Comic readers are invited to hop on a tardigrade, with Star Pig.

Space Pig

When you’re careening towards a frosty death among the stars, hitch a ride with a spacefaring tardigrade! At least, that’s how rebellious teenager Vess does it in Star Pig!

And that is the opening premise for IDW publishing’s recently announced Space Pig, a new sci-fi adventure series, from New York Times bestseller Delilah S. Dawson. Illustrated by Francesco Gaston, coming for release in July.

Like many late-21st-century teens, geeky 16-year-old Vess gets packed off to spend her summer at Space Camp — which is literally in space. Tragically, a shuttle accident sends her and the rest of the passengers careening into the vacuum. But when a gigantic, space-faring water bear miraculously rescues Vess and her beloved retro Discman, it’s the beginning of an extraordinary friendship and an incredible journey, all set to the tunes of Vess’s 1990s-heavy playlist.

Star Pig is the story of a lost girl and a giant space tardigrade, just trying to get back home. No, Star Pig is actually a love song to nostalgia and growing up, to the bone-deep knowledge that you can never go back to the way things were. NO! Star Pig is really about what happens when the rest of the universe is as obsessed with American Earth culture as we are, and the first human to make contact with aliens finds that they’re cloning Laika, collecting pogs, jamming out to Weezer, and using words like tubular,” says Dawson. “It’s a mish-mash of the ‘80s, ‘90s, and ‘00s through the lens of a teen girl who never really felt at home in her own time – but who might yet find her place among the stars.”

“When I started working with Delilah a couple years ago, her storytelling talent and work ethic were evident immediately. Soon we were discussing what she might like to create from scratch, and thus a Star Pig was born,” says Group Editor Denton J. Tipton. “The story is a retro-chic road trip through pop culture, but it’s also packed with new ideas and universal themes that resonate. Plus, giant tardigrade!”

The debut issue of Star Pig will be available with covers by Sara Richard (My Little Pony) and Francesco Gaston (Hulk), with subsequent issue covers featuring the talents of Paulina Ganucheau (Zodiac Starforce), Nicoletta Baldari (Star Wars: Forces of Destiny), and Sara Alfageeh (Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy).

Look for Star Pig #1 on new comic racks and popular digital apps, this July. In the meantime, here is four-page art preview (huge thanks to IDW publishing).

 

 

.

 

 

IDW presents a new reimagining of The Island of Dr. Moreau, this summer

The Island of Dr. Moreau Cover

A recent news release from IDW revealed an all-new comics interpretation of H.G. Wells’ classic science fiction novel, The Island of Dr. Moreau.  On board will be writer/co-creator Ted Adams (Diablo House) and artist/co-creator Gabriel Rodríguez (Locke and Key) to present this revisioning of H.G. Wells’ classic science fiction novel, with coloring by Nelson Dániel and lettering by Robbie Robbins.

Remaining faithful to Wells’ plot, dialogue, and Victorian-era setting, Adams and Rodríguez replaced Edward Prendick – the original witness protagonist – with a new creation, Ellen Prendick. Her inclusion allowed the creative team to explore a new version of one of the world’s favorite stories through the eyes of a more active character with a different and refreshing point of view on the cursed island’s horrific events.

See artwork preview below!

“Wells’ novel is as relevant today as when he wrote it in 1896,” says Adams. “It addresses the subject of the thin line that separates men from beasts and the question that all scientists should ask themselves: ‘Just because we can do something, does that mean we should?’”

“To provide a vivid, immersive experience for the reader, we set the narrative of Dr. Moreau entirely in double-page spreads, a format that builds a rich world for the characters and presents the mystery and terror in a thrilling and concise way,” says Rodríguez. “We also push the boundaries of the Beast Folk’s design to a point where familiar animal shapes, imbued with traces of human expression, feel genuinely disturbing. It’s been an exciting challenge to capture the fundamental wonder and horror of the novel.”

The Island of Dr. Moreau will debut for print in comic stores this July, and on popular digital comics apps everywhere. For more info, visit IDW at idwpublishing.com.

The Island of Dr. Moreau preview 1

The Island of Dr. Moreau preview 2

The Island of Dr. Moreau preview 1 3

 

New comic series Thumbs, unleashes its darker tech vision in June

unnamed (57)

Image Comics will release Thumbs, a new technology thriller maxi-series by award-winning playwright/comics writer Sean Lewis (Coyotes, Saints) and also award-winning artist Hayden Sherman (The Few), this coming June. This new series aims to be a rapid-paced, science-fiction five issues—each issue a total of 40 pages

Imagine someone like, say, Mark Zuckerberg created his own army of tech-obsessed teens and directed them to take on the government. What would the fall-out be? Thumbs explores a high-stakes world where that—and much worse—can unfold. Charley “Thumbs” Fellows is a member of just such an army. Poor and raised by the influential MOM™ app, he finds himself in the center of a war.

“I was watching a kid play with his phone and how anxious he was waiting for a message back from a friend and it made me think about how anxious all the people I know are,” said Lewis. “I started thinking about the internet and our obsession and reliance on it and the realities of who controls the flow and embedding of information. Was our anxiety planted? Has tech become such an obsession for us that we’d go to war to keep it? Just watching that kid and all the emotions that three dots on a screen were creating made me wonder—do we actually control the tech, even at its smallest levels?”

Sherman added: “Thumbs is as much a story about technology as it is about loss, time, and learning your place in the world. With the great range of themes and locales that play into these five issues, I’ve taken the chance to expand and really push myself with how a story can be told. The hope is for it to be between storybook and comic book, where it could be either at any given moment.”

Thumbs #1 will arrive on new comic books shelves and attention swallowing digital devices on Wednesday, June 5.

New Comic Series Preview: Ascender #1

Descender (Cover)

Ascender, a new comic book series is coming this April, by the Eisner-award winning team of Jeff Lemire (Gideon Falls, Sweet Tooth, The Underwater Welder, Black Hammer) and artist Dustin Nguyen (Batman: Little Gotham, Descender). This will a new adventure of fantasy and science fiction set connected to the previous Descender series, but provide as a fresh jumping on point for new readers.

Set ten years after the conclusion of Descender, in Ascender the machines have gone away, and in their absence magic has reclaimed the universe. Now one girl must embark on an epic quest to find robotkind and its fabled boy messiah, TIM-21, before it’s too late…

“Dustin and I love the world of Descender and we’re re-energized by this new direction, which has opened all sorts of new storytelling possibilities for us,” said Lemire. “Ascender will feel like a continuation of the Descender saga and like a brand new book all in one.”

Nguyen added: “Plus, it’ll be fantastic to switch from drawing machines and metal all day, to all flesh and fantasy for a while!”

Ascender #1 will be available in comic shops, and popular digital comic apps on Wednesday, April 24.

Here is a 4-page preview…

Huge thanks to Image Comics for providing the preview pages. For more Image Comics info, visit imagecomics.com. 

Comics Reading Recs: Steller, Volume 1

stellar

Stellar, Volume 1

Writer: Joseph Keatinge
Artist: Bret Blevins
Letterer: Rus Wooten
Published by: Image Comics, SkyBound Ent.
Published Release Date: January 16, 2019 Pages: 123
Notes: Created by Robert Kirkman, Marc Silvestri. Monthly ongoing series. This volume collects the first six issues

Synopsis:

“Stellar was taken as a child and transformed into the ultimate weapon, one that would end an intergalactic war. She succeeded… at everything except finding peace. Reduced to working as a bounty hunter, she scours the worlds she’s broken, searching for redemption. But there are other weapons loose in the galaxy, and some just can’t leave the war behind them. JOSEPH KEATINGE (SHUTTER) and legendary artist BRET BLEVINS (New Mutants, Sleepwalker) will transport you to another dimension, filled with crashed spaceships, fast-talking aliens, and ageless wonders. Collects STELLAR #1-6”

Personal Thoughts (with spoilers):

Stellar is a mix of old school Heavy Metal magazine classic style, gritty spaghetti western feels, and unhinged fight opera.

The artwork here is a beautiful thing, mixed with gorgeous imaginary settings, weird creatures, far-out space-tech that enough to understand, but gives off grander aesthetics to appreciate. Just look at it!

stellar 3

The story of Stellar is not simple or spoon fed to the reader. It’s a heroine’s journey not only in a straight circle but in a twisted cord, where the reader needs to go through and unravel until the linear path is revealed. It’s not a bad thing, as much of it is solid action, some violent gore, and badass posturing.

Meaning, you can really enjoy Stellar for that it is; a good old-fashioned mix of pulp and fantasy set in something that is less science than fiction.

The character of Stellar reminds a bit of the classic early Marvel Silver Surfer tales by Stan Lee with Jack Kirby, and John Romita, Sr. Stellar starts out simple, but harsh circumstances bring her to a journey of many stages leading to a present-day solitary survivalist life until the past comes back. Then come new conflict and challenges, which is very epic at times. She may make a friend or two as well…

stellar 2

Eventually, a grander tale is revealed with a conflict that becomes very personal. It’s awesome, but not for everyone. There are revelations and flashbacks, coming back to a violent confrontation for Stellar to move on. This becomes a guilty pleasure for those wanting their comic book reading to be primal and full of escapism. Stellar gives plenty of that.

So, I really enjoyed Stellar for being something different, but not overly highbrow or pretentious. One can enjoy it for what it is if they love old spaghetti westerns and wrestling smackdown melodramas. The art with awesome colors makes it all better.

However, some of that action results in some gory, violent results. If thrilled by that, then dig in for a good helping. It’s not constant, but such moments can be special.

So, if looking for science fiction that feels more adventurous and action-packed, with a great visual style, do pick up Stellar.

 

Christopher Cantwell’s She Could Fly sequel, “The Lost Pilot” is coming soon

she could fly

Dark Horse Publishing, with its Berger Books imprint, recently announced She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot, the sequel to the acclaimed comic series She Could Fly, by Christopher Cantwell, and artist Martín Morazzo’s (Ice Cream Man, Elektra).

Cantwell and Morazzo will carry on She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot, joined by colorist Miroslav Mrva (Ghosted) and letterer Clem Robins (Abe Sapien).

In She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot, Luna has crash-landed back into her life after spending a year in a mental institution… but that might just mean she’s closer to the edge than she’s ever been before. After discovering clues about the Flying Woman’s missing family, Luna’s obsession reignites, threatening to unravel her fragile mind again. Meanwhile, a mysterious guru appears in the sewers of Chicago, a Russian mercenary seeks old secret technology, and the specter of violence begins to loom over everyone once more. Luna starts to wonder… will she even survive long enough to go insane?

She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot #1 goes on sale April 10, 2019, and is available for pre-order at your local comic shop. On March 13, 2019, fans can purchase the deluxe trade paperback of the first miniseries, She Could Fly.

Star Trek: Warp Five beams to the comic stores, this April

unnamed (5)

Recent news released for fans of the classic original Star Trek, and sci-fi in perhaps its best form…

Star Trek: Year Five, a monthly comic book series is setting warp speed to stores, this coming April and published by IDW.

On board for writing will be an exceptional crew, including Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, and artist Stephen Thompson for its opening story arc, and – painting Star Trek for the first time in all his 60 years of professional illustration – Greg Hildebrandt as cover artist for the debut issue.

In Star Trek: Year Five, the crew of the Enterprise have traveled to strange new worlds, defeated impossible foes, and made universe-changing decisions. But with the end in sight, they’ll have to face their biggest challenge yet. Step aboard the Enterprise with Kirk, Spock, Bones, and Uhura on a voyage towards an uncertain future!

“Year Five will be a vital, hard-hitting, character-focused look at Captain Kirk on his last year in command,” said Jackson Lanzing in a recent press release. “His actions will have huge ripple effects, from the outbreak of war in the Alpha Quadrant to an unprecedented strain of trust with Spock. We’ll turn a mirror on our modern society, just as Trek did in the 1960s, and go boldly towards meaningful, heartfelt stories.”

IDW’s continuing Star Trek: Year Five series, under license by CBS Consumer Products, will be nurtured by a collaborative writer’s room (including Brandon Easton, Jody Houser, Jim McCann, and the aforementioned Lanzing and Kelly), working together to craft the overall journey while swapping writing chores specific to each story arc.

Lanzing explains, “We’ll tell an ongoing narrative with a beginning, a game-changing middle, and a definite end… and do so with some of the best writers in comics contributing their unique, diverse voices and ideas.”

“The opportunity to be a part of this monumental legacy is an unbelievable trust. With Year Five, we don’t just want to thrill – we want to channel the power of Roddenberry’s original vision, to tell a story about the future that illuminates our present,” says Collin Kelly in the press release, “It’s time for the Enterprise to come home… but first, they’ll have to face an enemy that’s been waiting in the shadows since 1968.”

“I have been a fan of Star Trek right from the beginning in 1966,” said Greg Hildebrandt. “I admired the social, moral, and political statements that were obvious in Gene Roddenberry’s plot lines. I feel that the original was and is one of the best shows ever on TV, and clearly the inspiration for all the Space Operas that have followed. It was an honor to paint this cover art of the original cast. Having never painted Trek before, it was a kick for me at 80 years old.”

Star Trek: Year Five beam into the comic stores, this April.

Man-Eaters, Vol. 1 coming soon, special edition for Independent Bookstore Day

unnamed (7)

Eisner-nominated and New York Times bestselling thriller writer Chelsea Cain, artist Kate Niemczyk, colorist Rachelle Rosenberg, and letterer Joe Caramagna unite with Lia Miternique and Stella Greenvoss to launch Man-Eaters, Volume 1, a new feminist-oriented sci-fi series. This first volume will cover the monthly single issues #1-4 of the new series, in trade paperback form this late winter.

And for Independent Bookstore Day, an exclusive, signed edition of Man-Eaters, Volume 1 will be available on Saturday, April 27.

In Man-Eaters, readers are introduced to a world where a mutation in Toxoplasmosis causes menstruating women to turn into ferocious killer wildcats—easily provoked and extremely dangerous. As panic spreads and paranoia takes root, the fate of the world rides on the shoulders of one 12-year-old girl. Part Cat People, part Naomi Alderman’s The Power, Man-Eaters has an all pro-feline agenda.

Bookstores interested in submitting Independent Bookstore Day orders must do so by Friday, February 1, 2019. For that and more on this event participation, visit www.indiebookstoreday.com.

Man-Eaters, Volume 1 hits comic book stores on Wednesday, Feb 27 and bookstores on Tuesday, March 5.

 

Short Film Find: Untogethered by Ryan Chatfield

Untogethered

  • Director, Writer: Ryan Chatfield
  • Producer: Amy Rockman
  • Published: Jan 17, 2019 via the DUST Youtube channel

Synopsis: “A hacker named Quinn infiltrates a cult, who are slowly killing off its members, in order to save her estranged sister, Harper. Untogethered is a sci-fi/action/drama about a hacker named Quinn who seeks to rescue her terminally ill sister, Harper, who is deeply involved cult named Sacred Paradise, who claim to grant their who claim to grant their members access to the mythical paradise called Evila. Quinn infiltrates the cult and ventures into a virtual reality world to find her sister. With difficulty, Quinn convinces Harper to follow her as they traverse the fantasy world while being chased down by virtual security and the cult leader, Mother, in order to find their way back to reality.”

Personal Thoughts:

I love little stories of the extent of total immersion technology could take us, which are usually never good. So, they become weird cautionary tales, but sometimes saved by a hero like Kevin Flynn, James Murdoch, or Neo.

Which brings to mind this short, which could have taken an entire movie length, but shortened to some decent action and key plot points towards a somewhat satisfiable end for the protagonists. I like the production for its use of VFX, colors, and music. But, I felt it could use a little more story. But that would take more time, and away from the “short.” Perhaps, I was thinking more than I should here…

While watching, I ponder on how far will technology giants in the future go in promoting immersive tech, towards the control of consumers into these special “cults.” Some video games are starting on this now but not quite VR. Take the game Fortnite, for example. It’s initially a free game that takes users into this paradise of fun, expansive usability, leading them to want more and sacrifice piles of earned money in the real world for “V-Bucks”, into more involvement of the artificial life. Fortnite has made for than 2.4 billion US dollars in 2018. The collected hours of its many users, from both the time earned into purchasing the V-Bucks and the game itself, can be put into many lifetimes now.

Or maybe, this is just a short and cheesy sci-fi film warning us of nothing.

Image Comics set to bring back Section Zero, by Kesel and Grummett

unnamed (12)

After nearly 14 years, the acclaimed team of writer Karl Kesel (Superboy, Harley Quinn) and artist Tom Grummett (X-Men Forever, The Death of Superman, Superboy) return to their fan-favorite, critically acclaimed series, Section Zero.

This original science-fiction classic was a mere three issues, but now back where it started with a longer run ahead, published under Image (and Shadowline) this April.

Section Zero kicks off with Part One: “Ground Zero,” where readers meet a team of fearless adventurers. Together the crew uncovers the secrets behind UFOs, monsters, and lost civilizations in a story that can best be described as, “Jack Kirby does The X-Files.”

Writer/inker Karl Kesel said in the news recent release: “Ever since 2000, Tom and I have constantly tried to bring Section Zero back. Almost two decades later, we finally found a way to finish what we’d begun. The cherry on top is seeing the book return to where it all started—Image Comics.”

Grummett added: “Section Zero has excited me since day one. It’s exciting to see it return home to Image Comics, where it all began. Hang on to something! It’s going to be a wild ride!”

Section Zero #1 will have three covers: Cover A (above) by Kesel & Grummett, Cover B by Walter Simonson, and Cover C by Jerry Ordway. Above is cover A. Here below are B and C. More alternate covers are said to follow, by other super-star artists including George Perez, Adam Hughes, Dave Gibbons, Mike Wieringo.

 

Section Zero will arrive this April at comic stores everywhere and through popular digital comics apps, this April.