

We talk with Klaus and Markota in the livestream below, including some exclusive first looks at the new interior artwork.


32 Days Without Comics: COVID-19's Crisis in Infinite Comic Shops Continues

32 Days Without Comics

With a large portion of the country locked down economically due to COVID-19 restrictions, comic shop retailers find themselves in an unusual predicament. While many shops are open in states that have not had mandatory shutdowns, they nevertheless find themselves without product due to the shutdown at Diamond Comics Distribution, the lynchpin of the entire direct market system.


Zenescope Co-Founder Ralph Tedesco Discusses COVID-19 Impact on Comics Publishing and Distributing

Zenescope livestream interview 2020-04-16

Critical Blast has talked a lot with retailers during the COVID-19 induced industry shutdown that has impacted the comic book supply chain nationwide, even in states where stores are not facing mandatory closures.

But while the end-user impact is important, we also want to make sure we shine a spotlight onto how the shutdown -- specifically the Diamond Distribution shutdown, which services as the bottleneck for the entire logistics model of getting comic books from publishers to consumers -- has impacted the publishers that bring us our weekly dose of fantasy, horror, action, and every other genre of four-color entertainment.


Crisis in Infinite Comics Shops: How the Corona Shutdown is Impacting Retailers Across the Country

No Comic Book Day

Across the country, small businesses, deemed non-essential, have been shut down. And while some states have not issued such orders due to their lack of cases of the coronavirus COVID-19, may are still feeling the pinch.


Joker and the Myth of Media-Inspired Mayhem

Joker, Dr. Susan Lewis

It's the movie "they" didn't want you to see -- the film that glorified killing to such an extent, it was expected the easily influenced would take it as a training manual and copy the techniques to commit mass acts of violence.

But, thus far, the only reported incident requiring police intervention involved two men arrested for smoking during the film. (No word if the film was at midnight, or if the two smokers watching JOKER were using marijuana. Thank the Steve Miller Band for my going the long way around for that pun.)

So was all the media hysteria for nothing, or was there a predictable risk that JOKER could set in motion a wave of violence among those already suffering mental illness?


Introducing: Bulletproof


You've seen the banners. You've seen the tweets and the Facebook postings. BULLETPROOF is coming...

But what is BULLETPROOF? And when is it coming?

Time for the Critical Blast staff to sit down and have a little geek out about the Disney/Sony custody battle over Spider-Man, the upcoming CW crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths, the continued tomkinging (yes, we've verbed it) of Batman this week -- oh, and lots and lots of discussion about BULLETPROOF, including the hotly anticipated release date!

Click and enjoy. (And if you like this type of content, by all means click that Subscribe button. It costs nothing, and it means the world to us!)


Set Phasers to Fail: Podcaster Redshirts after Shatner Death Twish

Shatner and LLAPawsper

There's a secret about Twitter that a surprising number of people haven't figured out yet. It's not just a leading social media tool, a great way to promote your brand, and a fun way to connect with people who share common (or uncommon) interests -- it's also public and "out loud" and whatever you say on it is seen by everyone and, if archived, lasts forever. Many have been the times an unwary person has spoken in anger, in jest, in drunken carelessness, only to find they've become an overnight sensation or a symbol of infamy.

Such seems to be the case when Star Trek fan, Heather Rae, took to Twitter with her "Hot Take."


Apex: Legends Character Profile - Gibraltar

One of the things that makes Apex: Legends so unique is their voice talent.


Closing in on 19 Years of Broadsword Comics with Jim Balent and Holly Golightly

Jim Balent Holly Golightly 2019 Interview

Over two decades ago, Jim Balent had a comfortable gig with a big time publisher, bringing his own inimitable style to CATWOMAN for DC Comics.

Then, in 2000, he walked away from that to go independent with his own imprint, Broadsword Comics, and his own creation, TAROT, WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE. And he did this without the benefit of the existence of Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or any other crowdfunding assistance.

It was a huge leap of faith, and now, 19 years later with nary an issue missed of the 114-book run, Broadsword Comics is still going strong with Jim and Holly Golightly doing everything from writing, drawing, lettering, coloring -- the whole shebang.

We were privileged to get this livestream interview with The Busiest (and Most Fun) Couple in Comics, to talk about Tarot, comic books, and... STAR WARS? We hope you'll have as much fun watching this as we had doing it!


Subscribe to RSS - Podcasts