IDW Pubwatch October 2019

IDW Pubwatch January 2020

Welcome to the October IDW Pubwatch! It’s been a busy month at IDW and I’ve got all the interesting news coming out of the publishing house as well as tons of IDW comic book reviews. Plus, I have a selection of my favourite covers from this month!

News and Announcements

New Limited Series by Joe Hill and Martin Simmonds

Cover for Dying is Easy, IDW - A man looks down with a grim expression, holding a mic
IDW has announced that Locke and Key co-creator Joe Hill will be writing a new limited series about stand-up comedy, called Dying is Easy. The five-issue series will be illustrated by Punks Not Dead artist Martin Simmonds, and is set to be published in December 2019.

The story follows a comedian with a difficult past who steals jokes to survive in the field, but only brings upon himself more trouble than he bargained for.

IDW’s NYCC Schedule Announced

Logo for NYCC 2019, with several IDW covers featured, subtitled: IDW Signings, Panels & Exclusives
If you want to catch the IDW team and creatives at New York Comic Con, now’s your chance. From October 3 onwards, you can meet a host of the publishing house’s favourite creatives, including John Byrne in a rare appearance, Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez, Walter Simonson, Jim Zub, Delilah S. Dawson, and more.

For more details about the signing schedules, exclusive convention comics and merchandise, and IDW panels, visit their website.

Featured Comics

Star Trek: Discovery: Aftermath #1

Kirsten Beyer (writer), Angel Hernandez (colours), Mike Johnson (writer), J. D. Mettler (colours), Tony Shasteen (artist), Neil Uyetake (letters)
4 September, 2019

Star Trek: Discovery: Aftermath #1 Cover. IDW Publishing. September 2019. - Portraits of Star Trek Discovery characters looking on above what looks like a glowing red silhouette in space, with two spaceships flying below
On Qo’Nos, L’Rell is able to quell any dissent among the Klingons about an upcoming peace summit with the Federation. Meanwhile, with no news yet from the Discovery since it went to the future, Spock is taking a break on Vulcan—a break that will have to end soon, because Captain Pike needs Spock at the summit.

As much as I miss the crew of the Discovery, it’s great reading a story about the aftermath of their disappearance. I don’t suppose we will be seeing Spock, Pike, Number One, and L’Rell for a while, since Discovery is all but struck from Starfleet records.

This book captures the intrigue, the pathos, and the relationships that make me love Discovery, and I can’t wait to read more. I do wish the art was a little bit more lifelike—some of the characters are better executed than others. But it’s still rich and decadent and reflects the beauty of the world of Star Trek. Bring on more!

Starcadia Quest #1

David Garcia Cruz (colours), AndWorld Designs (letters), Aurelio Mazzara (artist and colours), Crista Miesner (letters), James Roberts (writer)
September 11, 2019

Starcadia Quest #1 Cover. IDW Publishing. September 2019. - Three kids bike away from a pair of missiles
Starkid is in a pickle—at fifteen, he’s too young to join a freelance adventuring crew, but he is also in severe debt. Fortunately, his best friend Digits manages to hack the system and change his age to sixteen. Now he can start his own crew with Digits and new recruit Nixie O’Fix. That’s if they can get a M.E.D.A.L. that tells them what quests to tackle, and a ship. Can they?

The universe of this book is surprisingly expansive—there’s a great deal of well-thought-out world-building about the rules that govern Starkid and his friends. And I like the way it’s shared with readers: not through needless exposition, but through organic conversation.

But I am confused about the intended audience. The characters are children and the art appeals to a younger demographic, but the politics of the world seem more relevant to adults. Who is meant to read this? I’m not sure, but it is an intriguing story.

I hope we get to learn more about the workings of the world—I’m not as interested in the adventuring part of this story as I am in the politics. We will have to see where future issues take us.

Night Moves

Justin Boyd (writer), VJ Boyd (writer), Chris Burnham (colours), Shawn Depasquale (letters), Clay McCormack (artist), Mike Spicer (colours)
September 11, 2019

Night Moves TPB Cover. IDW Publishing. September 2019. - A man holds up a switchblade with a sign saying Welcome to Las Vegas in the background
Chris Dundee meets a woman at a bar, but she’s no ordinary woman: Alexis Rohm is a cop and a broad-minded one at that. When she comes across a seemingly supernatural case, she doesn’t turn away from it, and Chris ends up joining her. Little do they know that the devil himself may be involved.

This story was interesting enough but some of the pacing felt off. It’s too slow to start with and then picks up the pace suddenly, and so many new elements are added that I had trouble deciphering what was and wasn’t important.

I also didn’t like the art—too many dark outlines and shadows. The distorted faces should have added to the uncanniness of the story but often looked comical.

I wanted to enjoy this book but I couldn’t get into it at all.

Pandemica #1

Jay Fotos (colours), Shawn Lee (letters), Jonathan Maberry (writer), Alex Sanchez (artist)
September 11, 2019

Pandemica #1 Cover. IDW Publishing. September 2019. - A woman crouches, holding a gun, with what looks like a baby in a gasmask strapped to her back
A strain of the deadly disease Chikungunya seems to be targeting particular ethnicities across the world—disproportionately killing large numbers of people of colour. Moses Katz has taken it upon himself to spread the word about his findings, but that has put him in the sights of dangerous people who want him dead.

This was quite an exciting start to a new series. The story develops quickly and the central premise is established within the first pages. I’m intrigued by the plot and hope it continues to build into a solid story.

I do wish the protagonist had been a person of colour. Katz is Jewish, a group who is also targeted by the virus, but he isn’t representative of the victims in the story—he’s a rich man, well-connected, and with no stake in the disease.

He wants to do good just because he can, which is great, but it comes across as a white saviour trope which we don’t need right now.

This is a good story but needs to tweak some elements if it wants to keep my interest.

G.I. Joe #1

Paul Allor (writer), Chris Evenhuis (artist), Brittany Peer (colours), Neil Uyetake (letters)
September 18, 2019

G.I. Joe #1 Cover. IDW Publishing. September 2019. - A figure in a red jacket stands on the street next to a parked red scooter, looking at a Wanted poster
G.I. Joe is at war with Cobra—a war that they are close to losing. With Cobra’s influence spreading faster than ever, G.I. Joe has to get creative if they want to make a difference. Their latest plan is recruiting civilians to join a secret initiative. But are they too late to stop Cobra?

This book is a great start to an exciting new series. I am fascinated by protagonist Rithy, a second-generation Cambodian-American. It’s great to see a person of colour as the hero of a G.I. Joe story. Plus, he’s a queer character, in an action adventure tale! How cool is that?

I absolutely love the art in this book. The characters’ expressions are realistic and relatable. The backgrounds are rich and detailed. Every page is stunning to look at, and I enjoyed reading every bit.

Napoleon Dynamite #1

Carlos Guzman-Verdugo (writer), Christa Miesner (letters), Jorge Monlongo (artist and colours), Alejandro Verdugo (writer)
September 18, 2019

Napoleon Dynamite #1 Cover. IDW Publishing. September 2019. - Close-up of someone wearing a shirt that says Vote For Pedro, with the first two words scribbled out and Impeach written over it

Napoleon Dynamite has no realistic plans for life after school. But there are more pressing problems at hand—his friend Pedro’s position as class president is under threat. Apparently, the votes were miscounted and will need to be checked again. But where even is the ballot box? Napoleon’s legendary tracking skills will be needed to solve this mystery.

I haven’t watched Napoleon Dynamite but I know of its cultural significance. This book is as irreverent as one would expect, but some of the descriptions and illustrations, even within a comedy concept, could be seen as insensitive to minority communities. Otherwise, it was quite amusing and I’m interested in seeing what happens next.

Transformers Galaxies #1

Tyler Bleszinski (writer), Tom B. Long (letters), Livio Ramondelli (artist and colours)
September 25, 2019

Transformers Galaxies #1 Cover. IDW Publishing. September 2019. - An illustration in dark blues and purples of Transformers huddled together at the bottom of a hill
The once-great Cybertron, home of the Transformers as we know them, received a battering during the great war. But it was rebuilt by the Constructicons, who made it grander and more beautiful. Who were the Constructicons and why don’t we know anything about them?

This book is great for die-hard fans of the Transformers universe. There’s a ton of detail about the characters’ pasts and an in-depth study of the Transformers’ home planet.

For the casual reader, however, this book fails to excite—it’s like reading a book from the expanded universe of an existing story you know little about.

As interesting a concept as the Constructicons are, I found myself wondering why I couldn’t read more about the Autobots and Decepticons, who I know more about. I can’t see myself reading more of this series.

Best Covers

Starcadia Quest #1 Cover RI. IDW Publishing. September 2019.
Starcadia Quest #1 Cover RI
The Quest of Ewilan, Vol. 2 - Akiro. IDW Publishing. September 2019.
The Quest of Ewilan Vol. 2 – Akiro
Samurai Jack - Lost Worlds #4. IDW Publishing. September 2019.
Samurai Jack – Lost Worlds #4
Star Wars Adventures #25. IDW Publishing. September 2019.
Star Wars Adventures #25
Marvel Action Spider-Man #8-Fico Ossio
Marvel Action Spider-Man #8

Honourable Mentions

Burmese Moons

The October Faction: Open Season

Thanks for joining me on this IDW Pubwatch!

Louis Skye

Louis Skye

A writer at heart with a fondness for well-told stories, Louis Skye is always looking for a way to escape the planet, whether through comic books, films, television, books, or video games. E always has an eye out for the subversive and champions diversity in media. Louis' podcast, Stereo Geeks, is available on all major platforms. Pronouns: E/ Er/ Eir