Independent Iron Age
The comic book studio MVCreations produced numerous Masters of the Universe comics during the promotion of the 2002-2004 toy line. MVCreations is a studio headed by Val Staples, originallly publishing through Image Comics. Following their success with the Masters of the Universe license, the two companies parted ways. MVCreations soon partnered with CrossGen Comics. Despite obtaining the license of two Don Bluth properties, as well as publishing a horror comic by Rob Zombie, the studio failed to off-set financial problems, in part due to CrossGen’s own financial downturn. The studio parted ways with CrossGen and became a full publisher on their own. As Hasbro’s enthusiasm in the Masters of the Universe property faded, MVCreations returned to publishd under Image Comics.
The Grendel ongoing series published by Comico started in 1986 and lasted 40 issues. It was written by Matt Wagner and drawn by a variety of artists, including the Pander Brothers, Bernie Mireault, Tim Sale, John K. Snyder III and others. It began with a story set in the near future, with Christine Spar, Hunter’s posthumous biographer, taking on the identity of Grendel to pursue a mission of revenge. The identity passed briefly, and tragically, to her deluded boyfriend Brian Li Sung. After a brief return to stories of Hunter Rose (actually two in-universe fictional novels written by Captain Wiggins, a supporting character from the Christine Spar arc), Wagner then spun the series further into the future, with the Grendel identity affecting a variety of people. The name “Grendel” took on several meanings as the stories portrayed a dystopian future. Grendel became a synonym for The Devil with the title held by the emperor of the world, (Grendel-Khan) and members of a warrior society identical to samurai.
Optic Nerve is a series by cartoonist Adrian Tomine. Originally self-published by Tomine in 1991 as a series of mini-comics (which have later been collected in a single volume,32 Stories), the series has been published by Drawn and Quarterly since 1995.
Tomine’s style and subject matter are restrained and realistic. Many are set in Northern California. Many of his stories for Optic Nerve feature Asian American characters, including “Hawaiian Getaway,” “Six-Day Cold,” “Layover,” and “Shortcomings.” Adrian Tomine is Asian American and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Many topics of his stories are at least partly autobiographical.
In the initial self-published issues, as well as the first eight Drawn & Quarterly issues (1995-2001), Optic Nerve was typically a collection of short stories. After an extended hiatus, Tomine resumed the comic in fall of 2004 and began his first multi-issue storyline, “Shortcomings,” with #9. The most recent issue, #13, was published in July 2013.
- Unwin Paperbacks released a one-volume edition in 1990, with cover artwork by the original illustrator David Wenzel.
- Del Rey Books released a reprint collected in one volume in 2001. Its cover, illustrated by Donato Giancola, was awarded the Association of Science Fiction Artists Award for Best Cover Illustration in 2002.
From Hell is a graphic novel by writer Alan Moore and artist Eddie Campbell, originally published in serial form from 1989 to 1996 and collected in 1999. Set during the Whitechapel murders of the late Victorian era, the novel speculates upon the identity and motives of Jack the Ripper. The novel depicts several true events of the murders, although portions have been fictionalised, particularly the identity of the killer and the precise nature and circumstances of the murders. The title is taken from the first words of the “From Hell” letter, which some authorities believe was an authentic message sent from the killer in 1888.
Rai (pronounced “rye”) appeared in books published by Valiant Comics. Rai was the first original hero created by Valiant and had its beginning as a flipbook back-up feature in Magnus Robot Fighter issues #5-8. The popularity of the flipbook back-up story later led to an ongoing series. Valiant Entertainment is the current owner of Rai and the rest of the original Valiant Comics characters.
In his original incarnation, Rai is the spirit guardian that protects the nation of Japan in the 41st century. It is a mantle passed down from father to son through the generations. As such, the series chronicled a number of protagonists.
A new Rai ongoing series was launched in April 2014 by the creative team of writer Matt Kindt and artist Clayton Crain, selling out of its initial print run.
Based on the best selling Forgotten Realms novel by R.A. Salvatore, Homeland is a volume full of intrigue, beauty and the struggle for position. Based in the underground drow city of Menzoberranzan, this story begins the legend of the dark elf ranger Drizzt Do’urden, and his struggle to find himself in a world whose practices and beliefs do not match what he finds in his heart.