Ellis + Howard’s ‘Trees’ returns in September

‘Trees: Three Fates” heads to Russia for a murder mystery set in the shadows of the title’s mysterious giant alien presence.

Warren Ellis and Jason Howard’s high-concept, human-focused science fiction series, Trees, will return in September, the writer announced in his weekly Orbital Operations email newsletter.

Trees kicked off in 2014 and features an Earth where massive aliens landed and stood silently for a decade in different parts of the world. The comic tells the story of various people around the world and their reactions to living in the very large shadows of these mysterious “Trees.”

So far 14 issues have been released, but the numbering will chnage with the new volume. Trees: Three Fates will run as a five-issue miniseries, according to the solicitation Ellis shared. “It was originally just going to be TREES issues 15-19, but Image thought it would work better as a branded serial,” Ellis said. The story will focus on a murder mystery in Russia near the site of one of the alien Trees that inspires as the series’ title.

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Zdarsky, Anka + Wilson reunite for new fantasy miniseries

The two-issue ‘The White Trees’ miniseries kicks off in August.

For one hot minute back in 2016, Chip Zdarsky, Kris Anka and Matt Wilson teamed up on Marvel’s Star-Lord, but the title seemingly ended almost as soon as it began. Which is a shame, because they seemed to be having a lot of fun on it.

Cut to 2019, and the team’s back together — this time on an Image Comics miniseries called The White Trees.

“I’m beyond thrilled to be working with Kris and Matt again!” bellowed Zdarsky. “Are they thrilled to be working with me again? It really doesn’t matter as I tricked them into signing a contract by using the words ‘hot fantasy.’ Legally, they have to illustrate this tale of fraught relationships forged in war and the complexities of fatherhood. Or suffer the consequences.”

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Bunn, Strahm + Rivas ‘Unearth’ a new horror series at Image

New title will debut in July.

The prolific horror/superhero comics writer Cullen Bunn will team with artists Kyle Strahm and Baldemar Rivas for a new horror series titled Unearth at Image Comics.

“I feel so lucky to be working with Kyle and Baldemar on this book,” said Bunn. “Kyle and I have such similar sensibilities when it comes to horror, but there are enough differences in our tastes that we challenge each other. And Baldemar! What an amazing talent! And he has helped us to push the boundaries of what this tale of terror is all about. We want this story to be something different and shocking and fun and surprising, and I think we’ve succeeded!”

Image describes Unearth as “The X-Files meets Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation” and said it involves a flesh-warping disease that ravages a remote village in Mexico. A scientific task force traces the source of the disease to a nearby cave system, where they discover a bizarre, hostile ecosystem and a supernatural revelation from which they may never escape.

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Millar + Scalera buddy up for ‘Space Bandits’

New title announced by Netflix will feature limited edition ‘legends’ covers by ‘artists Miller was obsessed with in high school.’

Mark Millar and Matteo Scalera will team up on a team-up comic this July, as Millarworld owner Netflix announced Space Bandits, “a female Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid set in space.”

Each issue will feature different pricing based on who drew the cover. In addition to the regular $3.99 versions, a limited edition series of Space Bandits legends covers, “featuring Miller’s all-time favorite comic-book artists–artists Miller was obsessed with in high school, and whom he has wanted to work with for years” — will also be available for 75 cents each, or “the same price as a comic-book cost when Mark was in high school.” The first of five legends cover will be drawn by Howard Chaykin.

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Take a look inside the controversial ‘Jesusfreak’

Joe Casey and Benjamin Marra’s original graphic novel featuring a kung-fu Jesus arrives in comic shops this week.

This Wednesday Jesus will rise again in the pages of Jesusfreak, a new graphic novel by Joe Casey and Benjamin Marra. Combining ’70s exploitation comics with the story of Jesus Christ, the book is described as “a bloody, two-fisted tale of heroic historical fiction featuring a certain young Nazarean carpenter who is having some trouble finding his place within a world of ever increasing violence,” according to publisher Image Comics.

Jesusfreak is less inspired by any strict religious traditions and is instead more concerned with exploring the unique tension that exists between depicting a mythical figure and a historical figure—a tension that is compounded when, for many, they’re considered the same person,” Casey said when the project was announced. “It’s also a chance for Marra and I to indulge in a specific style of hard pulp storytelling that we think perfectly fits this material.”

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‘Farmhand’ gets a soundtrack from Skies Speak

Experimental album from Skies Speak will drop March 20.

Rob Guillory’s excellent new Image series Farmhand is getting a soundtrack, thanks to Guillory’s friend Skies Speak.

“The FarmhandOriginal Music Score started out as just a crazy idea between two buddies,” Guillory said in a press release. “Jordan (Skies Speak) and I have been friends for many years, and I’m beyond thrilled he was game to craft this special album for fans of the book. The initial idea was very simple: use my art to inspire his art. He devoured the first arc of the book, and from that he created a unique, immersive experience that adds a little something extra to the world of Farmhand.”

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‘Wonderfully weird’ series ‘Gogor’ debuts in May

‘Planetoid’ creator Ken Garing returns for a new series in May.

Planetoid creator Ken Garing will return to comics in May with Gogor, a “high fantasy” series aimed at teens.

Here’s how his publisher, Image Comics, describes the series: “The debut issues of Gogor will feature 28 pages of a wonderfully weird and fantastical story. Deep underground, among the floating islands of Altara, the mystical Gogor sleeps. But trouble brews above ground as soldiers of the Domus impose their will across the land. Now, a young student named Armano must awaken Gogor and begin his quest to protect the culture of Altara.”

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‘Copra’ finds a new home at Image Comics

Formerly published by Bergen Street Press, the indie superhero comic’s first five collections arrive from Image in May.

Michel’s Fiffe’s excellent superhero series Copra has found a new home at Image Comics, the creator announced on Twitter. New printings of all five Copra collections can be found in the just-released Image Comics solicitations for May.

Fiffe has self-published the single issues of Copra, while collections have come out from Bergen Street Press, the comics publishing arm of the now-closed Brooklyn comics shop of the same name. Bergen Street Press announced last month that both Copra and Chuck Forsman’s Revenger would move to new publishers this year; the latter has landed at Floating World Comics.

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Comics Lowdown: Comic books sales up in 2018, Marvel top publisher; stalker sets cosplayer’s car on fire

Plus: ‘Drama’ drama with the Ottawa Catholic School Board! Faith Erin Hicks! Jed MacKay! And more!

The 2018 direct market numbers from Diamond are in and comic sales are ever so slightly up from 2017. Comics saw an increase to sales by 3.3%, but graphic novels were down by 6.6%. The combined sales of the two formats mean a wee increase of 0.6% for the direct market.

Marvel Comics increased their market share slightly to gain an extra 2% over DC Comics, who seemed to have flat lined and lost 0.3% of their market share. This indicates that Marvel’s market share gains mostly come from the expense of small publishers or independent comic sales, with the exception of Image Comics, who also saw a slight increase.

The best-selling graphic novel of the year was Infinity Gauntlet. The 1991 story is enjoying a revival because of the Avengers: Infinity War movie. The best-selling comics was Action #1000, a landmark issue featuring unpublished artwork by legendary Superman artist Curt Swan and the introduction of writer Brain Michael Bendis to the DC universe.

Complete lists and more insight are available on comichron.com.

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