Writer: Cullen Bunn Artist: Baldemar Rivas (Cover A), Kyle Strahm (Cover B) Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: July 10, 2019
The X-Files meets Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation with the mounting terror of a classic Stephen King novel in the forthcoming series Unearth—an all-new horror series from Cullen Bunn, Kyle Strahm, and Baldemar Rivas launching this July from Image Comics.
In Unearth, a flesh-warping disease ravages a remote village in Mexico and a scientific task force travels to the inhospitable area to investigate the contamination. Tracing the source of the disease to a nearby cave system, the team discovers a bizarre, hostile ecosystem and a supernatural revelation from which they may never escape.
“I feel so lucky to be working with Kyle and Baldemar on this book,” said Bunn. “Kyle and I have such similar sensibilities when it comes to horror, but there are enough differences in our tastes that we challenge each other. And Baldemar! What an amazing talent! And he has helped us to push the boundaries of what this tale of terror is all about. We want this story to be something different and shocking and fun and surprising, and I think we've succeeded!”
Strahm added: "If you like the idea of beautiful horror, Unearth is the book for you. Baldemar's art is as pretty as it is disturbing. And Cullen always gives the creeps."
Rivas said: "I'm incredibly proud of Unearth and thrilled to be working with two of the most twisted minds in comics. This book is filled with the most disturbing storytelling that I've ever done, with a perfect balance of grotesque, beautiful, and chilling imagery in each issue. I'm excited to unleash this beast upon the world."
As per above description, a scientific task force is heading into a remove village in Mexico to investigate the contamination. The team consists of Dr. Reyes, Dr. McCommick or Frankie and Lieutenant Morris while Alejandro one of the few citizens not being sick from whatever is affecting the area is supporting their efforts as a guide.
Since it's still very early we can't discuss about the story of the comic series, even though our preview suggests that it goes above and beyond, the art itself is what made us want to read the four page again and again.
Starting with almost an absense of color only focusing on the reds which in most cases suggest blood and horror and then moving on to the smooth overlays in pages three and four.
Five issues later, now Bitter Root has been optioned for a live-actioned movie after having their movie rights bought from Legendary as Deadline reports.
The series creators, David F. Walker, Sanford Greene and Chuck Brown will be executive producers along side with Sean Owolo while Jon Silk and Disney Hall will oversee the entire project.
“[With Bitter Root, we're] mixing action and horror, with a cast of characters unique to the medium to tell an epic tale of the Sangerye family, and the sacrifices they are willing to make for humanity," said Walker.
"Little Bird" is set in an alternate reality where people are fighting over their freedom against a government controlled by religious zealots that are expanding their holy empire by forcefully invading countries and violently killing non-believers.
In that alternate reality, that looks in some ways a lot like the Spanish Inquisition, leaves Little Bird and her mother, the head of the resistance against the holy empire of the United States of America who is invading Canada in order to expand its questions ground.
Little Bird embarks her journey into a much larger world trying to find "The Axe". A legendary warrior that will help save the people, free the north and finally save the world.
The story might sound a bit confusing when you get into it but keep in mind that this is the first of story of the series and it is meant to create some questions that the creative team behind it will answer as the adventure progresses.
The first issue contains a whole lot of action and adventure and it manages to give a view from a number of interesting characters that will form the core of the series, the protagonists and antagonists of our story.
Little Bird #1 Art Review
Bertram's is going above and beyond with the art it this first issue and in times it's worth just stopping and looking closely at those pages before you turn the page. Each page tells a different story, and even though the world seems like an alternate reality where the only difference is who holds the power and how that power is being used, the art is telling so much more.
A very familiar setting but yet so different at the same time. Super violent, macabre sci-fi infused with surrealism.
Best Image Comics of 2019 (so far)
Image Comics has been known to be publishing the industries most bizarre and unique comics of all time. Very different than the rest of the industry publishers such as Marvel or DC Comics, Image Comics has in the repertoire comic series that you've never had the chance to read before and in many cases, as you will see below, they don't rely on super-hero teams or powers to create a story so compelling that you wont be able to resist.
Bitter Root is a comic series with something to say. This is not always or even usually the case with most comic series out there. Walker and Brown are not afraid to tackle some seriously sensitive areas that a lot of authors (or publishers for that matter) tend to stay away from and by doing so they set themselves far above most new comic series I had the chance to read.
Some of the subjects Bitter Root is so elegantly touching is racism and gender equality. How racism, and I quote the authors
It is an ignorant, vile, viscous monster that lurks in humanity's past, present and, sadly in our future. Bitter Root takes this monster and gives it a face and a body and an uncontrollable desire to kill.
Chuck Brown & David F. Walker
So while reading the first of, hopefully, many issues to come we get to realize that this is not just a simple adventure comic. This has something deeper embedded into it. Slowly we get to figure out that the monster might not exactly be what it seems and the hunters are not just killing off their pray but their job is to free the humans from that monstrosity that somehow gets them and transforms them.
Maybe freeing them from that ignorant, vile, viscous monster is Chuck's and David's interpretation of freeing people from the notion of racism that somehow engulfed a lot of people.
I think that talking about this comic just won't do it enough justice. If you haven't read it yet then I beg of you do so now.
Saga Comic Book Series Review
“It doesn’t take a village to raise children, it takes a whole galaxy — friends, random acquaintances, complete strangers… even other children”
If you are searching for comics with superheroes and villains, noble heroes fighting an empire, absolute good standing up to absolute evil, then Saga is not the comic you are looking for.
Written by Brian K. Vaughan, and illustrated by Fiona Staples, Saga is an epic space opera/fantasy comic book series, about parenthood. The story focuses on Hazel, a newborn girl, and her parents’ struggles to protect themselves and their child in desperate circumstances.
The story, often narrated by Hazel, takes place in a universe where a never-ending war that started between the largest planet in the galaxy and its moon, has spread in every other world, with each species forced to pick a side. Planet or moon.
Alana (Hazel’s mother), comes from the technologically advanced planet Landfall whose people are winged humanoids, and Marko (Hazel’s father), is from Wreath, Landfall’s one and only satellite, whose people are horn-headed warriors who wield magic.
Alana and Marko met on the planet Cleave, where he was held as a war prisoner and she was assigned to guard him. She helped him escape and ran with him twelve hours after the meeting.
Saga Comic Main Plot & New Characters
At the beginning of the first comic issue, Alana gives birth to Hazel, while we learn that they are being pursued by both Landfallians and Wreathers, as she and Marko are both military deserters and Hazel is considered to be an abomination. Another reason is to protect troop morale as if the news of them living in harmony spread, will affect people views on the war and realize peace is possible.
As the family tries to escape Cleave to a safer place, we are introduced to new characters such as Prince Robot IV. A humanoid robot with a television screen for a head, tasked by his father King Robot to eliminate the thread on behalf of their Landfallian allies. Along with others hired by the Wreathers, a mercenary named The Will accompanied by his sidekick Lying Cat, who possess the ability to target lies when they are deliberate and responds by simply saying "Lying".
As the story progress, we get to learn more about this rich and diverse universe. Some of the other characters we get to meet along the way are crocodile butlers (or are they alligators?), a topless spider woman (resembling nothing like Spider-man), ghosts, magic, laser-firing tortoises, torsoless sex workers, Ghüs a seal-like creature (one of our favorites!) and many more. We learn about Sextillion, a planet which as you guessed specializes in sex services, a forest that has wooden spaceships growing on trees and underwater cities.
According to Fiona Staples’s interview “the world of Saga is about as broad as reality itself, so pretty much anything goes”. So alongside the rocket ships and magic swords, there are smartphones and ATMs and in a way, this world seems familiar to the readers. There is even a mentioning of fidget spinners! Fiona has designed every cover of every book, including every character, planet and alien race. She has also painted the covers for each issue and hand-lettered Hazel's narration on more than 50 consecutive issues.
Diversity in the Saga Universe
Diversity is central to Saga’s conception. The series is full of characters of varying genders, classes, and sexual orientations. The most important though, is that these characters are captivating and vital to the action resulting in a fictional universe that reflects our own. Saga is often used to discuss things like religion and politics and also tackle issues like reproductive rights, gender identity, addiction, and female autonomy.
In an interview with The Daily Dot, Brian K. Vaughan said “the goal was to do a story where there were no hard and fast black-and-white heroes and villains. This is a morally complex war that doesn’t have any good guys or bad guys in it; just human beings who are doing their best to endure. There’s not just a protagonist, but a whole supporting cast that people have come to love”. This is one of the many reasons that make Saga so unique and relatable.
Saga Awards and Accreditation
The series was met with wide critical acclaim. The illustrations by Fiona Staples amazed and touched the readers. Praising her technique, unique design, and commenting on how expressive and original the characters are.
Saga is published by Image Comics and up until 2018, they have issued 54 single issues. Each issue of Saga is titled with a numerical Chapter. Every six chapters comprise a story arc designated as a "Volume" and are reprinted as trade paperbacks. Every three Volumes comprise a "Book" and are collected as Deluxe hardcover editions.
Saga has won numerous awards such as:
Eisner Award for Best Writer (2013, 2014)
Eisner Award for Best New Series (2013)
Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series (2013, 2014, 2015)
Eisner Award for Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (2014)
Although interest has been expressed from the audience, for Saga to be adapted for film or TV and people already suggesting actors and actresses, Vaughan and Staples reaffirmed their desire not to do so. At least not now. For them, making the best comic they can is a priority.
Saga No. 54, is the final issue before the series’ Intermission. As in the letter column following the story’s final page, writer Brian K. Vaughan announced that the series was going on hiatus for at least a year, to allow him and artist Fiona Staples a chance to recharge.
Saga is a story about parenthood. A story of people trying to stay true to their nature, coming together and being pulled apart. A story of enemies slowly becoming, if not friends, then at least family.
If you haven’t read Saga yet, now is the chance to order your first issue and discover this epic story!
Saga Collectible Toys
Other than being an extremely popular comic series Saga has been making record sales on its collectible toys such as their famous Funko Pop! series with some being exclusive and pretty hard to find.