‘All Eight Eyes’ are on Steve Foxe + Piotr Kowalski’s new miniseries

Giant spiders invade New York in their latest project, which Dark Horse will publish in April.

Steve Foxe, Piotr Kowalski, Brad Simpson, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou have gotten the band back together for All Eight Eyes, a new miniseries from Dark Horse Comics about giant spiders and New York City.

The quartet previously worked together on a story for Razorblades: The Horror Magazine, which Foxe co-created with James Tynion IV during the pandemic. This new series continues the web of horror they started in Razorblades.

“I’ve been obsessed with giant-animal horror stories ever since seeing Them! and Gila! as a kid,” Foxe says. “All Eight Eyes is both an ode to the thrills of watching oversized predators chow down on humans and a reckoning with how much NYC has changed—not always for good—since the turn of the century, drawing on my own time in the East Village and Alphabet City. I’m so thrilled to be making this arachnid gross-out alongside Piotr, Brad, and Hass. The detail Piotr brings to not just the creepy-crawly aspects of the book, but to every chipped brick and sticky sidewalk of NYC, is unmatched, and Brad and Hass match his skill page for page.”

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Arizona Opera brings Georges Bizet’s ‘Carmen’ to comics

Back the Kickstarter for a new graphic novel adaptation of the classic opera by Alek Shrader, P. Craig Russell and Aneke.

You might not expect an opera to be referenced on a comics blog, but the two art forms have more in common than you might think, according to tenor, director, writer — and comic fan — Alek Shrader.

“Comics and opera have a lot in common,” Shrader told Smash Pages. “Engaging stories, interesting characters, artistic escapism… both art forms exist to communicate in storytelling. BUT, I think it’s the differences between live opera and comics that make graphic adaptation a strong idea. That being said, in their own fashion, both opera and comics tell dramatic and cathartic stories in meaningful, beautiful ways.”

In an effort to help connect more people to opera, the Arizona Opera has turned to Kickstarter to fund their first graphic novel — an adaptation of Carmen by French composer Georges Bizet, which itself was adapted from the novella by Prosper Mérimée.

“It’s a thrill for Arizona Opera to share the work of this remarkable team of artists through the graphic novel format and the timeless story of Carmen,” said Joseph Specter, Arizona Opera’s President and General Director, in a pres statement. “Throughout the pandemic, our company has constantly pursued novel approaches to connecting people through opera, when people need art and meaning the most. Carmen: The Graphic Novel represents an amazing opportunity to extend that focus on innovation, impact, and community.”

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Mind control goes viral in Kaplan + Pearson’s ‘Mindset’

The new Vault Comics series debuts in June.

Vault Comics will publish the “new psychedelic sci-fi thriller” Mindset, written by Zack Kaplan (Eclipse, Port of Earth), drawn and colored by Eisner-winning Blue In Green artist John J. Pearson, lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou and designed by Tim Daniel. 

Mindset is a mind-bending sci-fi thriller about four wide-eyed grad students who discover mind control and put it in an app, and a dark journey that follows, twists and turns, murder and mystery, love and heartbreak through the absurd world of overnight technopreneurs and social media empires,” said Kaplan. “But the series is really about a dilemma I think we all feel today. How do we use devices, social media and apps to connect with each other and feel influential without allowing the technology to influence the very choices we make and thoughts we have? We believe the timing for the story couldn’t be more socially reverent, since we’ve increased our dependency more than ever on technology, but as Silicon Valley tightens its digital grip on our behavior, mind control exists right now.”

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Curt Pires + Sunando C’s ‘Memoria’ will debut next Tuesday

The horror noir follows two detectives pursuing the unsolvable case of America’s most prolific serial killer.

ComiXology will release Curt Pires and Sunando C’s Memoria graphic novel next Tuesday, the digital comics platform announced today.

Announced back in April, Memoria is the latest title coming from Pires’ publishing deal with comiXology, following the release of Youth and its sequel, as well as Lost Falls. The two creators are joined by colorist Mark Dale and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou for the project.

Memoria is a dark and literary exploration of institutional corruption and the fall of America, through the lens of a sprawling murder mystery that sends two broken men on the trail of a prolific serial killer,” Pires said. “This is a book for fans of true crime and the films of David Fincher. I believe this series includes some of my strongest writing and I’m excited for everyone to check out the amazing work that Sunando, Hassan and Mark have done on this project.” 

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Prepare for the vengeance of ‘Chicken Devil’

Brian Buccellato, Hayden Sherman and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou will tell the story of a fast-food franchise owner pushed to the brink by the Russian mob.

Brian Buccellato, Hayden Sherman and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou are teaming up on a new story about a chicken.

Well, make that a chicken man, but he wasn’t blown up in Philly last night. Mitchell Moss, a happily married father of two, co-owns the Memphis chain of Hot Chicken restaurants and discovers his business partner owes money to the Russian mob. After the mob attacks his family, Mitch “dons the mantle of the Chicken Devil to fight back.”

AfterShock Comics will release the first issue of Chicken Devil in October.

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Joe Ciano + Joshua Hixson explore the monster within in ‘Children of the Woods’

The new horror/mystery graphic novel will arrive from Dark Horse in January.

Joe Ciano and Joshua Hixson will head into the woods for a new horror/mystery graphic novel this January.

Dark Horse will publish Children of the Woods, which the publisher says “will explore the monster within and what is left when that monster finally comes out.” Ciano and Hixson are joined by colorist Roman Stevens and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou on the project.

Children of the Woods is about the drive that makes people become monsters, whether it’s sparked through tragedy, anger, or just one’s own curiosity,” Ciano said in a statement. “This book is supported by an amazing coloring and lettering team with Roman Stevens and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. We’re thrilled that Children of the Woodshas found a home at Dark Horse. Josh and I always had Dark Horse in mind when we first started development on the book, so this is really special.”

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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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Shalvey, McConville + Palmer plot a time-travel caper in ‘Time Before Time’

The new science fiction series debuts in May.

Image Comics has announced that Bog Bodies‘ Declan Shalvey and the Write It In Blood team of Rory McConville and Joe Palmer are teaming up on a new series, Time Before Time. They’ll be joined by colorist Chris O’Halloran and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.

Set in the future, the story centers on two career criminals who steal their employer’s time machine.

“I loved what this team did on Write It In Blood so I’m really excited to take that crew and work on something more ambitious,” Shalvey told IGN. “This is a book with miles of potential, brilliantly realized by Joe Palmer and Chris O’Halloran. Their work to me, looks like the baby of Aeon Flux and Hellboy. I think readers will enjoy the gorgeous pages, but also the core story that follows Tatsuo into a more and more complicated set of troubles. With Time Before Time, Rory and myself get to write a crime drama that’s injected with even more dramatic twists and the compelling visuals that sci-fi provides.”

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Fund Me Friday | ‘The Trap,’ ‘Foundlings’ and Christmas with Karl Kesel

Check out crowdfunding campaigns featuring John Stanisci, Emma Kubert, Kyle Higgins, Lance Briggs, Danilo Beyruth, Liana Kangas, Scott Bryan Wilson, Ross Radke and more.

Crowdfunding continues to serve as a viable method for creators to fund their creative endeavors, as comic-related projects flourish on sites like Kickstarter, Patreon and IndieGoGo. The internet also allows creators to sell their creations direct to fans, through sites like Gumroad, Big Cartel and of course their own websites. If you’re looking to buy something from or support a creator directly, you’ve come to the right place. And that’s a good thing to do, now more than ever.

Send any suggestions of your own to jkparkin@yahoo.com.

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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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Science comic ‘Planet DIVOC-91’ launches on Webtoon today

UK science organizations come together to fund a webcomic inspired by COVID-19.

Several UK-based scientific organizations have funded a new webcomic that debuted today on the webcomics platform Webtoon. Planet Divoc-19 is a nine-part series featuring the work of many different creators, including Charlie Adlard, Alex Paknadel, Hannah Berry, James Devlin, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, Elsa Charretier and more.

As you might have guessed if you held the title up to a mirror, Planet Divoc-19 is inspired by COVID-19 and is billed as a sci-fi satire.

“Although the topics we’re discussing in the series are incredibly serious, Planet Divoc-91 is full of humor and is occasionally ridiculous,” said Sara Kenney, who wrote the first chapter. “We’re aiming for more of a District 9 or The Good Place feel than, say, Star Trek.”

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‘Quantum & Woody’ returns by Hastings and Browne

Valiant brings back the popular duo in January.

Valiant Entertainment has announced the return of one of their most popular titles, Quantum & Woody.

The duo — and the goat, of course — will return in January from Christopher Hastings, Ryan Browne, Ruth Redmond, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou and editor Heather Antos.

“They hunt a serial kidnapper, they clash with a brain monster, they stop government assassinations, they go undercover at a haunted high school, they take on a new mentor, and perhaps most excitingly… they get some new powers,” Hastings said about the new title.

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