I'm always a little wary writing about anything which gets announced on April Fools Day, but whatcha gonna do? In a press release this morning, Black Caravan (an imprint of Scout Comics) has announced a NEW 5-Issue Title!
I'm all about Scout Comics, and everything published through Black Caravan has also been AWESOME! However, to find information on the plot etc. they are taking on an interesting marketing campaign. They're calling it a mystery campaign....
To help promote Swamp Dogs, Black Caravan is embarking on a mystery campaign leading up to the release of an ashcan comic July 2021. “We have never attempted a mystery campaign before, but it just felt right with this book!” said Rich Woodall, Co-Publisher of Black Caravan. Black Caravan will be distributing bookmarks featuring teasers leading up to July. Bookmarks will be included in all subscription boxes for Scout Comics and Black Caravan, as well as being distributed to comic shops around the U.S. The cover of issue 1, as well as a plot synopsis, will be revealed in July.
Really, this is the sort of Ballsy moves that I love to see from a publisher. Announcing the book, but then releasing teasers through bookmarks etc. is going to be fascinating. I'm really looking forward to hypothesizing what the story is about with my fellow subscribers to the Scout Box.
A 5-issue mini is just the start, however. In the press release, they have also announced that this will lead to the creation of a broader Swamp Dogs universe:
Following the miniseries, Swamp Dogs will tentatively continue in phases that will include multiple ongoing series, future minis, and standalone issues. “The book is everything we wanted to represent when we started Black Caravan,” said Joseph Schmalke, Co-Publisher of Black Caravan and CCO of toy division Tracker Collectibles"
One thing I will add, is that while this campaign looks like a fun idea to build, and I'm excited to see what a broader universe looks like under the Black Caravan imprint.....there's no fooling around when it comes to the creative team which has been announced:
The creative team behind Swamp Dogs has been announced as well. Kewber Baal is illustrating the book. His past work includes Army of Darkness: Furious Road, KISS, and Garth Ennis’ Jennifer Blood. Coloring the book is comic veteran Ruth Redmond, whose past work includes Deadpool, Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, and Giant-Size X-Men from Marvel, Eve of Extinction from TKO Studios, and work for BOOM! and Valiant. Letterer Steve Wands is a comic industry veteran with over 1400 credits to his name from Attack on Titan, Action Comics, and Batman to Peanuts, Scalped, and Image hit Gideon Falls. Covers are being illustrated by Robert Sammelin, whose comic work includes Green Lantern: Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Escape From New York, and Neal Stephenson’s Cimarronin. He has also worked as lead artist for the Battlefield, Star Wars: Battlefront, and Mirror’s Edge video game franchises and done work for the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Nike, Waxworks, and Mondo. J.M. Brandt, a former contributor to popular entertainment sites Screen Rant and The Sportster, and newcomer to comics, is co-writer. Theo Prasidis, author of Image Comics’ The Doomster’s Monolithic Pocket Alphabet and an upcoming TKO Studios horror series, is also co-writing.
I'm SUPER excited to see what this series brings to the table, and I cannot wait to get the clues and eventually the ashcan in my Scout Box. If there were any time to hop on this box, do it now so you don't miss out on any of the fun!
I am a big fan of horror comics, and it is not until recently I've started checking out books from Zenoscope because other writers I really enjoy have published an issue or two through them. Getting to preview H.H. Holmes by Jay Sandlin has me convinced to pull more books from this publisher!
H.H. Holmes takes the story of America's first serial killer and brings him into the 21st century. The story opens three months in the past with the death of a young woman (presumably via asphyxiation) in what we learn is the Gemini Hoel in Chicago (also the city where Holmes' murders took place). However, three months after the death, the head of security Susan Murphy (a former Chicago police detective), suspects foul play and wants to investigate the room where the young patron died.
As she begins to explain her potential theory to Walter Lewis (her boss and owner of the Gemini), a private investigator named Harold Myers arrives indicating he is there to investigate on the behalf of the victim's family. From that moment the insanity is dialed up to eleven. We learn that hotel room 66 is under surveillance where a presumed killer could keep an eye on his victims as they slowly die. As our party of Myers, Lewis, Murphy and the maintenance man Trevor begin to work their way through the innards of the hotel, we learn how the intricacies of the hotel match the famed murder palace of H.H. Holmes.
What transpires through the book's 74 pages is a harrowing tale of murder, horror, and a touch of the occult. I got the exact same chills from reading this book as I did reading the works of Agatha Christie as a child. Who is the killer? How is something so elaborate built with nobody noticing (in both Holmes' case, and the present)? Will anyone make it out of the Gemini alive?
In one of the darkest things I've read of Sandlin's, I am truly appreciating the breadth of his writing style, as he has an intense murder-mystery which is perfectly wrapped up in such a short span! Also the art of Xavier and Otero paired with the colors of Araujo and Andrade creates the modern murder palace of nightmares, and every single line or splash of color adds to the sheer terror of the murderous motel Sandlin constructs.
I can in full confidence recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of classic murder-mysteries, to comic serial killer classics like Nailbiter, to even fans of movies like Saw. I'm glad I got to preview this book, and I need now, more than ever to start adding more Zenoscope books to my pull list, because this is the style of horror story which goes deeper and darker than any other publisher I've read crime/horror/mystery from.
Note: H. H. Holmes was originally slated to be released on March 31st, but has been pushed back to April 7th, and while your shop may have missed FOC, you should see if they can still order one from Diamond NOW!!!!!
In a press release from yesterday, Source Point Press announced the return of their epic steampunk series Monstrous, which is the publisher's longest running title. It will be returning in a new miniseries called:
Monstrous: Heartbreak and Blood Loss
The journey of a 30-something father of three who's trying to break into the world of reviewing comics after a loooooong hiatus...