Like many of us I have a pull list that my local comic guys have ready for me every Wednesday but one day this summer I was looking through the new comic racks and stumbled upon The Revisionist from Aftershock comics. I wasn’t familiar with Aftershock but after reading the first issue of The Revisionist I was so impressed I went back to my local shop and picked up Replica as well. After that it was over; I was a fan of Aftershock.
Since I’m such a fan I thought it would be appropriate to give them the much deserved shout out. They were officially established in April of 2015 and in their own words “combines the creative edge of an independent comic book publisher with the strengths and experience of a traditional powerhouse.” This description is spot on because the people behind Aftershock have mile long resumes in various different fields of entertainment but at the top are a couple of former Marvel guys Mike Marts and Joe Pruett. What they’ve done at Aftershock is no surprise to me considering the people behind the company are veterans in so many different entertainment fields but the fact that they were able to keep the company feeling like an indie start up while still being made up of industry vets that are at the top of their game. Speaking of industry vets at the top of their game, President and Co-Founder Lee Cramer has a lot of ties to the movie industry, and I can see just about any of their properties becoming a movie or TV show.
I have to say that all of their titles look amazing but like other labels I have picked through and found the ones that are most interesting to me; here is a little overview of what I’ve read.
Animosity – Written by Marguerite Bennett, a celebrated veteran writer, Animosity is about the aftermath of the day animals “woke up” and started talking. For me this book is everything, great art by Rafael de Latorre and Rob Schwager, and one of the the best premise in comics. The idea of animals becoming self aware is simple but genius and the combination of art and Bennett’s writing makes this book something special. Bennett has another title with Aftershock called Insexts that is high on the list for books I need to check out.
Black Eyed Kids – I didn’t start buying this on paper, I caught up with it digitally. I have to say that horror isn’t my favorite genre of comics but BEK hooked me immediately and was especially interesting because I have heard of the black eyed kids before. The concept, the story, character development, the kids with the black eyes, everything about this comic is awesome. Joe Pruett can tell a tale and the artist team of Szymon Kudranski, Guy Major, and Marshall Dillon on letters do a fantastic job.
Dreaming Eagles – I missed the paper copies of Dreaming Eagles as well but this is one of the first on my list for TPB and I will probably be picking this up with Christmas gift cards. I’m a huge fan of history so of course a World War 2 story had me hooked straight away. The art from Simon Coleby and John Kalisz is steady throughout and allows Garth Ennis the room needed to tell the emotional tale along with the visual action of dog fighting planes. The story isn’t just about WW2 it’s about the human condition and struggles of an African American fighter pilot during and after the war. The African American struggles, especially before the civil rights movement, is very important to history and is something our nation can’t forget. But also, I mean come on, Garth Ennis, enough said.
Replica – I’m going to give a shot to pretty much anything Sci-Fi but after reading the first issue of Replica I went back to the shop and bought all the other issues I could find. I’m a little OCD when it comes to my paper collection but I bought up all I could of Replica and filled in the gaps digitally. Replica is about an intergalactic detective that accidentally clones himself hundreds of times. Paul Jenkins makes this book funny and fun to read, all of the clones have their own personality, or rather they are the extreme of the detectives personality. Andy Clarke and Dan Brown have a lot of wiggle room because of the Sci-Fi aspect and they don’t disappoint with fun aliens within a vast universe. I more than recommend this to anyone that likes Sci-Fi.
Rough Riders – This is one that I just picked up and binge read digitally to catch up on. This is a historical fiction that follows Teddy Roosevelt and his motley crew of american legends like Houdini and Annie Oakley. If you haven’t caught onto the theme the writing and art are as good as it gets and this book is worth a look.
Shipwreck – Shipwreck is a seriously crazy book. I really have very few words to describe it; huh? What? Um? Ok?, are just a few of the things I thought when reading this book. Right now there are only two issues out and the third is out in the new year but I’m going to ride this book as long as they make it and it stays strange. The mind of Warren Ellis is crazy and crazy in a way that requires amazing art like that that only Phil Hester can provide. Not that Hester doesn’t have the help of a Mark Englert but Hester really does take the visual to another level.
The Revisionist – This is the book that started it all for me. As I said I picked this up and was blown away. Writer Frank Barbiere has had a few different books that bucked the trends and this is something that is in his wheelhouse; it has layers to the story and to the characters, superb writing and character development. Artists Garry Brown, and Lauren Affe have a style that reminds me of Sean Gordon Murphy’s stuff like Tokyo Ghost or Chrononauts. So clearly the comparison to Murphy means that the art is stellar and there is no real way to compare because the story and art combination makes The Revisionist something special.
After I started with The Revisionist I knew Aftershock was a great company so I was able to get in on Shipwreck from issue one and will be giving anything they have a shot like Blood Blister that is coming out soon. As a company Aftershock is putting out some of the best stuff in comics and if you want to check them out then get your local store to stock up, check out the Aftershock website, and give them a look on Comixology.