That time of the year my geeks love is almost here. SDCC is so close. Before everyone starts complaining about the lines and the availability of soft pretzels all over San Diego, Aspen Comics are letting fans know what they can expect to see and hear about on pop culture’s grandest stage.
This October, the publisher [Aspen Comics] will debut the action/adventure saga set in Feudal Japan, Oniba: Swords of the Demon, by Paolo Pantalena (Fathom Blue, Red Hood/Arsenal) and Vince Hernandez (Fathom: Kiani, Charismagic). This all-new Aspen series will center around Yukiko, a deadly ronin on a quest to eradicate the ancient demons plaguing her land, as well as her past. The zero issue will feature two covers by Pantalena, and the series will include covers by Pantalena, as well as Mahmud Asrar (All New X-Men), Joe Benitez (Lady Mechanika), Laura Braga (Witchblade), Eric “Ebas” Basaldua (Fathom Blue), Mirka Andolfo (Damsels in Excess, Vampirella), Sabine Rich (Executive Assistant: Assassins) and more to be announced. This will be Aspen’s first standalone zero issue released in over three years.
Aspen will reveal a new series from creator and writer David Wohl (Executive Assistant: Iris, Witchblade, Aphrodite IX) featuring art by veteran Aspen artist Giuseppe Cafaro (Fathom: Kiani, Trish Out of Water). This all-new Aspen title will be Wohl’s first new series since the popular Executive Assistant: Iris property debuted. The story centers on a young woman given a rare and powerful gift that soon turns out be something far more dangerous than she could ever imagine.
This Fall, Aspen will further expand Siya Oum’s hit title, Lola XOXO, with the anticipated second volume from creator Oum. Following the conclusion of the first spin-off mini-series, Lola XOXO: Wasteland Madam, Oum will hint that the series will see even more expansion in the upcoming year, with new spin-offs and other Lola XOXO products in the works. November will also see the trade paperback releases of Lola XOXO: Volume One and Lola XOXO: Wasteland Madam Volume One.
2016 will also see the introduction of Aspen E-Book Novellas, beginning with the release of a new Executive Assistant story by writer Heather Finley (Executive Assistant, Zombies vs. Cheerleaders) featuring a young assassin named Zinnia, and her love affair that threatens her future—as well as her present.
Aspen Comics is expanding upon the first two releases from their Aspen Novels line of prose novels, “The Lost Spark” and “Seven to Die,” with a third new novel, “The People Vs. Planet Earth” by writer Vince Hernandez. This intergalactic drama will feature an alien forced to defend the planet Earth from imminent extermination at the hand of a much more advanced planet.
Aspen’s planned graphic novel release schedule for the final quarter of 2015 and into 2016 will see over eleven new and returning out-of-print trade paperbacks released via the publisher’s commitment to bolster their trade paperback shelf presence, beginning with the Lola XOXO trades, Jirni: Volume One, Charismagic: Volume One, Michael Turner’s Soulfire and Fathom sold out volume one and two reprints, as well as Soulfire: Volume Two for the first time ever. New trade paperback releases include Psycho Bonkers: Volume One and The Four Points: Volume One.
Aspen will be premiering new Aspen Convention Exclusive Hardcover Editions of their popular series at this year’s Comic-Con, beginning with the release of Michael Turner Presents: Aspen The Extended Edition hardcover by Geoff Johns and Michael Turner and the Damsels in Excess hardcover edition by Vince Hernandez and Mirka Andolfo. These convention-exclusive editions will be highly limited to 50 copies each.
Aspen’s Big Dog Ink imprint will see the conclusion of the re-mastered Shahrazad, Critter and Legend of Oz: The Wicked West series this year and the publisher will begin debuting the all new Aspen-BDI titles in 2016, as well as the first ever BDI Annual Issue featuring a selection of new stories from various BDI properties and creators. The publisher will debut the first ever Art of BDI: Volume One at this year’s Comic Con at the Aspen Comics Booth #2321, featuring artwork from Big Dog Ink’s large assortment of talented artists including J. Scott Campbell, Jen Broomall, Mike Debalfo, Eric “Ebas” Basaldua and more. BDI publisher Tom Hutchison will be on hand at the Official Aspen Comics Panel 2015 to discuss the imprint’s future titles and more.
On the merchandise side, Aspen Comics will release an all-new Aspen Comics T-Shirt for both men and women available exclusively at the Aspen Comics Booth #2321, and the publisher will reveal a sneak peek at their long-awaited line of Aspen apparel and products at their panel featuring many of Aspen’s popular characters and titles. This new line will emphasize both men and women’s fashion, providing options for all fans of Aspen Comics. Comic Con 2015 attendees will also be able to purchase Aspen’s new string-back tote bag directly from the publisher’s booth #2321.
Fans attending the Official Aspen Comics SDCC Panel 2015 will also receive a one-of-a-kind panel-exclusive variant copy of Critter #1 featuring an Aspen Comics/Big Dog Ink jam cover by artist Alex Konat (Fathom, Eternal Soulfire). Aspen strongly encourages fans to arrive early to ensure their copy.
It looks like this will be the year Aspen finally brings apparel back to their catalogue. For the last few years the publisher has worked extensively to find the right licensing company to produce clothing. As we get closer to the show we’ll learn more about what the exclusive hardcovers look like and what else the publisher might announce at the show.