First Second has announced its releases for spring 2012, and as usual it’s an exciting, eclectic lineup. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Graeme talked about Arne Bellstorf’s Beatles comic, Baby’s in Black yesterday.
- Humayoun Ibrahim has adapted Jack Vance’s classic science fiction story The Moon Moth with “lots of masks, lots of aliens, and an interstellar mystery to round it out.”
- Marathon by Boaz Yakin and Joe Infurnari tells the story of the first marathon, when Eucles ran 153 miles from Sparta to Athens to help save Greece from the Persian Empire.
- Bloody Chester is a noir Western horror story by JT Petty and Hilary Florido.
- Victory finishes up Carla Jablonski and Leland Purvis’ excellent Resistance trilogy about the French Resistance in World War II.
- And finally, Jessica Abel and Matt Madden offer a “201-level” companion volume to Drawing Words and Writing Pictures called Mastering Comics.
Which are you looking forward to?
Caryn A. Tate has been writing Red Plains for a couple of years now, and the world of her story, which is set in the Old West but is not bound by the traditions of the Western genre, is getting more and more complex. With the publication of The Ballad of Double Ott this week, she launches a new story arc and an intriguing new character. I talked to Tate two years ago, and this seemed like an opportune time to revisit Red Plains.
Robot 6: Is Double Ott a new character, or has he appeared in other issues of Red Plains? Who is he, and what is his backstory?
Caryn A. Tate: Double Ott is a brand new character to the series. It’s been a long time coming—he first came to me a couple of years ago, and I fleshed out the plot of The Ballad of Double Ott around the same time. But I wanted to wait for the timing to be right in the series, not just to introduce Ott, but to bring back Velasquez, who played a huge role in the Red Plains story Nice Place to Raise Your Kids Up. There had to be a good amount of time between Nice Place and The Ballad of Double Ott because I wanted there to be some anticipation for folks as to what happened to Velasquez, what was going to happen to Lupe and the other Escovidos, and there has been a whole lot of other stuff going on in town too!
Ott is a bounty hunter and an ex Buffalo Soldier who comes through the town of Red Plains hot on the trail of a white slavery ring. He’s a classic action hero badass—ready for any situation, armed to the teeth, and lives a life of adventure! Double Ott embodies my favorite action heroes that I grew up on…and in that light, he’s the one character in the Red Plains series that I take some liberties with!
It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. As usual, we’re focusing on graphic novels, collected volumes, and first issues so that I don’t have to come up with a new way to say, “ Dark Horse Presents is still awesome!” every month. And I’ll continue letting Tom and Carla do the heavy lifting in regards to DC and Marvel’s solicitations.
Also, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell me what I missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.
Puss in Boots Movie Prequel – I don’t care for movie prequel comics as a rule, but swashbuckling cats are awesome in any incarnation. As long as these are fresh gags and not just ones warmed up from Shrek, I expect to enjoy this.
Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths, Book 1 - I just introduced my son to The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth a couple of weeks ago, so this is great timing. He had the same questions about The Dark Crystal‘s world that I always do, so I’m looking forward to seeing Archaia’s take on answering those. Totally feel like the world’s in good hands with this publisher and these creators.
The Sigh - If Archaia’s snagging Marjane Satrapi’s (Persepolis, Chicken With Plums) new book has been reported already, I missed it. I’m surprised that wasn’t bigger news.
Siegfried, Volume 1 – I’ve been meaning to read P Craig Russell’s Ring of the Nibelung adaptation for years, so I think this might be what pushes me to finally do it. It would be fun to read Russell’s and compare it to this version by Alex Alice.
The Grave Doug Freshley is a comic with a lot of promise. It’s the story of a former farmhand and tutor who rises from the grave to seek revenge on the gang of outlaws that killed him and the family he worked for. The comic was first solicited in 2008, and some advance copies must have gone out, because it received a positive review from Johanna Draper Carlson at Comics Worth Reading. ComicMix interviewed writer Josh Hechinger a few months later. Hechinger (who was only 20 at the time) described the story as “[Sergio] Leone meets Looney Toons.”
And then … crickets. As Hechinger explains on his blog, pre-orders were too low to justify the print run, so the comic was solicited then canceled. I gather from this post that this happened not one, but three times, which must be incredibly frustrating, and Hechinger says that this last time, when the book was solicited for an October 2010 release, he didn’t do much publicity for it because he didn’t want to talk up a book and then have it not come out — again.
This is one of those situations where digital can make all the difference, though: Yesterday, iFanboy posted the news that the comic is available on Graphic.ly and showed off the first few pages with a demo of Graphic.ly’s web app. (iFanboy is owned by Graphic.ly.)