Matt Wagner illustrates limited edition Hero Exclusive Overstreet cover

by Jeff

42BatmanGrendelFINAL Matt Wagner illustrates limited edition Hero Exclusive Overstreet coverMedia Release — Gemstone Publishing and The Hero Initiative have once again teamed up to raise money for comic creators in need. Toward that end, they will release an exclusive, 500-copy, limited hardcover edition of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #42 at Comic-Con International: San Diego on Wednesday, July 11, 2012.

The Hero Initiative cover features Batman and Grendel illustrated by Grendel creator Matt Wagner and colorist Ryan Brown. It will be available exclusively from Hero with all money raised going to 501 (c)(3) charity. An extremely limited number of copies will be available from Hero’s website and through a select group of participating retailers. There will be no soft cover edition of this version, and it will retail for $35.

“I’m very happy to once again join forces with Hero for such a worthy cause. Helping out creators who have brought happiness to so many should be something on which everyone who has ever enjoyed their work can get behind. Matt Wagner and Ryan Brown have made an incredible contribution to these efforts with their stunning cover for this limited edition,” said Steve Geppi, President and CEO of Gemstone Publishing.

“In addition to Steve Geppi and everyone at Gemstone, we’d like to thank the folks at DC Comics for giving the ‘okay’ for this cover crossover. Matt Wagner has been a very active Hero supporter for a long time, and his two Batman – Grendel mini-series have remained popular with fans over the years. Bringing these two great characters together on this exclusive Overstreet edition helps us raise much-needed money for the creators we serve,” said Jim McLauchlin, President of The Hero Initiative.

“Hero does great work. Overstreet has been a benchmark of the comics industry since 1970. Their two previous collaborations were great, but this one’s a real team-up,” said Matt Wagner. “I’m pleased to join the ranks of the Guide cover artists that include Joe Kubert, Will Eisner, Carl Barks, and Alex Schomburg, as well as the likes of modern greats John Romita, John Romita, Jr., Mark Chiarello, Amanda Conner and my frequent collaborator John K. Snyder III, and particularly to do it for such a great cause.”

The winner of multiple Eisner Awards, writer-artist Matt Wagner first broke on the comic book scene with Grendel in pages of Primer #2 from Comico The Comic Company 30 years ago this year. Since the relatively humble debut, he has on his own and in collaboration with other artists built the character into a powerhouse presence in the world of creator-owned comics. Along the way, he also created, wrote and illustrated another indy sensation, Mage. Among his work for other companies, for DC Comics he was written and illustrated The Demon, Batman and The Monster Men, Batman and The Mad Monk, and Trinity, He also wrote Doctor Mid-Nite, and for DC’s Vertigo imprint he wrote Sandman Mystery Theatre and most recently Madame Xanadu. For Dynamite, he wrote and provided covers for Green Hornet: Year One, Zorro and he currently is doing the same for Zorro Rides Again,

Digital painter Ryan Brown, who colored Wagner’s cover art for this project, was born in Belfast and grew up interested in comics, particularly the horror genre. After studying art at university, he and one of his brothers ran a graphic design business before they joined with another brother and established Berserker Comics. Brown has worked with Simon Bisley, Glenn Fabry, and Wayne Nicholls, and for such publishers as Markosia and Zenescope, among others. He is presently working with Matt Wagner and Simon Bisley on The Tower Chronicles, a new project scheduled to debut in September 2012 from Legendary Comics.

This marks the third consecutive year that Gemstone and Hero have worked together to create a special limited fundraiser edition of the Guide. For The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #40, John Romita, Jr., Klaus Janson and Dean White provided a 40th anniversary recreation of Conan The Barbarian #1. For The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #41, John Romita, Sr., Tom Palmer and Dean White presented a selection of top Marvel heroes. As is the case with this new edition, all funds from the sales of these volumes went to The Hero Initiative.

The standard editions of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #42 feature a striking original Catwoman by Adam Hughes and a powerful recreation of John Buscema’s cover for The Avengers #58 by Joe Jusko. In both hardcover and soft cover, those editions are scheduled to go on sale in comic shops and at Comic-Con the same day, Wednesday, July 11, 2012. Retailers can still place reorders with Diamond Comic Distributors for those editions, while the limited edition will only be available from Hero.

About The Hero Initiative

The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterday’s creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment. Hero is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) charity. The Hero Initiative Limited Edition Hardcover version of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #42 is scheduled to go on sale at The Hero Initiative booth at Comic-Con International: San Diego on Preview Night, Wednesday, July 11, 2012 and afterward through a limited number of Hero affiliates. This version will be available in hardcover only and is limited to 500 copies. The retail price is $35. Information on special signings during the show will be released at a later date.

About Gemstone Publishing

Best known as the home of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, Gemstone Publishing was formed by Diamond Comic Distributors President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen A. Geppi as a conduit for his efforts to preserve and promote the history of the comics medium. Since 1970, The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide has been the Bible of comic book collectors and dealers alike. With updated pricing data on the approximately 300,000 comics listed spanning time from the 1500s to the present, market reports from advisors including retailers, fans and historians, and other insights, the Guide has been an annual tradition for more than four decades. In addition to the Guide, upcoming Gemstone projects include the Free Comic Book Day 2012 edition of Comic Book Marketplace, a new book entitled The Overstreet Guide To Collecting Comics, and the weekly Scoop email newsletter.

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