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Justin Aclin wraps ‘S.H.O.O.T First’ mini, teases more to come


Writer Justin Aclin has looked forward to today, as his Dark Horse miniseries S.H.O.O.T First comes to a conclusion with the release of the fourth issue. Four happens to be the magic number on more than one level, as Aclin notes that the storyline has been in development for four and a half years.

However, the end of the miniseries doesn’t mark the end of Aclin and artist Nicolás Daniel Selma‘s adventures with the S.H.O.O.T. First team. In fact, Aclin provided ROBOT 6 with a peek at art from the upcoming arc Dark Horse Presents, which in March with Issue 24.

As Aclin described it, “This page is the first time we’re showing art from the upcoming Dark Horse Presents story. Part 1 takes place 10 years in the past, where an earlier version of the team confronts a giant snake Outside Actor in the Everglades. You can see a younger Lord Byron taking aim here.”

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NYCC ’13 | Get a free issue of ‘S.H.O.O.T. First’ #1

shoot first1Dark Horse will give away a limited number of copies of S.H.O.O.T. First #1 Sunday at New York Comic Con, three days before the issue arrives in stores.

According to writer Justin Aclin, the comic will be available during his signing with artist Nicolas Daniel Selma, which begins at noon at the publisher’s booth (#1636).

The miniseries pits the gun-toting atheists of the Secular Humanist Occult Obliteration Taskforce against some of the very creatures they don’t believe in — like angels and demons.

“I’d say that with S.H.O.O.T. First, I really created the kind of comic that I wanted to read,” Aclin told Comic Book Resources last month. “I would like to think that applies to a lot of other people as well. It’s got insanely great artwork by Nicolás Daniel Selma and wonderful colors by Marlac who did an amazing job bringing this world to life. They get to go crazy on the bizarre creatures the team is fighting. In the first issue, they’re fighting ‘Bottle Jinn’ who are essentially genies who kidnap people and put them inside themselves. It’s very creepy. Then in the second issue, they’re fighting a giant monster that has a unique twist on an old idea. In the third issue, they fight a group of fairies, elves and dragons that call themselves the Folklorics. Then in the fourth issue, it’s a battle royale. In every single issue, you’ll see spectacular battles against really cool mythological creatures.”

New York Comic Con is held Thursday through Saturday at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan.

Dark Horse announces ‘S.H.O.O.T. First’ miniseries

shoot first1Lost Tuesday amid the flurry of news coming out the Image Comics Expo is the announcement of Dark Horse’s S.H.O.O.T. First, a supernatural-adventure miniseries by Justin Aclin (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and Nicolas Daniel Selma (Tomb Raider: The Beginning).

Launching in October, the creator-owned project pits gun-toting atheists against some of the very creatures they don’t believe in — like angels and demons.

“It’s about a team called the Secular Humanist Occult Obliteration Taskforce, who use the power of their own disbelief (as filtered through sci-fi weaponry) to protect humanity from supernatural creatures that seek to do us harm,” Aclin tells the New York Post’s Parallel Worlds. “But for S.H.O.O.T., that means demons, angels and everything in between.”

S.H.O.O.T. First has actually been a round for a while, having debuted in 2010 as an eight-page story in the final issue of MySpace Dark Horse Presents. And longtime ROBOT 6 readers may recall that Aclin contributed the prose short story “S.H.O.O.T. First: The House That Ate Halloween” to our Halloween celebration that same year.

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Robot 666 | S.H.O.O.T. First: ‘The House That Ate Halloween’

Earlier this year writer Justin Aclin and artist Ben Bates took MySpace Dark Horse Presents by storm with the story of the Secular Humanist Occult Obliteration Taskforce — S.H.O.O.T. First or, as Sean called them, the Super-Atheists.

Now we’re really excited to present an original prose story that Justin wrote for Robot 666 Week — S.H.O.O.T. First: “The House That Ate Halloween.” And Justin even invited his brother, Jesse, to contribute illustrations for it!

So a big thank you to the Bros. Aclin for spending part of their Halloween with us … check out the story below!

S.H.O.O.T. First: “The House That Ate Halloween”
By Justin Aclin. Illustrations by Jesse Aclin
S.H.O.O.T. First created by Justin Aclin and Ben Bates

“We have a Craigslist ad?”

The man who currently called himself Codename: Infidel took off his baseball cap and shook his head in amazement. An average day with the Secular Humanist Occult Obliteration Taskforce was strange—S.H.O.O.T. had the very important job of protecting humanity from seemingly supernatural creatures who were trying to manipulate and harm us for their own reasons, so things tended to get weird pretty frequently. Maybe it was the fact that he had never celebrated Halloween in his native Afghanistan, maybe it was the fact that he was currently dressed up as a member of the Boston Red Sox—complete with cleats and a large, awkward practice duffel. But for whatever reason, S.H.O.O.T. having a Craigslist ad struck Infidel as just about the weirdest thing that he’d heard in the few months since he’d joined up.

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How to successfully pitch a superhero comic

from S.H.O.O.T. First by Justin Aclin and Ben Bates

from S.H.O.O.T. First by Justin Aclin and Ben Bates

It was an awesome thing to behold. My friend Justin Aclin — editor of ToyFare magazine, head writer of Twisted ToyFare Theater, and author of the graphic novel Hero House — came up with a great idea for a comic, about a super-powered team of militant atheists who track down and kill supposedly supernatural entities for meddling in humanity’s affairs. This was on a Monday. On Tuesday he pitched it to Dark Horse. On Wednesday it was greenlit. From idea to approval in under 48 hours. Amazing, right?

By now you’ve seen the end result: S.H.O.O.T. First, an eight-page story from the final issue of MySpace Dark Horse Presents. But if you’re an aspiring comics writer, perhaps you wanna see exactly how Aclin managed to catch lightning in a bottle in the first place.

Fortunately, he’s got your hook-up: On his blog, Aclin has posted his successful proposal for the comic. It sets up the concept, introduces the characters, and walks you through the plot of the initial short story in seven paragraphs and one catchphrase — pretty much a how-to for clear, concise, compelling comics pitches. Read and learn.

Attack of the super-atheists!

art from "S.H.O.O.T First" by Ben Bates

Over at Comics Alliance, ToyFare editor, Twisted ToyFare Theater head writer and Hero House author Justin Aclin is talking up his upcoming story for MySpace Dark Horse Presents, “S.H.O.O.T. First.” It’s a paranormal/superhero book in the vein of B.P.R.D., but with a twist: The titular team’s acronym stands for the Secular Humanist Occult Obliteration Taskforce, and their mission is to wipe out any and all supernatural entities in the name of atheism. Says Aclin:

S.H.O.O.T. are basically militant atheists, tasked with hunting down supernatural creatures, especially those of religious significance, that they don’t even believe in….every time you read a comic about someone fighting the supernatural, they’re really doing it on the supernatural’s own terms. If you’re fighting a vampire, you bring stakes and holy water – that kind of thing. I don’t think there’s ever been a team like “S.H.O.O.T.” that basically thinks it’s all bunk, and just goes after any threat with science and bullets, and scientific bullets.

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