Support KID MONKEY on Kickstarter

A Kickstarter is underway for the second issue of Kid Monkey, a martial arts comic starring a kung fu primate who was bioengineered as a perfect killing machine by a clandestine black ops program.

Oh, you want more than that? Okay. Written by James McCulloch (City of Lost Souls, Little Girl Black), the issue debuts a multi-part arc titled Unarmed and Dangerous, and sees our badass mute hero having moved past his brutal origin story (seen in the debut issue Project Genesis, which we reviewed here) and become a masked crimefighter, but one of the ones with a sense of humour rather than perpetual dour moodiness.

The book is described on the campaign page as “Like John Carpenter, Brian Yuzna and Cannon got drunk and made a comic book” and that it “comes right at you like Robin grew up and did the nasty with Howard the Duck,” and the opening four pages previewed give a pretty good indication of what delights of violent hilarity we can expect from the rest of it.

As well as digital and print copies of the comic and the debut issue, also available are sketches and pieces or original artwork from series artist Paul Johnson (Razor Bastard), and subscriptions to upcoming indie comics ‘streaming’ app Comichaus, and add-ons of t-shirts and art prints from Neil Slorance (Dungeon Fun), Steven Horry (Double D) and Janine van Moosel (City of Lost Souls).

Check out the campaign here.

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Comichaus App Launches in November

Comichaus, the online resource for indie comic books will be launching a revolutionary new app in November that has been described as the ‘Netflix for comics’. The Comichaus app will allow users to discover new independent comics by streaming them.

Subscribers to the app will be able to search the entire Comichaus catalogue for featured comics, new releases, and ‘most read’ releases. For only £3 per month (or £30 a year), users will be able to read as many titles as they like and will be able to store some offline too. The Comichaus app will only contain indie comics and 50% of the subscription and advertising revenue will be split with the creators, continuing the ethos and goodwill created by the established website.

Readers will also have the chance to buy physical print copies of the comics they read on the app via the website, supporting the creators and indie publishers even more.

The app will initially be available on iOS 9 and 10.x, Android 4.4 – 7.x and in portrait for handsets and both portrait and landscape for tablets.

For more information, head over to https://www.comichaus.com/app/ and sign up for notifications before the launch and keep an eye on the STARBURST website for a fantastic competition to win a year-long subscription and an Amazon Kindle!

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Len Wein 1948 – 2017

In some truly sad news, the legendary Len Wein has passed away at the age of 69.

Where the world of comic books and modern pop culture is concerned, Wein was a bona fide legend of his craft – as highlighted by his 2008 induction in to the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame – with him most notably co-creating Wolverine and Swamp Thing in addition to editing Watchmen.

With his first professional foray in to the comic book industry taking place way back in 1968 with Teen Titans #18, Wein would soon go on to mark himself out as one of the hottest names in the business. Over the subsequent decades, his work took in characters such as Spider-Man, Thor, Hulk, Daredevil, and the Fantastic Four, not to mention teaming with Dave Cockrum to bring new life to the X-Men in 1975 by creating characters such as Storm, Colossus and Nightcrawler. And after his relationship with Marvel hit some problems as the 1970s came to a close, Wein would head on over to DC Comics to lend his hand to Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Blue Beetle, and the Teen Titans. Elsewhere, the ‘90s would see him serve as a writer and consultant on Batman: The Animated Series and FOX’s X-Men and Spider-Man: The Animated Series in addition to his plentiful comic book output.

Back in early 2015, Len underwent successful quintuple bypass heart surgery, and the past few months had seen him undergo a number of other further surgeries – the most recent of which took place only a matter of days ago.

In Len Wein, the comic book world has lost an undoubted legend of the field, a genuine master of his craft, a member of comic book royalty, and somebody who raised the bar when it came to true excellence.

The thoughts of all here at STARBURST go out to the family, friends and fans of Len Wein. Rest in peace, sir.

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Support CITY OF LOST SOULS #5 on Kickstarter

There is still some time to contribute to the Kickstarter to fund issue #5 of City of Lost Souls, an indie horror comic featuring a dead serial killer haunted by the ghosts of his twelve victims, who is tasked by a soul collector to locate the titular settlement, which may be entirely fictional.

Penned by implausibly prolific and possibly disturbed comics writer James McCulloch and illustrated with equal darkness by Janine van Moosel, the series is bleak and gripping, and we have been greatly enjoying it so far, having previously reviewed issues #2, #3 and #4.

Campaign rewards include previous issues of the series available both physically and digitally, which can be collected as single issues or bundles, and also available is the likes of art prints and tshirts. As the campaign has already reached its target a stretch goal has now been set, and should it be reached all backers will receive the spoils of a one-off print run of the single-issue Karyn Shade: Beyond Forth, McCulloch’s brilliant tale (drawn by the supremely talented Jessica Byrne) featuring its eponymous snarky investigator searching for missing children in the purgatorial wasteland of South Lanarkshire with determination and badassery. Set in the same universe as City of Lost Souls, it was initially published in three parts in anthology title Comichaus.

Check out the City of Lost Souls campaign here.

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Jack Burton Returning in OLD MAN JACK

With us having recently been treated to the truly awesome crossover comic book adventure of Jack Burton and Snake Plissken – Kurt Russell’s iconic characters in Big Trouble in Little China and Escape From New York, respectively – now comes word that there’s more to come from Jack and his Pork-Chop Express.

As per Screen Rant, it’s been announced that BOOM! Studios are getting to work on Big Trouble in Little China: Old Man Jack. Telling Jack’s final tale, what’s even more encouraging is that John Carpenter is on writing duties along with Borderlands 2’s Anthony Burch.

The four-issue series will start this September, with the official synopsis as below:

The year is 2020, and hell is literally on Earth. Ching Dai, sick of relying on screw-ups like Lo Pan to do his bidding, has broken the barriers between Earth and the infinite hells, and declared himself ruler of all. Sixty-year-old Jack Burton is alone in a tiny corner of Florida with only his broken radio to talk to, until one day it manages to pick up a message. Someone is out there in the hellscape, and they know a way to stop Ching Dai.

Consider us completely and utterly sold! And while September may seem forever away, you can at least amp your excitement levels up even further by checking out the main cover for the first issue of what promises to be a rollercoaster of a ride:


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Kickstarter Launches for COMICHAUS App

Indie comics marketplace Comichaus has launched a Kickstarter to develop an app for its content, described as being like a “Netflix for indie comics.”

The idea is that for a small subscription fee people will be able to access a digital library of the hundreds of comics available on the site, supporting the indie creators with a portion of the revenue. Most of the campaign’s contributions can be made in the form of early subscriptions, with the money raised used to develop and promote the app. There are also advertising and sponsorship opportunities for companies to display a banner advert on the home page.

To give you an idea of the titles offered, links are available on the campaign page to free downloads of the first issues of mystery series Sinners, horror title City of Lost Souls, and the website’s eponymous monthly anthology. As well as the content already available, numerous creators and publishers are eager to submit their titles, and a deal is already in place to include IDW’s top 30 graphic novels, including 30 Days of Night, Locke & Key: Head Games, Judge Dredd Volume 2 and The New Ghostbusters.

The app will differ from the likes of Comixology by its focus on work produced by the indie community, giving them the attention they usually deserve but are often denied.

Check out the campaign page here.

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Bernie Wrightson 1948 – 2017

Bernie Wrightson, the incredibly talented, horror iconic artist who created Swamp Thing has passed away due to complications of brain cancer.

Born October 27, 148 in Dundalk, Maryland, Mr. Wrightson was a self-taught artist watching the television show on art hosted by the great Jon Gnagy. His early influences were Frank Frazetta and Graham Ingles.

A chance meeting with a supportive Frazetta inspired him to write his own stories where his first professional work was in 1969 in DC’s House of Mystery featuring his The Man Who Murdered Himself.

After a career with DC Comics, and creating the hit comic with Len Wein Swamp Thing in House of Secrets, he moved to Marvel Comics working on Tower of Shadows and Chamber of Darkness and would later create commercial art for advertising agencies.

In 1974, Mr. Wrightson worked for Warren Publishing with much of his talented work and stories appearing in Creepy magazine.

His tour-de-force work was his adaptation of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein which he spent 20 years on before coming to fruition.

Mr. Wrightson also collaborated with Stephen King on several of his novels working on the comic adaptation to Creepshow, The Stand, Cycle of the Werewolf and Werewolf of Calla.

Mr. Wrightson also worked for Last Unicorn Games with his featured art on the card game, Heresy: Kingdom Come as well as creating album covers for the singer, Meatloaf.

In 2012, Mr. Wrightson collaborated with Steve Nile on Frankenstein Alive Alive! for IDW Publishing for which he won the coveted National Cartoonist’s Society Award and in 2015 was awarded the Inkwell Award for his 45 years of his contribution and gifted work to the comic industry.

Mr. Wrightson will be sorely missed by all of us. He also had a smile, talked about his work and future ideas as well as always being gracious to his fans. He was a legend that we will always remember.

STARBURST sends our heartfelt god thoughts to his family, friends and fans.

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BRETHREN BORN #3 on its Way

STARBURST rather enjoyed the first two instalments of indie superhero adventure Brethren Born, so we have been delighted to learn that part three is on its way.

The comic book is a tale of superhumans and mortal fear which spans time and space, tragedy and mystery, death and violence. The book, which is an interesting mash-up between Stranger Things and The X-Files, with a touch of traditional superhero action thrown in for good measure.

Producing a comic book without the support of a major publisher is no easy thing, and the previous Brethren Born books have relied on pre-orders via crowdfunding platforms in order to get made. Part three will be following the same tried and tested model, and yet again fans can get their hands of related merch as well the books themselves.

More details can be found on their Kickstarter page. The campaign runs until April 2nd and has already reached its base target, so there’s a good chance of seeing some delicious stretch goals.
 

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Blue Fox Comics Announces Guest Judge for BFC Short Horror Comic Competition

This year, Blue Fox Comics is publishing their first horror anthology, and they’re running a competition to find short horror comics to be a part of it.

We wanted to give creators another outlet for their stories,” Simon Birks, co-founder of Blue Fox Comics, explains. “There’s so much talent out there.

For the competition, Blue Fox is looking for complete, original, self-contained, horror comics, from four to six pages in length.

As the prize, we’ll be giving up to six winning creative teams £250 plus publication in the BFC 2017 Horror Anthology,” Simon continues.

They’ve also just announced a guest judge; Miami-based artist Vanesa R. Del Rey of Boom! Studios’ Hit comic, as well as a variant cover artist for Marvel’s Scarlet Witch and Punisher.

Birks added, “Vanesa is a fantastic artist, and we’re so happy she agreed to be a judge for this special competition.

The competition is live now and runs till May 31st. The entry fee is £15 per comic, all of which will go to the prize fund pool. You can enter here.

The competition is open to everyone, and whilst we expect some entries to come from a single creator, we hope it acts as a catalyst for bringing teams of people together.

To make this easier, Blue Fox has set up a special Facebook page to allow people to find other creators. Birks said, “Competitions always bring out the best in my own writing, and I’m hoping people will respond to our call, especially now as Vanesa will be casting her professional eyes over the entrants.

Blue Fox Comics is run by husband and wife team Simon & Marielle Birks, based in Walberton, West Sussex. They have published multiple comic book series, with many more due for release in 2017.

They are always on the lookout for new work, primarily in supernatural, horror, sci-fi and fantasy genres.

A preview of their latest comic, Robyn, is available via the Blue Fox Comics website – reviewed here.

You can read reviews of Simon Birks’ earlier comic books Hexes Book 1 and Sinners #1.

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Check Out VESSELS issue 2 on Kickstarter

There is still some time to contribute to the Kickstarter for the second issue of Dave Cook’s trippy fantasy comic Vessels. Having already reached its funding target, the comic going into production is a certainty and has now set its sights on stretch goals.

Inspired by Cook’s passion for Dark Souls, Vessels is set in the fantasy world of Cairnthala where reality has collided with the realm of dreams. A rising hero named Wake has become destined to defeat the all-obliterating entity the Eye-God, even as she herself is hunted by the titular Vessels, a quintet of mysterious and powerful warriors who each personify a human sense.

The comic’s first issue was well received by critics (you can read our thoughts on it here) and as the story’s focus on dreams intensifies it will doubtless shift into increasingly surreal territory.

As well as the comic itself in print or digital, pledge rewards include several art prints in a variety of styles featuring the series’ main characters, plus issues of Cook’s equally fantastic post-apocalyptic series Bust and anthology title Comichaus, in which his short biblical plague series Feather is serialised.

Check out the campaign here.

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