In wake of the news of some indie publishers folding because of issues with that #CREAM (sad day) it does always excite me to see when indie publishers and writers put their feet to the pavement and knock on doors to engage their potential audience in multiple forms. One publisher who's killing it with the ground game at the moment is Band of Bards. Last week I wrote about the upcoming release of Coins of Judas as well as Cole's Comic Claims and I's Ignacio DiMeglio exclusive, today I dove into my second Band of Bards book, "Bro-D Can't Be Broken."
Bro-D Can't be Broken (Band of Bards)
By: Ben Humeniuk (they did it all!)
Releases: January 18, 2023
The solicit in Previews World offers the following summary: "In the year 2095, humanity is on the right track to recover from catastrophic climate change and to begin a new era of advancement. People from every background intermingle in clean megacities across the globe, and a commitment to tolerance marks their developing international society. But a group of beings called Deywos, who claim to be Earth's ancient gods, are harassing the human cities, hoping to terrorize humanity back into submission. The only person who can stand in their way is Bro-D, a genetically-modified teen who was altered and trained to save lives in the face of a mass crisis..."
The premise of the book already checks two themes I'm in to:
I love rebuilding stories that are post-post apocalyptic. We've seen plenty of wastelands of destruction where populations are clawing their way back to civilization, but we don't get too many stories where society has been rebuilt and now dealing with new threats.
I'm obsessed in reading about global governance in both fiction and nonfiction alike. The premise of a "world government" (google WOMP, my old debate nerd is glowing at that sentence) is rife with interesting academic (and conspiratorial) controversies, and I'm here for all of them.
As we walk through the Citadel founded around the hub of ancient Mesopotamia, you can see how society is pretty functional, yet the citizens do live in fear of the next attack of the Deywos, who believe all of the social mixing within these megacities is an affront to the cultural values desired by the gods. This ever-present fear of an attack gives me some real "Attack on Titan" vibes (although I don't know if we ever learn WHY the Titans attack because there are like a million books...). In this book our Deywos attack is lead by the one and only:
I just want to say, that I really enjoy Bregghammer as a villain you should hate. What I find the odd item I stare at constantly is his weapon. In my head, all I was thinking is "is that what pumpkins would look like in the Mad Max universe?" But I digress...
This 64 page, prestige format book is as high octane as I've read in a long time, because the instant we learn about the threat to the Citadel, Humeniuk steps on the gas and does not let his foot off at all. You 100% get enough world building, and Humeniuk expertly weaves backstory, love, and hope throughout the wave of destruction Bro-D attempts to prevent Breghammer from bringing forth.
I really loved this title, and I think it will appeal to a vast array of audiences.
First, if you love any sort of YA novels (graphic or not) you'll enjoy this book. While YA is not my cup of tea, I do love how quick they work through a story, and the wild pacing definitely keeps you leaning in across all 68 pages!
Second, if you love art, you'll enjoy this book. You'll hear me say a lot "damn I wish I had a coffee table sized copy of this." While BoB is not releasing something that large, a prestige format will do. I cannot wait to see how amazing Bregghammer looks on a full printed page and not a PDF! As the book flies into the climactic moments, Humeniuk's art style shows both the intensity of combat with a soft humanity of all involved since we have no clear feeling of who may emerge victorious.
While the characters who dominate the foreground of most images are full of detail, as we get into some of the wider panoramic panels the devil is really in the details, and Ben has me digging into the art like I'm looking for Waldo or trying to figure out one of those damned magic eye puzzles. This book is going to absolutely sing in a larger format.
Finally, support your friendly neighborhood indie publishers. Band of Bards is coming with an explosive slate of offerings, and after loving Coins of Judas, Bro-D Can't Be Broken says "hold my beer, I got this..." If these are the two early-slated offerings from Band of Bards, I cannot wait to see what else both the creators, but the publisher as a whole is going to do!
You should definitely pick yourself up a copy of Bro-D Can't Be Broken because it's the high octane thriller you'll need to get your 2023 started off right!