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Kickstarter Spotlight: Ben Templesmith’s ‘THE SQUIDDER’
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There are a lot of Kickstarter campaigns out there trying to get you to part with your hard-earned cash. But how many of them can say they are from Ben Templesmith and 44FLOOD? That’s what sets THE SQUIDDER apart from all the rest and that’s why we want to bring it to your attention, because these folks do their due diligence when it comes to putting together an awesome project.

If you love Lovecraft’s Cthulhu and want to see it take a science fiction-inspired leap forward, then this is the one for you. Described as “an original graphic novel about an old soldier from a forgotten war in a post-apocalyptic world that has left him behind,” this is the first creator-run book from Templesmith in five years. It’s something near and dear to his heart so I have no doubt it’s going to be excellent from start to finish. Not to mention the fact that this Kickstarter beat it’s goal so well that they upped the length from 108 pages to 144 pages (33% more)!

Check out the video below for more information direct from Ben Templesmith himself.

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Comic Review: Ten Grand #1
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Ten Grand #1
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Illustrated by Ben Templesmith
Lettered by Troy Peteri
Covers by Ben Templesmith, Bill Sienkiewicz, Jae Lee, and Ryan Sook
Image Comics / Joe’s Comics
Release Date: May 1, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99

J. Michael Straczynski returns to Joe’s Comics “” a Top Cow imprint that Straczynski created to helm Rising Stars, which is now at Image Comics. His first new venture under the imprint with illustrations by Ben Templesmith comes in the form of Ten Grand, a thriller that integrates mystery and suspense with the celestial and supernatural. This one had me biting my already short nails.

Ten Grand #1 takes us on a journey through the eyes of Joe Fitzgerald “” a man who takes a lot of things very personally “” from our world to the otherworldly confines of a seedy city; a dark, urban area where nothing is as it seems. Having once been a top enforcer for an underground crime-lord, Joe had everything stripped away when his lover, Laura, was murdered. Now a bitter and cynical man, Joe will take any job for the right price: ten grand. Such is the case when Debbie, a streetwise gothic girl comes to Joe for help. It turns out that Debbie’s sister, Sarah, had involved herself with a religious cult called Divine Will and is now missing. Debbie reveals an image to Joe of Divine Will’s leader, James. Confusion and anger set in as it is revealed that Joe has a violent past with James. It turns out that their first encounter was what drove Joe down his current path in life. He gives Debbie her money back and agrees to take the case for free as it has now become a personal matter.

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Comic Review: Choker, Vol. 1
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By Lucid Crash

Choker, Vol. 1
Story by Ben McCool
Art by Ben Templesmith
Letters by Tom B. Long
Image Comics
Release Date: May 16, 2012
Cover Price: $16.99

In Choker, Johnny Jackson is a hard-boiled Private Investigator or Gumshoe and he has the cigarettes, trenchcoat, cramped messy office, surly demeanor, and the contempt for the police force that canned him to prove it. What the reader is supposed to assume is he now leads a life of obscurity blurred by booze (even if the first scene finds him spying on the mayor’s dalliances), but is about to get his one shot at public redemption when the cops call upon him to catch the drug dealer “Hunt Cassidy” he locked up years earlier.

Jackson is surely an antihero with a vulgar mouth and skeletons in the closet, but he is not without his charms. At his most human we see him caring for his kind and nerdy assistant Seaton Price. With a backstory that is highlighted by the Shotgun Police Force forcing him to take an experimental drug called “Man Plus” which is supposed to turn ordinary civil servants into robocops, Jackson evokes sympathy after being left with a serious side effect that comes to define him. A vise-like gripping hand that has a mind of its own earns him the unfortunate moniker “Choker,” and robs him of his badge and dignity after being deemed a danger to others.

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Batman and ‘Smallville’ Lead DC’s Charge Into Digital
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DC Comics announced today that the comic book publishing company would be expanding its digital comics initiative with brand new weekly comics with Smallville Season 11, Batman, and a manga-inspired Ame Come line leading the charge.

Alright DC Comics, you’ve got my attention. This news story comes alongside a nice feature with writer Bryan Q. Miller on USA Today as he discusses preview pages and the previously announced Smallville Season 11 weekly digital comics series that follows the events of the popular TV show, which finally hits the digital platform today. Next month, Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti will begin a new weekly digital comic based on Manga style that focuses on Wonder Woman and other female superheroes which takes the Ame Comi name from DC’s popular statue line. Where this gets really interesting to me, however, is with the announcement of the weekly Batman comics.

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Comic Review: Hack/Slash #13
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Hack/Slash #13
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Emilio Laiso
Colors by Carlos Badilla
Letters by Crank!
Edits by James Lowder
Covers by Tim Seeley & Allen Passalaqua and Ben Templesmith
Image Comics
Release Date: February 29, 2012
Cover Price: $3.50

I’ve been a Cassie Hack fan for quite some time, but Hack/Slash #13 is the first time I have had the chance to review the comic. I have long been impressed with Tim Seeley‘s writing and the way he manages to make every comic fun from start to finish. This issue was no exception, I thoroughly enjoyed the story (though I wish there was more Vlad in this one).

Kicking off a comic with velociraptors is an awesome way to begin a story. Closer interaction with them, however, changes more than one character’s opinion of them. I even enjoyed the Jurassic Park movie reference. I mean, really…who doesn’t love raptors?

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