31 Days of Halloween: Junji Ito does Pokemon

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I know we’ve been slacking a bit with 31 Days due to the horrors of New York Comic-Con, but it’s full sped ahead to the pumpkins now. And here is the best thing you will hear today, tomorrow or possibly in a lifetime: Japanese Horror master Junji Ito Is doing a Pokemon collaboration.

Yeah that’s right. The creator of Uzumaki, Museum of Terror, the Long Hair in the Attic and much more, is doing POKEMON.

The news was announced in Japan as a “Collaboration,” you know, like Tokidoki doing Marvel, except terrifying and unspeakable. It’s called “Kowapoke,” which means “Scarypoke” and a single phone wallpaper image has been released thus far. That’s Banette, cute little Banette, admittedly not the nicest Pokemon, now all Kowapoke’d up. T-shirts are being given away in Japan now because life is unknowable and terrifying.

Today is Torsten Day at Stately Beat Manor! 2014

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Three  years ago, I was gobsmacked when Heidi proclaimed October 10 as “Torsten Day”. Now, there wasn’t a celebration that day, or since, so I don’t know if it’s an on-going holiday or just one of those days where I get a nicely-lettered proclamation with an embossed seal, suitable for framing. Since there wasn’t such […]

NYCC ’14: Win $50 for your Halloween swag from Costume Supercenter

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Costume SuperCenter is a  full service site for all your Halloween costume needs. They’ve set up at NYCC in booth  #1380 and to help let fans know they’ve graciously offered to give a $50 gift certificate to a lucky Beat reader. Keep reading for how to enter, but in the meantime, they’ve also made this […]

31 Days of Halloween: Neil Gaiman’s Last Temptation starring Alice Cooper

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About 20 years ago, Neil Gaiman was mostly known as The Sandman Guy. He was as beloved as ever but it was just before he became one of the work’s bets known authors. ONE of his projects of the time was THE LAST TEMPTATIOn, based on a theme album by horror rock icon Alice Cooper. Illustrated by Michael Zulli, the themes of the album fit in well with Gaiman’s work: a boy named Steven leaves from home only to meet up with the Showman and his Theatre of the Real. Buying a ticket to the show is buying a ticket to a nightmare.

Beautifully drawn by Zulli, and published by Marvel’s bizarre Music Line (there was also a Billy Ray Cyrus comic by Paul S. Newman, Dan Barry, and Gail Beckett) this oddity is being brought back by Dynamite in a limited edition Hardcover Remarked edition, signed by Gaiman and remarked by Zulli, with the art remastered and colored by David Curiel at InLight Studios. The book is available in an edition of only 200, with bonus material including all three scripts to the book, the original outline, and Neil Gaiman’s original correspondence with
Alice Cooper.

31 Days of Halloween: Bobby Timony’s Monster Pin Up Girl Playing Cards

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Kickstarter alert! Bobby Timony (The Night Owls, The Horror Lovers, Detectobot and Goblin Hood) is Kickstarting a deck of playing cards adorned with cute monster girl pin-ups. That says it all right? Timony’s cartoon-esque art is just right to present monsters girls who are sexy without being over the top, and just the right sense of humor as well. If […]

31 Days of Halloween: Mike Mignola’s Witchfinder: The Mysteries Of Unland

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It seems we’re not the only ones obsessed with Halloween—Mike Mignola and Dark Hose have been running a 13 Days of Hellboy festival, celebrating all kinds of artwork and story reveals in the Hellboy.

And we’re officially crossing over with this exclusive reveal of Mignola’s cover for the trade paperback Witchfinder: The Mysteries Of Unland. This is the latest book in a Hellboy spin-off series that centers on Sir Edward Grey, a Victorian detective of the occult who figures in the past of the Hellboy timeline.

Happy 24-Hour Comic Day!

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Beginning at 8am artists were busily drawing, inking, writing, painting, and eating boxes of pizza in an effort to complete a 24 page story in 24 hours. Forcing themselves to stretch the limit of their stamina, hoping to string comic panels into a coherent narrative without the benefit of preparation, pre-planning or a script.

If the artists complete their projects, they’ll earn the satisfaction of achieving something neither Neil Gaiman or Kevin Eastman (Teen-Age Mutant Ninja Turtles) could in the 24 hour continuous time frame. Additionally, if they finish, they are given cover letters and invited to send a copy of their comic to the national 24-Hour Comic Book Day archive, which is hosted by the Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum.

The 24-Hour Comic Day event began simply as an exercise in 1990 by Understanding Comics cartoonist, Scott McCloud, to challenge himself and his friend Stephen R. Bissette. With comic industry big names taking part and spreading the word, metamorphosising into an annual event in 2004. (You can read the history here). Meant to help artists shake off cob-webs, push through blocks, limber up their story telling abilities and push creativity. Examples Scott McCloud and friend’s own attempts at a 24-Hour Comics (including Eastman’s and Gaiman’s) are archived here.

31 Days of Halloween: Waiting for the Great Pumpkin

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Nothing says Halloween like Charlie Brown, Linus and the Great Pumpkin. Fantagraphics, which has been publishing all of Charles Schulz’s Peanuts strips in chronological order, has also starting putting out charming gift books based on themes Earlier this year they did a baseball themed one, and for the holidays, they’ve produced Waiting for the Great Pumpkin and Snoopy’s Thanksgiving. The […]

31 Days of Halloween: Under the Apple Tree by Sarah Winifred Searle

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Want to read a 96 graphic novel about a young woman and a time travelling ghost for FREE? You can read about the making of the book at the Under the Apple Tree webpage and download it here. Cartoonist Sarah Winifred Searle created it as part of a Children’s Writer-in-Residence at the Boston Public Library. here’s the logline:

31 Days of Halloween: Menton3 and 44Flood

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Fall is in the air, bringing a crisp step and the crunch of leaves under foot, and the inevitable—perhaps inescapable—presence of Pumpkin Spice everything all around us! Yes, it’s time for 31 Days of Halloween, The Beat’s annual tribute to our MOST FAVORITEST TIME OF YEAR. And let’s get things going with probably the most obvious link possible…but I have ever written about painter/cartoonist/musician Menton3 on The Beat before so here goes!

Based in Chicago, Menton3—aka Menton J Matthews III—is a painter of atmospheric and disturbing images. While you can find a lot of his work at his website, he’s probably best known these days as a partner in 44Flood, a publishing company that has teamed with IDW to put out art books and comics. Along with fellow artists Kasra Ghanbari, Ben Templesmith and Nick Idell, 44Flood has put out Tome, an artbook which was mostly Kickstarted, Templesmith’s The Squidder, the comic Monocyte, which you see on this page, and Libretto, an anthology of eerieness centering on vampirism. A new volume of Tome is on its way or already here (I couldn’t find a lot of solid news about the bunch.)

Trick-or-Treat! Diamond Reveals Halloween ComicFest Titles!

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Yes, Summer officially started last Friday.  You’re probably haven’t even done your grocery shopping for the Fourth of July cookout!  Or started packing for San Diego! But for retailers and publishers, they think months in advance!  Comics shipping in October must be ordered in August.  Publishers usually try to think six months in advance! So […]

Celebrate Torsten’s “Nerd Birthday” With His Crazy Party Favors!

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Everyone has milestone events which they remember (or wish to forget).  Some are small memories, like a first kiss, while others can be momentous anniversaries marked each year. May 25th is one such day for me.This Star Wars Day/International Towel Day marks thirty years of my actively reading, collecting, studying, proselytizing comics.  May 25, 1984, […]

Eleanor Davis illustrates Google Doodle for the first day of Spring

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Here for the moment, on the Google homepage you’ll find a lovely animation by Eleanor Davis celebrating the first day of Spring. Of course it’s barely scraping 40°F as I type this. Hurry, Spring, hurry!

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Kitty Kelly

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Above art by Jill Bauman, a World Fantasy Award nominated artist who specializes in horror and fantasy. Bauman has a whole set of cat holiday paintings in the link. Confession: back in the day I had a bunch of these prints hanging up in my office at Vertigo. Bauman is an accomplished artist but I find these cats a bit more disturbing than endearing! I’m not sure if that was the intent or not, but one thing is certain: YOU CAN’T LOOK AWAY.

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 3/17/14: Top o’ the Kibble to ye!

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Let’s start out this late St. Patricks Day roundup with Shaenon Garrity on two webcomics that adapt Irish Mythology:

And finally, Happy Valentine’s Day from Valiant

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Because nothing says love like Armstrong. Hope you’re having day with your loved one, and if you don’t have a Valentine…remember, love yourself and others will follow. Card design by Kalman Andrasofszky