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Check out an excerpt from the graphic novel epic 'Boxers & Saints' -- EXCLUSIVE

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In his first solo graphic novel since the National Book Award finalist American Born Chinese, writer and artist Gene Luen Yang takes on the often overlooked Boxer Rebellion and transforms history and legend to the page in the dual volume graphic novel, Boxers & Saints.

The two-book parallel narratives depict the late 19th century-early 20th century uprising in China through the eyes of two young characters, Little Bao and Four Girl/Vibiana. The first, Boxers, follows the journey of Little Bao, who leads a violent rebellion against the “foreign devils.” The second, Saints, tells the tale of Four Girl as she embraces the foreign religion Christianity as it offers her a sense of identity and self-acceptance.

Read on for an exclusive excerpt of the first book, Boxers, as Little Bao learns the “ritual” from Master Big Belly in order to invoke the power of the gods — in a style reminiscent of the power of Grayskull.

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'World War Z' scribe Max Brooks' 'The Harlem Hellfighters: A Graphic Novel' cover revealed -- EXCLUSIVE

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They may not be crazed zombies hungry for brains, but it’s still probably a good idea not to mess with the soldiers of the 369th Infantry Regiment. The stars of World War Z scribe Max Brooks next project, The Harlem Hellfighters: A Graphic Novel (out April 2014), are the soldiers of one of the most decorated regiments of World War I.

Illustrated by Canaan White, the graphic novel centers on the real 369th Infantry Regiment, an African-American regiment from Harlem, New York that fought throughout France during WWI. Stepping away from the zombie lit scene, Brooks shares the often overlooked story of these soldiers nicknamed the Harlem Hellfighters.

Ready to fight through hell with the Harlem Hellfighters? Sound off in the comments below!

'The Star Wars' trailer: See the original Han Solo... as a lizard?

“Longer ago, in a galaxy even farther away…”

That’s how the trailer for the new comic-book series The Star Wars, an eight-issue series adapted from George Lucas’s original 1974 rough-draft screenplay, begins. The names of the characters might be familiar, but there are a few surprises once you see the art. “For instance, Luke Skywalker is an older general and, uh, Han Solo is a big green lizard,” explained Dark Horse Comics editor Randy Stradley to EW. “Wookiees are the ones that lead the attack in the end on the Imperial Battle Station, which is never called the Death Star. Things are different but there are aspects that are the same as well.”

Check out the book trailer below: READ FULL STORY

'Genius': Albert Einstein is graphic novel's inventive variable

The term “prodigy” is an open blue sky when it arrives but in the instances when excellence has an expiration date the word is more like a clinging black cloud. That’s one of the themes in Genius, the new graphic novel from First Second Books and the tandem of writer Steven T. Seagle and artist Teddy Kristiansen, the same duo that delivered the Eisner-winning It’s a Bird back in 2004.

Genius introduces physicist Ted Marx a one-time wunderkind whose career is now more mass than energy, which is confounded by his inability to solve the emotional equations of being a husband and father. Marx finds a possible reprieve when he sees a chance to steal a secret discovery made by Albert Einstein. That opens the story up to the arrival of Einstein as a voice and with that Genius becomes a clear contender for the title of year’s most inventive graphic novel.

To find out more we caught up with Seagle, who is also a partner in Man of Action Studios, the collective best known for Ben-10 and its success for Cartoon Network. READ FULL STORY

Comic-Con first look: New 'Sandman' cover by Dave McKean

Neil Gaiman’s Sandman gets an intense spotlight this week at Comic-Con International with a silver anniversary celebration and new details about Sandman: Overture No. 1, the October release that marks Gaiman’s first Morpheus story since 1996.

We’ve got two First Look images from that first issue below — the Dave McKean cover and the page one interior art by J.H. Williams III — but first a bit of background.

A whisper can be louder than a shout in the right setting at that was the case back in 1988 when Sandman No. 1 hit shelves and spinner racks with a Dave McKean cover that showed mixed-media ambitions, cryptic images, and a muted approach to color and text — all very strange in an era when the average DC Comics cover was about as subtle as an air-raid siren.

The story inside was worthy of the special treatment. In it writer Neil Gaiman introduced a pale, otherworldly figure: Morpheus, an imprisoned dream lord who yearns to break free and return to his kingdom.

Escape he did and that issue began the landmark 75-issue run that left fans dizzy with it’s breadth and imagination.  Now Gaiman is the one returning to his kingdom of imagination and McKean has another compelling cover to herald it. (Mouse over the image to get a magnified look.)

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Amazon launches new comic imprint with titles from George R.R. Martin, Hugh Howey, and more -- EXCLUSIVE

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Get ready to see one of George R.R. Martin’s “strangest, darkest, and most twisted” short stories in comic book form.

Amazon Publishing has announced the launch of Jet City Comics, a new imprint devoted to comics and graphic novels, and they already have an impressive lineup of titles on deck. First up is Symposium #1, adapted from the fantasy book series The Foreworld Saga, and October will bring original adaptations of George R.R. Martin’s short story “Meathouse Man” and Hugh Howey’s sci-fi self-publishing phenomenon Wool. Jet City issues will be available as Kindle downloads and print editions.

“My fans have been clamoring for the return of Dunk & Egg ever since the graphic novels of ‘The Hedge Knight’ and ‘The Sworn Sword’ went out of print several years ago,” said author George R.R. Martin in a press release, “so I am delighted to announce that Jet City Comics is bringing them back — newly formatted for digital readers, and in paper for those who still prefer the traditional formats. And Jet City will be bringing you something new as well: the graphic novel ‘Meathouse Man,’ adapted from one of my strangest, darkest, and most twisted short stories by the amazingly talented Raya Golden. I’m pleased and excited to be a part of Jet City’s takeoff. May they fly high.”

Here are full details about forthcoming Jet City comics: READ FULL STORY

Neil Gaiman on the spooky art of writing -- EXCLUSIVE

The same day Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean At the End of the Lane hit No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list the author’s book tour made a stop at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, Ca., where he was joined onstage by Entertainment Weekly’s Geoff Boucher for a lively 80-minute conversation about the spooky art of writing.

Gaiman did a reading from the slender new release and (in a surprise) also from Fortunately, the Milk, an endearingly daft children’s book due in September.

The event, put on by Live Talks LA, is presented in its entirety below and reveals the unexpected path of The Ocean at the End of the Lane and the reason its protagonist resembles the author far more than the central characters in his best-known works, which include Coraline, The Graveyard Book, Stardust, Neverwhere, American Gods and The Sandman series for Vertigo and DC Comics.
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'80s TV shows getting comic book treatment

Punky Brewster and the kids from Saved by the Bell are returning to the small screen through digital comic books. So, too, are Knight Rider, Airwolf, and Miami Vice.

Lion Forge Comics and NBC Universal said Tuesday they partnered to develop, write, illustrate, and publish digital comics based on those shows from the 1980s and 1990s, bringing new stories for characters like Crockett and Tubbs as well as KITT and Screech.

The comics are set to be released later this year through iTunes, Amazon’s Kindle Bookstore, Barnes & Noble’s Nook store and Kobo.
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New 'Back to Back to the Future' comic book imagines world in which Eric Stoltz is not replaced by Michael J. Fox -- EXCLUSIVE FREE DOWNLOAD

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Back to the Future buffs like to imagine how the trilogy would have been different had Eric Stoltz not been fired as Marty McFly and replaced by Michael J. Fox (which also led to The Office’s Melora Hardin being let go as Jennifer Parker because she was deemed too tall to play opposite Fox). Well, one fan has gone a step further, creating a six issue digital comic about just such a scenario. In David Guy Levy’s Back to Back to the Future, BTTF co-writer Bob Gale and Hardin accidentally travel back in time, but once they are there decide to change history and make sure Stoltz is never replaced in the 1985 film. READ FULL STORY

'Star Trek': Life after Khan begins with IDW's 'After Darkness'

Image credit: IDW Publishing

The “new” mythology of Starfleet began with the brand-reviving J.J. Abrams film Star Trek in 2009 and extended with Star Trek Into Darkness  this summer, but the canon is not limited to those silver screen cornerstones — the events chronicled in the Paramount videogame  also “count as canon” (as Trek producer and writer Roberto Orci has pointed out on many occasions) as do the events in the Star Trek comic books from IDW Publishing, the fourth largest comic book publisher in America (since 2011) and a brand that just posted the best market-share month in its 14-year history.

Issue No. 22 of the IDW Trek series arrives this week at stores and, as the After Darkness title suggests, it takes the story beyond the events depicted in Star Trek Into Darkness and, in doing so, becomes the first official Trek tale in any medium to take the story baton past the most recent film’s Khan story.

And (with Orci’s guidance as the creative consultant on the comics series) it may hint about the priorities for the next cinematic mission. To learn more about the spirit of the IDW series, we mind-melded with writer Mike Johnson (who is teamed with artist Erfan Fajar on story pages and the gifted Tim Bradstreet on select covers) to find out if he’s in Federation space or out of his Vulcan mind.
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