Showing posts with label monkeybrain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label monkeybrain. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Signal Watch Review: Masks & Mobsters (from MonkeyBrain Comics)

One of the great things thus far about MonkeyBrain Comics has been the wide variety of genre content coming from the publisher.  Last week saw tweaky hipster/ swords & sorcery strip Wander hit the internets.  This week MonkeyBrain rolls out Masks & Mobsters, a book that's pretty well set on the Signal Watch Venn Diagram as it's crime/ gangster comics set in a 1930's-era urban center with wiseguys starting to feel the heat from mystery men with strange powers.

The book's title page promises that this will be less of a straight narrative, issue after issue, as it announces it's an anthology title (ie: a fresh story with each issue, I'm guessing), so we'll see where the creative team is taking it from here (or if the same creative team will even stay around).

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Weekend in Signal Watch (and the week ahead)

If I didn't do all that much this weekend, give me a break.  It's been a long six weeks or so, and Sunday night my air conditioner quit.  Again.

Me and the service company are going to have words.

  1. I read Grant Morrison's SuperGods
  2. Jamie and I trekked to see Moonrise Kingdom
  3. I continue to watch Crank movies
  4. And I tried to prep you guys a bit for the release of Dark Knight Rises

The big news out of San Diego as I saw it:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Signal Watch Reads: Edison Rex (from MonkeyBrain Comics)

The first batch of MonkeyBrain Comics is now available for about $6 for 5 comics.  I don't think I've seen that kind of value since I was in high school*, so I want to get that out of the way first and foremost.  Secondly, all of the books are worth at least checking out.  They all hit different beats and will find their specific readerships.  Of the five, three really hit a chord with me, but at that price, I'll still follow all five for a while because, seriously... a dollar.  That's gum money.

I'll probably talk about Aesop's Ark and Bandette later, but I thought that first I should cover the book by MonkeyBrain co-founder, Chris Roberson.

Roberson and artist Dennis Culver paired to bring to life Edison Rex, a sort of Silver Age Superman and Lex Luthor homage that takes a decidedly interesting turn in the first issue, setting up the nemesis of Earth's greatest hero as the protagonist of the book, but not in the way you might expect.

The book is pure gold for both Superman fans and fans of the broad concept of Silver Age superheroics, lantern jawed do-gooders and single-minded mad scientists intent on ruling the world.  It's not that other comics haven't explored some of this territory, be it Waid's Empire** or, now that I think on it, Waid's Incorruptible.  Roberson, however, takes a lighter touch, providing me with my favorite comics quote of the month:
Lord Edison!  Are you certain we should not be conquering, instead?
People, that's just good comics.

The tone is almost Atomic Robo in flavor, and that works well for me in my jaded old age of wanting to have fun reading my funny books, especially those about science villains with plans for world domination.  I've no doubt that by issue 2 or 3, the riff on Superman will be in the past and we'll be moving on to new pastures, but the twist in this makes the homage totally worth it.

The art style feels appropriate in a cartoony, animation-ready style, that totally fits modern sensibilities and is broad enough to handle what I think will be a world with giant robots, laser pistols and the occasional caped superhero.  Well done.

The comics weren't supposed to be out as early as they were released.  But released they are! I suppose with Comixology seeing MonkeyBrain Comics trending practically worldwide on Twitter, the idea of striking while the iron was hot meant that they did not want to make anybody wait any longer.  You can jump online and check out the full line at Comixology!

It's a dollar, for goodness sake.  Give it a shot.

*and given inflation, maybe not since Middle School when I could slip a copy of Batman on the conveyor belt with the family groceries and my mom didn't blink at the cover price.

**Man, now that was a hell of a comic.  Why don't I own that in trade?  That's just crazy.  A beautifully drawn, craftily written volume.

Monday, July 2, 2012

On the Announcement of MonkeyBrain Comics and the New Digital Model

You guys will have to forgive me.  My brain has been on vacation mode for several days, so while I was able to participate in the MonkeyBrain Comics kick-off press call (I KNOW.  Look at me all acting like a legitimate news source.), I was unable to muster an intelligent question during the MonkeyBrain Q&A.

The basic idea behind MonkeyBrain is as follows:

MonkeyBrain will be your middleman and promotions arm if you're a creator-owned comic that wants to start off in the digital world.  That said, this isn't for just any schmo off the street to submit their work.  MonkeyBrain is Chris Roberson and Allison Baker's effort to develop a direct-to-digital channel for creator-owned work.  It sounds like a non-exclusive, digital-print-rights contract that will enable creators to show up on Comixology on Wednesdays alongside players like DC, Marvel, IDW, and more.

You can read the press release here.

In short, it seems Team Roberson/ Baker looked at what was going on and saw a way to support independent creators by creating a channel for them to get into the same "newsstand" as the big boys.

The effort is the logical outcome of the past several years of (a) the big players not adjusting their model to take advantage of the ability for distribution of chancier works the internet truly provided (b) the infinite newsstand of the internet - but placing the comics where they'll be seen.

MonkeyBrain Comics is GO!



New York Times Bestselling Author Chris Roberson to Head Up New Comic Book Publishing Imprint with Co-Publisher Allison Baker

July 2nd, 2012 – Portland, OR / New York, NY — New York Times bestselling comic book creator Chris Roberson is celebrating “Independents Day” a little differently than others this year as he and co-publisher Allison Baker launch MonkeyBrain Comics, with a slate of creator-owned titles from some of the top names in the field.  MonkeyBrain Comics will debut digitally first on comiXology — the revolutionary digital comics platform with over 75 million comic and graphic novel downloads to date —through a exclusive distribution agreement between the two companies.

Joining New York Times bestselling author Chris Roberson (iZombie, Memorial, Cinderella) under the Monkeybrain Comics umbrella with their own independent titles will be a who’s who line up of creators, including; Grace Allison, Nick Brokenshire, J. Bone, Chad Bowers, Wook-Jin Clark, Colleen Coover, Kevin Church, Dennis Culver, Matt Digges, Ming Doyle, Curt O. Franklin, Ken Garing, Chris Haley, David Hahn, Phil Hester, Joe Keatinge, D.J. Kirkbride, Adam Knave, Axel Medellin, Jennifer L. Meyer, Michael Montenat, Ananth Panagariya, Thomas Perkins, Adam Rosenlund, Chris Schweitzer, Brandon Seifert, Chris Sims, Matthew Dow Smith, Paul Tobin, J. Torres, Josh Williamson and Bill Willingham, among others.

More creative teams with new titles will be announced next week at Comic-Con International during the Monkeybrain Comics panel on Friday, July 13th at 7PM.

“MonkeyBrain Comics was born out of a desire to directly explore what opportunities there were in the newly expanding digital marketplace for creator owned material,” said Chris Roberson, co-publisher of Monkeybrain Comics. “We knew from the get go that we’d want to work exclusively with comiXology, who have become the undisputed leader in the digital comics field with their platforms’ unparalleled reading and shopping experience. And we’re pleased to have so many of our close creator friends along for the ride. I can’t wait to see what fans around the world think about our first batch of releases!”

“We’re excited to be the exclusive digital home of MonkeyBrain Comics,” says co-founder and CEO David Steinberger. “ComiXology’s mission is to get comics into the hands of people everywhere and we look forward to doing just that with Chris and Allison’s stellar line of creator owned comics!”

Available exclusively worldwide via comiXology’s digital platform across the iPhoneiPadAndroidKindle Fire and the Web starting July 4th, the initial Monkey Brain Launch titles are:

Aesop’s Ark by J. Torres and Jennifer L. Meyer
Amelia Cole and the Unknown World by Adam P. Knave, DJ Kirkbride and Nick Brokenshire
Bandette by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover
Edison Rex by Chris Roberson and Dennis Culver
October Girl by Matthew Dow Smith

MonkeyBrain Comics is a new comics imprint of Roberson and Baker’s long-running publishing company MonkeyBrain Books. Over the past decade, MonkeyBrain Books has published a line of prose novels by authors such as Phillip Jose Farmer, Michael Moorcock, Rudy Rucker, Paul Cornell and genre collections edited by such notables as Joe R. Lansdale, Lou Anders and others.

Launching their first titles on July 4th with the slogan “Independents Day” exclusively on the comiXology digital platform, Monkeybrain Comics are currently exploring following up their digital releases with trade paperback collections.

About Monkeybrain Books and Comics
Owned and operated by Chris Roberson and Allison Baker since 2001, Monkeybrain Books was originally founded as an independent press specializing in science fiction & fantasy and nonfiction genre studies. Print titles from Monkeybrain Books are distributed to the book trade by National Book Network, and are available from wholesalers like Diamond Comic Distributors, Baker & Taylor, and Ingram, and from finer booksellers everywhere. In 2012, Monkeybrain launched a new creator-owned digital comics line, Monkeybrain Comics, which is distributed exclusively digitally by comiXology.

About Chris Roberson and Allison Baker
New York Times bestselling writer Chris Roberson is best known for his Eisner-nominated ongoing comic book series iZombie (co-created with artist Mike Allred), his modern fantasy series Memorial (co-created with artist Rich Ellis), the Fables spinoff Cinderella mini-series, and his work onSupermanStar Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes, and Elric: The Balance Lost, all of which are available for digital download at His favorite food is meat, he’s allergic to wheat, and his favorite cocktail is a caipirinha, the national drink of Brazil.

Allison Baker has worked in feature film and political media production for over 13 years, while also managing the day-to-day operations of Chris Roberson and Monkeybrain Books. She likes the color pink, enjoys a challenge, fixing things, and is allergic to being bored.

Chris and Allison met at a Ben Folds Five show in 1997, got married in 2000, started their own business in 2001 and had a baby girl in 2004. All three currently live in Portland, Oregon with a lot of books and their two cats, Bubbles and Blue.

About comiXology
Founded in 2007 with the mission of bringing comics to people everywhere, comiXology — in just five short years — has revolutionized the comic book and graphic novel world.  From creating the industry leading platform for digital comics to tools and services for brick and mortar retailers, comiXology has lead the charge in exposing new audiences to the rich history and culture of comic books. With the development of the Comics by comiXology digital comics platform — available across  iPhoneiPadAndroidKindle Fire and the Web — comiXology provides the easiest way worldwide for people to enjoy comics at just the click of a button! Regularly ranking as the top grossing iPad app in the entire iTunes App Store, Comics by comiXology was recently selected as a preloaded app on Amazon’s Kindle Fire. Providing digital comics across multiple platforms, comiXology will not stop until everyone on the face of the earth has been turned into a comic book fan.