Out next month from comiXology is Ask for Mercy: The Key to Forever by British creators Richard Starkings and Abigail Harding – the first collection of the creator-owned series launched last year on the digital comics platform.
An action-packed and artistically stunning dark fantasy story from Elephantmen creator Richard Starkings and breakout talent, Abigail Jill Harding, making her series debut, the story is a World War Two-set fantasy horror story. Mercy is snatched from her own place and time to join a team of Monster Hunters who are actually Monsters themselves. Together, they have to take on a Pantheon of Hideous Creatures summoned to our world by Nazi evil.
Ask for Mercy: The Key to Forever collects all six issues of the first series.
“Ask for Mercy is an action and adventure story featuring a motley crew of characters that we slowly get to know more about as the series progresses. It starts small and builds big,” said Richard last year. “… As Mercy’s story unfolds, we start to see that the empty shell of the life she was living is exactly that.
“… I’d seen a lot of Abigail’s artwork before starting on the series and I wanted the story to capture the scary/monstrous/beautiful energy of her imagination,” he added. “Mercy herself is very similar to the character of Yvette in Elephantmen, a very, very compelling character always ready to take things into her own hands, whether by accident or design. I killed Yvette off – twice –and still missed writing that character, so Mercy owes a lot to Yvette.”
“From the start we knew Ask For Mercy would be a horror book,” said York-based Abigail, who made her comics debut in the 2015 Thought Bubble Anthology and wen on to draw Elephantmen #72.
A tattoo apprentice, sculptor, illustrator, cosplayer and self-described Doctor Strange fanatic, Abigail says “i was always going to look creepy regardless of anything else. Everything that graces my imagination ends up warping into some sort of horrific reflection of reality. I wanted to draw World War Two aircraft in this book and look what happened – Messerschmitt monsters!
“Even though the monsters in this book was somewhat borne from that really vivid dream I had, pretty much all the projects I’ve done so far have had a horror flare to them.”
Ask for Mercy is part of the comiXology Originals program, the first of four new sewries spanning fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and superhero genres. The series are available free to read for members of Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited, and comiXology Unlimited and are also available for purchase on Kindle and comiXology.
Other titles include Savage Game created by NFL player Ryan Kalil, written by Shawn Kittelsen, and art by Chris B. Murray; Superfreaks from writers Elsa Charretier and Pierrick Colinet, with newcomer artist Margaux Saltel; and Elephantmen 2261: The Death of Shorty from writer Richard Starkings, and artists Axel Medellin and Boo Cook, the latter out as a collection at the end of this month.
Other comiXology Original titles feature an impressive list of creators, including: Tyler Crook, Kristian Donaldson, Alti Firmansyah, Sam Humphries, Megan Kearney, Kel McDonald, Hope Nicholson, Mike Norton, MK Reed, Mark Sable, Tim Seeley, C. Spike Trotman, Jen Vaughn, and Magdalene Visaggio.
In addition to digital, Savage Game is available in print exclusively through Amazon.com via Print-on- Demand. Collections of Elephantmen and Ask for Mercy are also be available in print via Print-on-Demand, with future comiXology Originals trade collections and graphic novels also available in print.
“We’re proud to offer these creator-owned titles where creators keep their IP rights and are motivated to bring their A-game to the benefit of readers everywhere,” said Chip Mosher, comiXology’s Head of Content.
“Helping bring these incredible titles to fans lets us experiment with different release strategies like a binge- drop of a whole series, high quality print-on-demand, and day-and-date inclusion in Prime Reading, Kindle Unlimited and comiXology Unlimited.”
• Buy Ask for Mercy: The Key to Forever collection here (Amazon affiliate link)
• More comiXology Originals here on Amazon (affiliate link)
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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.