One of the biggest strides in the comic industry over the past decade has come in the form of a wave of exciting and accessible educational comics by established creators. It's something that First Second has noticed too, as the publisher is throwing its weight behind its established line of Science Comics and announcing thirteen more titles in the series, covering a wide range of topics, from cats and dogs to robots and drones.
Last year, Oni Press opened their submission policy to anybody interested in pitching, and was inundated with over 2,500 creators seeking to have their work published by Oni. This weekend at Emerald City Comic Convention, Oni announced five of the books that will be published thanks to this initiative
The first comic to be published via Oni’s open submission initiative was Natalie Riess’ Space Battle Lunchtime, which is released next month. There are plans to publish ten titles in total as a result of the initiative, with four more to be announced at a later date.
Back when it first started up, I wrote a review of Archie's Mega Man comic where I called it "the smartest superhero comic on the stands," mostly because of the way that it took on some pretty serious ideas without detracting from the accessible, all-ages adventure that made it such a fun read. That bit in the first arc where Mega Man starts to withdraw from his family, becoming cold and, well, robotic because of the psychological toll of destroying other robots like himself is still one of my favorite scenes in comics from the past few years.
Forty issues later, I can still stand by that statement. Mega Man hasn't just continued building one of the most enjoyably action-packed stories around the bare-bones plot of "go right, shoot robots" that it got from the video games, it's also having conversations about ethics, forgiveness and what it means to love someone that nobody else in comics is coming close to. And it's great.
As strange as it might sound, one of the best super-hero comics on the stands today isn't put out by Marvel, DC, or any of the other usual suspects. In fact, it doesn't even star a character that originated in comics...