by Clyde Hall. AfterShock Comics is expanding its original graphic novel line in 2019.
Joe Pruett, publisher/CCO of AfterShock (and an Eisner-winning editor and writer himself), dropped a couple creative team bombshells at NYCC today. One is a forthcoming release by Garth Ennis, famed for his work on Hitman, Preacher, and Punisher. He’s a preeminent scribe, frequently of ground-level characters who stand against a world of grit. He can be wickedly funny taking institutions to task, overwhelmingly violent portraying scenes of conflict, and often both.
The second venture is by Marguerite Bennett, a writer renowned for her work in presenting realistic relationships and the power of compassion in such titles as Angela, Batwoman, Bombshells, and her creator-owned AfterShock titles, Animosity and inSEXts.
Both wordsmiths craft tales using the nuclei of their hearts, emotions plied against all odds in ways that can bring tears in a variety usually reserved for flavors of ice cream. Hot Frustration. Velvet Sentiment. They field dreams and nightmares alike, and they’re power hitters. At AfterShock, each has a hardcover project debuting in 2019.
Garth Ennis can take superheroes (The Boys, Hitman) or leave them (Johnny Red). But he taps into a specific vein of creativity when imparting war stories. He makes us sweat alongside the tired grunt. Commiserate with him against the fate what places the duty squarely on him, or the clueless lieutenant, whichever is most deserving. Cheer for him when he overcomes, share a cup of bitterness when he doesn’t. In Out of the Blue, World War II RAF pilot Jamie McKenzie is fighting two fronts.
The death rattle of Hitler’s Germany is imminent, but the men tasked with protecting vital shipping along the coastline aren’t quitting the fight just yet. Those running Mosquito fighter-bomber missions to break the nautical supply line face withering firepower and heavy losses. Jamie’s one such British airman, earning his hazard pay by the minute. But he also has a commanding officer with no great interest in seeing McKenzie alive. They have a history. That’s why he’s saddled Jamie with the most broken-down plane and the most unreliable navigator the unit has to offer. The commander hopes stacking already iffy odds against McKenzie will settle their score for once and all. And Beth, Jamie’s poor widow-to-be, will also require consoling.
Ennis re-teams with artist Keith Burns (War Stories) to chronicle the aerial fight for supremacy during World War Two. For Jamie, they’ve crafted a danger sandwich of death from above or death from below, dealt a superior’s vindictive orders. Our hero is the slab of meat held helplessly between, ready for fate to drop on him like a 6-ton Tallboy bomb either way, from Out of the Blue.
AfterShock has kindly furnished some preview panels for us to gape over. You get a sense of pilot vertigo from these jaw-dropping beauties by artist Keith Burns.
$19.99 | 72 pgs. | Color | MARCH 2019
From AfterShock Comics: A WAR IS A DIFFICULT THING TO KILL
The Second World War is almost over, but no one seems to have told the Germans- as Royal Air Force pilot Jamie McKenzie finds out when he’s assigned to deadly shipping strikes along the enemy coast. Flying the Mosquito fighter-bomber against heavily armed targets is dangerous enough at the best of times, but after incurring the wrath of his vengeful commanding officer, Jamie is assigned the most unpopular navigator in the unit- not to mention the least reliable aircraft. Worse still, the commander’s sights are firmly set on Jamie’s beautiful young wife, Beth.
Writer Garth Ennis (Jimmy’s Bastards, A Walk Through Hell, Preacher, The Boys) and artist Keith Burns (War Stories) re-unite after the success of their series Johnny Red, presenting another tale of World War Two aerial combat- featuring skies black with flak and enemy fighters, nail-biting low-level action, and the dark humor of men whose lives can be snatched away at any second… Out of the Blue.
We all love our things. Things that bring us comfort, things that are invested with memories, things of monetary or personal value. But society also has a sickness. Many people place inordinate amounts of love on their material possessions, to the exclusion of any person, any loved one, kept at bay by the horde of items the afflicted construct around themselves.
Ruby Ando is one of those alienated by the fortress of commodities carefully gathered by her estranged and isolated mother. Within the twisting path that remains of her childhood home, Ruby’s mother is a virtual prisoner… but one who doesn’t want to escape. After her father’s death, Ruby is determined to reconnect with her surviving parent, only there are things in the way. Literally, thousands of things that her mother cares more about than her daughter. Only in this case, the things of the Horde love their owner back.
And the Horde has no intention of sharing her with Ruby. Both women must face the unnatural assault of possessions bent on possessing them. They’ll have to fight for their freedom against a nightmarish hive-mind of trinkets and treasures granted a paranormal life of its own. Can the mother and daughter bury their past amid the detritus and combine forces to overcome the sentient accumulation? Or will they be collected into the Horde?
Here is the claustrophobic cover by artist Leila Leiz.
$19.99 | 64 pgs. | Color | SUMMER 2019
From AfterShock Comics: After the death of her father, Ruby Ando tries to reconnect with her estranged and isolated mother, whose hoarder house is a nightmare labyrinth of secrets and dangers. All the love Ruby was never shown, she sees her mother lavish on her treasures and trinkets, the possessions that possess her. But when Ruby desperately to free her mother, the house wages war, ensnaring both women within its maze. Brought to hideous and twisted life by her mother’s love, the Horde is determined to purge Ruby from the collection — or else see her join it forever.”