There aren't a whole lot of things I love seeing in comics more than a good high concept, and Paul Tobin, Alberto Albuquerque and Marissa Louise's Mystery Girl has one of the best premises I've seen in a long time. The basic idea is more than just a girl who solves mysteries; this is a girl who has already solved every mystery the second she hears about it, for reasons she doesn't even understand herself. That's the kind of hook that grabs your attention and refuses to let go.
But it's also the kind of hook that sets up a lot of expectations. It's such a simple, adaptable idea that there are a million places to go with it, and if Tobin, Albuquerque and Louise didn't stick the landing on the finished product, then the disappointment that they had such a great premise and did't do something amazing with it would've been every bit as intense as the excitement of hearing that idea to begin with. Fortunately, that's not a problem --- unsurprisingly, they've put out a first issue that's every bit as good as you want it to be.
When your comic is called Gunsuits, there's really only one way it can go. I mean, yes, it suppose that it could be about white-collar executives in the firearms industry, but unless those executives are supplying weapons to the forces of Cobra, I have to imagine that's going to be a pretty hard sell. No, it pretty much has to be a book about heavily armed giant mech suits, preferably with chainsaws for hands, and on that front, Gunsuits most certainly delivers.
But in the two issues currently out, as part of a push into comics by the publishers of Famous Monsters magazine, Paul Tobin and PJ Holden are going a little deeper, taking that same story of robot suits against interdimensional invaders story that we've seen time and time again, and building something new around one of the most fun and fresh twists that I've read in a good long while.
This week at Comic-Con International, Dark Horse announced a new project from writer Paul Tobin and artist Alberto Albuquerque: Mystery Girl, a new ongoing series about a girl who knows everything. Her name is Trine Hampstead, and if you ask her a question, any question, no matter how big or small, she'll know the answer. As you might expect, she puts her skills to good use as a detective, but there's a catch: She doesn't know anything about her own past.
The first issue of the book will hit stands in December, but to get the answers to a few of the mysteries about the series itself, ComicsAlliance spoke exclusively to Tobin about where he and Albuquerque will take the series in its first arc, the push for world-traveling adventure, and how it all starts with a frozen mammoth.
This week marks the release of Prince Valiant #1, and with it, the final building block in the foundation of Dynamite's increasingly weird "King" universe. Built around the King Features characters that are best known as newspaper strips --- and in the case of The Phantom, a Billy Zane movie that invited viewers to 'slam evil!' --- the line got its start in the Kings Watch crossover in 2013. While Flash Gordon has stuck around and been pretty fantastic, it's only in the last month that the rest of the characters have rolled out into their own books to flesh out the world.
Now, with everything in place, the King line has pulpy sci-fi, mystic adventure, superhero action and swords and sorcery from the days of King Arthur all jockeying for position and trying to come together as a cohesive unit. And to be honest, it's actually pretty awesome to see.
With the exception of perhaps Marvel, Dark Horse Comics may have been the publisher that broke the most news about its upcoming books at New York Comic-Con this year. That includes new stories from Eric Powell and Sergio Aragonés, the latest adventures from the Eisner-winning Itty Bitty team, prestige collections of Kabuki and Pistolwhip, brand new horror tales from some of the masters of the form, and much more.
One of the best things about digital comics is that you can read them online pretty much anywhere, but sometimes, every now and then, you want to read them in print. Whether it's the extra features that inevitably come with a printed collection, the texture of paper or just the comforting reminder that physical objects exist and you are therefore not alone and isolated in a formless void, printed webcomics have a lot to offer today's discerning reader, and Dark Horse is stepping up to give you three of the most exciting collections of the year.
Set for release next spring, Eisner winning digital comic Bandette and the webcomic Polar: Eye For An Eye are returning to Dark Horse for the book trade customers, but the third, Murder Book is a newcomer, and it looks awesome.
Back in March, I spoke with Kelly Sue DeConnick about the unorthodox creative process behind Dark Horse's new Prometheus/Alien/Predator comics. Essentially, DeConnick and four other writers -- Paul Tobin, Chris Roberson, Christopher Sebela and Joshua Williamson -- got in a room together and hammered out one big story that will be told in a collection of miniseries. DeConnick had a huge notebook in which she collected a sort of series bible.
Now, those comics are about to be released into the world, starting with Prometheus: Fire and Stone by Tobin and artist Juan Ferreyra on Sept. 10. Dark Horse has released a trailer that digs into the process a bit and reveals a little about one of the characters who will appear throughout the series, Angela Foster.
Over the last twelve days, Dark Horse has thrown a spotlight on twelve new creator-owned titles that they plan to promote at this year's San Diego Comic-Con. The series include the Fight Club sequel from Chuck Palahniuk and Cameron Stewart, a new Hellboy series from Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, and Joëlle Jones and Jamie S. Rich's Lady Killer.
Also in the mix; new series from Jeff Lemire, Matt Kindt, Rafael Albuquerque, and Cullen Bunn, and sequels to Colder, from Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra, and Alabaster, from Caitlin R. Kiernan and Joëlle Jones.
In the pages of Paul Tobin and Benjamin Dewey's I Was The Cat -- a new graphic novel serialized weekly on ComiXology -- a young journalist is hired to ghostwrite the memoirs of an eccentric billionaire named Burma. The trouble, as you may have already guessed from the title, is that Burma is a cat -- specifically, a talking cat who has spent his last eight lives attempting to conquer the world. It's a great premise, but what Tobin and Dewey are doing in their story is interesting not just for bizarre feline histories, but for how dark and sinister a fluffy kitty who spends most of his time on-panel being petted by the other lead characters can actually be.
To find out more, we spoke to Tobin about the origins of the story, why you don't have to like cats to enjoy it, and the amount of research that he thinks a writer should be doing in order to create a proper history.
Remember that scene in Ghostbusters where Bill Murray is talking about the catastrophic effects of shutting down the containment unit, and he's all like "Cats and dogs, living together! Mass hysteria!" Of course you do. Now, if you ever heard that and thought "well that sounds like a pretty good premise for a comic book story about my favorite characters from the smash hit TV show Adventure Time," then friend, you are in luck, because that's exactly what's going down in Adventure Time: The Flip Side #6, the final installment of the miniseries by Colleen Coover, Paul Tobin and Wook Jin Clark!
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