NYCC | Oni Press announces <i>Wars in Toyland</i>, webcomics initiative and more

Oni Press brought guns, war and webcomics to New York Comic Con today, announcing a new graphic novel from Joe Harris and Adam Pollina, a Sixth Gun spinoff miniseries and the transformation of their website from "a marketing resource for its print titles into a full-fledged content hub with comic updates five days a week."

Here's a rundown of the announcements ....

Wars in Toyland by Joe Harris and Adam Pollina

From the Slingers (hey, remember Slingers?) team comes an oversized graphic novel "darkly inspired" by Babes in Toyland. Per the press release, "this new book looks at the once wondrous and beautiful Toyland after the rise of the teddy dictator, Roxbury. After Matthew's brother and playmate, Alex, disappears, young Matthew finds himself carried into Toyland by his own loyal toy soldiers. Only Matthew soon learns that Alex has been here, too – and is now being held captive by Roxbury. Leading an attack on the teddy bear's fortress, Matthew never considers that his brother might be beyond saving."

"Ever since I was a kid watching Laurel & Hardy on Thanksgiving Day, my demented thoughts have turned to wooden soldiers making war on one another," said Harris. "Wars in Toyland is a story we've been looking to tell for a long, long time. It's a dark fantasy about the things we throw away, the things we can't let go of and growing up, in a broad sense, even though it really sucks sometimes."

"Wars in Toyland is as close to my heart as any story I have ever drawn," added Pollina. "As a young child I would spend hours dividing my toys into armies and leading them in some glorious battle. This graphic novel is heavily inspired by those childhood memories. I know I feel I'm still finding the courage to face the challenges in my life and win the battles ahead of me. And this book is an expression of that struggle."

Joining the duo for the project are finisher Brent McCarthy and colorist Nolan Woodard.

Helheim and The Sixth Gun: Sons of the Gun

Oni also announced two new Cullen Bunn-related projects -- Helheim with artist Joëlle Jones and The Sixth Gun: Sons of the Gun by Bunn, cor-writer Brian Hurtt and artist Brian Churilla.

Both Helheim and The Sixth Gun spinoff were covered in detail by Comic Book Resources, so I'll send you over there for more details.

The new OniPress.com

The publisher also announced the January debut of a totally new OniPress.com that'll be loaded up with webcomics by a host of creators.

"We saw the transformation of the music industry over the last decade, and we see comics experiencing a comparable metamorphosis," said Oni Publisher Joe Nozemack. "We believe there's opportunities for new models to emerge alongside the existing ones giving both established and new readers comics that engage and entertain."

The new OniPress.com will initially offer two new serials a week, along side three additional serials pulled from the publisher's 15-years worth of backlist material. The first of these new series, A Boy & A Girl by Jamie S. Rich and Natalie Nourigat and Buzz by Ananth Panagariya and Tessa Stone, were initially teased at Comic-Con International in July.

Per the release, A Boy & A Girl explores a future where real people are rapidly being supplanted by life-like androids, the need for that emotional connection can become even more desperate, and Travis will go to great lengths to find out where that amazing girl he met last night, Charley, lives, so that he can convince her to go on a date with him. What Travis doesn't know yet is that it's Charley's last night in town, and she's in a mood to really tear things up. If they're going to go on a date, it's almost guaranteed to be one that neither of them will ever forget.

Buzz follows new high school student Webster as he finds himself thrown into the highly competitive world of 1-on-1 spelling bees. "As soon as Ananth described the concept of Buzz to me, I knew it as a comic we had to publish," said James Lucas Jones, Oni Press editor-in-chief. "When Tessa Stone came on board to draw it, I knew we had something s-p-e-c-i-a-l." Webster's vast vocabulary throws a powerful punch as he trains for the biggest Bee of his life and a showdown with the most feared speller the world has ever known.

Two more webcomics will debut in April -- Megagogo by Wook-Jin Clark, artist of the graphic novel The Return of King Doug, and Down! Set! Fight! by writers Chris Sims and Chad Bowers (AwesomeHospital.com) and artist Scott Kowalchuk (The Intrepids).

Megagogo is an American Shonen story featuring a super sentai style team operating out of Atlanta, Georgia. Once upon a time, they were heroes, but it’s been 10 years since the last battle that left the city and the team in ruins. Now, they must assemble a new lineup that can reverse the city's scorn and defeat the kaiju monsters and amped up bigots that threaten the metropolis they call home.

In Down! Set! Fight!, "Fearless" Chuck Fairlane was one of the fastest rising stars in professional football, but his career came to a screeching halt when he was expelled from game after causing the biggest team-on-team brawl in the history of sports. Today, Chuck's a teacher and football coach at Darius Rucker High School in Columbia, South Carolina, and is more than content in his new life. But when costumed mascots begin attacking him for seemingly no reason, Chuck soon discovers that even though he’s put the past behind him, it’s not always so easy to move on.

"This is one of the craziest comics in the history of crazy comics," said editor Charlie Chu. "This is Superman vs. Muhammad Ali level nuts. But none of the insanity or hilarity would matter if Chuck weren't such a fully realized character. This is a story about never being able to truly outrun your past, but always having the option to punch it square in the face."

Check out all the art from the panel below.

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