Jingle our bells and embolden our sins! Image Comics has released its solicitations for the month that traditionally ends the year, and as of September we have no reason to believe that it won’t be December again this year. There’s a stack of new releases and one-shots in December, guaranteed to fill your stockings and empty your wallets…unless Santa is especially kind this year.
So “what’s next” from Image Comics?
Dead Body Road
Announced amidst a flood of other titles back at SDCC 2013, Dead Body Road is the latest addition to Robert Kirkman’s Skybound creator-owned imprint. From writer Justin Jordan, best known for his breakout hits The Strange Talent of Luthor Strode and The Legend of Luthor Strode, it tells the story of a man hunting down those he thinks are responsible for his wife’s death. Image describes this as “the bruising story of one man’s revenge and the dark road he travels.” Speaking about the title back in July, Jordan quipped: “They say when you seek revenge, first dig two graves. This one is going to take a lot more than two.” Blending the Western via a filter of crime and noir, it is the kind of genre-mashing concept that the folks at Image have been excelling at for the last few years. Matteo Scalera, formerly of Secret Avengers (Marvel) and soon to be seen on the upcoming Black Science (also from Image Comics) will be on art duties for this six-issue mini-series. Dead Body Road will be available from December 11.
Another new ongoing series from Image, this one hits shelves on December 26, so consider this as a potential Boxing Day gift to someone (or even to yourself). The official line on this book: “When Tomas Ramirez stumbles upon an extraterrestrial conspiracy to take over the world, his life is changed forever. He must now seek out those few souls who share this terrible knowledge. But even united, how can they hope to defeat a shadowy alien cabal that is both indestructible and eager to kill anyone who threatens it?“ Of course, there are really on two major sales points that need to be made here. The first is that it’s written by the Eisner Award-winning James Robinson, who has recently departed from Earth 2 (DC Comics), and is perhaps best known for his work on Starman, a character that he co-created with Tony Harris. The other selling point is artwork from J. Bone, who has recently done some beautiful work on The Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror, and has made a name for himself as the inker on quite a number of Darywn Cooke’s recent pieces. It has the promise of being something quite different for both creators, taking an Invasion of the Body Snatchers/The Thing influence and giving Bone’s often cartoonish illustrations a much darker edge.
Take a leaf from Martin Luther’s book (the 15th and 16th century German one), and be a sinner, and let your sins be strong. After all, if you’re going to sin, you should probably do it as boldly as humanly possible. Similar to this month’s one-shot anthology Love Stories to Die For, this is another one-off double feature from Joseph Michael Linsner, best known for the character of Dawn he introduced in Cry for Dawn all the way back in 1989. From the official solicitation: “In “Hell Is Waiting,” Sinful Suzi learns a lesson about the wages of sin. And in “Burning Roses,” Obsidian Stone loses an old friend and welcomes a new demon.” The gorgeous cover might look right at home in the Dynamite section of the comic book stores, but the appeals for fans will be a return to the black and white short stories and art that Linsner was known for back when he was first creating the aforementioned Cry For Dawn. Look for it on December 4.
At last! Christmas…and sex!
DC and Marvel have let us down this year with a distinct lack of dedicated Christmas specials, so Image Comics have come up with not one but two specials. In Krampus #1, from Brian Jones and Dean Kotz, we meet “the Secret Society of Santa Clauses. For centuries, Father Christmas, Ded Moroz, Hoteiosho, and others have magically distributed Christmas cheer to children around the world. But when the source of their power is stolen, a desperate Society turns to an usual source for help: the dreaded Krampus, child-punishing demon of holiday lore. Free of his cell for the first time in decades, will the Krampus uncover the truth behind the Santas’ depowering or leave his jailers to their ultimate fate? It’s Snake Plissken by way of the Grinch as the darkly comedic adventure begins here.” That one is out on December 11.
Also leave it to Howard Chaykin to bring us a Black Kiss II Christmas Special, “because nothing says “holiday fun” like an endless stream of incredibly nasty revenge sex”. Fans of Black Kiss and its recent follow-up will know that these books are full of explicit sex, which is what Christmas is all about really. Arriving just in time for Christmas on December 18, it’s also got one of the best covers of the month: