Review: ‘Count’ puts a science fiction spin on a classic novel

Ibrahim Moustafa’s new graphic novel from Humanoids adapts ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ into a science fiction story, but ‘the magic is in what Moustafa and team add to it.’

When I was in school I was asked to read a lot of books deemed “classics.” Some I thought were okay, some I had to pull myself through even though I hated them, some I grew to love over time, but there was one book that had me hooked from the very first chapter. That book is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas.

I absolutely adored it. It had an interesting hero, wrongly accused and searching for revenge, it had a daring escape from prison, and an interesting message. I had the pleasure of reading an adaptation of this wonderful story, this time with it turned into a science fiction tale. To say I was ecstatic to read this is an understatement, and this book lived up to that excitement.

Retitled simply Count, it’s written and drawn by Ibrahim Moustafa (High Crimes, Mother Panic) along with Brad Simpson as colorist and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou as letterer. And they all brought their “A” game here. It’s a faithful retelling of the story with a new skin to all the characters and settings.

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Read the entire first issue of ‘Black Stars Above’

Check out the entirety of the first chapter of the Vault Comics title by Lonnie Nadler, Jenna Cha, Brad Simpson and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.

Courtesy of Vault Comics, we’re pleased to present the entire first issue of Black Stars Above by Lonnie Nadler, Jenna Cha, Brad Simpson and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. Described as a “chilling historical cosmic horror tale of survival,” the story features a desperate young fur trapper in 1887 Northern Canada who is hired to deliver a package:

The year is 1887 and a storm brews. A young fur trapper flees her overbearing family only to get lost in a dreamlike winter wilderness that harbours a cosmic threat. The fur trade is dead and the nation is changing. Yet, Eulalie Dubois has spent her entire life tending to her family’s trapline, isolated from the world. A chance at freedom comes in the form of a parcel that needs delivering to a nameless town north of the wilderness. Little does Eulalie know, something sinister hides in those woods and it yearns for what she has.

It’s a series that Shane Bailey said is “a masterclass in building tension and dread,” and is “the equivalent of a Shepard Tone, the illusion of the ever-rising note. Eventually the musician ends the song, ending that tension. In this case, though, I really don’t want it to end.”

You can check out the first issue below, and look for the just-released trade paperback at a comic shop near you.

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‘Crone’ fights one last time this November

Dennis Culver, Justin Greenwood, Brad Simpson and Pat Brosseau team up on a new comic from Dark Horse.

An old fighter fights again as Dennis Culver, Justin Greenwood, Brad Simpson and Pat Brosseau present Crone, coming this fall from Dark Horse Comics.

“This is a story I’ve long wanted to tell,” said Culver in a press release. “Crone is about facing death after a long life of regret and trying to rise to the challenge of making up for your mistakes when given one last chance.”

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IDW brings Mahnke’s ‘Lore’ podcast to comics

‘Wellington’ from IDW Publishing will explore the stories discussed on the podcast.

Aaron Mahnke’s Lore podcast has spawned books and an Amazon series, and starting in December he’s making the jump to comics. Mahnke will collaborate with co-writer Delilah S. Dawson, artist Piotr Kowalski and colorist Brad Simpson on Wellington.

“History and folklore are deep wells, and they are honestly a fiction writer’s dream come true,” said Mahnke. “With an amazing cast of characters just waiting to be called upon, and centuries of belief in the supernatural setting the stage, I’m excited to share these powerful stories in a brand-new way!”

The comic will delve “even deeper into Lore’s dark side of history.” It will introduce the Duke of Wellington, who investigates the mysteries and monsters discussed on the podcast.

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