Image: New Tony Harris and Seeley & Norton, Reissued Casey & Adlard [ECCC]
Although impossible to top the blitzkrieg of news that came out of the Image Comics Expo in February, this year's Emerald City Comicon did come with some cool news from the indie comics publisher who this year celebrated its 20th anniversary. The occasion was recognized by a presentation that included announcements of new Image projects like Tony Harris' Roundeye for Love (four-issue fantasy/revenge miniseries), Tim Seeley & Mike Norton's Revival (new monthly "rural noir" book), and a new hardcover edition of Rock Bottom, the 2006 graphic novel by Joe Casey & Charlie Adlard.
Illustrated and written by Harris, Roundeye for Love was originally conceived as a graphic novel and first presented to readers as a Kickstarter project. A goal of $60,000 was not met, but Harris' second attempt for $10,000 was successful, funding the creation of some amount of the book for the purposes of pitching it to Image.
Harris described the story of Roundeye for Love on Kickstarter:
A mysterious , hulking white man known only as ROUNDEYE stumbles out of the jungle, and into the arms of a woman (Tulip) who is forbidden to all who know her. She is the wife of Roundeyes soon to be Master, Yoshitsuni, a fierce Samurai, who controls the region with an Iron fist and little mercy. Their cursed love affair produces a child that damns them both to fates they can't possibly imagine, ripping them apart and flinging their helpless souls to the farthest corners of the planet.
ROUNDEYE is left for dead, and his Tulip banished to a Brothel by her vengeful husband.
Yoshi, praying in his temple is approached by a Shinto underworld demon who offers him "SIGHT". An ability to "see" his opponents every move in battle before they make it, transforming Yoshi into an invincible and horrible man. His price? He must blind himself in return for the Dragons Claw, which contains it's eye, protected inside it's balled up fist. Yoshi, blinded, and able to see clearer than ever before amasses a blind Army of Samurai that ride the land wielding the Dragons Claw as their standard, unstoppable, and terrible.
ROUNDEYE is found by a retired swordsmith on the verge of death and nurses the Hulk back to health at the cost of his arm, which the Smith has replaced with an artificial limb. He gifts ROUNDEYE the last sword he created before retiring, and sends ROUNDEYE on a path to regain a love lost, twisting and turning on a blood-soaked road to the ultimate battle against Yoshitsunis unstoppable army, with the hope of reuniting with his Tulip.
According to CBR's report of the Image panel, Harris told the gathered fans that Roundeye is "the most personal work" he's done in his comic book career. The first installment arrives sometime in the Fall.
Image also officially announced Revival, a new ongoing series by Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash, Witchblade) and Mike Norton (Battle Pug, Action Double Feature) that's been teased around the Web with funny, faux newspaper clippings that describe a world where the dead are returning to life -- but not as zombies, it seems. Revival is at once a supernatural drama and a crime saga. Issue #1 goes on sale in July, and you can learn some more about its origins and style in this interview with CBR's Kiel Phegley.
Finally there's Rock Bottom, a new hardcover edition of the 2006 Joe Casey/Charlie Adlard graphic novel published by AiT/PlaNETlar. It's the surrealist drama of Thomas Dare, a rockabilly musician who is literally turning to stone. I interviewed Casey about the book the first time around. The writer said, "We take a much more realistic look at this kind of 'power fantasy.' The heart of the story is how this condition of Thomas' affects his life and the lives of his close circle of friends. Hopefully, it's a very human story."
Complimenting the unique premise, Rock Bottom is drawn by The Walking Dead's Charlie Adlard in a distinctly different style than that most popular zombie book, as you can see in these lovely preview images.