AfterShock Comics will begin publishing comics aimed at young adults under a new imprint, Seismic Press, starting with Rainbow Bridge by Steve Orlando, Steve Foxe and Valentina Brancati.
“AfterShock’s mission has always been to push readers out of their comfort zones and defy expectations – providing top creators and up-and-coming storytellers with an opportunity to tell the stories they’ve always wanted to tell in the ways they’ve always wanted to tell them,” said Editor-in-Chief Mike Marts. “With Seismic Press, our mission is to apply the same high-quality approach to content, talent selection and presentation but extend it to a much wider audience and demographic.”
Here’s the description of Rainbow Bridge, which comes out in August: Rainbow Bridge will focus on the story of Andy, a boy whose canine best friend passes away just before he enters high school, leaving him alone and rudderless. The day before school starts, when Andy is at his lowest, he visits Rocket’s grave and unexpectedly summons the Rainbow Bridge, a gateway to a wondrous world where pets discover their afterlife. With roles reversed, Andy is there to support his childhood guardian during one last epic adventure as Rocket embarks on a fantasy quest to find his lost littermate while ultimately giving Andy the confidence he needs as he enters his high school years.
It seems to play off the “Rainbow Bridge” poem that is commonly shared when a pet dies. (I have three copies, one for each of my cats who I like to think crossed a rainbow bridge into Valhalla, not “Pet Heaven.”)
More titles from the imprint are planned for 2022, including new stuff by How To Train Your Dragon’s Richard Ashley Hamilton and Orphan Age writer Ted Anderson. They also plan to repackage previous AfterShock Comics The Lollipop Kids and Oberon under the new brand.
“Comics retailers and bookstores alike have benefited from the explosive growth in YA,” said Steve Rotterdam, SVP of Sales & Marketing for AfterShock. “We’re extremely excited by this opportunity to bring AfterShock levels of excitement and engagement to the category.”