Welcome to the Vault Pubwatch, where I’ll spend a little time catching up on what Vault Comics has been up to over the past little while.
First up is the continuation of their homage covers, a feature that the company began in 2018 where the first issue of each of their new comics will be designed by Nathan Gooden and Tim Daniel to pay homage to iconic moments in comics history.
“Begun in 2018, the Vault Vintage cover line celebrates the artistic achievements of both modern and legendary comics artists. The back cover of each Vault Vintage cover features a detailed history of the original cover and the creative team who produced. Vault Vintage covers are designed to celebrate the creators and covers they honor, and to ensure readers learn about some of the most important moments in comics history.”
Vault, but for Kids
The company will be launching a middle grade and a young adult line through its new Myriad imprint. The books will be in a 6×9 format, explained Vault’s VP of Marketing and Sales, Kim McLean, which is easier to handle for younger readers and fits nicely into school backpacks. The first books we’ll see in 2019/2020 are Wrassle Castle by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover, Bonding by Matthew Erman and drawn by Emily Pearson, and Unfinished Corner by Dani Colman.
Resonant #1 is coming in July, which is a story that apparently will be even more terrifying than Bird Box. (I assume they mean the book, because the movie was a sorry adaptation that removed all of the scary elements…)
“A decade has passed since the first Waves hit, unleashing humanity’s darkest impulses and plunging the world into chaos. Paxton, a single father of three, must venture from the secluded haven they’ve built to restock the medicine his chronically ill youngest son needs to survive. When the somewhat routine trip goes awry, Paxton and his children—now separated—will battle everything in their path to reunite.”
Test, the new series from Chris Sebela and Jen Hickman, will come out in June.
“TEST follows Aleph Null, an orphan, a human guinea pig undergoing medical tests for cash, a bodyhacker, a hardcore future junkie, and a corporate asset. But now, Aleph is on the run from their old life, in search of a mythical, Midwestern town named Laurelwood—where they’re test-marketing the future with tech that can’t possibly exist yet, and won’t for decades.”
Three other new titles have launched or are on their way and you can read my mini-reviews below. If you want to check out some of Vault’s other firsts, you can do so for free.
Queen of Bad Dreams #1
Dearbhla Kelly (colorist), Danny Lore (writer), Kim McLean (letterer), Jordi Pérez (artist)
April 24, 2019
Elements from dreams can come to life, and Inspector Judge Daher’s job is to track them down and determine if the dream figments should be reinserted, or permitted agency in the real world. That can be a pretty tough call when the dream is monstrous, but Lore quickly establishes that Daher is very good at her job, taking into account all aspects of the manifestation, including the dreamers themselves. The first figment we meet is a monstrous creature that snores like its dreamer’s annoying sister—and looks like something a child might scribble. Pérez and Kelly nail the opening pages with this monster that perfectly captures the creativity and messiness of a child’s imagination, combined with the sleek and lethal Daher in action. This has some of the standard elements of a cop drama, including the protagonist who is so good at, and focused on, her job that it costs her her family. But the relationship between Daher and Viv isn’t a complete loss, and the choice to have Viv narrate is as intriguing as the sci-fi concept of escaped dreams.
She Said Destroy #1
Joe Corallo (writer), Tim Daniel (designer), Liana Kangas (artist), Rebecca Nalty (colourist), Melanie Ujimori (letterer)
May 29, 2019
Brigid is a goddess of light who has carefully cultivated worship until she is all but the last god that remains in this universe. The only deity left to oppose her and her followers is the Morrigan, but the goddess of darkness and the fey has very few followers powerful enough to fend off Brigid’s forces, save for one young person named Winona who is just coming into their own. The idea reminds me of the conflict between the gods in N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy. Here, the story is narrated by the seeming loser, the Morrigan, who, unlike Brigid, is disconnected from the people who worship her. The implication is that Brigid is the “bad” one, but there’s not quite anything to endear us to the Morrigan’s cause just yet, except for the people devoted to her. But when she finally appears and utters one simple command…
The art is deceptively simple, backed by bright and bold or muted watercolour pastel backgrounds that keep all the focus on the character details and actions.
These Savage Shores #1 (B/W)
Vitorio Astone (colourist), Aditya Bidikar (letterer), Sumit Kumar (artist), Ram V. (writer)
March 27, 2019
The critically acclaimed These Savage Shores gets special treatment for its re-release which features original inks on deluxe paper stock. Making exceptional use of the nine-panel grid, the black and white inks elevate this story to another level, as if the dynamic art from Kumar could get any better. I’ve always loved the effectiveness of black-and-white storytelling, and These Savage Shores proves to be the perfect introduction for this decision. The story features a dignified monster, Lord Alain Pierrefont, seeking escape from London—sort of like Dracula moving away from civilization to a new world where his savage tendencies can once again be hidden. But there is a much older, much darker evil that already lives on these new shores, and Lord Pierrefont is gonna learn a harsh lesson…
Want to learn more about Vault Comics and how they got started? Check out this interview by Corissa Haury!