Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Comic News: Weekly World News Comic Series Launches Tomorrow

First-ever comic series for fan-favorite tabloid characters

In stores Wednesday, January 13th

Bat Boy and the other bizarre denizens of the Weekly World News universe storm comic stores starting tomorrow! Celebrating the tabloid’s 30th anniversary in 2010, the colorful characters of Weekly World News are making their comic debut with IDW’s four-issue miniseries. Written by IDW’s Publisher/Editor-in-Chief and WWN fanatic Chris Ryall, with art by Alan Robinson, Weekly World News revives the tabloid's best and sees them band together to take on, among other things, the world-destroying threat of Chaos Cloud. Each issue will also feature original articles from the original Weekly World News, and a variant cover that pays insane “tribute” to a classic image.

“I feel like I’ve been obsessing over Bat Boy for at least a decade, so it’s great to be able to tell people that ‘obsession’ was actually all just ‘research’ for this comic,” said Chris Ryall. “I’m happy to finally get the comic about that beloved bat-eared freak and his even more colorful friends into peoples’ hands. Hopefully they enjoy reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.”

Weekly World News #1 kicks off this daring series with a Joe Corroney cover, featuring a version of Bat Boy inspired by Alex Ross’s painted Barack Obama pose. As an added bonus, issue #1 will feature some of the classic Bat Boy newspaper strips by the great Peter Bagge.

Beginning with issue #1, “The Irredemption of Ed Anger,” the series unites the beloved Bat Boy with Ph.D. Ape (simian psychologist to the stars), UFO Alien (presidential-predicting pundit from the stars), Manigator (half-man/half-gator good ol’ boy), Lemmie (the Lake Erie Monster) as they battle Chaos Cloud (unpredictable weather front with the face of Fran├žois Mitterand). Caught in the middle of all of this is the far-right-wing columnist Ed Anger (“pave the Rain Forest!”), who thinks inhuman freaks have as much place in America as liberals, female voters and foreign beer. Along the way, the series pays tribute to other comics and numerous other pop-culture visuals and references (so many that Ryall will be offering annotations in the back of each issue, too).

“Now in addition to enjoying our product online, in tabloid form, and as a musical, our legion of fans will have an opportunity to see WWN’s 100 character library come alive in comic book form. Never before has this group of Weekly World News freaks, I mean characters, banded together for a common cause. The results make for an unforgettable story.” said Neil McGinness, CEO Weekly World News. “IDW’s first installment brings the most popular characters in the Weekly World News’ stable, and its masthead icon, to life in comic form for the first time.”

The Weekly World News, which carried the tagline “The World’s Only Reliable News” and spent years living up to that description, launched in 1979 as a supermarket tabloid focused on sensational stories. The brand’s website www.weeklyworldnews.com is a leading entertainment news website.

Weekly World News #1 (of 4), a 32-page, $3.99 comic book, debuts on January 13, 2010. Diamond order code NOV09 0841.


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Meet FARSCAPE writer Keith R.A. DeCandido
and 28 DAYS LATER writer and HEXED creator Michael Alan Nelson!

BOOM! Studios invades Boston, Massachusetts January 15 – 18 for the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting! Stop by booth #1471 to meet with Keith R.A. DeCandido, writer of BOOM!'s Sci-Fi smash hit FARSCAPE comic series, and Michael Alan Nelson the writer behind the 28 DAYS LATER comic series. Both will be signing daily through the duration of the ALA event.

The 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting will be held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 415 Summer Street, Boston, Massachusetts.


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Comic News: UNCANNY X-MEN Fan Favorite Character Return

Because You Demanded It! Kitty Pryde returns this March in Uncanny X-Men #522—but how? And what does this mean for the X-Men? Don’t miss a single issue of Uncanny X-Men!


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Westfield Comics teams with BOOM! Studios for an opportunity for a fan to appear in The Anchor

Why just read THE ANCHOR, when you can be in the actual comic? Westfield Comics and BOOM! Studios are excited to announce a contest where one lucky fan will be drawn into an issue of THE ANCHOR, the hit new series by Phil Hester and Brian Churilla published by BOOM! Studios.

To enter the contest, simply send an email to anchor.me@westfieldcomics.com saying why you should be drawn into THE ANCHOR. Entries should be no more than two sentences and 100 words or less. The contest begins Monday, January 11 and ends on Monday, January 18.

Each entry will be judged by both BOOM!’s editor-in-chief Mark Waid and Westfield’s Content Editor, Roger Ash. The winner of the contest will be announced on Sunday, January 31 with the winner to be drawn into a forthcoming issue of BOOM!’s THE ANCHOR. For a complete list of rules, go to www.westfieldcomics.com/store.cgi?LoadPage=anchormerules.

“I’m really excited about this contest,” says Westfield’s Roger Ash. “When Phil Hester and Brian Churilla agreed to the idea, I knew this would be something fun for Westfield customers and fans everywhere. Working with BOOM! has been great and I hope we can do more together in the future.”


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Comic Review: Weekly World News #1 (IDW Publishing)

One of my absolute favorite pastimes is perusing the tabloids at the grocery store. Yes, I majored in English in college, and I’ve read (and subsequently analyzed) the classics. But there’s something so delightful about checking out the headlines of the trashy magazines in the checkout lines. It’s something I’ve done since I first learned to read (much to my grandmother’s chagrin, especially when I started reading everything out loud). Probably the most fun to read is the Weekly World News, just because it’s so far from reality. The fine folks at IDW have taken that idea and turned the Weekly World News into a limited comic series. Given my love of the source material, I thought it only fitting to give this comic a whirl.

The first thing that caught my eye was the cover—Cover A is Alan Robinson’s careful adaptation of the kind of cover you might see at your local supermarket, complete with familiar faces Bat Boy, Ed Anger, and even Manigator (whose headline made me laugh out loud)! It’s one of the few times I actually dig Cover A more than the other covers. Cover B is Joe Corroney’s version of Alex Ross’s Obama as Superman, except this time the hero is Bat Boy. Cover C is also by Alan Robinson, but this time Bat Boy is Rodin’s Thinker. Though often you could get burned by judging a book by its cover (especially a comic book), this is one time you’re safe. If you like what’s going on on the cover, you’re going to like what’s inside.

The main story (penned by Chris Ryall) is the plight of pseudocolumnist Ed Anger. If you’re familiar with the guy in WWN, you know that he’s the curmudgeonly gent who has had a letters/commentary column in the mag for years. In this story he’s very much like my grandpa: angry that the world is going to hell in a handbasket and upset that the liberals, freaks, and aliens are taking over the planet (although in Anger’s case, it’s actual extraterrestrials). He’s a disenfranchised Charlton Heston-type, and at every turn the world is telling him he needs to calm down. One of the loudest voices is Ph.D. Ape, the world’s smartest primate. You see, he’s Anger’s shrink, though this fact is not a happy one for Ed. Ed’s main beef is that he’s always pitted against a gray alien in TV debates, and that Bat Boy not only attended Obama’s inauguration, but he also saved Ed from a freak accident. Seemingly, the guy can’t catch a break, but that’s a good thing for us.

One of the most interesting parts of this comic is the easter eggs. They were all easy to spot for me, but lucky for readers, there’s a handy-dandy guide in Ryall’s column at the end of the book should you miss something. Ryall assures readers that this issue was just the beginning, as subsequent issues are going to be chock full of goodies for readers to enjoy. The issue also includes a couple of Peter Bagge’s Weekly World News comic strips, and a reprint of stories from the magazine itself (including some Ed Anger columns).

All in all I highly recommend this book. It’s a fun read, and let’s face it, we could all use a fun read in our stacks after reading Blackest Night. If you’re a fan of the old magazine, it’s a creative way to revisit it, and if you’re not, you may find yourself reading this and thinking, “Wow, they actually printed this stuff as news?” Either way, you’ll have a good time.

Stacey Rader
Staff Reviewer

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