MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A yearlong event involving all the supernatural characters of the Top Cow universe is the company’s big comic-book event for 2010, Top Cow Publisher Filip Sablik said at the ComicsPRO annual members’ meeting in Memphis. The series will kick off with an issue on Free Comic Book Day, set for May 1. "Our goal here is to make this a completely accessible series,” Sablik said. "Artifacts” will bring together the 13 mystical artifacts that guide the fate of mankind in the Top Cow Universe. And when those are brought together, "something really, really bad happens,” Sablik said. The 13-issue series written by Ron Marz "is by far the most ambitious thing I’ve ever attempted on the publishing end,” Sablik said. It will reveal how various pieces of the Top Cow universe fit together and should be appealing to Top Cow’s long-term fans, Sablik said. But the company also is making it new-reader friendly, with the Free Comic Book Day book aimed at introducing the characters of the Top Cow universe. The No. 1 issue of the series will follow in July. The series will be broken into four-issue arcs, with the first arc drawn by Michael Broussard. There will be a second and third arc of four issues with separate artistic teams, and the final 13th issue will be "something special,” Sablik said. The book will feature variant cover incentives, as well as an incentive across the series for a set of exclusive playing cards. Sablik said he hopes even if readers don’t know about the mythology of the characters, they will buy into the human story behind "Artifacts.” Two of Top Cow’s main characters, the Witchblade and the Darkness, have a daughter named Hope. "In Issue 1, the main villain, this mysterious villain, is going to kill somebody and kidnap Hope,” Sablik said. "For new readers, we hope the emotional story of two people, a father and a mother, trying to find their only child is going to suck them in and hopefully propel them through the rest of the series.”
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