For some time, I have held the very strong belief that there are five truly great comic books in the world. Arguable, yes. True? Yes. I’ll allow you to figure out which they are. I know it seems narrow minded to some, but the truth is, there is a great lack of imagination when it comes to the genre I love. That being said, I approached The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West series much as a child approaches brussel sprouts. With a certain knowledge that, while I had not experienced it, I was going to hate it.
As a member of the executive commit for the All Things Oz museum and the Oz-Stravaganza! Festival in Chittenango, NY – birthplace of L. Frank Baum – I was certain that the drudgery of this new spin on the classic tale was not going to delight me and my fellow Ozians, but rather disappoint and disillusion us. A western remake of L. Frank Baum’s most famous story in a comic book form. Indeed.
Yet I am amazed that as much of a fan of Oz as I am and as much of a comic book fan as well, I could be actually pleasantly surprised by a book. In fact the involuntary smile that crept upon my face was not unnoticed by others as I turned the pages of issue after issue.
What author Tom Hutchison has done is take a step back and imagine a world where Dorothy Gale is familiar while at the same time exhilaratingly fresh and new. A character we remember from a childhood fairy tale, all grown up. A sideways glance and a tip of the hat to L. Frank Baum and all that the OZ universe represents and a tale that captivates you from the first page.
Ruby spurs are not to be worn lightly, and travels that take you over the rainbow are never to be thought of as frivolous. What Hutchison and a team of talented artists manage to do is re-imagine something as frightening as a green witch with an arsenal of flying monkeys. The characters have a depth that makes them immediately believable and the story draws you in, in my case actually leaning into the page as I read.
There are few books in my collection that include the “alternate” special covers, yet this collection has every one. The penciling and ink, color and overall art is so magical, it could be framed (and IS framed in the All Things Oz museum). Alisson Borges and Kate Finnegan deserve special recognition for their work as artist and colorist, and I would be remiss to not give ‘props’ to the variant cover artists, Jenevieve Broomall, Nei Ruffino, Victoria Page and Fausto Hernandez, and Mike DeBalfo, Natali Sanders, Corey Knaebel, Ian Snyder, and Owen Gieni.
Any collector of comics and graphic novels, and any collector of OZ universe items must have the Collected Edition…but more over – any collector of good storytelling, wonderful artwork, and an appreciation for an alternate look at a classic favorite will be delighted with this work.
When Tom asked me to write the forward, I could think of no greater honor. Above all else, I am a fan of Tom’s work. It has made my list. I have had to accept that I was wrong. There are six truly great comic books in the world. Without further delay, it is my honor and a privilege to introduce you to the Legend of Oz: The Wicked West.
Marc R. Baum
Big Dog Ink June 2013 Solicitations
The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West #9
Writer: Tom Hutchison
Artist: Alisson Borges
Cover A: Alisson Borges
Cover B: Nei Ruffino
A & B covers ship 50/50
Hop on board as we delve deeper into the mystery behind the Emerald City mines. The excavation at the Emerald City has picked up steam, but Dr. Pipt isn’t sure he can be part of it any longer.
Writer/Creator: Tom Hutchison
Artist: Owen Gieni
Cover A, B, C: Owen Gieni
A, B &C Covers ship in equal quantities
Welcome to Serusis. A planet merely thousands of years old, and one that has just been taken over by a hostile force. Relitons swarm the planet’s cities and their leader, General Snogard, will not stop until he controls the planet and the name of Asta is once again feared by the Serusian inhabitants. Big Dog Ink’s first all ages book brings the excitement and adventure of a science fiction story and mixes it with fantasy and art reminiscent of some of the best animated cartoons of the 80’s. There is something for everyone in this comic as four humans are abducted and called to action to help the Serusians take back their planet!
Writer/Creator: Tom Hutchison
Artist: Fico Ossio
Cover A: Fico Ossio
Cover B: Romano Molenaar
A & B Covers ship 50/50
Big Dog Ink’s first event series “High Tide” continues as the world’s heroes struggle to find a way to defeat Tidepool. But help is on the way.
The In Crowd #1
Writer: Eric Esquivel
Artist: C.B. Zane
Cover A: C.B. Zane
Cover B: Corey Knaebel
A & B Covers ship 50/50
As Tidepool begins his epic destruction of the United States, a group of young heroes takes the scene by storm — with their cameramen in place to get their good sides on film! From the pages of Critter, The In Crowd mixes the fun of superheroes with the ridiculousness of the reality TV craze. They’ve got great hair, great bodies, and great power. But great responsibility? Not so much!
In October, 2012 a comic book series that has had fans talking for more than a year will return.
The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West has been a hit since it’s debut in October of 2011. A Diamond Top 300 book for multiple issues. The Wicked West is a western adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and was unlike anything anyone had ever heard of…or conceived. The wild west setting was a perfect mix for the classic Baum story and allowed for a twist that has captured the imaginations of comic book readers and Oz fans alike. Not merely a sexualized, adult version of the story we all know, but a true reimagining complete with a Dorothy Gale that takes no guff and goes through the wilds of Oz looking every inch the tough as nails cowgirl that she is along with her trusty steed, Toto.
Written by Tom Hutchison, the initial 6 issue mini series (which wraps it’s story this August) shows us an Oz that is both familiar and vastly new. And while the story follows the same basic tenants of Baum’s original Oz story, the ending is decidedly different.
Returning with Hutchison, who is writing the first 5 issue story arc of the new series, is artist Alisson Borges and colorist Kate Finnegan. Alisson has grown into this world and these characters and is absolutely making them his own while Kate has magically transformed not only Alisson’s work but also her own in creating colors that bring this story, and these characters to life and making them jump right off the page. Together they are a team that everyone at Big Dog Ink wanted back, and we are lucky to have them. Also returning to the series is cover artist, Nei Ruffino. Her alternate covers have been fan favoristes from the beginning and we are very happy to have her back for more!
Watch for news on the release including order codes and variants that will be available at upcoming comic conventions including the debut at New York Comic Con in October with a cover by the super talented Eric “Ebas” Basaldua just to get us started!
Big Dog Ink returns to the midwest April 13-15, 2012 for C2E2! Appearing at booth 701 will be Legend of Oz: The Wicked West, Critter and Penny for Your Soul writer/creator Tom Hutchison as well as cover artists Nei Ruffino and Jenevieve Broomall. Both of these artists have done covers across the Big Dog Ink line including Ruffino’s stunning Wicked West covers and Broomall’s very special wraparound Legend of Oz C2E2 exclusive cover for issue #3. Come by and say hello!
ANIMALS VS. ZOMBIES IN “REX, ZOMBIE KILLER #1“
Get Ready for a Gorilla with a Baseball Bat!
February 7, 2012 – In April 2012, comic book publisher Big Dog Ink will release the hounds, as three dogs, a cat, and a gorilla with a baseball bat battle the walking dead in REX, ZOMBIE KILLER #1.
In the wake of a zombie apocalypse, a hyper-intelligent Golden Retriever named Rex, a sign language-speaking gorilla, and a small pack of animals begin a perilous
cross-country journey to find safety…and a home.
“I’ve always wondered what happens to pets when the zombies arrive,” explained writer Rob Anderson. “And I’ve always loved stories that show the heart and tenacity of animals, like WE3 and HOMEWARD BOUND / THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY. In REX, ZK, the animals are trying to make their way across California to an underground government bunker where the scientist who raised Rex is now in hiding. But Rex isn’t necessarily revealing everything he knows about the situation to his pack.”
“This is a story I’ve been wanting to tell since at least 2008, because it combines three of my big passions: animals, zombies and comic books,” Anderson said. “My constant writing companions are my dog and cat, and they’re well trained for the coming zombie apocalypse with their patented ‘play dead’ routine.”
The book was also a perfect fit for cover and interior artist DaFu Yu. “From an artistic standpoint, I love drawing monsters, and zombies fit in that category,” Yu said. “I’m already detail-oriented in my style, but I go a little crazy when I
REX, ZOMBIE KILLER #1 is written by Rob Anderson (ANIMAL CONTROL: SPECIAL CREATURES UNIT, GREAT ZOMBIES IN HISTORY) with interior and cover art by DaFu Yu (GRIMM FAIRY TALES, WONDERLAND ANNUAL), colors by Kevin Volo, letters and design by E.T. Dollman, and edited by Paul Allor (CLOCKWORK).
The double-sized, 56-pageone-shot ships in April at a special price of only $3.50, and will be available for pre-order in the February 2012 Diamond PREVIEWS catalog. (Order Code: FEB12 0806) The comic book will be in full color in standard comic book format. It is rated TEEN+ for mature themes and violence. Additional one-shots are planned for the future.
In the summer of 2012 Big Dog Ink will release Tom Hutchison’s new horror mini series, Ursa Minor. In a world where vampires are an everyday part of life and werewolves are an endangered species, one girl steps forward to return nature’s supernatural balance and save a dying race from total extinction. Written by Penny for Your Soul’s Tom Hutchison and with art by Ian Snyder and Sony Merbitt and colored by Luis Guerrero, Ursa Minor will bring you back to the days of vicious vampires and dark sinister places where things still go bump in the night…