Reviews for CONAN-RED SONJA #1

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CONAN-RED SONJA #1, the first team-up between these two sword & sorcery titans in over 15 years, arrived in stores on Jan 14th. Co-written by Gail Simone and I with artwork by Dan Panosian and Dave Stewart, let’s see what critics thought of our first chapter…

All-Comic: 4/5 “All in all, Conan Red Sonja #1 was a treat. The second issue can’t get here fast enough.”

Big Comic Page: 4/5 “Dynamic, exciting and filled to the brim with character, this is a series that delivers on its potential and provides a thrilling look at the undisputed ‘power couple’ of the fantasy world.”

Bleeding Cool: “Panosian’s artwork is beautifully detailed. I really enjoy his interpretation of the two characters.”

BSXcluded: “Dan’s art is awesome. I love the style of it. It just feels right for the part.”

Comic Book Resources: 4/5 “All told, Conan Red Sonja #1 is a blast. Fans of either character should definitely check this issue out.”

Comic Crusaders: 4/5 “Simone and Zub have really nailed these characters and made them interesting to both old and new readers alike.”

Comic Spectrum: 4/5 “Simone/Zub/Panosian are weaving a sharp story that gets off to a great start in this issue and I’m looking forward to seeing it play out.”

Comics Alliance: “…the first issue breezes through the mandatory fight before the inevitable team-up in a way that’s actually pretty engaging, setting up an adventure that seems every bit as exciting as the two characters deserve.”

Comics: The Gathering: 8/10 “There are no two people better suited to tackle this team-up than this duo. The two writer’s styles mix so well that its hard to tell just who is influencing whom.”

ComicWow!: 9/10 “The mark of great writers is that they are constantly learning, developing, and growing.”

Comix I Read: 5/5 “With such a strong story, the art by Dan Panosian’s and colours by Dave Stewart put this book over the top. I recommend this book for everyone.”

Eat Your Comics: 8/10 “Zub has an ability to pack punch into every step of the story, and keep you not only involved, but in a constant state of anticipation and curiosity. This book is no exception.”

Fandom Post: “Hopefully this will be the start to a fun, bloody romp through Hyperborea with my two favorite barbarians.”

Fangirl Nation: “Dan Panosian captures both the movement and vitality of combat and the quieter moments with equal deftness.”

Fellowship of the Geeks: “The first issue delivers on all of that promise with a save-the-world story and beautiful artwork.”

Geek Rex: “it’s a gorgeous, well-made comic that sets up a promising story and delivers some solid character work.”

Geeked Out Nation: 8.5/10 “It’s action packed, dramatic but a ton of fun thanks to the humor Simone and Zub inject in the script. It’s the perfect entry way into these two characters”

Geeks With Wives: 8.5/10 “Zub and Simone are perfect team to give these characters the right amount of heroism and heart to make anyone become a fan.”

Hulking Reviewer: “Conan Red Sonja #1 is an excellent start to the crossover series with its entertaining portrayal of classic characters, and a story that brings them together in an organic way.”

IGN: 8/10 “it’s a down and dirty good time, bolstered by a stellar creative team that appears eager to show us more.”

Kabooooom: 5/5 “be ready to recall the days of high adventure as never before. This is a great comic that will please sword-and-sorcery genre enthusiasts and newcomers alike.”

LA Examiner: “The premiere issue makes each adventurer accessible for those who know little to nothing of the history of the characters and just want to get in on the beginning of a large scale story.”

Major Spoilers: 9.5/10 “Simone and Zub hit all the right points that lead the heroes naturally through the tale, and set up multiple villains that will be hot on the trail of our heroes in future issues. This is an excellent first issue.”

Mightyville: 8/10 “Dan Panosian’s artwork blends exactly the right amount of fun, gore, and fantasy.”

Newsarama: 8/10 “Conan/Red Sonja is a must-read for fans of the genre.”

Omnicomic: “Simone and Zub bring their best to the work and the way they deftly weave together the talents of the main characters is effortless and makes for a fascinating read.”

Panel Patter: “it’s a joy to watch when two of my favorite characters get such a great, highly recommended, treatment. I can’t wait to see what issue two brings!”

Rhymes With Geek: 10/10 “If you are looking for something to remind you of how much fun comics can be, Conan Red Sonja #1 hits the spot”

Rock! Shock! Pop!: “…a good sword-and-sandal duet between characters that take no crap and can stand by their boasting and, at just one issue in, this looks to be a fun series.”

Rockin’ Comics: “Gail and Jim are delivering a solid Sword and Sorcery tale with two iconic characters and Dan is bringing some fantastic images. This is a fun one.”

Sci-Fi Pulse: A+ “The Gods are smiling down on readers for allowing them to have this ancient tale. So fun, so well written, so gorgeous. By Crom, this is good!”

Shadowhawk’s Shade: 10/10 “The key thing about this first issue is that it does a great job of introducing both characters while also keeping things fresh for long-time fans such as myself.”

Sound On Sight: “…an incredibly stylish barbarian/heist story filled with plenty of humor and bloodletting.”

Super Team AU: 8.5/10 “…a fun debut issue, with good character work and art, that sets up a lot of potential for the rest of the series.”

The Beat: “This book is awesome! Conan/ Red Sonja #1 kicks the series off with the right balance of intrigue and good ol’ beat ‘em up action.”

The Pullbox: “Since Conan and Sonja are both presented in their relative youth, both brash and boastful, there’s plenty of time for this relationship to percolate into something bigger and infinitely more violent.”

TM Stash: 10/10 “We see a younger Conan and Sonja in their first meeting, handled in a way that allows both to shine without seeming contrived. It is everything you could hope for from this title…and more.”

Topless Robot: “The pedigree of the creators on this book is outstanding – Gail Simone and Jim Zub are both terrific writers”

TrekScribbler: “I always celebrate first issues when they’re well done, and CONAN/RED SONJA #1 is brilliantly crafted. Highest recommendation possible.”

Unleash the Fanboy: 9/10 “The dynamic duo attacks the literary page using the correct amount of familiar verbiage while giving fans proper context in order to make this meet-and-greet fun but not too tongue-in-cheek.”

Zeitgeeks: “Simone, Zub, and Panosian thoroughly understand what makes these characters great.”

New Vertigo SFX Anthology Coming In April!

Vertigo, the mature-readers imprint of DC Comics just announced their new anthology series for 2015. This year’s theme is sound effects. The first one, called ‘POP!’, arrives in April and I’ll have a story inside! Here’s the solicit and cover reveal from Comic Vine.

This is my first Vertigo project and I’m super-stoked to be a part of such a great line up of creators. Thanks to Hank Kanalz and Greg Lockard at Vertigo for this opportunity!

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CONAN-RED SONJA #1, in Stores Now!

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Today sees the arrival of CONAN-RED SONJA #1 in stores at last!

Getting the chance to write two of the biggest fantasy characters of all time has been an absolute dream come true. Getting to do it with such a skilled set of collaborators is sweeter still. I’m so grateful to everyone involved.

A deep and hearty thank you to editor Dave Marshall at Dark Horse for keeping the whole thing rolling and well organized through rain or shine. You’ve been a rock throughout the project and I deeply appreciate your support and hard work on this.

Thank you to co-writer Gail Simone for bringing me on board. Your instinct for dramatic storytelling and enthusiasm for our story enhanced every scene. I’ve learned a ton on this project and it’s been a real honor collaborating with you on this sweeping tale of steel and sorrow.

Thank you to Dan Panosian for delivering stunning line work that ranks right up there with the best our heroic Cimmerian and Hyrkanian have ever had. Old School Sword & Sorcery flows through your veins, bud.

Thank you to Dave Stewart for building mood and intensity with his colors on every page. You took Dan’s lines and made them even more powerful, always enhancing and never taking away.

Thank you to Comicraft for pulp fantasy-perfect lettering. These characters always ‘sound’ right with your confident dialogue placement and sound effects.

All of us on the team worked hard to deliver a strong first chapter to this epic, something worthy of the legacy of these incredible characters. I hope you give it a read and enjoy the ride. As always, your support of my work makes this all possible and I’m so very thankful.

Magic & Myth Collide in WAYWARD, VOL. 1: STRING THEORY

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Magic & Myth Collide in WAYWARD, VOL. 1: STRING THEORY

The first five issues of the hit fantasy series are collected into trade paperback

“If Wayward isn’t the next Saga, it will be a damn criminal shame.” —Bleeding Cool

Writer Jim Zub (SKULLKICKERS, Samurai Jack) and penciler Steven Cummings (Legends of the Dark Knight, Deadshot) spin enchantment and mystery together in a fantasy story about one girl’s battle against the mythological creatures everyday mortals fail to see. Set in Japan, WAYWARD’s depiction of the busy city streets of Tokyo and its rich occult history make it as much a living, breathing character as spunky teen protagonist Rori.

“Wayward is about disaffected youth battling myths of old and, just like being a teenager, it’s intense, funny, emotional, and violent,” said Zub. “’String Theory’ is our first step into this twisted world of modern, mystic mystery and I’m excited to bring readers along for the ride.”

In WAYWARD, VOL.1: STRING THEORY, readers meet Rori, a misfit teen reluctantly transplanted from Ireland to her strange and new home in Japan with her mother. From the get-go there are some cultural adjustments to be made and Rori feels like a fish out of water—but things take a turn for the weird when she begins glimpsing things—creatures—that no one else can see.

“Wayward is a coming of age tale that comes up against monsters set in the very real Japan that everyday people experience,” said Cummings. “Well, except they don’t experience monsters… With every new step in the voyage we get to take our readers along for a guided tour of Tokyo and its Yokai side.”

WAYWARD, VOL. 1: STRING THEORY (ISBN: 978-1-63215-173-5) arrives in comic book stores on March 25 (Diamond Code: JAN150664) and bookstores on April 7 for the low introductory price of $9.99.


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Rori Lane is trying to start a new life when she reunites with her mother in Japan, but ancient creatures lurking in the shadows of Tokyo sense something hidden deep within her, threatening everything she holds dear. Can she unlock the secrets of her power before it’s too late?
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Further Praise for WAYWARD:

“…the Young Adult novel has finally made it to comics in the form of Wayward, and I think it will be one of the stand-out new titles of the year.”
—Comic Book Bin

“Bright, vibrant, and alive, Rori Lane’s world will enchant readers with its relatable protagonist, intense action and fascinating mythological allusions.”
—Comic Book Resources

“Sure to please fans of Buffy and Manga.”
—Newsarama

“A fun premise with a quirky protagonist.”
—Bloody Disgusting

“Wayward shows signs of being the next runaway Image Comics series.”
—Multiversity Comics

“Another fantastic entry in Image’s already staggering amount of knockouts.”
—Comic Bastards

“It’s age-appropriate for a wide range of readers, and it explores Japan from a supernatural angle that isn’t often seen in Western comics. Zub, Cummings, and team have piqued my interest, and I can’t wait to see how a feisty half-Irish teen handles being swept up in Japanese myth.”
—ComicVine

Conan-Red Sonja Interview on Comics Bulletin

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Comics Bulletin has posted a new interview with Gail Simone and I discussing our writing work on CONAN-RED SONJA #1, which arrives in comic shops on January 15th. Click on through to read about working with two legendary characters, our love of the genre, and co-writing together.

Conan-Red Sonja Interview on Newsarama

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CONAN-RED SONJA #1 arrives in stores January 14th, so expect to see a lot about that over the next couple weeks. I can’t wait for people to read the story we’ve put together and see what Dan Panosian and Dave Stewart have done with the art to take it to the next level.

Gail Simone and I chatted with Forrest Helvie at Newsarama all about the mini-series, our co-writing approach, and what readers can look forward to in this epic team up!

Year In Review

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Here we go again, a look at my year in review. I’ve been doing this on my blog for the past few years (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013) and it’s a nice way to sum up my thoughts on the year that was and take in the ups and downs that came with it.

Stacy and I continue on our wedded adventure, juggling work and play, social time and alone time. It’s filled with challenges but, like everything else we’ve tackled, it always goes better because we’re together. Having Stacy in my life is a joy and an honour.

Between replacing the stove, the car, our porch and façade, and a new laptop it was an expensive year, that’s for sure. As Stacy mentioned, we’ve replaced almost every appliance in the house over the past 2-3 years so hopefully everything runs a bit better from here on out.

Travel-wise it was another busy time, with 12 conventions in total, but almost every location was somewhere I’d been previously while on the ‘ circuit’ (with Washington DC and Phoenix as the two exceptions), so it felt familiar rather than hectic.

Last year I scripted over a 1000 pages of comics and that was a hell of a milestone but I said I probably wouldn’t be able to do that again this year. Yeah well, it happened anyway. I had a slew of comic writing projects in 2014 and, once I realized how close I was last month, I hunkered down and made sure I hit the 1k mark again. Admittedly, I took it right to the line (finished the last set of pages this morning) but it’s done. Whew~

I know in the grand scheme of things it’s about quality, not quantity, but I’m incredibly proud of the work and feel like I’ve learned a ton. Pushing myself to meet intense deadlines and deliver stories I’m proud of both on time and as kick ass as I can make them is crucial.

Skullkickers, Samurai Jack, Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors, Figment, Pathfinder, Dungeons & Dragons, Munchkin, Conan-Red Sonja, and a bunch more, some of which won’t be out until next year… So completely crazy.

Oh yeah, and that other one – Wayward!

Working with Steve Cummings to launch a brand new Image creator-owned series and having it well received by readers and retailers alike was a complete rush. Everyone on the creative team is pumped for the new chapters we have planned. Can’t wait for people to read it!

2015 is shaping up to be another exciting year.

At Seneca College we’re making the biggest changes to our Animation curriculum and facilities since I took over as Coordinator of the program in 2006. We’re reworking the flow of courses, updating assignments, and incorporating more technology to match the changing industry. It’s a lot of work but the end result should make us more competitive and deliver even better education to our amazing community of students.

On the creative and freelance front I’ll be continuing with Wayward and wrapping up Skullkickers. I don’t want to get into the whole farewell thing with SK just yet but, suffice to say, it’s going to feel strange reaching the end. A bunch of my other freelance comic writing projects are wrapping up but I have a few proposals in the hopper I’m waiting to hear back about. It’ll be interesting to see if any of them pop or what other opportunities emerge as the year rolls on. I wrote a bit about my thoughts on the comic industry in 2014 over on The Beat.

Other meditations for 2015:
• Less stuff, more experiences: Stacy and I have been talking about the stockpile of ‘things’ we’ve accumulated. Having things is great but once you hit a certain threshold it just piles up in ridiculous ways and you stop appreciating what you have. We want to pare back on the rampant collections of things and focus on experiences – new places, great meals, and better time spent with people we care deeply for.

• Art for art’s sake: Although I did some drawing in 2014, it definitely took a back seat to my writing projects. I’m hoping to sketch more outside of school demonstrations and put more fun ideas down on paper visually in 2015.

• Empathy, honesty, and communication: Thinking carefully about others, reaching out to people who matter, staying in touch with those close to me and making sure they know how much I appreciate them.

I know 2014 was a rough year for many people and that the world at large was filled with tumultuous news and heartache. I hope your year was a good one despite any difficulties and that if it wasn’t you can close the book on the season and start fresh in 2015.

Thank you for your love and support. All the best to you and yours!

Skullkickers Minis Now Part of the Rum & Bones Kickstarter!

The Skullkickers have just been announced as part of the Rum & Bones board game Kickstarter! They’re an exclusive set of 5 figures (complete with their own character-centric rules) only available as part of the Kickstarter pre-order process.

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Rum & Bones is the new pirate-themed board game by Cool Mini Or Not, creators of ‘Zombicide’, one of my absolute favorite board games. I’ve been singing the praises of Zombicide for a couple years now and when I had a chance to meet the Cool Mini crew at Gen Con we talked about the possibility of teaming up in the future. Once they started work on Rum & Bones, we both felt it would be a great way to use the SK cast, especially since we had a pirate story of our own in Volume 3, ‘Six Shooter on the Seven Seas’.

As you can see, the character archetypes from Skullkickers marry themselves well to the Rum & Bones play style and the miniature sculpts look awesome!

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If you’re a board game fan or Skullkickers fan I hope you’ll click through to check out Rum & Bones (which wraps up pre-orders on December 28th) and tell your friends about it too. I can’t wait to battle it out with our very own skullkicking pirate crew!

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Wayward #5 Reviews

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Wayward #5 arrived in comic shops last week and we pulled out all the stops to deliver an action-packed and emotional finish to our first story arc. Here’s what reviewers had to say…

13th Dimension: “The issue manages to combine constant action with some genuinely heart-rending moments, and continues to build on what has been to date a very enjoyable series.”

All-Comic: 4/5 “Continuing the clever blend of Miyazaki-like wonder with mythological horror, ancient mysticism and even superheroics, this concluding chapter to the series’ opening arc is as delightfully boggling and awe-inspiring as its predecessors.”

Big Glasgow: 5/5 “A brilliant conclusion to a great story-arc.”

Cold Beer and Comics: 5/5 “Wayward is the best new comic of the year.”

Comic Book Bin: 10/10 “Zub and Cummings leave us with a beautifully drawn and exceptionally told series, and while they leave us with many questions, they also leave us caught in the weave. We want to be Wayward. With each new issue, Wayward expands its scope without losing its great sense of mystery.”

Comics Bulletin: “The first arc of Wayward is complete and is one of the best ongoing series out right now. It’s a story filled with magic and the supernatural perfectly blended with the familiar.”

Comics Online: 4.5/5 ” Wayward is an epic in the making, and an excellent example of the variety of well-written, drawn, and colored series in the comic book market today.”

Comics the Gathering: 8/10 “Overall, this issue is a blazer. It’s fiery and explosive. It takes no prisoners, and doesn’t slow down, whether you like it or not. All you can do is go along for the ride.”

Comicosity: “This story stepped up and became so powerful. So much emotion and amazing art. This is one to read.”

Con Freaks & Geeks: 9/10 “The art is spectacular and the story is one of the best I’ve read this year. If you’re not reading Wayward, get on it! I promise you that you won’t be sorry.”

Fandom Post: “This opening arc has been straightforward overall as it teases its own questions and uncertain aspects and the way it’s blended the east/west storytelling and art has definitely been its strength”

Four Color Bullet: “Jim Zub’s writing has been fantastic. Spooky and fun without losing intelligence. Wayward is easily one of Image’s new best.”

Game On Comics: 4.5/5 “This wonderful issue reinforces that Wayward is an epic in the making, and an excellent example of the variety of well-written, drawn, and colored series in the comic book market today.”

Horrror Talk: 5/5 “Wayward is a healthy mix of action, emotion, and damn good storytelling. The comic continues to explore a supernatural area of Japan that is increasingly terrifying.”

Moar Powah: 4.5/5“Wayward #5 is an amazing instalment to read through.”

Nothing But Comics: “This was really just a fantastic issue all around. The characters found what they are really capable of both physically and emotionally which is the one two punch when it comes to comic books. I can’t wait for more.”

Omni Jer Bear: “I stick by my guns. Hands down, this is one of the best storylines I read all year.”

Outright Geekery: “The story is building momentum now and this issue shows no signs of slowing down.”

Paradox Comics Group: 8/10 “a dramatic twist that sets things up brilliantly for the instalments to come.”

Shadowhawk’s Shade: 10/10 “Wayward is one of the best and most consistent of all the new series that have launched this year. Big thumbs-up!”

Sound On Sight: “There should be high praise for this creative team, respectfully creating a genuinely fun, emotional, and educational book all at the same time.”

The Telltale Mind: 4.5/5 “Wayward is definitely one of those books that you know is something special when you turn to that first page and it is one that will hopefully stick around for a long time to come.”

TM Stash: 10/10 “Jim Zub has developed this storyline exceptionally well, with a setting that makes one feel transported to Japan and characters that seem like they could step right out of the page.”

Unleash the Fanboy: 8.5/10 “Wayward #5 is without a doubt a gem that needs to be unearthed by many curious fanboys and fangirls. “

We The Nerdy: 10/10 “Steve Cummings nails every aspect of the choreography, creating sequences that are both awesome to look at and easy to follow.”

Wayward #6 Solicitation

Arriving in March…Pre-order now!

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WAYWARD #6
story: JIM ZUB
art / cover A: STEVE CUMMINGS & TAMRA BONVILLAIN
cover B: TAKESHI MIYAZAWA

MARCH 25 / 32 PAGES / FC / M / $3.50

DIAMOND ORDER CODE:
JAN15 0719 (cover A)
JAN15 0720 (cover B)

IMAGE’S SUPERNATURAL SENSATION CONTINUES!
The second story arc begins!

After the traumatizing finale of the previous issue, everything has changed. Who is Ohara and how does she fit into the great pattern of destiny and power?

It’s not a fluke. Wayward is one of the best new titles of the year.” – Comic Book Bin

Featuring a variant cover by fan favorite TAKESHI MIYAZAWA (Runaways, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, Code Monkey Save World).

NOTE: This issue arrives the same day as the value-priced WAYWARD, VOL. 1 TP!