When Diamond Comics Distributors announced a total and indefinite halt on new product shipments during the COVID-19 lockdown, the news left small press publishers dead in an existential crisis with release dates on long-awaited titles being pushed back several months. Well, some of these publishers were happy to update viewers on release dates during the “What’s New in Small Press Comics” panel.
Joshua Starnes (publisher, Red 5 Comics), James Haick (president of Scout Comics and Entertainment, Inc.), Josh Werner (art director at Source Point Press), and Manny Castellanos (director of sales, Mad Cave Studios) convened on the panel to offer a glimpse into the books each are releasing in the latter half of 2020.
Castellanos announced that Mad Cave Studios intends to release two books per month starting in September with Stargazer (September 2) and Dry Foot (September 9). Villainous and Hollywood Trash will be released on October 7 and 14, respectively, followed by Pantomime (November 4) and Terminal Punks (November 11).
Werner said that Source Point Press would be catching up with titles beginning in late July, with five books announced, including the much-anticipated No Heroine (August 26) from writer Frank Gogol and artist Criss Madd.
Source Point’s other anticipated titles include Broken Gargoyle (August 26), Monstrous: Witch Hunt (August), Bug Bites (October 28), and Norah (October 28).
Haick unveiled the expansion of imprints Scout Comics and Entertainment had planned, as well as the company’s ambitious goal to release 16 new books over the fall and the first quarter of 2021. Hack expects the five-issue series Yasmeen (October 14), with Saif A. Ahmed as writer and Fabiana Mascolo as artist, to emerge as an award contender, and the Rick & Morty-inspired Murder Hobo (July 5) to be one of the hottest titles this summer.
Other titles announced by Haick during the “What’s New in Small Press Comics” panel for late 2020 and early 2021 include:
- Assassin and Son (November 2020)
- Children of the Grave (November 2020)
- A Town Called Elsewhere (January 2021)
- Third Wave 99
- Atlantis Wasn’t Build for Tourists (October 14)
- Doomspeaker (2021)
- Sam and His Talking Gun
- Shitshow (November or December 2020)
- Sophia Saturn (2021)
- Catians (2021)
- Rabid World (December 2020)
In addition to the three series coming out this fall (Riptide: Draken, October 14; Mandrake the Magician: Mandrake’s Legacy, October 28; and Queen of Cosmos Comix, August 19), Red 5 Comics’ Starnes revealed two new 2021 titles. White Lily is based on a female fighter pilot and Polish refugee who escaped to Russia to become the deadliest fighter pilot in the Russian army. The five-issue series, expected in early 2021, is helmed by writer Preston Poulter and will be Red 5 Comics’ first foray into historical fiction.
Also anticipating an early 2021 release is Vandals, a four-issue comic in which a secret organization in possession of the world’s mythological artifacts seeks to retain power over the world when a transfer of power to their heirs does not go down as intended.
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