Mail Call | ‘TerrorWar’ debuts from Saladin Ahmed + Dave Acosta

Check out recent news and updates from Saladin Ahmed, Top Shelf, IDW, James Tynion IV, Kyle Higgins and more.

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

Saladin Ahmed posted the first pages of TerrorWar this week, the comic he first announced when he launched the paid version of his Substack newsletter. Drawn by Dave Acosta and Jay Leisten, the comic is about a city where people’s worst fears have come to life somehow, and the terrorfighters who face them with really big guns.

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Image Comics announces ‘Razorblades: Small Cuts Special’

The one-shot will collect all of Tynion’s stories from his ‘Razorblades’ horror anthology.

Image Comics will release Razorblades: Small Cuts Special, next April, collecting several horror stories by James Tynion IV and multiple collaborators that first appeared in his Razorblades horror anthology.

James Tynion IV launched Razorblades last year during the pandemic and sold issues through his website, bringing together comics, prose, pin-ups and more for a pay-what-you-want digital anthology by a variety of creators. Image Comics has already announced a hardcover collection of material from the anthology, which will run about 400 pages.

The one-shot is geared to folks who just want Tynion’s stories, which will feature artwork by Martin Simmonds and Josh Hixson, among others. It’ll also feature the print debut of Killboy, who Tynion once referred to as the book’s mascot. Killboy was co-created by Ricardo Lopez Ortiz and will appear on the book’s cover:

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Mail Call | DC announces ‘Milestones in History’ anthology

Check out news, announcements and previews from DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Image, Z2 and more.

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

DC Comics and Milestone Media revealed more details about the anthology they plan to release this coming February during Black History Month, which was initially announced during DC FanDome last month.

Milestones in History will feature Hardware, Icon, Static and more narrating stories “Black trailblazers from across human history,” including Hannibal, the Queen of Sheba, Alexandre Dumas and more.

The 96-page prestige one-shot will cost $9.99 and arrives Feb. 15.

Here’s the full solicitation:

Celebrate Black History Month the Milestone way, as the superpowered citizens of Dakota (including Static, Icon, Rocket, Hardware, and more) narrate the true stories of Black trailblazers from across human history! Witness the military campaigns of Hannibal and the Queen of Sheba, the literary accomplishments of Alexandre Dumas, the World War One dogfights of Eugene Bullard against the legendary Red Baron, and many, many more, all written and drawn by a who’s who of comics and literary talent! On sale February 15th, this 96 page anthology honors Black History from around the world in a beautiful, prestige format book.

Written by REGINALD HUDLIN, ALICE RANDALL, TOURÉ, MICHAEL HARRIOT, and more
Art by VARIOUS
Cover by CHRISCROSS
Variant cover by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
$9.99 US | 96 pages | Prestige Format | One-shot

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Comics Lowdown | Texas school district bans ‘The Breakaways’

Plus: Scout Comics launches Latinx imprint, Marvel’s legal battles, New York Comic Con and more!

Cathy G. Johnson’s The Breakaways joins the list of banned graphic novels making headlines over the past few weeks after Spring Branch Independent School District in Texas banned it from school libraries.

Spring Branch Independent School District, which serves part of Houston, told the Houston Chronicle that the graphic novel was removed from schools because it was “not age appropriate nor was it appropriate for its intended educational use.” A committee decided to ban it after receiving a letter from a parent.

The graphic novel is about a diverse 8th-grade soccer team that includes a trans character.

“The book includes kids of all sorts of identities to reflect the world that is around us,” creator Cathy G. Johnson told the Chronicle. “There is a transgender student who comes out in the book. He is just one of many characters who make up my book, as well as one of the identities that make up the world.”

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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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Substack moves into comics with Tynion IV, Hickman, Ahmed + more

The email newsletter platform makes a big leap into digital comics this week with a deal that could ‘redefine the next few decades of our industry,’ according to James Tynion IV.

News broke today that several comics creators will begin publishing comics via Substack, the email newsletter platform that’s been making a concentrated push to recruit content creators of all sorts to its subscription-model service.

According to the New York Times, Jonathan Hickman, James Tynion IV, Saladin Ahmed, Molly Ostertag and Scott Snyder will publish new comic book stories, essays and how-to guides on the platform. Several of these creators already have existing newsletters on Substack, but starting today they’ll offer a paid option that will give you access to future creator-owned comics. Others, like Ostertag, launched their newsletter today.

As The Beat reported a couple of months ago, former Amazing Spider-Man writer Nick Spencer is involved, serving as a liaison between the creators and Substack. The creators will be paid by Substack, who will keep any revenue for the first year, and only 10 percent after that. According to Tynion, his deal is the kind “I was dreaming would fall out of the sky and into my lap,” he said in his Tiny Onion newsletter today.

“I think this is the best deal for creators the comics industry has ever seen, and with some ambition and some ingenuity, I think this deal, and deals like it, are going to redefine the next few decades of our industry,” Tynion said.

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‘House of Slaughter’ spins out of ‘Something is Killing the Children’ in October

James Tynion IV, Tate Brombal, Werther Dell‘Edera and Chris Shehan will explore ‘the secret history of the Order that forged Erica Slaughter into the monster hunter she is today.’

The world introduced in James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera’s Something is Killing the Children will grow in October with House of Slaughter, a new series that will reveal more of the back story behind the order that trained monster hunter Erica Slaughter.

Tynion and Dell’Edera will be joined by co-writer Tate Brombal, artist Chris Shehan, colorist Miquel Muerto and letterer AndWorld Design.

“Ever since our first glimpse of the House of Slaughter in Something is Killing the Children #5, I knew that there was an entire world of monsters and monster hunters outside of Erica Slaughter’s story. And once the book grew into the juggernaut of a series it’s become, thanks to all of our incredible fans, I knew I wanted to start telling those stories,” Tynion said. “I’m so honored to have the incredible Tate Brombal and the phenomenal Chris Shehan joining us to tell this exciting new story introducing everyone to the hunters Erica grew up alongside, and the other Houses within the Order of St. George, while Werther and I start plotting out Erica’s next adventure!”

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DC announces Batman, Suicide Squad and more for Free Comic Book Day 2021

A ‘Fear State’ tie-in, a King Shark story and two previews aimed at younger readers highlight DC’s line-up this year.

DC Comics has announced their plans for this year’s Free Comic Book Day, revealing the four titles they plan to have available on Aug. 14.

The event is run by Diamond Comics Distributors, which DC stopped using last year as they migrated to Lunar Distribution. While Diamond won’t provide DC’s comics to retailers, they did say DC was more than welcome to participate.

Here are the four DC titles you can look for in August, which include a preview of the Batman event “Fear State” and a tie-in to the second Suicide Squad film:

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DC announces its next Batman event ‘Fear State’

Future State and Infinite Frontier collide in an event that will feature Scarecrow, Jace Fox, Catwoman and more.

DC Comics has announced its next Batman-themed event, Fear State, which will run through several of the Bat titles starting in August.

In its press release, DC said Fear State will be “the launching point for several new series and plotlines across all Batman-family titles, setting a new status quo for 2022.” And one of the tie-in books for the event will star Jace Fox, a.k.a. the Next Batman from DC’s Future State event, as John Ridley returns to write the character following The Next Batman: Second Son.

Here’s a look at all the tie-ins arriving in August:

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Tynion + Martinez + Bellaire book a trip to ‘The Nice House on the Lake’

Pack appropriately.

James Tynion IV, Álvaro Martínez Bueno and Jordie Bellaire will bring original horror to DC’s Black Label imprint with The Nice House on the Lake, a new creator-owned, 12-issue series.

Tynion described it as a personal horror story to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Sometimes it helps to look at yourself from the least flattering angle, especially when you are dealing with horror,” Tynion told The Hollywood Reporter. “Horror is a genre that is all about taking about societal fears and personal fears. And this is me taking apart those fears in this book.”

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The Joker break out into his own monthly series in March

Jim Gordon, Punchline and Harper Row will feature heavily in the new series.

Batman’s worst enemy and best ally will get the spotlight in a new monthly series starting in March. While the Joker gets his name on the marquee, the new comic by James Tynion IV and Guillem March will also prominently feature Jim Gordon.

But wait, there’s more: Each issue will also feature a back-up story by Tynion IV, co-writer Sam Johns and artist Mirka Andolfo, starring the Joker’s latest sidekick, Punchline, and Harper Row, a.k.a. Bluebird.

“When I was approached by DC about the concept of an ongoing series spotlighting The Joker, I thought, ‘What would that book even look like?,’” said Tynion. “I’m excited to share this story in a way that honors everything that a series about The Joker can be, while coming at it from an exciting, unexpected angle. I’m also thrilled to continue working with Sam and Mirka to expand the Punchline story we began in November as a back-up feature in this new ongoing Joker series. The Joker War was only the beginning of the terror and mayhem we’re creating!”

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BOOM!’s ‘Wynd’ will return in 2021

The series by James Tynion IV, Michael Dialynas and Aditya Bidikar will continue with new issues next year.

BOOM! Studios has announced that Wynd, the five-issue miniseries by The Woods team of James Tynion IV, Michael Dialynas and Aditya Bidikar, will return with issue #6 in May.

The series, which was originally supposed to be a graphic novel, was released early and as a miniseries as a way to help retailers when the comics industry returned from its COVID-19 lockdown earlier this year.

“James, Michael, and Aditya have built a world so steeped in magic and adventure, it’s been an absolute pleasure to see it all unfold,” said Eric Harburn, Senior Editor, BOOM! Studios. “Wynd’s story is far from over, and we can’t wait to show fans and new readers alike what’s in store for the magical winged boy and his friends as they journey across Esseriel in search of the place they truly belong.”

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