For comics fans of a certain age, the launch of Dave Elliott and Garry Leach's Atomeka Press imprint and its anthology title A1 was an epochal event. Coming along in 1989, A1 featured talent from the United Kingdom, the United States and mainland Europe. As comics had both grown and grown up so much during the 1980s, the bringing together of all these strands seemed important, timely and inevitable. Here was a comic where you could find the best creators from 2000AD, Warrior and Deadline together with artists from the boom in the U.S. indie-comics market, alongside Moebius or Enki Bilal, then at the height of their powers.
The history of Atomeka's rise and fall mirrored the explosion and implosion of the entire industry (there's a great retrospective interview with Dave on the matter here), and the imprint has made faltering steps back into the limelight since 2004. Its return has seemed all the more concrete since the publication of Heavy Metal #259, which Dave guest-edited (a PDF sample is available here), and showcased the kind of material a re-energized A1 could feature. Nestled beside established talent such as Alex Horley, Andy Kuhn, Tom Raney and Toby Cypress was a crop of new talent Elliott has been nurturing, such as the Indonesian superstar-in-the-making Barnaby Bagenda, possessor of a style somewhere between Leinil Yu and Fiona Staples. His presence alone would make me hopeful for the returning anthology.
Monster Massacre is an annual anthology of monsters, mayhem and mischief. First book will be on sale in July. This is the wraparound cover for volume 1 by Garry Leach and Sunny Gho. Also included are the three covers from the first issue of A1, which will be monthly starting in June.
We're making our announcements in the next two weeks as to who we're publishing with and what other books we have coming this year ...
The original A1 had a hell of an impact upon the 17-year-old me in 1989. Here's hoping the best for Atomeka in 2013.