AfroComicCon has announced that writer Vita Ayala will be among its Special Guests for their virtual convention!
Vita Ayala is a queer Afro-Latinx writer born and bred in New York City, where they grew up dreaming dreams of dancing on far away worlds, fighting monsters on the block, and racing the fish along the bottom of the ocean. Their work includes The Wilds (Black Mask Studios), Submerged (Vault), Quarter Killer (comiXology), Supergirl (DC Comics), Xena: Warrior Princess (Dynamite), Magic The Gathering: Chandra (IDW), Livewire (Valiant,), and Morbius The Living Vampire, 2020 Ironheart, Children Of The Atom, and New Mutants (Marvel).
AfroComicCon‘s 1st virtual convention will be held on October 24, 2020. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the annual event started in 2017 by the Oakland Technology & Education Center (OTEC), will be held virtually and free through a portal on the organization’s website. Sponsored by the NNPA, the Oakland A’s, and Pixar Entertainment, AfroComicCon promises to be a day full of exciting panels, screenings, entertainment, gaming, cosplay and special guests. The 12-hour event is currently slated to be live-streamed across multiple platforms including YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook. You can register now.
In the spirit of the holiday, Vault Comics is offering the first issues of thirteen of its favorite series, completely free on its website.
Free comics available include the first issues of: Alien Bounty Hunter, Deep Roots, Failsafe, Fearscape, Fissure, Friendo, Heathen, Maxwell’s Demons, Songs for the Dead, Submerged, Vagrant Queen, Wasted Space, and Zojaqan.
It was new comic book day yesterday. What’d everyone get? What’d you like? What’d you dislike? Sound off in the comments below! While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.
CBLDF – Fun Home Removed Without Review in NJ High School Library – Grrrrr.
Talking Comics – Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1
Comics Bulletin – Heroes in Crisis #5
The Outhousers – Heroes in Crisis #5
The Beat – High Level #1
The Beat – Submerged Vol. 1
The Outhousers – Transformers: Unicron #6
Vita Ayala‘s new comic Submerged has all the makings of a great series and I can’t wait to get pulled deeper into Ellie’s world. There are some pretty cool mythological undertones that make Ayala’s story seem like a kind of underworld Odyssey and I’m all the way here for it. The family drama between Ellie and her parents and Ellie and her brother Angel, the object of her quest, are spot on in everything from sibling birth order to resentment for responsibilities that are too much for a child to bear. Ayala manages to get us to feel for her protagonist and to agree to go on this creepy, soul searching journey with her in under 24 pages, which is one hell of a feat but, as a reader you get one hell of a ride.
Lisa Sterle‘s artwork is low key but hella detailed. She uses basic lines when showing way back flashbacks which makes them feel more like a dream or a memory more skewed to Ellie’s perspective. The current time settings are heavy and dreary which show Ellie’s despair and isolation and when she descends into the subway, Sterle makes everything look like the world and people are slowly falling apart, things begin to have less and less shine the further down she goes ,which makes the transition to the last panel of this issue less jarring but, more intense.
Submerged is a fun and engaging read and it ends on a cliffhanger that makes you think about what happened before that moment and what could possibly happen after in the interim while you wait for issue #2. Ayala knows how to do character development and she sets a tone that we are sure will guide our heroes journey from this issue forward. The combination of art and story make for a fresh new series that I can’t wait to read more of and, the creative team had the good sense to not only avoid packing too much info into the issue while simultaneously, finding a hook to make sure that readers will return for the next installment.
Story: Vita Ayala Art: Lisa Sterle
Story: 8.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Buy
Vault Provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
On the night of the biggest storm in New York City history, Elysia Puente gets a call from her estranged little brother Angel, terrified, begging for help. When the call cuts out suddenly, despite the bad feelings between them, Ellie rushes into the night. Finding his broken phone in front of a barricaded subway station, Ellie follows echoes of her brother into the sinister darkness of the underground, desperate to find him before it’s too late.
The above synopsis pretty accurately sums up the plot to this supernatural horror tinted comic that, honestly, left me a little unsure of just what was happening at any given time. Which, I suspect, is entirely the point. After all if the entire plot were just handed to you, then Submerged #1 wouldn’t be as compelling a comic as it is. There’s a certain charm in not quite knowing what the hell is going on, although that is a fine line to walk; you want readers to want to know more about the story they’re reading without feeling completely and utterly lost. Submerged #1 remains on the right side of the fine line.
The book has a very haunting aesthetic, thanks to artist Lisa Sterle and Stelladia respective inking and coloring. Submerged #1 feels very much as though you’re being pulled through deeper and darker (and sometimes not always figuratively) environs as, like Alice, you fall deeper into the rabbit hole that Vita Ayala has penned.
As a break from the spandex crowd, this book delivers; there’s groundwork laid here that should pay off down the road, and just enough to hook the reader back for the second issue.
Story: Vita Ayala Inker: Lisa Sterle
Colourist: Stelladia Letterer: Rachel Deering
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Buy
Vault provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review