Welcome to another BOOM! Pubwatch!
This month I’m sharing some exciting new comics announcements from the past month and a change to BOOM!’s Guarantee Program and what that means for comic retailers. Then I’ll be highlighting my favourite comics, including an adorable original graphic novel, from author C.B. Lee, and last but least we’ll round off the month with the covers that really jumped off the shelf at me.
A new graphic novel inspired by Shirley Jackson
This September, horror fans should keep an eye open for The Man Who Came Down the Attic Stairs by Celine Loup. The original graphic novel tells the story of Emma, who after giving birth to her first child finds things aren’t quite what she expected them to be. The baby cries all the time, and she and her husband are growing further and further apart. As exhaustion sets in Emma is convinced she is seeing strange things throughout their home and begins to suspect something sinister might be at play. This suspenseful story is inspired by the works of Shirley Jackson (who I LOVE) and is just as much an exploration of the real fears associated with new motherhood as it is about who or what might be in the attic. Celine Loup says, “I wanted to tell a story about a fear that women dare not speak aloud, not even to themselves, often until after it’s too late. Motherhood brings so much joy to the women who experience it, but for many, it can feel like a prison, and no one can be certain until they’ve crossed a point of no return how it will be for them. Horror’s greatest potential is the gift of empathy, and I hope The Man Who Came Down the Attic Stairs, will create a space in which we can reach out to each other in times of personal crisis without fear of judgement.”
Full Series Ordered for Ronin Island
Last month I raved about the first issue of a new comic, Ronin Island, by Greg Pak and Giannis Milonogiannis. It’s a fascinating story of a mysterious island, where some of the only Japanese, Korean and Chinese survivors of a mysterious attack have taken refuge. But when an army of soldiers from the mainland shows up with a new set of demands and a warning of a new invasion, it looks like they won’t be able to hide out for much longer.
Originally, the comic was announced as a five-issue limited series but when the first issue sold out so quickly and to such a positive response, a full series of twelve issues was ordered. I’m really enjoying this series so far, so I am excited to find out that we get to spend even more time in this world than originally expected.
Changes to BOOM! Guarantee Program
Back in 2017, BOOM! Studios introduced its retailer rewards program, BOOM! Guarantee. The program is open to any comic retailer that wishes to participate. As part of the original program, BOOM! would send the store a free floor display, along with a list of six fully returnable comics. No order minimums or order matching required. This unique program allows retailers to take a risk on new series or creators that they may not have otherwise. And since BOOM! offers point-of-sale materials and advice on how to market these series it can help get these comics into the right readers’ hands as soon as possible.
This month they announced some additions to their program. Along with the six comics, a minimum of two graphic novels each month will be fully returnable, something that was previously only available to the bookstore market. This new addition starts in June and the first titles will be Hotel Dare, a world-hopping fantasy by Terry Blas; and Plate Tectonics, a modern look a life, romance and motherhood after divorce by Margaux Motin.
Matias Basla (Artist), Jim Campbell (Letterer), Delilah S. Dawson (Writer), Rebecca Nalty (Colorist)
March 20, 2019
This is the final issue of the Sparrowhawk mini-series and what an ending it was. When the series began, Artemesia was a quiet (but stubborn) girl who never felt like she fit in with her father’s family or the high-class Victorian world to which they belonged. Then she is targeted by the Faerie Queen and trapped in the faerie world where she is forced to fight and adapt if she ever wants to get back home and save everyone she knows and loves. The series follows her quest through the realm and all the strange creatures she meets along the way and concludes with her final challenge at the Queen’s palace where she’ll have to make the ultimate sacrifice to return home.
From the very beginning, this series has had me on the edge of my seat, turning pages to find out what decision Artemesia would make next and how that would change who she is and affect the relationships with the people around her. And the finale is no different. I’m sad to see this series come to an end so soon and to leave the beautiful but deadly world of the faerie behind but it has been an adventure and I look forward to what’s next from these talented creators. If you haven’t read the series yet all of the issues are out now, or if you can hang on a bit longer the trade paperback will hit shelves this summer.
Ben 10: The Truth is Out There
Meg Casey (Colorist), Lidan Chen (Artist), C.B. Lee (Writer), Warren Montgomery (Letterer)
March 20, 2019
My stepson used to be a big fan of the original Ben 10 cartoon but it’s been a few years since then so my knowledge of the story and characters is a little shaky. Nevertheless, when I saw that novelist C.B. Lee (Not Your Sidekick) was writing a Ben 10 original graphic novel I knew I wanted to check it out.
10-year-old Ben Tennyson is the wielder of the Omnitrix, a device that allows him to shift into ten different alien forms. With the help of his cousin, Gwen, and his Grandpa Max, he protects the world from alien attacks. In this story, however, Grandpa Max, decides they need a break from fighting aliens and he takes the kids on a camping trip. Originally, Ben is a bit unenthusiastic about the trip and to keep things interesting he decides to prank the Bigfoot enthusiasts at the next campsite over.
Though I remembered very little of the Ben 10 lore I had no trouble falling into this story and piecing together who the characters were and what their relationship was like. The strong family dynamic between Ben, Gwen and Max was easily apparent and though Ben is the titular character it’s clear that their success is because they work as a team. This fun story was enhanced by Lidan Chen’s energetic and expressive artwork and Meg Casey’s bright and eye-catching colors. I really enjoyed re-familiarizing myself with this world and think this comic will be enjoyed by kids and parents alike.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #37
Walter Baiamonte (Colorist), Marguerite Bennett (Writer), Simone di Meo (Artist), Ed Dukeshire (Letterer)
March 27, 2019
I normally try and catch up with a series (or at least find a good jumping-on point) before diving in. But as I was looking through the new comics from BOOM! this past month I noticed that Marguerite Bennett was writing one of the Power Rangers series so I decided to give it a shot. In this issue, I was met with some unfamiliar characters in the midst of having to make what looked like a very high-stakes difficult decision. Though I was a little lost while reading, I loved the eye-catching artwork in this issue, especially the purple, blue and red colors used throughout. I may not recommend this as a jumping-on point, but it got me intrigued to go back and read the rest of the series so that I could figure out exactly how they got to this point and follow along with the story when issue #38 hits shelves.
Adventure Time Season 11 #6, cover by Jorge Corona
The Storyteller: Sirens #1, cover by Cory Godbey
Ronin Island #2, cover by Giannis Milonogiannis