Sandstorm, Secret Stash Press and Timebomb
From Thunderbirds are go to Snoochie Boochies…several new comics ventures have been announced in the last week or so and here’s our roundup!
• Dark Horse is teaming up with filmmaker Kevin Smith for Secret Stash Press, a new line of comics penned by Smith himself. The first title launches in the fall: Masquerade, an eight-issue masked avenger tale about a budding vigilante. Next, Quick Stops will be an ongoing anthology series set in the world of Smith’s View Askewniverse movies, featuring characters from such cult classic films as Clerks, Mallrats, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back and more. The line is open to other creators as well.
Smith is, of course, no stranger to comics or comics culture: from Clerks to Mallrats to Chasing Amy to writing Daredevil, to having Betman pee himself, Smith’s work is so bound up in comics, he might just be the king of nerdworld. There have been Clerks comics before, and it’s high time they came back! Dark Horse publisher Mike Richardson and Smith expressed enthusiasm in their respective quotes:
“I’ve been a fan of Kevin’s films for years. The fact is, we have much in common. We’ve both worked in our own comic shops, worked in the film business, but most of all, have a passionate love for the comics medium. It only makes sense for us to finally team up and I am extremely proud to announce his exciting new line of comic books and graphic novels here at Dark Horse. Kevin has a brilliant, creative mind and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for all of us.”—Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Comics President and Founder
“2022 marks the 25th anniversary of my comic book store, Jay & Silent Bob’s Secret Stash. And after a quarter century of selling comics, the Secret Stash is going to MAKE our own comics! Following the recipe written by Mike Richardson eons ago when he turned his comic shop into a legendary comic book publisher, the Secret Stash is ready to take the next step in its evolution. I’m ecstatic for Secret Stash Press to become a part of the Dark Horse multimedia empire and I hope our books will bring new customers into comic shops and delight regular readers from all around the world.”—Kevin Smith, Award-winning Filmmaker
• Sandstorm is Abu Dhabi’s first comics imprint, focused on finding local UAE talent and developing their work for international publication.
Part of Abu Dhabi’s AED30bn Culture and Creative Industries (CCI) Strategy, the launch of Sandstorm will see aspiring creators able to submit their pitches for comic books or graphic novels spanning any genre, theme or style. Sandstorm will then select the most promising ideas to turn into world-class comic books, with the potential to be internationally published. The studio will connect the authors to publishers and mentors from world-famous studios, who will coach them to help create high-quality final products.
The effort is being led by Mo Abedin, an Emirati comic book author and an industry leader, with US notables Kuo Yu Liang and Matt Hawkins brought on as consultants.
Sandstorm is part of a larger cultural initiative, the ten-year Culture and Creative Industries (CCI) Strategy, and it debuted at the Middle East Film & Comic Con held earlier this month.
• TimeBomb Comics is a Birmingham UK based publishers that’s been around since 2007, so it’s not new, but they’ve just announced a new partnership with Anderson Entertainment for a comics anthology, Spectrum.
If you don’t know what Anderson Entertainment is, maybe “Supermarionation” will jog your memory. Founder Gerry Anderson – along with his wife Sylvia – created such stop motion animation classics as Thunderbirds back in the 60s, but moved on to CGI and live action in the 90s with New Captain Scarlet, Space Precinct, and Terrahawks. Gerry passed away in 2012, but Anderson Entertainment still controls a bunch of their properties, under the guidance of son Jamie Anderson
Of the series, we’re told:
New Captain Scarlet was a reboot of the original 1960s show broadcast in the 1990s. Using CGI as an evolution of the original Supermarionation puppetry, the show followed the titular Captain Scarlet in his battle against the invading Mysteron aliens.
Terrahawks used an altered version of the Supermacromation style, refined with 1980s technology and incorporating latex hand-puppets. The series sees a ragtag group of humans defend Earth after the destruction of NASA.
Finally, the 1990s Space Precinct was a live action series that incorporated puppetry in creating realistic and sophisticated alien characters. A police procedural set in space, it was known for its groundbreaking special effects.
These three classic properties appear in Spectrum, a 44 page anthology that launches on Kickstarter on April 1. The contemporary comics will focus on “exciting, modern comics with an old-school feel”
The rather astonishing cover is by the great Steve Pugh, and it slaps. The creative teams inside include:
New Captain Scarlet: Steve Tanner (writer), Pete Woods (artist) and James Grey (letters)
Space Precinct: Richmond A Clements (writer) and James Gray (art and lettering)
Terrahawks: Dan Whitehead (writer), Ste Pickford (artist) and James Grey (lettering).
Time Bomb Comics chief, Steve Tanner, spoke about the anthology and his hopes for the future:
“Spectrum marks the first licensed title released through Time Bomb Comics and I’m delighted it features characters and concepts that are truly warmly recognised around the world.
“Like many of my generation I grew up enjoying the television shows created by Gerry Anderson and I’m thrilled that we’ve partnered with Anderson Entertainment to create new stories featuring some of his most iconic shows.
“New Captain Scarlet, Space Precinct, Terrahawks and Time Bomb Comics – what a combination!” Anderson Entertainment chief, writer, producer and director, Jamie Anderson added:
“Seeing these three Anderson titles getting a new lease of life is a real thrill for me. The Time Bomb team has done a fantastic job of building out the worlds, keeping an authentic feeling to the stories, and making stunning looking strips. I can’t wait for Anderson fans across the globe to enjoy these new stories”