The <em>Cold Heat</em> Universe continues to expand

For a title that was originally rejected for inclusion in the Previews catalog by Diamond on the grounds that its format was "unpopular with collectors and retailers," Frank Santoro and Ben Jones's psychedelic sci-fi action-adventure teen-angst punk-rock extravaganza Cold Heat sure is generating enough prequels, sequels and spin-offs to satisfy even the most dedicated fan of front-of-Previews mega-events.

At the Cold Heat Comics blog, co-creator Frank Santoro reveals that the upcoming Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland, will see the release of three new CH titles, featuring the continuing adventures of sword-wielding teenage heroine Castle, resurrected rock god Joel Cannon, and their cosmic alien allies and evil government enemies. First up is Cold Heat 7/8, an omnibus edition of the PictureBox-published series' next two issues. Next is Fantagraphics' ongoing anthology series Mome Vol. 16, which like Vol. 14 will include a Cold Heat prequel story — two, actually, one of them featuring art by Jon Vermilyea. (A preview of the Santoro/BJ contribution, and the rest of the issue, can be found here.) And finally, another Cold Heat Special is on the way, the latest in a series of limited-run comics made by Santoro in collaboration with such artists as Dash Shaw, Jim Rugg, Lane Milburn, and Ryan Cecil Smith.

Cold Heat has been at the crest a new wave of unabashed alternative genre comics, including C.F.'s Powr Mastrs, Kazimir Strzepek's The Mourning Star, Brian Ralph's Daybreak, and Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit. Readers who like their science-fiction slugfests thought-provoking as well as pulse-pounding would do well to check it out.

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