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Claudia Gray, Justina Ireland, Daniel José Older, Cavan Scott, and Charles Soule Explore Star Wars: The High Republic with IDW

IDW Publishing has announced the upcoming December release of Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures Annual 2021, a one-shot comic book that – for the first time ever – welcomes Lucasfilm’s entire team of High Republic lead story architects to share tales from their favorite corners of the galaxy in one place!

Claudia GrayJustina IrelandDaniel José OlderCavan Scott, and Charles Soule are the celebrated comic book and prose authors behind Star Wars: The High Republic, the sprawling new era in the Star Wars saga that depicts the height of the Galactic Republic, centuries before the Skywalker Saga, when the new threat of the Nihil emerge in the Outer Rim.

Partnered with exceptional comic artists including Sam BeckJesse LonegranJason LooYael Nathan, and Stefano Simeone, the five story architects will each shine a spotlight on fan-favorite heroes from their respective Star Wars projects in this 48-page, full-color anthology, aimed at middle grade readers.

Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures Annual 2021 will be available with two cover variants for fans and retailers to enjoy: Cover A by Stefano Simeone and Cover B by Jason Loo.

Review: Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1

Marvel Voices Identity #1

As a child growing up, I yearned to see myself in the entertainment I enjoyed. I remembered watching TV and movies and rarely saw an Asian face. When we did show up, we were mostly background players. Thankfully, I had Kung Fu Theater, but most of those movies came off cartoonish and were made in the 1960s and 1970s.

Fast forward to today and we are getting our first Asian superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while along the way, strides have been made across all media. We have had three Asian centered television shows to grace. We also have a boom of Asian creativity across the Diasporas that have never been seen before. On the precipice of the Shang Chi movie being released, Marvel has released the one-shot, Marvel’s Voices Identity #1, where the House Of Ideas showcase some of their greatest heroes which just so happens to be Asian.

In “What Is Vs What If”, Shang Chi is challenged by the alternate version of himself if chose not defy his father. In “That One Thing”, Jubilee visits her parents’ graves and revisits her childhood through memories. In “Jimmy Woo 1959”, Jimmy uses his genius to help an alien that almost gets killed by an Army battalion. In “Seeing Red”, Kamala Khan while visiting family helps the local hero in Karachi. In “Personal Heroes”, Wave fights a water monster in her hometown with a hero she idolizes, Bishop. In “Singular/Plural”, Silhouette agonizes over the dating scene, blaming her disability for meeting eligible men, but one encounter, leads her to realize she needs to step out of her own shadow. In “Traditional Pink Sushi”, Armor and Silver Samurai, argue over how to make sushi and eventually realizes traditions are something to be renewed. In the last story,” New York State of Mind”, Silk and Amadeus Cho gets their day off interrupted, as they get into a fight the scarecrow on top of the Statue of Liberty.

Overall, Marvel’s Voices Identity #1 is an entertaining set of stories which not only highlight these heroes but also the excellent creators. The stories by the different creators are wondrous. The art by the different artists are beautiful. Altogether, Marvel’s Voices Identity #1 is a comics which introduces readers to these heroes and these talented creators.

Story: Gene Luen Yang, Christina Strain, Maurene Goo, Greg Pak, Sabir Pirzada, Jeremy Holt, Alyssa Wong, Ken Niimura
Art: Marcus To, Sunny Gho, Jason Loo, Lynne Yoshii, Sebastian Cheng, Creees Lee, Brian Reber, Darren Shan, Mashal Ahmed, Neeraj Menon, Alti Firmansyah, Irma Kniivila, Whilce Portacio, Jay David Ramos, Ken Niimura
Story: 10 Story: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Marvel Reveals New Covers by Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1

On August 25th, Marvel will celebrate its most legendary Asian superheroes in Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1! The latest in a far-reaching lineup of one-shots designed to uplift marginalized voices and celebrate the diversity of Marvel Comics’ characters and creators, Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1 will be a thrilling collection of uplifting adventures starring Shang-Chi, Jubilee, Silk, Jimmy Woo, Ms. Marvel, Wave, Silhouette, Armor, and Silver Samurai. This highly anticipated issue will also boast a series of exciting new variant covers by an all-star lineup of artists including Peach Momoko’s spellbinding take on Nico Minoru, a gorgeous depiction of Marvel’s greatest fighter by InHyuk Lee, a celebration of some of mutantkind’s greatest stars by Uncanny X-Men artist Philip Tan, and covers by Mashal Ahmed and Rian Gonzales with a main cover by Jim Cheung.

Writers include Gene Luen Yang, Christina Strain, Maurene Goo, Greg Pak, Sabir Pirzada, Alyssa Wong, Jeremy Holt, and Ken Niimura. Artists include Marcus To, Jason Loo, Lynne Yoshii, Crees Lee, Mashal Ahmed, Whilce Portacio, Alti Firmansyah, and Ken Niimura.

Check out all six covers now and visit Marvel.com for a special sneak peek at the stories that await you when Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1 hits stands on August 25th!

John Romita Jr. Celebrates the Fantastic Four through the years with a Fantastic Four #35 Wraparound Cover

This year, Marvel celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Fantastic Four with a giant-sized issue worthy of the iconic superhero team’s monumental legacy! Joining series writer Dan Slott will be legendary artist John Romita Jr., marking his highly-anticipated return to Marvel with this thrilling issue. In addition to drawing a story within this epic issue, Romita Jr.’s beloved style will also grace the issue in the form of an incredible wraparound cover. Highlighting Reed, Sue, Ben, and Johnny’s transformation since Stan Lee and Jack Kirby first created them, the artwork serves as both a celebration of Fantastic Four’s journey and a teaser of the story inside: a showdown across Fantastic Four history against the master of time travel—Kang the Conqueror!

Fantastic Four #35 also features Mark Waid and Jason Loo as well as Paul Renaud and Loo on art.

Home to concepts and characters that revolutionized comic book storytelling, the Fantastic Four have enjoyed one of the most memorable sagas in comic book history. Check out John Romita Jr.’s cover below along with some never-before-seen artwork and be there for one of their greatest adventures yet when Fantastic Four #35 hits stands on September 1st.

Chip Zdarsky, Jason Loo, Paris Alleyne, and Aditya Bidikar—Reunite for The All-Nighter

The Eisner award-winning creative team that brought you Afterlift—writer Chip Zdarsky, artist Jason Loo, colorist Paris Alleyne, letterer Aditya Bidikar, and editor Alison O’Toole—are reuniting for an all-new comic book about vampires who sometimes moonlight as superheroes. The comiXology Originals series The All-Nighter arrives digitally in 2022 and will also be in print from Dark Horse Books. The All-Nighter is currently in development as an original series for Amazon Studios with executive producer Jordan Feiner.

Welcome to The All-Nighter, the only diner in town where you can get coffee and a meal from sunset to sunrise! The staff are friendly (kind of) and happy to serve you (sometimes), and it would never cross their minds to drink their customers’ blood. . . .

Alex is bored—flipping burgers for strangers all night is no way for a vampire to live. But he and his fellow vampires Joy, Cynthia, and Ian have agreed to blend into human society. Inspired by superhero movies, one of the few passions in his un-life, Alex decides to don a cape and start fighting bad guys. But his decision will have bigger consequences than he realizes—for himself and for everyone he wants to protect.

Additional details on exactly how the creator-owned comic will be released digitally in 2022 from comiXology Originals will be announced closer to release.

The All-Nighter will arrive in print for the first time on February 15, 2022 [color / on sale February 15, 2022 / MSRP $19.99/$25.99 pbk / ISBN: 978-1-50672804-9 / Dark Horse Books]. It is available for pre-order now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and your local comic shop.

Part of comiXology Originals the exclusive digital content line of comiXology, an Amazon company, The All-Nighter will be available to read at no additional cost for members of Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited, and comiXology Unlimited, and for purchase on the Amazon Kindle Store and comiXology. Prime Reading offers all Amazon Prime members a rotating selection of over a thousand top Kindle books, magazines, short works, comic books, children’s books, and more – all at no additional cost. Kindle Unlimited gives customers access to more than 1 million titles, including thousands of audio books, and current magazines for just $9.99 a month with a free trial period. ComiXology Unlimited offers over 30,000 comics, graphic novels and manga for just $5.99 a month with a 30-day free trial.

The All-Nighter

Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1 Celebrates Asian Superheroes

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Marvel has announced that this summer will see the launch of a brand-new Marvel’s Voices one-shot spotlighting some of the most legendary Asian superheroes: Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1! This thrilling issue will take readers across the Marvel Universe with a collection of tales written and drawn by new and established Asian creators. Following in the footsteps of the mega-popular Marvel’s Voices: Indigenous Voices and Marvel’s Voices: Legacy, Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1 will continue the tradition of featuring inspiring and uplifting stories reflecting “the world outside your window.” These new stories will celebrate Marvel’s ongoing, ever-expanding representation of the vastness of all Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Island cultures and identities including South Korean, Chinese, and more.

The giant-sized one-shot will be full action-packed of stories told in the Mighty Marvel Manner! Eisner Award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang continues his groundbreaking work on the Shang-Chi mythos in an all-new tale with artist Marcus To. Get ready for some fireworks when Generation X writer Christina Strain and artist Jason Loo catch up with everyone’s favorite mutant mallrat Jubilee. Greg Pak takes secret agent Jimmy Woo on another hair-raising mission that will mark the Marvel Comics debut of artist Creees Lee. Also new to Marvel, artist Lynee Yoshii joins critically acclaimed Maurene Goo to weave another unpredictable adventure in the saga of Silk. Plus, an amazing tale starring Ms. Marvel drawn by Mashal Ahmed and some bonus surprises that will be announced at a later date.

Check out Jim Cheung’s cover below and stay tuned for more information on Marvel’s Voices: Identity #1 including new story details, variant covers, and more!

Preview: Afterlift

Afterlift

(W) Chip Zdarsky (A/CA) Jason Loo
In Shops: Feb 03, 2021
SRP: $19.99

2020 EISNER AWARD WINNER FOR BEST DIGITAL SERIES!

Ride-share driver Janice Chen has enough to deal with, from annoying passengers to overbearing parents. But when she picks up a pair of mysterious passengers who are pursued by otherworldly forces, Janice realizes that her already-terrible day might be headed straight to hell. This Eisner Award-winning series from Chip Zdarsky (Sex Criminals, Daredevil) and Jason Loo (The Pitiful Human-Lizard) features car chases, demon bounty hunters, and figuring out your place in this world and the next.

Collects Afterlift #1-#5 along with all covers and a sketchbook section.

Afterlift

Review: Afterlift

Afterlift

Afterlift, a series that started out as a ComiXology Original, is making its way from digital to print. Thanks to a partnership with Dark Horse Comics, the collected edition of this original series will be available online and in bookstores on February 2nd, and then available in comic book shops on February 3rd. Written by Chip Zdarsky, Afterlift is a coming of age tale with elements of mythology. Zdarsky puts his own modern twist on the underworld mythos of the ancient Greeks.

Janice Chen, having recently quit her job in the finance industry, is content to spend her nights driving for a ride-share service. As the comic opens, things are preceding normally. Janice’s first-generation Mandarin parents want her to get a better job since she’s barely scraping by. However, the basic minimum wage pay doesn’t bother Janice as much the thought of a fare puking in the back of her car. Halfway through an otherwise normal night, Janice picks up a fare named Dumu. Before she knows it, she’s been drafted into service as a psychopomp.

For those unfamiliar with that word, a psychopomp is a being who escorts deceased souls to the afterlife. Think the Grim Reaper, or in the case of the Greek mythology Zdarsky uses for inspiration, Hermes and Charon. There’s also a bit of Christianity thrown into the mix as well. Just as she’s beginning to understand the predicament she finds herself in, Janice is set upon by demon bounty hunters. The demons are hell-bent (pun intended) on claiming the soul Janice is transporting for themselves.

Everything I’ve just described takes place in the first twenty-five pages of the graphic novel. From there, Afterlift becomes a thrill ride of car chases, fight scenes, and joyrides through the realms beyond the mortal plain. In addition, Zdarsky also reflects on faith and what it means to be a believer throughout the emotionally charged narrative. I also love that he chose an Asian woman as his main character. Many writers would be tempted to use a white Christian person. Janice was raised Buddhist and doesn’t believe in a final afterlife the way a Christian would. I found it fascinating to see a character with an understanding of Buddhism navigate (both metaphorically and literally) through and contemplate the implications of the existence of Hell.

Artist Jason Loo does a good job illustrating Afterlift, though his characters don’t look all that realistic. He does a great job drawing the car chase scenes and action sequences, but the scenes featuring characters talking to one another were lackluster by comparison. I did love the character design of the demons. Each is unique enough to tell apart from the others without them all looking like they come from different interpretations of hell.

Colorist Paris Alleyne does a great job of conveying time and setting through her color choices. I didn’t need a character to announce it was nighttime to instantly recognize the time of day in each scene. I also appreciate that Alleyne pays attention to the light source in each panel. For example, the portion of a panel underneath a streetlight is bright, while the other side of the panel is kept darker. Color touches such as these add realism to Loo’s illustrations, making me feel like I’m watching a complete story, rather than reading dialogue and then looking at the pictures.

I enjoyed the concepts and modern adaptations of mythology in Afterlift more than I enjoyed the actual plot. That being said, the story itself is really exciting, though I found it to be a little predictable. The artwork is solid if a bit underwhelming. It’s always easy to tell what’s going on in each panel, though some panels are more visually exciting than others. All in all, this graphic novel was a fun read, but it didn’t really wow me. Even though I wasn’t necessarily blown away, this is a series worth checking out. After all, it did win Eisner, Shuster, and Harvey awards last year.

Story: Chip Zdarsky Art: Jason Loo
Color: Paris Alleyne Letterer: Aditya Bidikar
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

comiXology provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleTFAWBookshopZeus Comics

Early Review: Afterlift

Afterlift

Afterlift, a series that started out as a ComiXology Original, is making its way from digital to print. Thanks to a partnership with Dark Horse Comics, the collected edition of this original series will be available online and in bookstores on February 2nd, and then available in comic book shops on February 3rd. Written by Chip Zdarsky, Afterlift is a coming of age tale with elements of mythology. Zdarsky puts his own modern twist on the underworld mythos of the ancient Greeks.

Janice Chen, having recently quit her job in the finance industry, is content to spend her nights driving for a ride-share service. As the comic opens, things are preceding normally. Janice’s first-generation Mandarin parents want her to get a better job since she’s barely scraping by. However, the basic minimum wage pay doesn’t bother Janice as much the thought of a fare puking in the back of her car. Halfway through an otherwise normal night, Janice picks up a fare named Dumu. Before she knows it, she’s been drafted into service as a psychopomp.

For those unfamiliar with that word, a psychopomp is a being who escorts deceased souls to the afterlife. Think the Grim Reaper, or in the case of the Greek mythology Zdarsky uses for inspiration, Hermes and Charon. There’s also a bit of Christianity thrown into the mix as well. Just as she’s beginning to understand the predicament she finds herself in, Janice is set upon by demon bounty hunters. The demons are hell-bent (pun intended) on claiming the soul Janice is transporting for themselves.

Everything I’ve just described takes place in the first twenty-five pages of the graphic novel. From there, Afterlift becomes a thrill ride of car chases, fight scenes, and joyrides through the realms beyond the mortal plain. In addition, Zdarsky also reflects on faith and what it means to be a believer throughout the emotionally charged narrative. I also love that he chose an Asian woman as his main character. Many writers would be tempted to use a white Christian person. Janice was raised Buddhist and doesn’t believe in a final afterlife the way a Christian would. I found it fascinating to see a character with an understanding of Buddhism navigate (both metaphorically and literally) through and contemplate the implications of the existence of Hell.

Artist Jason Loo does a good job illustrating Afterlift, though his characters don’t look all that realistic. He does a great job drawing the car chase scenes and action sequences, but the scenes featuring characters talking to one another were lackluster by comparison. I did love the character design of the demons. Each is unique enough to tell apart from the others without them all looking like they come from different interpretations of hell.

Colorist Paris Alleyne does a great job of conveying time and setting through her color choices. I didn’t need a character to announce it was nighttime to instantly recognize the time of day in each scene. I also appreciate that Alleyne pays attention to the light source in each panel. For example, the portion of a panel underneath a streetlight is bright, while the other side of the panel is kept darker. Color touches such as these add realism to Loo’s illustrations, making me feel like I’m watching a complete story, rather than reading dialogue and then looking at the pictures.

I enjoyed the concepts and modern adaptations of mythology in Afterlift more than I enjoyed the actual plot. That being said, the story itself is really exciting, though I found it to be a little predictable. The artwork is solid if a bit underwhelming. It’s always easy to tell what’s going on in each panel, though some panels are more visually exciting than others. All in all, this graphic novel was a fun read, but it didn’t really wow me. Even though I wasn’t necessarily blown away, this is a series worth checking out. After all, it did win Eisner, Shuster, and Harvey awards last year. Afterlift will be available on February 2nd at bookstores and February 3rd at comic book shops.

Story: Chip Zdarsky Art: Jason Loo
Color: Paris Alleyne Letterer: Aditya Bidikar
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

comiXology provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleTFAWBookshop

Dark Horse Announces an Afterlift Comics Retailer Incentive

Dark Horse has announced a new incentive for comic shops ordering the comiXology original series Afterlift. Shops that order 5 copies of the graphic novel by the final order cutoff of November 2 will receive 5 free book plates (a max of 20 per store) with original artwork by Jeff Lemire and signed by Chip Zdarsky and Jason Loo.

Arriving in print February 2021, Aferlift is colored by Paris Alleyne, lettered by Aditya Bidikar, and edited by Allison O’Toole, includes a Jason Loo Sketchbook with commentary by Chip Zdarsky as well as a process piece called Anatomy of a Page.

Afterlift is a fast-paced story about car chases, demon bounty hunters, and figuring out your place in this world and the next. Janice Chen recently quit her day job in finance and signs up to be a driver on a ride-sharing app. She has enough to deal with, from annoying passengers to overbearing parents. But what was at first a mundane yet enjoyable way to pass the time takes a terrible turn when she picks up a pair of mysterious passengers who are pursued by otherworldly forces, Janice realizes that her already-terrible day might be headed straight to hell.

Almost American
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