Oni Watch: Onwards and Upwards!

With Oni Press rounding its 20th year of existence, the past several months have been chock full of pretty exciting news as they expand their reach to wider markets. A lot has happened, so this pubwatch is going to be a little longer than usual. But hey, check out Oni Press’ brand new logo, designed by Troy Look:

First off, Oni Press’ fresh new tabletop imprint, Oni Games, is introducing The Tea Dragon Society Card Game with Renegade Studios (of Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Card Game fame). This family oriented game is based on the adorable graphic novel by Katie O’Neill (Princess Princess), The Tea Dragon Society, which was released earlier this month. “I didn’t know what to expect when I first played the prototype of The Tea Dragon Society Card Game, but as soon as I’d finished my first round I felt like I’d just spent a dreamy afternoon in the world of the Tea Dragons,” said O’Neill. The game is slated for a Spring 2018 release, and promises to be as enchanting and charming as the graphic novel.

On the subject of The Tea Dragon Society, if you’re like me and had to miss New York Comic Con this year and the exclusive goodies that go with it, chances are you thought you missed your shot at getting your hands on The Tea Dragon Society Bundle that comes with a super cute plush of Chamomile The Tea Dragon. Luckily, Oni Press has just put the bundles up for pre-sale in their shop for $35, with the release date being November 1st. Snap them up while you can!

With women in the past weeks stepping forward to condemn harassment in major industries like filmmaking and comics, Oni Press is determined to do its part to ensure a safe space for employees, fans, and creators alike. Recently, James Lucas Jones, publisher for Oni Press, issued a call on Twitter for anyone who has been harassed by an employee of Oni Press to come forward. “To be clear, if you’ve ever been harassed or assaulted by any Oni Press employee or creator, I want to know & my DMs are open,” he wrote. In an era where one still sees publishers and creators close ranks to protect their own, Oni Press stepping forward to say “This is not okay” makes them an admirable example to their peers in the industry.


Phew, alright let’s get to the actual comics part now.

If you like stories centered around female relationships, read:

  1. Angel City: Town Without Pity by Janet Harvey, Megan Levens, and Nick Filardi
    1. 1930s noir set in Hollywood as written and illustrated by women? Sign me up. Angel City follows Dolores Dare, the stunning and badass knee-breaker for a crime boss (who she also happens to be dating). She gets some bad news about an old friend of hers, and finding the cops less than useful, decides to find the killer herself. Not only is Dolores’ motivation the death of her female friend, but she also meets and bonds with Rita, a Cuban actress she meets during her investigation. The art style is beautiful, classic is the best way I can describe it, and the action-drama plot keeps you turning the page, curious to find out what happens next.
  2. Wet Moon: Drowned in Evil by Sophie Campbell
    1. With its sweet, rounded style and immense diversity in both body type and ethnicity, Wet Moon really catches the eye from the start. Cleo, one of the protagonists, is slowly coming out about her new girlfriend to her friends, while struggling to reconcile what she thought she knew about her sexuality with these new experiences. 
Angel City: Town Without Pity

If you like stories set in fantastical and incredibly diverse worlds, read:

  1. The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’neill
    1. If you don’t walk away from this book wanting a Tea Dragon of your own, I don’t know what to tell you. The art style is reminiscent of the Little Golden Books of old, with a story that is charming no matter your age. Greta is a young blacksmith apprentice who stumble across a Tea Dragon one day, a dragon with small tea leaves growing from its head. Through this discovery, she makes friends with Minette, a small girl looking after her own dragon at the teahouse run by Hesekiel and Erik. This one is a short story that shouldn’t take you long to read, but will stick with you for long after.  
  2. Night’s Dominion: Season 2 Issue #2 by Ted Naifeh
    1. Taking place in a multicultural metropolis, Night’s Dominion Season 2 follows the ongoing story of Emerane, who happens to be the infamous masked crusader, The Night. It’s something of a medieval fantasy vigilante story with a setting that borrows heavily from the middle east, which makes for a refreshing and interesting break from the status quo.
The Tea Dragon Society

If you still somehow like zombies in spite of the oversaturation of the genre in the past years, read:

  1. Made Men #2 by Paul Tobin, Arjuna Susini, and Gonzalo Duarte
    1. Alright, technically this isn’t really a zombie story. However, the plot revolves around a scientist, Jutte Shelley, who specializes in the reanimation of corpses, so I’m counting it. The story so far has Jutte’s Special Ops team being ambushed and gunned down, with Jutte reanimating her team-mates to the best of her abilities and unleashing them on the world to enact revenge. Highlights include a male consciousness and a female consciousness sharing one body, and a lion with the body of a man. If you like revenge stories with some sci-fi elements, this is a good one to keep an eye on.
  2. Dead of Winter #2 – #3 by Kyle Starks, Gabo and Brian Hurtt
    1. When you have a straight-forward zombie story, you have to make sure there’s something to set it apart from the other straight-forward zombie stories on the market. In this case, that thing is a dog with with a katana. There’s also a drunk mall santa and a deranged police officer attempting to capture our heroes, but mostly the dog. The one thing I really have to ping them on is the demise of a female side-character who dies almost immediately after demonstrating resourcefulness and strength that rivals the main male characters she’s with at the time. Not only does it leave the ratio of on-page male-to-female characters grossly skewed in favor of male characters (3:1), but it almost feels like the narrative is punishing her for demonstrating a level of badassery that the male characters fail to demonstrate in that moment. Aside from that, the story is fun, the art is cute, and the dog is the best character in the series so far.
Dead of Winter #3

If you like to color sexy pictures of naked fairies, pick up:

  1. Fauns and Fairies: The Adult Fantasy Coloring Book by Trungles
    1. Sometimes you just really need to sit down with a mug of tea, some markers, and an erotic fantasy coloring book that features a variety of body types, genders, and races. There’s something for just about everyone in this book, but be warned that the content is deeply not-safe-for-work (or children). When they say “adult coloring book”, they really really really mean it.
Fauns and Fairies: The Adult Fantasy Coloring Book

So that wraps it up! Is there anything on this list you’re particularly excited to check out? Let me know in the comments below!

Azha Reyes

Azha Reyes

When not teaching, traveling, or sleeping, I write. Find me at @writethenoise on Twitter, or Writethenoise.tumblr.com