‘Saga’ returns from hiatus in January

The award-winning series from Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples will return with a double-sized issue.

Saga will continue in January with issue #55, the first new issue from creators Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples since 2018.

“Other than my own family, collaborating with Fiona Staples on Saga is the most important thing in my life, so I can’t thank readers and retailers enough for their patience,” Vaughan said in a press release. “I think our next 54 issues will be even more shocking, strange and spectacular than the first 54, so we can’t wait to be back on the shelves at your local comic shop soon.”

The double-length issue of the award-winning series will clock in at 44 pages for $2.99, promising no “variant covers or gimmicky renumbering.”

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Image announces new ‘Astro City,’ ‘Arrowsmith’ + more from Kurt Busiek

The publisher will reprint several older Busiek comics, as well as new series like ‘Free Agents.’ Plus, more ‘Autumnlands’!

Image Comics today has announced enough new Kurt Busiek projects to fill that empty space you’ve been saving on your bookshelf. In fact, you may need a bigger bookshelf …

Next year the publisher will launch new volumes of Astro City and Arrowsmith, as well as a new comic called Free Agents. Autumnlands, Busiek’s Image Comics series with artist Benjamin Dewey and Jordie Bellaire, will also return, and the publisher plans to release new editions of Shockrockets, The Wizard’s Tale and Superstar: As Seen on TV.

“I’m thrilled to be back at Image and glad to be working with Eric Stephenson and the whole crew here,” said Busiek. “Image is the best comics publisher for creator-owned work, so it’s very nice to be bringing my books together here, where they can be available as a group, supported by the team here—and sitting alongside such great series as Saga, The Walking Dead, Criminal, Savage Dragon and so many more. And not just because Image is only about 20 minutes from where I live, so I can actually drop by the place, once the pandemic is in the rearview. My creative partners and I are looking forward to a having a home for the work we’re doing now and lots of new ideas to come.”

Here’s a look at what to expect:

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‘Stray Dogs’ returns in December with ‘Dog Days’

Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner return to tell short stories about the characters introduced in ‘Stray Dogs.’

This December you’ll be able to learn more about the different canines who appeared in Image Comics’ recent Stray Dogs miniseries.

Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner’s litter of dogs — who also appeared in one of Image’s Free Comic Book Day titles this year — will return for a two-issue miniseries, Stray Dogs: Dog Days. It’ll feature short stories about each of the dogs.

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Nocterra’s Blacktop Bill gets an origin special in December

Just in time for Christmas, Scott Snyder, Denys Cowan and Chris Sotomayor team up for ‘Nocterra Special: Blacktop Bill.’

Scott Snyder and Tony S. Daniel’s Nocterra will get a spinoff special just in time for Christmas, as Snyder teams with Denys Cowan and Chris Sotomayor for Nocterra Special: Blacktop Bill.

The one-shot will tell the origin story of the series’ villain, Blacktop Bill.

“We’re so excited to give you this special about Nocterra’s twisted breakout star and big bad, Blacktop Bill,” Snyder said in the press release. “This issue will tell Bill’s secret origin, and we couldn’t have better partners than legend Denys Cowan and Chris Sotomayor! Get ready for some of the most twisted fun yet…” 

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Mail Call | Tynion offers first ‘Blue Book’ for free

Check out news and updates from Marvel, Dark Horse, Top Shelf, Image Comics and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of cool things we’ve received in our mailboxes recently from comics publishers, creators and more. Hit the links for more information.

James Tynion IV was one of the first creators out of the gate with his plans for his premium Substack newsletter subscription, announcing a new comic called Blue Book with artist Michael Avon Oeming that he planned to share with paid subscribers.

But even if you aren’t a paid subscriber, you can still check out the first one, which he posted for free a couple days ago.

Blue Book is a passion project for myself and Michael Avon Oeming,” Tynion wrote. “We share a lifelong fascination with UFOs and a lifelong frustration with how those stories have been adapted into other media. There is a strangeness in the original accounts of UFO sightings that usually gets swept aside, but Michael and I want to lean into the strangeness. These are human stories of ordinary people who brush against the unknown and must grapple with what they see there. There is a deeper truth, whether you believe in the accounts or not, that lies in the many ways people tell these stories.”

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Mail Call | More on Al Ewing + Ram V’s symbiotic relationship on ‘Venom’

Check out news, announcements and previews from Image, DC, BOOM! Studios and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently that we haven’t already covered. Hit the links for more information.

When Venom returns in a new series from Marvel later this fall, it’ll be co-written by Al Ewing and Ram V. Each writer, it turns out, will be writing a separate character in the series, as the book focuses both on Eddie Brock and his son Dylan.

“How me and Ram are working together—we’re a band, essentially. Every issue is a new single, every trade is an album, and Eddie and Dylan are our instruments,” Ewing told Marvel.com. “They’re similar, but they make different notes, produce different sounds, build different stories. And for a while—so you should get used to it now—we’re going to be taking turns in the spotlight, playing Dylan songs or Eddie songs, while the other band member stays in the background. As each new single comes out, you’ll see how it fits together, forms one big concept album—or maybe a symphony. And then, when we’re ready, we bring all the instruments in for the crescendo—and that’s going to be something to hear.”

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‘Geiger 80-Page Giant’ will include a preview of Johns + Frank’s next comic

The oversized issue will also include contributions from Bryan Hitch, Jay Faerber, Peter J. Tomasi and more.

Geoff Johns and Gary Frank will release a Geiger 80-Page Giant through their publisher Image Comics in November, featuring a variety of creators playing with the characters and world they’ve created in the regular series. It will also include a preview of their next project, Junkyard Joe.

Creators contributing to the oversized issue include Bryan Hitch, Jay Faerber, Sterling Gates, Janet Harvey, Leon Hendrix III, Peter J. Tomasi, Pornsak Pichetshote, Staz Johnson, Joe Prado, Paul Pelletier, Sean Galloway, Peter Snejbjerg, Kelley Jones and Megan Levens.

“A really cool bonus to working on the original Geiger series was getting to see the interpretations of some of our favorite artists on the variant covers,” said Frank. “Now we get the thrill of seeing other artists AND writers bringing these characters to life in new and wonderful ways!”

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Image will publish John Leguizamo’s ‘PhenomX’

The comic, which was crowdfunded in 2019, will be drawn by artist Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez.

PhenomX, a superhero comic by Spawn actor John Leguizamo and artist Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, will arrive in stores in November courtesy of Image Comics and Todd McFarlane, who will provide a variant cover for the first issue.

The all-Latino creative team for the project includes Miranda-Rodriguez—author of the comic series La Boriqueña—as well as cover art by Jim Muñiz, José Marzán, Jr. and Juan Fernández.

“In today’s world, it’s incredibly important to support Latin artists,” said Leguizamo. “There is a lack of Latin representation in Hollywood, and it’s important to showcase Latin superheroes.”

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Young reveals new artist, Substack plans for ‘I Hate Fairyland’

Brett Parson joins Young on the ongoing series from Image Comics, while Substack premium subscribers will receive short stories set in the ‘I Hate Fairyland’ universe.

I Hate Fairyland creator Skottie Young has detailed his future plans for the comic, which he wrote and drew from 2015 to 2018.

Those plans include a new artist, Brett Parson, for the ongoing series, plus a series of short stories by various artists that he plans to post for premium subscribers to his Substack mailing list.

“In 2015 I launched my first creator owned book at Image Comics called I Hate Fairyland,” Young wrote.  “I was nervous that something as wacky and over the top as IHF wasn’t going to find a place with readers but man, was I wrong! Over the next few years, the book sold really well, I received tons of fan art, photos of tattoos and a wild amount of IHF cosplay. I was blown away!”

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Mail Call | Jim Mahfood’s ‘Grrl Scouts’ returns in November

Check out news, previews and announcements from Marvel, Image, IDW, BOOM! Studios and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently that we haven’t already covered. Hit the links for more information.

Image Comics has announced a new six-issue Grrl Scouts miniseries from creator Jim Mahfood, titled Grrl Scouts: Stone Ghost. The first issue will arrive in November.

“I’m extremely excited about this new Grrl Scouts series and I think fans and new readers alike will be very entertained and definitely get a lot of bang for their buck with this one,” said Mahfood. “I’m introducing an entire new cast of characters, expanding on the mythology of the Grrl Scouts, and handling every aspect of the production of the book: writing, drawing, coloring, and lettering, to make this a very unique experience! This series is for fans and collectors alike who are looking for something different and off-beat when they’re staring at that wall of new releases in the comic shop.”

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Rosenberg + Boss’s ‘What’s the Furthest Place From Here?’ coming in November

Each issue will come in a standard edition and a deluxe one that will include a vinyl single.

Matthew Rosenberg and Tyler Boss, creators of 4 Kids Walk into a Bank, are getting the band back together for What’s the Furthest Place From Here?, which will debut from Image Comics in November.

The series was originally teased during the 2018 Image Expo and is about a gang of children living in the ruins of a post-apocalyptic wasteland, searching for hope and vinyl. It’ll kick off with a triple-sized first issue, and they’re also planning a deluxe version that’ll include a vinyl single with new music from Jawbreaker’s Blake Schwarzenbach and California rock band Joyce Manor.

“We knew whatever we did after 4 Kids would have to be something ambitious and crazy, but we also needed it to feel like something that only Tyler and I could make,” Rosenberg said. “I feel like we really accomplished all of that here.”

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Zdarsky + Phillips team for the hardboiled ‘Newburn’

Image Comics will publish the first issue of the ongoing series in November, which also includes a back-up by Nadia Shammas and Ziyed Yusuf Ayoub.

Chip Zdarsky and Jacob Phillips will team for a noir detective story centered on the New York underworld in November, as the Stillwater writer and That Texas Blood artist team up for Newburn from Image Comics.

“I love the satisfaction that comes from crime procedurals, so the chance to do that in comic form, while crafting a massive story about a fictional New York underworld, was something I couldn’t wait to do,” Zdarsky told CBR.com. “And Jacob is the perfect artist for the book! His work is gritty and full of heart and he’s bringing it all to this book.”

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