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Hello, Ambassadors! How’s daylight savings treating ya? Enjoying that extra-long afternoon sunlight? Putting it to good use? We sure have, keeping incredibly busy with new titles, big plans, and our first convention showing of the year! We just got back from a fantastic time at the 2016 CHICAGO COMIC & ENTERTAINMENT EXPO (C2E2), and we gotta say, as exhausted and sore as we are from all the heavy lifting, standing, walking, talking, etc, it was a blast. It was so great to meet fans of the books we’re putting out, and to introduce these fabulous books to a new audience who hadn’t seen them before. Two years into this venture, and I think we’re finally starting to get recognized… If you hadn’t seen the news or the latest issue of PREVIEWS, we’re really excited to announce the upcoming release of a cool new title called KLAW. Written by ANTOINE OZANAM and illustrated by the amazing JOEL JURION, it promises to be a story that grabs you by the lapels and consume you. Not unlike a giant were-tiger. Check out the feature interview with Ozanam and Jurion starting on page 7! We’ve also got a spotlight on one of our favorite artists making waves today, DANIEL WARREN JOHNSON. If you’re not familiar with his webcomic SPACE-MULLETT, or the series he did with Donny Cates, titled GHOST FLEET, then this featurette will be a fine introduction to a guy you’re bound to wanna follow closely. As per schedule, we’ve also got another page of THE LEVIATHAN’S DAUGHTER, illustrated by Caio Oliveira, more activities in THE IMAGYMNASIUM, another look at WHAT WE’RE DIGGIN’ ON this month, and more. As always, if you have any feedback or suggestions, we’d love to hear from you, and would love to start a letters column answering your questions every month! Enjoy!
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THIS ISSUE: pg 2..... WELCOME pg 4..... IN CASE YOU MISSED THEM: EISNER TITLES! WASTED LANDS OMNIBUS and DOOMBOY
pg 6..... THE BIG PICTURE:
THE ADVENTURES OF BASIL & MOEBIUS
pg 7..... FEATURE INTERVIEW: OZANAM and JURION on “KLAW” pg 16... THE IMAGYMNASIUM pg 18... THE LEVIATHAN’S DAUGHTER pg 19... WHAT WE’RE DIGGIN’ ON: THE ABOMINABLE CHARLES CHRISTOPHER, ASSASSIN’S CREED: SYNDICATE, PATEMA INVERTED, and MOCHIPET
pg 21... ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: DANIEL WARREN JOHNSON pg 28... WHAT’S IN THE BOX? COVER ART “Red” by Joel Jurion (2013)
“Hulk and Black Widow” fan art by Joel Jurion
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picture What’s the story with BASIL & MOEBIUS? by Ryan Schifrin, Larry Hama, and more
Alaric Moebius and Basil Fox are two lovable scoundrels looking to make a quick fortune. Basil is a former SAS trooper turned Queen’s Guard by day and thief by night. Moebius is an Oxford-educated charmer with a knack for getting into trouble. Together they chase adventure under the patronage of “The Collector,” a mysterious billionaire with a taste for rare and valuable supernatural objects of the occult. An epic tale of scoundrels caught up in a hurricane of supernatural secrets and interdimensional conspiracies, the series unfolds through four hardcover graphic novels, each one tracking the duo’s adventures, from first meeting through the mind-bending, reality-saving conclusion. While each volume is a standalone tale, the underlying plot -- and the subtle, intricate subplots -- weave an even bigger tapestry that comes together in the end. Based on the award-winning live action short film “No Rest for the Wicked”, starring fan-favorite actors ZACHARY LEVI (Chuck, Thor), RAY PARK (G.I. Joe, Star Wars) and MALCOLM MCDOWELL (A Clockwork Orange), the universe of Basil & Moebius is a deep, labyrinthine dive into a realm where ancient myths and paranormal legends are real. In addtion to the hardcover graphic novels, the series is supplemented by prose short stories by some of the biggest names in sci-fi fiction, including award-winning authors TIMOTHY ZAHN (Star Wars: Heir to the Empire), RICHARD LEE BYERS (Forgotten Realms), MICHAEL STACKPOLE (Star Wars, Battletech), and GREG BEAR (Blood Music, Halo), with series covers by Eisner Award-winning artist DAVE DORMAN!
VOLUMES 1-3 NOW IN STORES!
DIGITAL ISSUES SERIALIZED THROUGH COMIXOLOGY! PROSE TALES AVAILABLE ON KINDLE! Get more details at www.magnetic-press.com/basil-and-moebius
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ETTING WIL WITH OZANAM AND JURION
A BOY. A GIRL. THE MAFIA. AND A SECRET SOCIETY OF WERE-ANIMALS IN THE THROES OF AN ANCIENT CIVIL WAR.
KLAW MAY NOT FIT ANY STANDARD GENRE DESCRIPTION, BUT IT IS A THRILLING NEW
SERIES THAT RESONATES IN SEVERAL CATEGORIES AT ONCE: TEEN ANGST, COMING OF AGE TALE, SUPERNATURAL CRIME THRILLER, MARTIAL ARTS EPIC, AND JUST A HINT OF HIGH-TECH SUPERHERO JEOPARDY. HAVING ALREADY MADE BIG WAVES WITH ITS ORIGINAL RELEASE IN EUROPE, THE FIRST THREE-PART CYCLE OF THIS SPRAWLING SERIES IS ABOUT TO TAKE AMERICA BY STORM.
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Created by artist JOEL JURION and writer ANTOINE OZANAM, the series tells the tale of young Angel Tomassini, a typical high school kid with typical high school troubles – girls, tests, bullies, etc. But he soon realizes he’s secretly plagued by a few atypical problems as well. First he finds out his dad is a major mafia Don. Then he is told that there is a rampant slasher-killer on the loose. And ultimately he learns that he’s actually the latest in a line of ancient were-beasts who have been at war for thousands of years. Needless to say, this isn’t your average high school drama. We took a few moments to speak with the creators about this series, as well as other works they’ve done in the past. KLAW is an exciting hybrid of many different genres – High School drama, supernatural monsters, crime, martial arts, anime, and even a bit of super-hero elements in the third chapter. When they all come together, they make beautiful, unique creation. What was your primary influence and inspiration when designing the look of this series? JOEL: For visual influence, I worked alone on a project where I experimented with some anthropomorphic character designs. But I couldn’t build an interesting story from it, so I asked Antoine if he would have a story idea in this style.
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How did you two come together on this project? Did you know each other previously, or was this project your first introduction? OZANAM: I met Joel through a mutual friend. When we ate together for the first time, he showed me his sketchbooks, and I fell under its charm. I waited several years wanting to work together. I wanted to start that first night! When he offered this idea to work together, I reworked an old project of mine that was the first version of Klaw. Since then, it has been going very fast.
KLAW is a unique mix of many different things – crime, supernatural, martial arts, and Young Adult drama. What was the inspiration for the story concept, and how did that turn into such an exciting blend of genres? OZANAM: Well, that’s just it! The mixture allows freedom! In fact, it was seeing “Running on Karma” that showed it was possible. I wanted to tell a story for my son with a teenager who has powers, but I wanted it to continue to please him when he was growing up. It was necessary to mix things that would be of interest to him and the things that interested me, too.
Joel, you do a lot of work within the animation and video game industries, creating concept art, character designs, and quite a lot of storyboards. What other animation and video games have you worked on?
Previous page, left “KLAW (volume one cover)” right, interior page This page, top: “Rabbit Girl” bottom: Various character designs
JOEL: I worked on a few movies like (the 3D CG animated feature) PRODIGIES (by director Antoine Charreyron), THE LITTLE PRINCE (starring the voices of Jeff Bridges, Paul Rudd,
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This page, top left: “Various Character designs” background, character diesngs “Vegas” Bottom “Pacific Rim” Next page, top left/right: covers “Vegas”, series illustreated bottom: “future barbarian girl”
James Franco, and Benicio del Toro, coming soon to Netflix), and (the animated evolutionary caveman comedy) WHY I DID NOT EAT MY FATHER. For video games I was involved in developing a game called Battlecry and a few others I can’t say the name yet. How do these experiences in Animation and Video Game design translate to creating a comic book? What is the biggest difference between storyboards and a good comic page? JOEL: I learn by watching what others do. This is a place full of talented people at work. We take pride in each other and have fun. The other thing that made me move was that I had to draw in styles or universes that were not mine, I had to question myself and move out of my comfort zone. In the end it allowed me to expand my own universe.
Antoine, you’ve written and created well over 30 different comic series and stories in your career so far. Many of them tend to fall into the “crime” genre – would you say that is your favorite genre to explore? OZANAM: In fact, I’ve written more than 50 books! (But some under another name.) About half of them are in the “crime” genre, but that may be more in background ambiance and not the main subject. I like what “crime” says about our society. It creates tension between the characters. But, in fact, I think I prefer the fantasy genre, that lets you tell things outside our daily lives…
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What other genres do you enjoy writing? OZANAM: I just like writing stories. Every kind! Currently, I am writing a lot of westerns and I feel very fortunate. I recently discovered that writing true stories is also very interesting. For one can imagine many things in a true story. It seems, however, that what I like is to mix genres. Start in the same book by a superhero story that turns into a thriller and then end as a love story…
Joel, explain your preferred technique – do you work traditionally, with paper, pencil, and ink, or digitally with a tablet? JOEL: A little bit of everything. And when I say everything it is mixed in my drawing, I mean, one moment I’ll work on the computer and the other by hand, in a traditional way. But right now I would like to return to the traditional art, but I know that tomorrow it will be different.
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You are well known online for your “girl art” – cute girl depictions of fan favorite characters. A lot of these are popular American characters – would you like to work on some US comic properties some day? If so, what would you like to draw? JOEL: I am a big fan of comics, such as manga and Franco Belgian comics. I am a child of John Byrne and a fan of Adam Hughes. Yes, I would like to make comics even if I always told myself that as even if I couldn’t draw a beautiful Superman I would not be able to master the comics!
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Previous page, top left “Sailor Moon” top right “Scooby-Doo bydoo” (2015) bottom “Disney Parade” (2015) This page, top left, bottom right “Troll and Viking (personal project)” top right “Warrior Girl”
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This first book of KLAW contains the first 3 chapters of the story (“The First Cycle”), with chapters 4-6 comprising “The Second Cycle”. Do you have plans for more? OZANAM: I’m writing Cycle 3 now (chapters 7-9). If my French publisher wants, I would keep the series going for a long time. Now that I know Angel (The Klaw), we’re friends. And I’m very loyal to my friends. JOEL: I’m currently finishing chapter 6 of Klaw now, which would finished the second cycle. Lombard (the French publisher) is starting to not only continue but intensify the publication of the series. For this goal we are testing a production method more as a team, closer to what you do in the United States, even though we have lost this process in France. Besides that, I have several more or less personal projects advancing, but it means that means I will have to abandon work in film or video games to concentrate on the medium that is the most important to me.
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Previous page, this page: pages from “The Geek Flag (personal project)“ Short Story
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THE IMAGYMNASIUM is a place where you can practice using that universal tool called “Imagination,” to stretch that grey-matter muscle between your ears in a way that is not only fun, but useful when applied to everyday creative problem solving. Think outside the box and see things that aren’t there. Conjure reality!
You’ll need a 6-sided dice and something to write on/with. (analog or digital, doesn’t matter.) 1) Complete the following sentence by rolling a 6-sided dice for each of the three blanks:
Jane looked at me as if (A) , repeatedly So I broke the silence by (C) .
2) Use those numbers (in order) to fill in the blanks from these corresponding lists:
1. she had just lost her last baby tooth
1. grimacing and looking away.
1. laughing hysterically.
2. pointing behind me.
2. I had shape-shifted into a giant, clothes-wearing spider
3. coughing a fake cough, like the world’s worst call for attention.
2. shaking the peanut shells out of my hair.
3. my face was covered in obscene tattoos 4. she had just discovered the cure for cancer 5. she suddenly no longer spoke the same language 6. the world’s greatest idea had gotten stuck in her throat
4. stroking her hair as if to calm it down.
3. asking the waiter for another basket of bread.
5. whispering “Don’t look, don’t look, don’t look.”
4. offering the cab driver an alternate set of directions I knew he wouldn’t understand.
6. snapping her bubblegum in that way she knows I hate.
5. hurling the rest of my sandwich at the window. 6. making monkey noises.
3) Complete a five-paragraph scene using the resulting sentence as the opening line!
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1) Print out this page, or grab any blank sheet of paper and a drawing tool -- pencil, pen, crayon, doesn’t matter. 2) Draw six circles, anywhere, any size, in any layout. They don’t have to be even circles; in fact the more uneven they are the more interesting this excercise could be! 3) Now turn those six circles into six of the most adorable cartoon animals you can imagine. Any kind of animal, just try to make them “cute” -- big eyes, tiny body, stubby arms and legs, you know the type. We started one as an example. 4) Bonus points if you can draw them all interacting within the same scene!
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What happens next? 1) Do the bad guys pursue? 2) Does she get away? and 3) what does she run across while fleeing? We’ve set up a survey for you to vote on those very questions, so go there now and let us know what happens in the next set of pages! Head over to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SZV22JZ (or use the button below, if your viewer supports it) and vote BEFORE April 2nd, 2016, and we’ll keep the story rolling in next month’s magazine!
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WHAT WE’RE READING: THE ABOMINABLE CHARLES CHRISTOPHER - BY KARL KERSCHL Some of the best discoveries are the ones that sneak up on you, years or even decades old, but still as magically fresh as if it were brand-spanking-new. If you haven’t already heard of THE ABOMINABLE CHARLES CHRISTOPHER, then this is one of those discoveries. You’re welcome. Created as a semi-regular webcomic by artist Karl Kerschl (SUPERMAN, THE FLASH, TEEN TITANS) in 2007, it is an ongoing series of strips following a the simple-minded, sasquatch-like Charles Christopher as he goes about life in the forest, interacting with a community of animals realistically rendered, but given a wealth of modern personality. Bird spouses argue, baby wolves are chatty, skunks are savvy restauranteurs. But its not all jokes, as Civilization gradually encroaches on nature, and the forest looks towards Charles to protect them from Man. It is equal parts light-hearted, heartwarming, and at times heart-breaking, but completely wonderful in its totality. You can (and should) check it out at www. abominable.cc, or pick up the two print collections available from that same website. You’ll be grateful for it.
WHAT WE’RE PLAYING: ASSASSINS CREED: SYNDICATE (PC, PS4, XBOX ONE) We’ve been playing all the Assassins Creeds since they started creeding back on the PS3, and no matter how much assassining we do, the series makes us want to assassin more. (Our therapist might find issue with that statement, but he just doesn’t get it.) These games started out great from day one -- with the open world freedom, the smooth parkour traversal, the seamless animation blending, and the genuinely engaging period settings (which we thought would at some point have to get dry and boring, like Masterpiece Theater, which we’ve learned since is not dry and boring after all). The latest chapter, SYNDICATE, moves the series to 1868 London, smack dab in what is apparently the sweet-spot for steampunk daydreamers. While the series always towed the line of what sort of technology might make sense in, say, 15th century Italy, they’ve sorta taken it to new heights in this chapter, with spider-man-like grapling guns added to the toolbox for even crazier -- yet SUPER-FUN -- gameplay. But fantasy-vs-reality issues aside, the game is as fun as ever, and the PS4 version is absolutely STUNNING visually. (I’m sure the PC and XBOne version are too, I’ve just tackled them all on a Sony system, so it has become my personal pref.) As much as I loved BLACK FLAG for its piratey-sweet sea battles, and Unity for its, well, French-ness, its a blast to encounter Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, and Jack the Ripper in their home seting. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Assassins Creed tops the “desert island” list, and this one just might be the forerunner among the releases so far. March 2016 - page 19 www.MAGNETIC-PRESS.com
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING: PATEMA INVERTED (STREAMING ON AMAZON VIDEO) We like anime, sure. We were weaned and groomed on Macross (ne “Robotech”), Megazone23, Lupin the 3rd, and of course Akira. We’ve since dug Ghost in the Shell, FLCL, Redline, Cowboy Bebop, Shamploo... you know, the cool stuff. But testing out new stuff has seemed like a pretty high gamble in what feels like an era of cookiecutter, big-eyed drama set in yet another sci-fi environment. But on a lark, we gave PATEMA INVERTED a shot, now available on Amazon Prime. And we were hooked. Definitely “high concept”, it’s the story of a world where two societies live with polar opposite gravitational pulls -- up for one is down for the other. Similar to the live action film UPSIDE DOWN starring Kristen Dunst, but GOOD -- this one really explored the concept, the terror one would feel “falling” upward into the other person’s endless sky, and vice versa. The story explores the literal heights and depths of each society while playing with audience perception the whole time. And yes, in the middle of it is a love story. But that’s almost mandatory these days, isn’t it? Our only complaint, which nearly kept us from switching off 5 minutes in was the squeaky, almost-cliche anime voice on lead character Patema, but fortunately the wonder of the plot and how it all unfolded was enough to let that slide. If you have Amazon we say give it a try! (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2981768/)
WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO: MOCHIPET - “GODZILLA REHAB CENTER” Late to this party, maybe. We just recently discovered MOCHIPET with the awesome “Gigan” from the equally awesome electronic/dubstep/breakcore EP “Godzilla Rehab Center.” From there, it was a wormhole of sweet beat discovery as the rest of Mochipet’s library blossomed like a ray of sunlight burning a channel of liquid “F*** Yeah” across the horizon. Also known as David Wang, a Taiwanese American producer from Daly City who has been spinning intense hardcore dancefloor video-game-flavored mixes since 2002, he has released over 25 albums and EPs since. He clearly has a thing for Godzilla and all things Kawaii, if his album art and sorta-cosplay persona aren’t a hint. He tours regularly, and has an avid following of zillaheads. Check out his stuff on Spotify, Soundcloud, or buy his stuff from his website. (http://www.mochipet.com)
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HOT ARTIST SPOTLIGHT:
DANIEL WARREN JOHNSON March 2016 - page 21
Probably one of the biggest things in Danielâ€™s life that made him want to draw was reading Calvin and Hobbes. He had never seen so much dynamic movement on a comic page before. Wattersonâ€™s characters were the first comics he was exposed to, and the influence still fuels him today. He went to college to be an art teacher, and did that for a few years, although he was never passionate about it.
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Finally, with the support of his wife, he quit his teaching job and gave comics and illustration a fulltime shot. At first he took any sort of visual or graphic design job he could, while creating the webcomic SPACE-MULLET on the side. He did that for a year and a half until Space-Mullet was noticed by Dark Horse, who hired him to do an EVE:ONLINE comic, which led to even more work, including the excellent GHOST FLEET with writer Donny Cates. Since then, he’s done work for DC, Marvel, BOOM, and Image. TITLE PAGE :
“GHOST FLEET Cover #2”
(background) “PLUNDER” (left) “HEADLESS HORSEMAN” (right) “STAR LORD”
Pages from GHOST FLEET (pre-colors)
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He credits a ton of influences and inspirations, from comic artists to painters. He tries to keep things rounded, not wanting to be fueled only by his own medium. Sometimes, if the drawings just arenâ€™t working on a certain day, heâ€™ll take a ride on the public transit system and sketch people for a few hours. That helps him break out of his own head. He loves the feeling of pencil, pen, and brush on paper, and likes the idea of pages getting old and yellow. He likes figuring out how to speed up the process of the traditional medium, like using ten point dividers for perspective, etc.
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(background) “HOTLINE MIAMI” (top left) “USAGI YOJIMBO” (top right) “SHOTGUN GIRL” (bottom left) “DARK KNIGHT RETURNS” (bottom right) “FQ1 COMBAT TRANSPORT”
Pages from SPACE-MULLET
PREVIOUS PAGE :
(top) “BLASTED” (2015) (bottom) “SKETCH DAY 17: SNAKE” (2012)
(top left) “SCYTHE ” (2013) (top right) “ANOTHER PIRATE ” (2015) (bottom) “PIRATE” (2015)
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For the past few months, he’s been working on a number of projects, including ALABASTER: THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE BIRD releasing in December from Dark Horse. During that time he continued working on his own book, SPACE-MULLET, readying for print with Dark Horse (hitting shelves on April 27th)! Since then, He’s been working on a secret Image project to be announced soon… stay tuned! Privately, he has always wanted to do a Star Wars: Rogue Squadron book, a passion that was evident with his fan-fiction comic short, GREEN LEADER. He just loves drawing those ships! He’d also love doing something in the Aliens, Predator, or Judge Dredd worlds. Considering the amazing work he’s putting out, we don’t see anything from getting in the way of those dreams… FOLLOW DANIEL ON TWITTER (where you can find his many websites and Deviantart links) -- https://twitter.com/danielwarrenart
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(background) “INKTOBER PANEL” (bottom left) “SPACE-MULLET COVER” (bottom right) “SPACE-MULLET PAGE”
Pages from GREEN LEADER
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Published on Mar 24, 2016
Issue #4 of the monthly eZine created for the Magnetic Press Ambassadors Club. Featuring a look at KLAW by artist Joel Jurion and writer Ant...