by Zachary Clemente

oni-press-featuredNYCC started all a-bluster with large announcements, crazy crowds, fantastic costuming, crowds, swathes of booths manned by insightful and fun comics publishers ready to show off their books; also crowds. I swung by The Oni Press Comicstravaganza panel to see what Oni Director of Publicity John Schork had in store for us and safe to say, he did not disappoint.

Costume Quest_Page_01If you haven’t played Doublefine’s Costume Quest, stop reading and go play it right now. Filled to burst with Doublefine’s usual wit and charm, cartoonist extraordinaire Zac Gorman brings a fun tale in time for Halloween of a monster in a child-stealing society who only wants to hang out with his friends and eat candy. Gorman’s work is a personal favorite of mine and I’m really rather excited to see him work on this property!


CoverNo matter how much work Cullen Bunn gets at Marvel, the writer of one of Oni’s most successful titles, The Sixth Gun can’t seem to stay away. His new series Terrible Lizard, featuring artist Drew Moss, colorist Ryan Hill, and letterer Crank! looks to surprise and excite when it hits the stands. A young girl befriends a time-shifted dinosaur and together, they fight giant monsters. Safe to say, I’m sold.


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Page from “Kaiju Max” by Zander Cannon

It looks like Oni is going whole hog with giant monsters with their next new series Kaiju Max. Zander Cannon, known for working on Top 10 and Smax with Allen Moore, now writing for himself (as well as coloring and lettering) brings us the battles and romps in a top-secret prison island for dangerous Kaiju inmates, kept in line by their Sentai, mech-weilding guards. I haven’t been following Cannon’s career too carefully, but now I wish I had!


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B&W Cover for “The Sixth Gun: Dust to Dust”

Man, Bunn is all over the place! Hot on the heels of the Sixth Gun series and Terrible Lizard is a new miniseries in the Sixth Gun world; Dust to Dust with longtime collaborator Brian Hurtt. According to Schork, this book, while guaranteed to please any and all fans of the series, is particularly a treat for readers who are fond of character Billjohn O’Henry.


John Schork was a fun and charismatic host who, after the announcements were said and done, used the rest of the time to field questions from the audience and play a little game which involved attendees stating a non-Oni title they’re enjoying and Schork recommending an Oni title would also enjoy as well as providing them with a free copy. Books such as Letter 44 by Charles Soule & Alberto Alburquerque, The Bunker by Joshua Fialkov & Joe Infurnari, The Sixth Gun by Cullen Bunn & Brian Hurtt, The Auteur by Rick Spears & James Callahan, and Ted Naifeh’s Princess Ugg were recommended. I am not ashamed in saying that I took advantage of the system by naming James Stokoe’s Orc Stain specifically to receive a free copy of his Oni book, Wonton Soup. I wouldn’t try it though, Schork’s onto us. Oni is a publisher that too often flies under the radar of many a reader, but that definitely appears to be changing and I look forward to seeing more of their line!


  1. You guys are doing that thing again where you refer to a series with only the writer’s name in front of it and a possessive apostrophe, as if the writer OWNS the series. Please stop doing this. It is a terrible trend on this site. You just did it with “Brian K. Vaughn’s SAGA” in a recent headline. Knock it off!!! Words AND pictures make comics. Writers should not be given full ownership of a series, in actuality or perception. Please stop contributing to this insidious trend.

  2. Hey “Beat Staff”,
    as far as I know, Zander started ot as a complete cartoonist with the Replacement God, an incredible fantasy series cut short by the implosion of the comic book market of the Nineties. It’s available mostly in an old Amaze Ink/SLG trade, but it’s worth looking for the single issues (especially the only 80-page issue to come out of his own label, called Handicraft Guild, I believe): They were filled to the brim in extras, ranging from side stories to the hilarious Knut’s escapes, featuring outrageously hilarious attempts escape by the main character. I kept hoping for the Replacement God saga to go on and finish, though at the pace it was going that would mean a long, loooong series… Sadly hard to achieve in today’s market. Maybe after his Oni book is over, it could resume at Oni itself…? ;-)
    And do yourself a favour and get all 12 digital issues of Double Barrel, featuring both Zander Cannon and not-a-relation Kevin, for a combo of incredible cartooning: Heck and Crater XV respectively! Again, the single issues are worth every penny for the extras the authors throw in, ranging from a second cartoon plus a third by another author (hnce actually a triple barrel…), a letter column, cartooning lesson etc.

  3. @ chris

    You are wrong. These writers do not “own” these titles, in most cases. Brian Hurtt is indeed a CO-CREATOR of “The Sixth Gun” and Joe Infurnari is a CO-CREATOR of “The Bunker.” In the case of Charles Soule, I believe you are correct — I think Soule has primary ownership of “Letter 44” (which is messed-up, IMO). Not sure about THE AUETEUR.

    Not sure exactly how creator “ownership” works at ONI, as I imagine it’s not as free and clear as the Image deal. Point being, with the exception of Soule, I believe the artists above have just as much “ownership” as the writers.

  4. Hi folks, thanks for your input!

    Zaragosa – I agree with you on the need for credit to be given where credit is due. It was an oversight of mine not to include the artist and writer together when mentioning a book. I’ve corrected that. I’ll have a couple of fun (hopefully) insightful interviews with Image artists going up this week that I hope you’ll enjoy.

    Adriano – Thanks for the info on Cannon! I’ll definitely check it out.

    Overall, the way in which “ownership” shakes out at publishers, Oni included, can be quite complex and sometimes differs from book to book within a publisher. You best option would be to ask someone at Oni for a breakdown on their methodology.

    – Zach

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