George Wylesol Out 19/05/2022 (UK) – 26/05/2022 (USA) 504 pages, softcover, full colour throughout, 195 x 271mm
A fascinating philosophical journey framed as a loving tribute to classic point and click video games.
You’re Wade, a schlubby middle-aged computer repairman, sent to fix a computer in a vacant, nondescript office building. When you get inside the door locks behind you, and you can’t get out. Now the adventure begins! You have to explore this building and try to find your way home. The building is huge on the inside with a lot of sprawling hallways and empty rooms but your only hope is to uncover clues and try to work out the mystery this whole experience hangs on.
Presented as a blend of classic ‘choose your own adventure’ stories and point and click escape games, 2120 offers readers the chance to explore these liminal spaces and, at the same time, take an existential journey of discovery.
George Wylesol is an illustrator/designer/writer from Philadelphia, living and working in Baltimore. He has an MFA in Illustration Practice from Maryland Institute College of Art. 2120 is his third book with Avery Hill after Ghosts, Etc. and Internet Crusader.
Sleeping While Standing
Taki Soma Out 14/07/2022 (UK) – 21/07/2022 (USA) 100 pages, softcover, full colour throughout, 158mm x 240mm
A series of short autobiographical strips, dropping in at important events throughout her life that shaped who she is today, told in a compelling and humorous authorial voice. We are led by Taki through her early childhood in Japan in the early 80s, to moving to Minnesota, the separation of her parents, childhood trauma, teenage angst, death, drugs, comics, health issues, love, fertility, pets and zombies; all of life is here in this book! It’s a picture of a highly regarded creator, with an unflinching look at some particularly harrowing moments, but threaded through with levity and love.
Taki Soma is a HUGO award nominated artist, writer, and a colourist. She’s worked on projects such as Rapture, Sinergy, The Victories, United States vs. Murder, Inc., Bitch Planet, Dick Tracy, The After Realm, Iron Man and others – her work can be found throughout publishers such as Image, IDW, Marvel, Dark Horse, Jinxworld at DC and more! She lives surrounded by furry critters and a husband who shares the same passion in comics.
Claire Scully Out 16/06/2022 (UK) – 23/06/2022 (USA) 32 pages, softcover, full colour throughout, 102mm x 152mm
The third instalment in Scully’s ongoing project exploring sequences of events unfolding across varied environments. Each book in the series is a standalone, wordless collection of illustrations that examine our relationship with the spaces we occupy.
Outer Wilderness is the third and final instalment of a journey that began with introspective self-imagined places (Internal Wilderness), followed by a passage of experience and memory (Desolation Wilderness) and now looks further away to the edges of the universe and into the unknown.
Each of these landscapes are inspired from a mix of science fiction, imagination and space documentaries which builds into a journey through a fantastical environment.
Based in London, Freelance illustrator Claire Scully works in pen, ink and digital with a heavy focus on drawing. Her work explores a variety of themes including the relationship between ‘man’ and his environment.
Clients include: Penguin, Random House, Harper Collins, National Maritime Museum, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, New York Times, Adidas, Line Ski, Burton Snowboards and Icebreakers clothing label.
Brian Michael Bendis brings his line of creator-owned titles, Jinxworld, to Dark Horse Comics. The partnership includes new series as well as the reintroduction of classic Jinxworld titles. Jinxworld and Dark Horse have announced the debut of the fiercely ambitious science-fiction odyssey: Joy Operations coming to comic shops in November.
In addition to the launch of Joy Operations, over the next few months Dark Horse will be publishing all new chapters of the critically-acclaimed yakuza epic Pearl with Jessica Jones co-creator Michael Gaydos, the three-time Eisner nominated spy thriller Cover with David Mack, an all-new saga in the Murder Inc. series by Powers creators Michael Avon Oeming and Taki Soma, plus upcoming unannounced projects by Alex Maleev, Jacob Edgar, and plenty of surprises. All this plus new editions of many Jinxworld titles including Powers, Torso, Scarlet, and more starting with the critically acclaimed Pearl volumes 1 and 2, with brand new covers by series co-creator Michael Gaydos! AND a new printing of the brand-new sold-out Powers: The Best Evergraphic novel.
In Joy Operations, Brian Michael Bendis teams up with Stephen Byrne for their very first creator-owned blockbuster series.
Fifty-five years from now. Joy is an EN.VOI. A special agent of one of the JONANDO TRUST. Trusts are corporate-owned cities that are the centerpiece of modern society. She rights wrongs for the trust. She is excellent, hard on herself, and driven. Almost a legendary figure in some parts. Until one day a voice pops in her head trying to get her to betray everything she has ever believed.
This meticulously-designed Akira meets Inception journey shows us a new future like only comics can. Joy Operations #1 will also feature a variant cover by David Mack, as well as an exclusive look behind-the-scenes and a look forward to other, brand-new Jinxworld projects coming exclusively to Dark Horse.
Joy Operations#1 (of five) will be in comic shops on November 17, 2021. It is available for pre-order at your local comic shop.
Pearl Volume 1 trade paperback will be in comic shops on March 16, 2022 and in book stores on March 29, 2022. Pearl Volume 2 trade paperback will be in comic shops on April 13, 2022 and in book stores on April 26, 2022. They are available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at your local comic shop and bookstore. Pearl Volume 1 and 2 will retail for $19.99.
Powers: The Best Ever trade paperback will be everywhere books are sold January 26, 2022. It is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at your local comic shop and bookstore. Powers: The Best Everwill retail for $24.99.
Vault Comics has announced that Engineward#1 has sold out at the distributor. A second print is in production, with gorgeous new cover art from the legendary team of Michael Avon Oeming and Taki Soma. The second printing is scheduled to hit store shelves this September.
Enginewardis a zodiac-inspired, twelve issue science-fantasy comic series written by George Mann, drawn by Joe Eisma, colored by Michael Garland, lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou and designed by Tim Daniel.
In Engineward, Earth is an ancient myth, long forgotten. Now, the god-like Celestials, who embody the surviving zodiac signs, rule with brutal efficiency. When Joss, an Engineward, discovers and reactivates the head of a fossilized Ghoulem, she learns all is not as intended. Her destiny—and the truth about her imperious rulers—lies somewhere far beyond the borders of her shantytown.
IDW Publishing has announced the perfect pairing of acclaimed writer/artist Michael Avon Oeming and pop culture’s enduring icon of law and order in Dick Tracy Forever, a four-issue miniseries debuting in April.
In the Forever series, Dick Tracy is the proverbial Sisyphus, pushing the law boulder up the hill as he struggles for reason and order in a world with none. His attempts at delivering justice are met with crime and chaos in the form of unpredictable and absurd villains. But Dick Tracy will never give up trying, no matter the era or incarnation… even when his startling new case defies all notions of time and space!
Oeming will be joined on the Dick Tracy Forever series by colorist Taki Soma. For the debut issue, Oeming will provide the main cover and a noir-inspired spot color variant, with renowned illustrator Kyle Bakercontributing a special incentive cover variant, as well.
It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got the return of Jinxworld’s United States vs. Murder Inc.
United States vs. Murder Inc. #1 is by Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Avon Oeming, Taki Soma, Carlos Mangual, Curtis King, Jr., and Michael McCalister.
Get your copy in comic shops today. To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.
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The manga megahit Attack on Titan, reinterpreted by some of comics’ top talent! Featuring original stories by a long roster of comic superstars such as Scott Snyder, Gail Simone, Faith Erin Hicks, Michael Avon Oeming, Paolo Rivera, Cameron Stewart, and Babs Tarr!
This unprecedented, full-colour collaboration between East and West will be released first in English, making it indispensable for Attack on Titan fans and curious comic fans.
When it comes to Attack on Titan my only real exposure to the series was watching the horrendous live action film that came out. I haven’t watched the anime and I haven’t read the manga, but when I heard the Attack on Titan Anthology was coming out, I made sure to grab a copy during New York Comic Con. If I was going to buy it, might as well go with the limited edition cover.
While this anthology isn’t a traditional way to be introduced, it was an interesting one as a who’s who of Western creators tackle this manga phenomenon. And what’s nicer is that each creator gave it their own spin sticking to their style of storytelling and moving the settings of the stories around for different situations and locations.
This is an eclectic mix in a good way with stories that seem to stick to a setting and story that you’d see in the manga series while other creators went with a complete break. There’s horror. There’s humor. There’s action. There’s a little of everything and it’s all enjoyable in its own way.
What’s really interesting to me is recognizing the creators based on their entries. I read the entire graphic novel in one sitting and played guess the creator as I went along creating a fun little game and each creator really does bring their own style. So, if you’re a fan of the folks’ work, you’re probably going to enjoy this.
I knew so little about the world and what to expect going in other than the creative talent lined up, but coming out of it, I want to check out more. If you’re interested in finding out a bit about Attack on Titan, but don’t want to take the chance on manga, this is a solid way to go to find out a bit more about what it’s all about.
Story and Art: Ray Fawkes, Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, John Rauch, Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer, Bill Murdon, Afua Richardson, Genevieve Valentine, David Lopez, Faith Erin Hicks, Cris Peter, Michael Avon Oeming, Taki Soma, Paolo Rivera, Gail Simone, Phil Jimenez, Alonso Nunez, Elmer Santos, Sam Humphries, Damion Scott, Sigmund Torre, Rhianna Pratchett, Jorge Corona, Jen Hickman, Ben Applegate, Ronald Wimberly, Kevin Wada, Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr, Jiji Knight, Si Spurrier, Kate Brown, Paul Duffield, Dee Cunniffe, Asaf Hanuka, Tomer Hanuka, Kate Leth, Jeremy Lambert Story: 8.35 Art: 8.35 Overall: 8.35 Recommendation: Buy
On June 12, 2016, a hateful man killed 49 people and wounded 53 at The Pulse, a gay club in Orlando, Florida. This was a terrible day for the LGBTQ community, and I was just plain sad. A couple weeks ago, I had celebrated getting a job and moving to a new city with a few friends at a couple gay clubs in my old home of Richmond, Virginia so a thought went through my head, “It could have been me.” Even though I am relatively privileged as a white cisgendered, relatively straight passing bisexual male, I had no queer friends in my new home to turn to and confide in after the events in Orlando. But what got me through was the queer comics and comics journalism community, and my Facebook inboxes and Twitter DM’s were filled with messages of hope and understanding. I may have felt alone in my current situation, but these beautiful people, many of whom I have never met in the flesh, got me through the tough days after the Pulse shooting.
The Love is Lovecomics anthology project from IDW Publishing with assistance from DC Comics, Archie Comics, Aftershock, and the Will Eisner estate gave me a similar feeling of the comics community coming together to mourn after The Pulse shooting. While reading the graphic novel, I simultaneously felt sadness and hope and remembered that despite the scandals that the comics industry has some great folks, whose excellent work appears in this comic. I enjoyed how well-represented all genders, races, sexualities, and religions were in Love is Love along with the different art styles and color palette. On a pure aesthetic level, most of the stories in Love is Love hit two of my favorite genre sweet spots: superhero and autobio, which made it a great read on both an emotional and intellectual level.
Honestly, I could write a book about the brilliant one to three page stories, poems, and pinups in Love is Love, and maybe I will one day. For the purpose of this review, I will hit on a few that affected me personally; those stories that through words, art, colors, and letters gave me comfort as I thought back to Orlando.
Paul Dini‘s Harley and Ivy story is insanely adorable and nails their romantic relationship in a nutshell with each one making compromises for the each other. For example, Harley goes vegetarian while Ivy is subjected to a Three Stooges marathon. Bill Morrison‘s art is very similar to the style of Batman: Animated Series and peppered with all kinds of background details to add to the humor. Another funny story (Albeit darker than Harley and Ivy shenanigans.) that provided some great comic relief in the midst of the emotionally headier material of Love is Love was a Deathstroke one by Taran Killam where he switches out his arsenal of guns for karate after the Pulse shooting. Gallows humor is a great way to stave off pain.
As someone whose sexuality is still not accepted by those close to me and was afraid to come out until I was 19, Love is Love‘s portrayal of homophobia is harrowing, yet all too relatable. Early, in the book, Daniel Beals and David Lafuente do a splitscreen story where two young boys see the same news coverage of The Pulse, but react in vastly different ways because of their parent’s homophobia and empathy respectively. Then, there is a nuanced story from Jeff King and Steve Pugh where a girl is sad about the shooting and wants to go to the memorial service, but her dad is uneasy about men kissing men. Later, he realizes how thoughtless he was and apologizes. I know Pugh from his superhero work on Fantastic Four and Detective Comics, and this appeal for forgiveness was just as fictional as Batman or Reed Richards in my own life.
The stories that bypassed my head and went straight to my heart strings were ones that focused on queer clubs as sanctuaries. In six pulsing panels and two pages, comics legends Grant Morrison and Jesus Merino capture the beat with alternating colors and skeletons in the background. Without a word, an image engulfed my mind and reminded me of fog lights, cute boys, and too many Long Island ice teas. In a similar vein, Emma Houxbois and Alejandra Gutierrez looked at the escapism of a queer club experience complete with cuties and the sad realities of the morning after. (Full disclosure: I worked closely with Emma on the Fantheon podcast and at the websites The Rainbow Hub and Pop Optiq and she has contributed to this site.) The comic had a soft color palette and intelligent narration while still connecting to my personal experiences and of other LGBTQ people. And it was followed by a silent comic by Brian Michael Bendis, his daughter Olivia Bendis, Michael Oeming, and Taki Soma that captured the joy and energy of a queer night club with people dancing with they wanted to and bright colors everywhere courtesy of Soma.
Many of the creators, who were from Florida, had very personal stories to share about the LGBTQ community of Orlando, which were sad and enjoyable, like Scott Snyder, who wrote a prose piece with a spot illustration by Jock about working at Disney World, and how some of the queer employees, who played various Disney characters, would invite him to a gay bar every Thursday and accept him.
Love is Love gave me an opportunity to listen to the stories of some queer comics creators that I have admired for quite some time, like James Tynion and Phil Jimenez. Tynion’s story was drawn in black and white by artist Molly Ostertag except for splotches of rainbow in the bracelet that he got as a youngster. It skips time frantically in a two page story as he comes to terms with his sexuality cutting from him spending time with his friends at Pride to facing the fact that he is a bisexual boy at an all-boy’s Catholic school. Jimenez did his comic with his writer friend David Kim and talked about how they had grown up from using codenames to show that they are dating men to being out and proud DC Comics creators. The comic is filled with snatches of conversations they had about relationships and even superhero oddities as they reflect on their friendship after the events in Orlando. Jimenez also excels at wispy, life drawing as well as superheroes, Amazons, and the Invisible College.
The queer DC Comics character that means the most to me is definitely Midnighter, and I was happy to see him featured in a couple of the Love is Love stories. The first one is by Dan DiDio and Carlos D’Anda and acts as a crash course in DC’s LGBTQ characters. It’s pretty amusing and features Midnighter and Apollo doing shots of tequila and getting on the dance floor with Batwoman as Renee Montoya snarks from the sides. The other one was my favorite story of the entire Love is Love collection from Tom Taylor, Emily Smith, and Michael Garland. Midnighter was angry after The Pulse shooting just like I was angry, and Garland punctuates his anger with a red background. He’s just punching aimlessly when Apollo shows up and says that he is not alone and will be safe with him. This kind of solidarity between queer people in the face of death and tragedy truly empowered me as Taylor makes good use of Midnighter’s vulnerable side that is the emotional center of Steve Orlando’s current work on his title.
Other highlights of Love is Love included Tom King and Mitch Gerads doing a rainbow-tinted Batman tale, Sterling Gates returning to Supergirl and writing about how she failed to save the day, married couple Amanda Seibert and Cat Staggs showing Batwoman comforting a child, whose mother died at The Pulse, and much more. There’s even a wonderful, yet vulnerable riff on Beauty and the Beast from Marguerite Bennett and Aneke where Bennett, and an LGBT-inclusive riff on DC’s old romance comics from project creator Marc Andreyko with art from George Perez, Karl Kesel, and Laura Allred. A full list of collaborators on Love is Love can be found here, and I definitely plan on delving into their other work.
Love is Love is personal, beautiful, and tragic collection of comics that really affected me despite their being more “ally” creators than LGBTQ ones. I hope it will make the world a more loving and inclusive place even in the shadow of the election of two homophobes to the office of president and vice president.
As Batman says in King and Gerads’ story, “Today, I will get up. Today, I will face their hate… And I will again fight for my love.” Visual and verbal moments like that are why I love comics.
Story: Various Art: Various Story: 9.5 Art: 10 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Story By: Michael Avon Oeming
Story By: Taki Soma
Art By: Michael Avon Oeming
Art By: Taki Soma
Cover By: Michael Avon Oeming
Variant Cover By: Skottie Young
Cover Price: $3.50
Digital Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: JAN150709
Published: March 11, 2015
Jess’ mother makes a hard choice after her suspicions are confirmed. Jess, Jesse, the hunters and the monsters all must fight for their survival- the hunters fight for humans, the monsters for a natural resource that may destroy us all- sin! Alternate cover by superstar SKOTTIE YOUNG!
Gail Simone, Roy Thomas, Luke Lieberman, Eric Trautmann, Mike Avon Oeming (w)
Sergio Davila, Pablo Marcos, Dave Acosta, Taki Soma, Noah Salonga (a)
Ed Benes, Robert Hack, Andrew Pepoy, Ken Haeser, Pablo Marcos (c)
Fans & retailers, order the cover of your choice!
FC • 48 pages • $7.99 • Teen+
Who knows how to celebrate ten years of Dynamite publishing better than the She-Devil with a Sword herself, RED SONJA? And she’s invited some serious barbarian bards to help! Past and present Sonja scribes GAIL SIMONE (current monthly writer), LUKE LIEBERMAN (the man behind Queen Sonja), MIKE OEMING (the first scribe of Red Sonja’s tenure at Dynamite), ERIC TRAUTMANN (who swept Sonja across the many Hyborian kingdoms), and ROY THOMAS (the man who started it all) pair up with beloved artists for this phenomenal five-story, supersized anthology, celebrating Red Sonja and her many roles and sojourns throughout the Hyborian Age!
Story By: Michael Avon Oeming
Story By: Taki Soma
Art By: Michael Avon Oeming
Art By: Taki Soma
Cover By: Michael Avon Oeming
Variant Cover By: Emma Ríos
Cover Price: $3.50
Digital Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: DEC140761
Published: February 4, 2015
Jess’s monster lover returns professing love, but she senses a trap-not romance, as the seers prepare themselves for the inevitable monster invasion! Alternate cover by PRETTY DEADLY’s EMMA RIOS!