The second round of Dynamite’s San Diego Comic-Con 2022 announcements has a little something for everyone. Not only will one of their flagship characters get a new series to celebrate a big anniversary, but a new vigilante is in town.
Meet Sweetie Candy Vigilante! Sugar-Fueled Antiheroine Makes Her Way from Music to Film
There’s a sweet new gal in Dynamite’s universe. Check out NYC’s Sweetie Candy Vigilante from creator/writer Suzanne Cafiero and producer John Cafiero. The publisher explains:
“Honey-dipped and dark humor infused, Sweetie Candy Vigilante is a unique multimedia character following in the footsteps of other “bad girls” like Harley Quinn and Dynamite’s own Vampirella. She first debuted on the cover for the album Ear Candy by the group Osaka Popstar (featuring a dynamic punk cover of the classic Archies track, “Sugar, Sugar”). The first issue of the new comic series comes bundled with an MP3 download code to check out the song – perfect to put on while reading the book!
Sweetie is an ethereal, charming, and beautiful relative of the mythical “candy man.” She might just be a little bit unhinged, or perhaps unconventional. When she starts to notice her community of New York City being plagued by blight, decay, and dourness, she becomes hell-bent on spreading her blood-caked and sugar-coated manifesto on society. Equipped with other-worldly powers, confectionary weapons, and a passionate heart, she won’t stop until the world around her is as sweet as her!
First on her list is her favorite sweet shop the Ice Cream Bunny, run by an eponymous old friend. Only problem is, what stands there now is a front for a notorious crime syndicate. Which means it’s time for Sweetie to tear the whole place and all its thugs apart, limb by limb. All the while enjoying the new version of “Sugar, Sugar” on the jukebox!”
“I’m honored to have Sweetie continue the long legacy of badass vigilante women in comics and media, including those in the stellar orbit of Dynamite’s roster,” said writer Cafiero. “I created Sweetie Candy Vigilante because I wanted to read a comic that has authentic NYC flavor infused with fantasy, horror, and dark humor. I’m really immersed in the SCV story. My lifelong NYC residency, along with childhood obsessions, love of art, music, film, and comics has culminated in the creation of Sweetie, so buckle-up gumdrop!”
Dynamite and the creative team are kicking off the series with an extra-sized first issue: extra pages for the same cover price of $3.99. The comic series features artwork by Jeff Zornow (Godzilla), and artist Josh Howard (Dead@17) provides two variant covers in addition to Zornow’s, with one presenting the artwork he created for the aforementioned album cover.
“I was readying to record new material with Osaka Popstar and Suzanne asked if I would record a punk cover of “Sugar, Sugar” to connect with Sweetie,” said producer Cafiero. “I thought it would be fun and cool to include it as a free MP3 in the first issue and decided to take it a step further by having Sweetie appear on the cover of the record, which I titled Ear Candy. I love to create a full multimedia experience, and thought, let’s introduce Sweetie to the world not only on the cover, but set the stage for the upcoming series by including a variant version of issue #1, digitally, on the download card of the physical vinyl and CD. For the cover art, I wanted Josh to illustrate Sweetie holding a record literally made of candy, with a bite taken out of it. Bringing it full circle, I went to great lengths to create a real-life vinyl record you could hold in your hands, and even spin on your turntable, that looks exactly as you see it in Sweetie’s hands in the cover art!”
Osaka Popstar is the pop-punk multimedia music and art project led by singer/producer John Cafiero, longtime Misfits and Ramones collaborator and platinum-selling film and video director. Alongside backing band members from the Misfits, Ramones, Black Flag, and more, Cafiero and Osaka Popstar have been met with rave reviews. Their latest release Ear Candy has been featured on CNN and debuted at #7 on the Top 10 SubModern album chart.
“When John called us to publish the new comic series he’s produced, we were more than intrigued. He then sent us some of the art and story, as well the album, and we were floored at how great everything is and said yes immediately!,” said Nick Barrucci, Dynamite CEO and Publisher. “The mix of story and art is fantastic, and the fact that John is adding in an MP3 to the comic is helping to grow the market in bringing his audience to comics retailers. We know the fans will love this, and to bring in more fans, is what any publisher wants for the industry, to grow it.”
Sweetie Candy Vigilante #1 will be available for preorder in August 2022 and is slated for release in October. It will also be available for individual purchase through Comixology, Kindle, iBooks, Google Play, Dynamite Digital, ComicsPlus, and more.
Red Sonja is Unbreakable! From Sword & Sorcery Fan-Fave Jim Zub And Leading Into 50th Anniversary
Fans of Red Sonja have a new series to look forward to from Hyborian Age legend Jim Zub. Unbreakable is set to drop this October.
“I grew up on a steady supply of sword & sorcery novels, comics, and games in my youth and they indelibly imprinted on my mind in ways that inform all my writing,” said Zub. “I’m absolutely pumped for this. I have a lot more room to explore what drives Red Sonja and the depths she’ll go to overcome threats that are wildly stacked against her.”
The She-Devil With a Sword is also preparing for her 50th anniversary in 2023. This book is the perfect way to start the celebration for fans. Read more from the publisher below:
“Dynamite is proud to present a sweeping story of high adventure to join the canon. Acclaimed sword and sorcery master Jim Zub returns to write the character, but for the first time with full focus and an extended take. This series follows his collaboration on the beloved Conan/Red Sonja crossover with Gail Simone and Dan Panosian, and the one-shot special Red Sonja and Cub. This project is also following a revered year-long tenure on Conan the Barbarian, the final run in Marvel’s return to that character. Across the fantasy genre, Zub has also contributed to Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, let alone countless top superhero titles.
Zub is joined for the series by Giovanni Valletta, known for his artistry on titles like John Wick and James Bond. Now he’ll be bringing that eye for vicious and thrilling action to the Hyrkanian Heroine for a perfect match. Other celebrated artists contribute to the series through their jaw-dropping covers. Red Sonja luminary Lucio Parrillo paints another masterpiece. Superstar David Finch returns to the character. Judy Jong, one of the biggest rising stars in the industry features with a cover. And Zub’s Conan/Red Sonja compatriot Dan Panosian is spotlighted with an incentive variant. They’re all joined as well by Celina, Giuseppe Matteoni, and cosplayer Augusta Moore.”
The plot for the new book is here:
“In the story, Red Sonja carries a hazy vision that lurks just out of reach in her memories. As she seeks out to figure out this mystery, it will unlock a journey of forbidden magic and searing steel. Moments from Sonja’s past, present, and even the future will collide in a quest unlike any other our scarlet-haired hero has faced before! It’s a Sonja story different from any that fans have seen before, but at the core is classic sword and sorcery fare with just a bit of a twist.
Sonja is a self-made woman and warrior, from her earliest days to her end as Queen. In her harsh era and environment, death could come at any turn, necessitating an uncompromising and unforgiving approach to battle and life. This is where the Unbreakable title comes into play. The creative team is not out to “break” Sonja, but to put her through one of her most brutal stories yet to truly earn and prove that adjective.”
“Red Sonja is one of our flagship characters, and we’re always looking for the perfect creators and stories to take her to the next level and maintain the high standard we set for her, on behalf of the fans,” said Barrucci. “This go around, it didn’t take much deep searching [Laughs]. Jim Zub is one of the foremost masters of the genre in comics and beyond, and we hope fans will be overjoyed to see him sticking around in the Hyborian Age a bit more!”
Unbreakable Red Sonja #1 is slated for an October release. Comic book fans are encouraged to preorder copies in August with their local comic book retailers or go digital on Comixology, Kindle, iBooks, Google Play, Dynamite Digital, ComicsPlus, and more.
More SDCC announcements to come!