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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

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.

Human Grim Reaper September Mourning will seek out new souls this January 2019

Bestselling writers David Hine, Mariah McCourt, and metal singer/songwriter sensation Emily Lazar (aka: September Mourning) team up with artist Tina Valentino to tell the story of a human grim reaper hybrid and her destiny in September Mourning. Issues #1-4 of the ongoing series, which first launched through Kickstarter, will be collected into trade paperback and available from Image Comics and Top Cow Productions this January. In conjunction with the release of this book, September Mourning will be releasing new music via Sumerian Records, which will bring further life to the storyline.

Set in a world where Reapers prey on the souls of the living, imprisoning them in the shadow-land of Mortem, there is one last hope for humanity. Her name is September Mourning. Half human, half Reaper, she takes the souls of the wicked so the innocent can live again. September has joined forces with a woman who was murdered and restored to life, and a young blind girl who sees only the dead. Together, as The Trinity, they set out to fulfill a prophecy that will finally free all the lost souls who are trapped in Mortem.

September Mourning, Vol. 1 (ISBN: 978-1-5343-1030-8) hits comic shops on Wednesday, January 16th and bookstores on Tuesday, January 22nd.

Should We Expect More from Comics? New Publisher AHOY Promises Exactly That.

This falls sees the launch of a brand new comic publisher AHOY Comics who already boasts an impressive lineup of creators involved. Founded by journalist Hart Seely, the publisher already has landed Grant Morrison, Mark Russell, Jamal Igle, and more. Tom Peyer is the Editor-in-Chief and will also be contributing a series and Stuart Moore is described as AHOY’s “dark ops” manager. AHOY stands for Abundance (more pages per issue), Humor, Originality and Yes (Yes to comics, more pages, collected editions, meaningful design, dramatic art, shipping on schedule, enjoyment, etc).

Seely said the releases aren’t so much issues as “comic book magazines” which will feature a full-length lead story and back-up material including cartoons, prose, and poetry from mainstream and indie creators, as well as journalists, prose writers, and New Yorker cartoonists. Seely is an award-winning reporter for the Syracuse Post-Standard. His humor and satire have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, National Lampoon, and on National Public Radio. He is the editor of Pieces of Intelligence: The Existential Poetry of Donald H. Rumsfeld and coeditor (with Tom Peyer) of O Holy Cow! The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto.

The publisher launches this September with two series. The Wrong Earth is a six-issue miniseries by Tom Peyer and Jamal Igle. In it, two heroes — one an adventure-loving crimefighter with a kid sidekick, the other a ruthless vigilante — trade places and find themselves trapped in worlds they never made. In High Heaven, a five-issue mini-series aimed at mature readers, Tom Peyer and Greg Scott debut a chronic malcontent who finds himself in an afterlife where everyone hates a complainer. The Wrong Earth debuts September 12.

Both of those series launch with 40 page first issues. The Wrong Earth features a prose story by Grant Morrison along with material from Shannon Wheeler, Paul Constant, and Frank CammusoHigh Heaven features another prose story from Morrison, with another cartoon from Wheeler and a back-up strip from Peyer and artist Chris Giarrusso.

In October AHOY launches two additional titles: Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Terror, a six-issue anthology described as a “cross between Drunk History and Tales from the Crypt . That 40 page first issue features material by Peyer, Mark Russell and cartoonist Hunt Emerson. Captain Ginger is a four-issue series about a spaceship piloted by cats after the human race has died out, by Stuart Moore and June Brigman. That first issue will include a prose story by Morrison, illustrated by Phil Hester, and a cartoon from Shannon Wheeler.

Future creators involved include Peter Milligan, Mariah McCourt, Rachel Pollack, Gary Erskine, and Roger Stern.

Preview Stitched from Charmz, The New Imprint For Tween Girls

Papercutz—one of the publishers leading the current boom in kids’ graphic novel publishing—will launch Charmz, a new imprint for tween girls on May 2, 2017 with three new graphic novel series. Each of three launch titles have their own distinct look and feel, with subjects and settings ranging from graveyards to new schools, and storylines that share a common theme: a focus on friendships and relationships.

The line of books is being edited by bestselling writer and editor Mariah Huehner, formerly of IDW Publishing and Vertigo/DC Comics. In advance of Mariah McCourt’s appearance at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books (April 22 and 23) and Aaron Alexovich’s appearance at the C2E2 convention in Chicago that same weekend, Charmz is releasing an excerpt from their graphic novel Stitched.

  • Stitched by NYT bestselling author Mariah McCourt (Emily & The Strangers) and Aaron Alexovich (Serenity Rose). Crimson Volania Mulch has a problem; she just woke up in a crypt and, besides her name, has no idea of who, where, or what she is. Welcome to the Cemetery of Assumptions, a vast landscape of stones, mausoleums, and secrets. Home to monsters and mayhem, it may also hold the answers to her unknown parentage. Crimson is a resourceful patchwork girl and determined to find them. Along the way, she meets the mysterious Wisteria, who has a tendency to change and a witch named Parameter whose spells tend to go awry. And two boys, Simon and Quinton, who make her feel something besides lost and confused. She must battle ghosts, zombies, and monsters in order to learn where she came from and who her real “mother” is. But will she do it alone, or will she have help from her new friends and unexpected crushes?
  • Chloe by Greg Tessier and Amandine. Everything was wonderful for young Chloe Blin―she loved her family, even despite their affectionate nickname for her. But everything changes when she starts at a new school. Suddenly, her family is just embarrassing! Chloe wants to meet new people and make new friends, especially with a certain Alexandre, but she’s not sure what to say or wear or who to trust. The home room fashionistas are only too happy to tell her how her clothes look, but can they really be her friends? And what if everyone heard her family’s name for her?
  • Sweeties by Veronique Grisseaux and Anna Merli. Cherry Costello’s father owns a successful candy store franchise with best-selling chocolates. When her father remarries to the Tanberry family, Cherry now has four new half-sisters and must start at a new school in a new town. Trouble arises as Cherry meets Shay, the boyfriend of her older half-sister, Honey. Plus, the Tanberry twins Skye and Summer learn life is not identical for the both of them. It’s going to take a sweet miracle to overcome the sour tensions in this household!

Perhaps no trend in book publishing has been stronger in recent years than the growth of the kids’ graphic novel category. At the recent Children’s Institute, Nielsen cited 24% growth in year on year sales. Hand in hand with that growth has been the emergence of female readers and female creators like Raina Telgemeier and Noelle Stevenson. But not all female fans of graphic fiction have been served equally. For tween girls who have loved but outgrown properties like The Smurfs or Disney Comics but aren’t quite ready for the more mature content of books like This One Summer or Honor Girl, there’s been a distinct lack of material available. Now that’s all about to change, starting on May 2.

New Adaptation of Servant of the Bones Debuts this Summer

Official Press Release

FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, BRING HOME TWO EXHILARATING 

New Adaptation of Servant of the Bones Debuts this Summer

IDW partners with best-selling author Anne Rice

[Servant of the Bones Image]San Diego, CA (June 9, 2011) — IDW Publishing today announced the launch of the new comic adaptation of Servant of the Bones debuting in August. IDW has a partnership with New York Times best-selling author Anne Rice (Interview with a Vampire, Queen of the Damned, The Vampire Lestat) to create the newly adapted version of one of her most celebrated works.
Rice, among the most iconic authors in horror, takes fans back to the time of ancient Babylon with this six-part tale of murder, demonic revenge, and the redemptive power of faith. IDW’s Servant of the Bones will be brought to life by the New York Times best-selling co-writer of the True Blood comic, Mariah McCourt and ornately illustrated by the New York Times best-selling art team of Renae DeLiz and Ray Dillon (The Last Unicorn).
“The closer we arrive to the release date of this splendid adaptation of Servant of the Bones, the more excited I become.  I have overseen the whole phase of this project, and at each step I am more amazed,” said Rice. “Ray and Renae DeLiz’s drawings are vivid and gorgeous; Mariah Heuhner’s script has captured the heart of my novel; and the alternative covers by Jenny Frison are just breathtaking.  The day Servant is officially released will be a day to remember!”
In Servant of the Bones, Azriel is an immortal spirit who is bound to the gold-encased bones of his mortal body. He struggles to understand whether he is a ghost, genie, demon or angel and shares his story with the reader and his scribe, Jonathan, as he travels to different times and eras, ending in the modern world of New York City. Amidst the towers of Manhattan, Azriel finds himself in confrontations with his own human memories and the dark forces that have sought to condemn him to a life of evil and destruction.
Beginning in August, the first issue of this adaptation will tell the story of a beautiful young woman who is brutally slain in the streets of New York City. The demon Azriel sets out to discover who killed her, only to find a far more sinister plot that could end the world. Once a human in ancient Babylon, Azriel is a spirit of rage and terror, who gradually rediscovers his humanity through holy vengeance and spiritual love.
SERVANT OF THE BONES #1 ($3.99, 32 pages, full color) will be available August 2011. Diamond order code JUN11 0380.
Visit IDWPublishing.com to learn more about the company and its top-selling books.
About IDW Publishing
IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. Renowned for its diverse catalog of licensed and independent titles, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry, including: Hasbro’s The Transformers and G.I. JOE, Paramount’s Star Trek; HBO’s True Blood; the BBC’s Doctor Who; and comics and trade collections based on novels by worldwide bestselling author, James Patterson. IDW is also home to the Library of American Comics imprint, which publishes classic comic reprints; Yoe! Books, a partnership with Yoe! Studio; and is the print publisher for EA Comics.
IDW’s original horror series, 30 Days of Night, was launched as a major motion picture in October 2007 by Sony Pictures and was the #1 film in its first week of release. More information about the company can be found at IDWPublishing.com.

New Adaptation of Servant of the Bones Coming in August

Official Press Release

New Adaptation of Servant of the Bones Coming in August

IDW Partners With Best-Selling Author Anne Rice to Release New Comic Book Series

San Diego, CA (April 1, 2011) — IDW Publishing is proud to announce a new partnership with best-selling author Anne Rice (Interview with a Vampire, Queen of the Damned), kicking off with a new six-issue adaptation of Servant of the Bones. Rice, the creator of fantastic worlds filled with vampires and witches, takes fans back to the time of Isaiah and Jeremiah, and the destruction of Solomon’s Temple, to tell the story of Azriel, the Servant of the Bones.

“This is an exciting adaptation! IDW has certainly chosen the finest artists and writers for this project,” said Rice. “The script is marvelous. Renae De Liz’s penciling has captured my characters exquisitely.  Ray Dillon’s colors are alive and gorgeous. This Servant of the Bones adaptation is perfect!”

IDW’s adaptation of Servant of the Bones will be written by Mariah McCourt, with art by Renae DeLiz and Ray Dillon. This opulent tale will take readers from ancient Babylon to modern day New York City, from the madness of fanaticism to the peace of faith. Once again Anne Rice fans will be able to enjoy her talent in delivering melancholic and psychologically charged moods through this newly adapted version of one of her most recognized works.

In Servant of the Bones, Azriel is an immortal spirit who is bound to the gold-encased bones of his mortal body. Throughout the story, he struggles to understand whether he is a ghost, genie, demon or angel. He shares his story with the reader as he travels from an ancient Babylon of royal plots and religious upheavals to Europe during the Black Death and on to the modern world in New York City. Amidst the towers of Manhattan, he finds himself in confrontation with his own human memories and the dark forces that have sought to condemn him to a life of evil and destruction.

“Servant of the Bones is a deeply layered, lush, and lyrical story. It’s visually rich, compelling, and asks the really big questions about life, love and death,” said IDW editor Mariah Huehner. “We’re very excited to be working with Anne Rice, one of the most prolific writers of this generation, and we just hope we can do the story the justice it deserves. Getting to work with Renae DeLiz and Ray Dillon, the remarkable team behind The Last Unicorn, assures me that we can.”

SERVANT OF THE BONES #1 ($3.99, 32 pages, full color) will be available August 2011.

Visit IDWPublishing.com to learn more about the company and its top-selling books.

About IDW Publishing
IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. Renowned for its diverse catalog of licensed and independent titles, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry, including: Hasbro’s The Transformers and G.I. JOE, Paramount’s Star Trek; HBO’s True Blood; the BBC’s DOCTOR WHO; Toho’s Godzilla; and comics and trade collections based on novels by worldwide bestselling author, James Patterson. IDW is also home to the Library of American Comics imprint, which publishes classic comic reprints; Yoe! Books, a partnership with Yoe! Studios; and is the print publisher for EA Comics.

IDW’s original horror series, 30 Days of Night, was launched as a major motion picture in October 2007 by Sony Pictures and was the #1 film in its first week of release. More information about the company can be found at IDWPublishing.com.