Fabrice (Spider-Man: Noir) Sapolsky’s ONE HIT WONDER now available for foreign licensing

One-Hit Wonder, the five-issue series published by Image Comics, is now available for licensing to publishers worldwide from Grand Design Communications.  Created by French writer Fabrice Sapolsky and Argentine artist Ariel Olivetti, One-Hit Wonder (published in France as Hollywood Killer) tells the story of Richie Reese, a child actor turned hitman.  Image’s official press release describes the book:

Richie Reese takes method acting to a deadly level. Richie shocks his fellow celebrities and industry schmoozers when he rises above his past as a child actor and becomes a hitman, and finds more success at knocking people dead than he ever did in front of a camera. ONE-HIT WONDER #1 is the opening salvo in a new crime comedy miniseries written by Fabrice Sapolsky (Spider-Man Noir) and drawn by Ariel Olivetti (Cable, Punisher War Journal, Conan). Sharp, funny, sexy, and violent like the best of Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie’s work, ONE-HIT WONDER is what happens when one man crosses the line between fiction and reality.

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Artist Stephen Thompson joined with issue #3. Sapolsky described the origins of the series to website SpicyToilet for their article WHY FABRICE SAPOLSKY’S ONE-HIT WONDER IS EVERYTHING BUT:

I got multiple influences. First came the title. I loved the pun: One Hit Wonders are precisely people who only scored one hit, mainly in music but in movies too. And he’s… a hitman. Seeing how a kid that was pushed by his mother to be an actor, a star, but failed to be, for a variety of reasons, could turn into a killer interested me. There’s some “American Psycho” in Richie Reese. He doesn’t kill for money. He kills for the show. He’s the writer, director, producer AND audience of his own movie (and you’ll notice he sucks at writing dialogues). Now the question is : is the fact that he’s an actor made him a different kind of killer he was always meant to be? You’ll have to read the series until the end to know that.

It takes a long time to write, indeed. But not the first issue. That one was wrapped in a day. I actually wrote it, or most of it, in a plane from Paris to Los Angeles nearly two years ago. Other issues have been tougher to write. Issue four especially. But it’s the one I’m the most proud of. I really hope people like it.

Reviewing the third issue, Big Comic Page wrote “this is a fast paced, action packed emotional rollercoaster of an issue, jumping between hilarious and disgusting” and advised readers to “Sit back, suspend your disbelief and enjoy this title for what it is…highly enjoyable!”

Unleash The Fanboy gave it a rating of 8.5 out of 10 writing  that Thompson “steps in with the right charisma to take over the franchise as a barrage of compelling layouts and immensely detailed set pieces give this work a soft but consistent feel. The colors handed in by Lisa Jackson complete the package, ultimately yielding a visual component that fits the text and even elevates it.”

In June, it was announced that Sapolksy would be returning to his co-creation (with writer David Hine) at Marvel, Spider-Man: Noir to create a chapter with Hine and artist Richard Isanove in the upcoming “Edge of Spider-Verse” event. That same month Sapolsky appeared as an exhibitor for the first time at a major American comic book convention, Reed Pop!’s Special Edition NYC.

To mark the occasion, Sapolsky made available a special limited ashcan edition preview book of One-Hit Wonder and his other upcoming projects, about which he wrote on his website:

For a writer, it’s always a challenge to bring something like that to life. In independent comics, a writer is often also a conductor. Yet, putting together such a tool is incredibly rewarding, and I felt humble, designing every page. I feel honored to have artists such as Ariel Olivetti, Tom Lyle, Stephen Thompson, Lisa Jackson, Leila Leiz, Louis, Yishan Li, Jean-Marie Minguez or Little Ginkgo by my side. They’re all featured in the ashcan which includes some exclusive bonuses from my current series, One Hit Wonder, as well as projects I have.

Publishers interested in receiving a copies of the ashcan and the full One-Hit Wonder series should contact Grand Design Communications.  Click here to visit our official One-Hit Wonder page for more information and sample pages. 


Taschen to publish Roy Thomas’ 700-page Marvel history this fall


This fall the prestigious art book publisher Taschen will release a spectacular new book written by Roy Thomas,  75 Years of Marvel: From the Golden Age to the Silver Screen.   The over-sized 700+ page hardcover retails for $200 and covers the history of Marvel from the release of Timely’s Marvel Comics #1 in 1939 to the present and includes over 2,000 images and a four-foot foldout accordion time-line of Marvel history.  Comics Alliance’s Matt D. Wilson writes:

Besides Stan Lee there’s virtually no one alive with more insider knowledge about Marvel Comics than Lee’s successor in the editor-in-chief job, Roy Thomas, so it’s appropriate that Thomas’ name adorns the cover to Marvel and deluxe books publisher Taschen’s new 700-plus-page hardcover 75 Years of Marvel: From the Golden Age to the Silver Screen.

Thomas worked with editor and art director Josh Baker to piece together the massive volume, and according to a Marvel press release, the book will focus as much on Marvel creators as the company’s iconic characters. That’s encouraging.

Specifically, the release says the book will discuss not only on “celebrated characters – Captain America, Spider-Man, Thor and Iron Man, but also at the “bullpen” of architects whose names are almost as familiar as the protagonists they brought to life — Stan “the Man” Lee, Jack “King” Kirby, along with a roster of greats like Steve Ditko, John Romita, John Buscema, Marie Severin, and countless others.”

Grand Design Communications represents several properties created by Roy Thomas and available for foreign and digital licensing, including Anthem, Captain Thunder & Blue Bolt, and Alter Ego.  GDC also represents the rights for the comics adaptation of Osa Johnson’s I Married Adventure, which Roy Thomas will be writing, and his new creations Rath 3000 with Nathan Furman and Victory Brigade with Rich Buckler.


Pop Mythology Gives SOMEPLACE STRANGE Five-star Review

'Someplace Strange' is a marvelous envisioning of a child's fears and how he overcomes that fear   Pop Mythology  Movie, Book, Comic and Game reviews   commentary (1)

Website Pop Mythology has published a five-star review of Dark Horse’s new edition of Ann Nocenti and John Bolton graphic novel Someplace Strange

Praising Bolton’s realistic but dream-like art, writer John Kirk wrote, “John Bolton is purely gifted when it comes to illustrating the surreal.”  Going on to examine the main theme of children’s nightmares, Kirk related his own daughter’s struggle with nightmares to that of the Someplace Strange’s protagonists, Edward and James, and felt that Ann Nocenti’s writing showed great insight into the experience:

Ann Nocenti grasps this concept. Her bogeymen are more than just the embodiment of evil; they are the embodiment of evil as a child would understand it: sudden violence coupled with explosive melodrama and, most importantly, vanquishable. Evil is scary – to a child – but also defeatable in the most obvious and direct way a kid can imagine. In order to defeat the bogeyman, they become typical square-jawed, muscle-bound, four-coloured heroes who, given confidence by their own vision of themselves, take the fight directly to it. Evil is obvious and there is no question of evil being defeated – Edward and James just need to imagine how.

 Grand Design Communications represented Nocenti and Bolton in licensing the rights for Someplace Strange to Dark Horse.

Today June 13 only – get NORMANDY for FREE on comiXology!

Digital Comics - Comics by comiXologyAs part of comiXology’s “Summer Reading List 20 days 20 free comics” promotion – and nicely timed to the 50th anniversary, the #1 digital comics resource is giving away FREE downloads of Wayne Vansant’s Normandy – A Graphic History of D-Day on June 13.

Widely praised by scholars and comics fans alike, Normandy is part of the Zenith Graphic Histories series.  Grand Design Communications packaged Normandy and other volumes in the series for Zenith.

To get a free digital edition of Normandy go to comixology.com or click on the graphic below!

Watch the guys from Pete’s Basement rave about Zenith Graphic Histories – and enter their contest to win NORMANDY and BOMBING NAZI GERMANY!

As the world marks the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, comics podcast Pete’s Basement, “The hilarious comic book talk show with authentic New York style. Trusted by thousands of viewers each week” reviewed the Zenith Graphic History books on their June 9 program, hyped on their website as:

D-Day is upon us. Pete, Ramon, and Cheezeburger pay respect to those brave men who fought and died to defeat Nazi Germany as they review Normandy: A Graphic History of D-Day from Zenith Press– the graphic novel that proves learning about history can be engaging and entertaining! Plus surprise hits Princess Ugg, Rise of the Magi, and Ghost Wolf, the weird but interesting Superannuated Man, Dynamite takes another stab at Vampirella, and all the craziness of Original Sin!

Pete’s Basement is also running a contest to give away two sets of NORMANDY: A GRAPHIC HISTORY OF D-DAY and BOMBING NAZI GERMANY.  To enter go to www.petesbasement.com/dday or click on the image below.  Note – you need to watch the video above or listen to the podcast a special history question to enter!



Watson and Holmes optioned by Feather Films for a live action movie

New Paradigm Studios’ award-winning series Watson and Holmes has been optioned for motion picture development by Feather Films.  Grand Design Communications is agent for foreign publishing rights for Watson and Holmes and other New Paradigm Studios titles.

As reported on comicbook.com:

“We are happy to announce that New Paradigm Studios has reached an agreement with Feather Films to develop Watson and Holmes as a live action property,” the studio wrote in a message to backers. “We will have more news in the coming weeks, but we wanted to let you guys in first in the news.”

From writer Karl Bollers and artist Rick Leonardi, Watson and Holmes is billed as the first African-American Sherlock Holmes series. According to the Kickstarter page, it is “a re-envisioning of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson as African Americans living in New York City’s famous Harlem district. Watson, an Afghanistan war vet, works in an inner-city clinic; Holmes, a local P.I. who takes unusual cases. When one of them ends up in Watson’s emergency room, the unlikely duo strike up a partnership to find a missing girl. Watson And Holmes bump heads along the way as they enter a labyrinth of drugs, guns, gangs and a conspiracy that goes higher and deeper than they could have imagined.”


I MARRIED ADVENTURE featured in Legends of La Cienega

As part of the annual “Legends of La Cienega” design event May 7 – 9 , designers Steve Jones and Amanda Malson of Better Shelter created a fantastic display at Remains Lighting LA celebrating Osa Johnson’s autobiography I MARRIED ADVENTURE.  Grand Design Communications, in cooperation with the Martin and Osa John Safari Museum of Chanute, Kansas, represents graphic novel rights for I MARRIED ADVENTURE.  Roy Thomas, writer of Tarzan, Conan, Star Wars and at one time or another just about every Marvel and DC character, is attached as writer.

Explorers and filmmakers Martin and Osa Johnson have been a fixture in popular culture since before the 1920s.  In recent years they have been an inspiration in the worlds of fashion and design, with I MARRIED ADVENTURE and it’s unique zebra-striped cover becoming a wildly popular interior design accessory.


Remains Lighting’s website explains the origins of the display:

Inspired by the book’s highly coveted iconic cover, I Married Adventure has become the most widely used stylist prop; inspiring every realm of design. More importantly, beyond the cover, is a true testament to the spirit of adventure, curiosity and fearlessness. Osa Johnson investigated how others live, forged new friendships and created community.

Most design aficionados have seen Osa Johnson’s autobiography I Married Adventure, even if they don’t realize it. A bestseller when it was published in 1940, the book recounts Osa and husband Martin’s travels in exotic Africa and the South Pacific, with headhunters, pygmies and big game. The book introduced truly novel countries and customs to the imagination of folks who might not even identify Kenya on a map of darkest Africa. Used as a styling piece and prop in countless interiors and photo-shoots over the years, the graphic zebra print cover of early editions of the novel has established it as a design icon in its own right.

But the plot thickens: Amanda grew up in the small town of Chanute, Kansas, where Osa spent her years prior to marrying adventure and traveling to farflung locales. So to create their window, Amanda tapped friends, relatives and colleagues back home to fill their Legends window with their cherished copies of I Married Adventure. Amanda worked with The Safari Museum www.safarimuseum.com, which houses the collection of artifacts and history of the amazing places Osa and Martin brought to American bookshelves, and continue that legacy of adventure.

Watson and Holmes #6 wins four Glyph Awards

Watson & Holmes, the Eisner Award nominated hit series from New Paradigm Studios, won four Glyph Awards  May 17th at the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The Glyph Awards honor  the best in comics made by, for, and about people of color.  The series, which re-imagines Arthur Conan-Doyle’s classic detectives as modern-day African-Americans based in Harlem, New York, has found a strong following with it’s modern day interpretation of the great “consulting detective” while staying true to Conan-Doyle’s original characters. wh6preview-1-5c232

Watson and Holmes #6, a self-contained story titled “The Case of Mr. and Mrs. Gemini” was written by Brandon Easton and illustrated by N. Steven Harris.  The story involves one of the great crimes of the modern world – the effects of human trafficking.  The story was recognized for excellence winning Glyph Awards for Best Writer, Best Artist, Story of the Year, and Fan Award For Best Work.

Grand Design Communications represents foreign publishing rights for Watson and Holmes and the entire New Paradigm Studios line.

Russ Heath honored by National Cartoonists Society with Lifetime Achievement Award

On May 24 in a ceremony in Los Angeles, the National Cartoonist Society bestowed their prestigious Milton Caniff Lifetime Award to artist Russ Heath.  Previous Canniff Award winners include Will Eisner, Al Hirschfeld, Jack Davis, Dale Messick, Charles Schulz, Jerry Robinson, Gahan Wilson, Ralph Steadman, Frank Frazetta, and Joe Kubert. The award was presented to Heath by Mad Magazine legend Sergio Aragones.

In 1990 Heath collaborated with Doug Murray on the graphic novel ‘Hearts and Minds’, a romance set against the Vietnam War.  It is Heath’s only creator-owned work and the most realistic portrayal of war in his large body of work.  Grand Design Communications represents reprint rights for ‘Hearts and Minds’.

hearts_and_minds_coverRuss Heath has been called “the last of the great masters” of American comics, and was praised by his frequent collaborator Archie Goodwin as “An artists’ artist”.   Awarded the Inkpot Award in 1997, and inducted in the Eisner Hall of Fame in 2009, he started his career during the Golden Age of American Comics in 1942 at age fifteen.  He drew war stories for (among others) Marvel, DC, and EC (including the first issue of Frontline Combat), worked with Harvey Kurtzman on “Little Annie Fanny” in Playboy, co-created the DC titles “The Sea Devils” and “The Haunted Tank”.  Heath later worked in animation at Hanna Barbera with Dave Stevens and later worked with Stevens to adapt the Rocketeer movie to comics.  Roy Lichtenstein’s most famous painting, WHAAM is taken from one of his war comics, and his iconic toy soldier advertising art (“132 ROMAN SOLDIERS”, “204 PIECE REVOLUTIONARY WAR SOLDIERS”) appeared on thousands of comic books.

The Winter 2014 issue of Comic Book Creator magazine features a wide-ranging interview with Russ Heath, described by publisher TwoMorrows:

COMIC BOOK CREATOR #4 gets rambunctiously rustic with rowdy RUSS HEATH in a wide-ranging, comprehensive interview with the superb comic book artist. From Atlas Comics to Annie Fanny, from Haunted Tank to Warren horror, from man of Rock to son of Satan, we cover Russ’s expansive career, complete with essay on his extraordinary work by S.C. RINGGENBERG and a senses-shattering gallery of art, all behind a gorgeous KEVIN NOWLAN cover.

COMIC BOOK CREATOR #4 is 84 color pages and can be ordered from the publisher for the discounted price of $7.61.  To read a free preview and to order the magazine visit the TwoMorrows website.

COMIC BOOK CREATOR #4 - cover by Kevin Knowlen
COMIC BOOK CREATOR #4 – cover by Kevin Nowlan


Grand Design at the 2014 Book Expo America

Book Expo America (BEA), the largest trade show in the publishing industry in North America, kicks off this week at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.  Grand Design Communications’ David Bernstein will be attending, meeting with current clients and partners and marketing GDC’s Comics Production Services (CPS) as well as our extensive catalog of rights available for the American market.

The Book Expo has become an increasingly important event for the comics and graphic novel industry over the last few years.  In addition to featuring a dedicated comics publishing section, the expo will feature several panels on the state of comics and graphic novels in today’s publishing world.

Contact David Bernstein at granddesignagent[at]gmail.com or send a tweet to @gdc_comics for an appointment.book_expo_pic