Fresh off the success of the creator-owned series PrinceLess by Jeremy Whitley, the enterprising Pittsburgh-based publisher Action Lab Entertainment is expanding — by teaming up with the fellow indie publisher Super Real Graphics.
Action Lab announced Monday it’s merging with Super Real, and that the latter’s founder Jason Martin will come on board Action Lab to spearhead a new mature readers line called Danger Zone. Action Lab has been a quick riser in comics, with PrinceLess making a name for itself and garnering an Eisner nomination along the way, and industry veterans like Jamal Igle choosing the company to publish creator-owned work. But Action Lab has up until now been strictly focused on all-ages material, so this announcement of a mature readers line is a big jump for the small publisher.
According to the press release, Action Lab’s Danger Zone imprint already has several titles lined up, including a book by Tony Fleecs and Tone Rodriguez called American Gothic Chick.
As part of the merger with Super Real, that company’s titles such as Zombie Tramp and Super Real will be be re-issued and potentially expanded upon at Action Lab.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a splurge item.
Here’s the thing: I really can’t decide if I want to spend part of my $15 this week on Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1 (DC, $3.99). On the one hand, it’s a new Darwyn Cooke comic, and on almost every other occasion, I’d be all over that. But on the other … It’s Before Watchmen. And I don’t even mean that in the “I have moral qualms about DC’s ‘ownership’ and use of the characters” sense — although I do — but in the “I didn’t actually LIKE Watchmen that much, so why should I be interested in a prequel?” sense. Let’s table that one, then, and wait and see what happens in the store. Instead, I’ll grab Earth 2 #2 (DC, $2.99), the new Simon Spurrier book Extermination #1 (BOOM!, $1) and the weirdly-coming-out-a-month-before-the-movie Amazing Spider-Man Movie Adaptation #1 (Marvel, $2.99), if only because it’s been years since I’ve read a comic book adaptation of a movie and I want to support Marvel’s odd apparently-spoiling-itself plan.
If I had $30, I’d put Spidey back on the shelf and grab the final DMZ collection (Vol. 12: The Five Nations of New York, DC $14.99). I’ve been following the collections of Brian Wood’s series for awhile, and have been patiently awaiting this one since the series wrapped in single issues awhile back. Don’t spoil it for me, please.
Splurge-wise, I’d likely pick up the GI Joe, Vol. 2: Cobra Command, Part 1 TP (IDW, $17.99). The movie may have been put back, but I don’t care; IDW’s Joe comics are my brand of military machismo, and I dropped off the single issues in favor of collections as soon as this crossover started. Time to get caught back up and try not to think about poor Channing Tatum.
Have you ever played video games so much that you think you’re in one? In May, a new comic series from Action Lab called Double Jumpers follow a group of friends who get stuck inside their characters in a video game, and see those characters take over their human bodies.
Coming from writer Dave Dwonch and artist Bill Blankenship, Double Jumpers promises a mature readers-only take on this video game switcheroo. The people at the center of it are a group of programmers marooned in their video game identities while on a trip to a huge convention in Las Vegas. As much fun and intrigue the hijinks inside their video game might be, it’s only doubled when you think about video game personas coming to life inside a convention.
Action Lab also plans to release the comic simultaneously in print and digitally on Graphicly, Kindle, Kobo, Nook, the Apple Bookstore, Google books as well as other outlets.
Here’s a six-page preview of this four-issue limited series set to debut in May.