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Wonderbound Reveals its Entire 2022 Graphic Novel Slate

Today at the US Book Show, Wonderbound announced their entire 2022 publishing lineup of original graphic novels from a dazzling array of talent, including Shea Fontana, Brian Middleton, Agnes Garbowska, Colleen Coover, Paul Tobin, Galaad, Rebecca Horner, Kelly Mellings, Corey Lansdell, Lisa LaRose, Sam Beck, Ryan Haddock, Nick Wyche, Heather Nuhfer, Patricia Daguisan, Michael Moreci & many more.  

Wonderbound is the middle grade and young adult publishing imprint of Vault Comics. Every Wonderbound book is a ticket to a land of wonder, inviting you to leave behind the ordinary, and explore a world of magic, marvels, and mysteries. Whether you’re learning fantastical wrassling, going on zany quests to deliver packages (and stuff), solving the mysteries of a gothic mansion, or settling into a spooky new apartment, you’re always in for an adventure. 

Check out the full list of Wonderbound’s 2022 titles below:

WRASSLE CASTLE VOL. 2: RIDERS ON THE STORM

Written by Colleen Coover & Paul Tobin, drawn Galaad, colored by Rebecca Horner & Galaad, and lettered by Jeff Powell

Synopsis: Sequel! Lydia Riverthane faces more dangerous challenges as she fights for her brother’s freedom and wrassling glory.

Format: YA, 96 pages, $9.99, full color.

Tentative Release Month: February 2022

WRASSLE CASTLE VOL. 2: RIDERS ON THE STORM

POIKO: QUESTS & STUFF

Written & Illustrated by Brian Middleton.

Synopsis: Have you ever had to deliver a care package to a dragon with allergies? Have you ever been waylaid by a school of space fish? That’s just an average day for Poiko, the kingdom’s most reliable courier. The world can be a big, scary place, but it can also be wondrous. Sad things can happen, but there are always good friends to turn to, or new friends to make. And no matter what, there is always, always someone who could use your help. Poiko learns all these lessons and more every time he brushes his tail, pulls on his hoodie, and steps out into a new adventure. The philosophical whimsicality of Calvin & Hobbes meets the fantasy-scapes of Adventure Time in this modern-day classic.

Format: MG, 128, $9.99, full color.

Tentative Release Month: March 2022 

POIKO: QUESTS & STUFF

KENZIE’S KINGDOM

Written by Shea Fontana, drawn by Agnes Garbowska, and colored by Sil Brys.

Synopsis: Kenzie hates that her family moved to a castle to start a Medieval-themed resort, but all that changes when a time-travelling squire needs Kenzie’s help to get back home to the past! From the best-selling creative team behind DC Superhero Girls, this is a perfect read for fans of Phoebe and her Unicorn, The Baby-Sitter’s Club, or Witches of Brooklyn.

Format: MG, 128, $9.99, full color.

Tentative Release Month: April 2022

KENZIE'S KINGDOM

GHOSTER HEIGHTS

Written by Kelly Mellings & Corey Lansdell, and drawn by Lisa LaRose.

Synopsis: When Ona moves into her Baba’s apartment complex after a traumatic event, she befriends a ghost she discovers haunting the boiler room. When her new friendship starts allowing her to see other ghosts—the ghosts who haunt the other residents of her building—she decides to use her ability to help her new neighbors face their troubles and free themselves from their specters. In doing so, however, Ona must eventually come face to face with a much darker foe—her own trauma and grief. The earnestness of Judy Bloom meets the raw emotion of I Kill Giants in this beautifully hopeful story of childhood tragedy.

Format: MG, 208, $14.99, full color.

Tentative Release Month: June 2022

GHOSTER HEIGHTS

VERSE VOL. 2: THE IRON GATE

Written & illustrated by Sam Beck.

Synopsis: Sequel! In the wake of disaster, Neitya and Fife must part ways in order to discover their own destinies.

Format: YA, 240, $14.99, full color.

Tentative Release Month: July 2022 

VERSE VOL. 2: THE IRON GATE

WRASSLE CASTLE VOL. 3: PUT A LYD ON IT

Written by Colleen Coover & Paul Tobin, drawn Galaad, colored by Rebecca Horner & Galaad, and lettered by Jeff Powell.

Synopsis: Final Volume! Lydia and her brother uncover that the plot against them goes much deeper than they realized!

Format: YA, 112 pages, $9.99, full color.

Tentative Release Month: August, 2022 

WRASSLE CASTLE VOL. 3: PUT A LYD ON IT

THE BROTHERS FLICK

Written by Ryan Haddock, drawn by Nick Wyche with layouts by David Stoll, and colored by Whitney Cogar.

Synopsis:  At Strander House, things are…weird. There’s an ogre wedged in the closet and you have to be careful not to slip on the leak coming from the ocean in the attic. What’s possibly weirder than the fact that you can walk into the bathroom and end up in next Tuesday are the four brothers who investigate these strange occurrences…the Brothers Flick! Leo, Desmond, Remy, and Cub seek to get to the bottom of every bump in the night, every shadow you swear you saw move. If they happen to stumble upon answers to the mysterious disappearance of their own family along the way, all the better. Sherlock Holmes meets Wayside School in this Edwardian-era supernatural sleuthing graphic novel.

Format: YA, 208 pages, $12.99, full color.

Tentative Release Month: September, 2022 

THE BROTHERS FLICK

CREEPY THE SNOWMAN

Written by Michael, Noah, & Jackson Moreci.

Synopsis: Creepy the Snowman will get you, maybe today at noon. Creepy the Snowman will get you, even on the moon. Half-melted and half-evil, Creepy the Snowman, along with his fire-breathing sidekick space chicken, seeks to destroy children’s fun, find love, and either save the world or destroy it, depending on what day of the week it is. Created and written by brothers Noah (8) and Jackson (6) Moreci, along with their father, critically-acclaimed horror writer Michael Moreci, this is a book FOR kids BY kids. For readers of Dog Man, HiLo, and Max and the Midknights.

Format: MG, 176 pages, $12.99, full color.

Tentative Release Month: October, 2022 

CREEPY THE SNOWMAN

LUNCH

Written by Heather Nuhfer. 

Synopsis: New to her middle school and terrified of navigating the cafeteria at lunchtime, Tia discovers that when she eats the same food as someone else, she can hear that person’s thoughts. Quickly, she and her new friend Leigh, realize that this power can help them fight back against the popular kids who have excluded them from their lunch table. As Tia connects with more and more of her classmates, not only does she realize that the popular kids are just as nervous and insecure as she is, but she discovers the power of creating a community through food. A perfect bridge to fantasy for readers of Smile, Awkward, or Click.

Format: MG, 208 pages, $12.99, full color.

Tentative Release Month: November, 2022

LUNCH

Review: The Good Asian #1

The Good Asian #1

The Good Asian introduces readers to main character Edison Hark—a haunted, self-loathing Chinese-American detective—on the trail of a killer in 1936 Chinatown. The Good Asian #1 brilliantly mixes a noir detective story with real-world history involving immigration bans and the rampant racism that plagued the time.

I personally love pulp detective stories. There’s a great balance of cheese, tropes, action, mystery, and sexy when done right. A great story will often feel like something is spiraling out of control as the detective gets dragged further into the mystery. The Good Asian #1 is just one issue but writer Pornsak Pichetshote does a fantastic job of touching upon a lot of those things and gets us the expected spiral.

But what Pichetshote does even better is work in real world history.

The Good Asian #1 is an amazing start in how “authentic” it is. It uses American history to help shape and drive the narrative. It uses that real history to present the issues facing the Asian-American community at that time. The issue reminds us of the blatant racism practiced out in the open and with acceptance. It’s a hard issue to read. The words used made me cringe. But it’s reality. Grant Din helped shape that realism as the historical consultant on the series.

The laws were real. The racism was rampant. Places like Angel Island existed. The comic even uses real transcripts from Angel Island as part of its dialogue. This is a comic that not only wants to deliver a solid detective story but wants to do so in an authentic way. It takes the rather troubling history of Asian crimesolvers and updates it with a more historically accurate take. The racism isn’t in the characters, it’s what’s said to those characters and how they’re treated. But, it doesn’t forget at its heart the comic is about a mystery that needs to be solved and all that comes with the investigation.

Alexandre Tefenkgi handles the art with Lee Loughridge on color and Jeff Powell on lettering. It does a great job in that respect with nailing the gritty look I’d expect in this sort of detective story. The colors are kept to a minimal with blues, orangers, purples, and reds used to emphasize the world. It’s a beautiful look and perfect style to match the story. The lettering is done so well as the characters slip between English and Chinese. A simple shape of the speech bubble differentiates between the two and is such a simple way to handle what could be an overwhelming thing if done other ways.

The Good Asian #1 is a fantastic comic. You can enjoy it for its detective story alone. But, it’s the details that really build out the issue and series. It has an authenticity about it that feels like it props up its main story. It’s a hard comic to read at times with the racism thrown around, but that adds to the authenticity. This is a comic for fans that love a good noir story to chew on or like a little bit of history in what they read. A hell of a start.

Story: Pornsak Pichetshote Art: Alexandre Tefenkgi
Color: Lee Loughridge Letter: Jeff Powell
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: TKO Shorts: Seeds of Eden

When a space pioneer attempts to create a self-sustaining colony on Jupiter, her visit takes an unsuspecting and deadly turn.

Story: Liana Kangas, Joe Corallo
Art: Paul Azaceta
Letterer: Jeff Powell

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

comiXology
TKO Studios

TKO Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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Review: The Devil’s Red Bride #1

The Devil’s Red Bride #1

From the start, The Devil’s Red Bride #1 is a visceral, bloody tale set of warfare most brutal. A clan at war with another. One warrior that sets its clan apart from the other. However, their lord who wears the Red Devil mask, is not the one leading them into battle. The flipside of this tale is Ketsuko, whose clan fell to the Red Devil many years ago, who now is on her own path for vengeance.

Samurai tales are right up my alley. I live on a steady diet of Akira Kurosawa movies and The Blind Swordsman and really, just about anything of the ilk. So for me, I tend to flock to comics that go down that very same road. From my own taste in this genre, I can say The Devil’s Red Bride #1 totally works, both in story and tone. I wish I was more of a scholar of 16th century Japanese history and assume this is the Edo period. For that, this type of samurai story feels like it has a lot of parallels in what I enjoy. Sebastian Girner, who wrote The Devil’s Red Bride, seems to have done his research and is able to channel a really good samurai/revenge story.

Artist John Bivens and colorist Iris Monahan deliver a beauty of a tale. The color palette works perfectly with the art. It’s a stylish book that feels respectful of the material. There are some absolutely killer pages here. The opening page feels like something from a traditional woodblock print. As the story progresses, there’s some great panel work and a bit of gore thrown in for good measure. As with many books, I wish there was a smidgen more detail thrown into the art but it’s a minor complaint here. I think this comic looks quite excellent.

Overall, I think that if your tastes are like mine, you grew up on samurai cinema or if you just want something totally different, The Devil’s Red Bride #1 offers all of that. I’m looking forward to where this story goes and one can hope it ends like so many samurai tales, with two opponents standing their ground and steel being swung all over the place. Recommended.

Story: Sebastian Girner Art: John Bivens
Color: Iris Monahan Letterer: Jeff Powell Designer: Tim Daniel
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Read/Buy

Vault Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Vault Announces The Devil’s Red Bride from Sebastian Girner, John Bivens, Iris Monahan, and Jeff Powell

Vault Comics has announced The Devil’s Red Bride, a brutal samurai grindhouse epic by writer Sebastian Girner, rising star artist John Bivens, colorist Iris Monahan, and letterer Jeff Powell. Set in 16th century Japan, The Devil’s Red Bride is a blood-drenched love letter to Samurai fiction in a chilling tale of guilt, trauma, and vengeance.

The fates of warlords ebb and flow like tides of blood, none more than the Aragami Clan who follow their lord clad in the ‘Red Devil’ mask into every battle. But when Lord Aragami succumbs to illness, his daughter, the fierce Ketsuko, hatches a plot to save her people, no matter the cost…Years later, as Ketsuko wanders the heaving battlefields of her ruined homeland, she discovers a chance to avenge the terrible wrong done to her clan, even if it means stepping back onto a road steeped in slaughter.

16th century Japan. The fates of warlords ebb and flow like tides of blood, none more than the Aragami Clan who follow their lord clad in the ‘Red Devil’ mask into every battle. But when Lord Aragami succumbs to illness, his daughter, the fierce Ketsuko, hatches a plot to save her people, no matter the cost…

Years later, as Ketsuko wanders the heaving battlefields of her ruined homeland, she discovers a chance to avenge the terrible wrong done to her clan, even if it means stepping back onto a road steeped in slaughter. 

From writer Sebastin Girner (Shirtless Bear-Fighter!, Scales & Scoundrels) and artist John Bivens (Creature Feature, Spread) comes a blood-drenched love letter to Samurai fiction in a chilling tale of guilt, trauma, and vengeance.

The Devil’s Red Bride #1 hits store shelves in October 2020, and will launch with a variant cover by Nathan Gooden and Tim Daniel.

The Devil's Red Bride #1

Review: The Banks

The Banks

White Collar was one of those shows that USA Network had on for a few years which both charmed and beguiled viewers. It followed a unique relationship between an FBI agent and a former grifter as they investigate white-collar crimes. Its starred Matt Bomer, Tim DeKay, Tiffani Thiessen, and the immortal Diahann Carroll, in a show which explored both sides of the line of the law, often referring to Bomer’s character’s past and previous proclivities. It really elevated the buddy comedy genre in ways that many shows have tried to imitate since.

What was fascinating was how the show delved deep into the criminal underworld and gave viewers a deep dive into con artist tradecraft. As a writer I often wondered about the roads not taken in stories, and one of those within the show was the backstory of Carroll’s husband, who was also a con man. I felt it would have been better to show this story than to allude to it as the show did through its entire run. The idea of a family of thieves was something I wished W.E.B. Griffin would have tackled in his prolific career. Roxane Gay and Ming Doyle’s beautifully woven The Banks gives us a family whose business is about the next big score and they live by one code, don’t get caught and don’t get greedy.

We’re taken to 1972 Evanston, Illinois, where we meet Clara Banks, a shrewd robber whose skill set as a safecracker has made one of the best in all of Chicago. She develops a family business which is far from your typical. The story weaves through the past to the present delivering an interesting family of thieves and eventually leading to a score and revenge.

Overall, an excellent and intricately told story about a family whose business is more than ill-gotten gains, as love and legacy is paramount to everything. The story by Gay is immense, heartfelt, and harrowing. The art by the creative team is beautiful. Altogether, a story that does more than add sepia tones to the crime noir genre but elevates it a new standard of storytelling.

Story: Roxane Gay
Art: Ming Doyle, Jordie Bellaire, Ariana Maher, Jared K Fletcher,
and Jeff Powell
Story: 10 Art: 9.8 Overall: 9.9 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Sentient

Sentient

As powerful a behemoth the Marvel Cinematic Universe is, it cannot be understated how much it has changed the way we look at heroes. The mere reverberations that Avengers: Endgame has had on our collective consciousness is both heartbreaking and eye-opening. The movie showed the world that heroes may be superpowered but mortal. The movie killed three of the most impactful entities of the MCU to that point, leaving audiences in a gasp and many in tears.

This was not the first time the MCU had fans in tears and it probably won’t be the last. It’s the first time I remember seeing a heartfelt story onscreen was Next Avengers: Heroes Of Tomorrow.  The movie centers around the children of the Avengers in a dystopian future. It’s a world where Ultron has killed all their parents. The movie asks a very important question, “Have you prepared your children for a life without you?” Jeff Lemire and Gabriel Walta’s thought-provoking Sentient is a similar premise to that animated movie and explores that very question.

We’re taken to the USS Montgomery a ship that houses a crew and their family along with artificial intelligence, Valeria, that watches over them. Separatists dissent on the Earth colony has the Space Navy and the Montgomery sees betrayal among its own. Post tragedy, the story shifts to one of survival as the surviving children of the Montgomery must learn to function in a ship without their parents and adapt to their new situation. It’s a story of survival in the physical and emotional sense.

Sentient is a truly original science fiction story that borrows traces of Lord of the Flies and Bicentennial Man infused with the human journey to beat insurmountable odds. The story by Lemire is heartfelt, harrowing, and redemptive. The art by Walta, Wands, Fletcher, and Powell is superb. Altogether, a story that shows the answer to the question, that if you can ever prepare your children for the unthinkable and to trust that you that your nurture leads to their better natures.

Story: Jeff Lemire
Art: Gabriel Walta, Steve Wands, Jared K Fletcher, and Jeff Powell
Story: 10 Art: 9.8 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy

Preview: Killers #3 (of 5)

KILLERS #3 (of 5)

Written by B. CLAY MOORE
Art by FERNANDO DAGNINO
Colors by JOSÉ VILLARRUBIA
Letters by JEFF POWELL
Cover A by JONBOY MEYERS
Cover B by LARRY STROMAN with ROB STULL and ULISES ARREOLA
Cover C by YANNICK CORBOZ
Cover D by CULLY HAMNER
Preorder Edition by WHILCE PORTACIO with RAYMUND LEE
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale SEPTEMBER 18th

The unstoppable marksman, Sights, joins the carnage! But where does his allegiance lie?

Can you trust a superninja with a mind broken by MI6? Just ask the Undisciple.

The high-octane battle royale continues as the Killers tear each other apart in a competition like no other!

KILLERS #3 (of 5)

Review: Fallen World #5

Fallen World, #5

In Fallen World, #5, it’s all-out war between Rai and Bloodfather!

Can Bloodshot be saved from his ultimate fate?

What does the future of 4002 hold for these characters? The first answers to what comes next starts here!

Fallen World #5, written by Dan Abnett, featuring art by Adam Polina, colors by Ulises Arreola and letters by Jeff Powell is the final issue in the series that follows the events of the final issues of Rai and the 4001 A.D. miniseries. It also serves as the introduction to the new Rai series coming later this year from Abnett and Juan Jose Ryp (more on this later). .

Fallen World started off strongly, with the first three issues playing into the best the science fiction stories have to offer; racism, religion and foreign politics. But that didn’t carry into the fourth issue which felt less like great science fiction and more like a stumble in the road to greatness. It was a comic that, without the subtext and allegorical aspects, was left to stand on its artistic merits. Sadly there was enough that pulled me out of the story in terms of the art that I missed the subtleties of the previous issues.

Thankfully, the fourth issue remains the weakest in the series.

Regarding those allegories…

My love for this series is, in part, due to the analogs to our current world. There are clear problems between humans and their former slaves, the artificially intelligent positrons. This leads to some powerfully haunting moments in the first issue. The second issue introduced us to a religious sect that worship Father – or rather their idea of Father, crafted to suit their needs. It’s a series of undertones that add what all great science fiction has. That’s a powerful modern relevance despite the book being set two thousand years in the future. The third issue has added an interesting commentary on a foreign body trying to impose its will on the existent population. It’s a population that is less than thrilled with the proposition being offered by the foreign body.

From my review of Fallen World #3

Although there is a lot of combat in this comic, the overall theme is one of struggle in the face of inevitability. Now it’s possible I’m reading too much into the comic, but then what is art if you can’t interpret it in ways beyond the obvious?

With this being the finale to Fallen World the divergent plot lines all come together to some degree, though the focus is primarily on Rai and his confrontation with Father/Bloodfather, and it’s through this confrontation that Abnett discusses the inevitability of things. Surrounded by artwork that propels the story along in clean concise lines and panels inset over full page images gives the comic an epic feel and a sense of urgency that underlies the rush of the story itself.

Although the series didn’t end as strongly as it started, the was a significant upswing in terms of quality from the previous issue. Overall, as a reintroduction to Rai and the cast of the 4001 Fallen World was an unreserved success. As a standalone story? Well, as I said, it’s a great introduction to kick off the next chapter of Valiant’s future timeline.

Story: Dan Abnett Art: Adam Pollina
Colors: Ulises Arreola Letters: Jeff Powell
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Preview: Fallen World #5 (of 5)

FALLEN WORLD #5 (of 5)

Written by DAN ABNETT
Art by ADAM POLLINA
Colors by ULISES ARREOLA
Letters by JEFF POWELL
Cover Aby ADAM POLLINA
Cover Bby HARVEY TOLIBAO
Cover C by RAÚL ALLÉN
Pre-Order Editionby DAVID MACK
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale SEPTEMBER 4th

It’s all-out war between Rai and Bloodfather!

Can Bloodshot be saved from his ultimate fate?

What does the future of 4002 hold for these characters? The first answers to what comes next starts here!

FALLEN WORLD #5 (of 5)
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