ECCC 2015: Oni Announces Slate of New Titles (and Some Returning Favorites)
Celebrating March Madness (which is some kind of seasonal daze inflicted on America by either baseball or basketball or one of those other strange sports you all seem to love so much), Oni Press filled the week leading up to this past weekend's Emerald City Comic-Con with a series of big announcements, including the previously-reported news that the publisher is opening up submissions to everyone, and no less than seven new projects from a host of impressive creative teams. To help you pick a few winners (that's what March Madness means, right?) we've rounded up all the announcements in one place.
HOPELESS SAVAGES: BREAK
Jen Van Meter and Christine Norrie's Hopeless Savages celebrates its fifteenth anniversary in 2015, so that's a good time for a comeback. Hopeless Savages: Break sees Van Meter reuinted with Norrie, who provides flashback sequences within the book. Artist Meredith McClaren, who recently completed the very impressive all-ages graphic novel Hinges at Image, will join the team as the central artist for the new storyline.
Hopeless Savages: Break follows protagonist Zero as she settles in to college life, struggling to keep everything together as she prepares to go on a new tour with her band, The Dusted Bunnies. The story will also check in on other members of the Hopeless Savages, who all have their own trials and issues they're working on.
Hopeless Savages: Break is scheduled to come out this August as an original graphic novel.
LION OF RORA
Lion of Rora is a new graphic novel from Christos and Ruth Fletcher Gage, the husband and wife duo who also recently revealed as writers for Netflix's Daredevil, and artist Jackie Lewis. The book tells the true story of Joshua Janavel and the Waldensians, a persecuted Christian movement in 17th century Italy. Janavel, a peaceful man, is forced to take up arms and lead his people against the tyranny of a duke who wants to take away their freedom forever.
The book is a personal one for the writing team, as the Waldensians are actually ancestors of Ruth Fletcher Gage. The book will release digitally in June and in print come August.
Cullen Bunn, Drew Moss and Nick Filadi are the creative team for Blood Feud, an ongoing series. Having worked together on books like Brides of Helheim and Terrible Lizard, the creators should be on top form for this comedic take on southern Gothic. Featuring vampires, giant frogs, necromancers and huge spiders, the series is compared to films like Evil Dead 2 and Fright Night.
Bunn says of the series; "It's a story that's been with me for years, and the characters are, in one way or another, people who were important in my life, especially while I was growing up in rural North Carolina and Missouri. Spider Creek, the town in which this horrific little tale takes place, may be fictional, but it's also very real."
The series launches in October.
Ben Towle's long-running webcomic Oyster War will come to print later this year, with the story collected in hardcover in September. A fantastical pirate story, the series follows ship commander Davidson Bulloch as he attempts to protect the oyster farms way out at sea --- as oysters are his town's main export, and keep their economy going. However, he's opposed not only by pirates seeking to plunder the farms, but by all kinds of other mythical madness. Sea serpents, shape-shifters and far worse threats are out there on the high seas, and Bulloch is the only man who can stop them.
Three-time Eisner nominee Towle is a brilliant talent, and it looks like Oni is working hard to make sure that the book comes out in a format suitable to the story --- in the press release, Towle describes this as "a big, hardcover, European album-sized book with high-end production values".
A new graphic novel from the team of Matt Gardner and Rashad Doucet, Alabaster Shadows will be released by Oni in December. This one feels like an all-ages Stephen King style-story, inspired by 1980s paranoia movies. When Carter and his family move into the seeming paradise town of Alabaster Shadows, everything seems perfect at first --- until Carter uncover a terrible secret that has caught all the adults in town in its thrall.
Children vs Cthulhu, it seems, in a story wonderfully described as "too frightening for adults to handle". Both Gardner and Doucet are new to me, but Doucet's artwork has an incredible sense of life to it. For me, this seems the most exciting of all Oni's new books for 2015.
Stringers, from the team of Marc Guggenheim, Justin Greenwood and Ryan Hill, is an ongoing series starting in December that follows two cameramen, Nick and Paul, as they film various car chases, shootouts and other breaking news stories for television. But when a gunfight between a criminal gang and the LAPD goes wrong, the pair find themselves forced to go on the run.
Guggenheim and Greenwood are well-known to Oni Press readers as the team behind Resurrection, and it seems that this project has been quietly running ever since that story concluded. As Guggenheim describes it:
Justin and I had such a blast working together on Resurrection at Oni Press that I wanted to create something new just for him and he’s knocked it clean out of the park with jazzy visuals that really capture the concept’s humor and breakneck pacing.
The tenth anniversary edition of Joshua Hale Fialkov and Noel Tuazon's Elk's Run comes out in November, and it's an oversized hardback collection of the much-acclaimed story that launched the careers of both creators.
Set in Elk's Ridge, the story is a tale of small-town harmony gone desperately wrong. Originally founded to be a haven free from corruption and violence, over the years the town has become a paranoid, terrifying place to live. When an escape attempt goes wrong, everything starts to completely fall apart as the people decide just what lengths they will go to simply to keep their 'haven' intact.