In an industry dominated by superhero titles, Zenescope continues to make a name for itself by offering quality titles different from anything else on the shelves.
First, they turned "Grimm Fairy Tales" into a successful, "Law and Order"-esque franchise. Next, they breathed new life into the undead genre with "The Living Corpse." Now, with the launch of "1001 Arabian Nights: The Adventures of Sinbad," the Fort Washington-based company has again produced a quality title for those looking for a fresh take on an old genre and a unique read.
Though Sinbad is definitely his own man and thrives in a dangerous world, as presented here he is much more likable and less brutal than similar characters like Conan, Jonah Hex and Kull the Conqueror. He has more swagger than those characters - and seems to be having more fun than them - as well.
But his strength is not the trail of bodies he leaves behind, but the loyalty he inspires in his crew - which he then reciprocates.
Sinbad's weakness may be his appetite for women. This is on display when he gets one-on-one time with the Witch Queen, Alorana. Though they have joined forces in pursuit of something that can benefit them both, can someone called "The Witch Queen" truly be trusted?
To be fair, Alorana - as drawn by Paolo Pantalena - would be hard for any man to say no to. She's irresistible.
As is this book.
* As usual, Zenescope hosted the hippest party of the Wizard World Philly weekend. Held on May 31 at Otium and Moda (110 Chestnut St.), the party featured copious amounts of food and drink, great dance music and loads of pretty people.
* Comics Guy had planned on hitting another party over convention weekend, but found himself having dinner with Chris Claremont and Michael Golden.
Though he had a great time with the comic legends, Comics Guy felt a little guilty. Of course, he would have felt a lot more guilty if the president of a small publishing house hadn't blown off the same party to have dinner with us - and it was his party.
While the bash started at 8 p.m., at 9:15 his editor-in-chief called him, screaming "Where the f--- are you?! These people are here to see you!"
The bigwig promptly left, but not before stating, "I couldn't pass up this opportunity. This table here is the gold standard."
Ahoy, it's 'Blackbeard'
Dynamite had its first-ever panel at a Wizard show. Though there was news on the company's popular titles - "The Lone Ranger," for instance, will again start shipping on a regular basis - the highlight was the announcement that writer Eduardo Sanchez and the rest of the team responsible for "The Blair Witch Project" will be putting out a new comic based on the pirate Blackbeard.
Asked how Dynamite is able to land such projects, publisher Nick Barrucci stated simply, "We're HBO." He later said what he meant is that Dynamite gives its creators freedom and because they are a relatively small company, can give each project they do individual attention and marketing muscle to give it the best chance to succeed.
Cup O' Joe Quesada
Marvel also had informative panels, announcing everything from a comic adaptation of Stephen King's "The Stand" to the introduction of Lady Bullseye.
Joe Quesada also noted that because of Marvel making its own films, there is more synergy between them and the publishing division than ever.
He cited recent news reported by the Hollywood Reporter that Brian K. Vaughan, who created the critically acclaimed comic "Runaways" for Marvel, will also write the screenplay for the movie and co-produce.
Quesada was also asked to comment on the hot rumor - spread by sources such as Cinematical - that screenwriter James Vanderbilt has turned in an outline for both "Spider-Man 4" and "Spider-Man 5" and that the two films would have overarching storylines and be shot back-to-back.
"At the end of the day, I think the third (film) suffered from one villain too many," he said. "But as long as the movies are the quality they've been to this point, why would I be anything but happy about (the rumored two new movies)?" *