Image Comics kicked-off Emerald City Comicon with Image Expo yesterday, announcing a number of exciting creator-owned announcements that include new work by a number of British creators – including Sean Phillips, Alison Sampson, John Watkiss and Jim Campbell as well as those international and US-based.
The following creator-owned projects set to launch in the coming year and beyond…
Critically-acclaimed, Russ Manning nominated Shutter artist Leila Del Duca teams up as co-creator and writer alongside artist, colourist, and letterer Kit Seaton (The Black Bull Of Norroway, Eve Of All Saints) for an original graphic novel, AFAR.
In AFAR, Boetema suddenly develops the ability to astrally project to other worlds, unintentionally possessing the bodies of people light years away. Inotu, her inquisitive brother with a pension for trouble, finds himself on the run after he’s caught eavesdropping on an illegal business deal between small town business tycoons and their cyborg bodyguard. When Boetema accidentally gets someone hurt while in another girl’s body, the siblings are forced to work together to solve the problems they’ve created on their planet and others.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Kit Seaton who beautifully renders the world we’ve created and packs each page full of emotion and wonder,” said Del Duca. “Kit has been amazing to work with, from designing aliens, cultures, old busted tech, and all the weird environments, to drawing each character rich with emotion and personality.”
AFAR hits shelves this Autumn 2016.
Co-creators Jason Latour (Southern Bastards, Spider-Gwen), Ivan Brandon (Drifter, Viking) and Greg Hinkle (Airboy, The Rattler), team up with colourist Matt Wilson (THE WICKED + THE DIVINE), letterer Aditya Bidikar, designer Tom Muller, and editor Maria Ludwig for an all-new series called Black Cloud.
Once upon a time… They built a world where dreams come true… And those dreams went to war. In Black Cloud, we meet Zelda: exiled to Earth, her dreams of revolution are gone, but she still holds the key to the world she left behind. And it’s for sale.
“Think Jessica Jones meets Roger Rabbit,” says Latour of the book.
Matt Wilson posted a smashing sneak peek to illustrate some of the colour work over on Twitter…
Black Cloud, a new book I’m coloring, announced at the Image Expo today. Different approaches to the color dependin… pic.twitter.com/TqmqkFX6h9
— Maπ Wilson (@COLORnMATT) April 7, 2016
Black Cloud is set to launch in Autumn 2016.
THE BLACK MONDAY MURDERS
by Jonathan Hickman & Tomm Coker
All hail god money! From Jonathan Hickman (East Of West, Secret Wars, Avengers) and Tomm Coker (Undying Love) comes a mythical reinterpretation of modern global economics.
The Black Monday Murders is classic occult indoctrination where the secret schools of magic are actually clandestine banking cartels who control all of society — a hidden world where vampire Russian oligarchs, Black Popes, enchanted American aristocrats, and hitmen from the International Monetary Fund work together to keep all of us in our rightful place. Each issue contains world-expanding bonus content like maps, corporate organization charts, decoded apocrypha, and stock tips to die for.
The Black Monday Murders is a brand new, crypto-noir series about dirty, filthy, money… and what kind of people you can buy with it. Set to launch in Autumn 2016.
Howard Chaykin (Satellite Sam, Black Kiss, American Flagg!) with the able assistance of Jesus Aburto on colouring, and Ken Bruzenak on lettering, unleashes The Divided States Of Hysteria.
The Divided States Of Hysteria is set in the aftermath of a dirty bomb that wipes New York City off the map, as what will come to be known as the Second American Civil War shatters the domestic landscape in isolated pustules of violence…and a team of five private contractors is charged with stemming this tide of rage and bringing the bombers to justice.
The Divided States Of Hysteria launches in Winter 2016.
Fan-favourite writer Jim Zub and newcomer Djibril Morissette-Phan come together with colourist K. Michael Russell and letterer Marshall Dillon for Glitterbomb.
“Although Wayward has some creepy moments, Glitterbomb is the first full-on horror comic I’ve put together,” says Zub on his official site, where he’s also posted some preview pages – a site that includes a lot of comic writing tutorials, so well worth a visit. “Working with Djibril, Michael, and Marshall on this series has been a wonderfully twisted ride. Djibril’s brushwork inks are incredible.”
“Probably the only thing I love more than comics is cinema,” said Morissette-Phan. “Which makes Glitterbomb a dream project since it’s a perfect blend of both.” Set in Hollywood, Glitterbomb is a horror story about failed fame and blood-soaked revenge. “The entertainment industry feeds on our insecurities, desires, and fears,” said Zub. “You can’t toy with those kinds of primal emotions without them biting back.”
Glitterbomb is set to launch in late Summer 2016.
Writer Brandon Thomas, artist Juan Gedeon, and colourist Frank Martin team up for an all-new series from Image/Skybound titled, Horizon.
In Horizon, Zhia Malen thought she’d fought her very last war, until she learned her planet was targeted for occupation…by a desperate world called Earth. The people of Earth will be told that her arrival on our planet means invasion. These are lies. This is retaliation, and Horizon explores what happens when our planet finally runs out of second chances. And when we meet an alien race just as committed to survival as we are…
“This book is about the hypocrisy of survival,” said Thomas. “Our planet has suffered its last abuses, and now humanity’s future lies only in the stars, and some unsuspecting world where we can repeat all of our previous mistakes. Zhia Malen has come to Earth to make sure we finally take some responsibility for our actions.”
Horizon is set to launch from Image/Skybound in July 13, 2016.
Critically acclaimed writer/artist Colin Lorimer (Harvest) teams up with letterer Jim Campbell and colourist Joana Lafuente for The Hunt.
At her father’s deathbed, Orlaigh Roche came face to face with the age-old myth of The Slaugh; a group of soul-stealing spirits so evil that not even hell would take them. Years later, and with the belief that her father’s soul is still trapped in some form of the netherworld, she goes looking for answers — beginning a journey that leads her down a path to discover what really happens to us after we die.
The Hunt begins in 2016 from Image/Shadowline Comics.
Bestselling creators Brenden Fletcher (Batgirl of Burnside, Gotham Academy) and Karl Kerschl (Gotham Academy, The Abominable Charles Christopher) re-team for Isola — an epic fantasy adventure series with the scope of Game of Thrones and the spirit of Princess Mononoke.
“Karl and I have been working toward creating Isola for more than 30 years. No joke! We met in elementary school, discovered and obsessed over comics together and pushed each other to become the kind of storytellers we admired,” said Fletcher.
“From the playground to our parents’ basements to the comic studio in Montreal, Isola has been decades in the making. We can’t wait to introduce you to this beautiful world.”
Isola is set in a mystical land where the queen’s brother enacts a treacherous plot to transform her into a tiger. The captain of the guard, a woman of great skill, brings swift and lethal vengeance, unaware the wicked prince alone has the power to reverse the spell. The two women — one on two legs, one on four — must undertake a perilous journey halfway across the globe to the fabled island of Iosla, gateway to the underworld, where they hope to find the spirit of the queen’s late brother and return her to human form.
Kerschl added: “working concurrently on superhero comics and my webcomic, The Abominable Charles Christopher, I’ve always felt like I was creating for two very different audiences. Isola is a marriage of the comic series Brenden and I grew up reading and the animal stories I’ve been drawing, and I’m excited to finally share it with everyone. ”
Isola is set to launch in Spring 2017.
Bestselling writer Ed Brubaker (The Fade Out, Fatale), artist Sean Phillips (The Fade Out, Fatale), and colourist Elizabeth Breitweiser (The Fade Out, Fatale, Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta) reunite for Kill Or Be Killed, the ultimate pulp crime comic.
Kill Or Be Killed is the story of a troubled young man who is compelled to kill bad people, and how he struggles to keep his secret, as it slowly begins to ruin his life and the lives of his friends and loved ones.
Both a thriller and a deconstruction of vigilantism, it’s unlike anything Brubaker and Phillips have done together in their long partnership.
Kill Or Be Killed is set to launch in Summer 2016.
Nathan Fairbairn (Scott Pilgrim, Batman Incorporated) and Matt Smith (Barbarian Lord) come together for an all-new series titled Lake Of Fire.
In Lake Of Fire it is 1220 AD, and the gears of the Albigensian Crusade grind on. When an alien mining craft infested with legions of bloodthirsty predators crash-lands in the remote wilderness of the French Pyrenees, a small band of crusaders and a Cathar heretic are all that stands between God’s Kingdom and Hell on Earth.
“Superficially it’s a story about knights fighting aliens,” Fairbairn told HitFix. “That’s what happens, but for me, that’s not what the story is really about. To me the story is about faith. It’s about how faith can elevate the human spirit and also lead it down some pretty dark roads. How faith provides easy and also false answers to really complex questions but how those answers can nevertheless give us the courage to move without fear and to hopefully be our best selves and to accomplish things we never would have accomplished otherwise.”
Lake Of Fire is set to launch in Summer 2016.
From Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso — the Eisner award-winning creative team behind the crime classic, 100 Bullets — comes the brutal new series, Moonshine.
Moonshine is set during the Prohibition Era, deep in the backwoods of Appalachia and tells the story of Lou Pirlo, a city-slick “torpedo” sent from New York City to negotiate a deal with the best moonshiner in West Virginia, one Hiram Holt. Lou figures it for milk run — how hard could it be to set-up moonshine shipments from a few ass-backward hillbillies?
What Lou doesn’t figure on is that Holt is just as cunning as ruthless as any NYC crime boss and Lou is in way over his pin-striped head. Because not only will Holt do anything to protect his illicit booze operation, he’ll stop at nothing to protect a much darker family secret… a bloody, supernatural secret that must never see the light of day… or better still, the light of the full moon.
“The idea for Moonshine has been bubbling around between Eduardo [Risso] & I for years,” said Azzarello. “It’s exciting that it’s about to burst forth! But if fans think they know what to expect from us, then they ought to think again.”
Moonshine #1 will hit stores in Autumn 2016 and marks the first time Azzarello and Risso have worked together with Image Comics and reunites the acclaimed creative team that defined modern crime comics with 100 Bullets… and now puts a horror-twist on a classic gangster tale.
From the creative team behind the popular, New York Times bestselling Batgirl of Burnside — Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, and Babs Tarr — comes Motor Crush — is a stylish, neon-soaked, revved up science-fiction action series.
“I’m thrilled to continue working with this team on our new series, where we’ll really cut loose with our imagination and deliver a world with more style, more action, and more excitement than you’ve ever seen from us!” said Stewart.
By day, a Domino Swift competes for fame and fortune in a worldwide motorcycle racing league. By night, she cracks helmets of rival gangs in brutal, illegal bike wars on the city streets to gain possession of a rare and valuable contraband: an engine-boosting “machine narcotic” known as Motor Crush. But the origins — and ultimate purpose — of this mysterious substance are unknown, and could put her on a collision course with danger…
Fletcher shared his enthusiasm for returning for a new project, adding: “Working with your friends on the product of your collective, unfiltered imagination is the dream of every creative. And we’re about to live that dream!” “I am so excited to continue to work with these boys and really show everyone what we have to offer on something original,” said Tarr.
“This book is gonna OOZE style and cool, your eyeballs will barely be able to handle it! I can’t wait to show you guys what we’ve got!”
Motor Crush rides into town this December 2016.
Spies. Thieves. Ballerinas. Prima. You don’t always see who’s standing in the spotlight. Creators Jen Van Meter and artist Rick Burchett team up to tell an all-new story about a dance company — comprised entirely of former spies — righting the wrongs of the Cold War in a series called, Prima.
Prima follows Sophia Forais and Pauline French are the soloist and Managing Director of a dance company that once served as a front for a Resistance cell in France. Engaged for a long run in New York, the dancers have turned their attention and unique skills to aiding a veteran of the Romanian underground now being blackmailed by her American husband. The small operation should prove simple, but Sophia, Paulina and their colleagues will quickly learn that the war has not really ended, and the world is no less ruthless than it was when they were smuggling information and refugees during the Occupation.
“Rick and I started Prima around a shared love of mid-century illustration and hybrid genres. The book started from a simple heist premise but has really evolved into something else — with a large cast and secrets both inside and outside the dance company, there’s a little Robin Hood, a little Le Carre and a healthy dose of soap opera,” said Van Meter.
“We wanted to capture the sense of relief, vitality and glamour that followed in the wake of the Allied victory, but couldn’t turn away from the immediate onset of the Cold War, nor from the civilian lives forever altered by the rise and spread of Fascism in Europe. When Jeanine [Schaefer, editor] and Eric [Newsom, designer] became involved in the project, both immediately got what we were trying to do and leapt in to help us refine and control it. The crunchy center of the series is really about the role of Art and the Artist in the political sphere; the sweet, chewy exterior is all ballerinas, cat burglars, jazz musicians, murder and romance.”
An espionage/romance adventure set in the arts world just after World War Two, Prima is a warm-hearted series of intrigues: To Catch a Thief goes to the ballet. On stands in Autumn 2016.
PRINCE OF CATS
by Ron Wimberly
Prince of Cats written and drawn by Ron Wimberly, lettered by Jarred Fisher, and featuring design by Jorden Haley returns to print from Image Comics. Prince of Cats was first released from Vertigo to critical acclaim in the summer 2012. It was out of print before the following summer. After three years, it will be returning to print through Image Comics.
Prince of Cats is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead meets The Warriors meets Sword of Doom. Setting Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in an alt-universe, mid-1980s New York where duelling with live blades evolved as a cultural phenomenon alongside New York’s other street cultures; it eschews the story of the titular star-crossed lovers to follow the tragic story of Tybalt, the Prince of Cats.
Prince of Cats, the definitive re-mastered author’s edition, is set to release in Autumn 2016.
by Joe Harris & Megan Hutchison
Fan-favourite Joe Harris (The X-Files, Snowfall) teams up with artist Megan Hutchison for an all-new, ongoing series a la Almost Famous meets Supernatural called, Rockstars.
Rockstars follows a pair of young, rock ‘n roll investigators as they uncover a mystery involving a legendary band, dead groupies, human sacrifice and a supernatural undercurrent connecting so many famous — and even more undiscovered — secrets, myths and conspiracies peppering rock music throughout the ages.
When a pattern of unsolved ‘groupie’ murders dating back to the 1970s resumes in present-day Los Angeles, nobody makes the connection except for Jackie Mayer, a young rock nerd who not only knows everything about music history, trivia and its myriad secrets and factoids, but also harbours a mysterious, almost magical ability to ‘see’ what most people miss, and determine and divine what’s going unreported.
Joined by a music writer and aspiring investigative reporter named Dorothy Buell, and his loyal cat, Skydog, they soon uncover a vast mystery involving a legendary band’s exploits, their mercurial guitarist’s occult associations, demonic possession, and sacrifices to the dark gods of rock.
“Rockstars is a story I’ve wanted to tell since I was a little kid, flipping through old records, trading bootlegs with the older kids in school, sewing patches onto my denim jacket, playing guitar in bands, and absolutely surrendering my imagination to the majesty of rock n’ roll music and excess, the crazy culture both within and behind it, and what it means and has meant to fans throughout the years. It’s a supernatural investigation into the music I love, the kinds of genre stories I adore, and the kind of larger-than-life figures that always felt so suited to the comics medium.”
Each story arc will feature a case sprung from a different rock n’ roll era — British Invasion, Punk, 1980s Heavy Metal, etc. — and draw on Jackie’s unique connection, knowledge, and darkly magical associations to crack them.
The series will launch in Autumn 2016.
by Bryan Hill & Nelson Blake II (Top Cow Productions)
Fan-favourite writer Bryan Hill (Postal) and Nelson Blake II come together for an all-new Image/Top Cow series in Romulus.
Set in the near future, Romulus follows the last in a line of near-mystical martial artists wages a revolutionary war against The Order of Romulus, the ancient secret society that trained her — a global organization, hidden in plain sight, that’s controlled the world since the days of Ancient Rome. Their plan? Cull the population with genocide and rule a New World Order. Her plan? Kill them all or die angry.
Romulus launches from Top Cow/Image in Autumn 2016.
SEVEN TO ETERNITY
by Rick Remender & Jerome Opeña
Writer Rick Remender reteams with collaborators Jerome Opeña (Uncanny X-Force, Fear Agent) and Matt Hollingsworth (Tokyo Ghost, Wytches) to bring readers a modern fantasy series following Adam Osidis, a dying knight from a disgraced house, on a mission to rid his world of an insidious God who ensnared him in a Faustian deal.
“Jerome and I began working together at Image ten years ago on titles such as Strange Girl and Fear Agent so it’s very fitting we return now to tell the tale of the Seven to Eternity. All those years ago we began discussing doing an epic fantasy tale at some point, should the planets ever align. A unique take on the familiar genre full of action, unexpected twists, totally unique characters and a villain who might end up stealing the show,” said Remender.
“It’s taken us a decade to get it together, but the wait was worth it. During the past decade we’ve collaborated on numerous projects and fine-tuned our mighty nerd skills to a point where what we create here will eclipse our past collaborations. At least I know the art is Jerome’s best to date. Everyone loves Jerome and Matt Hollingsworth, but once their powers were mixed into the art cauldron something new and terrifying was born, a new level of sequential science. Hyperbole be dammed, there will be no better looking comic book in the world of human peoples.”
Gharils Sulm, The God of Whispers is a Machiavellian warlord who holds sway everywhere in the world of Zhal. He’s spread an omnipresent paranoia to every corner of the kingdoms; one of his spies hides in every house, every family, every hall, spreading mistrust and fear. Adam must choose between joining a hopeless band of magic users in their desperate bid to free their world of the evil God’s burden or give in to the The God of Whispers’ promises of salvation and safety.
The series is set to launch in the Autumn of 2016.
by Sara Kenney & John Watkiss, James Devlin, & Jared K. Fletcher, edited by Karen Berger
Writer Sara Kenney and artist John Watkiss come together for an all new series, Surgeon X, and join forces with the award-winning Karen Berger, founding editor of DC’s Vertigo imprint.
Set against the backdrop of an antibiotic apocalypse in near future London. Rosa Scott, a brilliant and obsessive surgeon becomes Surgeon X, a vigilante doctor who uses experimental surgery and black market drugs to treat patients. But as Surgeon X, Rosa soon develops a godlike-complex, deciding who will live and who will die. Ultimately, she believes that to survive in this compromised world her own warped moral code is the one she must follow — even if it endangers those closest to her.
“When I first heard this original and compelling concept, I thought it was time to get back into comics again,” said Berger. “I love that it explores the consequences of a world where the bedrock of modern medicine has crumbled, where people must adapt to a dangerous new reality, and where the lead character’s subversive nature makes us question our own sense of ethics and morality.
“I’m so excited to be working alongside the fabulously multi-talented creator/writer Sara Kenney and the brilliant, masterful artist John Watkiss. Sara’s vision is frighteningly real and beautifully executed.”
The comic is informed by hundreds of conversations with scientists, physicians, historians, economists, ethicists & philosophers to create this deeply disturbing, yet authentic future world. Surgeon X was funded by a Society Award from Wellcome Trust, an independent global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. They support bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine.
Surgeon X will launch in Autumn 2016.
by Ivan Brandon, Esad Ribić, Ive Svorcina, Aditya Bidikar, Tom Muller, edited by Sebastian Girner
Writer Ivan Brandon (Drifter) and Esad Ribić (Secret Wars) team up with colorist Ive Svorcina, letterer Aditya Bidikar, designer Tom Muller, and editor Sebastian Girner for a futurist drama in, VS.
VS follows the rise and Autumn of Satta Flynn, a wildly popular soldier in a time when War has been privatized and is a form of entertainment. Armies financed and equipped by super-corporations. War medics that double as Pit Mechanics. Satta’s every move is LIVE on TV. And for the first time, Satta finds out what it’s like to lose.
VS is set to launch in Autumn 2016.
by Steve Niles & Alison Sampson
Writer Steve Niles teams up with artist Alison Sampson, colorist Stéphane Paitreau, and letterer Clem Robins in Winnebago Graveyard. Sampson used 1970s horror films for inspiration on the artwork and described the book’s overall look as: “about 70% Americana, slightly heightened, like True Blood, and about 30% ripping off of heads.”
A horror-adventure story, Winnebago Graveyard follows a family with a teenage son and what happens when their road-trip goes wrong and they find themselves stuck in a town full of Satanists.
Winnebago Graveyard is set to launch in Autumn 2017.
• More on Image Comics at www.imagecomics.com
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.