Z2Comics has announced that True War Stories,the ambitious project pairing members of the US military with the biggest names in comics to share real war stories told by those who lived them, will be available for Local Comic Shop Day. This unique project, assembled by the multiple-Eisner nominated writer/editor, Alex de Campi and co-edited by Iraq War veteran Khai Kumbaar is an entertaining and moving work of graphic nonfiction previously only available through Kickstarter.
Vietcong sappers attack a fuel point, only to be foiled by an unusual alert guard dog. An MP guards convoys of mystery bombs in the Thai jungle in 1968. A young Airman copes with post-9/11 paranoia in Okinawa. A Marine sniper in Haiti faces the repercussions of the shot he never took. A team of SEALs helps rescue a kidnapped girl in the Philippines. Army interpreters in Iraq battle their toughest foe: the rats of Saddam’s palace. A soldier on a late-night run surprises a motorpool saboteur. A young cavalry lieutenant, fresh off the Battle of Kamdesh, meets the Marine half-brother he’s never known. A Navy ship reacts to an unexpected man overboard. And if you’ve ever wondered what Christmas was like in a war zone, you’re about to find out.
Artists include Peter Krause, Ryan Howe, Skylar Patridge (drawing her own father’s Vietnam story), Eoin Marron, Tish Doolin (a former Army medic), Dave Acosta, A. D’Amico, Drew Moss, Josh Hood, PJ Holden, Chris Peterson, Sam Hart, Jeff McComsey, and Paul Williams. Colors are by Dee Cunniffe, Matt Soffe, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Tarsis Cruz, and Aladdin Collar. All lettering is done by de Campi herself.
True War Stories is a 260-page full-color graphic novel anthology containing fifteen true tales of American service members overseas. Nearly every branch of the military is represented in this collection of stories that are heartwarming, heroic, harrowing, and even at times, hilarious, spanning the globe.
True War Stories will be published by Z2 Comics in conjunction with Local Comic Shop Day, with all profits from this $19.99 retail release donated to military-related charities chosen by our contributors as personally meaningful to them: Objective Zero Foundation, Air Force Assistance Fund, the USO, Armed Services Arts Partnership, and Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
This spring, the Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group is pleased to announce the addition of several upcoming original graphic novels—including several new middle grade and young adult projects— in spring 2021.
In January, Lemonade Code, an own voices middle-grade graphic novel from the creative team of writer Jarod Pratt and artist Jey Odin, follows a young genius desperate for cash to fund his top-secret science projects. But after starting a lemonade stand, he discovers his brand-new next door neighbor doing the same thing! Soon, an all-out war begins as both kids go head-to-head in a lemonade war, but this time the fate of the world could be at stake.
Taking place in a recognizable world to today’s young readers was important to the creators: “Lemonade Code was born from a desire for my kids to not just be able to see a future with people who look like them in it, but to also see themselves in a future that wasn’t necessarily dystopic by nature,” said Jarod Pratt. “By taking a familiar children’s story conceit—two kids with dueling lemonade stands—and setting it in a time just around the corner, it is my hope that any kid who reads it and sees themselves in the characters will also have their eyes opened to the possibilities of tomorrow and their place in it.”
The fan-favorite Catalyst Prime title, Quincredible: Quest to be the Best, returns in February 2021 from creative team Rodney Barnes, Selina Espiritu, Kelly Fitzpatrick, and Tom Napolitano, and follows Quinton West after a meteor show dubbed “The Event” left him with the power of invulnerability—but no other gifts. Not the most glamorous or flashy of superpowers. But there’s more to Quin than meets the eye, and he’s willing to show the world just that. Quincredible: Quest to be the Best will be reformatted in a new trim size and featuring an updated logo and design as the series moves from single issues to graphic novels.
Secrets of Camp Whatever Volume 1, the latest graphic novel from the Eisner Award-nominated creator Chris Grine; Martian Ghost Centaur by Unplugged and Unpopular creator Mat Heagerty with illustrations by Steph Mided; and The Hazards of Love: Bright World, a queer Latinx webcomic-turned-graphic-novel by Stan Stanley, will be available in March 2021.
In Grine’s Secrets of Camp Whatever, there’s more than mosquitoes at this creepy summer camp, as hard-of-hearing teen Willow and friends go head-to-head with supernatural scares, and a mystery involving her family’s past at the camp begins to unfold. For creator Chris Grine, inspiration was one part summer camp, one part supernatural, and everything else his children. “My preteen daughter and her ever-changing preteen attitude became the main inspiration for several of the main characters personalities, which made it so much more personal and enjoyable to write, especially when I would think about how she might handle this place and what choices she might make when things go sideways.”
Martian Ghost Centaur, from Heagerty and Mided, explores coming of age for a young adult torn between leaving for college or staying in a beloved hometown that is on the brink of financial ruin—and the lengths one can go to save something they love. For Mat Heagerty, this came from taking a deep look at his own experiences. “Up until the pandemic, I’d worked for a decade in a really unique bar in San Francisco. I watched the city’s second tech boom push out so much of what made San Francisco feel like home to me. Watching the tech takeover, specifically of the Mission District, was where the story started for me.”
But for illustrator Steph Mided, it was a means of revisiting that high school transition. “[Martian Ghost Centaur] instantly took me back to my senior year of high school, where I was ready to take on the entire world, yet at the same time deeply scared about anything in my life changing.”
In Stanley’s The Hazards of Love: Bright World, Amparo, a Latinx nonbinary teen, makes a deal with a talking cat to become a better person—in part to stop their mom and abuela from worrying about them, but mostly to be worthy of dating straight-A student Iolanthe. But in a twist of fate, the cat steals their body, imprisoning Amparo in a land of terrifying flesh-hungry creatures known as Bright World.
For Stan, this was a way to bring a deeply personal project to a larger audience. “It was important for me as a queer Mexican living in NYC that this project feature a diverse Latinx and LGBTQ cast and present urban fantasy through a non-European lens. Hazards reinterprets the ‘Down the Rabbithole’ trope to reflect a queer Latinx voice, and pays homage to Mexican gothic horror films, to telenovela tropes, and to Latin-American surrealism.” Offering lush full-color illustrations, Stanley hopes The Hazards of Love: Bright World will bring the horrors of the fantasy world and the more relatable horrors of our mundane world to readers in a whole new light.
In Delicates, the sequel to Brenna Thummler’s best-selling graphic novel Sheets, summer’s ended and Marjorie Glatt is heading back to school, this time as part of the eighth grade in-crowd. But as she struggles to fit in with her new friends, she spends less and less time with Wendell and finds herself acting in ways that seem unlike her. Marjorie must soon come to terms with the price she pays to be accepted by the popular kids, but it might just cost her her friendship with Wendell and so much more. “Waiting for sequels is like waiting to reunite with old friends—you’re eager for that familiar comfort, yet anxious to hear of new adventures. Delicates is full of the fun, challenges, and bittersweet moments that make for the strongest of friendships, and I can’t wait for readers to return to this ghostly world!” said Brenna. Delicates will be available March 2021.
Written by ALEJANDRO ARBONA Art by JIM TOWE Colors by KELLY FITZPATRICK Letters by CLAYTON COWLES Cover A by CLAYTON HENRY, ULISES ARREOLA Cover B by KANO Preorder Cover by CARY NORD On sale AUGUST 26th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+
After a universe-spanning journey, Doctor Tomorrow must face his greatest foe yet: himself!
Will the combined forces of the Valiant Universe be enough to avert total annihilation?
After the epic conclusion, will there be a tomorrow?
Previously in Doctor Tomorrow, we met Bart Simms – many versions of Bart Simms, in fact. The youngest one meets an adult one who is locked in battle with foe capable of global destruction in Hadrian. Only in typical comic book fashion, we learn that Hadrian is another Bart Simms, who ends up blasting his younger version into an alternate future where his childhood best friend gives him years of training.
Doctor Tomorrow #5 picks up with our younger version of Bart all grown up and ready to fight the battle he has trained for in the future. But for those who followed this series, there was a lot more going on than just your typical battle. Bart’s home life was in shambles due to his mother’s passing and it had placed a strain between him and his father, who in this issue is quite shocked that his son is all grown up and that he missed those years of his life.
I thought the Doctor Tomorrow #5 creative team delivered an exciting finale to Doctor Tomorrow. Series writer Alejandro Arbona and artist Jim Towe are a team that I hope will be back to further the adventures of Bart in another series. Kelly Fitzpatrick‘s colors flowed well with Towe’s pencils. It helped give this series a bright look. Jim Towe’s pencils felt like they had a bit of a unique look to them that was pleasant to look at. I thought the effort put in to create the dialogue between Bart and his father was a pretty good moment and a spot that could have easily been passed over as a loose thread. If I had to nitpick, it would be that there were a few times that the dialogue felt a bit too cliché during the big fight.
I’ve really enjoyed Doctor Tomorrow and for a few reasons. For one, it brought your regular superhero fisticuffs to the Valiant Universe, a place not necessarily brimming with heroes and villains. It was old school. It was the young hero, ready to face down his foe who was, in essence, himself. It gives Valiant a book with a huge all-ages feel that isn’t burdened by being only written for kids. Doctor Tomorrow brought out all the big Valiant characters but they really were only used as background spectators to Bart’s battle against his own Hadrian. While I never know how much anything Valiant does goes to bring in new fans, I think the regular fan of the publisher will enjoy Doctor Tomorrow very much.
Story: Alejandro Arbona Art: Jim Towe Color: Kelly Fitzpatrick Letterer: Clayton Cowles Story: 8.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Read
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Z2’s diverse fall publishing slate continues to be revealed with projects from today’s biggest names in entertainment. Today, the publisher recruits members of the US military for an ambitious project: share real war stories told by those who lived them in an entertaining and moving work of graphic nonfiction which launches exclusively for presale through the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform. This unique project pairs veterans with some of the biggest names in comics, as assembled by the multiple-Eisner nominated writer/editor, Alex de Campi and co-edited by Iraq War veteran Khai Krumbhaar.
Vietcong sappers attack a fuel point, only to be foiled by an unusual alert guard dog. An MP guards convoys of mystery bombs in the Thai jungle in 1968. A young Airman copes with post-9/11 paranoia in Okinawa. A Marine sniper in Haiti faces the repercussions of the shot he never took. A team of SEALs help rescue a kidnapped girl in the Philippines. Army interpreters in Iraq battle their toughest foe: the rats of Saddam’s palace. A soldier on a late-night run surprises a motorpool saboteur. A young cavalry lieutenant, fresh off the Battle of Kamdesh, meets the Marine half-brother he’s never known. A Navy ship reacts to an unexpected man overboard. And if you’ve ever wondered what Christmas was like in a war zone, you’re about to find out.
True War Stories is a 260-page full color graphic novel anthology containing fifteen true tales of American service members overseas. Nearly every branch of the military is represented in this collection of stories that are heartwarming, heroic, harrowing, and even at times, hilarious, spanning the globe.
True War Stories will be published by Z2 Comics in time for Veterans Day in November. All profits from the book’s retail release will be donated to military-related charities chosen by our contributors as personally meaningful to them: Objective Zero Foundation, Air Force Assistance Fund, the USO, Armed Services Arts Partnership, and Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Artists include the great Peter Krause, Ryan Howe, Skylar Patridge (drawing her own father’s Vietnam story), Eoin Marron, Tish Doolin (a former Army medic), Dave Acosta, A. D’Amico, Drew Moss, Josh Hood, PJ Holden, Chris Peterson, Sam Hart, Jeff McComsey, and Paul Williams. Colors are by Dee Cunniffe, Matt Soffe, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Tarsis Cruz, and Aladdin Collar. All lettering is done by de Campi herself.
Written by ALEJANDRO ARBONA Art by JIM TOWE Colors by KELLY FITZPATRICK Letters by CLAYTON COWLES Cover A by KENNETH ROCAFORT Cover B by DAVID LAFUENTE Preorder Cover by BARRY KITSON On sale JULY 29th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+
The true origin of Doctor Tomorrow is finally revealed! Can Bart Simms ready himself in time to rescue the Universe from complete annihilation?
In today’s fast-paced world, not necessarily intentionally, we tend to dismiss those of an older generation. When I was in the military, I often found myself being given advice by those who came before me. Sometimes, it was something useful. I would use these gems in future situations. Some of the best stories I ever heard were the guys who went to Desert Storm.
Much of what they did was unheralded and often it was an important contribution to the overall mission. In my fascination with history and finding those rarely told stories, I’ve found hundreds of them. Many brave men and women did missions that didn’t give them medals and deserved photo ops. Those endeavors threaded that invisible needle to ensure the proper outcome. One of those stories where these men and women, most of them deceased, finally got their recognition, was the WWII veterans of native Filipino descent who fought for America. One of those being my grandfather. In Garth Ennis, PJ Holden, Kelly Fitzpatrick, and Rob Steen’s brilliant The Stringbags, we find out about another ragtag crew whose exploits may have saved the world.
We are taken to 1940, where crews of young men in the British Royal Navy were flying what is then considered an artifact, the Fairey Swordfish, also known as Stringbag, because of its simplistic structure. As we meet the crew of one these flying wonders, Archie, Ollie, and Pops, whose banter and camaraderie make an easy lane for cohesion and the long missions just a bit shorter. They are soon tasked with Operation Judgment, as Britain is hanging on to the forwarding operating bases by skin of their teeth, and the lone nation at the time fighting against Nazi Germany and looking to keep the ground at Malta, as this particular crew volunteers to scout, a mission that could mean their ultimate fate. At They soon find they could are outnumbered but if can take out one of their vessels, they can tilt the odds in their favor, as they soon catch heavy fire from one of the Italian Battleships, which they responded with a torpedo, taking out the Taranto, and soon the rest of the Stringbag squadron would take out the remaining fleet of the Regia Marina. As glory did not last long, eventually the German Blitz hit London and all of England was under attack from the “axis of evil”, as the UK sought some type of victory, as the expansion of Nazi Germany into England seemed almost imminent. Soon, the German Navy became a powerful force at sea, as we find Archie, Ollie, and Pops, flying U Boat patrols, but are soon tasked with a covert mission to escort the Ark Royal, one of the best aircraft carriers of the Royal Navy. As the crew lands on the Ark Royal, they soon find out that the HMS Hood, one their battleships had been blasted in half by the German Battlecruiser, the Bismarck. Soon our heroes take on two missions to destroy the battleship, one which was unsuccessful but the other, landing a crucial blow, which our protagonists’ plane did not survive but they did, and would lead the way for the rest of the squadron to ensure it was the Bismarck’s final voyage. Soon Germany would need to shore up its more vulnerable territories, which lead Hitler to recall three of their Battle cruisers, going the fastest route, through the English Channel. Of course, the Royal Navy guessed this would happen, and in February 1942, would deploy Operation Fuller, but rattled by the success of the Japanese fleet, they would need the fearlessness of the Stringbag squadron. By the book’s end, this would be the last mission of this crew, as they would not survive this mission, which was a complete failure, leaving only five survivors.
Overall, a book that is very much a throwback to the war movies of yesteryear, which gives these unsung heroes their proper day in the sun. The story by Ennis is funny, relatable, action-packed, and well developed. The art by the creative team is simply breathtaking. Altogether, a story that will make you want to go watch movies like Midway, to remember the heroism of those who fought despite the odds.
Story: Garth Ennis Art: PJ Holden, Kelly Fitzpatrick, and Rob Steen Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy
Script: Alex de Campi Art: Robert Hack, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Jack Morelli Cover: Robert Hack, Kelly Fitzpatrick 978-1-6-4576-983-5 $19.99 US/$22.99 CAN 6 5/8 x 10 3/16” 144 pp, Full Color On-Sale Date: 4/15
America’s favorite teen meets the galaxy’s fiercest hunter—again! Betty, Veronica and Predator-Archie have been left in the wreckage of their town, all their friends dead. Normally, they’d just go down Memory Lane and get home again where everything’s okay, but that’s no longer an option. It isn’t until they find an undamaged car and drive it down a different road where they can finally return to Riverdale—but their hometown feels different. And it’s made even more bizarre when they come face-to-face with a few people they’d never expect: themselves. Only different, newer versions. Little do they know, Predators on Mars are watching them—planning their next attack! Collects the full five-issue Archie vs. Predator II mini-series event.
Written by VITA AYALA Art by TANA FORD, BRUNO OLIVERA Colors by KELLY FITZPATRICK, RUTH REDMOND Letters by SAIDA TEMOFONTE Cover by RAÚL ALLÉN On sale MAY 20 | 112 pages, full color | $14.99 US | T+ TRADE PAPERBACK | ISBN: 978-1-68215-354-3
What is the cost of freedom?
Wanted fugitive Livewire has been on the run for months from the authorities for shutting down the country’s power in an effort to protect people gifted with powers. Will a shocking offer to go public from a renowned local politician pull Livewire into a political spotlight?
Valiant’s breakout heroine fights to clear her name in the next electrifying volume from rising stars Vita Ayala (Prisoner X) and Tana Ford (Avengers)!
Dead Reckoning provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site