SEAL Team Six Book 6 Now Available! from Dynamite Entertainment
11/12/13 @ 3:07 pm EST
Source: Newsarama
There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call The Twilight Zone.

Those are Rod Serling's immortal words, an introduction emblazoned upon the minds of science fiction fans from at least three generations. While it has had some television revivals, this time around The Twilight Zone returns via comic books thanks to Dynamite Entertainment.

Coming in December 2013, The Twilight Zone comes from writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Guiu Vilanova with covers from Francesco Francavilla. Straczynski, commonly referred to by his initials as simply JMS, has a history with the franchise that crosses from boyhood fandom to writing a revival for TV in the 1980s and now launching this comic book version.

For more on the series, including how storyarcs will play out, the similarities to writing television episodes, and even why JMS keeps responding to the siren call of comic books, we spoke with the writer. Let's all enter The Twilight Zone (and have that doo be doo doo music in our heads the rest of the day).

Newsarama: Joe, please start off by telling us a bit about what The Twilight Zone means to you, and how it has influenced you as a writer.

J. Michael Straczynski: As a geeky kid science fiction fan (as opposed to a geeky adult science fiction fan) I grew up reading the classics: Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke, Simak... all these writers who had amazing ideas about technology and the future, but which were sometimes a bit dry when it came to fully fleshed-out characters. So for me, The Twilight Zone was my introduction to unapologetically humanist science fiction and fantasy. The stories were less about hard SF, flashy hardware and special effects and more about what Faulkner described as "the human heart in conflict with itself." It spun my head around and allowed me to see SF and fantasy stories in a way I had never understood before.

They also taught me the importance of finding the right word rather than settling for the word on the shelf next to the right word. Serling's precision of writing dazzled me. As a teenager in that long pre-internet darkness, I'd sit in front of the TV with a tape recorder and a notepad, hurriedly capturing bits of dialogue in order to study them later. I'd unlock the prose for hours, trying to figure out how he managed to get this effect from this precise combination of words. It was like having the best and most frustrating teacher in the world, because when the writing sucks, it's easy to see why; but when something really works it's hard to figure how and why because the methodology is almost invisible.

Nrama: How does your approach change when writing a comic about the Twilight Zone versus a TV episode?

JMS: I think it can't really change too much or you risk becoming false to what the Zone represents: fantastical stories about characters, often running from or to something who are caught in situations they cannot understand or explain to others, the resolution of which will ultimately come down to who they are at their core.

Nrama: Will your stories here be self-contained "episodic" issues, or areyou going to be setting up story arcs?

JMS: In trying to transplant one form into the other, I opted to go for 3-4 issue arcs in order to encompass the amount of time Serling spent with his characters in those original half-hour episodes. Some online nutjobs out there chose deliberately to misstate that as me saying you can't do short fantastical stories in one issue or less, which is not just ridiculous, it actually creates an entirely new form of stupid, since I've written done-in-ones and other shorter forms. It's about page count. A half-hour original Zone episode allowed you to spend a lot of time with those characters and slowly develop the situation in which they find themselves; if you want to replicate that experience, that gradual development, you need the pages to do it. Hence, 3-4 issue arcs which, in the aggregate, are about equal to one half-hour TV script.

The cool thing about the Dynamite books is that I'm layering these arcs in such a way that they seem like three individual stories that happen to be taking place at the same time. Then, slowly, gradually, they begin to interweave in ways that create a much larger narrative. It's kind of an experiment in form, but Serling was always big on experimentation in the Zone, so I think he would approve.

Nrama: What's the essential, the elevator pitch if you will, for a Twilight Zone story?

JMS: It has to be something built around a character flaw or development that is enhanced, exacerbated or attacked. So when I wrote "The Mind of Simon Foster" for the 88 Zone series, the "elevator pitch" would've been: A desperate man in need of money begins selling his memories at a futuristic pawn shop, realizes in time what he's giving up, and decides to get it back... only to find some things can never quite be put back to rights again.

Nrama: Do you look at The Twilight Zone more like your creator-owned works, in so much as you can really be creating a world and characters here, or more like your corporate superhero work, where it is clearly understood you're playing in someone else's toy box?

JMS: I think it's a bit of both. On the one hand, you're telling your own story. But on the other hand, you have to be respectful toward, and mindful of the playground you're stomping around in. There's a certain attitude that goes into telling a Zone story that has to be maintained if you're going to be true to that universe. There can't be a careless word anywhere in there; it's got to be tight and well-crafted and have a moral point of view at the center of it while not being preachy. In the end there has to be a sense of hope about the world, even if some characters rightly suffer for their actions within that world. Writing nihilistic stories is easy; being hopeful without being corny is tough.

Nrama: What can you tell us about this first storyand your lead character Trevor Richmond? Why the economic slant to your first story here?

JMS: Serling always looked to be current with the times. He wrote about what was going on politically and socially, though sometimes couching it in fantastic terms. "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" is a direct shot across the bow of McCarthyism, as "The Obsolete Man" is a poke in the eye aimed at fascism. Wall Street bandits have become the new aristocracy, exempt from the same penalties faced by the rest of us. Steal twenty bucks of comics from a store? Go to jail. Steal billions and leave taxpayers to pick up the tab? Get a raise. So yeah, I wanted to deal with that element in the first arc. The second two take stranger turns.

Nrama: You've been steadily increasing your comic book work recently, while also doing a good amount of film and TV work – why do comics remain a medium that you like to tell stories in?

JMS: Short but true answer: I love it. I grew up on comics, and love the form as a writer and a reader. I put the same effort into writing a comics script that I put into writing a big-budget feature, knowing the financials of the former are a fraction of the latter, but that's not the point, it's all about writing for the sheer joy of the form. Some choosing to reinterpret that negatively say, "So it's your hobby." No! Collecting vintage rocket ships is my hobby. Writing comics is what I love; it's the dearest thing to my heart. Always has been, always will be.

Nrama: What else is coming up that you'd like to mention/talk about a bit (free plug time!)?

JMS: Coming into 2014 is going to be an amazing year. I realized that starting in February, when we launch the four-issue miniseries The Adventures of Apocalypse Al, for several months I'm going to be having six titles per month hitting the stands, which is an insane amount of work, all of it fun.

That will drop down again as we finish the initial runs on Al, Sidekick and Ten Grand, at which time I'll be deep in production on Sense8, the Netflix series I'm writing, producing and – for a good chunk of it – directing with the Wachowskis.

Around the same time we start shooting, Summer 2014, as we finish Protectors Inc., we'll be re-launching Dream Police, The Book of Lost Souls and beginning the six issue run of Alone with Bill Sinkiewicz. Then in Winter '14 I finally start prep for the movie I'll be directing in Germany. It's gonna be a crazy, wonderful roller coaster ride.
07/18/14 @ 11:41 pm EST
Source: Cosmic Book News | Categories: Vampirella

Review: Vampirella #1 (Collins)

Writer: Nancy Collins,

Pencils: Patrick Berkenkotter,

Inks: Dennis Chrisotomo,

Colors: Jorge Sutil,

Letterer: Rob Steen,

Cover: Terry Dodson,

Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

Price: $3.99

Release Date: June 4, 2014

Vampirella gets a new start and a new #1 as this veteran character shows she can still star in one hell of a yarn.

With horror writer Nancy Collins at the helm, this is a particularly strong issue for everyone’s favorite dark mistress. There has been a kidnapping and Vampirella has been called in by the Vatican itself to investigate. All she has to hear is that Ethan Shroud is someone connected and off we go!

I was expecting a bit more of a horror vent in this one, but what Collins spins out instead is a bone-chilling detective novelette, complete with mysteries, victims and red herrings. And while we do get a bit of the mystic here, Vampirella’s strong suit as a dark detective really comes through.

And a cliffhanger that makes NOT wanting to read issue #2 impossible!

All in all, one of the strongest beginnings for Vampirella in her long, long history.

07/18/14 @ 5:51 pm EST
Source: Cosmic Book News | Categories: Black Bat

Writer: Brian Buccellato,
Art: Ronan Cliquet,
Colors: Viviane Souza,
Letterer: Rob Steen,
Cover: Jae Lee,
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 4, 2014

Coming up fast on its conclusion (and sadly this book’s final issue), this most excellent and noir chronicling of the adventures of the Black Bat hits its stride with #11. Full of answers to questions posed since issue #1 and nefarious reveals, writer Brian Buccellato begins to put a bow onto one of his most brilliant pieces of pulp writing.

Our boy Tony now knows Cameron Tell, not Oliver Snade, is the true mastermind behind pulling the strings, and as he battles for redemption there is a possibility the hero may have to violate one of his most sacred vows. Will the vigilante turn to murder, even as the cops and press had feared?

For such a character-driven yarn, #11 is also very action-packed. Artist Ronan Cliquet has already proven his mastery of cinematic tenseness with the fabled “truck issue” of Black Bat, and here too we see that same sense of urgency that carries this tale through to its final page.

Anyone who is not utterly shocked by the conclusion of #11 has not been following this series, and if you missed it you really missed it.

Simply excellent!

07/16/14 @ 3:17 pm EST
Source: | Categories: Dawn Vampirella

Questions for Joseph Michael Linsner @ Dawn/Vampirella #1

Congratulations are in order on the occasion of Dawn's 25th anniversary, and those are congrats to you as creator. How does it feel to have created a character with such a legacy?

Thanks. It feels fantastic -- like a rebirth! I'm at the beginning of another 25 years and can't wait to get started. My epitaph is going to be "Joe Linsner -- The Dawn Guy", which I can deal with if that's my legacy. I'm very proud of the work I've done with Dawn on her 3 graphic novels. I'll be honest though, in 1989 when she first appeared in Cry For Dawn #1, I had no idea I'd still be drawing her 25 years later.

To my mind, I believe this is Dawn's first crossover with ANY character. But crossing over with a Dynamite signature character like Vampirella ... was there any added pressure there?

I have nothing but the greatest love and admiration for Vampi. She was designed by my favorite artist, Frank Frazetta! So that was an extra kick in the rear to make sure that I give this project my all. I'd be lying if I tried to say that Vampirella wasn't an influence on Dawn. I grew up loving Vampirella. Having the two of them meet for Dawn's 25th is bringing things full circle.

Instead of just handling the writing and covers, I now hear ...

06/12/14 @ 3:27 pm EST
Source: Dynamite | Categories: Dawn Vampirella
Steve Grant Talks Jennifer Blood - From Bleeding Cool

Steven Grant is probably best known for his run on The Punisher as well as his recent story-turned-film, 2 Guns. Now he is tackling the Jennifer Blood character created by Garth Ennis. Byron Brewer caught up with the writer to talk about how the new series came about and why he likes working for different companies.

BYRON BREWER: Steve, how does it feel to be working with Dynamite Comics for the very first time? And on such a special project!

STEVEN GRANT: It’s interesting. I like working with different comics companies, to get an idea of how they’re similar & different & get a view of how different approaches work creatively. Being published by Dynamite was something I felt was worth doing. So far so good.

BB: Can you tell us a little bit about how this mini-series came about and how you became a part of it?

SG: In the wake of the 2 Guns film last summer, when things momentarily appeared nice and relaxed, I ran into Nick at the San Diego con. We’d loosely chatted about doing something for years, we’ve know each other for decades now. I told him to throw anything at me for a limited series, his choice. He took it under advisement. A couple months later he dropped me an email saying he’d really like me to resurrect Garth’s Jennifer Blood. All he had to do was say Garth Ennis, one of the most consistently interesting comics writers working today. I was pretty relieved, really. I realized after I’d said “anything” that John Carter was potentially on the table. Edgar Rice Burroughs is not my thing. But Jen made ...
06/09/14 @ 2:11 pm EST
Source: Dynamite | Categories: Dawn Vampirella
Dynamite's Vampirella sale ends today on Monday, June 11th at 11 PM EST! All periodicals are priced at only 99 cents and collections are also incredibly discounted with prices ranging from $3.99 to $8.99!

Make sure to take advantage of this incredible sale!

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