Sam Trammell Gushes about True Blood’s Comic Book Success

March 18, 2011

Trammell Talks to MTV about Why the Books Work

True Blood's Sam Trammell (Sam Merlotte) talks comic booksThere have been major accolades for the True Blood’ comic books since the first one debuted last year (and sold out in less than two months), some reviews claiming the books are top notch, a must read, and sexy as hell. Nearly every cast member has applauded the show’s comic book adaptation, and Sam Trammell (Sam Merlotte) spoke to MTV earlier this week and offered up yet another opinion:

“There are just so many characters and so many potential scenarios that could happen, it’s great to have a publication that explores different possible relationships and events. We don’t actually on the show have time to explore everything that can happen in Bon Temps.”

Just last week the first collection,All Together Now,” took a bite out of the #6 spot on the New York Time‘s best selling list, and the first book in the second series, True Blood: Tainted Love,” debuted last month to big sales.

To order your copy of “Tainted Love #1” click hereTainted Love #2will be released on March 31, 2011 but you can pre-order by clicking here.

Source: Digital Spy – Trammell praises ‘True Blood’ comics

(Photo Credit: NY Daily News)

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True Blood Comic Collection Debuts on New York Times Bestsellers List

March 11, 2011

‘All Together Now’ Captures Number 6 Spot

All Together Now CoverDie hard fans of HBO‘s True Blood helped our favorite show score another triumph by landing ‘All Together Now’ on the New York Times Best Sellers List in its first week!  The hardcover collection of the first True Blood comic series arc contains all six issues of the comic and bonus content including a cover gallery.

The first storyline was developed by show creator Alan Ball along with series writers Elisabeth Finch and Kate Barnow and provides a different look at life in Bon Temps.

Blood and sex mix on a hot rainy night at Merlotte’s, when Sookie and her friends are trapped by a vengeful spirit who feeds on shame. People die and dirty secrets are revealed as Sookie, Bill, Eric, Sam, Tara, Jason, and Lafayette and are all coerced to dig deep and tell painful memories from their past – those things we all have locked within us that we never tell another living soul! Bon Temps, Louisiana has never been stranger, or more twisted.

True Blood: Tainted Love

Tainted Love 1 CoverThe True Blood comic book saga will continue with True Blood: Tainted Love, the first issue of which is already in stores.  The second arc will be six issues like the first and begins with baby vampire Jessica being exposed to a tainted bottle of Tru Blood causing her to go berserk.

What is different about the Tainted Love series is that it is being co-written by Marc Andreyko and Michael McMillian who plays Reverend Steve Newlin on the hit show.  The authors sat down with Comicbookresources.com to talk about the series and their vision for it.

While the two have never worked together before they have been friends for a long time and even live in the same building.  When the True Blood comic was announced Andreyko approached McMillian about pitching possible stories to IDW, the company that is publishing the comics and McMillian agreed.  Clearly HBO liked what the two had to offer and they were lucky enough to get the job.

Plan of Attack

The duo revealed the secrets behind their collaboration, saying that they sat down and plotted the six issue series together and then divided up the first drafts with McMillian taking odd numbered issues and Andreyko tackling the even numbered issues.  Once they completed a first draft they passed it off to the other who would review it and pass it back.  They then handed it into IDW and HBO for their review.

In talking about what it was like to write for the comic book series after having starred in the show McMillian had this to say:

“It’s a bit like writing about a fictional world that I’ve actually visited before. As Steve Newlin, I got to walk around the ‘True Blood’ universe as one of its denizens.  I know how it feels, how it sounds. At the very least, it makes writing dialogue for Bill and Sookie and Jason much easier having actually interacted with those characters in the flesh.  I think it’s one of the reasons I wanted to write this comic so badly — it’s a fictional world I have tangible access to. That’s an awesome gift for a writer.”

The Story Behind The Story

Tainted Love 2 CoverDuring the interview Andreyko revealed that the inspiration behind the storyline was the Tylenol poisonings that took place in and around Chicago in 1982.  He says:

“Michael and I were coming up with stories to pitch, and the concept of someone poisoning Tru Blood was something that really intrigued us.  I mean, who would do that? Angry vampires? Vampire haters? Was it personal? Like any good mystery, there are dozens of feasible suspects.”

The two also tapped into the way that Season 3 of True Blood ended off with the tense human/vampire relations with McMillian saying:

“I think the comic can play a role in exploring areas of the ‘True Blood’ world that the show may not be able to get to.  Marc came up with the wonderful idea of Tru Blood bottles getting contaminated with an element that causes vampires to go crazy. Since the bottled blood is the link between vampire/human relations, it’s such a great device to mess with. Tainting that symbolic connection seemed like an apt reflection of where vampire/human relations were left off in Season 3.”

The Plot

So what exactly happens to our favorite vampires when they drink this tainted blood?  Well according to McMillian it causes them to go into a bloodlust state where their moral center has completely vanished and they just go crazy.

The Tainted Love series focuses primarily on Jessica, our favorite baby vampire.  When asked what it is that makes Jessica appealing as a main character Andreyko responded:

“She’s a teenager, she was home-schooled, and now she’s a vampire whose every time having sex is, literally, the ‘first’ time. That pretty much screams ‘interesting’ to me.”

Sex and Comic Books

We all know that sex is a huge part of the True Blood appeal and to a large extent it is also a big part of the Sookie Stackhouse novels written by Charlaine Harris.  But how do you address that element of the show in a comic book format where there are graphic pictures to accompany the words?  According to the two they just went with the flow of the storyline.  They used the show as a guiding post and they made sure the sex and coarse language were appropriate to the storyline and not just dropped in for shock value.  Andreyko says:

“Sex is a huge part of True Blood, both from a narrative standpoint and metaphorically, so eliminating it from the comics would be a conspicuous absence. That being said, we are not doing ‘adult’ comics here, so the choreography and what isn’t shown become important in the storytelling. And I’m also a firm believer that, except for specific moments of impact, less is much more when it comes to moments of graphic sex or violence.”

To order your copy of the first issue of Tainted Love click here.  The second issue will be released on March 31, 2011 but you can pre-order your copy by clicking here.

All Together Now with tshirtBe sure to pick up your copy of ‘All Together Now’ today.  You can order them directly from HBO along with a t-shirt by clicking
here
.  If you just want to order the book itself click
here
.

So fellow Truebies do you plan to check out the True Blood comic series?  If you already own it let us know what you think in the comment section!

Sources:  Kineticnews.com – Hardcover ‘True Blood’ Comic Debuts On Best Seller List

Comicbookresources.com – McMillian & Andreyko Spill ‘True Blood’

Photo Credits – HBO Inc. and IDW Publishing

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Michael McMillian Talks About Writing True Blood Comics and Playing Steve Newlin

December 29, 2010

Multi-talented When it Comes to the True Blood Universe

Michael McMillian (Steve Newlin)It turns out that the actor who plays Fellowship of the Sun baddie, Steve Newlin, is also adept at comic writing. Michael McMillian has teamed up with veteran comic book writer, Marc Andreyko, to write six issues of the next True Blood comic series for IDW Publishing. Recently MTV News had the opportunity to speak to McMillian about this new endeavour.

True Blood Comic Storyline

The first issue, it appears, will focus around a batch of contaminated Tru:Blood drinks and what happens when the True Blood fave, Jessica Hamby, drinks it. It explores what occurs when one of the elements of the synthetic blood is tampered with. What happens when an ingredient is added that reacts with the vampires who are drinking it. An ingredient that makes them go crazy or even feral. And what with this end up doing to the whole vampire-human inter-relations?

Writing for True Blood

Michael found writing for the True Blood comics challenging but also rewarding. He found it interesting to write lateral story lines for the True Blood Characters, where as the HBO series moves the characters forward in their story arcs. He also made sure his own character, Steve Newlin, made an appearance early on in the first comic.

I think Steve makes a cameo as early as page three in issue #1, so I got him in there as quickly as I could. [Laughs]

Other series favorites also make it to the comic series. Sookie Stackhouse and Bill Compton will be there along with Hoyt Fortenberry, Terry Bellefleur and Arlene Fowler.

While these comics will have a certain continuity with the TV series, it is a loose connection. Since the three seasons so far cover the span of roughly a month and a half, the comic series will fit within this time frame. The first comic covers a 24 hour time frame, the others will probably follow a similar time frame also.

When asked about how much input Michael will have versus the input of Alan Ball, Michael replied:

Yeah, Alan [Ball] is overseeing the entire process from his bloody throne. [Laughs] He reads all the scripts, and read the outline that Marc and I turned in. Before that, he was the one who ultimately selected which story we would do from the group of pitches. It’s fun because the comic really does feel like an extension of the show, which is terrific. Marc and I have made it our goal to have it feel just like that. We want the audience to pick up the comic and feel like they’re getting a little extra show while they wait for Season Four.

True Blood Characters

McMillian is enjoying the exploration and further development of the True Blood characters. He enjoys both the vampire-human relations involved with both endeavors and how the combination of the two can be quite challenging. He also likes to explore how the True Blood characters’ lives have changed with the introduction of mainstreaming vampires. Some for the better, and ultimately, some for the worse. Sookie’s life is the first that pops to mind in this instance.

McMillian was also asked about whether some of the True Blood actors have made suggestions for their characters in the comic series.

[Laughs] So far I haven’t gotten any requests. I think those guys have enough to think about with the TV show, and trust me not to make their characters look like a-holes in the comic. However, I definitely got some messages from Stephen Moyer and Alex Skarsgard, who I’m friends with. They were very excited I was working on the book.

McMillian and ‘Lucid’

This comic series is not the first that McMillian has been involved with. He also writes for ‘Lucid.’ Currently, issue 3 and 4 will be hitting the stands shortly. Michael worked with artist Anna Wieszczyk and feels that they have really hit their stride with issue 3.

While only four issues have been commissioned so far for ‘Lucid,’ he is hoping for an expansion of this due to certain story lines that could be expanded upon. While it could be considered as complete with the first four issues, he is obviously hoping for the green light for more issues.

The second volume of the “True Blood” comic book series kicks off February 2011, featuring a story by Michael McMillian and Marc Andreyko, interior art by Joe Corroney, and covers by J. Scott Campbell.

Source: MTV News – Michael McMillian On ‘True Blood’ Comics, TV Crossovers, And Steve Newlin’s Return

(Photo Credit: HBO Inc.)

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Michael McMillian To Write New True Blood Comic Book

December 27, 2010

McMillian’s Story Arc to Debut February 23, 2011

True Blood Comic Series 2Though it’s been a long time since True Blood fans have seen Fellowship of the Sun leader Reverend Steve Newlin on the HBO series, Michael McMillian has been keeping busy.

IDW Publishing has announced that Michael, will be co-writing a new arc within the comic adaptation, along with Marc Andreyko which will debut on February 23, 2011.

Every fan no doubt has their own story idea when it comes to the popular vampires series. It is easy to come up with a new character or a new way of viewing Sookie and Bill.  However, the opportunity to write for True Blood isn’t just a desire for McMillian. It seems the actor has also has his own ideas as to how the lives in Bon Temps should turn out. How excited is the comic book fan now turned writer? Michael noted:

“Co-Writing the TRUE BLOOD comic is a dream come true both as a performer on the show and as longtime comic fan. It’s a real privilege to build on the rapidly growing True Blood mythology.”

What’s even better than a cast member helping create the True Blood mythology? Well, the first six issues of the successful comic will be released in a hardcover titled “True Blood: All Together Now” and will be released on February 15. This gives fans a perfect opportunity to check out the story being pursued in the comics before jumping into the newest story arc of the second series of comics beginning the 23rd.

All Together Now Cover

Christmas may be over, but it seems Santa may have to do some overtime this winter!

Source: geek-news.mtv.com–‘True Blood’ Star Michael McMillian To Write ‘True Blood’ The Comic Book

(Photo Credit: IDW Publishing)

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True Blood Drawing Auctioned For Charity

December 21, 2010

Signed Panels from True Blood Comic Book Artist!

Are you a True Blood comic book collector or perhaps you are looking for the perfect gift for your comic book fan? Whatever your needs may be, this auction will fill it!David Messina True Blood Comic Drawing up for Auction for Charity true-blood.org 

 Acclaimed comic book creator, David Messina has signed a collection of panels from scenes he drew for the first True Blood comic book.  The ‘panels’ as they are called, are an actual piece Messina created himself and has signed. The auction notes that ‘eraser marks’ can be seen on the drawing! The picture to the right is of the drawing that is being auctioned off. 

True Blood Fans Do Good:

German fan site True-Blood.org has put the drawings up for auction on eBay.de, eBay Germany. This the latest in a series  of auctions True-Blood.org has done to benefit the German branch of the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
 

Previous auctions have included items signed by Kristin Bauer Van Straten (Pam), Alexander Skarsgård (Eric), Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette), Allan Hyde (Godric), Sam Trammell (Sam), and True Blood composer, Nathan Barr

The auction will run through this Friday, December 24th. 

Place your bid here!

Submission thanks to: True-blood.org

Got a True Blood related tip? Submit it here! Just select the Subject drop down ‘Contribution Request’ and send us your news item!? 

Source: True-Blood.org

(Photo Credit: True-Blood.org)

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True Blood Comic Books Are a Mega Hit

December 10, 2010

Comic Collection and Second Series to Debut in February:

True Blood Comic Book Series #2 to debut in February 2011Thanks to all you Truebies out there, the True Blood comic book series is a huge success. HBO and IDW Publishing have announced that there is much more to come in the intriguing world of Bon Temps in a second series of comics beginning in early 2011.

The first series broke sales records when it debuted this year, which makes perfect sense considering the graphic novels were created as a means to keep Truebies up-to-date on their favorite characters’ secret lives once the cameras stopped rolling each season.

It’s About to Get Even More Graphic:

Like the first series, the new True Blood comic series will be based in our favorite southern small town, Bon Temps, and will offer up all the shenanigans that occur with humans and mythical creatures co-existing. In this six-issue series, Jessica is exposed to contaminated bottles of Tru Blood, causing the baby vamp to become unhinged. Sookie, Bill and the others investigate to find out who (or what) is behind the bad blood. In addition to Jessica, several other Bon Temp residents are making their comic book debut including Hoyt, Terry, Arlene and Steve Newlin.

True Blood comic book series #2 first issue coverSpeaking of Steve Newlin, the actor who plays the demented Reverend, Michael McMillian, will co-author the all-new six-issues with fan-favorite writer Marc Andreyko:

“Marc and I are working hard to make sure the series feels like an extension of the show. True Blood fans should expect lots of action, gore, sex, humor and of course, awesome cliffhangers!”

All Together Now:

Also launching in February is the hardcover collection of the first comic book series, ‘All Together Now’. In addition to all six issues of the series, the collection will include some bonus material. No, there won’t be life-sized dolls of Bill or Sookie, but Truebies will get to see some original sketches and a cover gallery.

Developed with True Blood series creator and director Alan Ball, along with series writers Elisabeth Finch and Kate Barnow, All Together Now was co-written by David Tischman and Mariah Huehner. The comic book series showcases the same erotically-charged romance, wry humor, intriguing mystery and suspense the show has become known for. The series is beautifully illustrated by top-tier artist David Messina, with additional art by renowned artists J. Scott Campbell, Joe Corroney, and Andrew Currie.

Ball is certainly pleased by the success of the comic books and he can’t wait for fans to get their hands on the second series:

“(We are) excited that the release of the comic collection will make the series even more accessible to fans. Michael and Marc have done an amazing job with the second series, crafting a thrilling story that will leave Truebies wanting more.”

In addition to the print editions, the comic collection and the second series will be available digitally through Sony’s Digital Comics Store and Apple’s iTunes Store.

You can pre-order both the collection and the second series through HBO’s online store.

We’re definitely looking forward to sinking our teeth into, well, anything True Blood and we hope all you Truebies continue sucking up the new graphic novels! Early 2011 is already looking very exciting – not only is the second series of the comic books debuting, but two new books from Charlaine Harris are to be published.  Both ‘The Sookie Stackhouse Companion’ and the 11th book in the Sookie Stackhouse series, ‘Dead Reckoning‘ will be available in the new year. Do you think it will be enough to hold us over until season 4 premieres in June?

Source: IDW Publishing – Trubies Have Spoken – They Love The True Blood® Comic Series!

(Photo Credit: HBO, inc.)

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Win a True Blood Comic Book

October 31, 2010

Complete the Scenes to Win!

Comic Contest Scene 1If you haven’t had a chance to check out the True Blood Comic Books here is the opportunity to win one!  Truebloodtwitter.com is running a contest for fans who can win a copy of the first comic book. 

Comic Book Contest Scene 2

Comic Book Contest Scene 3

Comic Book Contest Scene 4

Comic Book Contest Scene 5

Contest Rules

  • 1) Hover over each frame to get the dialogue set-up.
  • 2) In the comments box here, list the scene number.
  • 3) Fill in the script for each of the characters.
  • 4) After you’re done, vote for your faves by liking.
  • 5) Make sure your friends “like” your comment — Click the Twitter or Facebook icon below your entry before posting or after posting click on the timestamp next to your name to get the link.
  • 6) The top 10 comments with the highest number of likes will win True Blood Comic #1. Game open until Monday November 1 at 9pm ET.

Example:

  • Scene 5:
  • Sam: Sookie, why are you standing out here in the rain?
  • Sookie: I heard Joe Francis was coming to Bon Temps.
  • Sookie: Think I have shot at Girls Gone Wild: True Blood Edition?

Be sure to be creative and remember the top 10 entries with the most comments will win.  Come back here and post the links to your entries in the Comment section so we can all vote for you!

Source:  Truebloodtwitter.com – Win a True Blood Comic

(Photo Credit:  Truebloodtwitter.com)

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True Blood Comic Book is a Big Hit at New York Comic Con!

October 13, 2010

True Blood Comic is a Top Selling Comic Book at New York Comic Con

Comic Book CoverFans of HBO‘s True Blood know what a fantastic show it is, but it appears the comic book adaptation is a huge hit with comic book fans as well. New York Comic Con was held October 8th to 10th and fans were buying up a variety of comic books. Some of the most popular ones this year were Spawn, The Outfit, The Walking Dead and of course True Blood.

Have you ever been curious about what Eric, Sookie, Bill, Pam, et al do when we aren’t watching them on screen? Well HBO has authorized a comic book series released by IDW which keeps you up to date on the “secret parts of your favorite character’s lives”. The authors of the comics, Mariah Huehner and David Tischman sat down with Techland.com to talk about the show that inspires the comics, working with Alan Ball and their favorite storylines.

The Writing Process

Writing a comic book that is based on and closely linked to a television show can be tricky. Huehner and Tischman watch the show regularly since their license is based on the “show’s universe”. They say that there is a fine line to be walked between the show, the books and creating their own stories but they love that fans can enjoy all three entertainment vehicles. Huehner and Tischman use the comic books to tell stories that the books and the show do not or can not cover. The comics tie into the show but are used to show things like character back story so that the entire experience is expanded. Huehner says:

“The first one and each subsequent story is going to be like that too – not back-story, but other stories they aren’t able to do on the show so they can, there’s more world expansion and stuff with the comics.”

In the first comic all of the characters are being held hostage in Merlotte’s bar and they are each forced to reveal their most shameful secrets. Huehner and Tischman are hoping that fans of the show and the books will be able to use these comics to add another dimension to their enjoyment of the show.

Another exciting aspect with the comic book is the ability to push the envelope even further than HBO does with the violence and sex. The authors admit to having fun with that freedom while also keeping it appropriate which was no doubt a tricky thing to do.

Working With Alan Ball

Huehner and Tischman revealed that they worked very closely with Alan Ball and some of his head writers when developing the storylines for the comic books. Even though the show has been on for three seasons and to the delight of fans has been renewed for a fourth season, the actual timeline of the story is set to be days apart instead of months and years. Huehner and Tischman used this plot point to fit their stories in between the events on the shows. They revealed that while Alan was helpful and worked with them to make sure the storylines were a success, there was the odd time he had to pull them back. For instance the revelations that came out in the final episode of season 3 where we discovered that the Queen sent Bill to gain information about Sookie. Huehner and Tischman had touched on this subject in earlier comics and Alan helped them work around it.

When asked if Alan was going to reference the comic books on the show Huehner and Tischman said they were not sure but they were hopeful he would. They sang Alan’s praises saying he was so gracious and that he enjoyed working on the comic with them.

Favorite Storylines

Between the television show, the books and the comics, choosing a favorite storyline is not easy. While all three follow the same general storyline about Sookie Stackhouse, the show and comics do differ in a lot of ways. Techland.com asked the comic book writers what their favorite character storyline that they have written is. Both authors revealed that they really like what is happening with Lafayette’s character and they have enjoyed writing and experiencing that. Huehner says:

“His mom is in the story, and it also deals with his homosexuality. To me, without giving away the whole story, that was really important to me because it was something that we got to do in the comics because it’s something that is so important to the show of being able to deal with different sexualities with the vampires, and I didn’t want the comic to lose that quality. I wanted to make sure those were things that stayed true. If you’re going to do a Lafayette story, you need to have that acknowledged somewhere.”

Tischman says that he enjoys focusing on the “emotionally core moments of the characters” and that the comics are providing the fans with extra information about the characters and what makes them tick. He says that this was particularly the case with Bill’s story and his struggle with his humanity. They also discussed Sookie’s story saying:

“The first time I got to see it with the art – there was the main art style and then the one for each story. The Sookie one, it’s such a beautific, soft palate kind of story from her perspective as a little child and your emotions are heightened and she’s dealing with her abilities. It’s hard to write for a child. You don’t want to sound too grown up, but you don’t want to sound too immature because you want to get to where you need to go, and you get to see Gran in that story, which is nice to see her back because obviously that character got horribly murdered.”

Converting Television Fans into Comic Book Fans

If you wanted to generalize you could say that “typically” most people that watch True Blood are not going to read comic books. However, Huehner and Tischman wrote the books with fans of the show and comic fans in mind. They wanted to be sure that people who did not watch the show could still enjoy the comics on their own so characters and storylines were introduced slowly at first. But for fans of the show, the characters in the book still have the same “voice” as the ones on the show. So much so that people have said that they can “hear” the actors in their heads while they are reading.

To read the full interview with Huehner and Tischman click here.

You can purchase the True Blood comic books and other True Blood merchandise at the HBO Store. Click here to check them out.

Sources:  io9.com – True Blood, Spawn, and Darwyn Cooke’s Outfit are NYCC’s bestselling comic books

techland.com – True Blood Takes a Bite Out of Comics

(Photo Credit: HBO.com)

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1st Printing of True Blood Comic Sells Out

August 20, 2010

True Blood ComicZap! Bam! Pow! Okay, wrong comic book. But just as exciting to the fans of HBO‘s True Blood TV series is its very own “official” comic book. Launched at San Diego’s Comic-Con, HBO and IDW Publishing have announced that the first issue, True Blood #1, has sold out of its 53,000 copies. It had multiple covers. The VP of Global Licensing and Retailing, James Costos, said:

“The passion fans have for True Blood has elevated the series to new heights and it continues to grow as the story unfolds… With the sell-out success of the comic’s first printing, it is clear that there is an insatiable thirst for different iterations of the television series, and we’re excited to expand the impact of the comic series and get it into even more hands with this second printing.”

The first issue of the comic book series contains a plot developed by Alan Ball, creator of the TV series. The comics will continue with the adventures of our True Blood favorites – Sookie, Bill, Tara, Eric, Jason, Sam, Lafayette and Jessica.

Yes, there will be a second printing to be available in stores on August 25th. It will have 32 pages of full color action scenes, selling for $3.99.

True Blood Comic Alternate CoverTrue Blood #2, also 32 pages and the same price, became available in stores on August 18th.

Sink your teeth into them before they fly off the shelves, again!

SOURCE: IDWPublishing.com — HBO® and IDW Publishing Announce Second Printing for True Blood® Comic Book Series

Cover #1 is the second printing design by J. Scott Campbell.  Cover #2 is Issue 2.

Both covers by ideaanddesignworks.com

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True Blood Comic Book Series with IDW Publishing

August 6, 2010

At Comic-con 2010 in San Diego, California, IDW Publishing finally released a comic book series that you can really sink your teeth into.  That’s right, Alan Ball, HBO, and IDW Publishing came together to create the first ever True Blood comic book series.  IDW‘s director of Marketing, Anna Maria White was on hand to give True Blood fans the scoop about this new way to interact with both the main characters and the universe of True Blood.

The series was plotted by True Blood creator Alan Ball; written by David Tischman and Mariah Huehner.  The amazing artwork was provided by well-known illustrator David Messina.

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