If you happen to be one of the hundred thousand plus attendees at Comic-Con International San Diego this year then you were a brave soul or a truly dedicated fan. If you happened to have been lucky enough to attend the press event for ComiXology, Amazon’s premiere digital comics service then you heard the announcement about the creative teams and titles for the next wave of ComiXology Originals. It also means you know that there is a lot to be excited about.
If you aren’t familiar with ComiXology Originals creator-owned comic books and graphic novels then let me let you in on a secret. Collectively containing the works of thousands of independent creators ComiXology Originals is the place to go for new and unique comic books, graphic novels, manga and so on. This is where they’ve been hiding the Good Stuff. The best part is that you can dive right in because the books are free to read for members of Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited, and ComiXology Unlimited. If you don’t have one of those memberships the comics are also available for purchase on Kindle and ComiXology.
However based on what I heard today you might just want to consider getting one of these subscriptions. They unveiled some future ComiXology Original titles that just massively increased the value in my personal Amazon prime membership including: The Dark by writer Mark Sable and artist Kristian Donaldson, Delver by co-writers C. Spike Trotman and MK Reed with art by Tish Doolin, and The Stone King by writer Kel McDonald and artist Tyler Crook.
The Dark – Written by Mark Sable with art by Kristian Donaldson
After a worldwide cyberwar ends technology as we know it, a former super-soldier teams up with a biopunk to fight the rise of a biological internet forcing humanity to connect to it—whether they want to or not.
Delver – Written by C. Spike Trotman and MK Reed with art by Tish Doolin
When the door to a living dungeon surfaces in the tiny hamlet of Oddgoat, village girl Temerity Aster has two choices: abandon the only home she’s ever known to carpet baggers and sellswords, or carve out a place for herself and her family in the new and dangerous world of delving.
The Stone King – Written by Kel McDonald with art by Tyler Crook
A young adult fantasy adventure about finding who you are through taking responsibility for your mistakes, The Stone King explores the life of a teen girl thief, working to determine her future path but instead provokes a giant.
Among these, the series I’m most excited for is Delver. First, It’s about a dungeon. As an avid fantasy reader, tabletop RPGplayer, and long time gamer; I am well acquainted with the wonders of dungeons. I’m expecting to see everything from ancient artifacts, to magic items, to bizarre monsters, as well as glittering treasure. Second, it’s a girl and from the sound of it a normal one. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my superheroes & mages but Temerity Aster sounds like your average ordinary girl daring to do something to ensure the safety and potential prosperity of her family. I would have killed for a comic like this as a kid. She’s going to face a lot of challenges and you can bet they won’t just be in the dungeon.
ComiXology Originals was kind enough to give us a sneak peek of the first two pages of Delver. It jumps right in to the action. No Long exposition, no campfire backstory, no elaborate world building – this comic is kinetic energy in ink. People are immediately running for their lives from a monster. This nasty beast that wants them dead and possibly for lunch is large, dangerous cross between a barracuda and a dragon. So yeah, there’s not a lot of boring in these first few pages.
Another great thing about Delver that has me really interested in this comic and it’s long-term success, is the main character, Temerity Aster. She looks like your average girl. What makes her above average is inside her. let me repeat myself ” I would have killed for a comic like this as a kid.” Let’s do a quick catalog the traditional comic / fantasy tropes that are missing:
- No boob windows
- Realistic Proportions
- Sensible clothing
- No Chainmail bikini
You know what, never mind. That will take too long because I’m not seeing a single traditional fantasy female / comic female stereotype leaping out at me. I mean just look at her. She’s a normal girl of an average height and weight, with a nice friendly smile (no come hither looks or RBF) wearing sensible clothes for what we can see is here world. Can we talk representation? Can we talk lack of male gaze? Can we talk positive body image? We could but honestly, I’d rather read this comic. It looks great so all of this is just icing on the cake!
There is one other reason I am so stoked about Delver. Delver is by an all-female team, I know women are more present in comics teams today that ever before but I currently can’t think of any all-female creative teams (other than the ones for Dr. Who and Judge Dredd) at the moment.
To me, one more all-female team is one more step toward balancing the scales. One more step toward serving the vastly underserved population of people who love comics but don’t fall in the traditional “comic book guy” stereo-type. I’m also stoked to see these ladies are not just taking over a franchise but pioneering a new series. And for the record these aren’t just a bunch of new creatives out of college with a mission. They are industry experienced women with a long-term goal. MK Reed has done a lot of work on YA books with First Second. C. Spike Trotman you might know from Kickstarter, Iron Circus Comics, or This Chicago Tribune profile.
Who is the Delver Creative Team?
C. Spike Trotmanwas born in Washington, D.C., raised in Maryland, and lives in Illinois. An artist and writer, she founded Iron Circus Comics in 2007, which has since grown to become the city’s largest comics publisher. Her best-known work includes the webcomic Templar, Arizona, the Smut Peddler series of erotic comic anthologies, and Poorcraft, a graphic novel guide to frugal living.
MK Reed is the Eisner and Ignatz nominated author of the The Castoffs series, and the graphic novels Americus, The Cute Girl Network, Palefire, and Science Comics: Dinosaurs. MK lives in Portland, Oregon with her very tall husband, too many books, and a sword.
Tish Doolin is a writer, comic book artist, former Army medic and displaced Texan currently residing in Kirkland, WA. When not drawing, Tish is either writing essays or learning about the Cold War.
While you wait for Delver to be released, ComiXology Originals also debuted some great looking series that are available now. You might want to take a look at these especially if you lean more toward superheroes or anime style art. I’m personally loving the Goliath Girls cover. Artist Alti Firmansyah has me ready to read. Love paranormal monsters or tales about clandestine espionage then check out Grave Danger. Other new titles available now are Hit Reblog: Comics That Caught Fire and Teenage Wasteland.
Goliath Girls Written by Sam Humphries with art by Alti Firmansyah
Monsters will rise, cities will fall…but best friends are forever! Zelda, Eunice, and Juliet are three best friends: orphans of the Kaiju Generation, and adoptive mothers to their own baby Goliath! For years they’ve searched for the elusive King of All Goliaths, the one fabled to bring the Forever War to an end. But they’re not the only ones on his trail.
Grave Danger Written by Tim Seeley with art by Mike Norton
She is Grave Danger, agent of Headstone, a joint clandestine espionage organization that handles all unspeakable crime! [Unspeakable Crime- Illegal acts committed by paranormal entities such as vampires, witches, demons, and Frankensteins.] Agent Danger leaps into action from the suborbital Mourning Angel base, afraid of nothing! [Except getting her sneakers dirty. And heights.] [Also, her past.]. The first release from Daniel Alter and Jeff Forsyth’s new company Comix AF.
Hit Reblog: Comics That Caught Fire Written and illustrated by Megan Kearney, edited by Hope Nicholson
Hit Reblog: Comics That Caught Fire showcases the viral sensations of the webcomics world and the true stories behind their creators. Follow the ups and downs of internet fame, from IP theft to book deals, and all the trials of becoming an overnight sensation after gaining 10,000 reblogs in a single night. Learn about the origins behind the hit comic strips This is Fine, All Houses Matter, No Take, Only Throw, and frequently-viral webcomics such as Owlturd, Cyanide and Happiness, False Knees, and Poorly Drawn Lines. Each of the twenty artists featured includes a biographical intro by award-winning comic artist Megan Kearney (Disney Princess, The Secret Loves of Geek Girls).
Teenage Wasteland Written by Magdalene Visaggio with art by Jen Vaughn
Smart-mouthed Ellie Tweed is the jerkhole new girl in school who falls in with the wrong crowd, who happen to have an explosive secret: they aren’t just jerkhole teenage girls with attitude, they are the Earth’s secret defenders! And Ellie’s their newest recruit. From the creative duo of Magdalene Vissaggio (Kim & Kim) and Jen Vaughn (Betty & Veronica: Vixens) comes this action-packed series where after school activities include transforming into superheroes and fighting monsters!