Tag Archives: martin simmonds

Preview: Dying is Easy

Dying is Easy

(W) Joe Hill (A/CA) Martin Simmonds
In Shops: Oct 28, 2020
SRP: $19.99

Comedy is hard… but dying is easy! From New York Times bestselling author Joe Hill (Locke & Key, NOS4A2) comes this new graphic novel mystery. Meet Syd “Sh*t-Talk” Homes, a disgraced ex-cop turned bitter stand-up comic turned wanted killer! Syd’s rival Carl Dixon is on the verge of comedy superstardom and he got there the dirty way: by stealing jokes. He’s got a killer act, an ugly past, and more enemies than punch-lines. When he turns up dead, Syd is on the top of the suspect list… he had motive, he was the last man to see Dixon alive, and he had already named his price for taking Dixon out. Syd isn’t guilty of anything but bad jokes but now he’s on the run, and it’ll take all of his investigative chops to nail the real killer, before the cops nail him.

Dying is Easy

Department of Truth #1 Gets Over 100,000 Orders and a Second Printing

The Department of Truth by James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds launched from Image Comics with over 100,000 in orders, before selling out instantly at Diamond Distributors last week. It is being rushed back to print to keep up with the whirlwind customer demand.

The Department of Truth #1 is Image’s third-highest series launch since Eric Stephenson took over as publisher in 2008, behind Jupiter’s Legacy #1 in 2013 and this week’s The Walking Dead Deluxe #1.

Cole Turner has studied conspiracy theories all his life, but he isn’t prepared for what happens when he discovers that all of them are true, from the JFK assassination to flat Earth theory and reptilian shapeshifters. One organization has been covering them up for generations. What is the deep, dark secret behind the Department of Truth?

The Department of Truth #1 second printing (Diamond Code SEP208030) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, November 4.

The Department of Truth #1 second printing

Review: The Department of Truth #1

The Department of Truth #1

The Department of Truth #1 opens on November 22, 1963, the fateful day in Dallas when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated with Martin Simmonds’ artwork evoking fuzzy video coverage like shots of cryptids or a second shooter on that grassy knoll. As the comic progresses, Simmonds’ visuals and James Tynion IV’s larger premise for the series come into sharper focus, but in the end, there are still more questions than answers. And, honestly, that’s what you want out of an ongoing monthly comic, especially one driven by conspiracies within conspiracies within, well, conspiracies.

A key reason that I enjoyed The Department of Truth #1 was Martin Simmonds’ art. He marries grid layouts with the fully painted art style of Duncan Fegredo and Paul Johnson’s work in the early 1990s or even the panache of David Mack and Bill Sienkiewicz. However, it’s not just pretty pictures or cool compositions but has motion and storytelling weight too. Simmonds can also be a vicious caricaturist, like in his drawing of the Flat Earth Society members that match the dry, snarky narration that Tynion writes for the protagonist, Cole.

You can tell he doesn’t have a high opinion of most of these characters, and it drives his line art and color palette to new heights like a blood red composition of a couple of rich, conspiracy-mongering assholes through Cole’s shades. Everything is more memorable from the perspective of sunglasses, and that goes for both film and comics. Martin Simmonds’ layout choices match the story’s pace with lots of small, skinny panels during interrogation sequences to big splashes for reveals or when he and Tynion want to touch on a big picture theme. I enjoyed Martin Simmonds’ work on the Punks Not Dead comics for IDW as well as his fill-in issue of Immortal Hulk, but Department of Truth is a true level up for him as a cartoonist with him crossing into Sienkiewicz-esque territory with his depiction of corruption, deceit, and maybe once or twice, truth.

Unlike the 1990s when conspiracy theories seemed fun and quirky (Think X-Files.), they have become scarier thanks to folks like QAnon, who bundle their outlandishness and useless misdirection with plenty of white supremacy and anti-Semitism. Tynion is aware of that and bakes in conspiracy’s current right-wing nature while also making references to its let’s say, cuddlier, past starting with the JFK assassination. This conflict and need for finding a happy medium feeds into the book’s underlying theme and also makes it seem more relevant with characters popping up that you might Google to see if they’re not some obscure far-right commentator on one of those websites or premium cable news channels that make Fox almost seem (Emphasis on the almost) fair and balanced. While the plot begins to unfold and the premise is established, James Tynion and Martin Simmonds also delve into the mindset of the conspiracy theorist, and why it’s so attractive. Think Grant Morrison’s Invisibles, but in the age of Pizzagate and 8chan.

The Department of Truth #1 is an engaging debut issue with James Tynion tapping into the expansive worldbuilding of his previous titles like Memetic and its sequels while Martin Simmonds shows that painted art can have a few, new tricks up its sleeves in 2020. They also introduce some actually compelling mysteries and tap into our fearful zeitgeist where believers and spinners of harmful conspiracies have entirely too much power.

Story: James Tynion IV Art: Martin Simmonds Letters: Aditya Bidikar
Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindle

Get an Early Look at Something is Killing the Children #11

BOOM! Studios has revealed a first look at Something is Killing the Children #11, the launch of a brand new story arc in the Eisner Award-nominated horror series from GLAAD Award-winning author James Tynion IV, artist Werther Dell’Edera, colorist Miquel Muerto, and letterer AndWorld Design, about the close-knit community of Archer’s Peak, rocked by a series of murders, and Erica Slaughter, a mysterious figure who rides into town claiming she can stop the brutal attacks turning their lives upside down.

Erica’s gambit to save Archer’s Peak has failed. Now, the town is under the full control of the Order of St. George. And if the spread of the monsters can’t be contained, then the Order might move to eradicate the entire area…

Something is Killing the Children #11 features main cover art by series artist Werther Dell’Edera and variant cover art by fan-favorite artist Jenny Frison, Bengal, and Martin Simmonds with design by Dylan Todd. It comes to shelves on October 21, 2020.

Something is Killing the Children #11

The Autumnal #1 Second Printing Gets a Cover by Martin Simmonds

Vault has announced The Autumnal #1 second printing cover by white-hot star artist Martin Simmonds. The second print will hit store shelves on October 28th, the same date as issue #2. The first printing of The Autumnal #1 has garnered tremendous praise already, with the first printing selling out at the distributor two weeks ahead of the sale date

Simmonds’ cover will be available in two different versions. The first version (AUG208061) will be a standard comic cover with a $3,99 SRP. The second version (AUG208062) will be a special foil cover on deluxe heavy-weight card stock, with a $9.99 SRP.

  • AUG208061: AUTUMNAL #1 SIMMONDS VAR (2NDPTG)    
  • AUG208062: AUTUMNAL #1 SIMMONDS FOIL VAR (2ND PTG)

The Autumnal is co-created by writer Daniel Kraus, and artist Chris Shehan, with colors by Jason Wordie, letters by Jim Campbell, and designs by Tim Daniel. The sold out first printing of issue #1 goes on sale September 23rd, 2020.

The Autumnal #1 second printing

The Department of Truth Gets a Declan Shalvey Variant

The Department of Truth is coming! Image Comics has revealed a 1:10 Incentive Variant by Declan Shalvey for the first issue. The series is by writer James Tynion IV and breakout artist Martin Simmonds.

The Department of Truth follows Cole Turner, a man who has studied conspiracy theories all his life, but he isn’t prepared for what happens when he discovers that all of them are true. From the JFK Assassination, to Flat Earth Theory, to Reptilian Shapeshifters—one organization has been covering them up for generations. What is the deep, dark secret behind the Department of Truth?

The final order cuttoff is September 7 and the comic comes to store shelves on September 30.

The Department of Truth Declan Shalvey variant

The Department of Truth Gets a Variant Cover by Mirka Andolfo

The Department of Truth is coming! Image Comics has revealed a 1:50 Incentive Variant by Mirka Andolfo for the first issue. The series is by writer James Tynion IV and breakout artist Martin Simmonds.

The Department of Truth follows Cole Turner, a man who has studied conspiracy theories all his life, but he isn’t prepared for what happens when he discovers that all of them are true. From the JFK Assassination, to Flat Earth Theory, to Reptilian Shapeshifters—one organization has been covering them up for generations. What is the deep, dark secret behind the Department of Truth?

The final order cuttoff is September 7 and the comic comes to store shelves on September 30.

The Department of Truth Mirka Andolfo variant

Advance Review: The Department of Truth #1

The Department of Truth #1

The Department of Truth #1 opens on November 22, 1963, the fateful day in Dallas when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated with Martin Simmonds’ artwork evoking fuzzy video coverage like shots of cryptids or a second shooter on that grassy knoll. As the comic progresses, Simmonds’ visuals and James Tynion IV’s larger premise for the series come into sharper focus, but in the end, there are still more questions than answers. And, honestly, that’s what you want out of an ongoing monthly comic, especially one driven by conspiracies within conspiracies within, well, conspiracies.

A key reason that I enjoyed The Department of Truth #1 was Martin Simmonds’ art. He marries grid layouts with the fully painted art style of Duncan Fegredo and Paul Johnson’s work in the early 1990s or even the panache of David Mack and Bill Sienkiewicz. However, it’s not just pretty pictures or cool compositions but has motion and storytelling weight too. Simmonds can also be a vicious caricaturist, like in his drawing of the Flat Earth Society members that match the dry, snarky narration that Tynion writes for the protagonist, Cole.

You can tell he doesn’t have a high opinion of most of these characters, and it drives his line art and color palette to new heights like a blood red composition of a couple of rich, conspiracy-mongering assholes through Cole’s shades. Everything is more memorable from the perspective of sunglasses, and that goes for both film and comics. Martin Simmonds’ layout choices match the story’s pace with lots of small, skinny panels during interrogation sequences to big splashes for reveals or when he and Tynion want to touch on a big picture theme. I enjoyed Martin Simmonds’ work on the Punks Not Dead comics for IDW as well as his fill-in issue of Immortal Hulk, but Department of Truth is a true level up for him as a cartoonist with him crossing into Sienkiewicz-esque territory with his depiction of corruption, deceit, and maybe once or twice, truth.

Unlike the 1990s when conspiracy theories seemed fun and quirky (Think X-Files.), they have become scarier thanks to folks like QAnon, who bundle their outlandishness and useless misdirection with plenty of white supremacy and anti-Semitism. Tynion is aware of that and bakes in conspiracy’s current right-wing nature while also making references to its let’s say, cuddlier, past starting with the JFK assassination. This conflict and need for finding a happy medium feeds into the book’s underlying theme and also makes it seem more relevant with characters popping up that you might Google to see if they’re not some obscure far-right commentator on one of those websites or premium cable news channels that make Fox almost seem (Emphasis on the almost) fair and balanced. While the plot begins to unfold and the premise is established, James Tynion and Martin Simmonds also delve into the mindset of the conspiracy theorist, and why it’s so attractive. Think Grant Morrison’s Invisibles, but in the age of Pizzagate and 8chan.

The Department of Truth #1 is an engaging debut issue with James Tynion tapping into the expansive worldbuilding of his previous titles like Memetic and its sequels while Martin Simmonds shows that painted art can have a few, new tricks up its sleeves in 2020. They also introduce some actually compelling mysteries and tap into our fearful zeitgeist where believers and spinners of harmful conspiracies have entirely too much power.

Story: James Tynion IV Art: Martin Simmonds Letters: Aditya Bidikar
Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Pre-Order, out September 30: comiXologyKindle

Preview: Dying is Easy #5 (of 5)

Dying is Easy #5 (of 5)

(W) Joe Hill (A/CA) Martin Simmonds
In Shops: Jun 17, 2020
SRP: $4.99

From the powerhouse team of Joe Hill (Locke & Key) and Martin Simmonds (Punks Not Dead) comes the final chapter in the inaugural Syd “Sh*t-Talk” Homes mystery!

After a final confrontation with the killer of joke thief Carl Dixon, Syd Homes can finally take off his shoes and relax as an innocent man. But if dying is easy, then detective work is hard-and there are a few more twists to go before this case can be solved…

Dying is Easy #5 (of 5)

The Department of Truth is Here this September from James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds

Bestselling writer James Tynion IV and breakout artist Martin Simmonds team up to debut their first Image Comics ongoing series this September 2020, The Department of Truth.

The plot-twisty new conspiracy thriller will blend the suspense of beloved series like The X-Files and the dark atmospheric storytelling of Jonathan Hickman and Tomm Coker’s The Black Monday Murders.

The Department of Truth follows Cole Turner, a man who has studied conspiracy theories all his life, but he isn’t prepared for what happens when he discovers that all of them are true. From the JFK Assassination, to Flat Earth Theory, to Reptilian Shapeshifters—one organization has been covering them up for generations. What is the deep, dark secret behind the Department of Truth? 

The Department of Truth #1 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, September 30.

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