Tag Archives: martin simmonds

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.

A Wave Blue World Kickstarts Maybe Someday: Stories of Promise, Visions of Hope

Maybe Someday: Stories of Promise, Visions of Hope

A Wave Blue World has announced the launch of its latest anthology, Maybe Someday: Stories of Promise, Visions of Hope which is now raising funds on Kickstarter. The graphic novel anthology is a sequel to All We Ever Wanted: Stories of a Better World which received a Ringo Award nomination for “best anthology.”

Maybe Someday is a new full-color anthology presenting over twenty-five aspirational stories to lift the spirits of readers and instill the hope that a brighter future is possible. Maybe Someday also reunites the publisher with the editorial team of Matt Miner and Eric Palicki.

The Maybe Someday Kickstarter campaign, running through the entire month of June, offers a Kickstarter exclusive cover, which is only available to backers. The cover art is by Max Dunbar with colors by Espen Grundetjern. Logo and cover design are by Tim Daniel. A different cover by this same team will be featured on the direct market edition when the book comes out later this year.

Other rewards include a digital sketchbook, signed bookplates, and combo packs of previously published anthologies.

Check out the full list of creators taking part, it’s a who’s who of comic talent:

Natasha Alterici, Alejandro Aragon, Darren Auck, Max Bemis, Anthony Breznican, Ryan Cady, Mario Candelaria, Joe Caramagna, Tyler Chin-Tanner, Gab Contreras, Shawn Daley, Jono Diener, Jeff Edwards, Greg Anderson Elysee, Mike Feehan, Ryan Ferrier, Joe Glass, Isaac Goodhart, Adam Gorham, Hagai, Ray-Anthony Height, Josh Hood, Daniel Kibblesmith, Konner Knudsen, Michael Kupperman, Alisa Kwitney, Valentine De Landro, Robert Lee, Yasmin Liang, Mauricet, John McFarlane, Matt Miner, Christopher Mitten, Michael Moreci, Steve Niles, Eric Palicki, Emily Pearson, Stephanie Phillips, Curt Pires, Sebastian Piriz, Andy Poole, Nick Pyle, Rod Reis, Renfamous, Marco Rudy, Ethan Sacks, Phillip Sevy, Erica Shultz, Martin Simmonds, Aubrey Sitterson, Stelladia, Sally Jane Thompson, Zoe Thorogood, Bobby Timony, and Rockwell White.

Preview: Dying is Easy #4 (of 5)

Dying is Easy #4 (of 5)

(W) Joe Hill (A/CA) Martin Simmonds
In Shops: Mar 25, 2020
SRP: $3.99

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

Syd finds himself out of the frying pan, up the creek, and, well, sh*t outta luck-but when a talk with his ex-wife shines light on new information about the death of joke thief and general a-hole Carl Dixon, Syd just might have the lead he needs to clear his name…

Dying is Easy #4 (of 5)

Preview: Dying is Easy #3 (of 5)

Dying is Easy #3 (of 5)

(W) Joe Hill (A/CA) Martin Simmonds
In Shops: Feb 26, 2020
SRP: $3.99

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

Syd Homes, having just Indiana Jones’d his way out of certain death, finds himself once again up the creek without a paddle. The Ross Brothers, suspects number one and two respectively in the death of joke stealer and general thief Carl Dixon, have just found themselves an alibi-which means Syd’s back on the Most Wanted list. Good thing he’s totally cool under pressure, because getting out of this jam may or may not involve posing as a stuntman… Well, as they say-life is short, comedy is hard, and dying is really f*cking easy!

Dying is Easy #3 (of 5)

Preview: Dying is Easy #2

Dying is Easy #2

(W) Joe Hill (A/CA) Martin Simmonds
In Shops: Jan 08, 2020
SRP: $3.99

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

Comedy may be hard and dying may be easy, but getting yourself off the hook for murder? For Syd Homes, that’s looking damn near impossible. The prime suspect in the death of joke stealer and general thief Carl Dixon, Syd’s on the run, and it’s going to take all of his investigative chops to suss out the real killer before he gets caught. And thrown in jail. With all the guys he locked up.

Luckily, he’s already got a couple of suspects in mind…

Dying is Easy #2

Jessica Jones Has a Blind Spot in Print this January

Writer Kelly Thompson and artist Mattia De Iulis have proven to be the perfect creative team for Jessica Jones. Chosen to take on the character by Jessica Jones’ creator himself, Brian Michael Bendis, Thompson provides a voice to the titular hero that’s been acclaimed by fans and critics alike. And De Iulis’ dynamic art brought readers right into the private investigator mind of Jessica Jones with eye-catching imagery and page layouts. “Blind Spot” was a huge hit in the digital marketplace and now, Marvel Comics will present it in print as a 6-issue limited series starting in January!

JESSICA JONES #1 & #2 (OF 6)

Variant Covers by MARTIN SIMMONDS
BLINDSPOT – Parts 1 & 2

ISSUE #1 –

Jessica Jones was once the costumed super hero known as Jewel. She sucked at it. Now she’s a private investigator at her own firm, Alias Investigations. She sucks less at that. With the Purple Man gone, her relationship with her husband, Luke Cage, and their daughter, Danielle, is better than ever. But her past always comes knocking, and when a woman whose case she fumbled winds up dead on her office floor, Jessica goes from private investigator to prime suspect. Can she find the real killer and clear her name?

The critically acclaimed Marvel Digital Original series by Kelly Thompson and Mattia De Iulis, released for the first time as a print miniseries!

ISSUE #2 –

After being brutally attacked in her office, Jessica turns to Doctor Strange to help her find the target. But he may discover more than Jessica bargained for…

Jessica Jones

Joe Hill Absolutely Kills with Dying Is Easy

“Comedy is hard. Dying is easy.” New York Times Best-selling author Joe Hill introduces the world to Syd “Sh*t-Talk” Homes – disgraced ex-cop, bitter stand-up comic, and wanted felon – this December with the launch of Dying is Easy, a new comic book miniseries from IDW Publishing.

Illustrated by Martin Simmonds, critically acclaimed artist of Punks Not Dead, this five-issue mystery draws readers into the dimly-lit venues and grimy back alleys of the comedy world, where every stand-up is looking out for themself, making enemies left and right.

When an upstart comedian with a particularly ugly past achieves stardom by stealing jokes, he quickly earns a target on his back. It’s not long before the laughter stops… and the gunplay begins.

The first issue of Dying is Easy will be available with multiple cover editions – Cover A by series artist Martin Simmonds, Cover B by Hill’s Locke & Key collaborator Gabriel Rodríguez, and two special Retailer Incentive editions: a black-and-white Rodríguez variant and character design wraparound by Simmonds.

Dying is Easy
Dying is Easy

Preview: Punks Not Dead, Vol. 2: London Calling

Punks Not Dead, Vol. 2: London Calling

David Barnett (w) • Martin Simmonds (a & c)


Teenage Fergie and his invisible sidekick, the ghost of a punk rocker named Sid, head to London to find Fergie’s absent father, while the Department of Extra-Usual Affairs, led by the irascible Dorothy Culpepper, and Fergie’s mum Julie face demons from hell—both personal and literal.

Fergie and Sid have arrived in London… and a whole pile of trouble. All Fergie has to go on in the search for his father is an old photograph and some snippets of information that suggest “Billy” was involved in the music business in the Eighties and Nineties. Tracking down old contacts, Fergie and Sid find themselves getting mired in a shadowy undercurrent of the occult and whispers of entities not from our world. Meanwhile, back in Preston, Julie forms an unlikely alliance with Natalie as they try to find the missing Fergie.

TPB • FC • $17.99 • 120 pages • ISBN: 978-1-68405-496-1

Punks Not Dead, Vol. 2: London Calling
« Older Entries Recent Entries »