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Around the Tubes

Ash & Thorn #2

It was new comic day yesterday! What’d you all get? What’d you like? What’d you dislike? Sound off in the comments below! While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

DC Comics – Super Here For…the Politics of Superman – Really interesting read and post by DC.

CBR – Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Canceled at Netflix – This doesn’t surprise us. The PR push to us was rather limited.

Book Riot – Giant-Size X-Men #1: Iconic and Racist AF – They’re not wrong.

ICv2 – Diamond Companies Received $5-$10M+ in PPP Loans – Well now you know.

ICv2 – Genius Brands Acquires Control of Stan Lee IP – Interesting….

Reviews

Comics Bulletin – Ash & Thorn
Comic Attack – Excellence #8

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Ash & Thorn #2

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) 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 week.

Ash & Thorn #2 (AHOY Comics) – The first issue introduced us to an unlikely champion of Earth. The series seems to be having fun with expectations and tropes from that genre with a nice mix of humor to it.

DCeased: Dead Planet #1 (DC Comics) – DC has been doing some top-notch work when it comes to this pocket of stories and this return to the world is full of dread and heartbreak… and that’s just the first issue!

Eat and Love Yourself (BOOM! Studios) – Magic chocolate allows a young woman to revisit her past. The concept sounds really intriguing and creative.

Eight-Lane Runaways (Fantagraphics) – A new graphic novel about the world of running with a magical twist. We’re still not quite sure what this one’s about but the cover and description text has us wanting to find out more.

Empyre: Fantastic Four #0 (Marvel) – The first zero issue to come out of this anticipated event was solid and we’re excited to see what else is to come. What went from a shrug is now very intriguing.

Ginseng Roots #5 (Uncivilized Books) – One of the best comics out right now, Craig Thompson explores growing up in the world of ginseng.

Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics (Ten Speed Press) – Tom Scioli’s biography of the great Jack Kirby.

Join the Future #3 (AfterShock) – This future western explores the idea of modernization and the exploitation that comes with it.

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew #2 (Dynamite Entertainment) – The twist of the first issue was predictable but we really want to see where this noir/mystery goes.

Quantum & Woody #4 (Valiant) – The first three issues have been a whole lot of fun and we’re expecting the same from this finale.

Strange Academy #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was a lot of fun and we’ve been looking forward to seeing more of the series. Think young magic users at a school set in the Marvel universe.

Review: Ash & Thorn #1

Ash & Thorn #1

It’s the end of the world as we know it… and it’s in the hands of an elderly woman. Yes, it’s now who you’d expect at all. Ash & Thorn #1 takes the well-worn story of a champion standing up for the planet and delivers something new. We’ve seen the heroic individual in the past. We’ve seen the utter screw up as well. This? Well, this gives us a hero who’d fit more in a Golden Girls reboot.

Written by Mariah McCourt the story revolves around Lottie Thorn, reluctant savior of the world and her also-elderly trainer Lady Peruvia Ashlington-Voss. It’s an entertaining start taking a story that’s been done so many times and twisting it a bit. It not only takes on so many tropes and familiar stories but it adds some comedic timing to it all to keep readers on their toes. It’s a send-up and love letter to this type of story.

What’s truly great about the comic is that it can be read completely with a straight face. McCourt has fun with it all and if you just want a kick-ass world-saving story, it’s all here. But, McCourt fills the comics with moments that it’s hard to not laugh and take it for the comedic tone it’s going for. There’s a bit of Grosse Point Blank in the comic where the weapon of choice is a frying pan, not a broad sword. And that keeps the readers on their toes. You never know what’s going to happen as we’re taught to expect the unexpected.

Soo Lee provides the art and is able to balance the serious and humor. There’s a solid sense of flow to the action. But, that flow also comes with a bit that feels like it fits Thorn’s age. Maybe it’s my 41 years but I could at times feel the ache from the swinging of a weapon. The color by Pippa Bowland is really nice with great use of it in the background to really set the time and thus a mood for each segment. There’s a cool glow about the colors that make the images pop. The lettering by Rob Steen stands out too as he switches gears in settings. There’s a lot of dialogue packed in and Steen gets it all in there and readable.

Ash & Thorn #1 is a fun comic. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and delivers a wink and nod with the material. But, it’s also an Ahoy Comics release which means some extras as well. Beyond “Editor’s Notes” there are two recipes. I can’t cook worth anything, so it’s all a foreign language. I have no idea how yummy these are but… the images make me want to try to cook them, even though they’re drawings. There’s also a story, “No Smoke Without” by writer Dan Micklethwaite and artist Meredith McClaren. It’s an interesting story mixing technology and horror that doesn’t quite fit the comedic tone of Ash & Thorn‘s main story but is itself quite good.

Ash & Thorn #1 is a fun debut featuring some interesting protagonists you don’t see every day. It has a light tone and is just going with the flow of fun. Sit back and enjoy something new and different and a new series featuring a type of main character we don’t see too often.

Story: Mariah McCourt, Dan Micklethwaite Ar: Soo Lee, Meredith McClaren
Color: Pippa Bowland Letterer: Rob Steen
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read


Purchase: comiXologyTFAW

Preview: Ash & Thorn #1

Ash & Thorn #1

(W) Mariah McCourt (A) Soo Lee (CA) Jill Thompson
In Shops: Jun 24, 2020
SRP: $3.99

The apocalypse is nigh! The world needs a Champion, and the only heir to a sacred mystical lineage is…a little old lady? Meet Lottie Thorn, reluctant savior of the world, and her also-elderly trainer Lady Peruvia Ashlington-Voss. They might not look it, but these women are prepared to take on any Big Bad that comes along. But first, perhaps a nice cup of tea? Every AHOY comic also features extra prose stories and illustrations.

Ash & Thorn #1

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Banned Book Club

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) 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 week.

20th Century Boys Vol. 8 Perfect Edition (VIZ Media) – If you’ve missed this series as single volumes, here’s your chance to get these collected editions of what’s considered some of the best manga ever.

Ash & Thorn #1 (AHOY Comics) – The savior/champion of the world is not who you think.

Banned Book Club (Iron Circus) – A graphic novel exploring the history of South Korea’s Fifth Republic, a military regime that entrenched its power through censorship, torture, and murder.

Batman #93 (DC Comics) – The end to the “Grand Design” storyline and takes us into the “Joker War.” Many aspects of the story are predictable but it’s still a hell of a final chapter.

Bleed Them Dry #1 (Vault Comics) – The year is 3333. Earth is in a state of recovery. Vampires are real, and though far less populous, they thrive alongside humans in the Japanese-engineered mega-city known as Asylum.

Dragonfly and Dragonflyman Vol. 1 (AHOY Comics) – If you like a take on superheroes over different eras, this is a series to definitely check out. Both an homage and study on superheroes over the years.

Empyre: Avengers #0 (Marvel) – Marvel’s next big event kicks off here.

Once & Future #8 (BOOM! Studios) – A new take on Arthurian legends. It’s well worth checking out!

Plunge #4 (DC Comics/Hill House Comics/DC Black Label) – Fantastic horror with this issue finally making it clearer as to what’s going on but still leaving a lot of mystery.

That Texas Blood #1 (Image Comics) – A new ongoing series that’s described as a “neo-Western crime” story. WE’re intrigued.

AHOY Comics Returns with All New Releases and New Schedule

AHOY Comics will resume publishing new comic book magazines in June. The updated summer publishing schedule includes:

ASH & THORN

A 5-issue miniseries by bestselling writer Mariah McCourt (True Blood, Stitched), artist Soo Lee (Analog Sci-Fi Magazine, Charlie’s Angels vs. the Bionic Woman), and colorist Pippa Bowland (2000AD), with lettering by Rob Steen and covers by legendary artist Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother, Wonder Woman: True Amazon).

Originally scheduled to debut on April Fool’s Day, the highly-anticipated debut issue #1 of ASH & THORN will be published on June 24, 2020, followed by issue #2 on July 8, issue #3 on July 29, issue #4 on August 19, and issue #5 on September 9, 2020.

ASH & THORN

BILLIONAIRE ISLAND

A 6-issue miniseries by acclaimed writer Mark Russell (Second Coming) and artist Steve Pugh (Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass), and colorist Chris Chuckry, with lettering by Rob Steen. Issue 1 features a cover by series artist and co-creator Steve Pugh and a variant cover by bestselling artist Pia Guerra (Y The Last Man).

The critically acclaimed series returns on July 1, 2020 with an all new second issue, followed by issue #3 on July 22, issue #4 on August 12, and issue #5 on September 16.

BILLIONAIRE ISLAND

CAPTAIN GINGER SEASON 2: DOGWORLD

A 6 issue mini-series by acclaimed writer Stuart Moore (Bronze Age Boogie) and artists June Brigman (Power Pack) and Roy Richardson, and colorist Veronica Ghandini, with lettering by Rob Steen.

CAPTAIN GINGER: DOGWORLD, which had two issues published at the time of lockdown, will complete its serialization in exclusive digital editions from Comixology. The first new issue of CAPTAIN GINGER SEASON 2: DOGWORLD, issue 3, will be released digitally on June 10, followed by issue 4 on July 8, issue 5 on August 5, and issue 6 on September 2.

Each upcoming issue of CAPTAIN GINGER: DOGWORLD will contain a special Digital Bonus Book at no additional cost: issue #3 features DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN #1, issue #4 features BILLIONAIRE ISLAND # 1, issue #5 features BRONZE AGE BOOGIE #1, and issue #6 will feature will feature a selection from EDGAR ALLAN POE’S SNIFTER OF TERROR, including Hunt Emerson’s Black Cat comics.

CAPTAIN GINGER SEASON 2: DOGWORLD

In June, AHOY will also be publishing the trade paperback of DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN, the prequel to the dazzling series THE WRONG EARTH—by writer Tom Peyer, artist Peter Krause, colorist Andy Troy, and letterer Rob Steen. The trade paperback will be released in comic book stores on June 3rd and in bookstores on June 16th.

DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN

Originally scheduled for release this summer, as part of the company’s fourth wave of releases, PENULTIMAN, the new super hero title by Tom Peyer and Alan Robinson, will be resolicited at a later date.

AHOY Delays Two Comics and Lowers Prices on Select Digital Trades

Ash & Thorn #1

Publishers are scrambling to figure out what to do in the current pandemic. Many are delaying releases, cutting back in production, or offering incentives for stores. Today AHOY Comics announced that they would delay the publication of two of their upcoming titles in light of the global pandemic affecting businesses worldwide. The debut issue of Ash & Thorn, a story about a septuagenarian who becomes the reluctant savior of the world, will be delayed from 4/1 until 4/29. In addition, the release of Billionaire Island #2, the second issue in the darkly satirical series about billionaires escaping to a floating island, will be delayed from 4/8 to 4/15.

The move is intended to allow the series to find their audiences and to space out new releases better.

AHOY Comics also announced today that, effective immediately and for a limited time, all of the company’s trade paperback collections, with the exception of Second Coming, will be made available on comiXology for $9.99. AHOY recently joined the comiXology Unlimited, where for just $5.99 a month with a 60-day free trial.

AHOY Comics’ Fourth Wave of Releases Has Been Revealed!

Comic book creators Mark Russell and Steve Pugh, Mariah McCourt and Soo Lee, and Tom Peyer and Alan Robinson are launching three all new series for the fourth wave of AHOY comic book magazines. The three series all tackle 21st century fears and anxieties with a heavy dose of humor. The new wave of titles from the Syracuse-based company will launch next spring.  

AHOY Comics’ fourth wave includes three all-new titles:

  • BILLIONAIRE ISLAND, a 6 issue mini-series by acclaimed writer Mark Russell (Second Coming) and artist Steve Pugh (Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass), and colorist Chris Chuckry, with lettering by Rob Steen. Issue 1 features a cover by series artist and co-creator Steve Pugh and a variant cover by bestselling artist Pia Guerra (Y The Last Man).

Debuting in March 2020.

Welcome to Billionaire Island, where anything goes…if you can afford it. But the island’s ultra-rich inhabitants are about to learn that their ill-gotten gains come at a VERY high price. BILLIONAIRE ISLAND is a savage satire that reunites the creative team behind DC’s The Flintstones.

BILLIONAIRE ISLAND tells the story of Freedom Unlimited (FU Island), a private island created and populated by billionaires hoping to wait out the end of the world,” said writer and co-creator Mark Russell. “But because they are in international waters and not subject to any law, their haven is a nightmarish police state for anyone on the island who crosses them. In a broader sense, it’s a series that asks the question: how do we save the world when all its resources are partying offshore?”

BILLIONAIRE ISLAND
  • ASH & THORN, a 5 issue mini-series by bestselling writer Mariah McCourt (True Blood, Stitched), artist Soo Lee (Mine!, Charlie’s Angels vs. the Bionic Woman), and colorist Pippa Bowland, with lettering by Rob Steen and covers by legendary artist Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother, Wonder Woman: True Amazon).

Debuting in April 2020.

The apocalypse is nigh! The world needs a Champion, and the only heir to a sacred mystical lineage is…a little old lady? Meet Lottie Thorn, reluctant savior of the world, and her also-elderly trainer Lady Peruvia Ashlington-Voss. They might not look it, but these women are prepared to take on any Big Bad that comes along. But first, perhaps a nice cup of tea?

“Everyone knows Chosen Ones are supposed to be young and extremely expendable, but even the Universe makes mistakes sometimes,” explained McCourt. “And sometimes the mistakes are big ones. Like when it taps an 80+ year old retired art teacher to be the Champion who fights the next Apocalypse. Can an octogenarian overcome age and arthritis to save the world from cosmic monsters, world eaters, and gross creepy crawlies?”

ASH & THORN
  • PENULTIMAN, a 5 issue mini-series by writer Tom Peyer (The Wrong Earth), artist Alan Robinson (Planet of the Nerds), and colorist Lee Loughridge, with lettering by Rob Steen and covers by Robinson.

Debuting in May 2020.

Penultiman is the greatest, best-looking, and most admired superhero in the world. Penultiman is The Next-To-Last-Stage In Human Evolution. So how can he stop hating himself? Only Penultiman’s android understudy, Antepenultiman, knows the answer. Or, at least, he thinks he does!

“Penultiman, The Next-To-Last Stage in Human Evolution, is hailed as the godlike epitome of beauty, power, and compassion in the year 2020,” said Peyer. “In the far-future century he came from, however, his more advanced contemporaries saw him as a brutish evolutionary throwback and exiled him to our era. Paragon or primitive? His one chance for peace is to deny the haters and admirers alike, and discover who he really is–if he only knew how to begin.”

PENULTIMAN

AHOY Comics’ fourth wave also includes 2 trade paperback collections:

  • SECOND COMING: Volume One trade paperback by Mark Russell, artists Richard Pace and Leonard Kirk, and colorist Andy Troy, with lettering by Rob Steen and a cover by Richard Pace. The book will be released timed to Lent and will be on sale in comic shops on February 26th and in bookstores on March 10, 2020.
SECOND COMING: Volume One
  • DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN: NIGHT & DAY trade paperback by Tom Peyer, artist Peter Krause, and colorist Andy Troy, with lettering by Rob Steen. The book will be released timed to dragonfly season on the east coast and will be on sale in comic shops on May 27th and in bookstores on June 9th, 2020.
DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN: NIGHT & DAY

Since its debut in September of 2018, AHOY Comics has pledged for readers to “expect more” from its line of comic book magazines and graphic novels with full length comic book stories, accompanied by “extras” including short prose fiction, the occasional recipes, and even a crossword puzzle.