I'm not being hyperbolic when I say that every single title from Image Expo sounded great. There were Russian spies, space detectives, and war-torn settings, as well as much, much more. While it was hard to pick favorites, there were a few books that stood out. Six, to be exact. But you knew that.
Let's check them out:
I failed with this book. Steven T. Seagle was handing out small previews of the comic, a mini called THE BUS, and I couldn’t find him. Fortunately, I was able to sneak a peek at the first page and all I saw was a literally large mouthed little girl screaming “I'm not going!”
Monsters, sleep away camps, and werewolf crushes sound like a jovial but frightening (at least for the unfortunate little girls) tale that will appeal to everyone. It's written to be all ages, is a 256 page one shot, and comes out in October!
Steven has facial hair that could chainsaw trees, but this comic looks like something anyone can enjoy.
Buy it, read it, read it to your niece. I know my niece Sophie will probably love it, and I'll probably have to read it a few times in one day, but judging from the adorable art and premise, I'm totally fine with it.
While this list is in no particular order, EXPIRED by Jimmie Robinson is by far the book I’m most excited about. Homeless vet, ghost tied to a parking meter, and a Van Helsing like character in a taco truck? Put it together and you get…something. Get Jimmie Robinson to put it together (whose works FIVE WEAPONS and THE EMPTY are incredible, with Robinson doing words, full color art, and lettering for the latter) and you get what will surely be a great story.
With art by Richard Pace, this story will hit insane sounding concepts that, if Robinson’s earlier works are any indication, work perfectly under his hand. What really struck me is the excitement in Robinson’s voice, as well as the enthusiasm of the crowd.
With a touch of demons, meter maids, and the threat of an expired parking meter which would cause the ghost to disappear, the story feels heavy. And if the homeless vet can be explored as he should be, this project will definitely be a hit.
Also, Jimmie‘s a cat guy. Take that as you will.
I’ll be honest: anything that cites music, in any form, to be a major component of the story, reels me in like a sucker fish. BLUE MONDAY by Chynna Clugston-Flores is a comedy set in the early nineties that follows a group of “weirdos,” as Chynna put it, trying to find their place in the world. A hardcover will be printed that includes the first four volumes, as well one-shots, miniseries, and rare stories, entitled GERMFREE ADOLESCENTS
Yep, this isn’t actually new as much as it is continuing, so you can scour the internet or your local comic shop for the first four trades. or just wait for the hardcover.
If you read the long post on the new announcements, you’ll have seen that this book has been described as “Archie Comics on crack.”
Upstairs, Chynna was beaming. The art is vibrant, the characters look like a group of teenagers who would actually hang out together, and the excitement flowing through Chynna was enough to sell me on the book. I say that a lot, but enthusiasm goes a long way.
Early next year, Caitlin Kittredge will be releasing THROWAWAYS with Steve Sanders on art duties, and shit am I excited.
In this world, the CIA created a secret project entitle MK-ULTRA which experimented with and created psychic human weapons (you know, a totally different world where the CIA would never do something like this). They shut it down, but Dean Logan, son of one of the experiments, survived.
Except now his own psychic powers are killing him.
Then, Abby Palmer, former Army ranger and ULTRA experiment, saves him.
So, naturally, they decide to kick the ULTRA program's ass.
Caitlin's written more novels than you and I combined, so she's no rookie. Mostly a dark fantasy and noir author, this may seem like a change of pace for her, but I'm expecting to be tossed around by this book, and you should be too. Also, I want to see Abby Palmer give Furiosa a run for her money, while dragging along her Dean Logan puppy.
First off, how good is that title? SLAVE PUNK, written by Ron Wimberly, is about a black slave with a genius mind who becomes the catalyst for the Civil War. The real one, not the Marvel one. By defying King Cotton, he ignites the battle between the North and the South.
I asked Ron Wimberly if there were themes involving race in this book and his other, SUNSET PARK (despite it being pretty obvious). He replied with a smirk, “A little bit.” With horrendous attacks on specifically black churches and controversy surrounding an outdated flag, a book like SLAVE PUNK, that is openly speaking about race even just from the title, is important.
Even cooler, look on the right side of the art above. I don’t want to say that’s a guy with a jet pack, but it’s probably a guy with a fucking jet pack.
I'm new to horror. I'm also sad that I'm new to horror. Comics like Morrison's Arkham Asylum, Snyder's Severed, and old Lovecraft tales were some of my first forays into the genre. It wasn't until I read work such as these that I realized how perfect horror is as a genre to heal a person's fears as opposed to being consumed by them.
But we're not here to talk about that.
We're here to talk about a new book by Warren Ellis and Tula Lotay called HEARTLESS. After working together on SUPREME: BLUE ROSE, Warren asked Tula if she would like to work together again.
The story is about a musician who “returns to her roots” to write a new album. While at home, she discovers that the dark forest she frequented in her past hasn't forgotten her.
She and Warren drew inspiration from films by Andrei Tarkovsky and David Lynch, as well as northern British folk tales and the landscape from the same area.
With what will surely be a powerful script by Warren Ellis, and beautiful work by Tula Lotay (seriously, look it up) I'm hoping they scare me. The idea that an entire forest, along with whatever inhabitants reside in it, remember what you've done is chilling. It means that, if there's a forest that remembers you this way, it's probably thinking about you right now.