Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Movies and reviews...

Recently I took a trip to Los Angeles to visit the folks at Marvel Studios and get a glimpse of some of the behind-the-scenes artwork for their two new movies, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. I was even treated to a screening of a rough cut of Thor over on the Fox Studios lot.

The reason behind my sneak preview is because for the last few months, I've been working on the next two "Art of" books in Marvel's line of successful film tie-in hardcovers. And if you're interested in seeing some of the impressive artwork that had a hand in crafting these films, be sure to pre-order your copies of these books now by visiting my Amazon store. The books will be chock full of interviews with the cast, crew, and most importantly, the design team, and will show off artwork not available anywhere else. They also come in nifty slipcases so your friends will think you're classy.

In other news, the reviews for my story in the Batman 80-Page Giant 2010 are trickling in over the internet. If you haven't bought it yet, rush out to your nearest comic store and grab your copy. But don't take my word for it. Listen to these guys:

“From that heartbreaking 1st page (SO economical, yet so affecting) to the surprisingly touching finale, Matthew Manning takes a B-list villain and, in 10 pages, tugs at your heartstrings, earns your sympathy, and tells a decent story while he’s at it… Great story! Grade: A+.” – Mark Mackner,

"Every Day Counts gets an A+!" – Bright

“The third story, "Every Day Counts" blew me away… you should read this issue just for this story.” – Walter Richardson, Multiversity Comics

“Matthew Manning's script is nicely crafted and adds poignancy to a one-note character, while the art of Garry Brown and John Livesay has a haunting quality.” –

“This is the most surprising story in this issue; it actually makes a compelling character out of Calendar Man." Rated Five out of Five. – The Batman

“Manning’s story “Every Day Counts,” …manages to not only make Calendar Man, Julian Day, an interesting character, but also a sympathetic character.” – Erik Lewis, By Odin’s Beard

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mark your calendars...

In stores this week:

I'm really proud of this one, folks.

In this new anthology comic featuring seven tales of the Dark Knight's extensive rogues gallery, I got the chance to write a Calendar Man story that was brought to life by a very talented Kubert School find, artist Garry Brown. The story hints at the origin of everyone's favorite holiday-obsessed super villain (there's not many to choose from, after all) and brings to light his relationship with Gotham's Caped Crusader. The comic hits stores Thursday, December 2nd, so be sure to save the date, as it were.

Here's the official write-up from the DC Comics website:


Some of the most promising new talent in comics are corrupted by the most depraved villains in Gotham City in this all-new special featuring The Joker, the Riddler, Calendar Man, Scarecrow, and yes, even Humpty Dumpty! It's seven short stories, all in one giant issue! The joke's on you if you think you'll make it out of this alive!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

King Con 2010...

Who says convention season is over? Not the King Con, that's for sure.

If you're around the Park Slope area of Brooklyn, New York this weekend (November 6th and 7th from 11am to 7pm), head over to the Brooklyn Lyceum on 4th Avenue (just steps away from the Union Street stop on the R line) and stop by the second annual King Con. Despite what their official website would have you believe, I will indeed have a table at the show, loaded with everything from my older Johnny DC Batman and Legion comics to the newly released DC Comics Year by Year: A Visual Chronicle. I'll also have a couple of my hardcover Stone Arch Batman and Superman kids books for you to check out, among other surprises.

Other guests for the convention include Chris Claremont, Paul Pope, Jonathan Ames, Kyle Baker, Cliff Chiang, and dozens more. There are plenty of panels scheduled, and for a measly seven bucks a day ($10 for the weekend pass), it promises to be an event worth your while.

Hope to see you all at the show.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween...

Happy Halloween from the Ventriloquist and Scarface.

Not to mention the new Ventriloquist and Scarface.

Trust us, Lilly is deadlier than she looks...

Monday, October 25, 2010

The many Halloween costumes of Matthew K. Manning...

With Halloween right around the corner, I thought it time I post pictures of my previous costumes from New York Halloweens past. So let's get right to it.

It started with Batman. When I was in seventh grade, my parents decided to bestow upon me a rubber Batman suit from the movie Batman Returns. As a result, I wore the exact same costume every year up through my college years at the School of Visual Arts. But by my senior year, after adding a few comic book tweaks to the costume, I finally decided to retire the batsuit once and for all.

Here are a couple of pictures from that no-doubt emotional year:

Batman and Nightwing in a pre-cell phone world. Nighwing is played by my old friend Mike Zagari.

My now-wife Dorothy as the Julie Newmar Catwoman. It was a good year to be Batman. Here she's joined by two of her thugs (Jon and Matt Roscetti, respectively).

After that, I started on my new trend: comic characters that wear suits. Essentially, because I sweat a lot less in a suit than in a rubber Batman cowl. Suit costumes are also pretty easy to make.

First up was the Crimson Avenger.

Dorothy decided to play the part of a 1940s girl to match me.

After that, it was the Phantom Stranger.

Here's the enigmatic figure of the night eating a snack at Wendy's.

Shopping for greeting cards...

On a quest toward fatherhood...

And relaxing in a comfy Brookstone recliner...

Next up, was a rather careless Matthew Murdock (Daredevil). And no, my cane didn't glow, that's just a reflection off an actual retractable blind cane.

After that, I opted to shave my head and run for president as Lex Luthor.

And the year after, the villain trend continued with the original Red Hood.

Followed by Dick Tracy, complete with official badge and radio wristwatch, of course.

Last year, I was Tony Stark. I accessorized with my Stark Industries briefcase, a can of matching Tecate...

...and a Scotch on the rocks.

Check back after Halloween to see this year's costume. Here's a hint, my daughter Lilly is involved, against her will and my better judgment...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Giant killer...

Coming in December to your local comic shop is the Batman 80-Page Giant 2010. An in it, is my latest Batman story, a 10-page yarn starring Calendar Man. If you're not familiar with the character (and who is, really?), well look no further. For the first time since his debut in the 1950s, Calendar Man's origin is finally hinted at in a tale pencilled by recent Kubert School phenom, Garry Brown. Here's the official solicit from the DC website:


Some of the most promising new talent in comics are corrupted by the most depraved villains in Gotham City in this all-new special featuring The Joker, the Riddler, Calendar Man, Scarecrow, and yes, even Humpty Dumpty! It's seven short stories, all in one giant issue! The joke's on you if you think you'll make it out of this alive!

Also, I want to say thanks to everyone who stopped by my signings and/or panel at the New York Comic Con. The advance release of DC Comics Year by Year: A Visual Chronicle was a smash success, and the good folks at DK Publishing sold out of all their copies. If you missed us at the show, the good news is that the book is officially released early next week. So head to your local book store (or to Amazon) and grab yourself a copy. It's a great month by month account of DC Comics from 1935 to the present day. I penned the 1980s and 1990s sections, and am looking forward to reading the rest of the book (written by Daniel Wallace, Michael McAvennie, Alex Irvine, and Alan Cowsill). The book is full of great illustrations, and the wrap around slipcase by Ryan Sook is not to be missed.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New York Comic Con...

It's been a long wait, but it's finally here. This weekend, the New York Comic Con will once again be at the highly breakable Javits Center on the West end of 34th street in Manhattan. I'll be there again this year, and I have two signing and a panel discussion to prove it.

On Friday, October 8th, I'll be speaking in Room 1A24 at 3:15 p.m. in the DC Comics: 75th Anniversary Partners panel. I'll be joined by Paul Levitz, Bob Wayne, Daniel Wallace, Matthew Reinhart, Doogie Horner, and Peter Axelrod as we discuss the various 75th anniversary books and projects coming out from DC this year. I'll be talking about my new book DC Comics: Year by Year: A Visual Chronicle in particular. Click here for a bit more info on the panel.

On Saturday, I'll be signing the DC Year by Year Chronicle at the DK Publishing booth (#2415) from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m alongside my co-authors Daniel Wallace, Alex Irvine, Mike McAvennie, and Alan Cowsill.

And if you miss us then, stop by the DC Comics booth (#2243) on Sunday where we'll all be signing again from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

The book will be debuting at the convention, so be sure to stop by and check it out. Just like the previous Marvel Chronicle from DK, it serves as a complete month by month history of the company, starting in the 1930s and ending this year. This time around, I wrote the 1980s and 1990s sections, and I'm quite happy with the results. As and added bonus, the book is also fairly heavy, so it makes a handy weapon to fend off any obnoxious con attendees.

Hope to see you all at the show. Every last one of you. Don't think I'm not keeping track...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Back to press...

DC Comics is now offering a second printing of the popular Batman # 700 anniversary issue. The issue features a re-colored David Finch cover neatly sandwiching a great Grant Morrison story, a gallery pin-up section, and my Batcave feature drawn by Freddie Williams II. So if you missed this momentous issue the first time around, be sure to head to your local comic store next week and pick up a copy or twelve.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

More fun than air conditioning...

Time to put on your reading shoes, dust off your paypal account, and head to the nearest world wide web. I've got a few new projects available to order (or pre-order) now. Your life will never be the same again.

First up is an adaptation in comic book form of the classic (albeit morbid) tale of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves. It's from Graphic Revolve, and is hitting book stores as we speak, or you can buy it from Amazon in either a hardcover or softcover edition. The comic is illustrated by Mexican cartoonist Ricardo Osnaya and is a great survivor's guide if you or a loved one ever finds yourself stranded in a magical cavern with piles of stolen valuables.

Next, from Stone Arch Books, my latest Batman's kids' book is now available on Amazon. Also in hardcover and softcover, the book is entitled Batman: Scarecrow, Doctor of Fear, and features art by Erik Doescher and Mike DeCarlo, as well as colors by Lee Loughridge.

And finally, here's a sneak peak of the cover to the sequel to our popular Marvel Chronicle from DK Publishing, DC Comics Year by Year: A Visual Chronicle. Just like the Marvel volume, this large hardcover coffee table tome features a month by month history of DC from its humble beginnings 75 years ago, to the present. This time around, I wrote the 1980s and 1990s sections, so be sure to at least rip those parts out while you're in the bookstore. If you cough loudly while you're doing it, no one will be the wiser. Or, you know, you can also just preorder the thing here. It's coming out this fall, so you have plenty of time to save up.

Either way, take a look at Ryan Sook's amazing cover.

Lots more news on the way, including three new secret projects from DC Comics, as well as two new Marvel gigs. I'll be sharing the details as soon as they'll let me, so keep checking back here or follow me on twitter for more cryptic clues.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My best project yet...

Introducing Lillian Dorothy Manning. Weighing in at an even 8 pounds and sporting more hair than her father. Born June 23rd at 4:54 p.m. Both mother and baby are doing great.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How to spend your summer vacation...

Here's a sneak peak of two of my new projects coming to stores in August. The first is a graphic novel adaptation of the classic tale of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves. Part of the new Graphic Revolve line, it'll be hitting bookstores on August 1st, according to the good folks at Amazon. (In fact, why not just click here and preorder it. Better safe than sorry, after all...) Available in both soft and hardcover, the graphic novel features art by Ricardo Osnaya.
The second cover art is for my third DC Comics children's book from Stone Arch book. Pitting the Caped Crusader against the master of terror, Batman: Scarecrow, the Doctor of Fear is available to order through the classroom or direct from Amazon as well. Click here to preorder your copy. It features art by the team that brought my Superman book to life, Erik Doescher and Mike DeCarlo, with colors by Lee Loughridge.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Inside the Batcave...

If you're a Batman fan, or a fan of good comics in general, then odds are, you're already looking forward to Batman # 700, writer Grant Morrison's triumphant return to Gotham City. Well be prepared to get even more excited. Or at the very last, be ready to shrug indifferently. Because besides featuring several different tales of everyone's favorite Caped Crusader drawn by some of the top talents in the industry, this issue also features a detailed Batcave schematic drawn by Freddie E. Williams II and written by yours truly. So if that's not a reason to go out and buy the issue, Mike Mignola's variant version, and the Mignola sketch variant variant edition, then, well, think up another one. Just don't miss it.

Here's a little bit more info from DC's website:

Written by GRANT MORRISON • Art by TONY DANIEL, ANDY KUBERT, FRANK QUITELY, DAVID FINCH & RICHARD FRIEND • Cover by DAVID FINCH • 1:25 "DC 75th Anniversary" variant cover by MIKE MIGNOLA 1:75 "DC 75th Anniversary" variant black and white cover by MIKE MIGNOLA

Grant Morrison returns to BATMAN with this oversized special! And he's brought an all-star roster of artists along with him including Andy Kubert, Tony Daniel and Frank Quitely to celebrate this milestone 700th issue featuring stories spotlighting each of the Batmen from different eras – Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne. You won't want to miss this blockbuster story that paves the way for the return of Bruce Wayne and sports mind-boggling covers by superstars David Finch (BRIGHTEST DAY) and Mike Mignola (BATMAN: GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT, Hellboy)!

Batman # 700 arrives at comic stores nationwide next Wednesday (June 9th).

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Amazon. Hero. Icon...

I'm a little behind on my blog postings these days as I'm busy working on a secret mini-series and a few other projects I can't really spill the beans about yet. In fact, I just realized today that I had neglected to write about Wonder Woman: Amazon. Hero. Icon., a new hardcover book I worked on for Universe Publishing.

A book mostly devoted to showcasing Wonder Woman's diverse cover art over the years, Amazon. Hero. Icon. is written primarily by Bob Greenberger and is designed by my old college buddy Chris McDonnell. For one reason or another, the publisher wasn't satisfied with the book's first chapter, and so that's where I came in. DC contacted me, maybe due to my fascination with the eccentric life of Wonder Woman creator William Moultan Marston, and I whipped up a new version of the first chapter for them telling Marston's life story.

So if you're a Wonder Woman fan, be sure to check out this book. It's great addition to anyone's Amazon collection.

And keep checking back here. I'll have more hints about my upcoming projects in the near future...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Adventures in the DC Universe...

Recently I was informed by a fan (okay, it was my mom - but she's still a fan...) that my two new young reader books are available in books stores now. The first, Superman: Little Green Men, is a tale of the Man of Steel desperately trying to find a moment's peace. The second, Batman: Two-Face's Double Take, is a story of Harvey Dent's obsession with duality and his old friend Bruce Wayne. Superman is illustrated by Erik Doescher, Mike DeCarlo and Lee Loughridge, while my old Arm-Fall-Off Boy partner in crime, Shawn McManus, drew the Two-Face yarn, again with the able coloring of Mr. Loughridge. Both tales are set firmly in Bruce Timm's animated universe, and each book is available in hardcover or softcover, depending on your preference and/or wallet constrictions. Visit my Amazon page to learn more.

Speaking of Arm-Fall-Off Boy, The Legion Omnicon blog just did a nice piece on his history, in honor of April Fool's Day. You can check that out here.

And while I'm at it, why not pre-order my next Stone Arch Batman book, Batman: Scarecrow, The Doctor of Fear on Amazon. Keep checking back, as I should have the cover art to display soon.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Whole lotta' Iron Man...

From the people that brought you the long-winded title Wolverine: Inside the World of the Living Weapon, comes our newest mouthful: Iron Man: The Ultimate Guide to the Armored Super Hero. Containing everything you ever wanted to know about Tony Stark and his rather elaborate history, my new Iron Man guide is now out in bookstores nationwide. It's served up in the same new format as Wolverine was, and contains hundreds of great visual layouts by the design staff across the pond at DK Publishing. So if you're looking for the most in-depth Iron Man book on the market, click here to check it out on Or just click on the link anyway to humor me. Come on, I need the ego boost.

Friday, January 29, 2010

A few quick updates...

I have a new interview up about The Batman Vault on the Legions of Gotham website. Click here to check it out. And here's a nice recent review if you just can't get enough vaultiness in your system.

In other news, I've just completed the first draft of my sections of the upcoming DC Chronicle for DK Publishing, so I'll keep you posted as things develop on that front. I'm starting now on two secret (for the moment at least) projects, one small and one much larger in scale. Expect lots of news in the near future.

And now for something less vague. I've just joined twitter, so stop by and follow me so I'm not just talking to myself. I promise that if I don't have anything funny to say, I'll just retweet from The Onion. Here's the link to my page.

Thanks for reading, and keep checking back as I hope to have a few new sneak peaks up on this site soon...