I thought this week would be mostly Image Expo news, but the July media blitz is already in full swing.  Let’s dive in quick, ’cause this girl has got to get up at 4 a.m. tomorrow!

slave punk cover 1, creator ron wimberly, image comics 2015Round Up of All Image Expo Announcements

As expected, the most recent Image Expo has announced oodles of sweet new comics, including some that sound absolutely amazing (Warren Ellis and Tula Lotay’s folklore-inspired Heartless) to the less than appealing (Mark Millar with Huck).  Image has been really sci-fi/fantasy heavy in the last few Expos, so it’s exciting to see works like Joe Keatinge and Nick Barbere’s Ringside and its everyday-life focus.  Best of all is Ron Wimberly with TWO new books: go read this amazing interview with him right now.

Tokyopop Is Coming Back…which is unfortunate considering how horribly Tokyopop treated comics creators when it first dropped off the map.  There’s a good run-down of it all of Tokyopop’s sordid history here at the Beat, as well as a write-up from Alex de Campi on her personal experiences with the publisher.

threadworlds promo image, creator Bryan Konietzko, first second books, image first published at entertainment weekly

Avatar and Korra Creator Announces New Project: A Sci-Fi Graphic Novel Series 

Inspiring grabby hands by people all across the Internet, Bryan Konietzko has announced he is writing and drawing Threadworlds, a series of graphic novels set in a solar system where five planets share the same orbit.  Now, I don’t exactly know what that will have to do with the plot of the story, but you could tell me Bryan Konietzko was drawing a 500-page treatise on paint drying, and I’d ask when pre-orders started.  The world-building and character work in Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra was some of the best TV ever made, and seeing him take on a whole universe will be exciting.   

4 wizards character sketch, artist noelle stevenson, co-creator todd casey, first published on comicsallianceNoelle Stevenson and Todd Casey On Creating Their Own Magic World in 4 Wizards 

Weren’t we all wondering what Nimona creator Noelle Stevenson was going to be doing now that she was no longer writing Lumberjanes?  Well, now we have the answer: wizards.  A whole graphic novel series full of them along with co-creator Todd Casey, who will be exploring all manner of sorcerers in the first 4 Wizards book to be out in 2017.  That seems like a long time off, but surely Stevenson’s delightful character sketches will tide us over until then.

heavy metal promo image, heavy metal magazine 2015, cover artist unknownGrant Morrison Taking Over as Editor-in-Chief at Heavy Metal, Makes Awkward Punk Rock Comparison

Okay, maybe I’m just being harsh here, but the very last thing you want to do when trying to re-invent something is compare it to punk rock.  Punk is dead.  The Sex Pistols are on a credit card, people.  Punk was already a calcified mummy when Blink 182 was hitting the scene and rattling around in its corpse.  But maybe I’m being too harsh on Grant, who is, after all, a 50-something British dude.  Maybe he simply means he wants Heavy Metal to tap into that irreverent anger, the creative fury at the status quo that punk so articulated in its early days.  If so, then I think Heavy Metal under his reign might turn into something great, especially since the first issues will be featuring Jack Kirby’s work on the real fake-movie Argo was based around.