If you’re a Goodreads user who happens to also like Brandon Sanderson’s Dark One, then you should get in on round one of the 2021 Goodreads Choice Awards in the graphic novel category.
If you follow Vault on Twitter, you’ll see the usual solicits and review and interview shares, but you’ll also catch some gems from Vault’s creators, like this one featuring a bit of behind the scenes for Witchblood:
— Lisa Sterle (@lisa_sterle) November 20, 2021
And this one featuring the return of everyone’s favourite poorly named barbarian and his bloodthirsty axe, Axe:
Good morning– pic.twitter.com/t7Jg1rScdP
— Michael Moreci (@MichaelMoreci) November 23, 2021
And Dearblah Kelly showing off some color inspiration for the cover of Human Remains #3.
a cover and its colour inspiration 👾🦈
pick up Human Remains #3 this week! pic.twitter.com/MGQR08BctK
— ✨🌗 dearbhla 🌒✨ (@dearbhlala) November 26, 2021
Speaking of interviews, Gatecrashers is back. This time they are chatting with Olivia Kade, author of the apocalypse-inspiring novel, Satyr.
Lesbian Viking fans rejoice! Natasha Alterici’s Heathen is returning in single-issue format in February 2022, marking Vault’s 5th anniversary and the launch of their new Vault Reserve, “a line of definitive collector’s edition reprint publications featuring new and rare covers, exclusive back matter, and a deluxe, top-of-the-line presentation.”
If you’re looking out for John Tsuei and Stacey Lee’s Fox and Hare #1, you’re going to have to wait a bit longer. The series has been delayed to February 2022 thanks to pandemic-related issues.
Firsts and Faves
There are monsters outside that obliterate anyone who expresses too much emotion, but the abuser that has Jess trapped is far worse. In Human Remains #3, she does what so many on the outside of an abusive relationship think ought to be the easiest thing to do, but absolutely isn’t: she leaves. This issue focuses on several other women who are all trying to escape their current, painful situations, and a scientist trying to find answers in a town that has somehow avoided the monsters.
In the world after space rocks hit the planet, the lone radio station in Bakerstown keeps sending its waves into the world. For those who wander, it is a beacon, drawing them in from the dark and the jaws of the xinos, monstrous mutations that hunt in the night. It’s a bleak world that Ram V and Anand RK paint in Radio Apocalypse #1, beginning this issue with the immediate understanding that its characters are suffering as they try hard to survive — perhaps best not to get too attached. Side note: This reminds me of Zombies, Run. I know just how much that voice in the dark meant to me on a morning jog…
Although Wasted Space hasn’t been on my reading list, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention its 25th and final issue as the series says a touching farewell. Comic Watch has a fitting review.
Vault’s releases are fairly consistent each month, but if you’re the type (like me) that can’t manage single issues for whatever reason, then their trade collections are always ready to go as soon as the story arcs are complete. This past month sees two collections out: Resonant Volume 2 and Barbaric Volume 1.
Resonant Volume 2
Resonant has been one of the highlights of my monthly dive into Vault’s shelves. It’s got the post-apocalyptic standards of a grand, *uncontrollable threat combined with humans being human, but the heart and soul lie in its main characters, Pax and his three children. Volume two picks up with Pax venturing far from the children in order to find medicine for his youngest, only to stumble into the hands of a group that doesn’t want to let him go. The children aren’t just window dressing to Pax’s story. Here, we see them doing serious work to survive, even if some of their decisions aren’t always the best.
Barbaric Volume 1
Owen isn’t your typical barbarian — or, well, he is. He’s into violence and debauchery and has no interest in heroism, until a curse forces the latter into his life, along with Axe, who is an axe. The first volume of Barbaric moves swiftly, also bringing in Soren, a necromancer who is feared for her abilities, but makes for a helpful companion, especially since she too can communicate with Axe and doesn’t think Owen is crazy for doing so. Volume one’s pithiness gives us both Owen and Soren’s backstories, delivered with stunning visuals and hilarious snark, setting up future adventures that will surely demand just as much attention. You can read my review of the first issue here.