You know the expression, “live by the sword, die by the sword?” Well I read a lot of superhero comic books but I certainly don’t want to die being known for reading just superhero comic books. That’s why I like to spend time sampling what else life has to offer.I still mean comic books obviously.
I’m incredibly happy there are more non-superhero titles out there than you can possibly count. It really gives me hope for the future of comics as a medium because it means there’s something out there for everyone – the war buff, the Jane Austen lover and yes, even the Doozer fans.
That brings me to one of my favorite places to get my non-superhero fix – Archaia Comics. They’re specifically known for staying away from capes (unless they’re worn by adorable little mice) and their recent solicits for September have me very excited.
Roddenberry Productions (yes, the people who brought you Star Trek) are back with a sequel to their highly successful series Days Missing. If you haven’t read the first volume, I highly suggest picking it up. It was written and illustrated by a collection of talented creators but revolved around one very important man – The Steward.
The Steward travels to key dates in Earth’s past to help shape mankind for the better without them being aware of it. How is this possible? He “folds” time. Think of it like Groundhog Day except without the comedy and only 24 hours to figure out how to avert a critical mistake or major disaster. (Try that Phil Connors!) Once the Steward succeeds, he takes himself out of the equation and no one is the wiser. The only record of his seemingly selfless efforts is kept in a massive library no one has ever seen.
Or so he thinks.
We’re given this ominous description to the first issue of the sequel, Days Missing: Kestus. “Since humanity’s birth, The Steward has stood as a guiding force for our species. But now, he is not alone! The emergence of the ancient being, Kestus, may put everything he knows in question, and the future of those he means to protect in jeopardy.”
All five issues this time will be written by the same man who wrote the first and last of the original series, Phil Hester. It’s being illustrated by David Marquez (animator on A Scanner Darkly) with a cover by Alex Ross. No word yet on whether the art teams will change with each issue again or remain on through the entire five-issue run.Now, if you’re like me, this next one couldn’t come fast enough. The first issue of David Petersen’s Mouse Guard, The Black Axe, is also hitting stores this September. This is the start to the third volume (not counting the Legends series going on now, with stories written and drawn by other creators) of the Eisner Award-winning series about tiny mice with tiny swords fighting big scary animals like snakes and crabs and owls and bats and...and...! I worry so much about those poor mice it’s ridiculous.
Sure we had the awesome Mouse Guard roleplaying game and, the currently running and very cool, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard to keep us entertained but it’s been a long time since Winter 1152. Six bi-monthly issues all written and illustrated by Petersen is just what the doctor ordered. Here’s what we have to look forward to:
“Set in 1115, this prequel to Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 fulfills the promise the wise oldfur Celanawe made to Lieam the day his paw first touched the Black Axe: to tell the young warrior about the mouse who first wielded the deadly weapon. The arrival of distant kin takes Celanawe on an adventure that will carry him across the sea to uncharted waters and lands, all while unraveling the legend of Farrer, the blacksmith who forged the mythic Black Axe.”Finally, a brand new title piqued my interest. It’s called Feeding Ground. Being written by Swifty Lang, illustrated by Michael Lapinski, with a cover by Michael Lapinski, it takes place on former Route 666, otherwise known as the Devil’s Highway.
“In this factious story, a famine caused by Blackwell Industries drives Diego Busqueda, a noble ‘coyote,’ to lead a band of Mexican border crossers across the unforgiving Devil’s Highway, a desert cursed with blistering days and deadly nights. Back home, Diego’s daughter Flaca discovers that something hungrier prowls the factory fields.”
Horrors and legends aside, this comic is based around real-life drama happening every day at our borders so it will be interesting to see audience reaction to it.
The first of it’s six issues features 24 pages of bonus content in Spanish...which I’ll have to get someone to read for me. Or maybe I could try that whole “sampling what life has to offer thing” and go on a vacation to Mexico. With a couple of trades.Newsarama Note: Opinions expressed in this Op/Ed column are solely those of the author, and not necessarily the opinions or views of Newsarama or the rest of its staff. Are you reading Archaia's offerings? If not, why not? If so, what's your favorite?