ECCC: Avatar Press Showcases Its Bloody Best

Avatar Press VP of Publishing Jim Kuhoric, and "Absolution" writer Christos Gage led the publisher's panel bright and early Friday morning at Emerald City Comic Con. And as the gathered fans quickly discovered, Avatar, known for its boundary-pushing creator-owned titles by the likes of Garth Ennis, Alan Moore and Warren Ellis, has a gruesome 2013 lineup in store for horror fiends.

Gage is currently working on a sequel to "Absolution" which will be previewed in this year's Avatar Press Free Comic Book Day offering. A portion of the original "Absolution" series will be reprinted alongside a teaser for the new offering, "Absolution: Rubicon."

"You don't have to have read the previous series to follow the new one, but why not?" Gage said. "The new series picks up where the last one left off."

The original "Absolution" took place in a world where super humans are part of the police force, focusing on the story of John Dusk, a superhero and veteran officer on the edge of sanity. "Absolution: Rubicon" opens with Dusk living with a new vigilante character, The Urban Legend, who Gage described as "Batman, if he was real. His body is messed up, he's addicted to painkillers and is a view of what John Dusk could become." Gage promised the series is filled with brutal action scenes and a creepy new archenemy, The Polymath.

Additionally, Gage is writing a four-issue arc on "Crossed: Badlands" titled "Quisling," which will be released at the conclusion of the current Garth Ennis arc. When asked about the plot, Gage described it as asking "what kind of a person would betray his fellow uninfected to the Crossed? and perhaps more disturbingly, what kind of Crossed would have the impulse control to accept such an offer? It's very dark."

Avatar is also looking forward to the release of Kieron Gillen's "Uber," which premiers with a Zero issue in April. Illustrated by Caanan White, "Uber" is set in a 1945 Germany where the Nazis have discovered the ultimate weapon: super humans. Although it takes a revisionist approach to actual events, none of Avatar's usual brand of horror will be sacrificed. "This book is beautifully illustrated and well-researched," Kuhoric promised.

Garth Ennis is currently busy working on his live-action webisodes of "Crossed," which are slated for release by the end of 2013.

But perhaps the most exciting news -- judging by audience reaction -- were details of Alan Moore's follow up to "Neonomicon." Speculations about a sequel based on the twist ending of "Neonomicon" have proven to be correct, as Moore will continue to spin his Lovecraftian magic in an origin story for the famed writer himself. Drawn by Jacen Burrows, the book will be essential for any Moore fan. No release date is set, but Avatar is looking toward the end of this year.

Finally, Max Brooks pits vampires against zombies and humans in "Extinction Parade," an original series shipping in June. "If I were announcing any other creator doing a zombies and vampires book, people would be skeptical. But when you talk about Max, he brings such creative and interesting attention to the subject. This is of the caliper of his novel writing," said Kuhoric. "It's going to be a fantastic series."

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