NYCC: Oni Press Holds a One-Man Comicstravaganza

Oni Press Director of Publicity John Schork not only ran the publisher's panel at New York Comic Con -- he was the panel. After taking the stage, he ran through the company's major announcements and previewed their upcoming titles for the Oni faithful.

Schork started with Greg Rucka's "Stumptown" which stars Dex Parrios in Portland, "the greatest city in America," Schork said to some murmuring from the crowd. "Depending on who you ask," he quickly added. The first issue drawn by Justin Greenwood and colored by Ryan Hill is out now and revolves around the local soccer club, the Portland Timbers.

"It's like "The Rockford Files," Schork said, "but stars a cool lady and an even cooler city."

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The next title discussed was another recent release, the original graphic novel "Meteor Men" by Jeff Parker and Sandy Jarrell. "Meteor Men" mixes the coming of age story with an alien invasion in a small town as something crashes to Earth during a meteor shower and the boy at the heart of the story learns he may have a connection to it. Schork praised the many themes that play out in the all-ages book, which he described as "Stand by Me" meets "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."

"And there are aliens," Schork added. "Everybody likes aliens."

Continuing their relationship with game publisher Double Fine Productions, Oni just released the "Costume Quest: Invasion of the Candy Snatchers" graphic novel based on the world of the video game. Schork called writer/artist Zac Gorman an amazing cartoonist who delivered a "hilarious Halloween adventure" and also praised his previous work. The book centers on a Grubbin named Clem who, unlike his villainous brethren, just wants candy. The story sees him try to fight his upbringing and find a way to hang out with his friends and eat candy.

The next announcement was perhaps the publisher's biggest of the show. "Top Ten's" Zander Cannon will launch a new series called "Kaijumax" starting in April, and he will handle the writing, art and coloring himself. The series takes place on an island that functions as a high-security prison for kaiju and pages shown during the panel featured guards attempting to settle prison yard kaiju fights.

Beginning next month, writer Cullen Bunn adds another title to his Oni resume with the all-ages "Terrible Lizard" featuring art by Drew Moss. The book is about a mischievous girl and her best friend, a T. Rex from another dimension. There's kaiju in this book as well, which means dinosaur versus monster action. The girl's father is a scientist and they end up bringing this dinosaur from either back in time or from another dimension -- they're not sure. They also end up skateboarding and fighting monsters.

"Terrible Lizard" #1 arrives in stores November 5 but is already available as part of the currently running Oni Press Humble Bundle.

Last month Bunn also launched "Brides of Helheim," a sequel to last year's "Helheim," with #2 coming out October 20 along with a second printing of the sold-out first issue. "I didn't think after reading the first volume that it could get more violent, more gruesome and more metal," Schork said, "but if you underestimate Cullen Bunn, you'll feel stupid a lot -- in a good way!"

Schork described the fight in the first issue with a 20-foot bear and said the second issue will do it one better -- with a "sea beast."

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The second major announcement of the show was "The Sixth Gun: Dust to Dust," a new "The Sixth Gun" miniseries written by the ubiquitous Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt with art by Tyler Crook and Bill Crabtree. "This is Billjohn's origin story and how he came to be as awesome as he is," Schork said. "Tyler is killing it -- and by it, I mean kids. On pages. We're talking about setting up a charity for all the dead kids killed in 'Sixth Gun,'" Schork joked. "And Cullen is the nicest guy."

With the panel nearly at an end, Schork discussed a book in a very different vein, revealing that a third collection of John Allison's "Bad Machinery" will be released in December, entitled "The Case of the Simple Soul." "It's adorable," he said.

Stay tuned to CBR News for more Oni Press' many projects.

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