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Monday, May 30, 2005

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes

"Watterson's imaginative approach to his material and his inventive graphics have made Calvin and Hobbes one of the few universally admired by other cartoonists."
—Charles Solomon, Los Angeles Times Book Review

Calvin and Hobbes is unquestionably one of the most popular comic strips of all time. The imaginative world of a boy and his real-only-to-him tiger was first syndicated in 1985 and appeared in more than 2,400 newspapers when Bill Watterson retired on January 1, 1996. More than 30 million of the 17 Calvin and Hobbes books (all published by Andrews McMeel) have been sold. And now, we're pleased to announce that the entire body of Calvin and Hobbes cartoons will be published in a truly noteworthy tribute to this singular cartoon. Composed of three hardcover, four-color volumes in a sturdy slipcase, this edition will include all Calvin and Hobbes cartoons that ever appeared in syndication. This is the treasure that all Calvin and Hobbes fans will seek.

U.S.: $150.00
Canada: $200.00
ISBN-13: 978-0-7407-4847-9
ISBN-10: 0-7407-4847-5
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Format: Hardcover
Published: September 2005
Property: Calvin & Hobbes
Category: Humor

'Calvin and Hobbes' Returning to Newspapers — Sort Of

Editor & Publisher
By Dave Astor
Published: May 20, 2005

NEW YORK "Calvin and Hobbes" will return to newspapers later this year, and its reclusive creator, Bill Watterson, will answer questions.

Before fans of the renowned comic and cartoonist get too excited, it should be quickly noted that it will be reruns of "Calvin and Hobbes" that newspapers can publish from Sept. 4 to Dec. 31. And Watterson will reply to queries in a controlled way via Andrews McMeel Publishing.

The reruns and question-answering are designed to promote "The Complete Calvin and Hobbes" — AMP's huge, three-volume, 23-pound collection of all 3,160 "Calvin and Hobbes" strips that ran in newspapers between Nov. 18, 1985, and Jan. 1, 1996. The hardcover, slipcased set — which will be released Oct. 4 with a first printing of 250,000 — also includes new art and an introductory essay by Watterson.

Universal Press Syndicate, which was sending "Calvin and Hobbes" to more than 2,400 newspapers when Watterson retired, will distribute the 17 weeks of daily and Sunday strips (selected from various years of the comic's run). This "encore" serialization will be similar to what Universal did in 2003, when it offered newspapers three months of "Far Side" reruns to promote "The Complete Far Side" collection of Gary Larson's comic that AMP released that fall.

AMP has received about 1,000 questions for Watterson since posting, earlier this month, a form people can print from AndrewsMcMeel.com. AMP is also seeking queries for Watterson by sending out material for newspapers to publish if they so desire. Questions need to be postmarked by June 15, and Watterson is scheduled to answer selected ones by Sept. 1. His responses will probably be assembled in a Q&A that newspapers can publish.

Many of the questions for Watterson — who's still only in his 40s — have so far been predictable. They include "Why did you end 'Calvin and Hobbes'?," "Will you ever do another comic?," "What have you been doing since you retired?," etc. "We're hoping to get more introspective questions that people put a lot of thought behind," said Rebecca Murray Schuler, director of publicity at AMP.

AMP is choosing which questions to send on to Watterson, who will decide which ones to answer.

Schuler told E&ampP that AMP gave Watterson a "wish list" of things he might do to help promote the October book, including possibly giving one or two media interviews. Then Watterson came up with the idea to answer reader questions, she said.

Will journalists use this opportunity to also submit some questions via the AMP form? "That's possible — I consider them fans of the strip too," Schuler replied.

Watterson almost never spoke to the media while doing "Calvin and Hobbes" — though he did talk with E&P for the magazine's Feb. 8, 1986, issue. In that interview, Watterson recalled getting several pre-"Calvin and Hobbes" ideas rejected — starting with "a sort of outer-space parody" in 1980. One of the failed strips contained two minor characters — a boy (Calvin) and a tiger (Hobbes). A syndicate suggested that Watterson make the duo the stars of their own comic, yet ultimately didn't sign it. Universal did.

Still, Watterson initially worried if "Calvin and Hobbes" would catch on. "My concern was really very basic: whether the strip would make enough in sales so it could continue," the cartoonist told E&anp;P in the 1986 interview.

"Calvin and Hobbes" quickly exploded in popularity, of course, and Watterson was able to quit his job doing advertising layout. Previously, he had also worked briefly as an editorial cartoonist for The Cincinnati Post.

In a 100th-anniversary-of-comics poll conducted by E&P for its 1995 syndicate directory, respondents voted "Calvin and Hobbes" the best comic then currently in syndication. Another indication of the strip's popularity is that Watterson's 17 previous books have sold more than 30 million copies.

Source : http://www.andrewsmcmeel.com/calvinandhobbes/index.html

More sketches by Predrag Ikonic aka pedja slavni !

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Calvin & Sin City

Cool sketches

Bunny suicides 3

Look ahead : Supergirl #1

Written by Jeph Loeb; Art by Ian Churchill and Norm Rapmund; Covers by Churchill and Rapmund and Michael Turner

Superstar writer Jeph Loeb and the red-hot art team of Ian Churchill & Norm Rapmund join forces to deliver a new monthly series spinning out of the sell-out run in SUPERMAN/BATMAN featuring the adventures of Superman's cousin from Krypton, the one and only Kara Zor-el!

Kara's story begins with the same brand of high-flying adventure as she begins her whirlwind tour of the DCU! And the first hero she squares off against is Power Girl! Before this tale guest-starring the JSA is complete, secrets behind the origins of both will be revealed!

Please note: This issue will ship with alternate covers by Ian Churchill and Norm Rapmund and Michael Turner , respectively.

Superman | 32pg. | Color | $2.99 US

On Sale August 10, 2005


Written by Andrew Helfer; Art by Tan Eng Huat; Cover by Pat Lee

Get ready for an explosive 12-issue maxiseries written by Andy Helfer (THE SHADOW) with art by Tan Eng Huat (JLA) and covers by Pat Lee (SUPERMAN/BATMAN) that explores the formative years of the Dark Knight!

This thrilling maxiseries begins as Batman attempts to save a young girl from being robbed, only to learn that the young girl isn't so innocent after all. This incident leads an undercover Bruce Wayne from Gotham City's club scene to an airliner filled with the bodies of the freshly dead! To make matters worse, the bodies have been infected with a deadly plague…and so has Bruce Wayne! The danger and mystery are just beginning as Wayne sets off on a powerful Journey into Knight!

Batman | 32pg. | Color | $2.50 US

On Sale August 17, 2005

Craig Thompson wint stripprijs 2004

"Een deken van sneeuw" van de Amerikaan
Craig Thompson is door Vlaamse en
Nederlandse stripcritici met ruime
voorsprong uitgeroepen tot beste
alternatieve/literaire strip van 2004.

"Over de grenzen van de tijd" van
Abolin en Pont schoot de hoofdvogel af
in de categorie traditionele/populaire
strip 2004.

De prijzen werden voor de eerste keer
uitgereikt door veertien striprecen-
senten. De toptien van beide categorie-
en staan in juni uitgebreid vermeld in
"Stripjaar 2004" van stripjournalist
Geert De Weyer.

Bron : vrtnieuws.net
Monday, May 23, 2005

The Darkest Knight yet : "Batman begins" !

Bat out of hell

Christian Bale delivers the Darkest Knight yet

Jesus, psycho killer, Hamlet, dragon slayer—Christian Bale has played all these roles.

Now the 31-year-old Briton, who's forged an unusual career path from child star (Empire of the Sun) to tween idol (Swing Kids) to critics' darling (Velvet Goldmine), will wear the mask of Batman, in a performance that may be the culmination of all those archetypal figures combined.

But will Batman Begins be a curse as well as a blessing for Bale? The gig was meant to make superstars of three actors before him, yet nearly wrecked their careers instead. But unlike Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney, Bale is portraying the comic-book crusader as a kind of villain (or as close to a rogue as the rules of summer movies will allow). He's brooding and bent on revenge in Batman Begins: the Prince of Denmark in a bat suit.

But Bale, who filmed on the streets of Chicago last summer, is that rare talent who just might pull it off. Consider his masterfully funny, seductive and ruthless performance in American Psycho. He's also willing to go to extremes—the same year he played the Wall Street serial killer, he played the son of God in a reverent TV movie and more recently lost 63 pounds to play a tortured soul in The Machinist. Now, Bale's bulked up and ready to get batty.—Justine Elias

Time Out Chicago: What made you decide to take on something like Batman? It seems like an odd choice for you.

Christian Bale: A friend of mine gave me some of the graphic novels to read some years back. I didn't really follow the comics when I was younger, and I read them kind of begrudgingly at first. But after I'd finished them I thought, "Wow!" There is such incredible potential within this character. In the later books, he's a real badass; he's as threatening as any of the villains and that got me curious. I thought, "Well, if there is going to be a movie made in this vein, then I want to have a shot at playing him."

TOC: Batman's been reduced to a simplified character over the years, but the psychological damage he's gone through makes him a rather complex hero.

CB: Right. Time has not healed any of his wounds. He's as alert to his pain as he ever was.

TOC: But you couldn't have known that when Warner Bros. decided to revive the franchise that it'd be willing to explore the darker side of Batman. Many people just figured it'd go back to somebody in a costume riding a motorcycle down a neon-lit highway.

CB: [Laughs] I really hope that's not what people think of this. When I first heard they were, in fact, going to do another Batman film, Darren Aronofsky [Pi, Requiem for a Dream] was attached to it. I was really interested in seeing what his take would be. Then when Darren dropped out, I gave up hope that I'd ever play the role. But when I heard that Chris Nolan had signed on, I realized that it wasn't going to be just another comic-book film. We discussed what he wanted to do with the notion of how this young man turns into this vengeance- driven man, and I thought, "Yes! He gets it!" I was ready to sign on then and there.

TOC: How did people react when you walked onto the set in the suit?

CB: This sounds odd to say, but there was a weird sense of reverence. I would slink and skulk around the set when I had it on, trying out moves, and there was the nice sense that the crew found it more threatening than they might have anticipated. I always thought that the costume should look intimidating, that Batman should look like a panther going in for the kill. The effect should be like watching a coiled spring that's ready to go off. So when folks sort of backed off from me when I had it on, I felt like, yes, the suit is working.

TOC: Do you think people who haven't read the graphic novels are ready for a malevolent version of the Caped Crusader?

CB: We'll see. I think there's room to push the character even further into being a schizophrenic freak. I mean, the fact that he hasn't embraced his violent side entirely is what makes him so interesting; there's a great sense of conflict between him doing it for justice and doing it for revenge. I'd really love to see us doing a Batman film in which there was a PG-rated cut and an R-rated cut. You know, do the same film, but have one version for everybody and one version in which you really push the envelope of what this guy does.

TOC: Taking on a role like this must be a double-edged sword. It will raise your profile, but then there's a certain amount of baggage that might inhibit you from doing smaller roles, like the rock producer's son in Laurel Canyon or the glam-rock–obsessed journalist in Velvet Goldmine, right?

CB: That's certainly occurred to me, yes. But I certainly wasn't going to [let] the opportunity to play a character I'd wanted to play for two or three years pass me by because I was worried about not getting another job. I didn't want to make a choice like that out of a sense of fear. If it does well, which I really hope that it does, and I am associated with the character, hey, so be it. It's another challenge for me to overcome.

Batman Begins opens June 15.

Bat Psych 101

Director Christopher Nolan probes Bruce Wayne's brain

I can confirm that there are no nipples on the suit," says Christopher Nolan, the filmmaker revitalizing the Batman-movie franchise. Forget the garish excesses that have plagued recent incarnations of the Dark Knight, from Jim Carrey's over-the-top Riddler outfit in Batman Forever (1995) to George Clooney's adventures in the flamboyant Batman & Robin (1997).

"My basic pitch was simply to approach a superhero story from a realistic point of view," says the 34-year-old director, famous for his psychological time-bender Memento. "That is to say, to tell the story in a way that was as gritty and down-to-earth as possible."

Inspired by Frank Miller's Batman: Year One comics, Batman Begins follows the transformation of Bruce Wayne into the masked avenger after witnessing his parents' murder. Nolan says the film will burrow into the dark recesses of Wayne's mind instead of relying on explosions or Gothic exteriors. "We're treating this less as [a] fantasy film and more like a drama," he says. "We're trying to give the decisions these characters make a certain amount of weight and not reduce everything to the level of just being another comic-book film. The closest thing I've ever seen to that would be Dick Donner's Superman (1978), which did location shooting in New York and takes its subject matter seriously."

For Batman Begins, Nolan chose, in part, Chicago and Waukegan streets for his vision of Gotham. (Other scenes were shot in England and Iceland.) "It's just such an incredible town," says the British-born Nolan, who first discovered movies during the three years he lived in Chicago as a boy. "They let us shoot this amazing car-chase scene in the subterranean streets," (that'd be Lower Wacker Drive). And the architecture is absolutely stunning."

Citing Star Wars, along with other childhood favorites like Raiders of the Lost Ark and "the best James Bond films," Nolan believes "escapist entertainment" doesn't have to be driven by rubber suits and car chases. "They are epic films, but they have a much higher degree of concern with character and story," he says. "It's been a very long time since I've seen something done in a way that great blockbusters that I grew up with were done, and that was the type of film I was trying to make."

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Bunny suicides part two

Monday, May 16, 2005

Fuck Other Forms of Art

Fuck Other Forms of Art
How to Get Grant Money
By Jef Czekaj

Ron Rege Jr. said in The Comics Journal #205, "Museums, foundations, governments give money and support to dumb-ass pursuits like painting, poetry, dance and photography... fuck other forms of art." And we certainly agree with this sentiment.

Mr. Rege, hyperbole aside, is absolutely right. Look around you. You're surrounded by crappy art. From the devil girl paintings in the coffee shop, to the faux-Kerouacian poetry jams Monday night at the local rock club, to the local writers "workshop" at the library, we are constantly bombarded with passionless, unimaginative, derivative art. And look at the fine print: many of these pursuits are funded at least partly by grant money. Someone is paying that woman to hang doll heads on the wall and call it "transgressive." That "chapbook," (no, no, it's not a zine) is funded by the local Arts Council. Why don't comic artists get this money?

I have a theory: They don't ask for it.

As comic artists, we are constantly reminded that our work has no place in the "fine art" world. Sure, journalists will occasionally write the "Bang! Zoom! Comics Ain't Just Superheroes Anymore!" fluff piece, but for the most part, even the most informed and interested citizen has nary a clue about our work.

I was recently on the phone with someone from my town's arts council. She mentioned a piece in the New York Times Magazine in which she thought I'd be interested. I was excited because I knew that the Times had recently run comics by the aforementioned Rege as well as Ivan Brunetti, and was interested to hear how these comics had affected this non-comics artist. Turns out, she had seen a fashion spread written by Kevin Smith (and drawn by some popular mainstream hack). Kevin fucking Smith. This arts council member, a visual artist who presumably has a clue about art, thinks that anyone who cares anything about comics would be interested in Kevin Smith. This is horrendously typical.

So we, as comic artists, don't apply for grants assuming that we don't have a chance. This is baseless and just plain wrong. Getting grants is easy. You can get grant money.

I have gone to France for free. I've had my comics project funded by the local electric company, in which I was able to pay high school kids $500 each to draw a comic. I've gotten money for just being a "comic artist," without having to create anything. In addition to cold hard cash, I've also gotten lots of free publicity, good contacts and met lots of artists in other mediums who I would have never run into if I just sat around reading the Journal and waiting for SPX.

Applying for and hopefully receiving grants not only benefits you directly as an artist but also serves the loftier goal of "legitimizing" comics as an "art form." But mostly, it's about gettin' paid.

Here's how to get a grant:

1. Do your research.

The first thing you must do is find sources for funding. A quick and easy way to do this is to call your local arts council. The town in which I live has a great arts council that does a tremendous public outreach each year to tell local artists about possible grants. Your town most likely also has an arts council, though it might not be as well-funded or organized. Give them a call. Tell them what you do and see if they have any ideas where you can get money either locally, at a state, or a federal level. Local grants will be easier to get but will most likely give you less money than the highly competitive national grants. People who work at local arts councils are city workers who are probably pretty desperate to find someone who is actually interested in the arts. Be nice to them and they'll be nice to you. There are plenty of books on the subject. You're going to have to page through them and find grants that seem applicable to your work. You can also look online, duh (start at http://www.nea.gov/).

Okay let's assume you've found a grant that seems appropriate to you. Next step is filling out the application.

2. Follow directions.

This might sound painfully obvious, but there's no quicker way to have your application overlooked than to not follow directions. The committee that awards the grant is, more likely than not, overwhelmed with applications and looking for any reason to get rid of many of them. An incomplete or incorrectly completed application is an easy way to get thrown into the "rejection" pile. I've been shocked by how many compliments I've gotten on my applications, when all I really did was follow the directions. Artists are incredibly flaky. You will have one up on a large percentage of them if you curb your, no doubt, genius creative energies for ten minutes and follow the freaking directions.

If a grant asks for slides, send slides, not your comic and an explanation why you're not sending slides. If they ask for an artist's statement, write one. Don't claim that your "work speaks for itself." It doesn't.

For those of you who don't know, an artist's statement is a horrible document in which you have to spell out exactly why you are an artist and what is you are trying to accomplish. Of course it's ridiculous, and of course spelling out exactly "what you are trying to say" in your art is ludicrous. You'll find yourself writing the sort of thing that any artist with any shred of dignity or integrity would never say. You'll hate yourself. I am fairly certain that Gary Panter has never written an artist's statement. You, unfortunately, are going to have to bite the bullet on this one and lay it on thick.

Ask your pretentious art school friends about making slides and writing artist's statements. They spent tens of thousands of dollars to learn how to take slides of their paintings and look, now they're working in the art supply store right alongside you. Tee-hee.

3. Be neat.

Once again, this might sound like something your high school guidance counselor told you, but this gives the committee one less reason to misjudge your work. Go to Staples. Buy a nice presentation folder. Include a cover sheet that details the contents of the application. Don't handwrite anything.

4. Call the organization awarding the grant and ask for help.

This might seem like "cheating" to you, but it's someone's job at the organization to help you. Ask them what they like and don't like in an application. Read or e-mail your application to them and ask for suggestions. Once again, if you show an interest in their organization they'll be, most likely, happy to help. I've had people walk me step-by-step through applications telling me exactly what terms to use and what not to use.

5. Talk about MAUS.

A lot. I know, I know, we in the "comics elite" are bored to tears of the Spiegelman high concept, but everyone's heard of it. Anyone who has any exposure to art in general will know that it's a "serious" and "important" Pulitzer-prize-winning work. I often include photocopies of excerpts of it in my application, even if it has nothing really to do with me. It's a quick way of making the point that "comics sure are serious." Understanding Comics is another good book to name-drop. Assume that the people who will be reviewing your application know nothing about comics other than what they've seen in the newspaper. This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it's better to make yourself too clear than not clear enough.

7. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT talk about other comics artists.

They won't know who you're talking about. I know, I know, we all looove Chris Ware and Dan Clowes. But guess what: Nobody outside our little insular indie comics clique cares. Honest.

8. Be willing to make yourself a novelty act.

I'm fairly certain that I was awarded my first couple of grants purely because I made a good case that comics are worthy of being funded. It had very little to do with my work. I was told by several sources that my application sparked debate amongst the members of the committee. You'll find that you can use the misconceptions about comics to your advantage. People somehow think comics are still a popular art form, adored by young and old alike. Work this very incorrect belief to your advantage. Play up the egalitariannature of the form, highlighting its accessibility to people of all economic backgrounds. Local arts councils love to prove that they're not elitist.

8. Be professional and take yourself seriously.

Even if you've only Xeroxed 20 copies your own crappy comic, you're a self-publisher. Learn the "fine arts" lingo. Call yourself an "emerging" artist. Use the word "community." Once again, talk to your art school friends. Feed the language used in the organizations web-page and description of the grant back to them in your application. Don't try to be funny or whimsical in your application, even if your work is both. You are not writing ad copy; you are not trying to sell books; you are not penning a press release. You are trying to convince a group of people that your art is valuable to them and their peers. Keep in mind that your application will be reviewed by people who are at least somewhat educated.

9. Make connections.

Attend local arts council and town meetings. Talk to people in other disciplines whose work you respect. Talk to your neighbors. My first project came about through someone I met in the swimming pool at the YMCA. Go to local artists' gallery openings. Attend open studios. You'll be frustrated by the number of crappy artists who have studios much larger than your entire apartment. You'll be shocked to see what absolute shite is taken seriously in the art world. But you'll find free food. And wine. Lots of wine. You'll find that the artists' work that you like are either already into comics or at least open to the idea of them. Have a drink with them.

10. Stop being such a goddam snob.

(Well, at least in public). You're going to have to talk to many, many people who will be excited to talk to you about comics. They love Cathy. They can't get enough of Family Circus. Bite your tongue. Try to find a middle ground. Two words: Peanuts. I met a gentleman who had been working at city hall for 30 years. He had every Hagar the Horrible since he had started work in binder clips mounted on the bulletin board in his office. He showed me his favorites. And you know what: Hagar the Horrible's pretty goddamn funny.

11. And stop being so self-centered, too.

You know, maybe you shouldn't get any money to publish your comic about how sucky it is to work in the coffee shop. Perhaps you should write a grant that involves other members of the community. I developed a project in which I, with help from the local youth program, worked with high school students to write and draw a graphic novel about a historic event in my town. It was incredibly frustrating and nerve-wracking, but really, really worthwhile. It might be worthwhile to talk in a little bit more detail about this project.

A grant like this is much more complicated. You will need to involve many more people, probably have to find a sponsoring agency, and generally ask for a lot more help, but this will establish yourself in the community. Plus you can write yourself a salary into the grant application. I was lucky enough to work with two people who have had plenty of experience in this field.

My project received something called a "matching grant." A matching grant is one in which the grant giver will provide money to you equal to the amount of money you receive from other sources. This was daunting at first. We were requesting over $10,000, how could we raise another $10,000? It was surprisingly easy. I learned that the matching funds that you provide can also take the form of services or donations. Thus, my time and that of other artists who had volunteered their time became valuable contributions to the project, once we assigned a dollar value to our time. Highwater Books agreed to donate books to the participants; a local art store, art supplies; a local paper factory, paper. A local comic store was willing to give a discount to the kids that were involved in the class. All of these small donations were very easy to get (usually just a simple call to the businesses) and quickly added up to the needed matching fund.

Once we were awarded this grant, we found that, indeed, money does attract money. With the first grant approved, it was simple to convince others to follow suit. With the money, we were able to pay myself, several staff members, the teen-age participants and eventually pay for the printing of the 96-page book (Fire on the Nunnery Grounds).

Ok, now you've got yourself a big wad of cash.

Most foundations require some sort of follow-up report explaining how the money was spent. Do this. It needn't be long or complicated, but should be complete. If you receive any press for your work let them know. Use their name and logo in interviews, publications, and press releases, they'll like the publicity. Keeping the foundation happy will help your cause if you ever want to apply for future money. Plus, it's just the decent thing to do.

Now go get some more money.

And oh yeah, use the money as it's supposed to be used: to allow yourself to grow as an artist. Make great comics.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Black and White 3

Image Comics for June 2005

June 29 o 192 pg o BW o $19.95
written by CHE' GILSON
lllustrated by JIMMIE ROBINSON
Avigon has to escape. Her mechanical world ruled by political
clockwork masters is killing her soul. But can she hide in a surreal
world of machines where she herself is one?
This complete volume unveils the full story of Avigon's journey. A
clockwork creation pushed beyond the dark world binding her soul where
her true destiny is unlocked. A must for fans of gothic fiction!
Collects the original AVIGON novella, plus over 100 pages of all-new
original art.
AVIGON is ™ and © Che' Gilson & Jimmie Robinson, 2005. All Rights

June 29 o 32 pg o FC o $2.95
art & cover by TONY MOORE
When he's not leadin' mass, he's out kickin' ass! After the Rapture
the sole protector of the sinning masses is BATTLE POPE, and his
trusty sidekick, Jesus. They're the last line of defense in a world
overrun with demons and depravity. Reprinting ROBERT KIRKMAN's first
published work, now in stunning full color, with a brand new cover by
original artist TONY MOORE and original cover colorist VAL STAPLES.
Just in time for the book's Fifth Anniversary!
BATTLE POPE is ™ and © Robert Kirkman & Tony Moore, 2005. All Rights

June 29 o 32 pg o FC o $2.99
created & co-plotted by JIM VALENTINO
written by SCOTT WHERLE
An all-new on-going series created by JIM VALENTINO!
Lina Juarez is stuck in a dead-end job and a dead-end relationship,
living a dead-end life in a dead-end town. All she dreams of is an
escape, some kind of excitement in her life. But when a dark and
mysterious power possesses her, she quickly learns the true meaning of
the old adage, "Be careful what you wish for."
BLACKLIGHT is ™ and © Jim Valentino, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

June 1 o 32 pg o FC o $2.95
Zoe Nixxon is a cute, bored, lonely file clerk. She wants a new life
and fate gives her that chance when she finds her true calling:
hunting for bounties in the lawless dimension known as the O.D.!
Sometimes, one decision can change everything…
FLAK RIOT is ™ and © Michael O'Hare, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

June 22 o 32 pg o FC o $2.95
written by JOE CASEY
Adam Archer is Earth's star-powered champion. But what does his
existence mean for the rest of humanity? And how long until the rest
of the universe takes notice? Mind-altering aliens! Surreal
super-villains! All-out action! The greatest heroic epic of the new
age begins here! One issue of GØDLAND and you'll be hooked!
GØDLAND is ™ and © Joe Casey & Tom Scioli, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

[I usually like Joe Casey's work, but I'm not going near this with a
ten foot pole after seeing some of the preview stuff. Generic Kirby
nostalgia. Skip.]

June 8 o 32 pg. o FC o $2.95
written by JASON RAND
art & cover by JUAN E. FERREYRA
Heroes clash as Owen Young and Bobby Pope face off across the
interrogation room. But what ulterior purpose has truly brought these
men together? Unravel the mystery when, for the first time ever, SMALL
GODS comes to you in FULL COLOR!
SMALL GODS is ™ and © Rand Ratinac, 2004. All Rights Reserved.

June 8 o 32 pg o FC o $2.95
written by RICK REMENDER
art & cover by ERIC NGUYEN
Ten years after the Rapture, the Earth is unprotected by God, and the
demonic citizens of hell have flooded our world, enslaving the
remaining human population.
After saving the life of a runt demon named Bloato, bartender,
occultist, and all around arse kicker Bethany Black discovers that God
is soon returning to wipe the Earth clean of everything unholy. With
the end of the world coming, Bethany and Bloato set out to find the
last doorway left into heaven and plead for admission.
STRANGE GIRL is ™ and © Rick Remender and Eric Nguyen, 2005. All
Rights Reserved.

June 5 o 225 pg o BW o $19.95
written by ERIC SHANOWER
art & cover by ERIC SHANOWER
The Trojan War has been the greatest of Greek myths for more than 2500
years, and now ERIC SHANOWER presents his unique version of the story,
gathered from extensive sources and drawn with historical fidelity. In
this volume, Helen's triumphant entry into Troy is marred by
Kassandra's wild prophecies of doom. Meanwhile, a massive army
approaches from across the sea, but a disastrous battle forces the
High King Agamemnon to make a fateful decision. Will he command the
death of his daughter to satisfy the gods? Or will he give up his
dream of conquering Troy?
The drama and action continue in the book that the editors of
Publishers Weekly choose as one of the best books of 2004.
collects AGE OF BRONZE #10-19
AGE OF BRONZE is ™ and © 2005 Eric Shanower. All Rights Reserved.

June 14 o 160 pg o 2C o $11.95
written by MARK SMITH
art & cover by DAN HIPP
The Amazing Joy Buzzards are a rock and roll adventure band that
rivals such legends as the Beatles and Rolling Stones. It's an
everyday adventure for them when fighting giant robots, evil
witch-doctors, and exploring the supernatural, all with the help of
their mystical Mexican wrestler friend El Campeon.
The Amazing Joy Buzzards are ™ and © Mark Smith & Dan Hipp, 2005. All
Rights Reserved.

June 29 o 128 pg o BW o $15.95
written by JOE PRUETT
cover by PHIL HESTER
He is a man without a past, without a future, and without a name. An
evil hides in the shadows of modern day Mexico City, feeding on the
thousands of abandoned and unwanted street children that plague the
night. This "nameless" man finds himself drawn into the midst of a
very real modern horror with its origins found in the mythical
bloodthirsty rites of the extinct Aztec Empire. The violent rituals
and gods of the sun worshipping tribe somehow hold a key to his past.
Our hero knows that if he survives and learns the ancient secrets, he
will have to live with the answers.
This volume collects the original five-issue series with new pages and
scenes cut from the original version, plus loads of new extra material
and a behind the scenes look at the creating of this modern horror
story by fan-favorite artist PHIL HESTER and series co-creator JOE
collects THE NAMELESS #1-5
THE NAMELESS is ™ and © Joe Pruett and Phil Hester, 2005. All Rights

June 8 o 400 pg o FC o $34.95
Get in on the ground floor. This MASSIVE hardcover collects the first
13 issues of Robert Kirkman's Eisner Nominated superhero hit along
with all the extras from the first three trade paperback volumes and
1 is a can't miss for anyone who's wanted to start reading INVINCIBLE,
but needed an easier way to start from the beginning. Introduction by
collects INVINCIBLE #1-13, plus LOADS of extras!
INVINCIBLE is ™ and © Robert Kirkman & Cory Walker, 2005. All Rights

[An easier way than ordering the readily available first softcover

June 22 o 128 pages o BW o $9.95
Featuring a diverse and dynamic body of creators, THE RIDE showcases
the tales of a 1968 Camaro and the many lives it alters. Volume 1
contains five amazing stories featuring bullets, babes, murder &
mayhem, all from the driver's seat of a car that exudes muscle and
power. Exclusive bonus material includes: character designs, pin-ups,
commentary, plus a forward from industry legend HOWARD CHAYKIN!
Collects THE RIDE #1-4
THE RIDE is ™ and © 12 GAUGE COMICS, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

June 1 o 24 pg o BW o $3.50
written by ERIC SHANOWER
art & cover by ERIC SHANOWER
"BETRAYAL," Part One
Nothing can stop Agamemnon and the army from reaching Troy - or from
destroying anyone in their way. The great warrior Achilles leads a
bloody assault on the island of Tenedos and makes a grave mistake that
leads him closer to his foretold doom.
AGE OF BRONZE is ™ and © 2005 Eric Shanower. All Rights Reserved.

[Definite must buy.]

June 8 o 32 pg o BW o $2.50
written by MARC ANDREYKO
As Sam and Twitch try to unravel who would kill six-year-old starlet
Lacey Ann Lyons, the world media watches them. Trying to find out who
would brutalize a child is hard enough, but can Twitch overcome the
memories of his own murdered daughter and solve this crime?
CASE FILES: SAM & TWITCH is ™ and © Todd McFarlane Productions, 2005.
All Rights Reserved.

June 22 o 32 pg o BW o $3.50
written by GARY REED
art & cover by VINCE LOCKE
Trapped and surrounded by zombies, what once was thought to be a
sanctuary is instead revealed to be a death trap! But there is a
chance of hope as the zombie master, the mysteriously talking King
Zombie, offers a deal. All the surviving teens have to do is betray
one of their own! Continuing the rebirth of the classic horror comic
DEADWORLD is ™ and © Gary Reed, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

DEATH, JR. #2 (of 3)
June 8 o 48 pg o FC o $4.99
written by GARY WHITTA
The mild-mannered, middle school-attending, son of the Grim Reaper
thought he was just goofing around with an old box at the museum of
supernatural history. Unfortunately, he's released an ancient evil
with disturbing designs on the family of Death.
DEATH, JR. is ™ and © Backbone Entertainment, 2005. All Rights

June 15 o 32 pg o BW o $3.50
written by BOB BURDEN
art & cover by BOB BURDEN
From the creator of MYSTERY MEN! The world's first surrealist
superhero, the legendary Flaming Carrot returns with yet even more
lunacy and mayhem! Whether he's brawling mutated poultry, carousing
with the happy hour shift at the local strip joint, or reciting poetic
verse from mill-town rooftops, the Flaming Carrot is truly an icon of
the times and a true hero of the working class.
FLAMING CARROT is ™ and © Bob Burden, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

June 22 o 32 pg o FC o $2.95
written by B. CLAY MOORE
art & cover by JASON LATOUR
The shocking conclusion to issue three left Jack's future in doubt.
Issue four reveals the true scope of Jack's predicament, and, if
anything, it's even more horrifying than he could have imagined.
Suddenly the fate of Jack Dexter seems tied into the fate of the
THE EXPATRIATE is ™ and © B. Clay Moore, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

June 15 o 32 pg o FC o $2.99
written by ERIC DIETER
art & cover by TOM SCIOLI
Stranded in the prehistoric past, a desperate Freedom Force must ally
themselves with one enemy in order to defeat another! In a cataclysmic
battle that will shake the very foundations of the universe, the team
confronts the evil that has been pulling their strings since issue
three... and at least one hero will NOT be returning home! Plus: A
member's darkest secret revealed!
FREEDOM FORCE is ™ and © Irrational Games LLC, 2005. All Rights

June 22 o 32 pg o FC o $2.99
written by RAVEN GREGORY
The brand new story arc that will reveal the answers behind the
Ancient One's motives and past continues here. A being of incredible
power is stalking the Ancient One, a being that has walked side by
side with Enoch throughout the ages. Now that it has been decided that
the Ancient One's time is over, will he be able to stand against a
force as powerful as Death itself?
THE GIFT is ™ and © Raven Gregory, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

June 22 o 32 pg o FC o $2.95
written by JOSHUA LUNA
art & cover by JONATHAN LUNA
Like many men, Ethan has always envisioned a dream girl - someone who
could defy the mundane trappings of reality and become a living
fantasy. But when Ethan's dreams are finally fulfilled, will it really
be that fantastic?
GIRLS is ™ and © Luna Brothers, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

HERO CAMP #2 (of 4)
June 15 o 32 pg o FC o $2.95
written by GREG THOMPSON
A day off at Camp Enokchuk means a good time for everyone -- except
Eric. A quiet day of writing turns into a fight for survival against
Goat and Hook, and only a trio of unlikely heroes stand between Eric
and a grisly fate!
HERO CAMP is ™ and © Greg Thompson, Robbi Rodriguez, & Russ Lowery
2005. All Rights Reserved.

June 22 o 32 pg o FC o $2.95
art & cover by GREG TITUS
The Greatmen - a band of rebels following in the footsteps of a fallen
hero named Greatman - recruit Superhero G as their new figurehead.
Superhero G is torn, for in his secret identity, "George," he has been
given another opportunity: serve the Ice Queen by betraying the
Greatmen …and he will be able to return home to his creator and best
friend, Tanner.
IMAGINARIES is ™ and © Mike S. Miller, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

June 15 o 32 pg o FC o $2.95
Only once in his career has Invincible been beaten this badly. That
time it was his father, Omni-Man, who had done the beating. Who could
it be this time? This issue is a can't miss for any long-time fans of
the book, and it's all leading up to the HUGE events in issue 25,
coming next month.
INVINCIBLE is ™ and © Robert Kirkman & Cory Walker, 2005. All Rights

THE IRON GHOST #2 (of 6)
June 22 o 32 pg o FC o $2.95
written by CHUCK DIXON
The number of suspects continues to narrow as Tannhauser and Volz
close in on the identity of The Iron Ghost. But what will happen to
their investigation when one of their leads is killed by The Iron
Ghost himself, and why did he leave a witness to the killing behind?
IRON GHOST is ™ and © ATP Studios, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

June 1 o 32 pg o BW o $2.95
written by PAUL HARMON
art & cover by PAUL HARMON
These days the sun runs away all too quickly, and hides for far too
long. The citizens are left to fend off the creatures that live and
feed by the night, and one predator has set his sights on the
children. Meanwhile, an outsider gets a very harsh lesson in what it
takes to be a witch in the city of witches.
MORA is ™ and © Paul Harmon, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

THE NIGHT CLUB #3 (of 4)
June 8 o 32 pg o FC o $2.95
written by MIKE BARON
art & cover by MIKE NORTON & JOHN RAUCH
The devil throws a party. As the Tall Ships sail up the Charles River,
Screwbarb, the Vice President, and several hundred friends crowd the
bluffs to witness the Apocalypse. The devil is nothing if not
arrogant... He's invited the Night Club to witness the demise of
civilization, but the Night Club has other plans.
THE NIGHT CLUB is ™ and © Mike Baron and Mike Norton, 2005. All Rights

June 15 o 32 pg o FC o $2.95
written by JAY FAERBER
art & cover by FRAN BUENO
The birth of Zephyr's baby promises to deliver the first half-human,
half-Draconian being, an event of worldwide importance. But the
paparazzi aren't the only ones hunting mother and child…
NOBLE CAUSES is ™ and © Jay Faerber, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

June 1 o 32 pg o FC o $3.50
written by IVAN BRANDON
cover by ERIC CANETE
Falling in love is never easy, and in the dead of winter with
post-traumatic stress, there's a fine line between losing your mind
and losing your robotic heart. When Quentin meets the girl of his
dreams, she almost kills 100 people - not least of which is him. But
even now, with her gun to his head, all he can do is stare into her
Ad copy: Pick up the critically acclaimed series people are calling
NYC MECH is ™ and © Ivan Brandon and Andy MacDonald, 2005. All Rights

THE PACT #3 (of 4)
June 8 o 32 pg o FC o $2.95
Written by PHIL HESTER
Cover by ANDY KUHN
Who is Quantum Girl and why is she leading The Pact? Her mysterious,
time-bending powers send our young heroes spiraling into split
timelines and alternate universes, each more dire than the last, but
are any of them prepared for the sacrifice it will take to put things
THE PACT is ™ and © Jim Valentino, 2005. All Rights Reserved. All
characters ™ and © their respective creators.

PvP #18
June 29 o 32 pg o BW o $2.95
written by Scott Kurtz
art & cover by Scott Kurtz
PvP Magazine gets taken to court! When office slobs Robbie and Jase
are accused of plagiarism, the gang find themselves in hot water and
unable to afford their legal fees. Skull breaks his promise to never
again use his brain-enhancing machine in order to transform himself
into a legal eagle...but things go horribly awry. Meanwhile...who is
SCRATCH FURY and what are his evil plans for PvP?
PvP is ™ and © Scott R. Kurtz, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

June 29 o 32 pg o 2C o $2.95
A pulse pounding horror filled issue as Marco and Janine get closer to
finding Blackthroat. With Marco near death, Janine must defeat
Blackthroat's secret defense of genetically altered vampires. With an
opportunity to either help them or film their fate, Joel chooses to
suit his own interests. However his plan backfires leaving his fate in
the hands of The Black Galleon's surviving crew.
Sea of Red is ™ and © Rick Remender, Kieron Dwyer & Salgood Sam 2005.
All Rights Reserved.

June 4 o 32 pgo FC o $2.99
written by JIM KEPLINGER
created & co-plotted by JIM VALENTINO
The new ShadowHawk's trial by fire continues as he faces ZAP!, a
super-fast flyer that fires lightning bolts from his fingers! Plus,
more secrets behind the man in the shadows are revealed as the mystery
of whom he's reporting to deepens!
SHADOWHAWK is ® and © Jim Valentino, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

SPAWN #147 (RES)
June 29 o 32 pgo FC o $2.50
Continuing his journey into the shadowy history at the heart of
America, Spawn travels to the icy backwoods of Minnesota. There, in
the haunted, snow-covered landscape he discovers a mysterious clan
which claims to be 18th century homesteaders. But when night falls and
the moon rises, he's in for more surprises, including a pack of
spectral wolves, a macabre feast and a tireless hunt in which Spawn
himself is the prize.
SPAWN is ® and © Todd McFarlane Productions, 2005. All Rights

June 15 o 32 pg o BW o $2.95
cover by TONY MOORE
The world they knew is becoming a distant memory. The camp is
adjusting to their new life inside the walls of the prison. Things are
really starting to settle down. Could the dangers of this new world
finally be behind them, or is this the calm before the storm?
THE WALKING DEAD is ™ and © Robert Kirkman, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

Rising Stars "Special" Matthew Bright takes center stage in this
mini-series, detailing Bright's career as a New York cop in pursuit of
a mad bomber. Fiona Avery (Rising Stars: Voices of the Dead) writes,
while superhero vet Dan Jurgens provides the art. The entire
mini-series is available here, priced just below original cover price!
Three comics $7.99
Three comics $17.99 with #1 signed by writer Fiona Avery

NO HONOR #1-#4 set
Random is a thief with no honor. Tannen is a samurai who knows only
honor. When Random steals an ancient samurai sword, Tannen's spirit is
released, and occupies Random's body. Together, the two
spirits-in-one-man must return to Japan to lay Tannen to rest. Fiona
Avery (Rising Stars: Voices of the Dead) writes, with art by Clayton
Crain. The entire mini-series is available here, priced just below
original cover price!
Four comics $8.99
Four comics $18.99 with #1 signed by writer Fiona Avery

Mark Waid and Marc Silvestri's EXPLOSIVE ongoing series!
(W) Mark Waid (P) Marc Silvestri (I) Joe B. Weems V (Col) Steve
Firchow (Cov) Marc Silvestri
Ellis, the young Ultra-Sapien whose powers just emerged, is trapped
inside the Hunter-Killer compound. Worse, he knows that the moment he
leaves, the enigmatic man known only as "Wolf" will find him and kill
him. Ellis noses around the compound and starts to see that not all is
as it appears. Who are these other agents working for Samantha and her
bosses? And why must their existence be kept a secret? The answers are
brought to you by the stellar creative team of Waid and Silvestri!
Full color 32 pages $2.99 ongoing series

The Rising Stars tradition continues!
(W) Fiona Avery (P) Staz Johnson (I) Wayne Faucher (C) Steve Firchow
Lionel Zerb, the Rising Stars "Special" who communes with the dead,
has met his match. His minions have been searching for another realm
where spirits must go when they finally dissipate from this plane of
existence. At long last, one of his minions has found a home where not
even the dead dare to enter. Lionel's first encounter with something
even MORE frightening than the spirit world begins! Great new Rising
Stars action is brought to you by Fiona Avery (Amazing Fantasy, Araña)
and Staz Johnson (Spider-Man/Doctor Octopus)!
Full color 32 pages $2.99 part 2 of a 6-part storyarc

WITCHBLADE #87 "Heart of the City"
Chris Bachalo art!
(W) Ron Marz (Pencils and Colors) Chris Bachalo (I) Jon Holdredge
(Cov) Adam Hughes
Artistic superstar Chris Bachalo (X-Men, Death) joins the Witchblade
team for a special stand-alone issue! Detective Sara Pezzini finds
herself with a new job description within the NYPD, and it's not one
she's terribly happy about. But even before she can settle into her
new role, she comes face-to-face with a murderous entity that's been
lurking in the heart of the city for literally hundreds of years!
Chris Bachalo and a brand-new status quo make this the perfect issue
to jump on board the book that the critics are saying "Truly stands
toe-to-toe with the top sellers of the industry."
Full color 32 pages $2.99 continuing series
ALSO AVAILABLE: Top Cow Fine Art Lithograph of this cover! A limited
edition of 250 pieces, reproduced at the highest quality possible at
12x18 inches!
Limited edition lithograph $19.99
Limited edition lithograph signed by artist Adam Hughes $29.99

Three ALL-NEW series, only 99¢!
(Writers) Seth Green and Hugh Sterbakov, Aron Coliete, Joshua Ortega,
(Artists) Leonard Kirk, Tyler Kirkham, Francis Manapul
Top Cow rolls out the best of it's all-new offerings for 2005 with
six-page previews of three great new series!
o Seth Green (yes, "Scott Evil" from the Austin Powers movies) and
writing partner Hugh Sterbakov combine superheroes and college life in
the uproarious Freshmen, with art by Leonard Kirk (JSA)!
o The FBI's Critical Response Unit responds only to the worst
situations…'cause sometimes, it takes bad men to do a bad job.
V.I.C.E. is the brainchild of Crossing Jordan TV writer Aron Coleite
and artist Tyler Kirkham (Darkness/Superman)!
o Abigail van Alstine has always had "the knack"-a natural talent for
magic. But when she gets in over her head, she finds sorcery is not
all fun and games. Best-selling sci-fi novelist Joshua Ortega
(Frequencies) and artist Francis Manapul (Witchblade) roll out
Full color 24 pages 99¢ one-shot special

Five years in the making…at last!
(Writer) Dan Jurgens (Painted art and cover) Joe Jusko
The greatest Tomb Raider saga ever is worth the wait! Lara thought she
had recovered the most precious items history had to offer…until now.
Hop on for Lara's most unique adventure ever as she treks through the
jungle of death to experience the unreal. This is classic Lara Croft
at her best in a very special story by original Tomb Raider scribe Dan
Jurgens, with stunning, lavish, painted art by Joe Jusko. See the book
George Pérez calls "an out-and-out revelation!"
Full color 48 pages $6.99 one-shot special

DARKNESS #21 "The Reckoning"
A NEW villain enters the Darkness!
(W) Brian Buccellato (P) Francis Manapul (I) Kevin Conrad (Col) Brian
Buccellato (Cov) Dale Keown
Darkness-bearer Jackie Estacado slips off to Alaska, land of the
midnight sun, to escape the all-encompassing darkness. But his trip
takes a sour turn when Jackie is confronted by a soul even more
tortured than his own…and more powerful. With no darkness to sustain
him, how can Jackie face…the Reckoning?
Full color 32 pages $2.99 ongoing series

It's MONSTROUS! Top Cow against classic monsters!
(W) Chris Golden and Tom Sniegoski (Art) Joyce Chin (Col) Scott Kester
(Cov) Joyce Chin and t'k
Investigating a series of savage murders at a New York City brothel,
Witchblade-bearer Sara Pezzini finds herself face-to-face with the
legendary monster of Frankenstein! It's supernatural weaponry vs. an
immortal creature cobbled together from the pieces of the dead in a
battle royal! Plus, Tomb Raider Lara Croft and Dr. Jekyll come to the
city in pursuit of the Magdalena who is searching for her new lord and
And don't miss NEXT month's chapter: The Darkness vs. Mr. Hyde!
Full color 32 pages $2.99 Part 3 of a 4-part storyarc

CITY OF HEROES #2 "Hard Crash," pt. 2 of 3
The NEW comic series based on the SPECTACULAR video game!
(W) Mark Waid (P) David Nakayama (Col) Sonia Oback (Cov) Rodolfo
Paragon City is under full lockdown! Mysterious foes have forced the
city's defenders to come up with a new definition of "hero."
Powerless, the Freedom Phalanx has turned to the one man who holds the
solution to solving their crisis-but he's nowhere to be found! Where
is Statesman? Eisner-Award winning superhero writer Mark Waid brings
you the action, with Kubert School grad and Wizard contest winner
David Nakayama on art!
Full color 32 pages $2.99 ongoing series

The Tenth's ORIGIN story!
(W) James Bonny/Tony Daniel (P) Tyler Kirkham (I) Matt Banning (Col)
John Starr (Cov) Tony Daniel
Tony Daniel's classic creation is back in an all-new, double-sized,
stand-alone story! Tomb Raider scribe James Bonny and
Darkness/Superman artist Tyler Kirkham show you how it all began as
the mysteries of the Tenth are revealed. Join Espy, Zorina, and Victor
as their lives are forever changed by the sinister experiments of
Rhazes Darkk. Not only their future, but the future of humanity will
hang in the balance.
Full color 48 pages $4.99 one-shot special graphic novel

(W) Munier Sharrieff (Art) Wilson Tortosa (Cov) Rodolfo Migliari
ARROW: G-Force rides again!
Writer Munier Sharrieff returns to revisit the G-Force crew, picking
up right where he left off in Top Cow's smash-hit original Battle of
the Planets series. Who was the mysterious force seen in the original
series? What new peril will he be putting the team into? And how will
it result in G-Force battling…itself? All will be revealed here!
b/w 24 pages $2.99 part one of a two-part series
Thursday, May 12, 2005

Artwork preservation

I bumped into this , don't ask me how , I don't know anymore :-)...

There are two main enemies of original art on paper during long-term
storage or display: Chemicals that are CONTAINED IN the paper, and
chemicals from OUTSIDE objects that come in contact with the paper.

THE ENEMY FROM WITHIN is the remaining acidity or alkalinity from the
manufacture of the paper, or the build-up of acidity due to the aging of
materials in the paper. Nasty chemicals are often used in the making of
paper products from wood and a few other fibers. Some of these
chemicals, as well as parts of the plant material, can remain in the
paper, causing it to chemically change with age and turn yellow or
brown, due to a buildup of acidity.

Ideally, you want paper as close to a pH neutral condition as possible.
That means that it's not acidic or alkaline. A paper that is pH neutral
or has some alkalinity will tend not to discolor with age. Some papers
are buffered, meaning that they have alkaline chemicals added during
production that tend to offset any acidity that might build up with age.

Some papers are known as 100% rag. They are made from fibers other than
wood, such as cotton, wool, flax, synthetic fibers, and more. Not all
100 percent rag papers are completely archival, but most are. On the
other hand, some common copier papers made from wood are fairly pH
neutral when new, but assume paper made from wood will become more
acidic with time.

If you want archivability in paper, be sure to find out about it before
buying it. And double-check for balanced pH with a testing device, such
as a pH testing pen.

EXTERNAL CONTAMINATION can come from self-adhesive tape, glue, acidic
paper, humidity, skin oils, temperature, aerosols and ultraviolet or
strong light.

Use only stable, acid-free or pH neutral materials that might come in
contact with or be stored near paper.

The sticky coatings on adhesive tape contain volatile chemicals that can
work their way into the paper and stain it. Plus, the adhesive will
eventually dry with age and come loose, crack or crumble. Never allow
masking tape, cellophane tape, duct tape, drafting tape or any
self-stick tapes on or near the front or back of the art. Also avoid
spray adhesives.

You can use pH neutral cloth or paper tape that has a dry, water-soluble
adhesive. This kind of adhesive will not ooze chemicals into the paper
of the artwork and can be removed cleanly with a moist cloth. Use as
little as possible, and use only on the far edges of the paper.

The best way to secure originals on a backing board is with archival
corners. That way, no adhesive touches the art. Using corners made of pH
neutral paper and secured with archival tape is the best possible
mounting technique. (For added safety, place a sheet of pH neutral paper
between the artwork and the mounting board and/or the matte overlay.)
(In my experience, matte board is usually pH neutral on the white back
surface, but it should be checked for acidity after a few years.)
Archival paper tape can be easily folded for use as archival corners.

DISPLAY COVERINGS: to prevent UV light from aging the paper or fading
colors, use UV light blocking glass (or other high-rated UV protective
hard plastics), as long as any coatings are on the outside, away from
the art. Be sure to clean the clear cover with mild soap and water
before placing it against the art. Avoid direct sunlight and fluorescent
lights. Avoid reflected sunlight, unless using a very good UV protective

FOR INFREQUENT DISPLAY/STORAGE, Mylar (polyester) is recommended because
of its stability. Polypropylene, polyvinyl acetate, or acrylics (such as
Perspex, Lucite and PlexiGlas) are almost as good as mylar, but should
be replaced every few years and must be kept away from heat. Vinyl, PVC
or other soft plastics must be avoided. The softer and more flexible the
plastic, the easier it is for solvents to leak out. Chemicals evaporate
out of the plastic or accumulate on the surface of the plastic and cause
damage or discoloration to artwork as they soak into or chemically
combine with the artwork. Avoid lamination or photo albums with
"magnetic pages."

IDEAL ARCHIVAL STORAGE for art on paper would be in acid-free boxes, in
Mylar sleeves, with buffered pH neutral paper sheets on both sides of
the art, in a cool and moderately dry environment. Including some moth
crystals and silica gel will help keep out pests and stabalize humidity.
Most art materials and papers are made to be stable at room temperature
and between 30% to 40% relative humidity, although a little cooler
temperature range is better. Wide fluctuations in temperature and
humidity are damaging. Eliminating oxygen by encapsulation and replacing
the air with nitrogen gas will help. Many historic documents are stored
this way. Any contaminants such as smoke or aerosol chemicals that could
condense on or infiltrate the art must be avoided.

Dark Horse for August 2005

Written by Mike Kennedy, art by Timothy Green II.
Four hundred years in the future, the last of humanity will live
behind the protective walls of Bregna, an idyllic utopia built to
shelter them from the deadly jungle growing beyond. Life in Bregna is
perfect, or as perfect as the government can make the people believe.
But not everyone is fooled by their mood-altering propaganda--a small
band of freedom fighters wish to see things change, and they just
might manage to pull off this impossible dream with the help of their
top secret agent, the sexy, deadly Aeon Flux.
As Bregnan authorities prepare a new weapon to use against the jungle
pounding at their walls, Aeon prepares to turn their plans against
them. But this time she is not alone--she has been instructed to train
a new agent, a fiery young woman named Sithandra, who may not be all
that she appears to be...
Reintroducing the cult-classic action heroine best known for her
animated adventures on MTV, this series will pave the way for her
big-screen debut in this fall's blockbuster, live-action adaptation
starring Charlize Theron. This four-issue mini-series will lay the
foundation for events in the film, with all of the fast-paced action
and intriguing conceptual sci-fi of the original cartoon.
32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 24.

Written by Mark Verheiden, art by Chris Warner, Grant Miehm, Doug
Braithwaite, Frank Miller, Mike Mignola and Jim Lee.
He's the ultimate American hero. Since the fifties, he has been a
symbol of hope and courage for the entire nation, an indestructible
one-man army standing tall for freedom, justice, and the American
way--but what about truth? When reporter Dennis Hough is assigned to
cover a story about his boyhood hero, he begins to see the cracks in
the legend. Does The American have feet of clay? Or is he himself a
victim of a larger conspiracy? Created by screenwriter Mark Verheiden,
The America rises again, now collected in its entirety for the first
time (including hard-to-find American short stories).
Collecting The American #1-8, The American Special, The American: Lost
in America #1-4, short stories from DHP #32, DHP 5th Anniversary
Special, and a story from A1 #3 (Atomeka Press).
360 pages, black and white, $14.95, in stores on Sept. 14.

Written by Steve Kiwus.
The art of action figures has exploded in recent times, as the
simplistic, inelegant pieces of yesterday's plastic have transformed
into complex, dynamic pieces of articulate sculpture, reaching levels
of artistic expression unthinkable just a few years ago. Steve Kiwus
of Eightball Studios, one of the most in-demand toy sculptors of the
era, has now brought together his considerable body of eye-popping
work into a collection like none other. Babes, Beasts, and Brawn:
Sculpture of the Fantastic is a definitive look into the creation of
these powerhouse playthings, with hundreds of stunning color
photographs and fascinating insights into Kiwus' creative process.
144 pages, $19.95, in stores on Aug. 24.

Written and art by Hiroaki Samura.
The return of Shira! With "Forsaken," another one-shot episode, manga
master Hiroaki Samura gives us a peek at what his most despicable
character has been up to since the "Autumn Frost" storyline. Get ready
to be seriously disturbed. Also in this issue, Rin is reunited with an
old ally, two compelling, new Ittö-ryü warriors are introduced, and
Manji finds himself in the "lion's den" of Habaki Kagamura, leader of
the Mugai-ryü. This Eagle and Eisner Award-winning epic reaches
another major turning point!
32 pages, black and white, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 10.

Written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, art by Guy Davis, colors by
Dave Stewart and cover by Mignola.
A bloodbath washes across America as the Bureau for Paranormal
Research and Defense turns its attention back to the plague of frogs.
While the Bureau tries to interpret bizarre new behavior from the frog
men, a madman from the B.P.R.D.'s secret history returns to take
advantage of the mindless monsters. Mignola takes over cover duties
for the sprawling six-issue epic he's crafted with co-writer John
Arcudi and interior art team of Guy Davis and Dave Stewart.
32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 31.

Written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, art by Guy Davis and colors
by Dave Stewart.
The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense and their new team
leader, a former corpse himself, moves into their new headquarters
only to unearth a gigantic long-buried secret involving United States
government covert experiments and Nazi scientists. Hellboy creator
Mike Mignola teams with artist Guy Davis and co-writer John Arcudi to
carve out a bold new direction for the B.P.R.D., while Abe Sapien,
still reeling from the revelation of his former life as a Victorian
scientist, meets his long dead wife in their crumbling home by the
sea. This collection includes an extended sketchbook section featuring
the otherworldly designs Guy Davis for the roster of new characters
introduced in The Dead. Collecting the five-issue miniseries. The
strangest team book in comics gets weirder with this tale of the
walking dead, madness, the Spear of Destiny, and a monstrous gateway
to heaven.
152 pages, $17.95, in stores on Sept. 28.

[I'll be getting this. They're really pumping out the Hellboy-related
stuff nowadays, eh? There should be a Hellboy collection soonish now
that The Island will create enough material to fill out another one.
Then the above BPRD mini will be collected. I'm sure I heard that Lee
Bermejo would be drawing a Hellboy mini, which I guess will see
publication after that.]

Written and art by Kenichi Sonoda.
Hoichi Kano's responsibilities are just a bit heavier than those of
your typical teenager-- taking out the garbage, mowing the lawn, or
washing the car fall just a bit short of single-handedly fighting an
alien colonization! Luckily, Hoichi's got the right tools for the job,
like a state-of-the-art integrated gunsuit and the antimatter-powered
giant robot, Exaxxion. That's some heavy-duty ordnance, but the
invaders didn't make it halfway across the galaxy without some pretty
impressive gear, including a major league mega-robot of their own that
incapacitates Exaxxion, forcing Hoichi to take on the Riofaldian
hordes solo in a last-ditch effort to free Exaxxion, humanity's last
chance to prevail against extraterrestrial tyranny!
208 pages, black and white, $15.95, in stores on Aug. 3.

Written by Kurt Busiek, art by Cary Nord, colors by Dave Stewart.
Conan unleashes an ancient evil of extraordinary power in this story
that sets the stage for the adaptation of one of Robert E. Howard's
most-praised Conan stories, "The Tower of the Elephant," beginning
next month. Civilization continues to prove unsavory to the Cimmerian
barbarian as he navigates through the teeming villainy of the City of
Thieves. Determined to profit from this den of peril, Conan attempts
to rob a luxuriant temple only to find himself face-to-face with an
unscrupulous power bent upon its own escape. Yet, even that may not be
as troubling as a woman from Conan's past who has returned to the
scene, unexpectedly.
32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 24.

Written by Kurt Busiek, art by Cary Nord and Thomas Yeates, colors by
Dave Stewart.
The critically acclaimed and award-winning creative team behind the
runaway-hit revival are back with a brand new adaptation of one of
Conan creator Robert E. Howard's best-known tales.
Award-winning writer Kurt Busiek and artists Cary Nord and Dave
Stewart render the glorious suspense of Howard's beloved "The God in
the Bowl" in all its terrifying detail, as well as introducing not
only Conan's most famed adversary, Thoth-amon, but a new female foil
to Conan's exploits--Janissa the Widowmaker, bound by a pact to a
witch who has sinister plans for Conan. Collecting issues #7, #9-#14
of the Dark Horse series.
184 pages, $24.95, in stores on Sept. 28.

[Waiting on the softcover. Why isn't #8 included?]

Written and art by Paul Chadwick.
Big as a boulder and strong as an ox, he's Concrete, seven-feet of
stony celebrity. That he's a government-created cyborg is the cover
story, but in truth he's the mind of one Ronald Lithgow trapped inside
a rocky shell of alien origin. Possessing powers allowing him to scale
the highest mountain unaided or peel back the roof of a car like a
pull tab, he is yet denied the simple human pleasures of fragile
This volume collects Concrete issues #6-10; Concrete Color Special,
the short stories: "World Beneath the Skin" and "Brighter," and a
gallery of hard-to-find Concrete illustrations.
208 pages, black and white, $12.95, in stores on Sept. 21.

[I'll get this.]

Written and art by Jack Pollock. From the fiery abyss of Hell's
kitchen--literally!--comes the return of the culinary arts' diminutive
demon, Devil Chef! In his first feature-length story extravaganza,
"The Man with the Soft-Serve Brain" documents Chef's titanic struggle
with his chief rival, Softy (a.k.a. Citizen Cone) of Softy Soft-Serve
Ice Cream! It's fire vs. ice, winner-take-all, with the sweet nectar
of fast-food immortality to the winner--and the bitter ashes of
drive-thru oblivion for second place! Some say the way to a man's
heart is through his stomach, while others contend that the road to
Hell is paved with good intentions, but Devil Chef proves once and for
all time that a man's stomach is the road to Hell!
96 pages, $6.95, in stores on Sept. 14.

Written by Paul S. Newman, art by Frank Bolle and others.
The Man of the Atom is mankind's only hope! In a series of
catastrophic events like nothing ever witnessed Doctor Solar struggles
to save humanity from giant death machines, nuclear annihilation, lava
monsters, and robot scorpions! Back in time, Solar relives the
incredible events that made him The Man of the Atom! Solar smashes
mind-monsters that come to life! A million Solars battle microscopic
aliens from outer space! Don't miss the strangest, most fantastic
adventures of the atomic age.
This archive collection reprints issues fifteen through twenty-two of
Gold Key's original Doctor Solar comic-book series, the revolutionary
science-fiction adventure that gave birth to one of comics' most
distinctive and beloved superheroes, restored and reprinted for the
first time in over forty years.
200 pages, $49.95, in stores on Sept. 28.

Written by Paul Alden, art by Al Rio, Cliff Richards and Fabiano
Neves. Enter the mystic world of Aranna in Dungeon Siege: The Battle
for Aranna.
Based on the upcoming game Dungeon Siege II from Gas Powered Games,
The Battle for Aranna tells the thrilling story of two of Aranna's
most influential legends, Zaramoth the Unmaker and Azunai. The magical
River of Souls holds the energy used to make magic possible. The evil
giant Zaramoth seeks to claim the River for himself. The brave human
chieftain Azunai knows that the River's magic belongs to all of
Aranna. When Zaramoth and Azunai finally meet on the battlefield,
Aranna will be changed forever!
88 pages, $6.95, in stores on Sept. 7.

Written and art by Kohta Hirano.
What do you get when you mix reanimated Nazis, vampires, and freaky
killer Catholics and Protestants breathing down each others' necks? In
the case of Hellsing, you get an all-out bloody war. Or such has
proven to be the case so far. The world is engulfed in the flames of
destruction, and all seems lost. Vernedead's "Geese" are literally
being eaten alive, and it might just take half-vampire, Seras
Victoria, a certain loss of innocence to provide a shred of hope. But
that's not all this story hinges on. The vampire Hellsing himself will
surely show at some point, and the Catholic Iscariot Army, a dreaded
force, is also on the march. This is a situation of boiling blood, and
it's about to burst! Co-published with Digital Manga Publishing.
192 pages, black and white, $13.95, in stores on Sept. 21.

Written by Paul Dini, art by Jose Garibaldi, Stephanie Gladden and J.
Tired of remaining an unsung--so to speak--icon of the holiday season
in spite of her best efforts, Jingle defies her father's "no
publicity" edict and creates an animated TV special with her elfin
friends. But before it hits the airwaves, Jing must overcome new
adversaries Š contemporary TV executives!
Next, determined to prove herself worthy of the Claus legacy, Jingle
leaves the North Pole to take over a struggling Santaland amusement
park. Little does the mild-mannered owner realize, though, that the
"revitalization" will result in an over-the-top, Vegas-style Christmas
casino! And what's an elf-girl to do when the local mob tries to horn
in on the action? Raise the stakes, that's what!
In addition to vignettes from Jing's past boyfriends, this also
includes short stories illustrated by J. Bone and Stephanie Gladden,
featuring other characters Paul Dini has created--such as Sheriff Ida
Red of Mutant Texas! Collecting the four-issue mini-series.
96 pages, $12.95, in stores on Sept. 14.

Written by Kazuo Koike, art by Kazuo Kamimura.
From the pen of Kazuo Koike, of Lone Wolf and Cub fame, comes Lady
Snowblood. A story of pure vengeance, Lady Snowblood tells the tale of
a daughter born of a singular purpose, to avenge the death of her
family at the hands of a gang of thugs, a purpose woven into her soul
from the time of her gestation. Beautifully drafted and full of
bloody, sexy action, Lady Snowblood lives up to its title and
288 pages, $14.95, in stores on Sept. 6.

[I'll look at it in the store first. If it's just more Lone Wolf and
Cub and Samurai Executioner ... well I already have those.]

Written by Neil Gaiman, art by Michael Zulli.
Steven is afraid. Afraid of ghost stories, afraid of growing up...just
afraid. That is, until he meets the mysterious Showman and his Theatre
of the Real. Steven takes a ticket and watches the show on a dare, but
getting out of the performance will be harder than he ever imagined.
And then Steven learns what it is to be truly afraid.
Neil Gaiman, internationally acclaimed and bestselling writer of both
prose fiction (Neverwhere, Stardust) and graphic novels (The Sandman,
Signal to Noise) and Eisner nominated artist Michael Zulli (The
Sandman, Creatures of the Night) are the creators of this dark and
brooding morality tale. This new black and white hardcover edition of
The Last Temptation is the latest addition to Dark Horse's proud and
growing library of Neil Gaiman hardcovers. Originally published as
part of the short-lived Marvel Music line of the early Œ90s, Zulli's
lush and beautiful duoshade artwork is now showcased in a new format
for this stunning second edition.
104 pages, black and white, $14.95, in stores on Sept. 7.

[Murder Mysteris is spectacular. Creatures of the Night was ok. I'll
skip this.]

Written by Bruce Campbell and David Goodman, art by Rick Remender and
Hilary Barta, covers by Remender and Mike Mignola.
Hellboy creator Mike Mignola illustrates an eye-popping second cover
to complement the one by the regular team for this final installment
of Bruce Campbell's brilliantly deranged tale of an arrogant American
businessman and the surly cabdriver whose brain has been transplanted
inside his head. It's all out mayhem as the dual-brained Campbell goes
toe-to-toe with a bar full of Russian ruffians at the beck and call of
a Gypsy beauty who's trying her darnedest to plant him in an early
grave. Meanwhile, Campbell's dead wife acts out with uncharacteristic
bravery for someone reanimated inside a robot body. When it all comes
crashing down, one thing's for certain--you'll never look at comics or
organ transplants the same way again.
32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 17.

By various.
Dark Horse asked its readers, "Think you've got what it takes to be in
comics?" The response was overwhelming. Now, after receiving hundreds
of submissions from all over the world, Dark Horse is proud to present
five of the coolest, strangest, and funniest stories from a group of
undiscovered and underrated newcomers. There's no comic anthology out
there like this one. Now's your chance to get in on the new wave of
comic contenders who've got what it takes!
128 pages, $12.95, in stores on Sept. 14.

Written by Paul Jenkins, art and cover by Humberto Ramos, colored by
Leonardo Olea.
From Paul Jenkins and Humberto Ramos, the best-selling creative team
behind Marvel's Spectacular Spider-Man, comes a sophisticated murder
mystery set in the unlikeliest of places--The Vatican.
Charlie Northern may be one of the best detectives in Scotland Yard
but that doesn't keep him from enjoying a night off curled up with a
good book of conspiracy theories and a full pack of cigarettes. That
is, until an old friend shows up at his door with the news that a
high-ranking Vatican official and probable successor to the Pope has
mysteriously died. Now, Northern must travel to Rome and seek out the
facts in a place legendary for keeping its secrets. There are forces
at work in The Holy See that want Northern to fail--forces darker and
more ancient than any in his favorite dime-store paperbacks.
32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 31.

Written by Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews, art by Will Conrad, colored
by Laura Martin.
Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews continue the journey of the brigands
and outlaws that call the ship Serenity "home" in this second issue of
the prequel to Whedon's Serenity-- the highly-anticipated feature film
follow-up to his cult-hit TV show Firefly.
On the run and out of cash, the ragtag crew of Serenity take on a
scavenger mission with the hopes of earning enough dough to disappear
for a while. Little do they know an old enemy is scheming to remake
their acquaintance with the help of some covert-operatives known only
as the Blue Gloves.
This issue also features three covers starring a different Serenity
crew member, each drawn by one of the hottest names in comics. This
month--Tim Bradstreet, Jo Chen, and Joe Quesada.
32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 3.

Written by Haden Blackman, Ryan Kafman and Justin Lambros, art by Rick
Lacy and Fillbach Brothers.
Four more tales of hyperkinetic Clone Wars action! As the Clone Wars
burn across the galaxy and the true intentions of the Sith are
revealed, the true heroes of the conflict emerge. Chewbacca leads the
Wookiees against the Republic invaders on the jungle world of
Kashyyyk, R2-D2 and C-3PO uncover a plot to assassinate Padmé, an
orphaned refugee witnesses the rough life of a Clone Trooper
firsthand, and Anakin Skywalker fights alongside a young Jedi who will
play a part in his descent into the Dark Side.
96 pages, $6.95, in stores on Sept. 28.

Written by Welles Hartley, penciled by and colored Davide Fabbri,
inked by Christian Dalla Vecchia, cover by David Michael Beck.
"The Wrong Side of the War," part 1 of 5. Devotion to duty has put
Imperial Lieutenant Janek Sunber once more on the front lines. First
as part of an intense ground battle, where the last of a planet's
freedom fighters are desperately holding on, then as a glorified
prison guard at an Imperial base where prisoners are put to work for
the benefit of the Empire. It's not the career Sunber imagined he'd
have in the Imperial Infantry, but a Rebel surprise attack on the base
may give Sunber another chance to distinguish himself--or die trying!
32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 3.

Written by John Ostrander, art and cover by Luke Ross, colored by
Jason Keith.
Palpatine calls a meeting of his bravest, wisest, and most influential
military officers in order to introduce them to his new right-hand
man, Darth Vader!
The new Emperor lays out his plans for his Empire, and those who have
other ideas are dealt a swift lesson by Vader's blade. But one Captain
wants nothing to do with the new government, and plans his defection.
But what do you do when the Dark Lord of the Sith is determined to
stop you?
This issue marks Vader's first appearance in Star Wars continuity
since his "introduction" in Revenge of the Sith! And, long-time
readers of Republic will see a plot come full circle in a most
unexpected manner!
32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 31.

By Mohiro Kitoh, Makoto Kobayashi, Kenitch Sonoda, Hiroyuki Utatane
and Toshiya Takeda.
Apples and Ferraris! It's the LAST Club 9 episode! Makoto Kobayashi
brings his romantic comedy to an end with a tearjerker finale, set in
Haruo Hattori's hometown of rural Akita. Celebrating years of Club 9
craziness, this month will also feature a color "Hello" Hattori pin-up
and several bonus images! Kobayashi continues to charm readers with
the feline antics found in What's Michael?. Earth's defenders face
another Riofaldian assault in Cannon God Exaxxion, and three episodes
of the full-tilt Seraphic Feather space epic will have you feverish
for more! In the Shadow Star teen fantasy-drama, Shiina's in grave
danger, as the "Grudges" storyline comes to a brutal conclusion!
128 pages, black and white, $5.99, in stores on Aug. 31.

By Stan Sakai.
"The Treasure of the Mother of Mountains," part 4. Usagi Yojimbo has
been captured! The greedy Lord Sanada is operating an illegal gold
mine in the Geishu province and has put Usagi and Tomoe Ame to work as
his slaves. Sanada has been killing those who would get in the way,
and his deadliest enforcer-- Noriko "the blood princess"--is none
other than Tomoe's own cousin! In this issue, master storyteller Stan
Sakai's fourth installment of the six-part "The Treasure of the Mother
of Mountains," the cruel sociopath Noriko reveals a devastating secret
to her enslaved cousin. Meanwhile, the young page Motokazu fears for
Tomoe's safety and rides off without permission to help her ... and
has an unexpected adventure of his own!
32 pages, black and white, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 31.

By Bob Fingerman, Kelley Jones, Pat Mills, Gordon Rennie, Tommy Lee
Edwards, J. Deadstock and Gary Erskine.
The end of the world is near. The dead walk the earth and feed on the
flesh of the living. The birth of a terrifying new world is at hand.
Zombie World, the comic-book series that set the standard for comics
of the undead is back in a massive trade paperback. Bob Fingerman and
Tommy Lee Edwards take us into the darkened subway tunnels of New
York, where the rats aren't the only things that bite, in the
critically-acclaimed Winter's Dregs. Kelley Jones spins his own
twisted tale of love and the undead in Eat Your Heart Out. A family's
Christmas gathering has a few unexpected arrivals in Gordon Rennie and
Gary Erskine's Home For the Holidays. And the apocalypse proves to be
more horrifying than anyone ever imagined in Pat Mills and J.
Deadstock's Tree of Death. Collecting the Zombie World: Winter's Dregs
four-issue miniseries, Eat Your Heart Out one-shot, Home For the
Holidays one-shot, and the Tree of Death four-issue miniseries.
240 pages, $24.95, in stores on Sept. 14.