First look: Dr. Who and his Chog

The first reaction when John Layman showed us this pic: Holy *!@#$. Our reaction hasn't changed much since. In case you missed it, just wanted to post the amazing news here that "Dr. Who"'s David Tennant is doing the voice of Mason Savoy in the upcoming "CHEW" cartoon. Amazing. Epic. We can't fricken wait! The Crew  
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Must Reads: B.P.R.D. 1946-1949

Hey, Mignola fans! In case you didn't already rush out and buy it, don't forget that the "B.P.R.D. 1946-1949" hardcover graphic novel dropped this week. This series, as its title implies, takes place post-WWII and follows the story of Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, Hellboy's guardian and mentor. He and the bureau are investigating one of Hitler's many evil plots, Project Vampir Sturm, and the secret history of vampires. That's right, nazi vampires, young Hellboy and the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. Who could ask for more? Mignola's work, as usual, is absolutely stunning, vibrantly colored and grotesque as hell. He did this series with the help of some very talented writers and artists. John Arcudi (writer, Rumble, BPRD), Joshua Dysart (writer, Harbinger, Imperium), Paul Azaceta (artist, Outcast, Daredevil, Amazing Spider-Man), Gabriel Bá (artist, Umbrella Academy, Casanova), Fábio Moon (Casanova, Daytripper), Max Fiumara (artist, Abe Sapien, Amazing Spider-Man) and Dave Stewart (Eisner-winning colorist, Umbrella Academy, Hellboy, Abe Sapien). Check it out! Maybe you'll see one of the artifacts we've replicated in this book. Or, better yet, maybe you'll spot something we're working on! Give it a read and let us (and Mike!) know what you think! The Crew
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‘A boy and his Chog’

The results are in from the first month of our new #SkeltonCrew photo contest. The verdict? Adorable, cool and badass. After a close vote amongst The Crew, a young man and his Chog named Chewie took the contest in May. (And, his dad tells us, he was educating fellow Sox fans in the stands at Fenway about what a Chog was. Love that!) We've included pics of the honorary mentions below because how could we not? In the meantime, keep 'em coming! Have you got pictures of you with a Chog in an interesting location, like the top of the Eiffel tower, or at the Coliseum? How about pictures of you incorporating our B.P.R.D. artifacts into a kick-ass cosplay? Or maybe you've got a picture or two of you using a Locke & Key replica to open the doors or gates to a historical location? We're looking for any pictures that tell a fun story about you and any one (or more!) of our products. All you have to do is share the photos on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr and use the hashtag #SkeltonCrew when you post to be in the running for a $50 Skelton Crew Studio gift certificate! Chog on, young sir, Chog on. The Crew  
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Blowing some *#@!$ up.

We're going into one of the busiest seasons of the year at the studio getting ready for Boston Comic Con and getting a bunch of releases out the door. We hope to bring exclusives to BCC from "CHEW," "Locke & Key" and from our new Templesmith line, along with a few prototype pieces, like, maybe, a soon-to-be-released plush of everyone's favorite badass rooster ... We're in Day Seven of our Kickstarter campaign for the Tony Chu mini-bust from "CHEW" and we can't say thank you enough for all the backing. We're just super grateful. The campaign is so close to making the bust a reality, and yesterday we also announced a stretch goal: miniature vinyl Chogs. Like one of our regular vinyls, but now with less Chog! In only the best way. More details to come on the exclusives. For now, pics of our next "Locke & Key" release, coming very, very soon and limited to 500. The Splody Key was featured in the back of the "Guide to Known Keys." It's the first time we've released a key before it's been a major player in a storyline but Joe tells us he has plans for it in an upcoming one-shot. Pre-orders for the key will be signed by the amazing L&K artist himself, Gabriel Rodriguez. In case you missed it, we launched a new monthly photo contest. Use #SkeltonCrew on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr to show us how you're using our products or where you're taking them. For instance, for a heavy dose of adorable check out this "CHEW" fan at the ballpark. Every month, we'll pick one winner for a $50 Skelton Crew Studio gift certificate! Hope to see you all soon. The Crew    
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Can’t beet this: Tony Chu update

Just wanted to share the latest shot of our upcoming Tony Chu mini-bust from "CHEW" with Tony in his beet juice, beet label glory. More details about his release very soon. We've also confirmed plans to be at Jetpack Comics in New Hampshire on Free Comic Book Day on May 2 and at Boston Comic Con on July 31-Aug. 2. Love to see you there! The Crew
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First look: Bode mini-bust

We're really psyched to share the first in our line of upcoming "Locke & Key" mini-busts, Bode Locke. The prototype seen here is sculpted by the very talented Troy McDevitt, designed by myself and "Locke & Key" artist Gabriel Rodriguez. Bode will have a very limited run. We're shooting for an April pre-order release. Israel
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First look: “The Stuff of Legend” Colonel

Last year we announced a new partnership with Th3rd World Studios and its amazing book, "The Stuff of Legend." Now we're psyched to give an early first look to a rough prototype of the first release in that line: The Colonel. It's sculpted by the talented Derek Hallett, the same sculptor behind our upcoming Tony Chu mini-bust from "CHEW." The Colonel will stand just over 2 inches tall, at full attention, in hand-polished pewter. We're shooting for a May/June release. A resin Jester mini-bust for that line is underway, more on it soon. Hands up if you'd also dig a Max plush? We'd love the feedback. Israel
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Early look: Tony Chu

We wanted to give an early look at our upcoming Tony Chu mini-bust from "CHEW" as he winds his way through test paints. Rob Guillory has worked out some beet-tastic art for his base and Tony will also be rising out translucent beet juice resin. We hope to release him early next month in a very limited edition run. Really hope you guys dig him. Israel  
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Happy Crew Year!

New website, two new partnerships and some really great times, and that's on top of 12 new replicas – 2014 was pretty sweet. 2015 will be even better. We kicked off last Jan. 1 with the release of the studio’s Poyo mini-bust so we figured it would be fitting to give a sneak peak today of the next CHEW mini-bust, Tony Chu. We’re shooting for a late January/early February release with a limited edition run of 500. It’s designed by Rob Guillory and myself and sculpted by Derek Hallett, who did a killer job. We also wanted to give an early look at the prototype sketches for our new “Locke & Key” mini-bust line, designed by Gabriel Rodriguez and I. Hope to show Bode prototype pics very soon. From “The Stuff of Legend,” below is a first look at The Colonel by Charles P. Wilson III. He’ll be 2.25-inches tall, solid pewter and able to lead your other toys into battle. Look for him around March. From “Mouse Guard,” we also have an early shot of Gwendolyn’s Pike-Ax sculpted by John Thompson. It’s been in the works for a while and we’re really excited to see it come out in February/March. Below, there's also an early shot of the coin replica from Ben Templesmith's "The Squidder" and a shot of Mischrasse's pendant from our B.P.R.D. Artifact Archive collection, both soon to be released. Last thing: We’ve added gift certificates in case you’d like to give a little Crew goodness this year. If there’s something you really want and we haven’t made it yet from any of our lines, shout it out. Because, you never know.   Wishing you and yours an awesome 2015.   Israel                                                    
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First look: ‘The Squidder’ coin exclusive

We're psyched to offer an early look at a prototype sculpt of the In Squid We Trust coin from Ben Templesmith's new book "The Squidder," published by IDW. That's also a subtle way of announcing that Skelton Crew Studio and Templesmith plan to collaborate on all sorts of cool replicas and props in a our new Templesmith Collection. The line will kick off with the release of the limited edition coin this winter and will also include plush and busts from Templesmith's critically acclaimed comic "Wormwood," also published by IDW. The coin, sculpted by the talented Jamie Macfarlane, is 4.25" wide, in bronze-plated pewter and heavy enough to knock out a squid. Check back in November for pre-order details.      
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Skelton Crew adds to ‘The Legend’

LITCHFIELD, Maine — Th3rd World Studios and Skelton Crew Studio are excited to announce a new partnership that will see Skelton Crew producing replicas and mini-busts from the New York Times best-selling comic “The Stuff of Legend.” The book is written by Mike Raicht and Brian Smith and drawn by Charles Paul Wilson III. “‘The Stuff of Legend’ frankly has it all,” said Skelton Crew Studio head Israel Skelton. “It’s a wonderfully written story with a cast of characters you quickly become attached to. And did I mention the art is AMAZING? I couldn’t be happier to bring these characters to the next dimension.” A six-inch Jester mini-bust is slated for the first release in the new line in early winter 2014. We couldn't be more excited to be partnering with Skelton Crew for ‘The Stuff of Legend,’” said Th3rd World Studios co-publisher Michael DeVito. “The quality of their work and, more importantly, the level of respect that they show to the source material in bringing their replicas and collectibles to life shows a true dedication to their craft. Planned future releases include a pewter replica of The Colonel and a Boogeyman mini-bust. “The guys have been awesome to work with and I can’t wait to see what else we dream up,” Skelton said. Check Skelton Crew’s website, www.skeltoncrewstudio.com, for prototype shots and more release details in coming months. Israel and Charles will both be at BangPop comic con in Bangor, Maine next weekend. About Skelton Crew Studio LLC Skelton Crew Studio is already the exclusive home to props and replicas from “Locke & Key,” “CHEW,” “Mouse Guard” and “B.P.R.D.” Its most recent releases are a green vinyl Chog from “CHEW” and an SDCC-exclusive Alpha Key from “Locke & Key.” It’s been featured on G4's “Attack of the Show,” MTV.com SourceFedNERD and The Onion’s A.V. Club Pop Culture Gift Guide. About Th3rd World Studios Th3rd World Studios (www.th3rdworld.com) is a print and digital publishing house specializing in the development of high-quality original and adapted properties such as “The Intrepid Escapegoat,” “SuperFogeys,” “Legend of Bill,” “Holiday Wars,” the breakout, all-ages fantasy “Finding Gossamyr,” and the acclaimed, original, New York Times Bestselling series, “The Stuff of Legend,” which is currently in development as a feature film from Mandeville Films and Walt Disney Studios.      
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Upcoming Replicas

We wanted to share a quick hello and news of soon-to-be-released projects, comic book and otherwise:

* We had a lot of fun on Hellboy Day — and how could you not? — with an exclusive first look on MTV of some of our early pitch sketches to Mike and our next releases, a sweet interview with Multiversity Comics and few graphs in Multiversity’s piece on creator’s favorite “Hellboy” stories over the last 20 years. SourceFedNERD also did a killer review of the first four pieces in the Archive line. Still can’t believe we’re lucky enough to be adding to this amazing universe.

In very related news:

* The next Artifact Archive pre-order launches today for the Ogdru Jahad Amulet and Vasilisa’s Comb & Handkerchief. A prototype pic of our next release in the line, pegged for later this summer, is below. Follow us on Twitter, @SkeltonCrew, for monthly exclusive coupon codes that start with today’s release.

* Jewelry is still very much in the works, both for “Locke & Key” and “B.P.R.D.” Hope to have more on that next month.

* So much in the works with “CHEW.” Only 50 pre-order Poyo mini busts left — that bada@@ bird is HOT. It’s still on target to ship out in May/June. Last week Rob Guillory teased to some plush projects. That line will kick off with pink and blue Chogs this summer. Fair warning: They’re also pretty fricken’ adorable. Pics to come. There’s also . . . well, I can’t say just yet. But it’s very cool.

* “Mouse Guard” will see the next release in that line in May with Lieam’s Sword. A prototype shot is below. Marionets and Gwendolyn’s pike-axe are in the prototype phase.

* Amazingly psyched to say we’ve partnered with two more books for future prop and bust lines. We hope to announce one very soon and one this fall.

So much to do. That said, our biggest replica this year will have us lying low the next two weeks. We’re expecting the latest addition to our Skelton Crew any day now. If it takes a few extra days for Kathryn or I to respond to an email, really hope you understand.

Thanks,

Israel

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Bustin’ out

Hope everyone is enjoying an early start to fall. We hope to have “Mouse Guard”’s Rand’s Shield out the door in the next two weeks and when it ships, it’ll have a cool bonus: writer/artist David Petersen has offered to sign tags on any orders placed by Oct. 15.

A few other odds and ends at the studio this week:

* Our new painted Poyo prototype from “CHEW” is below, both in its own glory and with a few other mini-busts to show scale. It’s amazingly sculpted and painted by Jamie Macfarlane. We’re shooting for an early spring 2014 release. Plain and simple, Poyo is bad ass.

* David did a great blog post about our next few pieces and our process working together. He’ll have golden SDCC Black Axes for sale at NYCC if you catch up with he and Julia there. (Both awesome people. Tell ‘em we said so.)

* Really happy to announce Jetpack Comics, Zimmie’s and Vault of Midnight are the first three comic shops to start carrying Skelton Crew Studio merch, the only place to find it outside of this site and the occasional con. We love the idea of working with and supporting independent shops.

Take care,

Israel

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Happy New Year

Let’s get right to what the studio has in the works for 2014:

* Alpha 2 might have brought an awesome close to this arc of “Locke & Key,” but happy to say the keys will keep coming. We have many more planned for 2014 and beyond, starting with a new key and another addition to the jewelry line later this month.

What you won’t see: the new release of any more legacy, or variant, editions. Well, with one possible exception. It’s the key we’re asked about the most each week. We’ll see if those tentative plans take us Anywhere.

* David Petersen’s already teased to plans about a very limited “Mouse Guard” marionet. That’s in the works along with Loukas’ sword, Lieam’s sword, Gwendolyn’s pike-axe and more.

* “CHEW” should see the release of a new color Chog, a to-be-revealed SDCC exclusive, Tony’s badge and other goodness. And, of course, we launched our mini bust line with a resin Poyo pre-order today.

* In our Artifact Archive Collection, look for Vasilisa’s Comb, Mohlomi’s Bell, the Ogdru Jahad amulet from “The Island” and more from the “Hellboy” and “B.P.R.D.” universe.

As people’s time allows, we’ll continue to try to get the initial releases signed by creators as often as possible this year.

We’ve also got other projects in the works and who knows where they could lead. The possibilities are endless.

From creators to sculptors to editors, we work with some amazingly nice and incredibly talented people and we have, hands-down, the best customers around. We never forget how lucky we are.

Hope the year brings amazing things for you and yours.

Israel

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Coming up for air

We had a customer ask two weeks ago, very nicely, if we’ve had no news since December. Fair question. The studios has had tons going on, and tons more planned — thanks for the nudge to come up for air and share. For new releases, we’ve got in the works: * “Locke & Key” Owl Key, Mending Key, Philosophoscope Key and maybe a too-be-announced Black Friday key. The series wraps in one more issue? Not for us. We’ve got keys planned for all of 2014, the Gender and Timeshift, to name two. * “Mouse Guard” will see one more piece this winter before 2013 wraps. That line is just getting started. * “CHEW”’s pink Chogs are about to be retired. The SDCC glow Chogs are all snapped up. We have Tony’s FDA badge planned for this fall. The guys had prototypes out at SDCC if you caught them there. * “B.P.R.D.”/ “Hellboy”: The next two pieces, the Elf Shot and Agrippa’s Charm, debut next month. Love the feedback we’ve been getting and really digging the Artifact Archive line. I did an interview with John Scrudder at Behind the Panels last week, and the Giant Key made a cameo in USA Today not too long ago with Joe and Gabe. I had an absolute blast at Boston Con — amazing time, hope to go again next year. I’ll be at Coast City Con in Portland in November for those in greater Northern New England this fall. Take care, and as always, thanks. Israel
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Maine studio announces new Hellboy replica line

LITCHFIELD, Maine — The Apocalypse is here, get your gear. Mike Mignola and Skelton Crew Studio LLC are excited to announce an exclusive license agreement to create the Artifact Archive Collection, limited edition prop replicas spanning the “Hellboy” and “B.P.R.D.” universe. “I’m approaching these as pieces that would have been in the pouches of Hellboy’s belt or picked up in B.P.R.D. members’ travels,” said Israel Skelton, the owner of Skelton Crew Studio. “The possibilities are almost endless and so awesome.” Upcoming replicas include the Elf Shot from “Hellboy: The Wild Hunt,” Bishop Zrinyi’s Button from “Hellboy: In the Chapel of Moloch” and the Bog Roosh’s Nail from “Hellboy: The Third Wish.” The first release is planned for winter 2013. “I’m a huge fan of Mike’s and I’ve wanted to build these pieces for myself for a while,” said Skelton. “He is a legend in the industry and a chance to work with Mike and on this property is such an honor.” Mignola has been crafting the Hellboy universe for almost 20 years. Mignola and “Hellboy,” published by Dark Horse, have been recognized by prestigious Eisner, Harvey and Eagle awards. His latest work, “Hellboy in Hell,” debuted earlier this month. “I’m very excited about this,” Mignola said. Skelton Crew Studio, a sculpting house in rural Maine, has built a name for quality, detailed collectibles since 2009. It’s already the exclusive home to 1:1 replicas for the Eisner-winning comics “Locke & Key,” published by IDW Publishing, “Mouse Guard,” published by Archaia Entertainment and “CHEW,” published by Image. The studio has been featured on G4, and in Wizard and MTV Geek online, and last Christmas made The Onion’s A.V. Club’s pop culture gift guide. Its latest release is a Black Axe pewter replica from “Mouse Guard.” Check the studio’s website, www.skeltoncrewstudio.com, for prototype shots and more release details on the Artifact Archive Collection in coming months. “This year has been amazing and I couldn’t wrap 2012 in a better way,” said Skelton. “The world can’t end now — we have too much work to do.”
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Sneak peeks

Well, what haven’t we been up to the last few months? The studio has been on screech with a bunch of prototype pics to show for it below: * Work is coming (clucking?) along on the vinyl Chog from “CHEW.” Aiming for a winter 2013 release for it, in both a limited edition raspberry and yellow and a paint-it-yourself white. *  “Locke & Key” is keeping us busy with four keys in the works: The Undertree, Owl, Music Box and a key that appears in the Omega arc that I can’t tell you about. Yet. * The studio released The Black Axe from “Mouse Guard” today. Up next in that series: Rand’s Shield. It’s been busy and it’s about to get busier — more news and more prototypes coming at the end of the week. Take care, and as always, thanks to those who've supported the studio. Israel
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Skelton Crew joins the Guard

The Black Axe will rise. Archaia Entertainment and Skelton Crew Studio are excited to announce an exclusive license agreement for the studio to create a line of prop replicas based on the Eisner Award-winning Mouse Guard, written and drawn by David Petersen. “David is such a huge talent and I’ve been a fan of Mouse Guard for years,” said Israel Skelton, owner of Skelton Crew Studio. “Taking the reins to build a mouse-sized armory? Honestly, it’s hard to get much cooler.” The studio plans to release pewter collectibles of swords, shields, and other armament from the Mouse Guard universe. Its first release, the Black Axe, is slated for Christmas 2012. “I’m thrilled about getting these into the hands of my fans,” said Petersen. “Israel has done amazing work bringing the Locke & Key keys to the real world, and I love working with him on the intricacies of all of the mouse weapons and arms so that he can work his magic with them. He’s a true craftsman who cares about the details as much as my fans do.” “Fans of Mouse Guard really love the setting of David’s world and its depth and fantasy realism, and we believe this is a great opportunity to offer them something that makes that world come alive,” said Archaia CCO Mark Smylie. “Israel and his Skelton Crew Studio do extraordinary work, so we are very excited they are going to create these wonderful Mouse Guard artifacts.” Mouse Guard is a comic book series, essentially, about mice with swords. An elite group of warriors are charged with protecting their fellow mice from the elements, predators, and other dangers that threaten their existence. Thus far, the series has been collected into two hardcover collections (Mouse Guard Vol. 1: Fall 1152 and Mouse Guard Vol. 2: Winter 1152); an oversized edition (Mouse Guard Vol. 1: Fall 1152 Black and White Edition);an anthology collection (Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Vol. 1); and a roleplaying game, both in hardcover (for pen and paper) and a deluxe box set. This holiday season, Archaia will release the Mouse Guard Vol. 2: Winter 1152 Black and White Edition and in 2013, Mouse Guard Vol. 3: The Black Axe and Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Vol. 2. Skelton Crew Studio, a sculpting house out of Maine, is already the exclusive home of replicas based on IDW’s popular Locke & Key series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. In July, it announced another exclusive license agreement to create replicas from the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning CHEW by John Layman and Rob Guillory, published by Image. “I can’t believe my good fortune in 2012 and I’m really excited about the future for all three properties,” Skelton said. The latest release from Skelton Crew Studio is a Legacy Edition Echo Key from Locke & Key, coming later this month. The Mouse Guard Black Axe replica will be available in December 2012 through www.skeltoncrewstudio.com. Other replicas will roll out in 2013 and beyond.
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Something to CHEW on: Replicas from Skelton Crew Studio coming

There will be Chogs.

The creators of the Eisner and Harvey-winning comic CHEW and Skelton Crew Studio have reached an exclusive license agreement for the studio to create a line of prop replicas based on the series.

"We're positively thrilled about this deal. The Skelton Crew Studio's commitment to quality is obvious, and we've been looking for the best way to get CHEW-related stuff into the hands of fans, readers and collections – and this is it,” said John Layman, writer of the New York Times best selling series. “This is going to be a great partnership and one of the absolute CHEW highlights of an already monumental year for the book."

CHEW is drawn by Rob Guillory, the 2010 Harvey Award winner for Best New Talent.

"I've been a fan of Skelton Crew Studio's work for a while, and I couldn't imagine CHEW being in better hands,” said Guillory. “And personally, I cannot wait to have their CHEW merch on my shelves! The fans are going to LOVE what we have in store."

Skelton Crew Studio, a small sculpting house out of Maine, is already the exclusive home of replicas based on IDW’s popular “Locke & Key” by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez.

“CHEW is such a great book and these guys are amazingly creative, so I’m pretty amped,” said Israel Skelton, owner of Skelton Crew Studio. “Can I resist saying it? It’s a comic I’m really anxious to get my teeth into.”

Skelton has plans to tackle Chogs, badges and, of course, fan-favorite Poyo. The studio will roll out the first CHEW replicas in late 2012. Check out www.skeltoncrewstudio.com and www.chewcomic.blogspot.com in the coming months for updates.

The latest trade paperback from CHEW, published by Image Comics, “Major League Chew,” hit shelves in May. The latest issue, the spin-off one-shot CHEW: SECRET AGENT POYO goes on sale Wednesday, July 11.

The latest release from Skelton Crew Studio is a limited edition Omega Key from "Locke & Key," this year's 2012 San Diego Comic Con International exclusive.

Layman, Guillory and Skelton will all be attending SDCC this week.
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A is for April

Hope everyone’s spring is off to an awesome start. Our winter just flew by. Too many projects, but in a good way.* A life-size TARDIS dominated January. It’s installed at Hill House, complete with lights, sound and working phone (but sorry, I can’t divulge the number.) Many thanks to Al Landry, Corey Vintinner and Mike St. Germain for helping make it happen. * The Angel Key has been waiting in the wings — pun fully intended — so we could release it with the Animal Key as what we hope is a nice surprise. Sales for both open at 12 a.m. EST April 1. The first 400 pre-orders for the Angel will have tags signed by the amazingly talented Gabriel Rodriguez. (Talented and the nicest Chilean we know.) Both keys ship in May. * We wanted to give a shout-out to British sculptor Jamie Macfarlane. He did an amazing job on the Animal and we can't wait to see more of his work. * What’s down the ‘pike? Well, we hope fans go nuts when they scope out our next couple keys. We’ll say no more.* Making plans already for SDCC. Hope to meet a lot of you there. I do plan an exclusive, one that I hope is music to your ears. OK. Enough. Clearly, there’s too much near-April giddiness at Skelton Crew headquarters. Have a key you need to see? As always, drop us a line.Israel
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Happy Holidays

What a year it’s been, personally and professionally, from the debut of nine new “Locke & Key” keys to the arrival of Skelton Crew Jr. This month saw mentions of the studio on The Onion’s A.V. Club, CNN, The Mary Sue and Wizard - what a way to end 2011.Here’s to starting 2012 with a bang. * The Moon Key is going to debut just after midnight EST on Jan. 1, signed by the one and only Joe Hill. We’re doing this release a little different. Instead of a two week pre-order window for his autograph, the first 400 keys will be signed by Joe. They’ll ship in late January. * The Angel Key, signed by Gabriel Rodriguez, will come out in February and we’ll release it the same way - the first 400 have his autograph. We’re hoping to hit you with many more keys in 2012, and the line-up isn’t confirmed yet, so if you’ve got a key that MUST be made, drop us a line. We’re definitely listening. Thanks again for all the support and kind words. From us to you, have an amazing New Year. Israel
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Back in Black

Man, it feels good to be back in the key business. The last three months I’ve been behind the scenes sculpting and working on cool projects I can’t talk about yet. To answer one question I’ve heard a few times this week – Why’d you pull the Animal and Undertree Keys off the site? – let’s just say I’m squirreling them away for later this winter. (Pun intended.) Undertree and Animal will go back up when they’re ready to ship.Meanwhile: - The Whispering Iron and Legacy Edition Omega Key, the key to Black Door, go live today. I’m excited about both but have to admit to a soft spot for the Omega. I’d been planning to release it timed to the last arc, but couldn’t resist. Hope people dig it as much as I do. - Stay tuned for cool signing news on the next two keys. - You know what? Don’t stay tuned at all: Best-selling writer Joe Hill is autographing one key, obscenely-talented Gabriel Rodriguez is autographing the other. Really psyched the guys are willing to take the time out of their crazy, award-winning schedules. But what keys are they signing? Well, I guess you will have to wait for that. - I have plans for December. Big plans. Deluxe plans. More later. Hope everyone’s well and hope you had a great Halloween. If you notice some of the e-mail now is being answered by Kathryn, that’s my wife. Skelton Crew Jr. is almost ready to start answering phones and if the studio keeps growing like this, he’ll have to. Israel
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And Now For Something Slightly Different

Hope everyone’s sliding smoothly into fall. I wanted to share a little news and a pic.- The Whispering Iron will debut online at the end of the month, alongside the long-awaited Undertree Key. The Whispering Iron is featured in the back of Clockworks 1 on the last page and, as a sculptor, too cool to ignore. This was the issue I’ve been waiting for —  to finally see the Black Door in all its creepiness. As always, Joe and Gabe knocked it out of the park. - A prototype of the Chain Key is below. It’s a little under three feet long and a few pounds. I’d love to hear if there’s any interest in a piece this large. On that note, still pricing out the Giant Key. Trying to get the cost somewhere under “astronomical” is proving to be a challenge. - I’ll have word next month on a cool signing timed around Halloween with the pre-order key, for now, under wraps. October should also see the Animal Key, followed by the Angel Key in November. - If you’re curious for a little more Skelton Crew back story, Jill “Nerdy Bird” Pantozzi had a nice piece in Newsarama last week. Larry Fire’s the Fire Wire also did a write-up –  thanks to both for the kind words. I’m hearing the same MTV rumors about the TV series that you are. Man, wouldn’t that be amazing? That surely would end my 20 year MTV hiatus. Israel
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San Diego Goodness

Couldn’t make it to Comic Con? As it turns out, I couldn’t either. Instead of catching my flight I was in the ER with my first kidney stone yesterday. Pretty awful, but I did get a get-well-soon call from Walt Simonson, a great consolation prize. And speaking of that, two consolation prizes for those of you who also are not in sunny San Diego this weekend:- The Giant Key prototype is below. (Seen here on G4 today with Blair Butler.) It took a crazy amount of work and, like the Ghost Door, wouldn’t have been possible without Mike “Germazing” St. Germain and Peter “Laser Eye” Gill. We’re still working up the final numbers on cost, hope to have details in late August. It’ll definitely be on a made-to-order basis. (Shipping alone from Maine to California was $160.)- Starting Monday, we’re going to try something new, a sort of post-order window: Orders placed for the new comic con exclusive IDW Key before Aug. 8 will receive a tag signed by two of the busiest – and nicest – guys in comics, IDW CEO Ted Adams and IDW Chief Creative Officer Chris Ryall. Meanwhile, in other key business, the Undertree Key will be coming in late August, followed by the Animal Key in September. Really appreciated all the support and have a great rest of the summer. Here's looking forward to NYCC, where, fittingly, the Mending Key might be the con exclusive. I'll throw up a prototype when it's finished. And, of course, huge congrats to Joe for taking home the Eisner for Best Writer and to IDW who raked in five Eisners overall. Well deserved. Wish I could have been there to toast you.Israel
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Studio Locke Down

Sorry it’s been so long between updates. We’ve been crazy busy trying to get sculpts done for San Diego. I’ll be at SDCC and bringing with me a limited edition con exclusive, the IDW Key. I’ve wanted to tackle it since seeing the key in the comic included with IDW: The First 10 Years. I’ve also got two versions of the Hercules Key, the Undertree Key and the Animal Key in different stages of production, all due out within the next couple of months. (The Hercules Key, formerly known as the Beast Key, won the fan choice vote back in February.) Because a lot of fans asked, I’m also releasing a Legacy Edition Head Key this month, plated in antique rose gold. Legacy edition runs aren’t limited or numbered and going forward, some keys will get limited edition variants and legacy runs, some won’t. I hope to run into a bunch of you at SDCC – I’ll be the one with the shaved head and the black t-shirt, I swear, you won’t miss me . . . I’ll also have a few goodies at the IDW booth in addition to the con exclusive key, so please stop by and check them out. Thanks, too, to everyone who’s offered well wishes and sleep advice for the baby. We were able to hit the snooze alarm this morning, twice, for the first time since he was born – that has to be a good sign. Israel
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