2015: Year of the Deadlands

As a New Year Dawns, the Deadlands Descend Upon Us All!

They say it’s always darkest before the dawn, amigo, but this year that might just be proven wrong! As 2015 dawns, the darkness of the Deadlands shall descend on comic book shops, game stores, and book stores around the world, with more western-horror than you can shake a six-gun at!

We mentioned last week that the direct market IDW edition of Dead Man’s Hand is now officially available for pre-order at your local comics retailer, and it will be up for grabs through to the end of January. Retailers have to pick and choose from a ton of books every month, so the only way to make sure you get your copy when it releases in March is to go NOW and pre-order.

Ordering online? Include this direct link to PREVIEWS, and order code JAN150543.

Going to your local shop? Just download, print, & fill out this PRE-ORDER FORM then hand it to your retailer and you’re good to go! Yep, that easy.

Once you pre-order, post “I just got dealt the #DeadMansHand at (name of your retailer)” on your favorite social media site. (Include a pic if you like.) Then email us the link to your posting at PreOrderPromo@visionarycomics.com.

When you do, you’ll get a return email with links to download a FREE PDF copy of Deadlands: The Kid and a Deadlands Reloaded book of your choice! (Books available through this promotion are listed below.)

Yep, two books FREE just for ordering one! We’re already getting hits on this special campaign so make sure you get yours and fill your local retailer in so they can shoot for their own prize!
That’s right, Retailers, we’ve got something special for you too. Whichever store gets the most posts on our little gift giveaway will win a COMPLETE Visionary Comics’ print library! Yep, two copies of each of our trade collections, including both volumes of Headlocked,  and Visions, as well as Frog Princess, a limited collector’s exclusive edition of Dead Man’s Hand, and our Kickstarter exclusive volume Deadlands: Raven. We’ll even throw in a copy of our next exclusive volume, The Cacklerwhen it releases! As a final bonus, you’ll get an autographed collector’s pack of the original one-shots, including signatures by most of the creators. That’s a market value of over $300 worth of collectible comics! So, keep the forms handy, tell folks about the promotions, and make sure all your horror-western fans know about Dead Man’s Hand! They’ll thank you for it!

List of Available Deadlands: Reloaded Titles:
  • Bad Times on the Good Night
  • Coffin Rock
  • Deadlands Trail Guides Volume 1
  • Deluge
  • Devil's Night
  • Don't Drink the Water
  • For Whom the Whistle Blows
  • Ghost Towns
  • Grim Prairie Trails
  • Guess Who's Coming to Donner
  • High Plains Drovers
  • Marshal's Handbook
  • Marshal's Handbook Ext. Edition
  • Murder on the Hellstromme Express
  • Player's Guide
  • Player's Guide Ext. Edition
  • Range War
  • Return to Manitou Bluff
  • Saddle Sore
  • Smith and Robards Catalog
  • South O' The Border
  • Temple of the Sun
  • The Flood
  • The Great Northwest
  • The Inheritors
  • The Last Sons

Interview With Deadlands’ Creator Shane Hensley: Part II

VIS: Welcome Back Gang! As we close out 2014, we wanted to make sure we wrapped this in depth interview between the two top guns of Pinnacle and Visionary! Last time, Visionary’s own CCO C. Edward Sellner, interviewed Deadlands creator Shane Hensley about the game and all the  great developments coming at you this coming year. This time, we talk a little more with both about the next phase! Alright gents, last time we just mentioned the coming of THE CACKLER, the next Deadlands Kickstarter Graphic Novel. So, let’s pick up right where we left off. Why now? Why a graphic novel?

SH: We’ve been chasing a live action show as well as the animated show I talked about for almost 20 years at this point. We’re also coming up on the 20th anniversary of Deadlands, and we’ve got some really big plans for the roleplaying game. We also now have a partner in you folks at Visionary that really gets what we’re trying to do and has a long-term plan for our comics and fiction.

CES: Well, mostly thanks to such a great partner there! All of us at the studio absolutely love the property, we love the backstory, the richness of the world, and all the great villains. The first round of one-shots was really the highlight of the studio’s history as far as we’re concerned, a chance to really strut what we could do with the right brand.

SH: The first foray into our comics had some tremendous talent, one of which was Bart Sears. When Chuck asked if I’d like to finally tell the story of the Cackler with Bart, there was no way I could say no.

VIS: What’s it been like working with Bart and Visionary?

SH: I’ve been reading comics for over 40 years…since I could read…so getting to write a real meaty book like this is a treat all on its own. Chuck Sellner (and Brand Manager Matt Cutter) have really helped me hone whatever skill I might have and I think people will love the end result of what is truly a team effort. That was before I saw Bart’s art—particularly the initial shot of the Cackler, and later his crew. It’s been the screen saver on my computer for over a month now! But it goes beyond just cool characters. Bart took the first few pages of the script we wrote and made a few changes—changes we all instantly agreed were even better. He truly is a natural and visual storyteller, and if fans like the book that eventually sits in their hands, it will be first because of the great editing and advice by Matt and Chuck, and by Bart’s eye for making those words flow into the visual medium.

VIS: And how about your end Chuck? What’s it like working with Shane and Bart on this book?

CES: Shane is one of the greatest guys I’ve ever known. He’s a top notch creator, and really gets the process. This is his world, his story, but his willingness to let the comic guys help craft the final product says a lot. And of course, Bart is one of my idols in comics. I’ve loved his art since forever, and as great as it was having him on Death Was Silent, working directly with him, and coloring his art is a new high mark in my own career.

VIS: Where does Deadlands go from here?

SH: There is so much on the horizon. In addition to the Dead Man’s Hand direct edition and The Cackler from Visionary, this year sees the release of the novels from Tor, written by New York Times Bestselling Authors Jonathan Maberry, Jeff Marriotte, and Seanan McGuire—we’re SUPER excited about that. We’re also gearing up for the 20th anniversary and a brand new surprise and direction for the game—some of which stems directly from the tale of the Cackler. There’s support for our Deadlands spinoffs Hell on Earth and Noir, and re-release of the original “Deadlands in Space,” Lost Colony. And there’s a whole new Deadlands setting coming in the next few years as well we think people will really go nuts for. And if we’re lucky, we’ll have another crack at that television show or feature we’ve been chasing so long.

My Comic Life Debuts January 4th

New Ongoing Strip-Series Debuts with new strips every Sunday! Visionary's Chief Creative Officer is about to open the door to see life behind the scenes at up and coming studio Visionary Comics, with a twist. This new weekly strip debuts on our web-comics portal January 4th, with new strips being added every Sunday! Get a glimpse into the wild, wacky and downright hilarious life of a comic creator, by C. Edward Sellner, with lettering and design by Jacob Bascle! Each new strip will be featured on our Webcomics Page, and the entire series will be FREE through our site!

Check Visionary’s main site every Tuesday for updates, including web-comic releases, exclusive previews, pre-order forms and special promotions! Subscribe on the main site to get these updates directly to your email!
Check out our LINKS page, with links now added featuring Visionary in the news, and our EVENTSpage for all the details on our online and live events, and subscribe to our Google calendar to add them directly to your calendar.
For business related email: CEdwardSellner@visionarycomics.com
To join our PR/Media Contacts email: Cathy@visionarycomics.com
Retailers, signup for promotions: Retailers@visionarycomics.com

Deadlands’ 20th Anniversary Begins Here!

Visionary Deals Winning Hand with Deadlands

Graphic Novel Based On The Wildly Popular RPG Coming March 2015

San Diego, CA (December 16, 2014) – Get ready, as award-winning publisher IDW brings Dead Man’s Hand, the first original collection of the hit Deadlands series to comic shops in March 2015! Based on the popular Deadlands RPG, created by Shane Hensley and Pinnacle Entertainment, and produced by Visionary Comics, the series embodies all the best of horror, western and steampunk in a world filled with creatures of the night, mad science and mysticism!

Deadlands Volume 1: Dead Man’s Hand brings together a who’s-who of superstar horror-western comic talent to launch this unique series that laid the groundwork for every horror-western series since! Join High Moon’s David Gallaher and Steve Ellis as they tell the tale of a cursed weapon created to kill the devil in Devil’s Six Gun. Journey with All-Star Western’s creators Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, and Shinku’s Lee Moder on a young Shamaness’ quest for vengeance in Massacre at Redwing. Duck low for Witchblade’s Ron Marz and Superman / Wonder Woman’s Bart Sears as they tell of a heroic ranger who sets out to kill a whole town in Death Was Silent. Then dive into Desperados’ Jeff Mariotte and Golly’s Brook Turner’s love tale drowned in horror in Black Water.

But that ain’t all! For the first time in the comic market, this volume contains two brand new short stories penned by Deadlands' creator Shane Hensley and Brand Manager Matt Cutter, who show us What a Man’s Gotta Do and how to be Vengeful. And for the first time ANYWHERE, get an exclusive sneak peek at the first, original Deadlands novel, Ghostwalkers by New York Times’ best-selling author Jonathan Maberry, to be published by Tor Books in Fall of 2015 (More EXCLUSIVE details below)! This amazing new adventure launches the new Tor novel line for Deadlands scheduled with releases into 2017!

The trade paperback collection will be available for pre-orders in the January Previews Catalog, Diamond Order Code #JAN150543. Make sure you let your local retailer know you want to get dealt the DEAD MAN’S HAND, and tell them that it’s a killer book.
Visionary and Pinnacle will be kicking off a special pre-order incentive campaign next week with major prizes for fans and retailers!

Deadlands: Ghostwalkers Announced

Tor Books Announces the first Deadlands Novel by New York Times best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award winning author Jonathan Maberry for Fall - 2015

Available for order in the January Tor Catalog, Pinnacle Entertainment and Visionary Comics' proudly announces the first of three original novels based in the Deadlands universe!
This first title, by Jonathan Maberry promises a 'rip-roaring' adventure like none other. More details coming soon, but you can get an EXCLUSIVE preview of the book in the IDW Dead Man's Hand available for pre-order now and on sale in March.

Deadlands: The Cackler Kickstarts in 2015

Shane Hensley and Bart Sears brings the most demanded secret origin story in Deadlands history to life! Campaign runs 1/20/15-2/27/15

Teased online by Deadlands' creator Shane Hensley, the news is now finally out! The Cackler will spring to life in the pages of the next Visionary Deadlands' volume. The Kickstarter campaign for this book will launch January 20th and run through February 27th. This campaign will be to order an EXCLUSIVE edition and will be coupled with another major Pinnacle release to ramp up the 20th Anniversary celebration of Deadlands in a way that will change the Deadlands universe forever!

Check Visionary’s main site every Tuesday for updates, including Deadlands web-comic releases, exclusive previews, pre-order forms and special promotions! Subscribe on the main site to get these updates directly! Also check out upgrades on our LINKS page, with links now added featuring Visionary in the news, and our EVENTS page with our new public Google Calendar you can subscribe to.
Check out our Partner's sites for more details on their ventures into the Deadlands!

Visionary Views - Star Trek Phase II

At this point, I can't imagine anyone being a fan of Star Trek and yet somehow NOT being aware of this long-running and pretty solid fan effort, that has garnered a lot of media attention and accolades. They've been all over the net and hit some pretty high marks including featuring original cast episodes with George Takei and Walter Koenig, and landing creator/producer and former Kirk James Cawley a cameo on JJ Abrams relaunch of the franchise. They just recently released their 9th full-length episode which represents some major changes for them as a production.

First, yes, its a fan-made production and I don't mean it in a dismissive way but know that going in, so it has its rough edges. But its better than most fan productions and it started strong in a lot of areas, and has continued to improve. It features some amazing special effects, the spaceship scenes are gorgeous. The writing has improved, but still has some bumps. Initial episodes embodied the markers of fan-fiction, with cool concepts more for the sake of 'seeing it happen' then story, but since then, they've adapted scripts that ended up elsewhere in Trek lore, or been done by original screenwriters from Trek, and that has helped. Some episodes have been top notch, others astray, but all decent. Sets are faithfully reconstructed and lit, to give it a classic Trek feel, and the acting ranges from flat to not bad, to some pretty solid performances.

I will say despite the rough edges, the dedication and obvious love and respect for the series makes it rise above. I'm not normally much for fan-produced content, as I rarely get so into any given series that I'd rather pass up something else top notch and new, to explore the watered down variations of the old, but, I've made an exception in this case and follow them pretty faithfully. Maybe part of that is my own deep-set desire as a creator to someday contribute my own story to Trek lore, and thus my support of someone doing just that on an ongoing basis.

Check them out, all their episodes are hosted on their site, as well as a bunch of behind-the-scenes and supplementary material. And of course, its absolutely free, but you can also support the endeavor if you wish. (Or should I call it the enterprise?)

Visionary Reads - by C. Edward Sellner

As we're getting into the novel publishing business, and as I am committed to generating more original content for various sites, welcome to my semi-regular MUST reads, where I share the best in prose and comics that I personally enjoy!

First up, I'm going to praise new author, R.S. Belcher and the first two volumes of what I call the Golgotha series: Six-gun Tarot and Shotgun Arcana. These were recommended to me as good choices for immersing myself in horror-western when we set up our own deal for Deadlands, and I am very thankful to Jeff Mariotte for that recommendation!

Six-gun Tarot was Belcher's first published novel and I have rarely read such a strong, well-written book from a new author. Yet, he has still managed to up his game in the sequel Shotgun Arcana that I am currently loving, and am in the final stretch of finishing.

The books are horror-western-steampunk, so if you love Deadlands, you'll love these. Belcher effortlessly blends Native American, oriental and Judeo-Christian mythology and mysticism with Lovecraftian horror, and wraps all of it in classic western with a sprinkle of humor. He is an excellent world-builder, and the town of Golgotha feels and reads like a real place, populated by real people.

His characters are amazing. Diverse in background, personality and outlook, yet each fully-rounded and with their own voice and convincing perspective. To me, one of the marks of the best writers are when each and every character, even the bad guys, make sense, their actions and viewpoint, even if we violently disagree, has a nagging 'yeah, I kind of get that" feel to it. Belcher nails that beautifully.
I also salute him for being intentional in including diverse characters. He has strong females who are the most badass people you ever met, a solid Native American presence that reflects traditional, but also outsider experience, and even throws in the gay and Mormon experience, but again, none in such a way they feel forced, or as props for an agenda, instead, they're just all folks living in this truly strange little town in the middle of the 40-mile desert.

A couple final strong points... In blending all these elements and characters, Belcher also does a wonderful job of establishing backstory, not just backstory central to the plot, but little off-the-cuff remarks that remind us we're just visiting Golgotha, these other folks live there.

He also does a wonderful job of sprinkling darker elements with humor, from the awkwardness of first love, to the tried and true friendship of men and women who face life and death together.

Check them out, and if you enjoy Deadlands, The Sixth Gun, Jonah Hex, or anything in horror, or western genres, you'll love them both.