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Science Fiction

The Tall Blue Ones are Back

While everyone is waiting with baited breath for director James Cameron to really begin work on the sequel to Avatar (after he brought Pandora to life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida, of course), now Dark Horse Comics have a new full-color Avatar comic series hitting the shelves — Avatar: Tsu’tey’s Path. “Tsu’tey, proud warrior of the Omatikaya clan, betrothed to Neytiri, has his life turned upside down by the arrival of Jake Sully of the Sky People. Reveals events only hinted at in James Cameron’s Avatar!” It’s written by Sherri L. Smith, and illustrated by Jan Duursema, Dan Parson, and Wes Dzioba. The first issue is available in stores now.

image c. 2019 Dark Horse Comics

Are You Offended?

Look, we’re just going to quote this direct from the folks over at Cartoonbrew — no way we could explain it any better. “Four new animated series based on Marvel characters are in the works at Hulu. The shows will collectively lead up to a special event bringing them all together titled The Offenders. All of these projects will target mature audiences. Jordan Blum (American Dad!) and comedian/actor Patton Oswalt are writing M.O.D.O.K., about an evil mastermind with limited body mass and big plans. Hit Monkey, with Josh Gordon and Will Speck as writers, follows a Japanese snow monkey transformed into a vengeful assassin in Tokyo’s criminal underworld. Set in Los Angeles, Tigra & Dazzler Show follows a pair of ‘woke’ female heroes pushing to stand out in a city full talented people. Comedian Chelsea Handler and Erica Rivinoja (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2) have been tasked with writing the project. Lastly, there is Howard the Duck, centered on the publisher’s notorious anthropomorphic bird trapped in the human world. Director Kevin Smith (Clerks) and Dave Willis (creator, Aqua Teen Hunger Force) are writing this dark comedy and will also executive produce. Comic writer Jeph Loeb (also a producer on Smallville and Lost) will act as executive producer on all four projects, as well as the crossover finale. No writers have been announced yet for the crossover finale, in which all of these characters will ‘form a team no one asked for’ to save the world.” Got all that? No word yet on a release date for these shows, but we’ll be watching!

image c. 2019 Hulu

They’re Bad. Very Bad.

Recently we visited the Long Beach Comic Expo, and came across things like Devil’s Henchmen, “A comic about animals that misbehave”. And how! From the web site: “Welcome to The Devil’s Henchmen official site, a comic about a motley crew of dysfunctional bandits and their many misadventures. This comic is drawn and written by John Will Balsley” Sounds straightforward enough, but things get a lot weirder when you start to read it! The site includes not only the on-line comic itself but tons of background material and art.

image c. 2019 by JW Balsley

Nikki from Dave!

Nikki M is an illustrator we met at Further Confusion this year. Here’s what she has to say about herself: “My name is Nichole (you can call me Nikki!) and I am an illustrator/general artist based in Los Angeles CA. I graduated in 2015 from The Dave School, with experience in 3D and visual effects. My focus and passion lies in design, illustration and digital painting. Working with colors and seeing a character come to life before my eyes is what brings me pure joy. I currently am working as a freelance artist, and am open to take on any challenge that’s thrown my way!” Check out her Gallery, and keep an eye on her web site — she’ll have a Storenvy store set up soon to sell prints, pins, and other art stuff.

image c. 2019 by Nikki M

Follow That Crustacean

Here’s something new from Europe, published by Cinebook: Distant Worlds is a full-color science fiction graphic novel series created by a team known and Leo and Icar. “18-year-old Paul, his mother, and his sister land on Altair-4, a recently established human colony. They expect to be reunited with Paul’s father there and start a new life, but he doesn’t show up to welcome them at the spaceport… Later, they are rescued from a gang of thugs by a Stepanerk, a member of a sentient alien species. It’s an encounter that will prove invaluable to Paul when he decides to go and look for his father.” Check it out (three volumes so far) over at Comixology.

image c. 2019 Cinebook

Mysterious Planet’s Call

More interesting non-human science fiction. Retrograde Orbit is minimal-color graphic novel written and illustrated by Kristyna Baczynski. “At the outer edge of the solar system, on the mining planet Tisa, Flint and her mother live in the colony of Swift Springs. Displaced by a nuclear event, Flint’s family settled in Swift Springs two generations ago to become miners. Soon Flint will be old enough to begin her apprenticeship at the refinery. But is the home that her family has built for her enough, or will a mysterious, irradiated planet pull her away from them? By following in their footsteps and leaving to forge a new path, is she betraying her family, or honoring their legacy?” It’s available now in softcover from Avery Hill Publishing. Broken Frontier has an extensive review.

image c. 2018 Avery Hill

More Cats from Space

Another new full-color science fiction comic series, this time from Antarctic Press. It’s Stars End, created by Larry Spike Jarrell and Selena McDevitte. “6,000 years ago the Annunaki, visitors to Earth, departed with numerous animals as subjects for study and DNA experiments. Centuries in the future these evolved beasts, collectively known as N’Naki, have created vast civilizations in the Sirius system, with humans serving as their worker bees. One group of N’Naki are given a pre-graduation duty: Scan a mining world of human workers that’s fallen victim to a viral infection before the planet is demolished to stop the disease from spreading. But when a sixteen-year-old Annunaki girl turns up, the mission quickly becomes anything but routine.” If the description doesn’t make it obvious, the covers certainly do: The N’Naki are decidedly feline!

image c. 2019 Antarctic Press

Cats Leaving the Cradle in a Silver Ship

So how did this pass us by? It’s Captain Ginger, a new full-color series from Ahoy Comics. “When the human race died out, the cats inherited the Earth! Or at least one starship. Now the intrepid Captain Ginger struggles to keep his fellow felines united against a hostile universe. But there’s a rival for Ginger’s authority: His second-in-command, the savage Sergeant Mittens! Thirty-five pages of comic adventure — with a bite — created by writer Stuart Moore (Deadpool the Duck, Batman: Noir Alley) and artist June Brigman (Power Pack, Star Wars).” Also featuring extra back-up material by Animal Man creator Grant Morrison.

image c. 2019 Ahoy Comics

Junk… In… Space!

Lion Forge Comics have launched their new Caracal imprint for younger readers with Quantum Mechanics, an all-alien themed graphic novel written and illustrated by Jeff Weigel. “On a nowhere asteroid on the far rim of the galaxy, two young alien girls-Rox and Zam-spend their days tearing apart and repairing clunkers in a spaceship junkyard. These aspiring gearheads yearn for the chance to test their skills on something besides rusted old rockets and broken-down planet-hoppers. Their big chance finally comes when the captain of a mysterious ship called the Quasar Torrent enlists the kids for some repair work. But what initially looks like a golden opportunity quickly becomes a nightmare when the young friends find they’ve been kidnapped by what turns out to be a band of space pirates! Rox and Zam find themselves swept up in the astro-bucaneers’ vendetta against a huge intergalactic corporation that’s forced this motley band of working stiffs from across space into a life of crime. Now the girls must chose: Do they want the comforts of home and family, or the glamorous adventure of a lifetime-to be part of a crew of colorful misfits intent on plunder, revenge, and excitement? Their lives, friendship . . . and maybe even the fate of a galaxy . . . hangs in the balance!” Comicosity has an in-depth review.

image c. 2018 Caracal Comics