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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: Atomic Robo Presents Real Science Adventures: The Nicodemus Job

Atomic Robo Presents Real Science Adventures: The Nicodemus Job

Brian Clevinger (w) • Meredith McClaren (a & c)

Constantinople is the setting for the crime of the century. The 11th century, that is! On the eve of the First Crusade, the fate of the world rests in the hands of a disgraced soldier, an assassin, an orphan, a scribe, and a thief who have no idea they’re pawns in a clash of civilizations. Heretical texts, ancient star maps, sacred geometries, and one impossible heist.

TPB • FC • $17.99 • 128 pages • ISBN: 978-1-68405-451-0

Atomic Robo Presents Real Science Adventures: The Nicodemus Job

Preview: Adventure Time: Sugary Shorts Vol. 5 SC

Adventure Time: Sugary Shorts Vol. 5 SC

Publisher: KaBOOM!, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writer:  Jeremy Sorese, Meredith McClaren, Hanna K
Artist: Jeremy Sorese, Meredith McClaren, Hanna K
Cover Artist: Jamie Coe
Price: $19.99

A Variety Pack of Sugary Goodness Awaits! With brand-new, never-before-collected stories by fan-favorite Adventure Time comic book creators, Sugary Shorts packs a sweet punch of stories for everyone!

Including stories from Meredith McClaren (Jem and the Holograms), Jeremy Sorese (Steven Universe), and Adventure Time™ storyboard artist Hanna K! This volume of Sugary Shorts defies dentistry and proves you can’t have too much of a sweet thing!

Adventure Time: Sugary Shorts Vol. 5 SC

Preview: Real Science Adventures: The Nicodemus Job #5

Real Science Adventures: The Nicodemus Job #5

Brian Clevinger (w) • Meredith McClaren (a & c)

It would be a dang shame if all that planning and heisting was for nothing and our heroes ended up captured. Or worse! Gosh, I hope that doesn’t happen. But, hey, this is the final issue and this isn’t an ongoing series and these guys don’t have a movie deal or an ’80s cartoon franchise to back them up, so anything goes!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Oni Press Announces Summer 2019 Titles

The school year will eventually come to a close and the beach umbrellas will go up, but Oni Press is encouraging kids (and adults) to keep reading! For our Summer 2019 lineup, we are offering an array of all-ages and young adult comics, with a few OGNs for parental enjoyment as well. Check out the seven new titles below! You’ll find that there’s a little something of interest for everyone.

Ghost Hog

by Joey Weiser
(May 7, Middle Reader)

Truff is the ghost of a young boar, fueled by fury towards the hunter who shot her down. She has a lot to learn about her new afterlife, and thankfully the forest spirits Claude and Stanley are there to guide her! However, they soon find that her parents, along with their fellow animal villagers, have been kidnapped by the malicious mountain demon Mava! Truff wants to help, but… the hunter is finally within her grasp, and if she lets him go, she may never get her revenge! Is vengeance all that being a ghost is good for? Or is there something stronger keeping this little pig tethered to the living world?

Dream Daddy

by Leighton Gray, Vernon Shaw, and more
(May 14, Teen)

Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator invites the player to Maple Bay, where they play as a single Dad new to town and eager to romance other hot Dads. The comic series tells five standalone stories, each focused on different Maple Bay Dads, their kids, and their relationships with one another. Dive into entirely new stories featuring the backstories and adventures of your favorite Dads, told by game co-creators Leighton Gray and Vernon Shaw, along with the comic industry’s top indie talent like C. Spike Trotman, Josh Trujillo, and Kris Anka!

Emiline: Knight in Training

by Kimberli Johnson
(July 9, Children’s)

Emiline is learning how to be a knight. There are many skills that knights need: sword fighting, unicorn riding, and PB&J eating! While Emiline is very good at these, she has a hard time reading. But when fixing a dangerous situation means Emiline must read some magic words, she discovers that with practice, curiosity, and help from her friends, she can improve at reading and save the day!

Our Super Adventure: Video Games and Pizza Parties

by Sarah Graley and Stef Purenins
(July 16, Teen)

Just how much of the bed should your cats get to take up? If you lose at your video game, should you get a conciliatory hug? Does your partner think that you’re beautiful even though you feel like a goblin today? If any of this sounds familiar, you’re in the right place!

Sarah Graley’s second collection of hit diary webcomic Our Super Adventure shares three more years of cute and weird moments of Sarah’s life with her partner Stef and their four cats: Pesto, Toby, Pixel and Wilson!

So whether you’re a heat vampire, the person who doesn’t want to share that last donut, or even someone who’s late to a party because a cat was sleeping on them, you’ll find that Video Games and Pizza Parties is packed full of strange yet wonderful moments that anyone can relate to!

The Black Mage

by Daniel Barnes and D.J. Kirkland
(August 13, Teen)

When St. Ivory Academy, a historically white wizarding school, opens its doors to its first-ever black student, everyone believes that the wizarding community is finally taking its first crucial steps toward inclusivity. Or is it? When Tom Token, the beneficiary of the school’s “Magical Minority Initiative,” begins uncovering weird clues and receiving creepy texts on his phone, he and his friend, Lindsay, stumble into a conspiracy that dates all the way back to the American Civil War, and could cost Tom his very soul.

Super Fun Sexy Times, Volume 1

by Meredith McClaren
(August 20th, Mature)

Cartoonist Meredith McClaren (Hinges) tells five short, sexy stories featuring superheroes, supervillains, sidekicks, and the people who love them. Showing consent and character-driven erotic relationships, Super Fun Sexy Times answers the age-old question: what happens when the mask comes off?

Two sidekicks on opposite sides get stuck in an underground lab together, and find a great way to pass the time. A tactician and superhero discuss their desires, limits, and kinks before their first time, and perhaps get a little too excited in the process. A pair of supervillains explore gender and sex together, while growing closer in their relationship. Lesbian heroes try out a kinky roleplaying scenario, and discover how to make it work for both of them. And an exhausted assassin relaxes after a long day with the kind (yet firm) attentions of his husband.

Told with care, sex-positivity, and humor, and featuring a wide variety of sexualities and bodies, Super Fun Sexy Times aims to create an erotic reading experience that lives up to its name!

Little Witches: Magic in Concord

by Leigh Dragoon
(August 27, Middle Reader)

A charming and magical graphic novel based on Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women! Jo, Beth, Amy, and Meg March are four sisters living in Concord with their parents—Father, who’s tending to soldiers fighting in the Civil War, and Marmee, who teaches the girls simple but effective witchcraft. The Marches have to keep their craft quiet, as there are many in Concord who see magic in a bad light—especially after things have begun disappearing.

When Mr. Laurence, a witchfinder, moves in next door to investigate the missing objects, the girls fear for their livelihood. But he turns out to be a kind old man, and his grandson, Laurie, quickly befriends the Marches. As the cold winter blusters on, the girls continue their education, even as missing objects soon turn into missing people.

Things take a turn for the worse when Jo and Laurie try investigating on their own, and a dangerous storm takes hold of Concord. There’s powerful magic at play here—stronger than anything the Marches, or even Laurie, has ever seen before. Can they hope to defeat it? Or has the magic already become too strong for them to fight against?

Preview: Real Science Adventures: The Nicodemus Job #4

Real Science Adventures: The Nicodemus Job #4

Brian Clevinger (w) • Meredith McClaren (a & c)

Our heroes snuck a cart, a donkey, and five thieves into the Imperial Library of Constantinople. And, what’s more, they’ve almost got everything they came to steal. There’s just one problem: how do they get out again without also getting caught by the small army of scholars inside and the much larger army of, well, the Imperial Army patrolling outside? It’ll be the biggest heist of the 11th century… if they can pull it off.

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Preview: Real Science Adventures: The Nicodemus Job #3

Real Science Adventures: The Nicodemus Job #3

Brian Clevinger (w) • Meredith McClaren (a & c)

Ever wondered how to sneak a cart, a donkey, and five thieves into the Imperial Library of Constantinople to steal half a dozen heretical texts from the most secure vault of forbidden knowledge in the ancient world? Well, this is the comic for you!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Preview: Real Science Adventures: The Nicodemus Job #2

Real Science Adventures: The Nicodemus Job #2

Brian Clevinger (w) • Meredith McClaren (a & c)

The Imperial Library of Constantinople, home of the world’s largest collection of knowledge, sits inside a maze locked in a fortress under constant guard. It’s up to our crew of thieves and con artists drawn from across the Byzantine Empire to get in, steal four incredibly valuable texts, and escape without being caught or killed. Don’t worry, it only sounds impossible. It’s the crime of the century—the 11th century!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Preview: Real Science Adventures: The Nicodemus Job #1

Real Science Adventures: The Nicodemus Job #1

Brian Clevinger (w) • Meredith McClaren (a & c)

On the eve of the first Crusade, the fate of the world rests in the hands of a disgraced soldier, an assassin, an orphan, a scribe, and a thief who have no idea they’re pawns in a clash of civilizations. Heretical texts, ancient star maps, sacred geometries, and one impossible heist. The deepest dive into the history of Atomic Robo’s world starts right here!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Preview: Adventure Time: BMO Bonanza Special

Adventure Time: BMO Bonanza Special

Publisher: KaBOOM!, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writers: Laura Langston, Cynthia Cheng, Nicole Mannino, Boya Sun, Ian Moore, Shirley Chan
Artists: Laura Langston, Cynthia Cheng, Nicole Mannino, Boya Sun , Ian Moore, Shirley Chan
Letterer: Warren Montgomery
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Meredith McClaren
Incentive Cover: Nina Yoshida
Price: $7.99

It’s springtime in the land of Ooo and BMO is ready to celebrate! This special one-shot features short stories centered around everyone’s favorite sentient gaming system.

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