AfterShock Pubwatch May 2020

Aftershock Pubwatch Banner - image from Trust Fall #1 (Aftershock Comics)

Welcome back to Women Write About Comics’s AfterShock Comics Pubwatch! Times are uncertain and have been changing quickly the past few months, and this column has shifted to accommodate the changing norms of life during Coronavirus. AfterShock hasn’t released any new comics this month, following Diamond Distributors’ shipping embargo on print comics, but that doesn’t mean that it’s been a quiet month for the publisher! AfterShock has been hard at work announcing new series we can expect to see coming in the days after Coronavirus, and keeping fans updated on what we can expect from the future.

News

Last month, AfterShock announced that all new comic releases had been delayed up to four weeks, but that delay will persist a little longer. As we all adjust to the reality of Coronavirus, AfterShock fans will have to remain patient a little longer. Thankfully, that patience will not have to last forever, and currently AfterShock is planning on having new comics back on the stands starting on May 20th, with Disaster Inc. #1. 

Not all planned releases will be without delays, however, as is to be expected. The highly anticipated new OGN Kill a Man from writers Steve Orlando & Phillip K. Johnson and art by Alec Johnson has been delayed until October. Stay tuned for further schedule adjustments, as AfterShock, creators, and comic distributors continue to adapt and respond to the ongoing pandemic and the way it impacts the comics industry.

In April, AfterShock Comics turned 5!

As the comic industry’s fastest-growing independent publishing company celebrates five years in business, AfterShock Comics announces all projects and partnerships will continue full speed ahead as the company reaffirms its commitment to holding back digital editions of its soon-to-debut comics until they are released in print.

With sights set on an eventual lift of the shipping embargo on new publications to comic shops, AfterShock continues to take pitches, hire creators and produce new titles, with specific project announcements coming over the following weeks.

“While we understand the economic hardships that the coronavirus crisis has brought to all facets of the comics community – retailers, consumers, creators and distributors – we’re thankful that we’ve been able to remain ‘open for business’ on all fronts,” said EIC Mike Marts. “The award-winning creators that we work with are knee deep in the various stages of their current AfterShock projects, and we look forward to sharing their new creations with the world over the coming months.”

“Since day one, comic retailers have been critical partners in the success of AfterShock,” said Steve Rotterdam, SVP Sales and Marketing. “During this window of uncertainty, we continue to support their efforts to meet customer needs for comics that may be new to them via mail order and other delivery approaches that remain possible in their communities.”

In light of current circumstances, members of the AfterShock Army retail ambassador team are maintaining regular contact with comic shops, as are all members of AfterShock’s marketing and leadership teams. Ambassador recruitment efforts will also move forward to ensure expanded coverage throughout as much of the United States and Canada as possible when restrictions loosen.

AfterShock has also ramped up digital features on its own website and social platforms, providing free access to the beginnings of some of AfterShock’s most popular series and undiscovered gems. The publisher’s Page-A-Day feature has been up and running since the beginning of April, providing daily content linked to first issues of popular AfterShock series including Rough Riders, Animosity, Dark Ark, and The Lost City Explorers.

AfterShock’s newly launched Free-for-All program also provides both long-standing and relatively new fans with full digital versions of significant first issues from the AfterShock archives, directing them to connect with local comic shops to get their hands on collected editions. Plus, sneak peeks at pages from upcoming, but delayed series debuts and follow-up issues are featured regularly on AfterShock’s Instagram, and work-in-progress creative can be viewed through Twitter and Facebook.

To further support retailer partners in this time of need, AfterShock will donate a percentage of sales through its web store to support The Binc Foundation, which provides crucial assistance to comic retailers.

Coming Soon

Even as the releases of new comics have paused, AfterShock has kept busy announcing new books to look forward to! AfterShock maintains its commitment to supporting retailers and customers by only soliciting new series which have already completed the first two issues of the book are completed and scripted the third. Even as the release schedule for the entire industry shifts, books that AfterShock solicits will come with the promise that future issues are already in progress. In the past month, AfterShock has announced three new releases, all of which you can learn more about below.

The Kaiju Score

Writer: James Patrick
Artist and Colorist: Rem Broo
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Cover: Rem Broo

A man, depicted in two-tone orange and white, smokes a cigarette on Rem Broo's cover for The Kaiju Score #1.
Rem Broo’s cover to The Kaiju Score #1 (AfterShock Comics, November 2020).

It’s the most dangerous heist ever attempted. Four desperate criminals are going all-in on a once-in-a-lifetime chance to steal millions in art and turn their miserable lives around. The catch? They have to pull it off under the nose of a one thousand-ton kaiju. And a giant monster might just be the least of their problems.

Brought to you by James Patrick (Grimm Fairy Tales, Death Comes to Dillinger, The Monsters of Jimmy Crumb) and Rem Broo (The End Times of Bram and Ben, Terminal Protocol) The Kaiju Score is what happens when a Quentin Tarantino film takes place smack in the middle of a Godzilla movie.

On sale 11.25.2020.

A kaiju menaces a city in this preview page from The Kaiju Score, upcoming from AfterShock Comics.
An interior page of a monstrous kaiju from artist Rem Broo, for AfterShock’s upcoming series The Kaiju Score (AfterShock Comics, November 2020).

Miles to Go

Writer: B. Clay Moore
Artist and Colorist: Stephen Molnar
Letterer: Thomas Mauer
Cover: Stephen Molnar
Incentive Cover: Francesco Francavilla

Someone sits on a pink bed with their feet crossed at the ankles, on Stephen Molnar's cover to Miles to Go #1.
Stephen Molnar’s cover to Miles to Go #1 (AfterShock Comics, September 2020).

Amara Bishop is a newly single mother with a long-buried past. Raised by an alcoholic father in a rundown trailer, Amara was a child when she learned to kill. And she hasn’t killed anyone since she was thirteen. When her aging mentor is murdered, and her daughter is threatened, that will soon change…

On sale 9.9.2020.

A woman interacts with her daughter in striking, dark tones in art by Stephen Molnar in a review page for AfterShock Comics' upcoming Miles To Go #1.
Art by Stephen Molnar in a review page from the upcoming Miles to Go #1 (AfterShock Comics, September 2020).

We Live

Writers: Roy Miranda & Inaki Miranda
Artist: Inaki Miranda
Colorist: Eva de la Cruz
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Cover: Inaki Miranda

Two children journey in a fantastical world of overgrown plants and overrun machinery in Inaki Miranda's cover to We Live #1.
Inaki Miranda’s cover to We Live #1 (AfterShock Comics, October 2020).

The year is 2084 and the world has changed. Wracked by calamities and crawling with monsters, the last remaining members of the human race face a dangerous existence.

And now Earth has been sent a message from the deepest reaches of space: A dark countdown to the extinction of all humanity. But there is hope – five thousand children will be rescued on extinction day by these mysterious message-senders.

This is the journey of little Hototo, one of the lucky five thousand children who will be taken from Earth to live a better life in the stars – but only if his teenage sister, Tala, can safely deliver him to the nearest Beacon before time runs out.

We Live is a world of violence and beauty, a unique tale of the apocalypse as told by the Miranda Brothers, that invites both dread and hope.

On sale 10.14.2020.

Character designs for the young hero of We Live, Hototo.
Inaki Miranda’s character designs for protagonist Hototo in AfterShock Comics’ upcoming series We Live (AfterShock Comics, October 2020).

Maniac of New York

Writer: Elliott Kalan
Artist & Colorist: Andrea Mutti
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Cover: Andrea Mutti

A bloody knife is brandished by a maniac in the streets of New York in Andrea Mutti's cover to Maniac of New York #1, due out from AfterShock Comics in February 2021.
Andrea Mutti’s cover to Maniac of New York #1 (AfterShock Comics, Feb 2021).

Four years ago, a masked slasher began stalking the streets of New York City. Maniac Harry is inhuman, unkillable and unstoppable. Which is why the authorities’ solution has been to ignore him, and let New Yorkers adapt to a world where death can strike at any moment. When Maniac Harry starts killing his way through the subway system, trauma-haunted political aide Gina Greene and disgraced NYPD detective Zelda Pettibone become determined to go rogue and destroy him. But how can they fight a monster when they can’t fight City Hall?

From writer Elliott Kalan (The Daily Show, MST3K, Spider-Man & The X-Men) and artist Andrea Mutti (Port of Earth, Hellblazer) comes the horrifying story of what happens when terror becomes the new normal. A frightening, thought-provoking, sometimes funny, always timely tale of murder, obsession, and urban living.

On sale February of 2021.

Chaos erupts in New York City on New Years Eve as a killer haunts the streets in this preview page from Maniac of New York #1, due from AfterShock Comics in February 2020.
Interior art by Andrea Mutti in a preview page for Maniac of New York #1 (AfterShock, Feb 2021).
Emma Snape

Emma Snape

Emma is an Ohio native who has worked in film production and education, and writes about comics on the side. She loves thinking about the role of visuals in narrative storytelling, both in film and comics, reading comics set in cities she's lived in, and telling people to read X-Force (1991).
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