I love comics and graphic novels, so what do I do with that love? Well, I turn it into a new feature!
From Panel to Panel is a new feature where I talk about the awesome (and perhaps not-so awesome) comic books and graphic novels I’ve read. Basically, this will be me pushing them onto your laps. You’re welcome.
Holy, comics galore! This is what we’ve been waiting for—the time of the year when Image Comics announces a bunch of awesome new comics they’re going to publish in the next year. April 6th was that day! What an exciting morning!
In Seattle, Image Expo announced many awesome new comic series in Image Comic’s future. And guys, we may be waiting a while for these comics, but they need to be on your radar. There’s astral projectors, ballerina-spies, vigilantism, alien invasions to stop an Earth invasion, Black Monday and magic, and much more.
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? Fame always comes with a price. For Farrah, the main character of Glitterbomb, she can’t get any film or TV roles due to her age, and because of whatever situations, she finds herself becoming “a conduit for supernatural forces when her entertainment career fails to take off.”1 It will explore fame culture and revenge. According to Zub, this actress “wants to tear this Hollywood system down, and she’s doing to do it in the most violent, horrific way possible.”2 (Get an exclusive look at the story and the art at AV Club.)
WHY I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS: Love the art + fascinated by fame culture and how this comic will tackle it with supernatural elements.
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? Afar is a fantasy/science-fiction young adult graphic novel about two siblings—the sister can astrally project herself to other worlds and and possess other people’s bodies, and the brother has a habit of getting in trouble like when he eavesdrops on the wrong people. The two have to rely on each other to get themselves out of the mess they find themselves into. (Get an exclusive look at the story and the art at Vox.)
WHY I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS: Sibling love! Astral projection! Different worlds!
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? Described as “Jessica Jones meets Roger Rabbit,” Black Cloud follows Zelda, a rebel leader “who had been exiled to Earth and still holds the key to the world she left behind.”3 It’s apparently a noir story about dreams and will explore what happens when the dreams no longer are yours. (Get an exclusive look at the story and the art at Vulture.)
WHY I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS: It’s about dreams and how it takes a life of its own. I love the art and the coloring. (I’ll read anything that Matt Wilson colors.)
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? Ever wonder what would happen when you privatize War? In VS, because War has been privatized by super huge corporations, it becomes a source of entertainment and televised live for viewers at home. War sports team of death. And you know who’s starring in it? Satta Flynn, who is very popular soldier, struggling to keep up with the changes on the battlefield and entertainment. (Get an exclusive look at the story and the art at Gizmodo.)
WHY I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS: Intrigued by the concept of War being aired for live television.
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? What could go wrong on a family road trip? Well, the car can get stolen in the nowhere-American Southwest, and hey, the town you’re stuck in? It’s full of satanists. Expect a horror story with “human sacrifice, rituals, nudity,” and much more with 1970s horror film-inspired art.4 (Check out an exclusive interview at Comic Book + a preview of the art at Comic Book Resources.)
WHY I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS: Satanist. What kind of crazy things can happen in a town full of satanists? ;)
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? When Earth is no longer a viable planet to live on, where do the people go? They will have to find a new planet to colonize, and in Horizon, it so happens that they target the planet Zhia Malen, the main character, calls home. But the folks of Earth have another thing coming. Zhia Malen is not gonna stand by and watch her planet be invaded; she’ll gather a strike team to stop Earth from invading. (Check out the exclusive look on EW.)
WHY I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS: Love that instead of aliens conquering Earth to colonize it, they come to Earth to stop Earthlings from invading their home planet. It’s such a twist.
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? Beware of fairies, especially the Sluagh, soul-stealing ones. They usually wait until death has come to take souls, but they’ve grown impatient and have started murdering people. Orla Roche, the main character of The Hunt, happens to see them rip her father’s soul out of his body, and she goes on a journey to recover her father’s soul from eternal damnation. This series is inspired by Irish folklore “with a modern twist.”5 (Check out the exclusive look and interview at 13th Dimension.)
WHY I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS: Fascinated by Irish folklores, and interested to see how it’s woven into the story. Plus, those Sluagh sound absolutely terrifying.
|LAKE OF FIRE|
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? Think about the historical Crusades with aliens thrown into it.
the 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. (Get an exclusive look over at HitFix.)
WHY I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS: History + aliens, what a weird, yet intriguing combination!
|THE DIVIDED STATES OF HYSTERIA|
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? Set in the aftermath of a dirty bomb that wipes New York City off the map, and as what will be known as the Second American Civil War shatters the domestic landscape in isolated pustules of violence. A team of five private contractors (a Puerto Rican-American up and coming CIA officer and four serial murderers) is charged with stemming this tide of rage and bringing the bombers to justice.6
WHY I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS: A different kind of America where a bomb changes everything. The dynamics between the five contractors should be fun and exciting.
|PRINCE OF CATS|
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? Prince of Cats is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead meets The Warriors meets Sword of Doom. It sets Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in an alternate universe during mid-eighties New York where dueling 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. First released by Vertigo in Summer 2012, Prince of Cats will be reprinted by Image Comics. (Check out the previews at Comic Book Resource.)
WHY I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS: 80s New York + swords + street culture.
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? Spies. Thieves. Ballerinas. PRIMA.
You don’t always see who’s standing in the spotlight.
In a ballet company—comprised entirely of former spies—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. (Check out the exclusive interview at Comics Alliance.)
WHY I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS: Do I even have to say why? SPIES. BALLERINAS. THIEVES. C’MON.
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? What do you get when you cross Almost Famous with Supernatural? You get this—Rockstars.
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 harbors 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.
Each story arc will feature a case sprung from a different rock n’ roll era—British Invasion, Punk, 80s Heavy Metal, etc.—and draw on Jackie’s unique connection, knowledge, and darkly magical associations to crack them.7 (Check out the exclusive interview at the Comics Beat.)
WHY I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS: Music + murders + supernatural craziness = thumbs up!
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? Set in the near future, Romulus follows an assassin breaking free from the Order of Romulus—an ancient secret society of female assassins—that’s hidden in plain sight and has 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.8
WHY I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS: Female assassins.
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? 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.9
WHY I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS: Fascinated with the idea of a world where modern medicine has severely broken down.
|KILL OR BE KILLED|
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? 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. It’s been described as “Breaking Bad meets Deathwish with 1970s Spider-Man comics influences.”9 (Check out this exclusive from USA Today.)
WHY I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS: Brubaker/Phillips/Breitweiser team. Vigilantism.
|THE BLACK MONDAY MURDERS|
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? Inspired by the real-life financial Black Monday of 1987 when the Stock Market crashed, 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.
WHY I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS: Finance + magic + bonus content + the hidden society that keeps people in their places.
|SEVEN TO ETERNITY|
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? Seven to Eternity follows 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.
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.11 (Check out this exclusive at Paste Magazine.)
WHY I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS: Antagonistic God.
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? Set during the Prohibition Era, deep in the backwoods of Appalachia, Moonshine 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.12 (Check out this exclusive from Comic Book Resources.)
WHY I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS: Prohibition, mobsters, werewolves, and hillbillies!
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? Think Sailor Moon, Warriors, Akira, and FLCL. If you like any (or all!), Motor Crush should be right up your alley!
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….13 (Check out this exclusive at USA Today.)
WHY I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS: Babs’ art + motorcycle racing + Sailor Moon reference + BATGIRL TEAM! (They may be leaving Batgirl of Burnside, but they’ll be working on this awesome-sounding comic! It will be stunning!)
WHAT IS THIS ABOUT? Isola—an epic fantasy adventure series with the scope of Game of Thrones and the spirit of Princess Mononoke— 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 Isola, gateway to the underworld, where they hope to find the spirit of the queen’s late brother and return her to human form.14 (Check out this exclusive look at the Daily Dot.)
WHY I’M EXCITED ABOUT THIS: Karl Kerschl’s art + two women (one of who, the queen, is turned into a tiger) band together to reverse the spell and turn the queen back to a human + underworld.