Tag Archives: alex de campi

Z2 Announces True War Stories is Getting a Local Comic Shop Day Release

Z2 Comics has announced that True War Stories, the ambitious project pairing members of the US military with the biggest names in comics to share real war stories told by those who lived them, will be available for Local Comic Shop Day. This unique project, assembled by the multiple-Eisner nominated writer/editor, Alex de Campi and co-edited by Iraq War veteran Khai Kumbaar is an entertaining and moving work of graphic nonfiction previously only available through Kickstarter.

Vietcong sappers attack a fuel point, only to be foiled by an unusual alert guard dog. An MP guards convoys of mystery bombs in the Thai jungle in 1968. A young Airman copes with post-9/11 paranoia in Okinawa. A Marine sniper in Haiti faces the repercussions of the shot he never took. A team of SEALs helps rescue a kidnapped girl in the Philippines. Army interpreters in Iraq battle their toughest foe: the rats of Saddam’s palace. A soldier on a late-night run surprises a motorpool saboteur. A young cavalry lieutenant, fresh off the Battle of Kamdesh, meets the Marine half-brother he’s never known. A Navy ship reacts to an unexpected man overboard. And if you’ve ever wondered what Christmas was like in a war zone, you’re about to find out.

Artists include Peter Krause, Ryan Howe, Skylar Patridge (drawing her own father’s Vietnam story), Eoin Marron, Tish Doolin (a former Army medic), Dave Acosta, A. D’Amico, Drew Moss, Josh Hood, PJ Holden, Chris Peterson, Sam Hart, Jeff McComsey, and Paul Williams. Colors are by Dee Cunniffe, Matt Soffe, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Tarsis Cruz, and Aladdin Collar. All lettering is done by de Campi herself.

True War Stories is a 260-page full-color graphic novel anthology containing fifteen true tales of American service members overseas. Nearly every branch of the military is represented in this collection of stories that are heartwarming, heroic, harrowing, and even at times, hilarious, spanning the globe.

True War Stories will be published by Z2 Comics in conjunction with Local Comic Shop Day, with all profits from this $19.99 retail release donated to military-related charities chosen by our contributors as personally meaningful to them: Objective Zero Foundation, Air Force Assistance Fund, the USO, Armed Services Arts Partnership, and Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

True War Stories

Ferry Gouw and Alex De Campi Bring Major Lazer to Z2 Comics

In conjunction with the announcement of the fourth album from Major Lazer, the global dance trio of Diplo, Walshy FireApe Drums, as well as artist Ferry Gouw, Z2 Comics announces the latest collaborative release for spring 2021!

In a special edition one-shot comic and original graphic novel from the group’s longtime artist and collaborator Ferry Gouw, Major Lazer; a one-armed Jamaican Zombie War commando on a mission to free the universe with music will have his elusive origins revealed!

In an alternate timeline 1984, Jamaica’s crown jewel is Nu Kingston—a retro futuristic metropolis where gang lords control hordes of zombie-like addicts with a drug called Slime. The worst among them is BadMan Jones, who is prophesied to wipe out humanity for mysterious extraterrestrials. As Slime spreads to every corner of the island, Major Lazer can no longer maintain neutrality and must rely on new weapons and old comrades to prevent total apocalypse.

Major Lazer: Year Negative One is the latest music-inspired release for Z2 Comics, the innovative independent graphic novel publisher known for collaborating on acclaimed graphic novels with musicians, expanding the audience for graphic fiction with each release.

Major Lazer: Year Negative One is by Ferry Gouw with Alex de Campi, Illustrated by Ferry Gouw, and will be published as a 144 page trade paperback, retailing for $19.99. Renowned for their gorgeous and elaborate deluxe editions, Z2 will be offering an oversized and slip-cased edition of Major Lazer: Year Negative One retailing for $99.99, available for pre-order now exclusively through Z2’s website in an edition of just 2000 copies, and featuring an exclusive vinyl edition of Major Lazer’s new album Music is the Weapon, as well as three exclusive prints. Also available is a special edition one-shot issue, priced at just $5.99!

Major Lazer: Year Negative One

Bad Karma: #1, #2, and #3: Action, Feelings, and Forgiveness

Once again a black man is on death row for a murder he didn’t commit. But what if the white veterans who did the murder came forward? What if the murder was just the US military industrial complex doing what it was built for? What if the vets who were commanded to do the murder want to come clean to get the falsely accused man freed? And what if the so-called Justice System just didn’t care? 

Bad Karma is the action and feelings comic you’ve been waiting for. Written and lettered by my friend Alex de Campi and art by Ryan Howe, and Dee Cunniffe, you can find it self published on Panel Syndicate.

This series is the spiritual successor to the Hell’s Kitchen Movie Club fan comics that de Campi developed with a rotating crew of artists showcasing charmingly mundane interactions between one Bucky Barnes and one Frank Castle as they try to enjoy a regular movie night while coping with trauma. Just vets being vets. It’s warm and funny and insightful and if you’re the one person in comics who hasn’t read it yet, get on it.

Regardless of the earlier fan works, the main characters in this series feel completely fresh yet are so thoroughly inhabited they are easy to get charmed by, especially for their flaws. 

Bad Karma
Bad Karma #1 Ethan and Sully talk to Aaron. Art. Ryan Howe, Dee Cunniffe. Words and letter, Alex de Campi

These are two veterans, Ethan and Sully, who are wrestling with the pain and loss that they endured– both physical and emotional. They are working-class Boston guys (Southie to be precise) who enlisted young and fought in combat units in Afghanistan. Their friendship and history together, the way they take care of each other and try to balance out each other’s strengths and weaknesses are central.  I love the extremely honest and upfront ways Ethan and Sully address aspects of their disabilities and the subtler ways in which they don’t cope with other parts of them. 

Bad Karma

The third member of the party is Ethan’s ex-wife Cheryl. We find her trying to wrangle their kids as the only responsible person around. She’s got a quick wit and her clothes make sense. When’s the last time you saw an action story where the protagonist’s ex-wife isn’t just sympathetic but is actually someone you cheer for? Was it Die Hard? Would you believe you don’t have to turn ex-wives into humorless unfeeling monsters and nags? Who knew? (Pssssst…women knew). If you’re someone who avoids stories without women— this one has quite the woman.

Like any action story worth its salt this one has politics. Race and class shape the world and the ways it plays out in US institutions that claim to be fair but are extremely obviously unjust is central to the story. 

This comic says fuck the CIA, fuck the private military contractor CEO’s and fuck the “Justice System”. It shows how working class people are exploited and the poor are dehumanized by these systems. It shows how some men get rich from the military while others are left with trauma and unemployment. Unlike my review, this story is not didactic about it. The intrigue is rewarding.

I had the pleasure of first reading Bad Karma when it was just a film script. I read it on a flight and I was riveted to my seat. I’m so excited that this story is now going to be readable by anyone with a computer. 

This series also stands out because the art is fucking great. The art strikes the right balance of heightened cartooning and realism especially character design,  facial expressions and body language. The full character acting. The care that went into showing how someone with a specific amputation might walk. 

The environments the story takes place across are so believable. From a Waffle House to a working class Boston home to a Virginia mansion built on the bodies of the dead, the detail shines through. Not just in the background of the panels but in the voices in the background of the panels. 

The cover of each issue is a snapshot from the characters’ pasts. I don’t know if I’ve seen a comic do this before for each issue but its an excellent way to develop the world of the comic. My heart breaks a bit when I see them at bootcamp because I know what comes next.

Redemption and forgiveness are themes I see through this text. Do our protagonists trying to right a wrong absolve them in some way? Is that even what they are seeking? Are Ethan and Cheryl able to build a healthier relationship as parents even if they aren’t married? And what does Aaron Carter, the man unjustly imprisoned for murder for YEARS get out of this?

I’m on the edge of my seat for them all.

_______

I was provided free review copies but I also bought them on Panel Syndicate. 

My most recent interview with Alex de Campi on Graphic Policy Radio was about her anthology series Twisted Romance. Give a listen.

Alex de Campi, Ryan Howe, and Dee Cunniffe’s Bad Karma #3 is Pay What You Want at Panel Syndicate

The latest issue of Bad Karma is here! You can get Bad Karma #3 now at panelsyndicate.com for whatever price you want to pay!

Yes, the unbeatable team of Alex de Campi, Ryan Howe, and Dee Cunniffe are back with the latest 39-page issue of their most excellent action-thriller-comedy!

After the last issue’s events, Sully and Ethan need to get out of jail and save Aaron Carter, who’s only got two days left to live. But the one person they can call for help is going to be the one person who’s going to make the situation a whole lot worse… and the boys are suddenly no longer annoyances. They’re targets.

Bad Karma #3

Alex De Campi and Z2 Comics Return to Kickstarter for True War Stories: Tales From Deployment

Z2’s diverse fall publishing slate continues to be revealed with projects from today’s biggest names in entertainment. Today, the publisher recruits members of the US military for an ambitious project: share real war stories told by those who lived them in an entertaining and moving work of graphic nonfiction which launches exclusively for presale through the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform. This unique project pairs veterans with some of the biggest names in comics, as assembled by the multiple-Eisner nominated writer/editor, Alex de Campi and co-edited by Iraq War veteran Khai Krumbhaar.

Vietcong sappers attack a fuel point, only to be foiled by an unusual alert guard dog. An MP guards convoys of mystery bombs in the Thai jungle in 1968. A young Airman copes with post-9/11 paranoia in Okinawa. A Marine sniper in Haiti faces the repercussions of the shot he never took. A team of SEALs help rescue a kidnapped girl in the Philippines. Army interpreters in Iraq battle their toughest foe: the rats of Saddam’s palace. A soldier on a late-night run surprises a motorpool saboteur. A young cavalry lieutenant, fresh off the Battle of Kamdesh, meets the Marine half-brother he’s never known. A Navy ship reacts to an unexpected man overboard. And if you’ve ever wondered what Christmas was like in a war zone, you’re about to find out.

True War Stories is a 260-page full color graphic novel anthology containing fifteen true tales of American service members overseas. Nearly every branch of the military is represented in this collection of stories that are heartwarming, heroic, harrowing, and even at times, hilarious, spanning the globe.

True War Stories will be published by Z2 Comics in time for Veterans Day in November. All profits from the book’s retail release will be donated to military-related charities chosen by our contributors as personally meaningful to them: Objective Zero Foundation, Air Force Assistance Fund, the USO, Armed Services Arts Partnership, and Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

Artists include the great Peter Krause, Ryan Howe, Skylar Patridge (drawing her own father’s Vietnam story), Eoin Marron, Tish Doolin (a former Army medic), Dave Acosta, A. D’Amico, Drew Moss, Josh Hood, PJ Holden, Chris Peterson, Sam Hart, Jeff McComsey, and Paul Williams. Colors are by Dee Cunniffe, Matt Soffe, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Tarsis Cruz, and Aladdin Collar. All lettering is done by de Campi herself.

Bad Karma #2 is Out Now on Panel Syndicate

Ethan and Sully’s quest to put things right goes more and more wrong, earning them the suspicion and anger of loved ones, old colleagues, and new acquaintances, until the two men of violence are forced to fall back on the only thing they know.

Bad Karma #2 by Alex De Campi, Ryan Howe, and Dee Cunniffe is out now on Panel Syndicate. Panel Syndicate is a pay-what-you-want digital platform. The 36-page second issue is available now in English, as usual, for whatever price you want to pay.

Bad Karma #2 cover

Preview: Archie vs. Predator II

ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR II (TP)

Script: Alex de Campi
Art: Robert Hack, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Jack Morelli
Cover: Robert Hack, Kelly Fitzpatrick
978-1-6-4576-983-5
$19.99 US/$22.99 CAN
6 5/8 x 10 3/16”
144 pp, Full Color
On-Sale Date: 4/15

America’s favorite teen meets the galaxy’s fiercest hunter—again! Betty, Veronica and Predator-Archie have been left in the wreckage of their town, all their friends dead. Normally, they’d just go down Memory Lane and get home again where everything’s okay, but that’s no longer an option. It isn’t until they find an undamaged car and drive it down a different road where they can finally return to Riverdale—but their hometown feels different. And it’s made even more bizarre when they come face-to-face with a few people they’d never expect: themselves. Only different, newer versions. Little do they know, Predators on Mars are watching them—planning their next attack! Collects the full five-issue Archie vs. Predator II mini-series event.

ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR II (TP)

Duncan Jones and Alex De Campi Open a Retailer Level of the Madi: Once Upon a Time in the Future Kickstarter

Madi

Z2 Comics unveils multiple tiers geared toward comic shops in the Kickstarter campaign for the third chapter of the Duncan Jones directed saga he began with MOON!

In just under two weeks, the campaign has already raised over $275,000, making this one of the most successful comics Kickstarter campaigns in recent history! This unique project pairs Jones with some of the biggest names in comics, as assembled by the multiple-Eisner nominated writer/editor, Alex de Campi, and has now proven to be one of the most anticipated releases of the year.

MADI is a 260-page road trip graphic novel set in the future, by film director Duncan Jones and writer Alex de Campi, and drawn by some of comics’ most exciting artists including Glenn Fabry, Simon Bisley, Duncan Fegredo, and Pia Guerra.

Madi Preston, a veteran of Britain’s elite special operations J-Squad unit, is burnt out and up to her eyeballs in debt. She and the rest of her team have retired from the military but are now trapped having to pay to service and maintain the technology put into them during their years of service.   They’re working for British conglomerate Liberty Inc as mercenaries, selling their unique ability to be remote controlled by specialists while in the field, and the debts are only growing as they get injured completing missions. We meet Madi as she decides she’s had enough.  She will take an off-the-books job that should earn her enough to pay out her and her sister, but when the piece of tech she’s supposed to steal turns out to be a kid, and she suddenly blacks out… she finds herself on the run from everyone she’s ever known.

In a globe-spanning adventure from Shanghai to Soho, Madi has to stay one step ahead of the giant corporations closing in on her from all sides…

MADI will be published in softcover by Z2 Comics in November of 2020 and is now available for comic shops and their customers to preorder in hardcover exclusively through Kickstarter, with a special discount of 55% off of cover pricing with a valid Diamond account number.

Alex De Campi, Ryan Howe, and Dee Cunniffe Launch Bad Karma on Panel Syndicate

Panel Syndicate is celebrating traditional new comic book day with a brand new series from Alex De Campi, Ryan Howe, and Dee Cunniffe. Today sees the debut of their new character-based action/thriller series Bad Karma.

Army veterans Sully and Ethan go on a Christmas road trip to free an innocent man blamed for a mercenary job they did. Turns out nobody’s interested in the truth, but they get very interested in making sure Sully and Ethan don’t live to see the New Year.

The 33-page first issue is available now in English, as usual, for whatever price you want to pay, including 0 (zero) at panelsyndicate.com!

Bad Karma

Review: Josie and the Pussycats in Space

Josie and the Pussycats in Space

In the digital comic series Josie and the Pussycats in Space, Alex de Campi, Devaki Neogi, and Lee Loughridge riff on the 1972 animated series Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space. However, with the exception of the first issue, there isn’t a lot of pop music being played in space. Instead, there’s lots of cosmic body horror and applications of Murphy’s Law as the Pussycats go from their next tour stop to eluding a gooey alien parasite. As the five issue miniseries progresses, the setting shifts from United States Space Force ship to rescue pods and finally the vacuum of space.

Although there are definite elements of space horror films like Alien in Josie in Space, de Campi and Neogi do a fantastic job putting their own spin on the genre through suspenseful storytelling and the out-sized personalities of the Pussycats and their supporting cast members Alan M (Who is now a hunky starship captain), Socks, and of course, the Cabot siblings. They use most of the comic’s first issue to establish the friendships and also tension between the band as they’re tired of touring non-stop and living in such close quarters and want to hang out with other people and try other musical endeavors. As well as creating chemistry between the band, it also allows for a classic, slow burn horror setup that succeeds thanks to de Campi’s tight plotting and Neogi’s clear storytelling.

Speaking of Devaki Neogi’s storytelling, she and colorist extraordinaire Lee Loughridge create tension and generally keep things interesting in Josie in Space thanks to varied layouts and color palettes. The comic starts out with a lot of nine panel grids as it seems like it’s just another week in the life of spaceship-setting pop stars. However, then, Neogi uses Dutch angle panels to create a feeling of unease as the ship loses power, time is a little wonky, and the alien parasite starts to pick off the redshirts. Loughridge matches this energy with color palette using flat reds like alarms blaring. I love how depicts the parasite as an all-consuming blackness that matches the tone he uses for some of the space sequences.

Even though this is a series featuring heightened characters in a (sometimes literally) bone-chilling genre, Alex de Campi peppers her script with human moments. For example, Valerie practices grounding exercises with Melody when she has panic attacks a couple times throughout the series. This validates Melody’s emotions and reactions and reinforces her bond with Valerie. In that moment, they aren’t pop culture ciphers, but people reacting to stress. Devaki Neogi reinforces this with her artwork that features a lot of close-up/medium panels so that readers can empathize with the Pussycats and the supporting cast instead of seeing them as monster bait.

Josie and the Pussycats in Space can definitely be read as enjoyable transposition of Americana icons into a science fiction horror setting with a suspenseful plot. However, the inclusion of the actual United States Space Force (Albeit with interplanetary travel capacities) hints at the layered satire of parasitic American imperialism. The inclusion of the Cabots, whose approach is basically to solve problems through money, explosions, and asking questions later is basically American foreign policy since JFK was shot. Also, it’s only hinted at in the first and final chapters because this is more of a comic about scary things than pop music, but Josie and the Pussycats themselves are just another cog in promoting the military industrial, I guess, space complex instead of being countercultural. Maybe, that’s the real reason why Valerie wants to work on solo material.

After that political interlude, Josie and the Pussycats in Space channels this cartoon band’s strangest era into a riveting thriller. Alex de Campi, Devaki Neogi, and Lee Loughridge masterfully transform a cool tour vehicle into an interstellar charnel house and definitely answer the question of “Could Josie and the Pussycats survive Alien?” This comic is worth a download for fans of all-girl pop bands, horror movies, or just exciting, well-crafted stories.

Story: Alex de Campi Art: Devaki Neogi
Colors: Lee Loughridge Letters: Jack Morelli
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

Archie Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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