June/July 2020 Previews: Carman’s Picks

Lost Soldiers #1 (of 5)

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July 29, 2020

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Ales Kot (A/CA) Luca Casalanguida, Heather Moore

Vietnam, 1969. Juarez, forty years later. Three men tied by the war they left behind-on collision course with a new one.

We’re back! Feels good to be writing about comics again. What better to return to than a new Ales Kot miniseries? Unless I’m misremembering, Kot’s last creator-owned series was Days of Hate so it’s been a little bit. Loving the art and can’t wait to check this out. Since Lost Soldiers is hitting shelves so soon, make sure to let the store know if you want to grab a copy.

Hedra (One-Shot)

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July 29, 2020

Publisher: Image Comics

(W/A/CA) Jesse Lonergan

In a glorious exploration of the comics medium with echoes of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Flash Gordon, Chris Ware, and Moebius, a lone astronaut leaves a world ravaged by nuclear war in search of life. What she finds is beyond all explanation.

Every once in a while, they get me with the name drops in a solicit. Hedra got me here with 2001, Chris Ware, and Moebius (haven’t seen Flash Gordon, sorry! That song is good, though). I’ve not heard of Jesse Lonergan but I will certainly be picking this up. As with Lost Soldiers, this one comes out soon, so let us know if you’d like a copy set aside for you.

Under-Earth

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October 21, 2020

Publisher: IDW – Top Shelf

(W/A/CA) Chris Gooch

The inmates of an extensive underground prison struggle to build meaningful lives in a broken system, in the most ambitious graphic novel to date from rising indie star Chris Gooch (Bottled and Deep Breaths).

Under-Earth takes place in a subterranean landfill, hollowed out to serve as a massive improvised prison. Sunken into the trash and debris of the past – Gameboys, iPhones, coffee cups, old cars – we follow two parallel stories.

In the first, a new arrival struggles to adapt to the everyday violence, physical labour, and poverty of the prison city. Overwhelmed and alone, he finds a connection with a fellow inmate through an old, beat-up novel. While these two silent and uncommunicative men grow closer thanks to their book, the stress of their environment will test their new bond.

Meanwhile, a pair of thieves pull off a risky job in exchange for the prisons’ schematics and the promise of escape – only to be betrayed by their employer. On the run with their hope for escape now gone, the two women set their minds to revenge. Yet as they lay their plans, their focus shifts from an obsession with the outside world to the life they have with each other.

Equal parts sincerity and violence, Under-Earth explores humanity’s inextinguishable drive to find meaning, connection, and even family – and how fragile such constructions can be.

This looks and sounds great. For long time readers, you may remember when I included Chris Gooch’s Deep Breaths on an older posting of Previews, not having seen their work before. I picked that up and really enjoyed what I read (I think I need to finish a few of the short stories). This would be a great one to take a chance on!

Department of Truth #1

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September 30, 2020

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) James Tynion IV (W/CA) Martin Simmonds

SERIES PREMIERE! Cole Turner has studied conspiracy theories all his life, but he isn’t prepared for what happens when he discovers that all of them are true, from the JFK assassination to flat Earth theory and reptilian shapeshifters. One organization has been covering them up for generations. What is the deep, dark secret behind the Department of Truth? Bestselling writer JAMES TYNION IV (Batman, Something is Killing the Children) debuts his first Image ONGOING SERIES alongside breakout artist MARTIN SIMMONDS (Dying is Easy)!

Tynion’s take on an SCP/X-Files/Bureau of Control type of organization? Yeah, I’m into that.

Stillwater #1

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September 16, 2020

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Chip Zdarsky (A) Mike Spicer (A/CA) Ramon K. Perez

SERIES PREMIERE! Nobody dies. In the town of Stillwater, that’s not just a promise. It’s a threat. Join superstar writer CHIP ZDARSKY (THE WHITE TREES, Daredevil) and Eisner Award-winning artist RAM N K PÉREZ (Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand, Jane) as they dive into a world of horror and intrigue in this new ongoing Skybound series.

Though I do miss seeing more of Chip Zdarsky’s art on the shelves, his writing has been great. I can’t say I expected for him to do a horror book but that is a very welcomed surprise. Looking forward to Perez and Chip’s work on this!

Dracula Motherf**ker

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October 7, 2020

Publisher: Image Comics

(W) Alex de Campi (A/CA) Erica Henderson

Vienna, 1889: Dracula’s brides nail him to the bottom of his coffin. Los Angeles, 1974: an aging starlet decides to raise the stakes. Crime scene photographer Quincy Harker is the only man who knows it happened, but will anyone believe him before he gets his own chalk outline? And are Dracula’s three brides there to help him…or use him as bait? A pulpy, pulse-pounding graphic novel of California psych-horror from acclaimed creators ALEX DE CAMPI and ERICA HENDERSON.

Speaking of horror — this looks great. Beyond the pulpy goodness of the cover and description, I would have immediately been on board for a team up of Alex de Campi and Erica Henderson. Is it too early to be excited for Halloween season? I think at this point each year (when we see previews for books coming out in October) is when I start to think about it.

We Only Find Them When They’re Dead #1

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September 2, 2020

Publisher: Vault Comics

(W) Al Ewing (A/CA) Simone Di Meo

* For fans of Decorum and Something is Killing the Children comes a new sci-fi epic from Al Ewing (Immortal Hulk) and Simone Di Meo (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) on the edge of space where humanity is harvesting the corpses of giant alien gods to survive.
* No one has ever seen a living god, but Captain Malik is obsessed with being the first.
* Captain Malik and the crew of the Vihaan II harvest the only resources that matter from the giant corpses of alien gods found on the edge of human space. While other autopsy ships race to salvage the meat, minerals, and metals that sustain the human race, Malik sees an opportunity to finally break free from this system.
* But Malik’s obsession with the gods will push his crew into the darkest reaches of space, bringing them face to face with a threat unlike anything they’ve ever imagined – unless the rogue agent on their trail can stop them first…

Josh (the Shorter) has been telling me for years that I need to be reading Al Ewing’s work. While I did pick up that amazing cosmic-looking Immortal Hulk #25 last year, I’ll admit that I haven’t read it yet. I love the premise of We Only Find Them When They’re Dead and will be jumping on board. Plus, you have to give props to titles that sounds like they could be the name of a midwest emo/math rock band.

Lonely Receiver #1

JUL200989

September 2, 2020

Publisher: Aftershock Comics

(W) Zac Thompson (A/CA) Jen Hickman

Catrin Vander, a lonely video producer, buys an Artificial Intelligence partner that’s meant to bond for life. After ten years together, her holographic wife suddenly discon-nects without a warning. The breakup drives Catrin to the point of near insanity. She’s alone for the first time in years and reeling from a loss she can’t comprehend.

Set in the new future, drenched in pastels and sunshine, LONELY RECEIVER is a horror/breakup story in five parts. Written by Zac Thompson (UNDONE BY BLOOD, THE REPLACER, HER INFERNAL DESCENT, No One’s Rose, X-Men) and illustrated in color by Jen Hickman (MOTH & WHISPER, Test).

Lonely Receiver sounds like a darker take on Spike Jonze’s film Her. Will Alan Watts make an appearance? We’ll have to find out.

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