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Hey!  So END TIMES OF BRAM & BEN #1 is out NOW from Image Comics!  We’ve got the best reviews of anything I’ve written (proving Jim Festante is the real talent here) – and SEVERAL SIGNINGS coming up!

At all these, we’ll definitely be promoting End Times… but these signings are for GAMBIT and/or THIEF OF THIEVES fans, too!  (Or Generation Hope, etc…)  I’ve got TWO MORE issues of THIEVES coming next week and late next month.  Thief of Thieves vol 2 collection is due in March!

Gambit vol. 1 features issues #1-7 of the series for only $19 – out on March 20th!  (Less on Amazon, of course.)  It’s a great way to jump on :)

2/13 – ANAHEIM, CA @ BEACH BALL COMICS w/ Jim Festante
the release of End Times Of Bram & Ben #2!

2/16 – LAS VEGAS, NV @ MAXIMUM COMICS  w/ Jim Festante

2/27 – PORTLAND, OR @ THINGS FROM ANOTHER WORLD

3/1 – 3/3 – SEATTLE, WA @ EMERALD CITY CON w/ Jim Festante

3/29 – 3/31 – ANAHEIM, CA @ WONDER CON

4/26 – 4/28 – CHICAGO, IL @ C2E2

And People Love It!:

“This book is AWESOME! It’s been a while since we’ve seen an original concept like this and executed so brilliantly, with this level of great writing.” – Bleeding Cool

“Freaking hilarious! The kind of book everyone is going to be talking about… an early contender for best mini-series of 2013!” – IGN

“A breath of fresh air. It’s original, funny with some killer art. 5/5stars!” – Major Spoilers

COMING SOON:

2/13/13  END TIMES…#2 Cover art by J.A.W. Cooper

3/13/13  END TIMES…#3 Cover art by Juan Doe!

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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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SO I haven’t gotten around to posting (even though I wanted to put up some of the nice words said about the Namor Annual).   It struck me that this might make it seem like I have less going on – though it’s actually the opposite.

Some BIG NEWS (for me, anyways) will be coming out in the next few weeks.

In the meantime – I’m working on that, a commissioned project (that probably won’t be available to the public), two spec (film) scripts, teaching myself how to letter comics for an independent submission, and performing comedy again.

I’ll post the relevant and interesting stuff as it comes up.  In the meantime, I wanted to thank any and all the people who have popped by.

Please feel free to LEAVE COMMENTS!  Some have started to, but I’d love to know what brought you, and what were you hoping to find here?  — I’d be happy to put more of whatever that would be up on the site.

A sneak preview page from an independent comic I'll be pitching out in a few weeks. Art by REMUS BREZEANU

<—  In The Meantime

Check out handsome art for a comic I co-created with my buddy Jim Festante.  The art is by the awesome (and German!) illustrator Remus Brezeanu.

 

More Online Distractions!

– Check out the aforementioned Jim Festante hosting THE GAME SHOW (video games) on TheStream.TV

– Dig Remus’ art for web comic SOCIALFIST! – a riff on Socialist Superheroes :D  I recommend starting at the link.

– And 180 degrees away from those things – the fantastic APPLE SISTERS (a modern WWII girl group) has a comedy podcast on Earwolf that’s already getting great traction.  I love them.  You should give it a try.

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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.

 * * * * * 

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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Hearts Full of Blood - design by Tara Sissom

Awesome news!  With everything else going on, I failed to mention here that the play I wrote that The New Colony produced in Chicago last fall remounted for the New York International Fringe Theater Festival.  Well, as part of the fest, I finally got to see the show for the first time, and the director (Andrew Hobgood) and cast (Sarah Gitenstein, Gary Tiedemann, Mary Hollis Inboden, and Evan Linder) did a fantastic job.

And New York thought so too.  The show got great reviews, was picked for the festival’s Encore Series, and won an award for “Outstanding Achievement in Playwrighting”!   SO, if you or anyone you know are in New York this week (and like theater) get your tickets for Hearts Full of Blood in the FringeNYC Encore Series!

The Players Theater – 115 MacDougal Street, New York NY
Performances:  9/09 @ 9:30  +  9/10 @ 7:00  +  9/12 @ 3:00  +  9/14 @ 8:00

PRAISE (TO MAKE YOU MORE INTERESTED IN GOING):

“FringeNYC Encore Series…includes my favorite play of the fest, Hearts Full of Blood. The tightly constructed play from Chicago’s New Colony theater group begs for an off-Broadway run and is better than most of the plays currently running.” – Huffington Post

“**** the play’s snappy dialogue, shocking subject matter and remarkable leading performance give the Fringe a welcome infusion of quality.” – Time Out NY

“This is the kind of gritty, heartfelt, intelligent, and fearless work that I want to see and I imagine you will want to see it as well.” – Theater Is Easy

“Asmus is a talent. His ability to create realistic, natural dialogue for the stage is sensational.” – NY Theatre

Plus – a bucket load of praise for all the artists involved since the original run is round up HERE if you’re interested (Mom).

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That rant about people ignoring their reviews was not what I set out to write.  But I thought I’d let it fly.   Maybe I’ll circle back to what it was supposed to be later.  But in the meantime, I thought it’s worth mentioning a few things I learned about my own work from reading reviews:

1. I’m Accidentally Racist Against Eastern Europeans! - The cumbersome title X-Men: Manifest Destiny: Nightcrawler - For many reasons, I developed multiple blind spots on my first full-length comic.   But my favorite being that when I created a moment to Nightcrawler’s Frankensteinesque mob-with-pitchforks origin – I didn’t even think twice about having them carry torches.   Which several people pointed out is such outdated technology, that even rural Czech families would have upgraded to flashlights.  It NEVER even occurred to me as an option.  Seriously.

2. Even People Shunned By God Don’t Want to See God Kicked Too Much! - Sodomites!!! - In the musical retelling of Sodom & Gomorrah, we took very few creative liberties.  Faithfully retelling the story is pretty f**ked-up and hilarious.  But if we were to make sense of all the self-contradiction and irrational judgement contained therein, we had to add an explanation from our sexually frustrated God.  Actually, more of an apology.   In a song by Mike Descoteaux that serves as a coup de gras* to a comedy that already played rough – The Lord ultimately confesses to everything from watching us have sex to having “raped a 13-year-old girl…named Mary”.  I know, I know.  While we fully knew what we were getting into, I was shocked that even of the GLBT publications in Chicago said that it might go too far.  So if they’re saying that – a life of dark comedy has really blown out my understanding of people’s thresholds.

3. I Am Out of Touch With Today’s Youth!Runaways (vol 3) #10 – While this story is a step toward smoothing out my rough edges in comics, I did make one mistake repeatedly.   Fellow St. Ignatius alum Brian K. Vaughan created fantastic characters for this series and infused it with a pop culture awareness that felt real and current without being pandering.  I had a lot of fun playing with that.  One mistake though – I used my pop culture references.  And even though culture redeemed my GI Joe joke as relevant again – NO 16 year-old knows Small Wonder.

4. In General, I Am Still Learning! - Amelia Earhart Jungle Princess – To be 80% less glib, I should start by saying that I am still amazed by the work everyone did on this play (the first for The New Colony).  But the reviews completely disagreed over what was good and what was bungled about the play.  In fact, they disagreed on what the show WAS.   I expected a certain degree of that going in to what I, myself, referred to as an “action-adventure political dramedy.”   I knew what I wanted people to get from it, but that was getting lost in translation.   And once I realized that, I could see every misstep I made in the script.   Thankfully, though, New Colony let me write for them again.  And the results were much more successful.

But that’s part of it.  If you want to believe the praise, you have to also believe the criticism.

*- Mon dieu! Nous parle français!-

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