It is 2843, in Avalon in the Gliese System. The Malory regime has come to an end and nobody cares to celebrate. There are always journalists who wish to report on the scene and they’re not welcome here. So begins an intriguing new comic, “Invisible Republic,” published by Image Comics.
Like the fall of Saigon, it’s a mad scramble for those who want to, and can, get off the remote moon of Avalon. For those less unfortunate, a life full of more struggle prevails. Enter Croger Babb, a literary journalist among the press. He’s the novelist that the other newsies look up to. They’ve given up on pursuing this story while Croger is only getting started. He just picked up an abandoned manuscript off the street by one Maia Reveron that is a gold mine for the right reader.
The story and art to this comic is something to behold. Great creative team: written by Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko; art by Hardman; colors by Jordan Boyd; design by Dylan Todd. If you’re seeking out something refreshingly quirky, this is it. A world comes together quite efficiently here. In the span of just a few panels, you’re off and running.
And it’s when Croger finally gets to sit down with his new tome that the story really takes off as we follow Maia, and her cousin, Arthur, on their journey on Avalon some forty years prior. It’s a remarkably well-paced story and lets you take in details as it builds up to crackling action. The artwork certainly drives the narrative as much as the text with vigor. It feels like each facial expression and each backdrop pulls you in. And then our story takes another turn as the character of Arthur comes into sharp focus.
The creative team of Bechko and Hardman have also created “Heathentown,” a horror story set in the Florida Everglades. And you’ll want to look up Gabriel Hardman’s “Kinksi,” a wild romp of a dognapping tale.
“Invisible Republic #1” is available as of March 18. For more details, visit our friends at Image Comics right here.
“Descender #1” distinguishes itself right out of the gate by being a visual feast much in the same spirit as Jeff Lemire won us over with stunningly beautiful artwork in his own comics. This time around, it’s Jeff Lemire as writer on this project and Dustin Nguyen as artist. Let the art loose and do what it will do and all else falls into place.
Okay, okay, we’ve got a machines vs. humans story. Nothing new there, at first glance. But, of course, we’ve grown to expect great things from Jeff Lemire and he does not disappoint us here. And I’ll tell you now that the art is stand-alone outstanding and is made up of exuberant fun gestural work in watercolor or some digital equivalent. Looks to me to be hand-made goodness.
Jump right into the story: The United Galactic Council has banned all androids after an attack by a group of hyper-sophisticated giant robots known as the Harvesters. Just like all Japanese in the United States were instantly suspected of treason in World War II America, so we have all androids suspected of the same in this future world. And our focus falls on one particular android boy, Tim. With any luck, Tim will find his way to, Jin, a scientist who has fallen into alcoholism but who has awakened to a greater purpose.
That’s really all you need to know right now. If you frequent comic book shops, you know how much Image Comics means to a lot of folks. Image Comics has got a magic touch with publishing fanciful sci-fi stories, to put it in a nutshell. And “Descender” is your latest prime example and is available as of March 4. Go to it, and get yourself a copy. For more details, visit our friends at Image Comics right here.
We are assured that capitalism will always survive because humans are never satisfied with the status quo and must push forward to whatever and wherever their “enterprising” minds take them. In the new sic-fi comic, “Drifter,” we see what some of these minds have wrought in a distant future both bleak and dangerous. Of sure, the environment, from one planet to the next, was the first to be compromised for these human settlers from the future. Is it a curse to be human? Our main character, Abram Pollux, stumbles upon the scene, barely surviving a crash landing to the lawless backwater world of Ouro. His first action is to kill a native point blank. Not off to a good start.
From NIGHTWORLD #1
There is something quietly brewing over at “Nightworld,” a comic published by Image Comics, that has a haunting and elegant vibe to it. The above image, just to give one example, is remarkably strange, don’t you think? See how it depicts these night creatures and gives you a sense of volume, movement, and mystery. That alone, gets my attention. And then perhaps you want to start to tick off the references and influences, talk about Jack Kirby, and you’d be right to do so.
In a very strange future, depicted in “God Hates Astronauts,” published by Image Comics, there are farmers on Earth hell-bent on violating NASA law and shooting themselves into outer space. Not even a former space warrior with a ghost cow head leading an army of bears will stop them! Incredibly, amazingly, and deliciously, the out of this world surreal humor from Chris Crank’s script has found its match with the artistic wizardry of Ryan Browne, complimented by the design work of Thomas Quinn, and colors by Jordan Boyd.
“The Fade Out” is the new noir series from Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. It opens up with a recollection of the “phantom planes” over Los Angeles, the Japanese bombers imagined but never actually in the air, following Pearl Harbor. Hearing them up above became a nervous habit hard to break. And so the world of Charlie Parish, a schemer and a screenwriter in Hollywood, seems to be just one big bad habit.
You drink the wise blood
You’re gonna hear about it
You’ll be taken down brick by brick by brick
Burn the orphanage
You’re gonna pay for it
They will purify block by block by block
From “Demons” by Sleigh Bells
“Burn the Orphanage” is a bold and sexy beast of a comic. Created by Daniel Freedman (Undying Love) and Sina Grace (Not My Bag), it gives you lovable dead-enders on their way to hell. Now, that’s entertainment.
“The Wicked + The Divine” is the gorgeous and audacious new ongoing comic book series from the creative team behind “Phonogram,” brought to you by Image Comics. Yes, the whole team is back: Writer Kieron Gillen, Artist Jamie McKelvie, Colorist Matthew Wilson, and Letterer Clayton Cowles, along with Designer Hannah Donovan, and Editor Chrissy Williams. This is a world beyond the pop music, magic, and pretty people of “Phonogram.” There is that, of course, but this is both a world in touch with the real and very much its own fantasy. No one gets out alive either way. But some can return. And so they do.
Image Comics presents DIY for a new generations of makers in HOWTOONS: TOOLS OF MASS CONSTRUCTION. Kids build a world of fun, comic-book-style, with this 360-page book of discovery. Celine and Tucker, the brother-and-sister heroes of HOWTOONS, are kids who see the potential for play everywhere. When their mother challenges them to make something other than trouble, their adventure begins in an adventure-DIY graphic novel from Image Comics. It arrives in comic book stores on July 23 and bookstores on August 5.
HOWTOONS will be getting a moment in the spotlight at the first-ever White House Maker Faire on June 18, hosted by President Obama, where co-creator Saul Griffith will be a guest. Griffith will be presenting HOWTOONS at the event, which “will feature Makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs of all ages who are using cutting-edge tools to bring their ideas to life.”
“Genesis,” published by Image Comics, is quite a remarkable one-shot with a dreamy quality to both script and artwork. It is written by Nathan Edmondson (WHO IS JAKE ELLS, The Punisher, Black Widow) and debut artist Alison Sampson. Right from the start, you are swept away by this unconventional story. With both a casual and precise style, Sampson brings to mind many of the great cartoonists that give their work a improvisational quality, from Sergio Toppi to Howard Chaykin. The whole premise to this story feels quite spontaneous: here’s a man, Adam, who has the ability to literally change the world, everything and everyone, from tractor trailers, to shopping malls, to even his own wife, Lillian.