Happy Birthday, Ernie Colon!

Ernie-Colon-CoversJuly seems to be Birthday Month in the ’Warp Central offices! This past Monday we celebrated cover painter Bob Larkin’s 68th birthday; and today, it’s comic-art legend Ernie Colon’s 86th!

I’ve known Ernie since the late 1990s, when I was the assistant editor at book packaging company Byron Preiss Visual Publications who’d been handed the editorial reins on a quartet of science-fiction anthology books for middle-grade (ages 8–12) readers. Ernie provided the cover art and interior illustrations for all four: Bruce Coville’s UFOs, Bruce Coville’s Alien Visitors, Bruce Coville’s Strange Worlds, and Bruce Coville’s Shapeshifters. (Bruce, in case you were unaware, is the award-winning author of the My Teacher is an Alien book series.) Ernie later did an illustration for The Ultimate Hulk, another anthology I wound up editing—and even he gave me the original art to keep!

But I was a fan of Ernie’s work long before that. He was the artist of DC Comics’ popular teen-fantasy comic, Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld and a truckload of titles for all manner of comic publishers during the course of his lengthy career. He’s drawn superheroes and adult fantasy characters, but what fans probably know him best for is his work on Harvey Comics’ kid-friendly Casper the Friendly Ghost and Richie Rich.

Most recently, he got a “special thanks to…” acknowledgment in the closing credits for the new box-office hit, Spider-Man: Homecoming! See, back in 1988, he and writer Dwayne McDuffie (who passed away in 2011) created Damage Control, the Marvel Comics crew that cleans up all the rubble and ruin generated by superhero battles—and they’ve now made their Marvel movie debut in the latest Spidey flick!

Oh, and he also did a little art wizardry for a little company called StarWarp Concepts…

In The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1, Ernie teamed up with fan-favorite comics writer (and my old college buddy) Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo Team-Up, Action Comics, The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold) to present “After Hours,” an eight-pager about a demon dropping in at his favorite watering hole after a hard day of scaring the crap out of folks. It’s a lighthearted character piece that Ernie told me he really enjoyed drawing, which meant a lot to Sholly, who’s also a longtime fan of his. You should definitely check it out, by ordering a copy today (said the publisher 😉 ).

The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 is available in print and digital formats. Visit its product page for ordering information, as well as sample pages and chapters.

Ernie doesn’t have a website, so to see more of his amazing work, pay a visit to the incredibly detailed fan site, Ernie Colon Unlimited.

Happy birthday, Ernie!

Happy Will Eisner Week 2017!

WillEisnerWeek-2017Graphic novels: Who doesn’t love to read them, especially if they can be used to get adults, teens, and kids interested in reading? And if there’s one thing the staff at StarWarp Concepts believes in, it’s promoting literacy. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s a yearly literacy event that’s been set up to help get the ball rolling!

Will Eisner Week is an annual celebration—held this week from March 1 to March 7—and is run by the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation. It promotes literacy, graphic novels, free speech, and the legacy of the late Will Eisner, who would have turned 100 on March 6.

Eisner, for those of you who might be unfamiliar with his work, was the creator of the 1940s masked crimefighter The Spirit, and one of the founding fathers of American graphic novels. A Contract with God, A Life Force, Dropsie Avenue, and The Dreamer are just some of the fascinating tales Eisner wrote and drew, featuring ordinary people in extraordinary (and sometimes not-so-extraordinary) situations. And even though he passed away in 2005, Eisner continues to inspire generations of writers and artists. Events are being held this week around the world; visit the Will Eisner Week site for more information.

StarWarp Concepts, of course, has its share of graphic novels, and the folks there would have absolutely no problem at all if you happened to order them as your reading material for this special week. Check out the following titles—there may be one (or more) that pique your interest:

pan_annual_coverThe Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1: Okay, it’s not a graphic novel, but at 56 pages it’s still a pretty thick comic book, with three stories of Pan and the monsters that live in her New York City hometown. As regular visitors to this site know well, The Saga of Pandora Zwieback chronicles the adventures of sixteen-year-old Pandora Zwieback, a Gothy horror fangirl who possesses amazing powers that she just learned about, including the ability to see past the human disguises worn by monsters to blend in with society. And The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 is a 56-page, full-color special that contains two stories by Steven A. Roman (that’s me) and one by Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo Team-Up, The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold), and art by Eliseu “Zeu” Gouveia (Lorelei: Sects and the City, The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0), Elizabeth Watasin (Charm School), and comic-art legend Ernie Colon (Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld). “Song of the Siren,” by Zeu and me, sees Pan run into one of her boyfriend Javi’s exes—who turns out to be a mythological siren! “After Hours,” by Sholly and Ernie, is about a demon who walks into a bar for a little downtime. And the short story “Shopping Maul,” by me, with Elizabeth providing title page art, involves Pan and her fellow Fiend Club friends dealing with Elegant & Gothic Lolita vampires in a Queens, NY retail outlet.

troubleshooters_lrg_coverTroubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings: Perfect for superhero fans, this graphic novel is about a supernatural team of superfolk-for-hire, consisting of a wizard, a sorceress, a female ninja, a high-tech-armor-wearing rock concert lighting designer, and a werewolf. Not every superhero team has Tony Stark’s billions to play with, you understand, and the Troubleshooters are just looking to earn a living while fighting the monsters that have always lurked in the shadows. Makes sense, right? Of course it does! Written by the husband-and-wife team of Richard C. White (The Chronicles of the Sea Dragon Special) and Joni M. White, and illustrated by Reggie Golden and Randy Zimmerman, Night Stalkings presents the TSI members on their first mission: protecting a multimillionaire from a trio of Middle Eastern demons out to raise a little hell! Critics likened it to an indie version of DC Comics’ Justice League Dark, so if you’re into superhero and dark fantasy mash-ups, then Troubleshooters, Incorporated might just be a team you want to check out.

Both titles are available in print and digital formats, so visit their respective product pages at StarWarp Concepts for all the ordering information, as well as sample pages.

Happy reading!

Happy Local Comic Shop Day 2016!

Pandora0_CoverToday is Local Comic Shop Day, an annual appreciation “conceived and implemented by ComicsPRO comic book specialty retailers to call attention to locally owned independent comic book specialty stores, celebrating their unique and vital role in being the primary fire-starters of pop culture.” In other words, it’s a way of encouraging comic fans to visit their LCS and give them some business as the holiday season kicks into high gear. So get out there tomorrow and support your LCS!

For more information, including a list of participating stores and the special collectibles they’ll be offering for sale, visit the Local Comic Shop Day website.

But it’s not just the retail shops that have something of interest for comic fans—not when StarWarp Concepts has its own range of comics and graphic novels to offer!

pan_annual2015The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0: A free, downloadable comic that serves as an introduction to the adventures of Pandora Zwieback and her monster-hunting mentor, Sebastienne “Annie” Mazarin, with an 8-page story written by me and illustrated by Eliseu Gouveia, and a preview of Pan’s first novel, Blood Feud: The Saga of Pandora Zwieback, Book 1. Pan is a 16-year-old Goth girl who’s spent the last decade being treated for mental health problems because she can see monsters. It’s only after she meets Annie that Pan discovers she’s never been ill—her so-called “monstervision” is actually a supernatural gift that allows her to see into Gothopolis, the not-so-mythical shadow world that exists right alongside the human world.

The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1: A spinoff from the novel series, this 56-page, full-color comic special finds the teenaged Goth adventuress battling vampires and a jealous, man-stealing siren. It features stories by me and Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo Team-Up), art by Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0), comic-art legend Ernie Colon (Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld), and Elizabeth Watasin (Charm School), and cover art by award-winning artist Henar Torinos (Mala Estrella).

Heartstopper: The Legend of La Bella Tenebrosa: Long before she met Pan, Annie was the star of this short-lived “bad girl” comic book miniseries published in the 1990s. Here you’ll find Annie doing a bit of research for an article about gentlemen’s clubs in Times Square—research that includes actually performing as an exotic dancer (I did say it was a ’90s comic, didn’t I?). It’s that part-time gig that brings her into contact with Corum de Sade, a heavy metal singer with a deadly secret: he’s a soul-devouring incubus! All three issues—written by me, with art by Uriel Caton (JSA Annual), Holly Golightly (School Bites), and David C. Matthews—are available for free from this very website, so download them today!

heroinesandheroes-1Heroines & Heroes is a collection of comic stories and pinups all drawn by me, dating back to my days in the early 1990s small-press movement—that age of dinosaurs in which creators like me used to make our comics by printing them out on photocopiers and then stapling them by hand. In H&H you’ll find: “V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N (in the Summertime),” a three-page Wonder Woman vs. Harley Quinn story that I wrote and drew in the late ’90s as a sample for a DC Comics editor who thought I’d be a good fit for their Batman: The Animated Series comic (it didn’t work out); “Dirty Laundry,” an adventure of small-presser Jeff Wood’s rabbit-eared superspy, Snowbuni; three pages from the mid-‘90s indie comic Motorbike Puppies; and “I Was a Super-powered Vampire Slayer!,”an adventure of the indie superheroine The Blonde Avenger. Twenty-four pages of comicky goodness—and all for free!

The Chronicles of the Sea Dragon Special is a digital pirate-fantasy comic created and written by Richard C. White, coauthor of SWC’s supernatural-superhero graphic novel Troubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings. Drawn by Bill Bryan (artist of Caliber Press’ Dark Oz and DC Comics’ House of Mystery), and featuring cover art and color by Eliseu Gouveia (SWC’s The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual), it’s 48 pages of high-seas adventure perfect for fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise, as well as classics like The Crimson Pirate, Against All Flags, Captain Blood, and The Sea Hawk—and it’s available for download for just 99¢!

SWC_Troubleshooters_CvrTroubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings is a general readers’ graphic novel about a group of supernatural-superheroes-for-hire taking on their first case. The team consists of a wizard, a female ninja, a sorceress, a werewolf, and a rock ’n’ roll lighting designer wearing high-tech armor. Sure, they might not be on a power level with the Avengers or Justice League of America—they’re more like superpowered Ghostbusters—but they get the job done. The graphic novel is written by the husband-and-white team of Richard C. White (The Ultimate Hulk) and Joni M. White, and illustrated by Reggie Golden and Randy Zimmerman.

Snow White: Not really a comic book, but our presentation of the classic story by the Brothers Grimm features full-color illustrations first published in 1883 (and they really are beautiful drawings), and is available for immediate download for the low price of just 99¢!

The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual and Troubleshooters Incorporated are available in print and digital formats. Pandora Zwieback #0, Heartstopper, Heroines and Heroes, The Chronicles of the Sea Dragon, and Snow White are digital exclusives. Visit their respective product pages for ordering information, as well as sample pages.

Happy reading!

Happy 85th Birthday, Ernie Colon!

Ernie-Colon-CoversJuly seems to be Birthday Month in the StarWarp Concepts offices! This past Sunday we celebrated cover painter Bob Larkin’s 67th birthday; today, it’s comic-art legend Ernie Colon’s 85th!

I’ve known Ernie since the late 1990s, when I was the assistant editor at book packaging company Byron Preiss Visual Publications who’d been handed the editorial reins on a quartet of science-fiction anthology books for middle-grade (ages 8–12) readers. Ernie provided the cover art and interior illustrations for all four: Bruce Coville’s UFOs, Bruce Coville’s Alien Visitors, Bruce Coville’s Strange Worlds, and Bruce Coville’s Shapeshifters. (Bruce, in case you were unaware, is the award-winning author of the My Teacher is an Alien book series.) Ernie later did an illustration for The Ultimate Hulk, another anthology I wound up editing—and even he gave me the original art to keep!

But I was a fan of Ernie’s work long before that. He was the artist of DC Comics’ popular teen-fantasy comic, Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld, Marvel Comics’ superhero cleanup crew, Damage Control, and a truckload of titles for all manner of comic publishers during the course of his lengthy career. He’s drawn superheroes and adult fantasy characters, but what fans probably know him best for is his work on Harvey Comics’ kid-friendly Casper the Friendly Ghost and Richie Rich. And he also did a little art wizardry for a little company called StarWaqrp Concepts…

pan_annual_coverIn The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1, Ernie teamed up with fan-favorite comics writer (and my old college buddy) Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo Team-Up, Action Comics, The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold) to present “After Hours,” an eight-pager about a demon dropping in at his favorite watering hole after a hard day of scaring the crap out of folks. It’s a lighthearted character piece that Ernie told me he really enjoyed drawing, which meant a lot to Sholly, who’s also a longtime fan of his. You should definitely check it out, by ordering a copy today (said the publisher 😉 ).

The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 is available in print and digital formats. Visit its product page for ordering information, as well as sample pages and chapters.

 Ernie doesn’t have a website, so to see more of his amazing work, pay a visit to the incredibly detailed fan site, Ernie Colon Unlimited.

Happy birthday, Ernie!

Looking for a Different Kind of Comic?

pan_annualIt’s Comic Book Wednesday! Sure, you could head to your local comic shop and pick up the latest superhero slugfest, but why not check out a one-shot special of a different variety that critics loved?

The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 is a spinoff from the novel series, and this 56-page, full-color comic special finds the teenaged Goth adventuress battling vampires and a jealous, man-stealing siren. Behind that striking cover by award-winning artist Henar Torinos (Mala Estrella), it features:

* “Song of the Siren,” written by me, with art and color by Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0), in which Pan and her boyfriend Javier attend one of his family’s picnics in Central Park, and run into Javi’s ex-girlfriend, Sophia—who turns out to be a mythological siren!

* “After Hours,” written by Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo Team-Up) and illustrated by comic-art legend Ernie Colon (Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld). It tells the tale of a most unusual New York City bar—and the demon who walks into it after a hard day on the job.

* And “Shopping Maul,” a short story by me, with title page art and color by Elizabeth Watasin (Charm School), in which Pan and her friends run afoul of a group of Elegant & Gothic Lolita vampires in a shopping maul.

And like I said, critics sure loved this comic:

“Roman demonstrates yet again his ability to write in the voice of a teenage girl without resorting to the petty whining and needless angst that seem to plague a lot of the female teenage characters in books today… I would readily and heartily recommend this comic to anybody.”Word of the Nerd

Roman mixes young adult fantasy with themes like ‘young love’ but also with equal parts of ‘female empowerment’ and lets Pandora be a real and true voice. The art by Eliseu Gouveia is just stellar and makes a perfect match for the main story.”Comics For Sinners

 “Pandora is so three-dimensional that you feel you’ve known her your entire life.”Krypto Dies!

Visit the Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 product page for ordering information and sample pages.

Happy Will Eisner Week 2016!

EisnerWeek-2016Graphic novels: Who doesn’t love to read them, especially if they can be used to get adults, teens, and kids interested in reading? And if there’s one thing the staff at StarWarp Concepts believes in, it’s promoting literacy. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s a yearly literacy event that’s been set up to help get the ball rolling!

Will Eisner Week is an annual celebration—held this week from March 1 to March 7—and is run by the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation. It promotes literacy, graphic novels, free speech, and the legacy of the late Will Eisner, who would have turned 98 on March 6. Eisner, for those of you who might be unfamiliar with his work, was the creator of the 1940s masked crimefighter The Spirit, and one of the founding fathers of American graphic novels. A Contract with God, A Life Force, Dropsie Avenue, and The Dreamer are just some of the fascinating tales Eisner wrote and drew, featuring ordinary people in extraordinary (and sometimes not-so-extraordinary) situations. And even though he passed away in 2005, Eisner continues to inspire generations of writers and artists. Events are being held this week around the world; visit the Will Eisner Week site for more information.

StarWarp Concepts, of course, has its share of graphic novels, and the folks there would have absolutely no problem at all if you happened to order them as your reading material for this special week. Check out the following titles—there may be one (or more) that pique your interest:

pan_annualThe Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1: Although it may not be a graphic novel, at 56 pages it’s still a pretty thick comic book, with three stories of Pan and the monsters that live in her New York City hometown. As regular visitors to this site know well, The Saga of Pandora Zwieback chronicles the adventures of sixteen-year-old Pandora Zwieback, a Gothy horror fangirl who possesses amazing powers that she just learned about, including the ability to see past the human disguises worn by monsters to blend in with society. And The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 is a 56-page, full-color special that contains stories by Steven A. Roman (that’s me) and Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo Team-Up, The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold), and art by Eliseu Gouveia (Lorelei: Sects and the City, The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0) and comic-art legend Ernie Colon (Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld).

troubleshooters_lrg_coverTroubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings: Perfect for superhero fans, this graphic novel is about a supernatural team of superfolk-for-hire, consisting of a wizard, a sorceress, a female ninja, a high-tech-armor-wearing rock concert lighting designer, and a werewolf. Not every superhero team has Tony Stark’s billions to play with, you understand, and the Troubleshooters are just looking to earn a living while fighting the monsters that have always lurked in the shadows. Makes sense, right? Of course it does! Written by the husband-and-wife team of Richard C. White (The Chronicles of the Sea Dragon Special) and Joni M. White, and illustrated by Reggie Golden and Randy Zimmerman, Night Stalkings presents the TSI members on their first mission: protecting a multimillionaire from a trio of Middle Eastern demons out to raise a little hell!

Both titles are available in print and digital formats, so visit their respective product pages at StarWarp Concepts for all the ordering information, as well as sample pages.

Happy reading!

Queens’oween 2015: The Phantom of Flushing

adventures-darkness09Happy Halloween to all you monsters, young and old! This week I’d been celebrating Queens’oween, a Halloween-themed holiday I made up that put the spotlight on homes around Queens, NY (home to both Pandora Zwieback and Pan’s publisher, StarWarp Concepts) that are celebrating All Hallows’ Eve in awesomely horrific style. But now this event has reached its end (for this year), so to mark the occasion I decided to present a classic one-page horror comic story for your reading enjoyment—one set (of course) in Queens!

Set in the 1890s, “Phantom of Flushing” first appeared in Adventures into Darkness #9, published by Standard Comics in April 1953; since most comics at the time didn’t include creator credits, and Standard Comics went out of business a long time ago, this story’s writer and artist are unknown. Jokes about the name aside, Flushing is one of Queens’s oldest neighborhoods, first settled in 1645 by the Dutch (back when New York was known as New Amsterdam) before falling under British control in the 1660s. Today it’s home to an ever-growing population that includes a Chinatown now even larger than the original, in Lower Manhattan. Mini history lessons aside, sit back and get ready to meet…the Phantom of Flushing (click to enlarge)!

Flushing-Adv-intoDarkness09

Speaking of comics that would make for great Halloween reading, does StarWarp Concepts have one that’s perfect for Panatics!

pan_annual_lgThe Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 is a 56-page, full-color comic special—with cover art by award-winning artist Henar Torinos (Mala Estrella)—in which the teenaged Goth adventuress battles vampires and a jealous, man-stealing siren. It features three original stories of what I’ve termed the “Paniverse”—tales that take place within the fictional universe of The Saga of Pandora Zwieback.

  • “Song of the Siren,” written by me and illustrated by Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0) involves Pan and her boyfriend, Javi, attending one of his family’s picnics in Central Park, and running into an ex-girlfriend of Javi’s. An awkward situation, to be sure, made even worse by the realization that with her monstervision, Pan can see the girl is really a siren: a creature from Greek mythology that can hypnotize men with its voice!
  • “After Hours” is by writer Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo Team-Up) and comic-art legend Ernie Colon (Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld), and involves a working-class demon dropping by his favorite bar.
  • “Shopping Maul” is a short story written by me, with title-page art by Elizabeth Watasin (writer/artist of Charm School). Pan, Javi, and their friends stop by a Queens mall to do a bit of window-shopping—only to find themselves caught in the middle of a fight between Gothic Lolita vampires and Pan’s monster-hunting mentor, Annie!

The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 is available in print and digital formats, so visit its product page for ordering information, as well as sample pages and chapters.

Have a Spooktacular Halloween!

Creating the Pandora Zwieback Annual Cover

Wrapping up our review of Pandora Zwieback covers, here’s the story of an illustration that was never intended to be cover art. But it looked too good to pass up when I got it in my head to publish The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1, a one-shot special that would feature three original stories: Pan’s first comic book adventure, by me and artist Eliseu Gouveia; a Pan short story, by me; and an eight-page “Tale of the Paniverse” (my term for events set in the same version of Earth as the one presented in the Pan novels—it’s a comic book thing) by friends Sholly Fisch (currently the writer of Scooby-Doo Team-Up) and Ernie Colon (a legendary artist whose lengthy credits include Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld and Richie Rich).

still_a_happy_goth_by_liesterIn 2011, as I was gearing up for the release of Blood Feud, the first Pandora Zwieback novel, I considered ways to attract attention to this momentous occasion in publishing history, and eventually came up with the idea for an art gallery featuring Pan. But it wouldn’t just be any sort of art gallery, it would be “The 13 Days of Pan-demonium,” during which thirteen commissioned artists would present their unique takes on SWC’s latest leading lady. (As it turned out, only twelve artists wound up being commissioned, with me ending up as the thirteenth contributor.)

The first artist I approached was Henar Torinos, whose manga-influenced gothy style grabbed my attention during a search for “happy Goths” in the online art community deviantArt. Henar’s art came up first, mainly because she had two pieces on display: “Happy Goths Exist” and “Happy Goths Still Exist” (which you see to the left). It was the joy expressed in that second piece that caused me to e-mail Henar about the 13 Days project, and include a link to the digital version of the Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0 comic. She immediately got back to me with a yes, and asked what I had in mind. I told her I was looking for her interpretation of Pan—as long as she stayed on-style with Pan’s design, and left an open space for the inclusion of the Blood Feud cover, I wanted her to be the one to come up with something amazing. And did she ever!

pandora rockslowLG

Titled “Pandora Rocks!” it has Pan sitting on the shoulders of her best friend, Sheena McCarthy, while they attend a concert (perhaps one put on by their favorite death-metal band, Sarkophagia?), while Pan’s immortal mentor, Sebastienne “Annie” Mazarin, looks on. And check out the monsters! And once webmaster Dave de Mond had Photoshopped the Blood Feud cover onto a blank sign Henar had placed in the background, it was ready for its Internet debut.

Then in 2013, I decided to do the Pan Annual—but what could I use for the cover? I considered commissioning a new drawing, but then I looked at the 13 Days illustrations and thought, Why not repurpose Henar’s art? That colorful, manga-ish, happy piece was certain to catch the eye of prospective comic book buyers. So I e-mailed her an offer to reproduce the illustration as a cover, and she agreed to it. From there I handed the design process over to Mike Rivilis, who, in no time at all, turned out the final cover:

SWC_PanAnnual01

That’s a great-looking cover!

henar-torinos-pan-annualAnd who was the happiest Goth of all, when the published comic debuted? Why, Henar Torinos herself!

By the way, The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 is still available for purchase in print and digital editions—just visit its product page at StarWarp Concepts for more information, including sample pages.

Proof That Happy Goths Love Zwieback

henar-torinos-pan-annualWhat you see here is a photograph of Spain’s very own mega-talented artist, writer, and self-described “happy Goth,” Henar Torinos, holding up a copy of The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1, for which she provided the incredible cover art. She thinks it rawks! 😀

Henar made her comics debut as the creator/artist of the two-volume graphic novel series Mala Estrella (Bad Star), published by Ediciones Babylon; the series won the award for Best Manga of 2012 at Ficomic, Barcelona’s International Comic Fair. She currently works as a freelance illustrator and designer. I met her through deviantArt, the online art community, shortly after I joined; I’d been looking for artists for the Pan-themed promotion “The 13 Days of Pan-demonium,” and a site search for “Happy Goths” led me to her page—specifically, two pieces entitled “Happy Goths Exist” and “Still a Happy Goth.”

To see more of Henar’s creations, visit her deviantArt page. I’m pretty certain you’ll like what you see!

SWC_PanAnnual01The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1, published by StarWarp Concepts, is a 56-page, full-color special that contains stories by Steven A. Roman (that’s me, the author of the Pandora Zwieback novels, as well as X-Men: The Chaos Engine Trilogy) and Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo Team-Up, The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold). In addition to Henar’s wonderful cover, you’ll find art by Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0), comic-art legend Ernie Colon (Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld), and Elizabeth Watasin (writer/artist/creator of the comic series Charm School and the steampunk novel series The Dark Victorian). The comic is available in both print and digital formats, so visit the Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 product page for all the ordering information, as well as sample pages.

Happy Will Eisner Week!

WEW_2015_Poster150If you’re a regular reader of this blog, one thing you should know by now is that I’m a firm believer in promoting literacy. And what better way these days to get adults, teens, and kids interested in reading than through graphic novels? Why, it makes such perfect sense that I bet you’re even aware there’s a yearly literacy event to help get the ball rolling!

Wait—you’re not? Then let me clue you in…

Will Eisner Week is an annual celebration, held this week from March 1 to March 7, and is run by the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation. It promotes literacy, graphic novels, free speech, and the legacy of the late Will Eisner, who would have turned 98 on March 6. Eisner, for those of you who might be unfamiliar with his work, was the creator of the 1940s masked crimefighter The Spirit, and one of the founding fathers of American graphic novels. A Contract with God, A Life Force, Dropsie Avenue, and The Dreamer are just some of the fascinating tales Eisner wrote and drew, featuring ordinary people in extraordinary (and sometimes not-so-extraordinary) situations. And even though he passed away in 2005, Eisner continues to inspire generations of writers and artists. Events are being held this week around the world; visit the Will Eisner Week website for more information.

StarWarp Concepts, of course, has its share of graphic novels, and we’d have no problem at all if you happened them to order them as your reading material for this special week. Check out the following titles—they might just pique your interest:

pan_annualThe Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1: Although it may not be a graphic novel, at 56 pages it’s still a pretty thick comic book, with three stories of Pan and the monsters that live in her New York City hometown. And as a Panatic, you’d no doubt be interested in seeing Pan star in her first, full-length comic book adventure—right? The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 is a full-color special that contains stories by Steven A. Roman (that’s me, the author of the Pandora Zwieback novels Blood Feud and Blood Reign) and Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo Team-Up, The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold), and art by Eliseu Gouveia (The Saga of Pandora Zwieback #0) and comic-art legend Ernie Colon (Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld). It’s available in both print and e-book formats, so visit the Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 product page for all the ordering information, as well as sample pages.

troubleshooters_lrg_coverTroubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings: Perfect for superhero fans, this graphic novel is about a supernatural team of superfolk-for-hire, consisting of a wizard, a sorceress, a female ninja, a high-tech-armor-wearing rock concert lighting designer, and a werewolf. Not every superhero team has Tony Stark’s billions to play with, you understand, and the Troubleshooters are just looking to earn a living while fighting the monsters that have always lurked in the shadows. Makes sense, right? Of course it does! Written by the husband-and-wife team of Richard C. White (The Chronicles of the Sea Dragon Special) and Joni M. White, and illustrated by Reggie Golden and Randy Zimmerman, Night Stalkings presents the TSI members on their first mission: protecting a multimillionaire from a trio of Middle Eastern demons out to raise a little hell! And like the Pan Annual, it’s available in both print and e-book formats, so visit the Troubleshooters, Incorporated: Night Stalkings product page for all the ordering information, as well as sample pages.

Happy reading!