BOOM! Pubwatch: August 2019

Boom Pubwatch - banner designed by Cori McCreery

Summer may be starting to wind down, but judging from their upcoming release schedule BOOM! is just getting started. This month was full of new comic announcements and increased buzz for previously announced series. In the News portion of this Pubwatch I’m sharing a couple of announcements, as well as some updates on Something Is Killing the Children—which will be on the top of my TBR when it hits shelves in September.

In the Featured Comics section, you’ll find me raving about two new series that kicked off this month: the new Over the Garden Wall mini-series, starring two of my favourite fictional brothers, Greg and Wirt, and Once & Future, the new King Arthur-inspired series from The Wicked + The Divine co-creator, Kieron Gillen. Spoiler alert: I loved them both.

BOOM! News

Magical Ponies and Grade Six Adventures

In April 2020, KaBOOM! will be releasing a new original graphic novel, perfect for fans of magical girl stories. The heroine of Wonder Pony is a sixth-grader, Louison, who thanks to her friend Jean-Pierre (a pink pony) can transform herself into Wonder Pony. She’s headed back to boarding school and as if the pressure of making new friends wasn’t enough she also needs to use these newfound superpowers to watch over the school and protect the students from danger.

Cover for Wonder Pony, cover by Marie Spénale, KaBOOM!, 2019 -A young blonde girl with glasses looks over her shoulder at an alter-ego dressed in a superhero costumer and domino mask, both smiling
Written by Belgian author and illustrator Marie Spénale, Wonder Pony was originally published in French and was nominated for the Angoulême Youth Award in 2018. As a fan of both magical girl stories and French comics, I’ll definitely be checking out this one in the new year.

A Mother’s Story of 1960s China

Also coming in spring of 2020 is a new graphic novel from Eisner-nominated cartoonist Emei Burell. From the Archaia imprint, We Served the People is a collection of stories Burell’s mother shared with her about growing up in 1960s communist China. As a young woman, Yuan Ye Ping was sent to the countryside as part of Mao’s Great Leap Forward. Eventually, she became one of the few truck-driving women during the Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside Movement, which sought to increase agricultural outreach and spur social and ideological change amongst the youth.

Cover for We Served the People: My Mother’s Story, cover by Emei Burell, BOOM! Studios, 2019 - A group of people hang out and around a truck against a background of green foliage
“Getting to work on such a personal story of someone who I love and admire so much is truly amazing. I can’t wait to share with the world all of the incredible stories that my mother has shared with me growing up until now,” said author Emei Burell.

Something is Killing the Children Updates

Last month, I shared the announcement for the new series from James Tynion IV, Something is Killing the Children. Since then buzz for the series has continued to grow and as of August 15th, the first issue has sold out at the distributor level. BOOM! is fast-tracking a second printing in order to get it out to shops for its September 11th pub date.

And if all of that wasn’t enough to get you interested, BOOM! has also released a new trailer:

Bonus incentive: the mega-talented Jenny Frison is doing one of the variant covers.

Cover for Something is KIlling the Children 1, Jenny Frison, BOOM! 2019 - A blonde holds up a blood-stained knife to the camera, obscuring their face, which only shows yellow eyes and a toothed half-mask
Will you be checking out the series this fall?

Featured Comics

Over the Garden Wall Soulful Symphonies #1

Mike Fiorentino (letterer), Rowan MacColl artist), Dean Stuart (colorist), Emily Willis (writer)
August 7, 2019

Cover for Over the Garden Wall Soulful Symphonies #1 - Mike Fiorentino (Letterer) Rowan MacColl (Artist), Dean Stuart (Colorist), Emily Willis (Writer) KaBOOM! August 7, 2019 - Wirt and Greg recoil from an unseen assailant while on a theater stage
After I shared my excitement about this series back in May, I spent the next few months hoping it would live up to my expectations and make it into the Featured Comics section this month. And lucky for me (for all of us, really) the creative team knocked it out of the park.

In this new limited series, brothers Greg and Wirt have stumbled across a new town. At first it seems like there’s no one there, but eventually they meet a young woman named Sophie who runs a local theatre along with her sisters. She convinces the boys that they should come audition and they agree despite Beatrice’s suspicions… though their reasons for auditioning are quite different. Greg wants to audition because it’s just another great adventure and he’s a born performer. Wirt, on the other hand, is more reluctant, but he wants to push through his fears to prove to himself and Beatrice that he can.

I was so pleased to find when I started this comic that Greg and Wirt were exactly the same as I remembered from the original cartoon. It was comfy and familiar to return to two of my favourite characters but exciting to have a new mystery to get caught up in. This first issue gives you just enough information to know there is something very off about the town, the theatre, and the sisters, but few clues as to what it might be. Which is going to make waiting for the next issue very difficult.

Once & Future #1

Tamara Bonvillain (colorist), Ed Dukeshire (letterer), Kieron Gillen (writer), Dan Mora (artist)
BOOM! Studios
August 14, 2019

Cover for Once & Future 1 - Tamara Bonvillain (Colorist), Ed Dukeshire (Letterer), Kieron Gillen (Writer), Dan Mora (Artist) BOOM! Studios August 14, 2019 - A black gauntled hang holds a sword in which are seen the reflections of a young man in spectacles and an older, white-haired lady in a scarf
In this new take on the King Arthur myth, superstar creative team Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora introduce us to the incredibly badass and surly Bridgette McGuire. A retired monster hunter, Bridgette is quietly living out her days until news of a murder at an archeology dig catches her attention and she breaks out of her retirement home. Her somewhat awkward grandson, Duncan, is called in to help look for her and when he finds her standing over a hidden weapon’s cache and talking about mythical monsters he realizes his grandmother has been keeping more secrets than he could have ever suspected. Now, together, they must prepare for a battle to protect the country from a rising threat.

I loved this comic from the moment Bridgette appeared on the page, threatening her fellow nursing home residents. She’s a dark, slightly disturbed woman, but I really enjoy her twisted sense of humour and the way she unapologetically makes her way through the world. And Mora’s artwork captures the many facets of her personality in striking detail. It’s unclear exactly what the adventure ahead will consist of (other than some mythical creatures), but I’m looking forward to going on this journey with her.

Best BOOM! Covers

Ronin Island Vol 1 Discover Now Edition, Giannis Milonogiannis, Boom Studios, 2019
Ronin Island Vol 1: Discover Now Edition, cover by David Lafuente
Bags (Or A Story Thereof) OGN SC, Whitney Cogar, kaBOOM, July 2019
Bags (Or a Story Thereof), cover by Gavin Fullerton
Steven Universe #30, Rii Abrego, KaBOOM, July 2019
Steven Universe #30, cover by Missy Pena
Christa Seeley

Christa Seeley

Books Editor. Maple Flavoured Darth Vader Fangirl.