The Darkness is not finished with Jackie Estacado and we're not done with our Twitter Giveaways! This week, we've got a darkly awesome prize pack to celebrate the release of 2K's sequel to the smash-hit Darkness video game! Read More...

Earlier this week, we brought you the new trailer for 2K Games’ sequel to The Darkness titled appropriately enough The Darkness II. The game won’t be out until October, but you can get a little taste of what’s in store for lead character Jackie Estacado in Top Cow’s Free Comic Book Day entry, The Darkness II: Confession. The issue was written by Filip Sablik and Matt Hawkins, with art by Michael Broussard and Romano Molenaar, and is being used by Top Cow and 2K to provide a bridge between the first and second games given the two year gap between the stories.

Sablik, a writer and artist who has worked on Top Cow’s Pilot Season: Asset and Last Mortal was happy to provide MTV Geek with a little insight into the issue—which, if you haven’t heard by now, is free—while trying to avoid any sort of spoilers for the upcoming game.

MTV Geek: Could you tell us a little about the story you’ve chosen to tell for The Darkness II: Confession? What does “the confession” refer to?

Filip Sablik: We wanted this comic to act as both a prologue to The Darkness II, but also act as a bridge from the first game to the second. If you are a fan of the comic, but haven’t played the game, the comic is intended to be an entry point. If you’re a gamer, but not familiar with The Darkness, this comic is meant to serve as an introduction to Jackie and his world. So that was the challenge we gave ourselves, but we also wanted to make the story interesting as a stand-alone comic. Otherwise you end up with something that’s just purely expositional and we’ve got Wikipedia for that!

The story opens with Jackie Estacado, bearer of the Darkness, visiting the grave of his one true love, Jenny Romano and basically pouring his heart out to her. Jackie and Jenny were raised in a Catholic orphanage, and while Jackie has grown up to be a hitman working for the mob, like many people brought up in that tradition he has the idea of confession and penance engrained in him on a deeper level. He’s been struggling lately with his conscience and since Jenny was the one pure soul in his life, he goes to give a confession of sorts to her in hopes of finding some absolution and peace.

Geek: It’s been two years between the first and second game. How has that interval—and becoming a Don—affected Jackie?

FS: Jackie has been through a number of changes, many of which will be revealed in the game, but the two biggest changes, which I can talk about, are that he’s become the Don of the Estacado family and that he’s kept the Darkness chained within himself for two years. In the first game, Jackie took out his Uncle Paulie, the head of the Franchetti crime family, who was responsible for Jenny’s death. Changing the name of the family to the Estacado family is kind of Jackie’s final middle finger to Paulie. And since the Darkness held Jackie back and prevented him from saving Jenny from Paulie, Jackie sees keeping it locked in himself as the only way he can punish the Darkness. As you can imagine, after two years, the Darkness is NOT happy about this.

Geek: Are there any characters from Confession who might make their way into the game?

FS: Not that I can comment on.

Geek: Why is this book a good introduction to The Darkness game and comic?

FS: It’s a great introduction for the game. Most importantly, it really gives you a sense of Jackie as a character and what his mindset is before the beginning of The Darkness II. It also gives you a sense of what came before in the first game – how Jackie inherited the power of the Darkness, his relationship with Jenny and Paulie, and how he came to control the Darkness. The developers at Digital Extremes and producers at 2K Games did a phenomenal job of making The Darkness II very accessible for new players, but any time you do a sequel there are some folks who want to know what came before. The comic provides a great way to jump in without necessarily having to replay the hours it would take to get through the first game.
For us, it also gives a great opportunity for Top Cow to spotlight what makes the Darkness and Jackie Estacado such a compelling comic franchise. One of the goals of Free Comic Book Day is to bring in NEW comic customers and we think that by partnering with 2K we have the opportunity to do just that with the gaming community. Read More...

We’ve all dreamt about living forever, but Alec King has the unfortunate luck of actually doing so.

Friends since the sixth grade, John Mahoney and Filip Sablik came up for the idea for Last Mortal in high school. The miniseries tells the story of Alec, a typical 20-something loser who can’t get anything right. His slick friend Brian has often gotten him in and out of trouble, but recent problems with the mob now leave Alec in an impossible situation. A job that should clear Brian’s debt winds up getting him killed and Alec, filled with despair, ends up shooting himself in the head. Imagine his surprise when he wakes up!

Last Mortal, the second title released under Minotaur Press, debuts May 25th. With stunning black and white art by Thomas Nachlik, the four issue miniseries promises an interesting look at the concept of immortality. MTV Geek chatted with writers Mahoney and Sablik about their inspiration, Minotaur Press, and their lifelong friendship. Read More...

Artist Jeremy Haun, best known for his work on Detective Comics and Top Cow's own Berserker series has signed to an exclusive deal with Top Cow! His first duties in the house of Cow is to dive into the world of The Darkness on issue 96.

Here's Haun flanked by Top Cow publisher Filip Sablik and President Matt Hawkins. Check out the official press release from Top Cow below the photo.

Read More...

Top Cow's pubisher Filip Sablik is getting a promotion of sorts -- working at comic book shop Collector’s Paradise in Winnetka, CA for a day to promote Toys for Tots. It's just another example of how comic book publishers and fans can use the hobby we all love to help those in need.

Sablik wil be playing the dual roles of Santa and sales associate at the store on December 15 (his birthday), ringing up purchases and hand-selling copies of new Top Cow releases "Velocity" #3 and Witchblade Annual 2010. But that's not all: every Collector's Paradise customer who either buys a Top Cow product or brings an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots will receive a special gift from Sablik!

Read the full press release for more details: Read More...

PRESS RELEASE

LOS ANGELES, Calif., October 1, 2010 – Top Cow Productions, Inc. proudly announced today the publisher will be exhibiting at New York Comic-Con, the East Coast’s biggest and most exciting comic convention brought together in the Jacob K. Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan, New York from October 8-10th.

Meet the Top Cow team and creators at booth #2129 for convention exclusives, preview books and free goodies, and celebrate the success of this year’s action-packed event series Artifacts and the relaunch of Rest with them.

Ron Marz, the mastermind behind Artifacts, will be on-hand throughout the show to answer your Top Cow Universe questions as well as sign copies of Artifacts, Witchblade, Magdalena and more. Joining Marz at the booth will be Michael Broussard (Artifacts, The Darkness), Nelson Blake II (Magdalena), Phil Hester (The Darkness), Jeremy Haun (Berserker), Rahsan Ekedal (Echoes), Joshua Hale Fialkov (Echoes, Tumor), Jerry Lando (Pilot Season: 39 Minutes), Filip Sablik (Pilot Season: Asset), David Marquez (Pilot Season: Asset), Marc Bernardin (Genius), Afua Richardson (Genius) and more.

Top Cow publisher Filip Sablik is hosting a panel on Saturday, October 9th, “Top Cow: We Create…Events,” at 1:15pm-2:15pm in Room 1A06. Joining Sablik will be Marz and Broussard to discuss the runaway event success Artifacts. Also joining the panel will be television and movie star Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes) and his producing partner Russ Cundiff of DiVide Pictures to talk about the return of Rest. Plus, a special appearance by American Original’s Jeff Katz (Pilot Season: Crosshair) with more exciting news from GeekWeek.com and American Original to share. Find out why at Top Cow, we create.

Following the panel, Ventimiglia and Cundiff will be joined by Rest writer Mark Powers, Rest artist Marco Castiello and Berserker artist Jeremy Haun in the convention’s main signing area. In order to participate in the signing session, NYCC attendees must attend the Top Cow panel to get a ticket for the signing and must purchase either a Rest or Berserker item at the signing.

At the Top Cow booth #2129, the publisher will have the following new products available for fans: Artifacts #2 New York Comic-Con exclusive cover by Stjepan Sejic, Witchblade #138 New York Comic-Con exclusive cover by Stjepan Sejic and the Rest New York Comic-Con Exclusive Hardcover. Additionally, Top Cow will have several exclusive trade paperback bellyband packages and brand new exclusive lithographs.

For more updates on Top Cow at New York Comic-Con, you can follow Top Cow on Twitter @TopCow or visit us at www.topcow.com.

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