Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Valiant Market - X-O Manowar #1 page 27

A new post in my series on recent interesting Valiant sales (you can find the first in the series here, the second here and the third here). These posts are meant to track original art sales of pages that are in high demand and appear very rarely such as pages from UNITY or Deathmate Prologue, splash pages etc. Today, we have something a little different. No doubt that page 27 of X-O Manowar #1 by Barry Windsor-Smith is sought after. But we've seen pages from this (over-sized, meaning more pages available) book before, and Barry Windsor-Smith Valiant art is available quite readily from his dealer. X-O Manowar pages are very easy to obtain and while this page is absolutely beautiful it is not particularly exciting. So why am I featuring this page. I'll give you 1,525 reasons but first check out the page:

Yup, this page just sold for $1,525 on ebay. That is by far the highest price I have ever seen for an interior page of Valiant Barry Windsor-Smith art. Higher than his splash pages have sold for. More than double this Deathmate page he did with Jim Lee. Almost double this UNITY page, which is more exciting, from a more important book and is one of just 16.

So what happened? I think it's pretty clear that Valiant Comics return to publishing in 2012 is having a big effect on the market. It doesn't hurt that Valiant recently debuted the new look of X-O Manowar:

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the lack of yellowing, the action and the fact that the page is signed all would have helped the price. Nevertheless $1,525 is well above the market.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Valiant Comics FCBD 2012 Edition Announced!!!!

so tired...but this just popped up online. IT. IS. AWESOME!

analysis coming later


Valiant Entertainment is proud to announce its first ever Free Comic Book Day release – the Valiant Comics FCBD 2012 Edition!

On May 5th, get the inside track on the year’s most groundbreaking comic book event with this exclusive look at the all-new Valiant Comics! X-O Manowar! Bloodshot! Harbinger! Some of the best-selling heroes of all time return this Free Comic Book Day, just as all-new #1 issues of Valiant Comics begin arriving in stores!

"This has been an event a decade in the making, and we're approaching this with dedication, passion and a commitment to excellence," said Executive Editor Warren Simons. "We've lined up some colossally talented colleagues – both new and old friends alike – and if you have a love for great comics and innovative stories, we've got some great stuff in store for you.”

Featuring a cover of the brand new X-O Manowar by superstar artist Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic, this sneak peek into Valiant’s extraordinary first year comes packed with never-before-seen stories, character redesigns, and interviews with Valiant’s team of visionary creators.

"We couldn't be happier to be partnering with comics retailers, Diamond and ComicsPro for Free Comic Book Day 2012, the most exciting day in comics," said Publisher Fred Pierce. "In 2012, fans and retailers can expect some of the best books in all of comics to be shipping monthly from Valiant."

Valiant's Free Comic Book Day special edition is just the first title that the publisher has lined up for the month of May. Look for announcements regarding the full array of new titles, creative teams, and shipping dates to be released in the New Year.

"Free Comic Book Day is just the beginning," said Valiant Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. "For anyone who loves comics and top-notch storytelling, the return of the Valiant Universe will be an event not to be missed."

Valiant Entertainment is a character-based publishing and licensing company that owns and controls some of the most cherished comic characters ever created across all media worldwide. Since their creation in 1989, Valiant characters have sold 80 million comic books and have been the basis of a number of successful video game franchises. Valiant’s extensive library includes over 1,500 characters, such as X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Harbinger, Shadowman, and Ninjak. Visit:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Valiant Secret Tumblr: Harada?

I promised more analysis of the secret Valiant Comics Tumblr so here it is!

The latest post on the Man of War Tumblr (posted Nov 23rd 2011) is the image below:

Tres interesting no?  Okay, so what do we see?  

Cork Board:
The top half looks to be some kind of cork board with several items tacked onto it.  The most prominent is the top half of a head that looks to belong to a new version of Toyo Harada. It's hard to say for sure because he's missing his trademark white stripes of hair but he does sport slanty Asian eyes (racist!). If it is him, he now has a new close cropped haircut (quite befitting a high powered CEO in today's world) and has been illustrated in a pretty cool photo realistic style! To the right of the Toyo Harada illustration is what looks to be a copy of Shadowman #13. Check out the cover below and compare the logos and color scheme:

Lastly, the very top of the photograph shows something that has a white background and what looks to be red blood dripping in the image. I have no idea WTF that is...please email any guesses. There is also a yellow tack and a page from a lined yellow legal pad on the board but I don't see anything particularly exciting about either.

The bottom half is of a average looking computer (Mac laptop? Notice the Mac icons on the top right of the screen) with an older version of Microsoft Word open and a file named 112111.dox displayed. The only thing we can see from the files contents is: "RBING". 

So what does the 112111 file name mean? I'm going to guess that it's a date and not a catalog number. If that's true it refers to the date November 21st 2011 -- just 3 days before the photo was posted on the blog. And what does the RBING mean? Probably part of the word HARBINGER (dun dun dun!). So can we surmise that this document is a pitch of script for Harbinger and was turned in to Valiant on November the 21st? It would certainly make sense if the slanty eye'd dude (racist!) on top was Toyo Harada.

Whatever the main image is, it looks damn interesting and pretty freaking cool. Also, the Man of War Tumblr continues to provide a surprising and mysterious look into the work being done by Valiant Comics for the 2012 return of comic books.

Stay tuned for more analysis of previous posts. I'm looking forward to searching them for clues.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Secret Valiant Production Blog?

Now this is very interesting!

We know that Valiant Comics will be publishing new stories in 2012 and we have a good sense that they will be rebooting the Universe thanks to a quote from Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani.
We have been planning the reintroduction of the Valiant titles for some time and I’m excited to announce our scheduled launch for 2012” said Dinesh Shamdasani. “Cutting-edge characters and stories were the core tenets of the original Valiant and are the core tenets of the new Valiant.
But we've heard little since then, other than some surprising rumors about certain big name creators being involved and a steady yet vague stream of social media posts on Twitter and Facebook.

Now comes the exposure (or perhaps planned leak?) of an anonymous Tumblr named Man Of War which contains some very juicy and hastily taken (or meticulously planned to look hastily taken?) photos that look very much like the inner workings of the Valiant Comics offices.

At first glance the photos look pedestrian - shots of an average looking office, text book pages, boxes of tee shirts and even what appear to be previously released images. But upon closer inception we find a wealth of new information and imagery not previously released or even meant to officially exist!

Take a look for yourself at Man Of War or at the example below (more thorough analysis of all the pictures will follow in a subsequent post).

This was posted on October 7th, a full 4 months after the below image accompanied the initial announcement that Peter Cuneo had come on board as Chairman of Valiant and that Valiant would return in 2012.

They look the same, don't they? That's because they are. However, look closely and you'll notice that there are not two copies of that image in the Tumblr photo. The one underneath is slightly different. In that one you can see the white of a hand and the blood splatter sword. Did David Aja draw a reveal to go along with the Rai #0 homage silhouette? Tres interesting no?

So who is leaking these photos?
  • A freelancer who occasionally visits the Valiant offices? 
No, the posts are too consistent and look to be shot after hours (see the night sky in the photos with windows?)
  • How about an overly excited intern? 
Possibly, but then why haven't they been taken down now that the Tumblr has been exposed?
  • Valiant Comics themselves?
Also, possible. If it is them then this is very cutting edge tech they are using (they've already showed that they are more than adept with Twitter and Facebook, racking up thousands of followers without any real announcements or images). I can't recall another comic book publisher that uses Tumblr. I hope it is Valiant and I hope they keep using cutting edge resources like this.

UPDATE: An eagle eye'd reader pointed out that the Tumblr's name, Man Of War, is clearly a link to the Valiant character, X-O Manowar. Don't know how I missed that!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Valiant Comics returns in 2012!

For my first update in quite a while I give you the best news you've heard since you were told about All Things Valiant: Valiant Comics will return to publishing comic books in 2012!

Now we don't know exactly when, which titles (though we can guess) or with which creative teams but we do know that a formidable team of executives have come together to make this happen - Peter Cuneo (former Marvel CEO and Vice Chairman), Fred Pierce (former Wizard Entertainment President), Warren Simons (critically acclaimed former Marvel Editor) and co founders Gavin Cuneo, Jason Kothari and Dinesh Shamdasani. Check out the press releases here and here. As well as the homage to Rai #0 that accompanied the release:

Now for several years we've been hearing rumblings of work being done behind the scenes and the founders wanting to take their time and bring Valiant Comics back to publishing in the strongest fashion and give it the best chance of sticking around. We've heard that Bill Jemas (former Marvel Vice President), Jim Shooter (former Marvel & Valiant Editor-in-Chief), Jeff Gomez and Bob Layton were all involved at various times. I don't like to post rumors, press releases or management announcements and avoided those updates but this, this is too exciting! The greatest universe of comic book characters to hit the stands in 40 years is now on its way back and we fans have cause to believe that its coming back with enough talent to set off the second Valiant big bang!!

Just check out these quotes:

We have been planning the reintroduction of the Valiant titles for some time and I’m excited to announce our scheduled launch for 2012” said Dinesh Shamdasani. “Cutting-edge characters and stories were the core tenets of the original Valiant and are the core tenets of the new Valiant.

Valiant owns and controls a universe of some of the most recognizable characters in the comic world” added Peter Cuneo. “To this day, despite interruptions in its history, Valiant has retained an extremely passionate fan base. We are keenly focused on bringing the original Valiant Universe back for these fans as well as introducing these powerful characters and stories to new readers.

And to top it all off we have a hint of the potential caliber of artists and writers that will help bring us new Valiant Comics in the above image by none other than superstar artist David Aja (who just happened to have been the artist on the seminal and very acclaimed Immortal Iron Fist with a certain editor named Warren Simons).

Bring me back to the Valiant Era baby!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Commission - Bloodshot by Bernard Chang

Found this nice watercolor Bloodshot commission by Valiant artist Bernard Chang (Second Life of Doctor Mirage) on comicartfans.com. Check it out:

I was never a huge Bernard Chang fan but I have to admit this Bloodshot image is cool.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Valiant Market - Magnus Robot Fighter #2 page 1

Here is another post in my series on recent interesting Valiant sales (you can find the first in the series here and the second here). Original art pages from "Steel Nation" (the story that takes place in Magnus Robot Fighter issues #0-4) are very rare in the open market largely because the story is so beloved and collectors hold onto whatever pages they get their hands on. Recently, however, two "Steel Nation" pages came up for sale on eBay from the same seller. Of the two, Magnus Robot Fighter #2 page 1 is the beauty. It's a great example of the Valiant page 1 splash (of which I also have a series of articles posted), seems to have no aging or yellowing and has a level of detail usually reserved for covers. Check it out:

Final sale price: $517 (+$10 shipping). Nothing outrageous but still a very healthy price.

UPDATE: I have learned that the buyer was Valiant Comics Chief Creative Officer, Dinesh Shamdasani

Commission - Bloodshot & Spider-Man

Found this cool little piece by Tone Rodriquez on eBay.  I love the little Bloodshot and had to share:

I suddenly want a Bloodshot bobble head!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spoof - Bloodskirt / Bloodshot

The characters of the Valiant Universe have made such an indelible mark that they have regularly been parodied (aka exploited by other publishers). In a previous post I showcased Headbanger by Parody Press, a spoof of Harbinger #1. Today I have a scan of Bloodskirt #1 by the also aptly named Spoof Comics. Bloodskirt is of course a parody of Bloodshot #1.

I only have a scan of the cover but already we can see that they are ape-ing the logo and cover art. They have turned Bloodshot into a women (funny?), given her a skirt (too funny?) and provided a little panty peek (creepy). Check out the original below.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Valiant Files Card Set - Part II: The Art

In my Valiant Files Card Set - An Overview post, I promised to chronicle the various pieces of new art created for the The Valiant Files: Secrets of the Harbinger Foundation trading card set that had surfaced. Now I live up to that promise. Below is a partial list with scans of the color art of what the set would have been.

Now very little concrete information is available on the unreleased trading card set. We do know that the set would have been 120 base cards (including 2 checklists) and possibly additional fold cards and bonus cards. They 120 card base set was to be broken into 3 subsets - Harbinger Reconnaissance, Harada's Assessment, and News Clippings.

I've done my best to label the pieces that have turned up by which of the three subsets I think they would have shown up in. Many are numbered and some even have notes written on them. My labels are just guesses though. I think the Harada's Assessment cards would have featured a portrait image and a profile image. According to information that was released these cards would have covered "Toyo Harada's personal thoughts on Valiant characters and their place in his schemes of power". The Reconnaissance cards were supposed to be "covert snapshots of Valiant characters in action, as seen through the lenses of Harbinger Foundation minions". A number of art pieces have "Recon" noted on them and depict action shots. A few others that are similar action shots have been labeled with a question mark.

#1 Neville Alcott (Portrait)

#1 Neville Alcott (Profile)

#2 Neville Alcott (Recon)

#5 Charles Sinclair of Bloodshot (Recon)

#12 Armstrong of Archer & Armstrong (Recon)

#15 Gilad, The Eternal Warrior (Portrait)

#15 Gilad, The Eternal Warrior (Profile)

#16 Gilad, The Eternal Warrior (Recon)

#19 Ax (Portrait)

#20 Ax (Recon?)

#33 Gunslinger of H.A.R.D. Corps (Portrait)

#33 Gunslinger of H.A.R.D. Corps (Profile)

#35 Gunslinger of H.A.R.D. Corps (Portrait)

#35 Gunslinger of H.A.R.D. Corps (Profile)

#37 Shakespeare of H.A.R.D. Corps (Portrait)

#38 Shakespeare of H.A.R.D. Corps (Recon?)

#39 Flatline of H.A.R.D. Corps (Portrait)

#39 Flatline of H.A.R.D. Corps (Profile)

#40 Flatline of H.A.R.D. Corps (Recon)

#42 Hotshot of H.A.R.D. Corps (Profile)

#43 Perp of H.A.R.D. Corps (Portrait)

#43 Perp of H.A.R.D. Corps (Profile)

#44 Perp of H.A.R.D. Corps (Recon?)

#45 Wipeout of H.A.R.D. Corps (Portrait)

#45 Wipeout of H.A.R.D. Corps (Profile)

#46 Wipeout of H.A.R.D. Corps (Recon?)

#47 Maniac of H.A.R.D. Corps (Portrait)

#47 Maniac of H.A.R.D. Corps (Profile)

#48 Maniac of H.A.R.D. Corps (Recon)

#49 Superstar of H.A.R.D. Corps (Portrait)

#49 Superstar of H.A.R.D. Corps (Profile)

#53 Geoff McHenry, The Geomancer (Portrait)

#53 Geoff McHenry, The Geomancer (Profile)

#60 Ninjak (Portrait)

#63 Shadowman (Portrait)

#67 Dr. Silk of Ninjak (Portrait)

#70 Solar, Man of the Atom (Portrait)

#71 Solar, Man of the Atom (Recon)

#74 Spider Alien (Portrait)

#74 Spider Alien (Profile)

#75 Spider Alien (Recon?)

#81 Pete Stanchek a.k.a. Sting of Harbinger (Recon)

#?? Faith Herbert a.k.a. Zephyr of Harbinger (Recon)

#84 John Torkelson a.k.a. Torque of Harbinger (Portrait)

#84 John Torkelson a.k.a. Torque of Harbinger (Profile)

#86 Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (Portrait)

#86 Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (Profile)

#90 X-O Manowar (Portrait)

#91 X-O Manowar (Recon)

#97 Sergeant Harold 'Gunny' Lewis of Armorines (Portrait)

#97 Sergeant Harold 'Gunny' Lewis of Armorines (Profile)

#99 Amorines (Recon)

#100 Amorines (Recon)

#?? Secret Weapons (Recon)

#?? Edward T. Sedgwick a.k.a. Stronghold of Secret Weapons (Recon)

The bonus chase cards would have been broken down into four sets - Eggbreakers, Harada's Archives, Final Battle and real life athletes who "are under scrutiny by the Harbinger Foundation, just as the Valiant superheroes are" as possible harbingers. As far as I know, no art from the Eggbreakers set has been released, and the Harada's Archives and Final Battle sets can be seen in my Valiant Files Card Set - An Overview post. Below are two cards that I believe would have been bonus chase cards from the Athletes set.

#109 Unknown football player (Chase)

#97 Reggie Jackson (Chase)

The art that follows consists of multiple key scenes from a particular Valiant title. I don't know what these would have been used for, they therefore have yet to be identified. 

#?? - Shadowman (Various)

#?? - X-O Manowar (Various)

#?? - H.A.R.D. Corps (Various)

#?? - H.A.R.D. Corps (Various)

These final few pieces have been labeled The Valiant Files: Secrets of the Harbinger Foundation art but the pieces themselves give no indication, the art style is different and they don't look as though they would fit into any known section of the trading card set. They also have yet to be identified. 

H.A.R.D. Corps #8 cover

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter

Ivar, The Timewalker