Sunday, 10 April 2016


What will you do when they catch you?
What will you do if they break you?
…What will you become?

If you didn’t get enough classic Star Wars elements in The Force Awakens last year, the first trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story should give you plenty to be excited about. As expected, Rogue One is generating a ton of buzz online since the release of this new trailer for the prequel to 1977’s Star Wars, otherwise known as Episode 4 or, even more simply, the first one.

The visuals look incredibly faithful to the classic, but the tone, at least the tone of the trailer, promises to be a very fresh take on the Star Wars universe.

Jyn Erso, played by The Theory of Everything’s Felicity Jones, will be the first force-free lead in a Star Wars film — at least, it seems very likely. And the overall look of this trailer suggests Rogue One will resemble something closer to a war movie than an epic adventure, which has really whet my appetite. 

When the offshoot movies were announced, I heard chatter that one Star Wars movie a year would be too much, or that Disney was simply cashing in. I, for one, am extremely excited by the idea of a stand-alone Star Wars film. After all, isn’t that what Star Wars was in the first place? At a time when tent pole films are constantly trying to establish trilogies, or even extended universes — as is the case with Batman V Superman — it’s incredibly refreshing to see a movie that, while it supports another film, is only responsible for telling its own story.

And, that makes it all the more likely that there will be casualties.

Yes, main characters could actually die! As much as I enjoyed The Force Awakens and the original trilogy, Star Wars delivers on action but is often short on suspense. Seeing the likes of Forest Whitaker, Mad Mikkelson, and Donnie Yen in life or death scenarios against an evil Ben Mendelsohn? Sign me up! 

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

VALERIAN the next 5th Element?

Every once in a while, a movie is announced that gets me very, very excited… even though I’m unfamiliar with the source material. This year, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is that movie. So, why am I so excited?

First, it’s based on a beloved French comic called Valerian and Laureline written by Pierre Christin and illustrated by Jean-Claude Mézières. Secondly, Mezieres worked as a conceptual designer on The 5th Element, which just so happened to be directed by Luc Besson who’s also directing this film. Full disclosure, I love The 5th Element, and not just for the deep nostalgia — it’s a visually stunning and totally original looking sci-fi (Although, it borrows heavily from the animated Heavy Metal film, which I also love.) And in these first few images of Valeria, it looks as though Besson is going for a similar vibe as 1997’s 5th Element. 

You’ll notice in the photos a couple of comic book movie aficionados. Dane DeHaan (aka Harry Osborne from The Amazing Spider-Man 2) plays Valerian and Cara Delevingne plays Laureline and will also be Enchantress in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie. In Valerian, the two play spatio-temporal agents who travel through space and time to protect mankind.

Recently, Besson is best known for the Taken films and Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson, so not exactly a surefire win. But the photos look promising. And, the last movie based on a French comic was Snowpiercer, a bloody fantastic film. So, for now, I’m full of hope that Valerian will be the comic book movie adaptation I’ve been waiting for. What do you think?

To read more about Valerian, check out this interview with Luc Besson from Entertainment Weekly.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Warcraft is Coming

The latest TV spot for Warcraft shows off new footage and a new character — Khadgar the mage played by Ben Schnetzer. 

The fantasy epic also stars Dominic Cooper as King Llane Wrynn, Travis Fimmel as Anduin Lothar and Ben Foster as Medivh. But, I’m most interested in talking about director Duncan Jones.

Jones, the son of recently deceased music legend David Bowie, has built a solid reputation as a director over the last few years with 2009’s Moon, his feature directorial debut, winning over both critics and sci-fi fans. Jones followed that up in 2011 with another high-minded sci-fi flick, Source Code, featuring Jake Gyllenhaal in a mind-bending thriller with a Groundhog’s Day twist. That was five years ago, and now Jones is coming back after a lengthy hiatus with what is sure to be a very different kind of film.

Something I admired about both Moon and Source Code was how neither one relied very heavily on computer generated effects — something rare for a sci-fi film, especially in this day and age. In comparison, Warcraft looks like a CG orgy. Perhaps it won’t age as well as Jones’ previous films, but it all comes down to story, which Jones is also responsible for with this film.

Given the chilly response to virtually every video game movie that’s come out in the last 25 years, and the bloated budget it must have taken to create the world of Warcraft (see what I did there?), Blizzard and Legendary Pictures must have a lot riding on Warcraft. The pressure isn’t lost on Jones, who said, “…the gauntlet was thrown down ages ago: Can you make a proper movie of a video game. I've always said it's possible. Got to do it now!”

I’m not a Warcraft player, and this sort of epic fantasy isn’t really my cup of tea, but I am a fan of Jones’ work. Here’s hoping he can finally break the video game movie curse and win over the fanboys.

Warcraft will debut June 10. 

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Watch this Sneak Peak of BATMAN: The Killing Joke

Any hardcore DC fan who felt let down by Dawn of Justice can at least look forward to a promising animated feature. Batman: The Killing Joke is set to be released this summer and sees talent from the beloved Batman The Animated Series return for this much more adult story. Check out this 12-minute behind the scenes sneak peak below. 

Familiar voices will play the iconic duo with Kevin Conroy returning as Batman and Mark Hamill once again voicing the Joker, the character he’s best known for aside from that little Star Wars franchise. Ray Wise returns as Commissioner Gordon and Tara Strong as Batgirl.

Sam Liu, director of Batman: Year One and Justice League: Gods and Monsters, is behind this adaptation of Alan Moore’s 1988 graphic novel. The story sees Joker attempt to drive Commissioner Gordon mad, significantly injuring his daughter Barbera, aka Batgirl, in the process. The graphic novel is also known for telling the Joker’s origin story, drawing parallels between Batman’s tragic beginnings.

Adapting important storylines like these and drawing upon such a beloved cast of actors seems like a no-brainer for DC. It’s great to see the DC animated universe mature alongside their fans, giving plenty of 90’s kids something to salivate over.

Don't get me wrong — I’m happy that DC is making the effort to enter the Marvel-saturated live-action market. But, animated movies like The Killing Joke really play to their strengths — telling compelling stories with complex characters and plenty of style. Interesting how Marvel’s Daredevil has succeeded in that way. 

Can any of DC’s CW series say the same? 

Friday, 1 April 2016

5 Artists to Follow on Instagram

Shortly after beginning work on my comic in October, I began an Instagram account specifically for my art. And if you’d like to check it out, I’m

Anyway, I chose to focus most of my early marketing efforts, if you can call them that, on Instagram because I noticed what an awesome community of artists and fans belong to it. I know there’s plenty of hate for Instagram — there are days where all I see are models pushing hair vitamins, but I also see a hell of a lot of inspired work done by talented people — some of them, very close to home (Winnipeg). So, in no particular order, here are five of my favorite artists on Instagram.


Artem Trakhanov is a Russian comic book artist who’s been posting work from his book Turncoat, a comic about what happens after an oppressive alien force leaves the planet after subjugating mankind for centuries. Ohotnig’s style is incredibly unique, expressive and shows a huge attention to detail.


Take a glance at Vlad Legostaev’s work and it might seem simple compared to some of the insanely developed artwork featured on IG, but take the time to really assess this guy’s gallery and you’ll find his work is dripping with style one could only dream of accomplishing in as few lines. A rare talent if there ever was one. 


This art director from Ubisoft Montreal has some of my favorite posts from recent memory. His recent cover art for Heavy Metal is so imaginative, yet perfectly on brand for the magazine.


Scott A. Ford, a local Winnipeg comic creator, recently wrapped up Ocosomoso, a bi-weekly comic featuring a tiny alien astronaut inspecting little sections of Earth he finds both astounding and benign. Scott’s work is full of personality and I’m very much looking forward to his upcoming book, Arkland.


I first noticed Jan Buragay’s beautifully drawn space ships many months ago and have faithfully followed him ever since. All of his work seems to belong to the same heavily mechanized future world where rusty ships and dirty, smoking characters in space suits populate every port. Lately, his mech designs have been on display and are my favorite on IG, which is really saying something. 

Creepy new teasers for PREACHER and OUTCAST

The ever-growing list of television shows based on comic books just keeps getting longer and longer, with DC’s Legends of Tomorrow being the latest title to make me want to throw a hammer at my TV screen. But there are a couple of creepy new titles on their way that I’m genuinely excited for.

AMC’s upcoming series Preacher just released this hair-raising 20-second clip that gives us just a taste of the mayhem that is to come. Preacher will star Dominic Cooper as, you guessed it, a preacher who’s inhabited by some mysterious force that gives him unusual powers and thrusts him into a conflict with characters from heaven and hell.

The clip is short but promising. And this new clip is notable for featuring a split-second shot of the um… aptly named character, Arseface. The teaser is set to air this Sunday during The Walking Dead’s Season 6 finale. 

You can watch the clip at here: Preacher Teaser

Speaking of Walking Dead, another one of Robert Kirkman’s comic book series is coming to TV with Cinemax’s Outcast.

Outcast won’t debut until June 3 and it’s already been renewed for its second season. Outcast stars Patrick Fugit as Kyle Barnes, a man who has been plagued by demon possessions throughout his life and is aided by a preacher on a journey to regain his normal life. Sounds oddly familiar, doesn’t it? 

 You can watch the clip at here: Outcast Teaser

I happen to own two Outcast comics and greatly enjoy their art style and ambiance. I suspect Outcast will be something of a more classic horror TV series while Preacher will reflect a little more… personality — at least, if Arseface has anything to say about it!

What do you think about the new teaser trailers? Which series are you more excited to check out? I’m talking to no one. If you’re actually a human being who’s reading this right now, comment below. I’ll die of surprise.

Friday, 18 March 2016

X-MEN APOCALYPSE Trailer: Everything Old Is New Again

Doesn’t it ever wake you up in the middle of the night, the feeling that some day they’ll come for you and your children? 

Those are the words spoken by Magneto at the beginning of the latest X-Men: Apocalypse trailer. And if they sound familiar, well, that’s because they are. With every new sneak peak, it’s looking more like the newest entry in the X-Men franchise is going decidedly old school.

This isn’t the first time Magneto/Erik Lensherr and Professor X/Charles Xavier have discussed such an idea — the thought that the same brutality Erik experienced during his childhood — spent in a concentration camp — could happen again, this time to mutants.

If you remember, back in 2000, the initial X-Men film began at that very moment when Erik loses his family and his powers are unleashed on the Nazi gate that separates him from his mother. The scene was then recreated in 2011 with X-Men: First Class, with the core of that movie serving as an origin story for Magneto.

As the so-called First Class Trilogy now wraps up with X-Men: Apocalypse, one can only assume that the conflict between Erik and Charles will come to a head in (hopefully) a significant way.

That would be the case anyway if X-Men: Apocalypse wasn’t trying to be an ending of one trilogy and the beginning of a third trilogy, which looks a lot like the first one.

Confused yet? 

 As you can see in the trailer, X-Men: Apocalypse will include younger versions of classic characters from the first three X-Men films. Scott Summer aka Cyclops will be portrayed by Tye Sheridan (Mud, The Tree of Life). Kodi Smit-McPhee (Young Ones, Slow West) another young actor whose mostly stuck to indie movies lately will be portraying Nightcrawler. Alexandra Shipp, who had a small role as Lil’ Kim in Straight Outta Compton will be Storm, and Sophie Turner (One of the last surviving Starks from Game of Thrones…sigh) is the new Jean Grey. And they’re joined by several X-Men mainstays like Raven/Mystique, Havok, and Beast.

They’re all back for this new entry, which is said to take place in 1983.

I love X-Men. I really do. But with these overlapping plotlines, it’s starting to feel like we’re running in circles. Plus, Singer has stated that he sees Apocalypse as a rebirth, with the original lineup from the comic books coming together at the end of this film.

So, it seems that everything old in the X-Men franchise is new again.

That is unless you count the newcomers. Olivia Munn and Lana Condor will play the first substantial live-action portrayals of Psyloche and Jubilee respectively. Oh yeah, and Oscar Isaac as that Apocalypse guy.

That’s a full cast, even by Marvel standards. Hopefully, it doesn’t become the bloated, unwieldy mess that Age of Ultron was.