This past weekend was Emerald City Comic Con, where indie comics & their creators get to be the belle of the ball. There are bigger cons coming up where Marvel and DC will more of their news, which will culminate in the San Diego Comic Con media blitz that takes over the internet for a full week every July. But ECCC seems like the con where all the independent creators go hang out together for a weekend in Portland, announce their upcoming books, and make me jealous that I can’t somehow force Kieron Gillen or Greg Rucka into being my new BFF.
All the major indie publishers rolled out their next slate of books (save Image, which has its very own Expo), so rather than exhaust you with the total run-down, let’s hit the highlights!
Praise be to sparkly Jesus, the Magical Girl genre resurgence continues with Zodiac Starforce, a new miniseries coming from Dark Horse. Writer Kevin Panetta and artist Paulina Ganucheau are adapting their webcomic about a gang of teenage girls who fight baddies using cool zodiac powers. Instead of starting off with an origin story, the miniseries starts with the protagonists getting the gang back together to suit up and kick ass, and damn if I don’t love a ‘getting the gang back together’ arc. The only drawback is that my Zodiac sign, Cancer, does not seem featured in the main cast! But I’m holding out hope that she’ll appear later on a la the Outer Senshi in Sailor Moon. Because we all know that Sailor Uranus was the best Scout ever.
Check out the rest of Dark Horse’s new comics here. (Though they probably don’t feature as many sparkles or ribbons.)
Next up, IDW is bringing Godzilla back…and sending him to hell???? I don’t even know how that’s going to work–will hell mostly feature humans suffering for their sins or is this going to be some exclusively kaiju hell dimension? Will there be a giant monster version of Virgil to lead Godzilla through each level? Is the finale going to feature Godzilla battling Satan? Because the finale of something called Godzilla in Hell had BETTER feature a Satan v. Godzilla grudge match. This is a five-issue miniseries that will feature a different creative team per issue, each featuring our giant lizard protagonist going down to another layer of Hell. Kicking things off will be James Stokoe, whose Godzilla: Half-Century War miniseries a few years back is pretty much the best of the best where Godzilla comics are concerned. Honestly…I have no idea what to expect out of this but damn if I’m not more intrigued by this than anything else announced at the con.
The other thing that caught my eye from IDW is Onyx, about a female protagonist in a metal suit who comes to Earth in a mission to either save the planet or destroy it. It’s billed as a sci-fi series, but the looks seem to be more looks futuristic knight and what may or may not be a dragon. This miniseries is coming from IDW’s Editor in Chief Chris Ryall and Locke and Key artist Gabriel Rodriguez, and the chance to see more of Rodriguez’s art alone is reason to be interested. Plus that they list Judge Dredd and Wonder Woman as influences in the book doesn’t hurt either. This is a rundown of the other projects IDW has coming down the pike.
Oni Press grabbed headlines last week when it announced open submissions starting in May, and now it has a whole slate of new creator-owned works coming during 2015. What stood out to me is just how varied Oni’s output is, the publisher has all-ages works like Alabaster Shadows, plus a crime comic ongoing in Stringers, and an all-new Hopeless Savages graphic novel. There’s also a reprint of creators’ past work like Jason Hale Fialkov’s Elk Run and the recently completed webcomic, Oyster Wars, getting the hard copy printing treatment. Rather than doubling down on a specific genre to build their brand, Oni is casting a wide net for interesting projects, which is the best way to get new readers, in my book.
There’s a new event on the horizon for the Valiant Universe: Book of Death, which promises to feature most of the publisher’s best-known characters, including Archer & Armstrong, Bloodshot, and Ninjak. The publisher–which just celebrated its 25th anniversary–also seems well aware of the problems that come with having a complex interconnected universe; namely, that it can be super easy for readers to be intimidated by the continuity. Luckily for Valiant, though, their universe is more or less coherent enough to actually sum up neatly, unlike some other superhero publishing companies we could mention (just try to explain the whole Magneto/Xorn thing to someone and watch their head explode). A ten-episode web series Valiant Origins will be exploring the characters’ backstories designed to get new readers up to speed and reach out to non-comic readers interested in Valiant. Considering that Valiant recently got a serious amount of investment cash to develop its properties for other media, this is probably just the start of their bigger projects.