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Season 10 News: #8, Lone Gunmen get spin-off and more

On the menu: Season 10 progress, covers, teaser art, scripts, Lone Gunmen madness, Joe Harris interview, Michael Walsh inkings and Season 10 reviews.

The solicitations for IDW for January 2014 are out: “Hosts” is followed by #8, a single issue story titledFor the Benefit of Mr. X“.

The X-Files: Season 10 #8
Joe Harris (w) • Michael Walsh (a) • Carlos Valenzuela (c)
With hints of a new conspiracy bubbling to the surface, and whispers of a new “Syndicate” organization in the wings, a secret from the past poses a threat that only Agents Mulder and Scully can tackle. But what does the former fixit man—and long-deceased informant—named “X” have to do with it?
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Ask your retailer about the Georges Jeanty (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) cover!
A special standalone story revealing secrets of the long-dead informant known as X!
Series artist, Michael Walsh, returns!

The covers by Carlos Valenzuela continue to impress:

X-Files Season 10 #8 cover A - Art by Carlos Valenzuela

X-Files Season 10 #8 cover A – Art by Carlos Valenzuela

This all sounds exciting! Season 10 continues to play a lot on nostalgia, bringing back more beloved characters — but at least for this one he is unambiguously announced as “long-dead”. Flashbacks could be involved.

Indeed, when X-Files News interviewed writer Joe Harris, he said:

I also look for little hooks and opportunities to tie something I’m writing, today, into the past a bit… […] In an upcoming story, we take some cues from the incident detailed by Deep Throat in “The Erlenmeyer Flask” involving children in a “southern state” being exposed to Purity. And I am absolutely—almost obsessively—determined to dramatize Mulder’s trip to a DC-area headshop to buy the “I Want to Believe” poster, as described in “Chinga,” in a flashback that’s also important to whatever we’re doing, presently, that month in the series.

And so it’s not impossible that Season 10 might flow on its own pace, mixing flashback stories or scenes with Monster-of-the-Week stories, new characters and new mytharc developments. With Mr. X, #8 might be one of those flashback issues.

Other quotes from that interesting interview:

“Believers” allowed us to bring back a lot of the characters, with some new baggage and mysteries in tow. The next short arc, “Hosts” brings us the return, and sheds some light on the origins of, Flukeman, and that’s been a lot of fun as that was always my own friends’ favorite episode from those early days. And I’m really excited to start rolling out the next big mythology arc later this year, which will bring back more classic X-Files concepts, elements and characters while pushing the overall mythology, and emerging neo-conspiracy, to some new places.

But I think I’m most excited about the new stuff we’re doing. The new monsters and mysteries. Some new characters we’ll be introducing. We need to make all of this stuff work in concert, so we’re mining the past in the right ways, and pushing things forward too.

What I want for fans to take away from this series is a feeling that we both delivered that old-timey feeling which was just retro enough to feel comfortable and classic, but also aspired to something on its own. One thing I really love about this book is how it doesn’t look like most might expect a licensed comic book to look. There aren’t any super photo-referenced likenesses, rather, there are interpretations which are as faithful as the dedicated hand will draw them, while offering our own spin. We aspire for this series to add its own chapter to the mythos, and to be its own thing while hitting the right notes along to way to keep it connected. I think of Michael, colorist Jordie Bellaire, and I as having our own band and doing our own thing, as well as carrying the mantle of what’s come before.

What is more surprising is all the Lone Gunmen craziness that accompanied that January 2014 solicitations announcement! More below.

The Lone Gunmen will cross paths with the Ghostbusters, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers and the Crow!

The whole thing is so beyond absurd that you must already have made up your mind on whether this is a catastrophe or your childhood dream come true. IDW already tried these crazy mash-ups last year, with the unlikely meeting of the franchises it holds the licenses for Mars Attacks, Judge Dredd, Transformers, Star Trek, GI Joe and…KISS. As geek becomes mainstream and as the boys from the 80s and the 90s grow up and have money to spend, this was bound to happen (one of the main blockbusters expected for 2015 is exactly that kind of thing, inspired by comics of the 1980s).

Holding the license for the X-Files comes together with the license for the Lone Gunmen, which are characters that scream for spin-off material that would be more light-hearted than its serious progenitor. Whether this had to happen as cross-overs with such manifestly adolescent-oriented comic-book franchises is another thing — although I’ll grant that “The Crow” is somewhat close to XF in terms of atmosphere — but in the US comic book tradition there is definitely a market for this. This should be treated as the ridiculous guilty pleasure slash marketing ploy slash fan fiction for fun that it is; trying to rationalize it beyond that is useless.

This is IDW’s “event of the year“, so it’s bound to spread over the whole of 2014. All issues are not scripted by Season 10 writer Joe Harris, nor do they feature art by Michael Walsh — although the great covers are by Miran Kim, the person responsible for the covers of the Topps XF comics in the 90s!

Things kick off with the first half of the  “Conspiracy” two-parter that begins the story:

The X-Files: Conspiracy #1 (of 2)—GEM OF THE MONTH
Paul Crilley (w) • John Stanisci (a) • Miran Kim (c)
The event of the year begins here! When The Lone Gunmen discover Internet files from future, they learn that a plague will soon wipe out most of humanity. With Agents Mulder and Scully working one lead, the Gunmen must spring into action and investigate several urban legends: a group of ghost-hunters, mutant turtles that live in the sewers, shape-changing alien robots, and a vengeful spirit from beyond the grave!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
The event of the year sees characters from The X-Files interact with the Ghostbusters, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Crow!
Ask your retailer about the Joe Corroney “tabloid” variant covers for each issue of the event!
Each issue has a special subscription variant that depicts famous conspiracies with a new twist!

Cover for X-Files: Conspiracy #1, art by Miran Kim

Cover for X-Files: Conspiracy #1, art by Miran Kim

…and already in January we have the single-issue “Conspiracy: Ghostbusters“:

The X-Files: Conspiracy: Ghostbusters—SPOTLIGHT
Erik Burnham (w) • Salvador Navarro (a) • Miran Kim (c)
The Conspiracy continues! The Lone Gunmen investigate their first lead, the Ghostbusters. Are they frauds and charlatans, bilking unwitting clients out of money? Or do they have special insight into the afterlife? And how are they connected to the plague that’s poised to wipe out humanity?
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
X-Files meets the Ghostbusters! Written by Erik Burnham, writer for IDW’s smash-hit Ghostbusters ongoing series!
Ask your retailer about the Joe Corroney “tabloid” variant covers for each issue of the event!

Cover for X-Files: Conspiracy: Ghostbusters, art by Miran Kim

Cover for X-Files: Conspiracy: Ghostbusters, art by Miran Kim

Of course, loads of variant covers accompany these releases: tabloid variant covers (although it’s not the Lone Gunmen’s “The Lone Gunman“), and glow-in-the-dark images.

For IDW, Paul Crilley writes “Dungeons & Dragons“, and Erik Burnham writes “Ghostbusters” and “TMNT“.

Dean Haglund (Langly), himself a comic book writer/artist, gave Topless Robot his initial reaction:

I was actually ask to possibly paint a cover or two for the upcoming issues and when I ask what the story would be, i think the quote was… ‘Gunmen, Turtle, Transformer, Crow, Ghostbusters cross over – I shit you not!’

I for one, cannot be more thrilled to be cross pollinated with all the major ’90s icons. I think that if a few more get in there, it will create its own gravity and cause of nostalgic time vortex which will snap our current culture back to time when the gov’t would shut down over a intern sex incident. How quaint.

Be on the lookout for more of my art getting into the future IDW projects. I’ll give you first heads up.

So IDW might also get Dean to continue his Lone Gunmen comics? With Carter, Miran Kim and Haglund, IDW is becoming the headquarters of XF!

Additionally (!), there is also an enriched re-edition of S10 #1, with all 8 covers and Harris’s script:

The X-Files: Season 10 #1 Director’s Cut
Joe Harris (w) • Michael Walsh (a) • Carlos Valenzuela (c)
The X-Files: Season 10 from IDW took the world by storm, drawing praise from comic readers and longtime X-Philes alike. Now, in celebration of this acclaimed series, we are proud to release a special Director’s Cut of the first issue, which includes all of the covers along with the comic’s script, giving a rare insight into the inner workings of a comic book from initial thought to publication. Join series creator Chris Carter, writer Joe Harris (Great Pacific) and artist Michael Walsh (Comeback) as we reprise their story ushering THE X-FILES into a new era!
FC • 48 pages • $4.99
Ever wanted to see the inner workings of a comic? This Director’s Cut contains the entire script from the first issue!
Continuing the story where the TV show and movies left off!

XFiles10_01_DCcvr

This announcement of a “Director’s Cut” with the script comes immediately after Joe Harris had started seeing there is a lot of interest for his XF scripts, which he sold in New York Comic Con. As he said:

I’ve decided to print copies of my scripts for each of those first four issues (I’d include #5, but I don’t want to spoil anything!).  I’m a little self-conscious about selling my scripts, so I’ll ask forgiveness in advance for any grammatical errors, continuity gaffes, or variations from the actual published comics you might come across.  The scripts weren’t intended for public consumption and, while I’d like to think that’s part of the charm of getting a glimpse at the creative process behind this hit comics series, I just wanted to get that out there in advance.  I’ve tried to keep these cheap as they’re not published, officially — just for convention/promotional purposes.  They’re black and white and fastener bound, with a special FBI stamp to make it all ‘official.’

These scripts will cost $12 for #1, and $10/ea for #2, #3 and #4.

And here he was at NYCC on October 13:

BWYDoY4CQAAU_wR

IDW was not long putting that particular line of product on the market officially!

But before all that, and after the “Believers” arc comes “Hosts” over #6-7.

IDW has provided insights in the making process for the cover of #7 by CP Wilson III, from sketch to pencils to final art.

For #6-7, artist Michael Walsh is replaced by Elena Casagrande. She provides a tease of her artwork for those issues:

x_files_season_10____6_sneak_peek_by_laraw-d6ptfcc

Although Michael Walsh is not the artist for these issues, he posted a “Flukeman commissionon his instagram (September 7 2013):

82bf1614180011e38b9f22000a9e0708_7

He also posted a “Mulder and Scully inkin!” (October 8 2013):

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There seem to be interesting things and meetings going on in comic cons! Apparently, Walsh has gifted one of his original art pages for XF S10 #3 featuring the CSM to William B. Davis! “The only page of my own art I’ll never sell . Smoking man!” (September 15 2013):

463421841e4111e38d2122000a9f1531_7

Some reviews not collected here before:

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