IDW Pubwatch August 2020

IDW Pubwatch January 2020

Welcome to the IDW Pubwatch. The world is still mostly on lockdown but here’s something to distract you: a few exciting comics that will occupy your mind, at least for a little while. I’ve also got the latest news coming out of IDW, along with comic book reviews—including Snake Eyes: Dead Games #1—and a selection of my favourite covers from the month. Stay inside and be safe, readers.

News and Announcements

IDW Announces Changes in Management

IDW announced that Jerry Bennington will be taking Chris Ryall’s role as President of the publishing house. Ryall recently departed the combined roles of President, Publisher, and Chief Creative Officer at the company. Joining Bennington will be Rebekah Cahalin as General Manager and EVP of Operations. Jud Meyers, who was set to take over as the company’s new Publisher was placed on administrative leave shortly after, but as of press time for this Pubwatch, no reason has yet been given.

IDW Publishing Wins 3 Eisner Awards


WWAC weren’t the only ones to take home a shiny Eisner in 2020. IDW Publishing won Best Reality-Based Work for George Takei’s They Called Us Enemy, as well as Best Letterer and Best Archival Collection/Project — Comic Books for Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo: Grasscutter Artist Select.

SDCC Comic Con@Home Round-Up

A new Locke & Key mini-series, In Pale Battalions Go, is in the works, as is the Locke & Key/ Sandman crossover. Fans can also expect to see more Transformers comics aimed at readers who aren’t familiar with the universe and which will appeal to readers of various ages. Star Trek fans of IDW comics will have another new series to look forward to—a Voyager series about Seven of Nine is coming soon.

IDW Announces Halloween-Themed Comics

NEWS-Marvel Action-Chillers. IDW PublishingPrepare for a spooky Halloween 2020 with IDW’s new Marvel Action: Chillers bi-weekly mini-series, featuring Doctor Strange and Ironheart, and a host of other Marvel favourites. Written by Jeremy Whitley, the stories will include art by Ahmara Smith, Bowen McCurdy, Gretel Lusky, Bill Underwood, and Sweeney Boo.

IDW will also be publishing another scary series, Scarenthood, written and drawn by Nick Roche, with colours by Chris O’Halloran. The four-issue series will follow a group of parents fighting an ancient evil intent on harvesting souls.

Both series will be available from October 2020.

Transformers/ Back to the Future Crossover Coming Soon

NEWS-Transformers-Back to the Future. IDW PublishingEver wondered what Doc Brown and Marty McFly’s DeLorean would be like if it was sentient? Wonder no more! IDW is bringing fans a Transformers/Back to the Future crossover series this October. The four-issue series will be written by Cavan Scott, with art by Juan Samu, and is set shortly after the events of the film trilogy.

Featured Comics

Speed Bump: A 25th Anniversary Collection

Dave Coverly (Writer and Artist)
July 1, 2020

SpeedBump. IDW PublishingA humorous and often poignant collection of cartoons by Coverly. Some of them did require an extra-long look to understand, but for the most part, the cartoons were self-explanatory. I liked how relevant they were, even his earlier works. An enjoyable read.

Sonic Annual

Abigail Bulmer (Artist), Bacardi Curry (Artist and Colours), Gigi Dutreix (Writer and Artist), Ian Flynn (Writer), Reggie Graham (Artist and Colours), Sarah Graley (Story), Jonathan Gray (Artist), Caleb Goellner (Writer), Aaron Hammerstrom (Artist), Shawn Lee (Letters), Sam King (Writer), Jamal Peppers (Artist), Evan Stanley (Writer and Artist), Priscilla Tramontano (Colours), Lamar Wells (Artist)
July 8, 2020

SonicAnnual2020_cvrA. IDW PublishingI’m not exactly well-versed on Sonic-lore so some of the stories in this collection were hard to follow. For the most part, I could understand the world and the characters, and I quite enjoyed the world-building I encountered.

However, some of the stories felt like they ended too abruptly. I really thought they should have at least been issue-length plots or deserved some kind of sequel to complete the story arc.

The art styles were good, and despite the number of creatives involved, looked like a cohesive whole.

Snake Eyes: Dead Games #1

Federico Blee (Colours), Chad Bowers (Writer), Adelso Corona (Artist), Andworld Design (Letters), Rob Liefeld (Writer and Artist)
July 22, 2020

SnakeEyes_DG01-coverA. IDW PublishingSnake Eyes goes up against his toughest opponent yet: an immortal ninja with friends in high places. Alongside the rest of the GI Joes, Snake Eyes realises that this new foe is too dangerous to be left alone—especially if he gets his hands on a deadly weapon.

I haven’t encountered the GI Joes much since I was a child, but I didn’t feel at a loss with the story or characters. I did think too many pages were devoted to the fight scene—there really wasn’t much plot as a result. This story will work better as a trade.

The art was great—a bit old school in design but with modern enough aesthetics to hold the eye. Beautiful.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine #1

Greg Scott (Artist), Felipe Sobreiro (Colours), David Tipton (Writer), Scott Tipton (Writer), Neil Uyetake (Letters)
July 22, 2020

ST_DS9-TLAS01-coverRIA. IDW PublishingAn explosion in a restaurant on Deep Space Nine sends the entire station into a tizzy—anyone and everyone could be a suspect during the Dominion War. But one name keeps getting thrown around during Odo’s investigation—Quark. Could he really be the culprit?

What a great start to what is going to be an exciting mini-series! David and Scott Tipton have done a few Star Trek books for IDW and I love how they capture the voices of the characters—I can practically hear them as I read the dialogue.

The pacing is excellent and there are enough clues thrown in to make the reader eager to turn the page. I can’t wait to read more!

Transformers ’84: Secrets and Lies #1

John-Paul Bove (Colours), Simon Furman (Writer), Guido Guidi (Artist), Jake M Wood (Letters)
July 22, 2020

TF84_01_CVR-A. IDW PublishingA spy among the Decepticons must pave the way for an Autobot victory in this endless war between the Transformers factions. But it isn’t easy going undercover—can the spy stay ahead of the game or will they be caught?

The few Transformers books I have read so far have been interesting, but this was just way too wordy for my liking. I understand it’s following a story from 1984 but does it need to be written in a similar style? I wish it had been modernised.

On the other hand, the 80s art style was quite lovely to look at. More of that art, less of that era’s writing style.

The Grot TPB

Pat Grant (Writer and Artist), Fionn McCabe (Colours)
July 22, 2020

theGrotTPB01-hi 1. IDW PublishingA family goes prospecting for gold in a swamp and find themselves in a tussle for power within and without.

I liked the concept of the story but there were too many elements of it that are not for me. There were several gross moments that play well with the satire angle the creators were going for but which I dislike intensely. I’m also not a huge fan of the art style—though, again, it does work for the nature of the story.

Canto and the Clockwork Fairies

Vittorio Astone (Colours), Deron Bennett (Letters), David M Booher (Writer), Drew Zucker (Artist)
July 22, 2020

Canto-CWF_cvrRI-B. IDW PublishingAn evil witch clips the wings of an entire race of fairies. It is up to Canto to free them and stop the witch from hurting anyone else.

I hadn’t taken to the first issue of Canto, but this book was much more engaging. I liked the pacing and the art—the story felt more coherent, and the characters were believable. I might give the next few issues a shot now.

GI Joe: A Real American Hero

Jeremy Dale (Artist), Larry Hama (Writer and Artist), Steve Leialoha (Artist), George Roussos (Colours), Neil Uyetake (Design)
July 22, 2020

GI Joe: A Real American Hero. IDW PublishingThis is an interesting reading experience…except for the fact that there is no reading here. This collection of two silent issues includes no dialogue at all. But the art is enough to propel the story forward and keep the reader engaged. I really enjoyed this.

TMNT Annual

Michael Garland (Colours), Adam Gorham (Artist), Shawn Lee (Letters), John Rauch (Colours), Tom Waltz (Writer)
July 29, 2020

TMNT-Annual2020_cvrRI. IDW PublishingThis is a different, darker take on the world of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Shredder is a softie; there are more mutants than just the turtles; Splinter is dead (cry!); and the Rat King has a devious plan to take over the city.

I loved the different takes on the characters and the art, which embodied that old-school style we associate with the 80s. I enjoyed this and hope to read some more.

Best Covers

Honourable Mentions

Johnny Dynamite

Marvel: Vault of Heroes: Captain America

Thanks for joining me on this 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