Magma Comix has big plans for 2024

The former comics publishing arm of Heavy Metal magazine has spun off into its own company, with several new titles planned for this spring.

Magma Comix launched back in 2020 as the comics publishing arm of Heavy Metal, the legendary science fiction and fantasy comics magazine that came to an end last year. Instead of letting the endeavor die off, the Magma team decided to spin the operation off and become an independent comics publisher.

“We are fortunate to have secured funding that will ensure Magma will maintain its creative freedom and independence, while providing capital and support necessary to establish long-term stability in an unpredictable industry,” said Magma Comix Founder and CEO Denton J. Tipton back in July. “Magma will lower the barriers to entry by making our line easy to navigate and by reducing risk for our retail partners. But above all, our team’s unique combination of creator relationships, industry knowledge, and passion for storytelling will unleash a creative eruption that we hope sets a new standard for comics.”

Earlier this week Magma began announcing plans for their comics line, starting with an impressive list of creators they’re working with that includes Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Eamon Winkle, Jason Starr, Dalibor Talajić, Steve Orlando and Megan Huang. They’ve also started announcing their first titles, which will arrive in April.

“Surely one of the most potent drugs in the world is the thrill of creation and I can confidently say our creators must be off their heads at this point,” said Magma Comix Editor-in-Chief Bobby Curnow. “All of our teams are pouring everything they have into their books, creating some of the best comics I’ve read in my fifteen years of editing. It’s been a real pleasure to help bring these stories into the world.”

Here’s a look at the two that have been announced thus far:

The Principles of Necromancy

Written by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, with art by Eamon Winkle, The Principles of Necromancy is about “the world’s first necromancer:”

There is no such thing as magic.

The City King has driven the barbarian hordes to the edge of the world – ushering in an age of reason and medicine. But in the dark woods beyond his reach, where the last pagans still keep their ancient ways, a single man of civilization is about to show the true meaning of “medical miracle.” His goal: to overcome death itself. And god help the man or king who stands in his way.

Behold the glorious and gut-wrenching work of Doctor Jakob Eyes, the world’s first necromancer.

The Principles of Necromancy is our first creator-owned comics series since 2016 – and it came out of a mutual hunger to tell a fantasy narrative while also being birthed through a wide-ranging discussion about the ways magic is approached in such settings,” Kelly and Lanzing said in a joint statement. “We talked a lot about the strange figure that a doctor cuts in our own lives – that help you hope you never need – and thought what it might look like to turn that character into an iconic wizard-esque figure in a setting bereft of magic. If you only know us from our work at Marvel and DC, I think Principles of Necromancy should feel like a natural evolution. It’s our character-oriented horror from One Bad Day: Clayface mixed with the strange sadness and surreal world building from our Guardians of the Galaxy. But this is also a world unlike any we’ve played in before – closer to Conan or Berserk than to our creator-owned pop albums like Joyride. It’s a whole new flavor for the Hivemind – and one we’re having a ton of fun putting together.”

The first issue arrives April 3.

Silicon Bandits 

Writer/novelist Jason Starr reunites with artist Dalibor Talajić to tell a science fiction story about heists and robots:

In a near future where automation has caused mass unemployment, programmers Kenji and Aurora’s careers seemed safe. But when they are suddenly fired, the couple hatches a desperate plan: assemble the perfect heist crew out of androids they programmed. The ensuing crime spree goes perfectly… until betrayal and sentience emerge in equally devastating turns!

“Like a lot of people, I’m fascinated by artificial intelligence and all of the ethical and legal issues the tech raises, and I felt that telling a crime story with android criminals would be an exciting and compelling way into exploring these themes” Starr said. “I’ve been telling people that Silicon Bandits is Blade Runner meets Ocean’s Eleven, which pretty much describes the tone and vibe that artist Dalibor Talajic and I are going for with this book.”

Look for the first issue on April 10.

And although it hasn’t been officially announced yet, Orlando and Huang are working together on a title called The Scale Trade.

“From moment one, Magma was the perfect home for The Scale Trade–building this wildly modern, boldly provocative dragon tale with Megan has been a dream, but that dream wouldn’t be possible without the support of an aggressive, forward-thinking publisher dedicated to supporting creators and laying the foundation for this business’s future. An idea is a seed–but without a rich creative ecosystem like Magma, that seed would never have a chance to grow,” Orlando said. Watch for more information on it soon.

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