The first time I watched Amistad was the very first time I ever saw a slave uprising on film. I’m pretty sure it had been portrayed on television and even on film, prior to Steven Spielberg’s epic movie, but I had never seen one. Many movies shied away from even showing the middle passage, except for Roots, but before then and since then, it rarely has been shown. It’s hard to swallow that humans were ever treated this way, as slavery itself is the act of treating other human beings as property.
The movie showed how a slave rose to defeat his enslavers and fight in a court of law for his right to freedom. It was astounding how this piece of history was scarcely told since it involved a former American president. Insurgence by the oppressed are rarely revisited in fear of inspiration. In the debut issue of Rise: Genesis, the creators seek to show how those enslaved, sometimes will find a way to surge against those who seek to keep them downtrodden.
We’re taken to 1619, where a ship carrying slaves, is caught in a storm which unlatches a few of the cages on board, giving a few of the captives a chance to free themselves. This leads to an uprising on the boat and a battle between crew and slaves. A battle for the survival of each in different ways.
Overall, an excellent debut issue that explores how violence begets violence especially when it comes to human slavery. The story by Steven Cachia is engrossing and emotive. The art by Trevor Richardson is gorgeous. Altogether, a story that reminds readers that loss motivates us in the bleakest of moments.
On Free Comic Book Day 2019, SBI Press delivers their next installment of Starburns Presents. This year’s edition will include special previews of Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia, Nasquatch, Hellicious Presents: Pick Your Perdition, Gryffen, B-Squad, and A Whole New Set of Problems by 30 Rock‘s Josh Fadem!
Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia
Written by Ed Kuehnel & Matt Entin Art by Dan Schkade Colors by Marissa Louise
SBI Press will publish the no-holds-barred, action-comedy sci-fi series from writers Matt Entin and Ed Kuehnel (Valiant Hearts, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Lumberjack Man), artist Dan Schkade (Will Eisner’s The Spirit, Battlestar Galactica: Gods & Monsters), colorist Marissa Louise (Spell on Wheels, Mystery Girl) and letterer Dave Lanphear (Shirtless Bear-Fighter, Quantum & Woody).
Inspired by the colorful days of 1980s pro-wrestling, the six-issue mini-series kicks off when disgruntled professional wrestler “Rock ‘n Roll” Rory Landell declares himself “galactic champion of the universe”, which a hostile planet of wrestling aliens takes as a declaration of war from Planet Earth.
Written by CW Cooke and Kelly Williams Art by Kelly Williams
Nasquatch is the story of Nas and Denny, two disparate souls brought together by racing, cars, and a love of the outdoors. Also, Nas is a sasquatch who is an unbelievable driver and Denny lives in a trailer park and just wants a better life.
Nasquatch will be a digital-first comic book series launching in 2019, first appearing in the pages of the Starburns Presents Free Comic Book Day issue from SBI Press and going from there digitally and eventually seeing print in trade paperback format.
Written by Eben Burgoon Art by Michael Calero
Following the missions of a squad of misfit mercenaries that range from pop-culture riffs to cut from whole cloth oddity — the expendable mercs just never seem to catch a break and face the Thanksgiving leftovers of upper-tier mercenary groups. The debut effort revisits Burgoon’s story made with artist Lauren Monardo which was originally released in early 2013. “Conspiracy in Cambodia” sees B-Squad head to Cambodia as they are tasked with protecting free-range cadre of “mugwai” from a group of radicalized hipsters poaching the furry critters for unknown gain.
Each “mission” of B-Squad will be released in a giant-size format and feature a Saturday Morning Cereal style collection of “tangent comics” including Burgoon’s newest series “Tiny Wizards” and Michael Calero’s “Monster Safari” as well as expansive activities, games, and magazine content that will remind people of dentist-office staples like Highlights magazine and ZooBooks.
Hellicious Presents: Pick Your Perdition
Written by A.C. Medina and Mina Elwell Art by Kit Wallis and Trevor Richardson
Continuing Hellicious with its first spin off book, Pick Your Perdition #1: Seeking Briggy, will be an interactive comic set in the world of Hellicious. Following the untimely demise of goth rocker, Briggy Bundy, his surviving band has been left with a great big iconic lead singer-sized hole in their lives which they desperately need to fill. You, the reader, will become the new frontman of Briggy Bundy’s band, but the fans aren’t interested in change and will only accept the original Briggy. To succeed, you will need the help of Briggy himself and all the supernatural powers to intercede on your behalf.
FCBD 2019’s edition of “Starburns Presents” will also feature an excerpt of the upcoming digital first series, Gryffen, written by Ben Kahn and illustrated by Bruno Hidalgo, of Heavenly Blues fame and Josh Fadem of 30 Rock will present a sneak peek of his book A Whole New Set of Problems. Fadem’s book will be a collection of humor shorts in the style of Shel Silverstein, but more in line with the offbeat humor of Starburns Industries Press. In Gryffen, humanity has taken to the stars, and crushed it in an iron fist. The most powerful and tyrannical faction of humans call themselves the Sovereign Reach. But one captain has had enough, and they’re willing to burn down the universe to destroy their own kind. Cpt. Lyla Gryffen, driven insane and branded a traitor, recruits a crew of mad scientists and rogue officers to steal a ship and achieve their singular philosophy: introduce rapid, unchecked technological progress with the explicit aim of destabilizing the entire galactic society. Chasing Gryffen is Admiral Rosalind Hunter, a ruthless soldier who will protect the Reach’s stability at any cost. It’s a race to the edge of the universe as these iron wills clash.
HBO has had a history of delivering excellent shows with amazing talent that pushes boundaries. The network often told stories that most mainstream outlets rarely touched or even cared to. They wanted to introduce a new standard of prestige television and it did exactly that. One of its most memorable features was the Hudlin Brothers’ Cosmic Slop as it touched on subject matter affecting persons of color. Since then, not much content has came out that resembled anything near to the impact that feature had. In SBI Press’ newest book ¡Fantasmagoría!, we get an echo of yesteryear with a Latinx twist in what horror fans can relish.
In “El Corazon Negro,” one veteran Lucha Libre has an epic brawl with Death himself, but not everything goes as planned. In “The Flying Coffin,” one man makes a deal with devil only to be outsmarted by Hell’s Angel himself. In “Put A Little Chile In It,” one woman consults a witch for a love potion only to leave the object of her desire, literally in flames. By issue’s end, each story has the reader on the edge of their seat and leaves them little creeped out.
Overall, it’s an excellent first issue in what is landmark series that gives the world a series of horror vignettes that will both entertain and scare. The stories by Eric M. Esquivel and James A. Fino reminds me of how episodes from Tales From The Crypt used to make me feel. The art by the creative team more than compliments each story. Altogether, it’s an astonishing debut that will both thrill and frighten in the same breath.
Story: Eric M. Esquivel and James A. Fino Art: Julieta Colas, Victor Moura, Fernando Pinto, Trevor Richardson, Beli De La Torre, Kote Carvajal, Henry Barajas Story: 10 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy
Starburns Industries, the production studio that brought you Rick and Morty, Anomalisa, and Harmonquest, is expanding beyond film and television development with Starburns Industries Press (SBI Press), a publisher of books, comics and specialty cassette tapes.
SBI Press’ talent includes Dan Harmon (Community, Rick and Morty), Dino Stamatopoulos (Moral Orel, Community, Mr. Show), and the vast network of comedians, writers, and podcasters affiliated with Starburns Audio.
The new imprint has signed a distribution agreement with Diamond Comic Distributors the world’s largest distributor of English-language comic books, graphic novels, and pop culture products, and its book trade division, Diamond Book Distributors.
The new division is founded and headed by Starburns production executive Simon Oré, who will serve as President of SBI Press. Joining Oré to build the division are new hires Brendan Wright, formerly of Dark Horse Comics and New Arab Media, who comes on board as SBI Press VP and Executive Editor, and Trevor Richardson, formerly of Diamond Comics Distributors, who fills the role of SBI Press VP of Acquisitions. The staff is rounded out by Editorial & Production Assistants Ross Clark and Paige Dowling, and PR and Marketing Manager Cassandra Church, with Starburns Producer Casey Rup (VICELAND’s Party Legends, Ricking Morty) serving as producer and consulting editor.
SBI Press becomes the first publisher to debut through the comics industry’s annual Free Comic Book Day event with the showcase Starburns Presents on the first Saturday of May. The anthology title will preview the SBI Press’s 2018 slate, headlined by a short story from comedian and writer Patton Oswalt, artist Troy Nixey, and colorist Michelle Madsen.
Coinciding with Free Comic Book Day, the May edition of Diamond’s Previews catalog will include the company’s first launches: Dan Harmon’s biting take on supervillainy, Gregory Graves, cowritten with Eric M. Esquivel, and illustrated by Brent Schoonover, Ted Naifeh, and Rebecca Nalty; Dino Stamatopolous and Leah Triscione’s graphic novel Trent, “a lighthearted tragedy with music”; and the company’s first series, Hellicious, a family comedy set in Hell, written by Alan C. Medina and Mina Elwell and illustrated by Kit Wallis and Jio Butler.
From there, the first wave of titles in 2018 continues with Comics Comics, teaming fan-favorite stand-up comedians with leading comic industry talent in an anthology series, Oddwell: The Frog of War, a fantasy-adventure comic series from writers David A. Clarke and Walter A. Bryant III and artist Acacia T. Rodarte; and The Crawling King, an illustrated dark fantasy novel by award-winning filmmaker and animator Einar Baldvin.