Welcome to the Dynamite Comics Pubwatch for the month of April! I’m Lisa, Dynamite is my explosive beat, and here’s this month’s news!
Sweet Valley High Joins the Dynamite Roster!
After publishing over four thousand books in hundreds of languages, Francine Pascal’s Wakefield Twins enter a new decade and join the modern era in “Academic All-Star?” out in May. This marks the first graphic novel for this towering franchise.
The plot will be familiar to anyone who knows the meaning of the word “1Bruce1”: eternally boy-hungry Jessica gets a crush on her new Shakespeare teacher and tries to model her behavior on reserved, sweet-natured twin Elizabeth to attract him. The result is a series of mix-ups between the identical girls that aggravate Elizabeth and leave Jessica struggling to stay on the straight and narrow.
The book will be written by Katy Rex and illustrated by Devaki Neogi.
Dynamite and Playboy Magazine Team Up to Deliver Exclusive Vampirella Story
To Celebrate Vampirella’s 50th anniversary, Dynamite has published an exclusive Vampy story in the spring 2019 edition of Playboy, called the Freedom of Speech issue.
The staff for it is, well, Dynamite: Gail Simone is handling the writing, Joyce Chin the art, Addison Duke the colors, and Taylor Espositio the lettering. The plot’s simple, featuring Vampirella saving some cosplayers from some very hungry cannibals.
Playboy has a long history of publishing erotic cartoons, though since it has become more R-rated over time, the cartoons are now more cheesecake than full monty. This marks the first time Vampirella’s ever appeared between its slippery pages. You can grab the issue digitally or on news stands right now.
Cosplay Women of Dynamite Trading Card Kickstarter Is Successful!
For those who remember my story about Dynamite’s attempt at kickstarting a trading card series featuring their cosplay covers and models, it has been successful, and the cards will be coming out in May!
Each package will include original hand drawn sketch art alongside the cosplay cards. Sketch card artists include Axe, Mitch Ballard, Kevin Graham, Ken Haeser, Mike Lilly, Rich Molinelli, Sanna U, and Tim Shay.
The ratio of sketch cards to cosplay cards will be two to two, with a black and white art card, puzzle card and autographed card also guaranteed per pack.
Sheena Queen of the Jungle Statue Kickstarter Now Live
Speaking of Dynamite and Kickstarters, they’ve just added a brand-new one, this time for a Sheena statue.
The main release of the resin piece is based on the art of J. Scott Campbell. Other possibilities and perks if the Kickstarter is successful include a black and white variant and a version sculpted by Matt Baker to hew closer to her Golden Age appearance. Lower tier options include full softback editions of various Sheena Dynamite runs, including a crossover with Tarzan.
You can support the Kickstarter by going here!
Big Blast of The Month:
Vita Ayala (writer), Olympia Sweetnam (art), Raul Allen & Patricia Martin, Paulina Ganucheau, Erica Henderson, Emanuela Lupacchino, David Mack (covers)
The wait is officially over, and it seems to have been worthwhile! Xena’s big Dynamite relaunch marks the fourth time it’s been rebooted under Dynamite’s banner (and the sixth time a series has been attempted for the fearless warrior, if you count its three-year mid-90s run at Topps Comics and a two-year run at Dark Horse Comics in the late 90s). This time things feel different, with sharp, funny writing mixed with well-drawn action scenes. I trust Ayala and Sweetnam to do a bang-up job, and the first issue has reinforced my faith thus far.
Greg Pak (writer), Giovanni Valetta (cover), Giovanni Valetta, Matt Gaudio (art)
A rare double blast means that April is going to be one hot month, and Dynamite’s John Wick run certainly qualifies. If you loved the meaty action of the Keanu Reeves-led action movie and wanted a little more backstory for its characters, then this is the comic for you.
Bangs and Fizzles:
David Avallone (writer), Scott Chantler, Julius Ohta, John Royle, David Williams (covers),
Julius Ohta (art)
Because you know you’ve always wanted to see Bettie kill stuff while living Red Sonja’s life, which is what this alternate universe tale offers!
Dave Acosta, J. Bone, Francesco Francavilla (covers), David Avallone (writer), Fran Strukan (art)
This unexpectedly charming comic has an unexpectedly charming ending as it concludes this month. Will Elvira and Gill survive the evil machinations of a director trying to take over the world!? Find out here!
KISS: The End
Amy Chu (writer), Jorge Fornes, Denis Medri, Stuart Sayger (covers), Edu Menna (art)
Some comic book series are rare treats. You’d never expect Dynamite’s KISS comic series to be as thought-provoking as it is, but it’s been surprisingly good throughout the entire run. This issue starts a whole new story arc that is just as compelling as the others.