Currently seeking crowdfunding – and, indeed, smashing its modest target, and then some – is Only Death Can Save Us: Techstone, a US Bronze Age comics inspired, cosmic, fantasy romp of a story, created and drawn by Russ Leach, scripted by Dragon Award-winner Rik Hoskin and edited by Tim Quinn.
Bringing together action and pathos, the ancient elemental known as ‘Death’ leaps from his ethereal retirement to help a young soul protect her loved ones, her world… and even existence itself!
The first volume in the series was released earlier this year, and proved an enjoyable romp. It also got plenty of critical attention, winning the Indie Volt Award for Best Graphic Novel, leading to an approach from Randy Zimmerman of Arrow Comics to offer the team the option of the serialisation of the Only Death Can Save Us series through bi-monthly floppies, published by Arrow and distributed by Liberty Entertainment to comics stores and beyond.
Only Death Can Save Us should definitely appeal to fans of, say, The Incredible Hulk stories of the 1980s or, perhaps, The Eternals. The first volume was fun, crammed within action and fist fights, and there’s a creepy spider-villain thrown in for good measure. We also got an ending that left us hanging for another story… and well, what do you know? Here it is!
Only Death Can Save Us: Techstone sees the return of Death and newly-super-powered Chrissy return from their travels in the beyond.
In this new adventure, Death and Chrissy encounter an even deeper cosmic secret, battle a resurgent evil and solve the mystery of millions of missing human souls!
Based on this tease I fully expect Volume Two to be as fun as the first, and, based on the teases we’ve had about the project, I think I’m on a winner!
Only Death Can Save Us is the culmination of a life loving comics for Russ Leach, who has a wealth of production experience stretching back over 30 years and has been drawing his whole life. Returning to comic book publishing in 2010 he has since drawn for Marvel, Panini, BBC Worldwide, Hachette, Cartoon Network, Markosia and Aces Weekly. His work includes runs on characters such as Doctor Who and Ben 10 as well as two graphic novels for Markosia.
Russ is joined in his dream of creating this all-new comics universe by Dragon Award winner 2018 for Best Graphic Novel, Rik Hoskin, a New York Times bestselling graphic novelist who has written for various popular properties including Superman, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Shrek and Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein.
We featured exclusive extracts from his superhero-inspired graphic novel Bystander 27 last year, here on downthetubes. He’s also written animated stories for BBC television, and almost 30 novels, making him more than qualified to polish Russ’s characters and story line into wonderful dialogue.
The book is edited by industry veteran Tim Quinn, who has been a scriptwriter, illustrator and editor on such noted titles as Beano, The Dandy, Sparky, The Topper, Buster, Whoopee!, Bunty, Jackie, Doctor Who Magazine, and Whizzer & Chips before heading Stateside to work for the mighty Marvel Comics Group on the world famous Spider-Man, X-Men and the Incredible Hulk.
Additionally for Book 2 the core team are joined by Eric Weathers on lettering and Matthew Seaborne on additional inking duties.
The first 200 backers will receive a fantastic recreation of an Arrow comics cover for the serialisation of Only Death Can Save Us by Russ Leach and InkSpots and all returning backers will receive the gorgeous pinup by Preston Asevedo.
“If you love comics the way they used to be… a fun, action orientated, hero’s journey, then you are in the right place,” Russ enthuses. “And while you guys are hungry for stories and lend your support, we’ll keep making books!”
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.