Vault Comics Pubwatch: July 2021

Vault pubwatch banner by Nola Pfau

Vault Comics began the month of July with a reminder that Pride doesn’t end with June. Revealing a new logo image that embraces the Progress Pride Flag, the company announced its continued commitment to supporting queer comics and creators. The announcement showcased several titles and the promise to donate 50% of the proceeds of each digital sale of these comics to the Trevor Project going forward.

VAULT COMICS PRESENTS: An Introduction To Queer Comics

In other news, it’s a bit early for the best comics of 2021 lists, but Thrillist is getting ahead of the pack with their list. It includes I Walk With Monsters as one of their favourites of the year so far.

Over at Gatecrashers, Money Shot’s Dr. Ocampo and Dr. Koch are in the spotlight.

Coming Soon

Collecting the series originally published by Image Comics, Vault will be publishing Rockstars: The Complete Series.

“ROCKSTARS is full of murder, magic, and mayhem. Rock fan Jackie Mayer possesses an uncanny, almost unearthly talent: he’s able to connect the legends, secrets, curses, whispers, mysteries, and conspiracies in the music world. He knows musicians hunger for fame and fortune—making them easy marks. When the music-scene murders start happening again, Jackie is ready. He knows the secrets of the past. Or, at least he thinks he does. But the gods of rock are darker than he thought, and the conspiracy he uncovers is more insidious than he could have imagined. Jackie is drawn into the underbelly of the music world—and he’s going to have a devil of a time getting out alive.”

Vault announced their latest comic, Rush, a Western horror series by Si Spurrier (writer), Nathan Gooden (artist), Addison Duke (colourist), Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou (letterer), and Tim Daniel (designer), with variant covers by Martin Simmonds. Says Spurrier, “I’ve been waiting to tell this story for years. At last, a project that lets me fuse together my most persistent preoccupations — myths, the horrors of human desire, and the power of stories — with my hitherto unexplored geekiness for history.

Vampire: The Masquerade fans have a three-part series to look forward to in the fall with World of Darkness: Crimson Thaw, written by Jim Zub, Tim Seeley, Blake Howard, Tini Howard, & Danny Lore, drawn by Julius Ohta, colored by Addison Duke, lettered by Deron Bennett, and designed by Tim Daniel.

Cover of World of Darkness: Crimson Thaw #1

“In World of Darkness: Crimson Thaw, Cecily Bain has become everything she never wanted as The Prince of the Twin Cities. But her rule over a fractured, backbiting vampire court is interrupted by an intruder—something big, hairy, and full of teeth. For over a century, werewolves of the Twin Cities have protected their blessed places from threats both physical and spiritual. When vampires under Cecily’s rule move in on one of these precious sites, it’s a declaration of war, one that Tyrell ‘the Stainless’ Stinar and his ferocious pack will avenge at any cost.”

Firsts and Faves

Here are some highlights from the titles I’ve been keeping my eye on since my last pubwatch:

And necromancer makes three in Barbaric #2, following up on the incredible first issue. Owen and Axe are joined by Soren to up the chemistry and humorous banter as she leads them towards their next good deed quest. This issue reveals the versatility of Axe. He’s not just a bloodthirsty weapon of mass dismemberment, he’s also well-versed in religious history and doubles as a torch in the darkness. And those little Axe-shaped narration boxes are just adorable! Creative lettering is on point in this issue, especially when Owen, Axe, and Soren discover what evil truly lies within the abbey.

Hollow Heart continues to break my heart. In issue #5, El discovers that the one person he trusted has betrayed him. No matter how far he goes, he remains tethered to those in control — but also to Mateo himself. Perhaps this time, he will find a way to break that hold once and for all. The narration comes full circle back to the metaphor of the boy who wanted a bigger tank for his fish, releasing it into the world when he was refused. There is a need to cling to a sense of hope through this story, but a heavier feeling of haunting inevitability.

In Blue Flame #3, it’s been seven months since the shooting that cost most of the Night Brigade their lives. Sam is working on recovery — as in, he’s able to walk with crutches for support, along with medication and alcohol at the local pub where they still call him Blue Flame. These images of pain and suffering as he fights with his sister, sinking deeper into depression, are painfully depicted in the imagery in sharp contrast to the bright, lush, dynamic imagery of the Blue Flame’s cosmic exploration. The juxtaposition work is stunning, but it doesn’t overshadow the sense of dread looming over both versions of the character.

Joss didn’t plan for her acts of rebellion to turn into an all-out war, but here we are, with her people wielding stones and axes and ready to give their lives in a battle against the celestials. With only one more issue of Engineward to go, this one is a nailbiter. The violence of the battle and the breakdown of Gemini’s control plays out beautifully and violently across the pages, with the quiet words laid overtop that speak of the future and the gift that Joss has truly given to her people…

Apparently, urban legends aren’t only common on Earth, but across the galaxy, and one of them might just be making its way here in Money Shot #13. In this issue, the ramifications of Christine and Bree’s off-duty relationship continue to affect the XXX-plorers in various ways. Some amusing, some touching, some frustrating. Hopefully, they’ll get that all sorted out soon so the gang can get back together.

Cover Gallery

Here’s what’s on the Vault shelves since last we pubwatched:

Wendy Browne

Wendy Browne

Publisher, mother, geek, executive assistant sith, gamer, writer, lazy succubus, blogger, bibliophile. Not necessarily in that order.