21 Nov

The Hollywood Reporter: “Oberon” Brings a Dark Fairy Tale to Comics

The AfterShock Comics series follows the king of the fairies after he’s deposed.

(November 15, 2018) As Shakespeare made clear in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the king of the fairies is not to be trusted, and doesn’t take being spurned particularly well — but a new title from AfterShock Comics is going to underscore just how poorly Oberon reacts to being abandoned altogether.

A new supernatural series by Ryan Parrott (VOLITION and TV’s Chance and Revolution) and Milos Slavkovic (Lightstep), Oberon follows the titular monarch after he’s been deposed by his people, and is out for revenge. The Hollywood Reporter talked to Parrott about the series, and has previews of artwork from the first issue.

What can you say about what Oberon is about?

Oberon tells the story of the legendary King of the Fairies who, after being betrayed by his wife, Queen Titania, loses his crown and is banished to Earth. He obviously doesn’t take it well, so he seeks Bonnie Blair, a 10-year-old “promise child” who is destined to one day save the universe from some ancient evil and, instead of protecting her like any good fairy might — Oberon proceeds to lie and manipulate her into using her gifts to help reclaim his throne and get some good old-fashion revenge.

I grew up on classic fantasy and fairy tales, so I’ve always been on the lookout for a story that could subvert some of the standard settings and characters — and more accurately mirror our modern world — where heroes and villains are sometimes interchangeable.

Oberon is probably best known as a character from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Is he your favorite character in the play — and should we look out for other characters from Shakespeare in the series?

Robin Goodfellow is an honest puck, and I’ll have words with anyone who says otherwise. But seriously, because magic and portents are featured prominently in so many of Shakespeare’s plays, I always loved the idea that The Tempest’s Prospero, Macbeth’s Three Witches and the fairies of Midsummer were all part of the same shared magical universe. Many of Shakespeare’s most famous characters make appearances in one way or another — even the rowdy teens.

While we’re talking about fairies, do you have a favorite fairy tale?

All the original Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales are splendidly dark and twisted. In fact, Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother actually plays a prominent role in the first arc of OBERON. I mean … she is a fairy … So who is she and why was she watching over the special young girl? That’s part of the draw of the series for me — taking some of the pieces from ancient lore and connecting them in unexpected ways.

OBERON sounds like it underscores the idea that fairies are not to be trusted.

In some cultures, it’s actually considered good fortune to encounter a fairy because they’re so rare. However, their magic is based in barter so, buyer beware, because — the only thing a fairy likes more than getting what they want in a deal is making sure the other party doesn’t.

What sets OBERON apart from other fantasy stories?

If you look at some hallmarks of popular fantasy — “Harry Potter” and “Lord of the Rings,” for example — it’s traditional for a guide to sort of lead naive characters (and the audience) through new magical worlds, explain the rules and give insight. Well, I personally love villains. I can’t get enough of characters that are gleefully self-serving, so I thought, “What if the guide that was leading you was completely unreliable and serving their own devious motives? How would you even know?” That’s the black little heart at the center of OBERON.

OBERON No. 1 will be released Feb. 6, 2019.

02 Nov

The Hollywood Reporter: AfterShock’s “Stronghold” Ties True Love to Fate of the World

Phil Hester and Ryan Kelly’s new comic book series starts in February.

(November 1, 2018) True love, so it’s said, can conquer all. In AfterShock Comics’ upcoming STRONGHOLD, that “all” includes hidden identities of unspeakably powerful deities, a secret society dedicated to maintaining age-old mysteries and the potential destruction of the Earth itself. But that’s no big deal, right…?

“STRONGHOLD is about a college student and delivery driver named Claire who has fallen in love with a sad sack insurance adjuster on her delivery route named Michael Grey,” explains writer Phil Hester, who created the title with Lucifer and Saucer Country’s Ryan Kelly. “Claire also happens to belong to a centuries-old secret society called The Stronghold who believes this insurance adjuster is actually an immortal, amnesiac elder god whose awakening would ignite a cosmos-wide Armageddon. Like all young people, Claire feels restless in her strict faith, but when she tests it by revealing herself to Grey, the results threaten to destroy not only her order, but the world. On the run from The Stronghold, alien enemies, and Grey’s own broken, haunting memories, they both realize that for their love to be born, Earth must die.”

Calling the series “a story that begins as a lively, adventurous romance [and] spins into a deeper, darker science fiction tale of existential terror and ultimate sacrifice,” Hester says that the series was born from considering how far people would — and should — go to achieve happiness.

“Like every kid, I was enthralled by ‘hidden destiny’ stories like King Arthur, The Chronicles of Prydain, and then as a young adult, stuff like Mage and Dune,” he says. “As I matured, I saw how these stories were much more than wish fulfillment or simple power fantasies, but cautionary tales about how stepping onto the heroic stage often costs you your personal happiness. I wanted to take that one step further and ask, what if pulling the sword from the stone not only wrecked your life, but all life? Is claiming your identity worth annihilating everything you love? Is taking that red pill worth ruining everyone else’s lives?”

In order to make the series work, Hester intends to ground the cosmic nature of it all in a more mundane reality. “What makes Stephen King’s work scary isn’t the big bad monster as much as how effectively he contrasts it with the reality of everyday life. The most frightening parts of The War of the Worlds radio broadcast or the original Night of the Living Deadfilm are hearing and seeing the mundane media reports struggling to grasp the bizarre events,” he reasons. “To maintain that contrast, I sort of have to keep a bright line in my mind between the down-to-earth details of falling in love and the vast cosmic cataclysm yawning underneath everyone’s feet. If a reader can feel the authenticity of the relationship, they’ll feel like they have a stake in its success or failure in the face of these otherworldly forces.”

The fate of the world — and of true love — will begin to be decided when the first issue of STRONGHOLD is released Feb. 20, 2019.

22 Sep

First printing of DARK ARK #1 sold out! What can you do now?

Round and round we go! Did you hear the news about DARK ARK #1 first printing selling out? That’s right, all the direct market versions are sold out: covers A, B and C (a free-to-retailers version to show our appreciation). If you missed out, you might be asking yourself “What can I do, AfterShock??”. Well, you’ve come to the right place for the answers!

For Both Fans and Retailers:
-There are two exclusive variants at Baltimore Comic-Con: One at our booth #2004 and another at the official Baltimore Comic-Con booth. More details on Baltimore Comic-Con here.
-There will be an exclusive variant available at our New York Comic Con (Oct 5-8 2017) booth #2238. More details on New York Comic Con here.

For Fans:
-Tell your retailers to stock more AFTERSHOCK comics so you’ll never miss another issue!
-There will be a second printing of DARK ARK #1! Make sure to share this item code with your local retailer: AUG178573
-Can’t wait for the physical second printing? You can buy issue #1 digitally HERE!
-Act NOW to pre-order issues #2, #3 & #4 of DARK ARK either at your local retailer or digitally before they sell-out too!
-Need to find a local comic retailer? Visit this link.

For Retailers:
-As mentioned for the fans, there will be a second printing of DARK ARK #1 – item code: AUG178573
-Let Diamond know ASAP if you still need issue #2; order code: AUG171122
-Make sure to get your order in for issue #3 (order code: SEP171090) and issue #4 (order code: OCT171097)

20 Sep

AfterShock at New York Comic Con 2017

Headed to New York Comic Con this year? Please join AfterShock as we celebrate the East Coast’s largest pop culture convention and the only one that takes place in New York, the comic book, publishing, media, and licensing capital of the world!

Convention Days/Hours:
• Thursday, October 5: 10am–7pm
• Friday, October 6: 10am–7pm
• Saturday, October 7: 10am–7pm
• Sunday, October 8: 10am–5pm

Our Booth: 2238

Our New York Comic Con 2017 Exclusives (available at our booth):

Signings (at our booth): 
• Tim Seeley, Priscilla Petraites & Marco Lesko (BRILLIANT TRASH) – Friday, October 6: 11:00-12:00 PM
• Donny Cates (BABYTEETH) – Friday, October 6: 1:00-2:00 PM
• Dennis Calero (THE NORMALS) – Saturday, October 7: 11:00-12:00 PM
• Frank Tieri (PESTILENCE) – Saturday, October 7: 4:30-5:30 PM
• Justin Jordan (BACKWAYS & STRAYER) – Sunday, October 8: 1:00-2:00pm

Our Creators & Staff at the Overall Show:
• Marguerite Bennett (ANIMOSITY & ANIMOSITY: EVOLUTION)
• Russ Braun (JIMMY’S BASTARDS)
• Dennis Calero (THE NORMALS)
• Donny Cates (BABYTEETH)
• Sal Cipriano (ROUGH RIDERS)
• Mirko Colak (UNHOLY GRAIL)
• Juan Doe (DARK ARKWORLD READER & AMERICAN MONSTER)
• Taylor Esposito (BABYTEETH)
• Justin Jordan (BACKWAYS & STRAYER)
• Marco Lesko (BRILLIANT TRASH)
• Tom Peyer (CAPTAIN KID)
• Priscilla Petraites (BRILLIANT TRASH)
• Tim Seeley (BRILLIANT TRASH)
• Frank Tieri (PESTILENCE)
• Lee Kramer (AfterShock President)
• Mike Marts (AfterShock Editor-In-Chief)
• Stephan Nilson (AfterShock Publishing Operations Manager)
• Lisa Wu (AfterShock Retailer/Fan Relations Manager)
• Ashley Wyatt (AfterShock Publishing Assistant)
• Mike Zagari (AfterShock SVP, Brand)
+ more!
*Note: Guests are subject to change

Additional Info:
• Official New York Comic Con website

06 Jul

Exclusive Deal with saldaPress for the Italian Market

We are proud to announce an exclusive deal between saldaPress and AfterShock Comics and its catalogue for the Italian market.

AfterShock Comics was founded in 2015 and immediately made a name as an innovative, interesting and creative publisher. Here is a partial list of some of the creators hired by AfterShock Comics: Brian Azzarello, Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis, Justin Jordan, Paul Jenkins, Joe Pruett, Mark Waid, David Hine, Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Tim Seeley and Tony Harris, with Italian artists like Leila Leiz, Alberto Ponticelli and Marco Failla. AfterShock Comics combines the lively creativity of an independent label with the strength and the experience of a traditional publisher with continued growth prospects.

The official Italian debut will be in September 2017 with AMERICAN MONSTER (by Brian Azzarello and Juan Doe). DREAMING EAGLES (by Garth Ennis and Simon Coleby), REPLICA (by Paul Jenkins and Andy Clarke), SECOND SIGHT(by David Hine and Alberto Ponticelli) and ANIMOSITY (by Marguerite Bennett and Rafael De Latorre) will be on the shelves of Italian bookstores later this fall.

“We are really happy to have an exclusive deal for Italy with saldaPress”, says Jon Kramer, AfterShock CEO. “SaldaPress recognized the amazing work done by Mike Marts, Joe Pruett and Lee Kramer. Together, in less than 18 months, we’ve created a very rich catalogue filled by big titles and big authors. Aftershock and saldaPress share the same vision regarding the future of comics”.

“Both publishing companies are grateful to their authors”, Mike Marts, AfterShock Comics Editor-in-Chief, says. “The creation of an original idea is almost as important as the publishing company itself. With no original ideas, there wouldn’t be stories to publish. SaldaPress shares this idea with AfterShock Comics and that is also why AfterShock Comics full catalogue will be available in Italy through saldaPress”.

Andrea Ciccarelli says, “We are happy to announce this new adventure and to be partners of AfterShock which represents a dynamic and innovative reality. We will be able to offer a wider variety of content to our readers by bringing them new and extremely high-quality books. We are positive the Italian audience will be very enthusiastic about this”.

Founded in 2001, saldaPress has made a name for itself as one of the most active and lively comic books publishing company in Italy. SaldaPress gives a lot of attention to comic books. They also collaborate with Skybound, Image Comics, IDW and Dark Horse and always try to showcase new emerging creative talents. SaldaPress’ philosophy revolves around attention to stories’ qualities and in creating a trustworthy bound with its readers.

This new agreement with AfterShock consolidates its creative mission and philosophy. AfterShock Comics made its debut in the American market in April 2015. Besides Marts, ASC team includes Joe Pruett (CCO/Publisher), Lee Kramer (President and Development Executive with movie and television experience), Jon Kramer (CEO), Mike Zagari (Senior Vice President, Brand) and Jawad Qureshi (Senior Vice President, Investor Relations).

07 Jun

BABYTEETH #1 giveaway contest for FANS and RETAILERS!

FOR FANS:

A) DAILY WINNER: One of the BABYTEETH #1 retailer variants:

B) GRAND PRIZE WINNER: A copy of each BABYTEETH #1 retailer variant, 30 comics total (announced at the end of contest)

Any member of our AfterShock Army newsletter list are eligible to win! Not a member? Sign-up for FREE between June 8th and July 17th 2017 here: http://bit.ly/ASarmy

Fan Contest Rules:

  1. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.
  2. One daily winner will be selected from the existing and new newsletter members, starting June 8th ending July 17th 2017.
  3. One grand prize winner will be drawn on July 17th 2017.
  4. Only one email per person. Daily winning email address will be verified to owner’s name. Multiple entries with variable accounts will be disqualified, and a new daily winner will be selected.
  5. All non-duplicate entries, including daily winners, are eligible for the grand prize.
  6. As a winner of an AfterShock Comics contest, your voice, name and/or picture may be used for promotional, broadcast, or internet purposes without compensation.
  7. Prizes awarded are not redeemable for cash. No prize is transferable. No substitution for a prize will be made at the request of the winner.
  8. All winners are responsible for shipping cost. All comics are bagged and board, and will be shipped flat rate USPS priority (Domestic) and FedEx International (International).
  9. Winners will be expected to claim prize by contacting CustomerService@aftershock.ninja within 15 days notified that they are winners. Unclaimed prizes will be forfeited and returned to AfterShock Comics to do with as they see fit.
  10. The following are specifically related to E-contests and E-Mail promotions for AfterShock Comics:
    1. All appropriate information in required fields must be entered correctly and completely or you will be disqualified.
    2. Duplicate entries or use of multiple emails for same contact will be disqualified.
    3. Any problems with the internet or email are not AfterShock Comics’ responsibility.

FOR RETAILERS:

A) TWO GRAND PRIZE WINNERS: One retailer winner receives an original sketch cover by Garry Brown and one receives an original sketch cover by Mike Rooth

Any member of our Retailer newsletter list are eligible to win. Are you an official Diamond Retailer but not a member of our AfterShock mailing list? Signup for FREE between June 8th and July 17th 2017 by emailing your Store Name, Diamond Store Number, and physical address to: Retailers@aftershock.ninja

Retailer Contest Rules:

  1. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.
  2. Two grand prize winners will be drawn on July 17th 2017.
  3. Winners will be selected from the existing and new newsletter members, starting June 8th ending July 17th 2017.
  4. Only one email per person. Daily winning email address will be verified to owner’s name. Multiple entries with variable accounts will be disqualified, and a new daily winner will be selected.
  5. All non-duplicate entries, including daily winners, are eligible for grand prize.
  6. As a winner of an AfterShock Comics contest your voice, name and/or picture may be used for promotional, broadcast, or internet purposes without any compensation to you.
  7. Prizes awarded are not redeemable for cash. No prize is transferable. No substitution for a prize will be made at the request of the winner.
  8. All winners are responsible for shipping cost. All comics are bagged and board, and will be shipped flat rate USPS priority (Domestic) and FedEx International (International).
  9. Winners will be expected to claim prize by contacting Retailers@aftershock.ninja within 15 days notified that they are winners. Unclaimed prizes will be forfeited and returned to AfterShock Comics to do with as they see fit.
  10. The following are specifically related to E-contests and E-Mail promotions for AfterShock Comics:
    1. All appropriate information in required fields must be entered correctly and completely or you will be disqualified.
    2. Duplicate entries or use of multiple emails for same contact will be disqualified.
    3. Any problems with the internet or email are not AfterShock Comics’ responsibility.
11 Apr

AfterShock at C2E2 2017

Headed to the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, aka C2E2, this year? AfterShock will be there in full force to celebrate the comic book and pop culture convention spanning the latest and greatest from the world of comics, movies, television, toys, anime, manga and video games. 

Convention Days/Hours:
• Friday, April 21: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
• Saturday, April 22: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
• Sunday, April 23: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Our Booth: 417

Our C2E2 Exclusives (available at our booth):
• Eleanor & Egret #1 (C2E2 exclusive cover)
• World Reader #1 (C2E2 exclusive cover)
• Jimmy’s Bastards poster – Dave Johnson art (Series written by Garth Ennis with interiors by Russ Braun)
• Babyteeth poster – Garry Brown art (Signed by creator + writer Donny Cates)

Signings (at our booth): 
• Marguerite Bennett – Friday, April 21: 2:30-3:30 PM
• Phil Hester – Saturday, April 22: 2:30-3:30 PM
• Donny Cates – Sunday, April 23: 1:00-2:00 PM

Our Panel:
• Sunday, April 23: 10:45am
• Room: S403
• Description: Join Donny Cates (BABYTEETH), Adam Glass (ROUGH RIDERSTHE NORMALS), Brian Azzarello (AMERICAN MONSTER), Phil Hester (SHIPWRECKBLOOD BLISTER), Justin Jordan (STRAYER), Joe Pruett (AfterShock Publisher/CCO & BLACK-EYED KIDS), Mike Zagari (Aftershock SVP Digital/Creative) and more of the AfterShock Comics creative team as they discuss their current titles and future plans! (NOTE: Guests are subject to change)

Our Creators & Staff at the Show:
• Brian Azzarello (AMERICAN MONSTER)
• Marguerite Bennett (ANIMOSITYINSEXTS)
• Donny Cates (BABYTEETH)
• Adam Glass (ROUGH RIDERSTHE NORMALS)
• Phil Hester (SHIPWRECKBLOOD BLISTER)
• Justin Jordan (STRAYER)
• Lee Kramer (AfterShock President)
• Stephan Nilson (AfterShock Publishing Operations Manager)
• Joe Pruett (AfterShock Publisher/CCO & BLACK-EYED KIDS)
• Lisa Wu (AfterShock Retailers/Fan Relations Manager)
• Mike Zagari (Aftershock SVP Digital/Creative)
• + more!
*Note: Guests are subject to change

Additional Info:
• Official C2E2 AfterShock website

22 Mar

Limited-time Exclusive Digital Connecting Covers

For the first time, AfterShock and comiXology have partnered to provide limited-time exclusive digital connecting covers across several exciting titles. These covers will only be available to add to your digital collection via the comiXology platform until May 11th 2017.

Issues included are InSEXts #10 (Marguerite Bennett & Ariela Kristantina), Rough Riders: Riders on the Storm #2 (Adam Glass & Patrick Olliffe), Black-Eyed Kids #12 (Joe Pruett & Szymon Kudranski), Shipwreck #4 (Warren Ellis & Phil Hester), Animosity #6 (Marguerite Bennett & Rafael de Latorre), Jackpot! #5 (Ray Fawkes & Georges Duarte), and Captain Kid #5(Mark Waid, Tom Peyer & Wilfredo Torres). The connecting covers were illustrated by Mike Zagari and colored by Gabe Eltaeb.

Each digital comic will be released over the course of the next month, but can be pre-ordered right now! Remember to act fast, as time is extremely limited to get these exclusive digital covers.

12 Jan

AfterShock Comics Set to Expand Titles After Successful 2016; New Series in the Works with Garth Ennis

(January 12, 2017) Los Angeles, CA – Since its official debut in April 2015, AfterShock Comics has launched 16 titles from some of the world’s most celebrated creators. With hits including Animosity from Marguerite Bennett, Alters from Paul Jenkins, Rough Riders from Adam Glass and Shipwreck from Warren Ellis, AfterShock will debut its second series from award-win- ning creator Garth Ennis, called Jimmy’s Bastards, later this year.

More details including art, release date and order info to be announced soon!

AfterShock closed out 2016 with several award nominations and an incredible year of note- worthy projects from industry heavyweights including Brian Azzarello, Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner, Mark Waid, and several others, including the above-referenced best sellers.

“During our first year as a publisher, AfterShock worked with over 100 talented creators to help bring to life incredible stories from some of the best in the business,” said AfterShock’s Editor-in-Chief, Mike Marts. “Thanks to overwhelmingly positive support from fans and re- tailers, AfterShock will continue to expand its content in 2017 through partnerships with both industry favorites and up and comers.”

Jimmy’s Bastards, the second AfterShock title from Ennis following last year’s release, Dream- ing Eagles, will debut early summer. The official solicit text follows:

Jimmy Regent is Britain’s number one super spy, a devastatingly handsome secret agent with a license to kill and style to match. Sailing effortlessly through mission after mission with wit and panache, defying danger again and again, Jimmy always triumphs and always gets the girl- gets rather a lot of girls, actually. But now a new and particularly dangerous secret organization has arisen, their sights fixed firmly on Jimmy’s head. Two hundred young men and women in ultimate physical condition, trained in all the arts of deception and death, each bearing a curi- ous facial resemblance to… Jimmy? Every one united with one terrible aim: Get Daddy.

“AfterShock made working on Dreaming Eagles a great experience,” said Garth Ennis. “I can’t think of a better home for Jimmy’s Bastards. I’m sure Jimmy would agree – as indeed would his bastards.”

With several new series debuting in 2017, comic enthusiasts can expect new releases from leading creators that include John Layman with Sam Keith, Frank Tieri, Jeff Loveness and more. There will also be new titles announced from AfterShock’s current family of creators including Adam Glass and Justin Jordan.

More info via:
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
WE THE NERDY

22 Sep

Animosity #2 sells out too!

Well, here we go again! Did you miss out on ANIMOSITY #2 first printing? If you did, you might be asking yourself “What can I do this time, AfterShock??”. Once again, you’ve come to the right place for the answers!

For Fans:
-Don’t stop telling your retailers to stock more AFTERSHOCK comics so you’ll never miss another issue!
-There will be a second printing of ANIMOSITY #2 – just share this item code with your local retailer: AUG168423
-There will be an EXCLUSIVE variant cover edition of ANIMOSITY #2 at New York Comic Con. More details here.
-Can’t wait for the physical second printing? You can buy it digitally HERE!
-Act NOW for issues #3 & #4 of ANIMOSITY either at your local retailer or digitally before they sell-out too!
-Need to find a local comic retailer? Visit this link.

For Retailers:
-As mentioned for the fans, there will be a second printing of ANIMOSITY #2 – item code: AUG168423
-Let Diamond know ASAP if you still need issue #3; order code: AUG161104
-Make sure to get your order in for issue #4; order code: SEP161219 and issue #5; order code: OCT161103