Image Comics has announced that Marian Churchland’s popular, long-running blog posts on Hchom.com will be collected and published as The Hchom Book trade paperback this September.
If you were a goblin, what would your treasure hoard contain? Gems and minerals, biscuits and pastries, finely tailored jackets—or perhaps all of the above. Readers will follow the delightful whims and antics of ever-charming, ever-mischievous goblins in The Hchom Book.
The Hchom Book trade paperback (ISBN: 978-1-5343-0834-3) hits comic shops on Wednesday, September 19th and bookstores on Tuesday, September 25th.
“Oh my god, this is beautiful”- me, aloud to myself upon viewing the new comic book Arclight by Brandon Graham and Marian Churchland.
Arclight is part of a 4 issue mini-series within 8House, Graham’s new comics universe for Image. 8House is a brand new inter-connected, fictional universe by a singular creator and his equally singular crew of talented artists whose styles stray far from the tired (and usually ugly) house styles of other publishers. Graham’s crew are building quite an innovative fantasy world together with their own aesthetics and language. They are inventing a new flavor of fantasy world.
From the press release, “ARCLIGHT will bring readers the chilling story of a high-ranking lady of one of the houses who has her mind trapped in a monster’s body. She will soon learn that the monster trapped in her body has taken over her old life in her absence.”
Arclight’s world is preoccupied with blood which is considered precious and is essential for magic but is also used as a form of identification. A reoccurring theme this far is switching bodies and transforming bodies. A Lady is transformed into a creature made of twisted tree roots. An animal that looks like a magical sea slug is merged with a storybook goose.
In issue one, this book is setting up a magical mystery story. Everything in this issue is en-media-res, and you just roll with it.
The atmosphere of the book — the look and feel of its colors and even how light itself is portrayed on the page are central. I love how Churchland draws hands– you can see the bones inside them. I love how she draws skin– it has texture but it seems to glow. And I love the clothes she invents– where can I buy them?!
The back of the book includes a glossary of the symbols used in the art — a runic alphabet. We also get 1 page of Graham’s own art showing part of the story from the perspective of a farmer.
The official description of the book states it is about a woman who’s mind has become trapped in the body of a monster. That feels heavy with symbolism. And the knights who surround her wear etherial gowns and address each other as “sir”.
So, are the characters in Arclight transgender?
In an interview with Churchland a journalist calls the knights genderqueer and the artist didn’t challenge that description. They look androgynous to my eyes, are referred to as “Sir”, wear sheer gowns, some have breasts, some don’t, and they all have ambiguous names. Until I’m told otherwise I’ll use the pronouns their/her/his to refer to them.
I had assumed it was a form of theatrical lighting because it sounds like one. There are theaters that go by that name. But the actual term is an arc lamp which wikipedia says is a gas discharge lamp. It produces light by an arc between metal electrodes through an inert gas in a glass bulb. In other words it’s a light that is a bit steam-punk. This comic is far far more unique then anything steam-punk. So let’s pretend I didn’t look that up.
Story: Brandon Graham and Marian Churchland Art: Marian Churchland and Brandon Graham Story: 8 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Read (and also frame it)
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Image Comics to kick off San Diego Comic-Con held a special Image Expo where they announced a dozen new series!
Check out below for a complete listing and some art from the series.
Rick Remender and Sean Gordon Murphy’s TOKYO GHOST:
TOKYO GHOST welcomes readers to the isles of New Los Angeles, 2189. Humanity has become nothing more than a sea of consumers, ravenous and starving wolves, sick from toxic contamination, who have to borrow, beg, and steal for the funds to buy, buy, buy their next digital fix. Getting a thrill, a distraction from reality, is the only thing left to live for. Entertainment is the biggest industry, the drug everyone needs, and gangsters run it all. And who do these gangsters turn to when they need the “law” enforced? Led Dent and Debbie Decay, constables of the law, which is a nice way to say “brutal killing machines.” The duo are about to be presented with an assignment that will force them out of the decay of LA and into the mysterious lost nation of Tokyo.
Marian Churchland, Claire Gibson, and Sloane Leong’s FROM UNDER MOUNTAINS:
Set in the isolated country of Akhara, rival houses face off in the struggle for political power and military security in FROM UNDER MOUNTAINS. Three unlikely figures—a lord’s daughter, a disgraced knight, and a runaway thief—will change the fate of their world, but the only hope of peace may lie with the mystery shrouded goblins and witches, and the ancient powers they command.
Joe Casey and Paul Maybury’s VALHALLA MAD:
VALHALLA MAD introduces a set of brand new characters: the Glorious Knox, Greghorn the Battlebjorn and Jhago the Irritator. The series depicts this
particular trio of fun-loving gods’ return to Earth—Manhattan, specifically—to drink and party and revel in their resplendent godhood after many decades of being away. Needless to say, they find a very different world than the one they last visited.
John Arcudi and James Harren’s RUMBLE:
RUMBLE is a strange book, that’s for sure—like a scarecrow-Conan fighting in a Louis C.K. TV show directed by David Fincher—with a supporting cast of odd characters, many of whom aren’t even human.
Ray Fawkes’ INTERSECT:
Bodies shift and merge, warring with themselves. Blood rains from the skies. A child’s song is translated into toxic, thought-destroying whispers. Everything is changing. Everything is wrong. This is the world of INTERSECT.
Tom Neely and Keenan Marshall Keller’s THE HUMANS:
Apart, they are nothing… deemed by society as outcasts, misfits, losers, no good punks! But together, they are THE HUMANS! Follow Bobby, Johnny, and all The HUMANS as they fight and fly down the road to oblivion on a ride filled with chains, sex, leather, denim, hair, blood, bananas and chrome.
Gabriel Hardman’s KINSKI and Hardman and Corinna Bechko’s INVISIBLE REPUBLIC:
KINSKI, previously a digital-only collection, both written and drawn by Hardman, promises to be a quirky crime thriller about Joe, a down-on-his-luck salesman who finds a cute puppy. The thing is, this puppy already has a home. What starts as a simple rescue mission from neglectful owners quickly escalates into a righteous crusade. Hardman announced a second project to be executed with frequent collaborator Bechko (HEATHENTOWN, Savage Hulk, Star Wars: Legacy). Described as a gritty sci-fi series, INVISIBLE REPUBLIC explores the secret history of one man’s rise to power after an unspeakable act of violence elevates him to folk-hero status on a war-torn planet seeking independence.
Becky Cloonan and Andy Belanger’s SOUTHERN CROSS:
Now boarding: SOUTHERN CROSS, tanker flight 73 to Titan. Alex Braith is on board retracing her sister’s steps to the refinery moon, hoping to collect her remains and find some answers. The questions keep coming though—How did her sister die? Where did her cabin mate disappear to? Who is that creep across the hall? And why does she always feel like she’s being watched?
Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s DESCENDER:
DESCENDER will explore one young robot’s struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet.
Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein’s DRIFTER:
Mankind’s colonization of the galaxy has left countless planets mined bare and lifeless in DRIFTER. A space transport crashes onto a backwater world whose unique properties set the stage for a story that combines the dark wonder of a strange and alien landscape with the struggles of an abandoned and lawless frontier town.
Kurt Busiek and Ben Dewey’s TOOTH AND CLAW:
In TOOTH AND CLAW, a secret conclave of wizards brings a legendary champion back through time to save the world, with disastrous consequences. Swords, sorcery, animal-wizards, gods, empires, golems of radioactive decay, crystalline badlands, con women, ancient armories, young love, mystery, blood and death and treachery and destiny…TOOTH AND CLAW is an epic story you won’t want to miss out on.
Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey’s INJECTION:
INJECTION explores how loud and strange the world is becoming, and the sense that it’s all bubbling into chaos—a chaos poised to become the Next New Normal—and that we did this to ourselves without thinking for a second about how we were ever going to live inside it.
In 2014, Brandon Graham will team up with four different creators to bring a series of science-fiction/fantasy miniseries set in a world ruled by eight houses to life.
The first of the series will be 8House: Kiem, written by Graham and drawn by Xurxo Penalta and follows a soldier who must project her mind into the body of her dead twin in order to fight monsters on a distant comet.
The second of the series is titled 8House: Arclight, written by Graham and featuring art by Marian Churchland. Arclight will bring readers the chilling story of a high-ranking lady of one of the houses who has her mind trapped in a monster’s body. She will soon learn that the monster trapped in her body has taken over her old life in her absence.
The last of the series will be 8House: Mirror, and will be written by Emma Ríos and drawn by Hwei Lim. 8House: Mirror will examine what it means to be “human” and promises to take readers on an ironic space opera battle between self-absorbed humans intent on their own survival and noble monsters striving to save their worlds.
Berkeley, CA – 14 December 2010 – SFX Magazine praises the world of ELEPHANTMEN, calling it “a future gone wrong made to look nightmarishly beautiful,” and Comic Book Review Power Rankings says “ELEPHANTMEN is continually one of the most engaging and beautiful books on the stands.” The critically praised series that Comic Book Resources calls “subtle, smart and succinct” is seeing a slew of new releases in 2011, particularly during March!
In March 2011, comics fans will get a special treat with ELEPHANTMEN: MAN AND ELEPHANTMAN #1, an INVINCIBLE RETURNS-style one-shot that will please current readers and garner new fans for the series. It’s a perfect jump-on issue!
Readers will also get an advance sneak peek of MAN AND ELEPHANTMAN in Robert Kirkman’s THE WALKING DEAD #82!
This stand-alone oversized issue from Image Comics, written by Richard Starkings and drawn by Axel Medellin, will feature variant covers by Starkings, Ian Churchill (MARINEMAN, Supergirl) and Ed McGuinness (Superman, Deadpool). It will also feature a special retailer incentive cover by the incomparable J. Scott Campbell (Danger Girl, Fairy Tale Fantasies), the first of triptych of covers that will continue with issues #31 and #32 of the ongoing series.
March 2011 also sees the release of ELEPHANTMEN, VOL. 4: QUESTIONABLE THINGS, a gorgeous hardcover that collects issues #24-30 and features art by Möritat (The Spirit), Medellin, and Marian Churchland (BEAST).
Starkings explains, “We just rounded out our fourth year of publication with Image Comics in 2010, so it’s fitting that we move into 2011 with our fourth hardcover collection, featuring the first issues by our new regular artist, Mighty Axel Medellin. After contributing a page to our All Star 25th issue, his first complete issue was #27 and since then he’s consistently blown me away with his versatility on each and every issue. He has been a fan of the series from the get-go, and it shows on every page; his work on MAN AND ELEPHANTMAN will make you lick every page — and I still think I’ve barely scratched the surface of his abilities. I’m very happy to be starting our next story arc with Axel and a special number #1 issue!”
Adds Image Publisher Eric Stephenson, “Richard has a fantastic eye for talent, and after introducing the world to the stellar work of Möritat and Marian Churchland, he’s found another winner in Axel Medellin. If you haven’t been picking up ELEPHANTMEN before, now is definitely the time to get hooked on one of the most original and exciting series in comics!”
The Elephantmen are the survivors of genetic engineering experiments by a sinister organization that sought to create biological weapons of mass destruction. Freed and rehabilitated, the Elephantmen now live among the people they were designed to destroy, continually treated with suspicion and contempt except by a handful of trusted allies.
ELEPHANTMEN: MAN AND ELEPHANTMAN #1, a 40-page full-color comic book for $3.99, will be in stores March 30, 2011. ELEPHANTMEN, VOL. 4: QUESTIONABLE THINGS HC, a 312-page full-color graphic novel, will be in stores March 23, 2011. Both books can be ordered through the January issue of Previews.
Also out in early 2011: ELEPHANTMEN: WAR TOYS, VOL.2: ENEMY SPECIES OGN (January 26, $9.99, NOV100423), an all-new 104-page full-color graphic novel by Starkings and artist Boo Cook; and ELEPHANTMEN: COVER STORIES #1 (February 16, $5.99, DEC100455), a 64-page full-color collection of covers and sketches by Ladrönn and Boo Cook that features a flip cover by Cook.
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com.