Today at New York Comic-Con, Oni Press, the acclaimed independent publisher of creator-owned comics, announced a veritable smorgasbord of new projects bound for print and the web.
“I can't believe how much amazing stuff we're announcing at this show,” exclaimed Oni Press editor in chief James Lucas Jones. “We've got a new oversized hardcover graphic novel from Joe Harris and Adam Pollina, a pair of new series from writer Cullen Bunn, and a host of new projects involved in our 2013 reenvisioning of OniPress.com.”
Kicking the panel off, long-time collaborators Joe Harris and Adam Pollina announced their new deluxe graphic novel WARS IN TOYLAND. Darkly inspired by the classic story of BABES IN TOYLAND, this new book looks at the once wondrous and beautiful Toyland after the rise of the teddy dictator, Roxbury. After Matthew's brother and playmate, Alex, disappears, young Matthew finds himself carried into Toyland by his own loyal toy soldiers. Only Matthew soon learns that Alex has been here, too – and is now being held captive by Roxbury. Leading an attack on the teddy bear's fortress, Matthew never considers that his brother might be beyond saving.
"Ever since I was a kid watching LAUREL & HARDY on Thanksgiving Day, my demented thoughts have turned to wooden soldiers making war on one another," commented Harris. "WARS IN TOYLAND is a story we've been looking to tell for a long, long time. It's a dark fantasy about the things we throw away, the things we can't let go of and growing up, in a broad sense, even though it really sucks sometimes."
"WARS IN TOYLAND is as close to my heart as any story I have ever drawn," added Pollina. "As a young child I would spend hours dividing my toys into armies and leading them in some glorious battle. This graphic novel is heavily inspired by those childhood memories. I know I feel I'm still finding the courage to face the challenges in my life and win the battles ahead of me. And this book is an expression of that struggle."
Joining Harris & Pollina for the project are finisher Brent McCarthy and colorist Nolan Woodard.
"Joe and Adam really delivered an outstanding book and the work from Brent and Nolan just helps it shine that much more," concluded Jones. "The oversized, landscape format really makes their work a thing to behold.
Next, Oni Press marketing mastermind Tom Shimmin threw the mic to Cullen Bunn for a pair of big reveals.
Since the very first issue of THE SIXTH GUN, readers have clamored for more information about General Hume’s horsemen. And now the story can be told. What happened to the horsemen after their master died? The answers can be found the in February debuting series THE SIXTH GUN: SONS OF THE GUN. Written by Bunn & SIXTH GUN artist / co-creator Brian Hurtt, illustrated by Brian Churilla (THE SECRET HISTORY OF D.B. COOPER) and colored by Bill Crabtree, each issue features a look at a different member of Hume's ghastly gang.
But Bunn wasn't done there! Following SONS OF THE GUN February debut, comes HELHEIM--a new viking horror series from Bunn, fan-favorite artist Joëlle Jones and colorist Nick Filardi.
“Once the threshold of Helheim is crossed, not even gods can escape.”
During the age of the Vikings, savage wild men and dark creatures beset a small settlement. A brave war party stands as guardians of the helpless villagers, but they are no match for the horrors rising up around them. One of the warriors, a young hero named Rikard, will pay the ultimate price in battle…
But his ﬁght is far from over. Resurrected by an evil witch out for vengeance, Rikard is brought back as a pawn in her bloody quest. But can his warrior soul ever be contained? A gothic horror story of witchcraft, night creatures, and the undead.
Can't wait until March? Attendees of the panel didn't have to as Oni Press gave out special black-and-white preview editions of the upcoming series. Additional copies were made available for sale at the Oni Press booth.
"Working with collaborators like Brian Hurtt, Brian Churilla, and Joëlle Jones reminds me just how lucky I am to be working in comics and working with Oni Press," concluded Bunn. "I'm writing stories I genuinely love and I'm partnering with some of the best visual storytellers in the business."
"Cullen, Joëlle, and Brians Hurtt & Churilla, not to mention Misters Crabtree & Filardi, make my job a joy," added SIXTH GUN and HELHEIM editor Charlie Chu. "These folks are creating some of the most engaging characters and thrilling action in all of comics and I get a front row seat.
But possibly the biggest announcement for Oni Press was still yet to come.
The publisher announced the January debut of a totally new OniPress.com that will transform the website from a marketing resource for its print titles into a full-fledged content hub with comic updates five days a week.
"We saw the transformation of the music industry over the last decade and we see comics experiencing a comparable metamorphosis," stated Publisher Joe Nozemack. "We believe there's opportunities for new models to emerge alongside the existing ones giving both established and new readers comics that engage and entertain."
"We love comics and we want to share that love with as many people as possible," added editor in chief James Lucas Jones. "The web is the perfect tool to help us deliver great comics to a global audience."
The new OniPress.com will initially offer two new serials a week, along side three additional serials pulled from the publisher's 15-years worth of backlist material.
The first of these new series, A BOY & A GIRL by Jamie S. Rich & Natalie Nourigat and BUZZ by Ananth Panagariya & Tessa Stone were initially teased at Comic-Con International in July and now Oni Press is ready to reveal more about these exciting new graphic novels debuting on the web in January.
Have you ever met the girl of your dreams, only to have her disappear into a crowd?
A BOY & A GIRL explores a future where real people are rapidly being supplanted by life-like androids, the need for that emotional connection can become even more desperate, and Travis will go to great lengths to find out where that amazing girl he met last night, Charley, lives, so that he can convince her to go on a date with him.
What Travis doesn't know yet is that it's Charley's last night in town, and she's in a mood to really tear things up. If they're going to go on a date, it's almost guaranteed to be one that neither of them will ever forget.
Jamie S. Rich writer of the hit MADMAN spin-off IT GIRL from Image Comics is joined by one of the fastest rising stars of independent comics, cartoonist Natalie Nourigat.
"What a great team! What a great comic!" exclaimed editor Jill Beaton. "Old Man Rich gets to return to the romance genre he mined so brilliantly in 12 REASONS WHY I LOVE HER in a fantastic futuristic world fully realized by the lovely Ms. Nourigat. The characters they've created for A BOY & A GIRL will draw you in and grab your heart."
"I'm thrilled to be joining Oni Press on yet another adventure," added Rich. "And even more excited to be working with such an exciting talent as Natalie."
BUZZ rounds out the brand new comics coming to OniPress.com this January. The comic follows new high school student Webster as he finds himself thrown into the highly competitive world of 1-on-1 spelling bees.
"As soon as Ananth described the concept of BUZZ to me, I knew it as a comic we had to publish," admitted James Lucas Jones. "When Tessa Stone came on board to draw it, I knew we had something s-p-e-c-i-a-l."
Webster's vast vocabulary throws a powerful punch as he trains for the biggest Bee of his life and a showdown with the most feared speller the world has ever known.
"Seeing Tessa's work on this book week after week has been absolutely amazing," concluded Panagariya. "I know readers will feel the same way during every week of our run at OniPress.com."
But it doesn't stop there! Oni Press also revealed details about the two new series debuting on OniPress.com when the second season debuts in April!
Wook-Jin Clark, artist of the graphic novel THE RETURN OF KING DOUG returns to Oni Press with a series all his own. MEGAGOGO is an American Shonen story featuring a super sentai style team operating out of Atlanta, Georgia. Once upon a time, they were heroes, but it’s been 10 years since the last battle that left the city and the team in ruins. Now, they must assemble a new lineup that can reverse the city's scorn and defeat the kaiju monsters and amped up bigots that threaten the metropolis they call home!
"Giant Mech battles! Car chases! KKK robots! Wooo!" promised Clark. "Sit on your porch swing, sip on some sweet tea, fire up your tablet or laptop and get ready for MEGAGOGO!"
Joining Clark on OniPress.com in April, is DOWN! SET! FIGHT! from writers Chris Sims & Chad Bowers (AwesomeHospital.com) and artist Scott Kowalchuk (Image Comics' THE INTREPIDS).
In DOWN SET FIGHT, "Fearless" Chuck Fairlane was one of the fastest rising stars in professional football, but his career came to a screeching halt when he was expelled from game after causing the biggest team-on-team brawl in the history of sports. Today, Chuck's a teacher and football coach at Darius Rucker High School in Columbia, South Carolina, and is more than content in his new life. But when costumed mascots begin attacking him for seemingly no reason, Chuck soon discovers that even though he’s put the past behind him, it’s not always so easy to move on.
"This is one of the craziest comics in the history of crazy comics," concluded editor Charlie Chu. "This is SUPERMAN VS. MUHAMMAD ALI level nuts. But none of the insanity or hilarity would matter if Chuck weren't such a fully realized character. This is a story about never being able to truly outrun your past, but always having the option to punch it square in the face."
And with that, the most information-packed panel in the history of Oni Press came to a close, as does this press release.
About Oni Press
Founded in 1997, Oni Press, Inc. has become one of the comic industry’s most well-respected independent comic publishers--Revolutionizing Comics by focusing on character and story-driven creator-owned work in a variety of genres and formats.