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Merry Christmas!  Happy Hanukkah (all spellings)!  Habari gani!  And Good winter to you grumpy non-celebrants out there!

I love Christmas with my family.  But the season has been even more exciting because my first issue of CAPTAIN AMERICA & BUCKY comes out THIS WEDNESDAY!  It’s a crazy modern Cap story created along with ED BRUBAKER (Eisner Award  ) and FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA (Detective Comics, Black Panther)

PREVIEW! (note: these aren’t the FIRST 3 pages -so the comic itself has more context and storytelling…)

I loved the initial arc and the work Marc Andreyko and Chris Samnee were doing on it.   If you haven’t read it – you really should.  It’s great comics.  BUT, so you all know – our arc tells a very different story that any reader can jump right into.  I hope those who have loved the series so far will stick with us throught the serious gear-shift (in terms of era/creative team/and which “Bucky” we’re talking about).

If nothing else, I can promise you that FF’s art on our issues starts with all the passion and punch of his acclaimed work on DETECTIVE COMICS – and it seriously gets better and better with every page!  Some of the stuff he’s been sending in for parts 2 and 3 are the best work I’ve ever seen from him.  (And that is saying a lot. …Okay, here’s a sneak peek :)

ALSO!  My second issue of GENERATION HOPE (#14! with artist Ibraim Roberson & colorist Jim Charalampidis) came out last Wednesday!  And even with the holiday swooping in, a few folks had time to review it and say nice things!

Let them convince you to pick it up if you haven’t :

http://acomicbookblog.com/2011/12/generation-hope-14-review/

http://www.chicagocomicvault.com/2011/12/review-generatioin-hope-14-the-lights-ignite/

ALSO!  I did a SIGNING on last weeks release at CHALLENGERS COMICS + CONVERSATION in Chicago.  They were wonderful as always (and have a fantastic new comic art gallery that you should just go hang out in).  I left them with a few extra signed copies of my first TWO Gen Hope issues.  So if you missed the event, you can still swing by and pick ‘em up!

And finally, I deeply love this shirt from MightFine

…AND YOU SHOULD.

Enjoy your sweets and loved ones!

+james

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Francesco Francavilla's cover to CAPTAIN AMERICA & BUCKY #625 written by James Asmus & Ed Brubaker

Yes. I know.  Hot on the heels of the announcement that I’m taking the reigns of Generation Hope, comes the equally big news that I’m writing an arc of CAPTAIN AMERICA(!!) with the seriously top-flight talents of Ed Brubaker and Francesco Francavilla!

 

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I think I mentioned this elsewhere, but it’s true – I got dizzy when editor Lauren Stankovich offered me the gig (seemingly out of nowhere).  The only other time I felt a confusion-wave like that was when I was asked if my sketch comedy trio (Hey You Millionaires) wanted to play Whirllyball against members of Kids In the Hall.

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I had an absolute blast writing for Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) in his cross over with the X-Men (Escape From the Negative Zone).  But it’s a distinct honor to get to work on his ongoing title.  Especially considering the AMAZING (and Eisner Award-winning) work Ed Brubaker has done with the character over the last few years.  Seriously, if you like smart comics at all you should read his run from the beginning.  Ed has been an incredibly insightful and generous guy.  So I hope I don’t screw up his work!

Luckily, all my words will be getting improved by the golden touch of Francesco Francavilla!  He’s been quickly gaining an excellent reputation as a result of his work penciling, inking, and coloring (most recently) Black Panther and Detective Comics.

I’m so happy to finally be able to talk about these two big developments!  And I’ve got a few interviews coming up soon.  So I’ll save the further gushing & details for those.  In the meantime, find your Local Comic Shop and ask them to order you copies of Captain America & Bucky (starting with #625) and Generation Hope (starting with #13)!

CAPTAIN AMERICA & BUCKY #625
Written by Ed Brubaker & James Asmus
Pencils & Cover by Francesco Francavilla

• The original Human Torch guest-stars as Captain America teams up with Bucky in the present day… for the first time?!
• Rising stars James Asmus and Francesco Francavilla join Eisner award winner Ed Brubaker for a rollicking adventure into the future of the star-spangled Avenger’s past!
• Brand new arc! Easy jumping on point!

32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

Generation Hope #14 cover by Ibraim Roberson

GENERATION HOPE #13
Written by JAMES ASMUS
Art & Cover by IBRAIM ROBERSON
Variant Cover by DALE KEOWN 
X-MEN REGENESIS NOVEMBER 2011

GENERATION HOPE #14

Written by James Asmus
Pencils & Cover by Ibraim Roberson
X-MEN REGENESIS – DECEMBER 2011
Meet the newest member of Generation Hope…Sebastian Shaw?! When Hope and company investigate an unaccounted for mutant reading in Pakistan, they come across a full-grown mutant with no memory being used as a weapon. They see a mutant in trouble and help…not realizing they’re rescuing one of the X-Men’s deadliest foes! 
32 PGS./Rated T …$2.99

Also, THIS:

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NAMOR: FIRST MUTANT Annual #1 cover

That’s right!  This coming Wednesday (5/18) is the final part of my first Marvel cross-over “Escape From the Negative Zone”!  Now you can preview the first six pages below!  (Click on pages to enlarge.) The action and characters boil over in…

NAMOR: FIRST MUTANT Annual #1

STORY BY James Asmus ART BY Max FiumaraNorman Lee COLORS BYJim Charalampidis LETTERS BYJared K. Fletcher COVER BYBlack Frog PUBLISHERMarvel Comics COVER PRICE:$3.99

The Annual Event of 2011 comes to a conclusion! The X-Men! Steve Rogers! The Negative Zone! Blastaar is after our heroes, but what if we told you he wasn’t their biggest problem? What if we told you that the lack of water and bizarre physics of the Negative Zone had driven Namor crazy. What if we told you he was so crazy that he’s destroying everything in his path, even his friends? THE ANSWER IS THAT YOU WOULD BUY THIS BOOK!

* * * * *

On a side-note, I want to especially give a virtual round of applause to this cross-over’s colorist Jim Charalampidis and our leterer Jared K. Fletcher!  I know I’ve been singing the praises of our (fantastic) artists on these books – but I have not taken nearly enough time to say how great these two have been.  They have both done top-notch jobs throughout, and really done phenomenal jobs adding energy and flair to this series.  Pencilers and writers get a lot of attention in this biz, but this book would be much less interesting – if not completely impossible – without their stellar additions.

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Namor Annual #1 - part 3 of "Escape From the Negative Zone"

A preview page from Namor: First Mutant Annual #1 - pencils by Max Fiumara

WOW!  It’s been a busy couple months.   The most immediate news is that 2 of 3 chapters of ESCAPE FROM THE NEGATIVE ZONE are out – and people seem to be getting what I hoped they would from it!  If you haven’t yet, grab your copies of Uncanny X-Men Annual #3 and Steve Rogers: Super Soldier Annual #1 at your local comic shop.  And ask them to pre-order you a copy the finale – Namor: First Mutant Annual #1!  It features pencils by your new favorite artist, Max Fiumara (Four Eyes, Amazing Spider-Man).

Also, the CW just aired an episode I shot of AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL.  (Seriously.)   I was hired to be creepy and make the girls uncomfortable  as one of their challenges…which was easy.

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If you really want to hear me go on about these, though – here are some INTERVIEWS

COMIC BOOK RESOURCES – has a preview of some art from the final chapter of Escape…!  And I field some follow-up questions with Dave Richards (who also did the first interview here.)

CHILL OUT, IT’S JUST A PODCAST – had me sit down (or rather, crawl into a BLANKET FORT!) for a TWO-PART chat about these comics.  Episode 13 is all about Escape From the Negative Zone (and some deeply nerdy diversions from there).  And in Episode 14 we shoot the shit about where I came from, as well as my appearance on ANTM.

BRIDGET CALLAHAN IS YOUR BEST FRIEND - My (best?) friend Bridget also interviewed me about the experience of being hired (through my improv comedy work) by America’s Next Top Model to mess with the girls in an episode (Cycle 16, Episode 6).

* * * * * 

And for those who might be interested in (or have been on the fence about) picking up my Marvel Comics annuals (Uncanny X-Men, Steve Rogers: Super Soldier, and Namor: First Mutant) – here are some REVIEWS that just-so-happen to insist you buy them!

WEEKLY COMIC BOOK REVIEW – “A fun, lively and jaunty story that had me laughing out loud in a few places coupled with some seriously badass art.  A- !”

COMIC BOOK RESOURCES - THE ‘BUY PILE’ – “Buy! …  All the elements here just worked, joining together perfectly while the plot rotated around Steve Rogers’ relentless military precision.  A great surprise.”

NEWSARAMA - “Humor abounds in delightfully character-specific ways… An emblematic example of skill from relative newcomer Asmus.”

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Steve Rogers Super Soldier Annual #1

Steve Rogers Super Soldier Annual #1 : part 2 of "Escape From the Negative Zone"

If you’ve thought of reading any of my comics – I seriously recommend “Escape from the Negative Zone!” The crazy-fun smash-up with gorgeous art continues this month in STEVE ROGERS: SUPER SOLDIER ANNUAL #1 – out now!

STEVE ROGERS! (Captain America) X-MEN! NAMOR! Steve Rogers goes on an interdimensional rescue mission after the X-Men find themselves imprisoned by Blastaar! But the Negative Zone alien isn’t the biggest problem that the #1 Avenger and the X-Men are going to face. The most visually spectacular Marvel story in years is not to be missed! This issue, IBRAIM ROBERSON (X-MEN: SECOND COMING) joins writer JAMES ASMUS for the latest chapter of this blockbuster.  Part 2 (of 3)

CHECK OUT SOME PREVIEW PAGES:

Page 1Page 2Page 4

*** *** *** *** *** ***And while you’re at your local comic shop

Pick up Part 1, Uncanny X-Men Annual #3! (with amazing art by Nicholas Bradshaw)

Ask them to reserve you a copy of Part 3, Namor Annual #1! (explosively illustrated by Max Fiumara)

And finally, if you take a minute to browse around, I’d recommend you check out some other great new comics by great people:

Axe Cop

Axe Cop! written by a 6 year old, drawn by his 30 year old brother

Batgirl - recommended for fans of Buffy... and Smallville

Madman - beautiful, kinetic, and warm-hearted - my #1 favorite

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It’s announced!  (So I can finally talk about it!)  I’m working on my biggest Marvel project yet -

ESCAPE FROM THE NEGATIVE ZONE!

Out in March 2011 (just in time for C2E2), the story will cross-over between the Annuals for Uncanny X-Men, Steve Rogers: Super Soldier, and Namor: First Mutant.

HOLY CRAP!

This has really been a thrill, and I hope you all dig it too.   And make sure you pre-order it from your local comic shop so they know to order enough!  :)

I’ll talk more about this project here in the coming months.  In the meantime, check out the links below for all kinds of more info.   Seriously, go to them.  If nothing else, to check out a bunch more art from the first two annuals by

Steve Rogers Super Soldier art by Ibraim Roberson

Nicholas Bradshaw & Ibraim Robertson.  These guys are killing it with these pages!

Article at MARVEL.COM

Article at COMIC BOOK RESOURCES

Interview at NEWSARAMA

ADDED 10/7

Interview at IGN

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