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Review: Appalachian Apocalypse #1

Appalachian Apocalypse #1

After the ancient staff of Lilith, mother of the damned, reanimates the dead, country boy J.B. and his estranged upper-crust wife Anne must come together to stop the zombie hordes and save the people of Appalachia!

Cave Pictures Publishing is a new publisher whose mission is to create spiritually focused comics. Think of them as the comics equivalent of Christian films that do quite well in theaters. It’s a great concept and one that hasn’t quite taken off, though others have tried.

With that wide open gap, I’ve been very interested in seeing what their releases would be like and this week we get our first look with Appalachian Apocalypse #1.

Written by Billy Tucci, the first issue is about as religious and spiritual as an Indiana Jones film. An object from biblical times is sought after and found and that leads to an outbreak of zombies. It’s a fine concept and could work. But, here it doesn’t due to lack of focus.

Over a third of the comic is backstory putting us in the Civil War where Union forces fight Confederates as the Confederates attempt to do something with a stick. It’s all set up but the storytelling is so disjointed it’s hard to figure out why I should care. There’s a lack of intensity and urgency so by the time that we learn that something important is happening, pages and numerous panels have been wasted. This is a spin on the Ark sequence for Indiana Jones but in that case we know what’s going on, we don’t need to learn. There’s also just a smattering of soldiers for something that seems important. The lack of set up is an issue as there’s just no threat present.

The characters too lack likeability. We have scientists having affairs. “Rednecks” which are nothing but stereotypes. There’s no one to really rally behind. Everyone is either mean, caricatures, or insulted to a point of losing any respectability. I’d be happy with a great flood to take care of them.

The art by Ethan Nicolle with color by Ben Glibert doesn’t help matters. There’s a lack of details that’s almost laughable at times. Flags missing stars is an example. Add in scenes that don’t flow where characters just seem to change locations. The comic also has a style of Plants vs. Zombies which could work if the comic was supposed to be a comedy. But, it doesn’t seem to be, at least I don’t think it is.

The comic is a pretty safe start which doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. The concept is fine but it lacks the spiritual heft to it beyond the bauble things revolve and some pages dedicate to its history. The art style is comedic not quite matching the tone within. The comic isn’t a complete mess but it comes off that there was a few concepts without a visionary to really focus it.

Cave has something with their focus of a company but this first issue doesn’t really instill confidence they’ll pull it off. Others have tried and it’s looking like Cave may be just another attempt.

Story: Billy Tucci Art: Ethan Nicolle Color/Letterer: Ben Glibert
Story: 6.0 Art: 6.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

Cave Pictures Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

It’s a short week of releases with the holiday and you can get every single issue for under $50! So, instead of picking which you should get, we’re doing something a little bit different with going over what they are and why you should check out each release!

Adventure Time: Marcy & Simon #1 (BOOM! Studios/KaBOOM!) – BOOM! Studios is continuing the world of Adventure Time after the series finale. Marceline and Simon are reunited and Simon must make amends for his time as Ice King.

Appalachian Apocalypse #1 (Cave Pictures Publishing) – The spiritually focused comic line launches with this series and we’re intrigued to see how it is and if they can do for spiritual comics like has been done with religious focused films.

Avatar: Tsu Teys Path #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – Avatar is a weird film and world that was such a breakthrough and didn’t go anywhere. Years later we’re getting sequels and it’ll be interesting to see how the comics build towards that.

The Batman Who Laughs #2 (DC Comics) – The breakout star of Dark Knights: Metal is back and he’s brought a friend. The first issue is solid and we’re so excited to see where this series goes.

Black Badge #6 (BOOM! Studios) – This series has been fantastic so far with its twisted take on the Boy Scouts and spy type stories.

Black Widow #1 (Marvel) – We’re a bit mixed on this first issue but it’s nice to see Black Widow back in her own series and it eventually gets to an interesting place. There’s just enough fun moments to check this one out.

Conan the Barbarian #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was fantastic and we’re expecting no less from this issue. A hell of a series debut for 2019.

Fantastic Four #6 (Marvel) – Last issue’s wedding actually happened! Now, we’ve got both Doctor Doom and Galactus to deal with. It’s old school Fantastic Four fun!

Goddess Mode #2 (DC Comics/Vertigo) – The first issue was a blend of tech/fantasy/magical girl and it worked really well. We want to see where it all goes in this second issue.

The Invaders #1 (Marvel) – Marvel is celebrating 80 years with this series and more! The series focuses on the Invaders both in World War II and today as Namor has a plan that’s been brewing and Captain America, Bucky, and the original Human Torch need to stop him.

Marvel Comics Presents #1 (Marvel) – 31 years has gone by since this series first debuted and we’re as excited to get this in our hands as we were back then. Three solid short stories to entertain.

Uncanny X-Men #10 (Marvel) – The end of “X-Men Disassembled” and it’s not what you think!

Preview: Appalachian Apocalypse #1 (of 6)


Script: Billy Tucci
Art: Ethan Nicolle
Cover: Ethan Nicolle
On Sale Date: January 16, 2019
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.
Item Code: NOV181683

After the ancient staff of Lilith, mother of the damned, reanimates the dead, country boy J.B. and his estranged upper-crust wife Anne must come together to stop the zombie hordes and save the people of Appalachia. Billy Tucci (Shi) and Ethan Nicolle (Axe Cop) team up for a hilarious zombie romp like you’ve never seen before!


Exclusive Cover Reveal: Cave Pictures Publishing’s Appalachian Apocalypse #1

At New York Comic Con, Cave Pictures Publishing announced their line up of “spiritually inclined” comics. The publisher looks to be filling a gap and deliver entertainment for a segment that comics hasn’t focused on unlike the film industry which has found success in movies of that nature.

We’ve got a reveal of the cover to Appalachian Apocalypse #1, one of the comics announced. Written by Billy Tucci with art by Ethan Nicolle, the comic is out January 16, 2019 and will retail for $3.99.

After the ancient staff of Lilith, mother of the damned, reanimates the dead, country boy J.B. and his estranged upper-crust wife Anne must come together to stop the zombie hordes and save the people of Appalachia.

The series is described as a “hilarious zombie romp like you’ve never seen before!”

Describing the series Ethan Nicolle said:

Appalachian Apocalypse sort of has a “Dukes of Hazard in a zombie Apocalypse” feel to it. It’s unapologetically American. I enjoy drawing zombies and this has got me drawing tons of them. It’s a very fun, fast-paced zombie adventure with a Tennessee twist.

And when it comes to working with Tucci, Nicolle added:

I’ve been a Billy Tucci fan since the ’90s when I subscribed to Wizard Magazine and he was constantly in the top ten artists in the industry. To be working with him is both thrilling and intimidating as an artist, but luckily he’s possibly the nicest guy in comics.

Tucci is a comic book and graphic novel illustrator and author best known for his creator-owned title and character Shi, now celebrating its 20th anniversary. Tucci penciled Heroes for Hire for Marvel Comics and produced DC Comics’ Sgt. Rock: The Last Battalion.

Nicolle is an American comic book creator, artist, and writer. He is best known for Bearmageddon and Axe Cop, a series he created with his younger brother, Malachai. Axe Cop won top prizes as a web-based comic at both the 2011 Shel Dorf Awards and the 2011 Eagle Awards. Nicolle was also nominated for the Best Humor Publication at the 2009 Eisners.

Cave Pictures Publishing is Launching Comics for the Spiritually Inclined

“Christian” films is big business. With low budgets, they return many factors for their studios making them a very profitable business. While there’s been some attempts to bring that sort of storytelling to comics, no publisher has recreated the marketing that has led to success in films. Cave Pictures Publishing looks to break through and change that.

The publisher revealed a slate of new titles during last week’s New York Comic Con, with a new vision for modern myth-telling. Founded by entertainment executive Mark Rodgers of the cause marketing and creative production firm More Partnerships, Cave Pictures Publishing’s line of spiritually inclined comics debuts in comic shops this January.

The new line of comics mini-series features work from some of the industry’s brightest lights, crafting top-quality and spiritually meaningful stories.

The first title, the horror comedy Appalachian Apocalypse, launches in January from writer Billy Tucci and artist Ethan Nicolle.

Following series launching each month thereafter include:

The Light Princess, a fairy tale by writer Meredith Finch with art by Renae De Liz & Ray Dillon.

The Blessed Machine, a sci-fi escape thriller by Jesse Hamm and company founder Mark Rodgers with art by Hamm.

The No Ones, action-packed superhero drama by writer Jim Krueger with art by Well-Bee.

Wylde, a supernatural western by Daniel Bradford.

Cave Pictures draws its mission and vision from Plato’s allegory of the cave; that what we see with our eyes is often a shadow of greater reality.

More details on each series will be announced in coming months.