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Review: Home #1

Home #1

I had no idea what Home #1 was about when I opened the review pdf just after midnight on Wednesday. Absolutely none – and while that experience was incredible, it’s going to be hard to talk about the comic without talking about the content of the book, so if you want the same experience then stop reading this review now, because frankly this comic is one that you should read.

Still with me?

Fair enough.

So what’s the comic about? Home #1 is the story of a mother and son who have given up everything to come to the United States, by seeking asylum at the border between the USA and Mexico. Given that this comic is set at some point in the last four years, and given the news that has emerged about the Trump Administration’s policy of separating parents and children, you can probably imagine what happens next. But even knowing that, doesn’t make it any easier to read.

Written by Julio Anta with art by Anna Wieszczyk, colours by Bryan Valenza and lettering by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, the comic takes an unfiltered look at what life had been like for asylum seekers during the last four years (am I being too optimistic in thinking that things have changed? I hope not, but I also know that this isn’t an area that I’m an expert in). Anta’s dialogue will tear at your heart, the hope his characters have turning to uncertainty and fear is heartbreaking, and it hits so much harder because of the art work. There’s a distinct shift from warm colours toward cold and clinical greys and blues as Mercedes and Juan Gomez are faced with the reality of their situation.

Home #1 is not easy to read, but I think it’s a story that needs to be read; just because it’s a fictional story, doesn’t make the emotions within the comic any less vivid. The creative team really knows how to punch you in the gut. There’s a slight drop in the art toward the end of the book as things feel a little looser than before, but after reading the book a few times, I’m inclined to think that the looseness is a choice based on the events on the pages themselves.

But there’s still optimism in the story – well, apparently there will quite a lot based on Anta’s afterward, but I don’t know what to think of that at the moment, but there’s definitely signs of a brighter future… maybe. I don’t know. Obviously I believe the writer of the comic, but I’m not seeing anything like that right now.

All I really know about this book is that you need to read this comic.

Story: Julio Anta Artist: Anna Wieszcyk
Colourist: Bryan Valenza Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Image provided a FREE copy for review, but I also purchased the comic

Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – TFAW

Home Will Feature Variant Covers by Jacoby Salcedo

The upcoming series Home by writer Julio Anta and artist Anna Wieszczyk will boast a special, collectible series of variant covers featuring artwork by the lauded Jacoby Salcedo.

Salcedo is a longtime collaborator with Anta. They’ve previously worked together on “The Price of Freedom,” “Between Two Worlds,” and “Balseros,” mini-comics which were published in anthologies like COVID Chronicles and magazines like Panel X Panel. The pair have a forthcoming graphic novel together, Frontera, slated for 2023 with HarperAlley.

There will be a Salcedo variant available for each issue of the five-issue miniseries in stores this April. 

The new series Home explores the real-world implications of a migrant with extraordinary powers, and will launch from Image Comics in April.

Home follows a young boy who is torn away from his mother while seeking asylum at the U.S. border, just as something begins to change in him. He doesn’t know it yet, but it’s the onset of superhuman abilities that will change his life forever. 

Home #1 Cover A by Sterle (Diamond Code FEB210032), Home #1 Cover B by Salcedo (Diamond Code DEC209048) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, April 14.

Home #1 Cover B by Jacoby Salcedo

Julio Anta and Anna Wieszczyk Explore US Immigration Policy and Border Patrol in Home

Debut creators Julio Anta and Anna Wieszczyk weave a deeply grounded and heartfelt story in the forthcoming comic book Home. This five-issue miniseries will explore the real-world implications of a migrant with extraordinary powers, and will launch from Image Comics in April.

Home follows a young boy who is torn away from his mother while seeking asylum at the U.S. border, just as something begins to change in him. He doesn’t know it yet, but it’s the onset of superhuman abilities that will change his life forever.

Home #1 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, April 14.

Home #1

Review: Godkiller Deluxe Edition Book 1


Fallen gods, sex magic, and quantum physics technowizards collide in Pizzolo and Wieszczyk’s beloved modern classic about a boy wandering the wasteland in search of a new heart for his dying sister.

Writer Matt Pizzolo has managed to create this brilliant, strange, and perverse story that gives us a world that’s extremely grim. Godkiller brings aspects of both fantasy, horror, and sci-fi to the story, excellently mixing all of the genres into one working world. While the plot seems almost classical in nature, the chosen setting and complex story aspects make it stand apart I’m curious to see how the story continues in Godkiller: Tomorrow’s Ashes.

The art in this book by Ben Templesmith and Anna Wieszczyk is a mixture of action, sexual perversion, and violence. The combination creates an atmosphere that keeps things dark at all times. Yet, despite the darkness, it manages to show the sorrow, and desperation of the main character, Tommy has as he searches for a replacement heart for his dying sister.

Story: Matt Pizzolo Art: Ben Templesmith, Anna Wieszczyk
Story: 9.5 Art:9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Black Mask Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Black Mask Studios Announces their Class of 2016

Black Mask Studios is one of the hottest publishers out there, constantly releasing comics that are some of the most buzzed about and consistent sell-outs. Launched in 2014 by Matt Pizzolo, Brett Gurewitz, and Steve Niles, the publisher has revealed its third slate of comics, a dozen projects “principally from new creators bringing bold and unorthodox points of view to their comics.”

With an already proven success record as a publisher, plus a line-up of new creators, this could be one of the hottest launchpad for new comic talent in quite some time.

So who is in the Class of 2016? Take a look…



writer Katy Rex
artist Fabian Lelay
colorist Mara Jayne Carpenter 
covers Annie Wu (Black Canary)

From an all-new creative team, Jade Street Protection Services is Black Mask’s first all-ages book, decribed as The Breakfast Club of Hogwarts.

Jade Street Protection Services follows a group of (bad) students at Matsdotter Academy, an elite private school for magical girls. When they all meet for the first time in a totally unfair detention, these punk rock witch delinquents cut class and discover the fates Matsdotter has in store for them are even more sinister than they suspected.

JSPS channels Black Mask’s edgy, subversive sensibility into a whipsmart all-ages adventure for delinquents young and old.

KIM & KIMJuly 2016


writer Magdalene Visaggio
artist Eva Cabrera
colorist Claudia Aguirre
covers Tess Fowler (Rat Queens), Devaki Neogi (Curb Stomp) 

Another one from an all-new creative team, Kim & Kim is a Tank Girl-esque buddy adventure about a trans woman and her best girlfriend.

Kim & Kim is a day-glo action adventure that’s bursting with energy and enthusiasm and puts queer women and trans women front and center. Badass besties Kim and Kim are out to make a name for themselves in the wild world of interdimensional cowboy law enforcement – and they very quickly end up in way over their heads.

Blending the punk exuberance of Tank Girl with the buddy adventure wackiness of Superbad (if Michael Cera was a trans woman and Jonah Hill a queer girl partner in crime), Kim & Kim focuses on the power and meaning of female friendships as engines of validation. A bright, happy, punk rock sci fi adventure that is queer as shit.



writer Kwanza Osajyefo (former editor at Zuda)
co-creator/designer Tim Smith 3
artist Jamal Igle (Supergirl, Molly Danger)
covers Khary Randolph (Robin Wars)

In a world that already hates and fears them – what if only Black people had superpowers?

After miraculously surviving being gunned down by police, a young man learns that he is part of the biggest lie in history. Now he must decide whether it’s safer to keep it a secret or if the truth will set him free.

X-Men meets The Wire, BLACK’s Kickstarter blazed through Black History Month 2016 earning $91,973, more than three time its funding goal.



writers J.M. DeMatteis (Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt, Justice League) Matt Pizzolo (Young Terrorists, Godkiller)
artist Josh Hood (We Can Never Go Home)
cover Amancay Nahuelpan

Julie was a good girl from an elite family with her whole life ahead of her, until she got mixed up with bad boy Winston. After a decade of hard drugs and harder living, Julie is finally pulling her life back together. In rehab, she undergoes intensive therapy that unearths a deeply repressed trauma: her memory from being 16 and giving up her and Winston’s baby for adoption. She realizes it’s a lie. An implanted memory. There was something else that took the baby. Something evil. Julie tracks down Winston and forces him to tell her what truly happened, a horrifying revelation that will lead them both on a journey into darkness.

A lyrical and fantastical tale of rebellion, redemption, and hellfire, but, most of all, a story of family.

From legendary writer J.M. DeMatteis, co-written by Matt Pizzolo fresh off his smash hit Young Terrorists and illustrated by Josh Hood still on fire from We Can Never Go Home.



writer Tini Howard
artist Devaki Neogi (Curb Stomp)

A stylish, period, political adventure about a pair of hip, clever teens who fool the world of the 1960s into believing they have superpowers. Like X-Men: First Class meets Project Alpha.

It is the 1960s. The Russians have the A bomb, the H bomb, and now the most terrifying weapon of all: a pair of psychically superpowered young people. Terrified and desperate, the US top brass scours from coast to coast in search of psychic Americans. Enter Dr. Isobel Santaclara, an eccentric illusionist and grifter who has recruited two teenagers and trained them to trick the US government, the Russians, and the whole world into believing they are dangerous psychics. Skeptical is a pre-punk period piece, a sort of honest, unfuzzy, non-nostalgic look at the Cold War 1960s in DC.

Featuring female doctors, black female college students, and other genius “undesirables.” Like a cross between Kill Your Boyfriend and Hard Day’s Night, but about politics and ethics and how punk rock it is to be the smartest person in the room.

4 KIDS WALK INTO A BANKStreet date: April 27, 2016


writer Matthew Rosenberg (We Can Never Go Home)
artist Tyler Boss (VICE)

What is it?

11 year old Paige and her weirdo friends have a problem: a gang of ex-cons need her dad’s help on a heist… the problem is those ex-cons are morons. If Paige wants to keep her dad out of trouble, she’s going to have to pull off the heist herself.

4KWIAB is a very dark & moderately humorous story about friendship, growing up, d & d, puking, skinheads, grand larceny, & family.



writer Curt Pires (The Fiction, Mayday)
artist Eric Pfeiffer (Arcadia)

Live fast. Live forever.

Five friends struggling on the brink of stardom sacrifice everything in a black magic pact that brings them all the wealth and glamour they ever wanted. But now, years later, the glow is fading. When one of them is killed in an accident, they each feel a pulse of magic rise in them. They realize the glow is spread evenly among the group, and if one dies that power is passed along to the rest. Suddenly, they are being hunted. One of them has decided to kill the rest and harness the remaining power.

As they search for the killer, each of The Forevers will be confronted by the macabre reality of the lengths people will go to be adored, to make sure the spotlight never fades.



writers Eric Palicki (Guardians Of Infinity) Adrianne Palicki (actress, Mockingbird in Agents Of SHIELD)
artist Ari Syahrazad

Religious texts from The Bible to the Sumerian tablets speak of strange creatures descending from the heavens and mating with humans, their children the superhuman heroes of myth. None of this ever meant anything to Iraq War veteran Hannah Gregory, until she found herself in the crosshairs of a dangerous cult convinced that she’s a descendant of these dangerous bloodlines… bloodlines they’re determined to eradicate.

No Angel is a cosmological and conspiratorial modern western in the style of Preacher meets Justified by way of Jodorowsky.



writers Zac Thompson (VICE) Lonnie Nadler (VICE)
artist Eric Zawadzki (Last Born)

In this bloodsoaked satire of gentrification, an exclusive new restaurant called Pijin becomes the hottest spot in town by serving high-end dishes of human flesh. Where is the meat coming from? No one knows for sure, but a drug addled homeless man named Arnold Timm notices his friends disappearing and is determined to find out if they’re being fed to the rich.

A modern spin on Sweeney Todd in our world of excess where a touch of celebrity can make even cannibalism seem downright sexy.



writer Matt Pizzolo (Young Terrorists, Godkiller)
artist Anna Wieszczyk (Godkiller)

The creators of Godkiller (one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015) return for an all new saga.

In a twisted future where America has been divided into warring city states, escaped slavegirl Halfpipe and grifter Soledad roam the savage land on the fringes between civilizations. When they come upon a strange relic, they will uncover a secret history of America’s destruction.

This grimy apocalyptic fantasy manages to be simultaneously fun and horrifying, both brutal and intellectual, a unique descent into the American nightmare.



writer Fabian Rangel Jr (Space Riders)
artist Alexis Ziritt (Space Riders)

The Skullship Santa Muerte rides again as the creators of Space Riders (one of The Village Voice’s Outstanding Comics of 2015) return.

An ancient evil is gathering power throughout the cosmos, and it falls upon the legendary SPACE RIDERS to kick its a**! Having disbanded, the crew of CAPITAN PELIGRO, MONO, and YARA must reunite for what may be their final ride!

The cult comic that electrified comic readers in the brain RETURNS to blast your fragile human psyche into oblivion!!

WE CAN NEVER GO HOME, vol. 22016


writers Matthew Rosenberg (We Can Never Go Home, QUAKE) Patrick Kindlon (We Can Never Go Home, QUAKE)
artist Josh Hood (We Can Never Go Home)

The dream team behind 2015 breakout hit We Can Never Go Home (winner of Diamond Comics Gem Award for Best Indie Graphic Novel of 2015) are back.

17 year old misfit Morgan was lost. Unsure if she imagined the teenagers with strange abilities who were involved in the death of her boyfriend or not, Morgan was worried she was losing her mind. She fell in with a rough crowd, developed some bad habits, and did whatever she could to try and forget the things she thought she saw. But when she runs into a very lonely and disturbed girl named Dania, everything changes. Like those teenagers from her past, Dania can do things other people can’t. Dania will be Morgan’s ticket out of their small town and into a bigger world… whether she wants to be or not.

Sell-Outs and New Printing Roundup

Check out some of the announced sell-outs and new printings announced this week.

Black Mask Studios

Matt Pizzolo and Anna Wieszczyk’s brutal hit series Godkiller continues its reign of terror by selling through the 2nd printing of Godkiller #2 and generating demand for a 3rd printing!

The 3rd printing cover is a celebration of cosplay and fandom, featuring a fan-made photo of Samantha Lubrano cosplaying GODKILLER’s Halfpipe (photographed by Justin Brooks).

godkiller #2 3rd printingMarvel

Marvel has announced that Ant-Man #1 by Nick Spencer and Ramon Rosanas has sold out, and will return with a second printing on February 4. It will feature a cover by Mark Brooks.


Godkiller animated film trilogy starts production at Black Mask

godkiller 1 second printingPublishing and production company Black Mask Studios has announced its first major in-house production: three animated features based on the comic book Godkiller by Black Mask co-founder Matt Pizzolo, Anna Muckcracker Wieszczyk, and Ben Templesmith.

Black Mask acquired the film/TV/transmedia rights earlier this year from Pizzolo’s film company Halo-8, who produced an animated series of the property in 2010.

Black Mask will re-release the animated series Godkiller: Walk Among Us in 2015 as a fully re-mastered feature with new voice talent. This will be followed by two brand-new animated features Godkiller: Tomorrow’s Ashes in 2016 and Godkiller: The Trouble You Took From Her Eyes in 2017.

The features will utilize different animation styles for the various dimensions the characters travel through. They will be produced by Black Mask Studios, co-founded last year by Pizzolo, Brett Gurewitz, and Steve Niles.

Godkiller, about a teenage orphan and an escaped slavegirl journeying through a post-apocalyptic wasteland, debuted as a self-published underground comic and was launched in stores as a new ongoing comic book series from Black Mask on October 29. It was recently announced that Godkiller’s debut issue on Black Mask sold through its print run and would be the label’s first comic to receive a second printing based on outsized demand.

Black Mask is co-producing the Syfy series Fiver Ghosts with UCP and BenderSpink, based on the comic by Frank Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham. Evan Daugherty is writing the pilot. Black Mask is also developing a transmedia adaptation of the same comic in-house.

Preview: Interesting Drug OGN HC

Interesting Drug OGN HC

Writer(s): Shaun Manning
Artist(s): Anna Wieszczyk

If you could take a pill and travel back to any time in your life, where would you go? Writer Shaun Manning hooked us with his fresh sci-fi thriller, illuminating the dangers of living in the past.

When a man from the future recruits average retail worker Andrew Smith to help him create a drug that will allow him to travel through time, Andrew thinks he’s found the way to erase all his problems. However, the power of nostalgia proves to be the strongest of drugs, creating an epidemic of addiction with Andrew as its unwitting kingpin.

If Richard Linklater (A SCANNER DARKLY) directed a season of BREAKING BAD written by J. J. Abrams, it’d probably be pretty close to what Manning and Wieszczyk have built—a tripped-out psychological thriller full of scrappy anti-heroes and some of the most villainous scum of all space and time.


Interview: Shaun Manning discusses Interesting Drug, Plus an Exclusive Extended Preview

Interesting_Drug_coverWhen a man from the future recruits average retail worker Andrew Smith to help him create a drug that will allow him to travel through time, Andrew thinks he’s found the way to erase all his problems. However, the power of nostalgia proves to be the strongest of drugs, creating an epidemic of addiction with Andrew as its unwitting kingpin. If you could take a pill and travel back to any time in your life, where would you go? That’s the premise of writer Shaun Manning‘s upcoming graphic novel Interesting Drug which hits shelves May 28th courtesy of Archaia, an imprint of BOOM! Studios.

The graphic novel, featuring art by Anna Wieszczyk, is a trippy sci-fi, psychological thriller, that gets you to question what’s real, and what’s in the past. There’s dangers in taking drugs in general, but even more when you’re stuck in the past!

We got a chance to ask Manning some questions about the graphic novel (and time travel in general), and also have an exclusive extended preview of the graphic novel after!

Graphic Policy: So how did the graphic novel Interesting Drug come about?

Shaun Manning: It started basically with the concept of “drug-induced time travel.” There’s this idea that’s shown up in science fiction more than once that all of time exists simultaneously and we’re just moving through it — we perceive it as a straight line, past to present to future, because that’s the only way we know how to go. I don’t necessarily believe that, but I do find it really interesting. It also suggests that, if we were able to travel through time at will, in any direction we chose, to any point along our timelines, we shouldn’t need a time machine to get us there. It’s inside us already. So how do you unlock that? Well, a drug might be one way.

GP: What drew you to making this a graphic novel instead of a monthly limited series?

SM: I’d done a first-issue script for the Advanced Writers Workshop at Comics Experience, an online course run by former Marvel and IDW editor Andy Schmidt. At that time, I saw it as a four- or five-issue miniseries. When Archaia picked it up, though, at the time they were not publishing single-issue comics, so from that point on it became a GN. This was early in the process — it’s very much structured as a graphic novel now. And it’s a beautiful book, something I’m really pleased to debut with.

GP: And how did Anna Wieszczyk come on board the project?

SM: After I had the script for the first issue (what would become, with revision, the first chapter of the GN), I started casting about for artists online. I posted on forums like Digital Webbing, Deviant Art, Penciljack, etc., and got a few really nice responses. But when I saw Anna’s work, I knew that’s what I wanted.

GP: The style for the art is interesting in that it uses real pictures mixed with the drawn art, creating a trippy dream like look. Was that your idea or Annas?

SM: That was all Anna. But that’s part of why I wanted her for the book — her style is like nothing else I’ve seen.

GP: The graphic novel has an interesting take on addiction, in that it expands the idea to being addicted to being focused on the past and nostalgia. Where’d that idea come from?

SM: That actually emerged in the writing. When I started in on this, it was basically just about a master manipulator from the future causing chaos in the present. I’m glad it evolved beyond that. It kind of had to, both to be anything like an interesting story and also to address the drug aspect in real terms. And, you know, nostalgia is addictive. Everybody has their “what ifs,” and for plenty of people there was, or they perceive there was, this golden time when everything was great, and now it’s not. So why not live there instead?

But the thing is, what happens to the present if everyone is living in the past? Who’s steering the ship? And, on an individual level, how does anyone move forward?

GP: Something else that stood out to me was this glimpse that if one is too focused on the past, they neglect the present, and it becomes cyclical in a way. How did that come into the story?

SM: It ties into the addiction thing. Being focused on the past is one thing — not terribly productive, generally, but mostly harmless. But if you could actually go back, spend time there? And this time, you can say or do exactly the right thing, or keep trying until you get it right? Why waste time on the unpredictable present?

GP: With a lot of stories that involve time travel, the rules that govern it can be a focus of either the story, or for the reader. How much did you work out of how it all works in this world?

SM: It’s pretty carefully worked out, but I try not to let it get in the way. The first thing for me is always the characters, and I had a lot of fun writing these guys. Andrew and Leilani, our heroes, are ordinary people with this great, long-lasting friendship. I like them. They have a standing date for a TV night that goes back to Dawson’s Creek. They’re witty but notthat witty; they tell jokes that don’t work, and they call each other on it.

But as to the sci-fi aspect of things, there’s a very specific way that time travel works in my story, there are limitations. Tristram lays it out pretty early. But he’s the bad guy, so a lot of that will be lies. The truth comes later.

GP: There’s a lot of debate on the legalization of some drugs here, and things might get out of hand. Did that come into play at all when you were writing this?

SM: I started on this book before the legalization movement gained the traction that it now has, where states like Colorado have effectively voted it in and are now struggling with the contours, where medical marijuana kind of muddied the waters (they are still extraordinarily murky in Michigan, where I live) and I know decriminalization in the UK has had some unexpected consequences, but the debate has always been there. Many of the benefits that advocates promised have in fact materialized, and I think the problems of these early days can be overcome — we need proper discussions without reducing everything to pro or con, we need to see what breaks in order to fix it, so we can be smarter moving forward.

All of that said, the time travel drug seen in my story should in no way be legal. Ever.

GP: Since everyone in the story was focused on this, I feel like I need to ask. What point in your life would you travel back to if this drug existed?

SM: Ah, man. I’m pretty happy where I am. But I also love to travel, so I can’t say for sure I wouldn’t do some sightseeing.

GP: What can we expect from you next?

SM: Well, I’m putting the finishing touches on my digital-first series Hell, Nebraska on Comixology. The sixth and final issue is just about done and I’ll be doing a print collection of that, as well. Beyond that, I’ve got a bunch of stuff I’d like to get off the ground — some superhero books, more than a couple really wicked comedies, historical fiction, probably a few others. We’ll see what the future brings.

Check out the exclusive extended preview!

Archaia Announces Moon Lake Volume 2 HC

Archaia Entertainment, an imprint of BOOM! Studios, and actor Dan Fogler have officially announced Moon Lake Volume 2, a hardcover graphic novel sequel to the 2010 original that meshes genres and stories into one insane anthology inspired by Tales from the Crypt and Heavy Metal. Once again narrated by the hilariously deranged Man in the Moon, Moon Lake Volume 2 features the talents of a who’s who of some of the top writers and artists in the business. The second volume was mentioned at the Archaia panel at San Diego Comic-Con which Fogler presented on.

Fogler described the series as:

Moon Lake is a crossroads of so many different brands of evil that it’s hilarious—unlimited haunted tales as told by the twisted and gregarious Man in the Moon. I really wanted to craft an eclectic Lovecraftian tale that linked the separate short stories together like the pieces of an elaborate puzzle.

Volume 2 is a meal that can’t be devoured in one simple reading and stays with you long after you’re done, like a delicious steak rotting in Alfred Hitchcock’s lower intestine. It’s a freakin’ labor of love to put a book like this together and manage all those different personalities, but the combined artistry in Moon Lake Volume 2 proved to be the perfect ingredients for our sick smorgasbord. Packaged spectacularly by Archaia for your delightful digestion. Bon appetit!

Moon Lake Volume 2 is created, edited, and written by Dan Fogler and features art by Nadir Balan (who also illustrated the cover), Kevin Colden, Dan Dougherty, Fernando Pinto, Darick Robertson, Alex Sheikman, Jeff Stokely, and Anna Wieszczyk. In addition, the book features a story co-written by Andrew Harrison and a story written by New York Times bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson.

Moon Lake Volume 2 ($24.95, hardcover, 160 pages, full color, 7.25” x 11.25”) is available for pre-order now at your local comic book shop. To pre-order, provide your retailer with Diamond Order Code SEP13 0873.

moon lake vol 2 cover

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