I get easy duty as I more or less turn over today's edition of TOT to Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and my good friend Jim Salicrup, who also happens to be one of the best editors in comics. You'll hear from Jim directly in a bit, but let's start with a replay of the news that led to today's special column...before we get to the free stuff.
That's right. I said "free stuff."
Stay tuned for the details.
NBM'S PAPERCUTZ DEBUTS HARDY BOYS AND NANCY DREW COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS.
Papercutz, a new division of respected graphic novel publisher NBM, has announced plans for its initial titles, the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. With writers Scott Lobdell and Stefan Petrucha, and artists such as Lulu Award winner Lea Hernandez and Sho Murase on board, these classic characters are poised to make an impact in the exploding graphic novel market.
"After publishing graphic novels for over twenty years, I don't think anyone can accuse us of hopping on the graphic novel bandwagon," NBM founder and president, Terry Nantier says. "We're focusing on the 'tween market with our new division, Papercutz. This is truly a huge market. As you know, Nancy Drew was recently given a big relaunch by Simon & Schuster, with the introduction of an all-new Nancy Drew series, bringing the original girl detective into our modern world. It's a major success - with the first book landing on the New York Times best-seller list."
Joining Terry in NBM's new venture is comics veteran Jim Salicrup as editor-in-chief.
"I'm thrilled to be a part of Papercutz. Taking well-established characters and adapting them to appeal to new generations of fans is something I tend to specialize in."
Jim is perhaps best remembered as the editor of Marvel's best-selling Spider-Man #1 by Todd McFarlane, as well as the editor-in-chief of Topps Comics which featured such licensed properties as The X-Files, Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Zorro.
"The trick is keeping the heart and soul of whatever made the characters successful to begin with, and telling new stories in as contemporary a manner as possible. It also doesn't hurt to have great talent as Scott, Stefan, Lea, and Sho to make the characters come alive in such new and unexpected ways. Carolyn Keene and Franklin W. Dixon would be proud!"
The stories do remain true to the classic characters. No sooner do the Hardy Boys solve one case, involving the rescue of a Kentucky Derby contender called Jackpot, and they're suddenly involved in a case involving their old pal, Chet Morton, who's wanted by the FBI for smuggling an art treasure known as the Ocean of Osyria which was stolen from a museum in a war-torn Mid-Eastern country.
Meanwhile, Nancy Drew makes her acting debut in a college film about a local urban legend known as the Demon of River Heights, only it doesn't appear that the demon knows it's just supposed to be an urban legend. Joining Frank and Joe Hardy, as well as Nancy Drew, are all the other well-loved characters, such as Callie Shaw, Iola Morton, Fenton and Laura Hardy, Carson Drew, Ned Nickerson, Bess Marvin, George Fayne, and more.
Scott Lobdell, creator of Marvel's Generation X and long-time X-Men writer, is a master at writing action-packed series with young protagonists. He's creating stories that will appeal not only to 'tweens, but to all fans of exciting adventure stories.
Stefan Petrucha is known for both expertly capturing the personalities of Scully and Mulder in the X-Files comics and Carl Kolchak in the Nightstalker graphic novels and weaving original taut tales of suspense. His Nancy Drew stories will not only appeal to Nancy's vast legion of female fans, but also to anyone who loves a good mystery.
It was important to Terry and Jim to also find the right artists for these famous characters. "While it's certainly a big plus that the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew are household names, we didn't want the comics to look at all old-fashioned or dated. We were thrilled to get Lea Hernandez and Sho Murase to give our teen detectives their new look," Jim said.
Indeed. It almost looks as if America's teen detectives are getting a manga makeover.
"Not quite," Jim protests. "There's a big audience out there that now accepts the manga style as the contemporary comics style. Also, the manga-style is far more naturalistic in portraying realistic human characters, thus far better suited to the type of stories and characters we're presenting. But to be clear, we're not trying to create authentic manga material, we're trying to present exciting stories about these really cool characters in a very up-to-date way, to create the freshest approach possible, and in a very reader-friendly format."
The Hardy Boys will be released first as a monthly full-color comics series beginning in November, with each issue containing 28 pages of comics by Scott Lobdell and Lea Hernandez. February 2005 will also see the graphic novel debuts of both the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew (by Stefan Petrucha and Sho Murase) in full-color, pocket-sized 96-page graphic novels priced at $7.95 each.
Remember when I mentioned "free stuff" at the top of today's column? Here's JIM SALICRUP to tell you about it:
Hey, TOT readers!
I'd like to ask for a little favor. Papercutz, a new comics and graphic novel publisher will be premiering its first title, THE HARDY BOYS, on www.papercutz.com all day today. Yes, you can read the entire 28-page, full-color first issue, featuring an all-new Hardy Boys adventure written by Scott Lobdell and drawn by Lea Hernandez, colored by Lovern Kindzierski, lettered by Bryan Senka, and edited by, yours truly, for FREE, for one day only! What I'd like from you in return is an honest letter of comment.
Whether you love, hate, or simply don't care about HARDY BOYS #1, we want to know! Either email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:
The Hardy Boys Mysteries
555 Eighth Ave.
New York, NY 10018
We'll run the liveliest, most interesting responses in the letters column in issue #2. So, enjoy HARDY BOYS #1 -- and send us your review. Thanks.
This free preview of HARDY BOYS #1 will be available for your reading pleasure all day tomorrow, Friday, November 5. Mark it on your calender, enter it into your PDA, tie a yellow ribbon around your old oak tree, but don't miss out on it.
Thanks for spending a part of your day with me. I'll be back Wednesday with more stuff.
ZERO: Burn your money before buying any comic receiving this rating. It doesn't *necessarily* mean there's absolutely nothing of value here - though it *could* - but whatever value it might possess shrinks into insignificance before its overall awfulness.
ONE: Buy something else. Maybe I found something which wasn't completely dreadful in the item, but not enough for me to recommend it when there are better comics available. I only want what's best for you, my children.
TWO: Basic judgment call. I found some value, but not enough to recommend it. My review should give you enough info to decide if you want to take a chance on it. Are you feeling lucky today, punk? Well, are you?
THREE: This denotes something I find perfectly respectable. There are better books out there, but I wouldn't regret buying this item. Based on my review, you should be able to determine if it's of interest to you. Let the Force guide you.
FOUR: I recommend anything earning this rating. Unless you don't like the genre, subject matter, or past work of the creators, I believe you'll enjoy this item. Isn't it uncanny how I can look right into your soul that way?
FIVE: Anything getting this rating is among the best comicdom has to offer. You should buy/read this, even if the genre/subject matter doesn't appeal to you. It's for your own good. Me, I live for comics and books this good...but not in a pathetic "Comic-Book Guy" sort of way.
Please send material you would like me to review to: