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Just last week, as part of ROBOT 6’s fourth-anniversary celebration, Dave Elliott announced plans to revive Atomeka Press and its well-regarded A1 anthology, teasing, “We’re making our announcements in the next two weeks as to who we’re publishing with and what other books we have coming this year …” Now the details are beginning to take shape.
Elliott is partnering with Titan Publishing’s newly launched Titan Comics imprint for a line of comics that debuts in June with the new A1 in June, featuring the work of Elliott, Barnaby Bagenda, Garrie Gastonny, W. H. Rauf, Rhoald Marcellius, Sakti Yuwono and Stellar Labs. That will be followed in July by Tomorrowland, by Paul Jenkins and Stellar Labs, in September by Weirding Willows, by Elliott, Barnaby Bagenda, Sami Basri, Sakti Yuwono and Jessica Kholinne, Monster Massacre Vol. 1, and Sharky, by Elliott and Alex Horley, and in October by the A1 Annual and Monster Massacre Vol. 2.
“Having worked in the entertainment industry for over 25 years I wanted a partner that complemented what I do,” Elliott said in a statement. “I wanted a partner who has the same aspirations for seeing this industry do what it has the potential to do. And most importantly I wanted a partner who realizes that if I do well, so do they. I know with Titan’s30-year experience in the industry, I’m getting just that.”
See the full line-up below:
For comics fans of a certain age, the launch of Dave Elliott and Garry Leach’s Atomeka Press imprint and its anthology title A1 was an epochal event. Coming along in 1989, A1 featured talent from the United Kingdom, the United States and mainland Europe. As comics had both grown and grown up so much during the 1980s, the bringing together of all these strands seemed important, timely and inevitable. Here was a comic where you could find the best creators from 2000AD, Warrior and Deadline together with artists from the boom in the U.S. indie-comics market, alongside Moebius or Enki Bilal, then at the height of their powers.
The history of Atomeka’s rise and fall mirrored the explosion and implosion of the entire industry (there’s a great retrospective interview with Dave on the matter here), and the imprint has made faltering steps back into the limelight since 2004. Its return has seemed all the more concrete since the publication of Heavy Metal #259, which Dave guest-edited (a PDF sample is available here), and showcased the kind of material a re-energized A1 could feature. Nestled beside established talent such as Alex Horley, Andy Kuhn, Tom Raney and Toby Cypress was a crop of new talent Elliott has been nurturing, such as the Indonesian superstar-in-the-making Barnaby Bagenda, possessor of a style somewhere between Leinil Yu and Fiona Staples. His presence alone would make me hopeful for the returning anthology.