Co-created with BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon, Freelancers is the latest vision from Felipe Smith, creator of the cult favorite culture shock sex-and-violence manga, Peepo Choo. Freelancers is a Los Angeles action-comedy starring two distinctly skilled female leads who were raised in a kung-fu orphanage (inspired by true events involving Jackie Chan! Sort of!). The book is scripted by Darkwing Duck's Ian Brill, drawn by newcomer Josh Covey, and has the potential to be the kind of funny, sexy action comic we've been wanting to see from American publishers for a long time.

Freelancers #1 drops in October, but BOOM! hooked us up with some preview pages for you along with the covers by Felipe Smith, Khary Randolph, Fan Yang, and Ibraim Roberson.

Recognized as one of the only (the only?) American cartoonists making original manga for the Japanese market, Felipe Smith is a distinctive talent in comics, to say the least. I'm very familiar with his illustrations, pin-up artwork, and harrowing tales of success in the punishing manga industry, but I confess I've yet to read Peepo Choo (available from Vertical). However, I'm reliably informed it's among the best and uniquely thoughtful (and crazy) sex-and-violence comics you can find. As such, BOOM! and Smith are keen to provide the Wednesday crowd with a more mindful and entertaining alternative to some of the more dubious heroine books we may have written about before. Here's an early look at their efforts.