Virtual WonderCon 2021 was held this past weekend, and while neither of the Big 2 publishers came out for the event, other, smaller publishers came to play. AHOY Comics was one such participant, with a WonderCon panel that posted on Saturday morning, and revealed lots of shiny tidbits about what’s to come from the publisher in 2021.
Moderator and AHOY operations manager and Captain Ginger writer Stuart Moore was joined by editor-in-chief/The Wrong Earth writer Tom Peyer, editor-at-large Sarah Litt, Second Coming and Billionaire Island writer Mark Russell, Planet of the Nerds writer Paul Constant, and Black’s Myth writer Eric Palicki & cover artist Liana Kangas for a discussion that teased more information for Palicki and Kangas’s recently-announced series, as well as hinted at new projects coming later in the year.
Black’s Myth will be the first title of AHOY’s next wave of books, and the publisher’s first primarily horror series, though Moore did say that the series blends genres the way most of AHOY’s books do. Palicki described the series as “the story of a Los Angeles private detective who is hired to find thirty stolen bullets which may or may not have been cast from the silver paid to Judas.” He said the series’s lead character, Strummer Mercado, is “forced to delve into Los Angeles’s seedy supernatural underbelly for the first time in years, and finds herself drawn back to a life that she tried very hard to walk away from,” and somewhat begrudgingly described the series as ‘What if The Maltese Falcon starred Buffy the Vampire Slayer.’ Startlingly, at no point did the fact that Strummer Mercado is also a werewolf come up, though this panel was recorded prior to the series announcement, so everyone was playing things somewhat close to the chest.
Kangas said that editor Sarah Litt, who assembled the team for the project, described what she wanted for the covers as “old novel illustrations with my neon colors,” saying it amounted to “the job I always wanted.” She praised Palicki’s scripts, and Litt said interior artist Wendell Cavalcanti‘s work on the series is “phenomenal.” Moore also offered a first look at Cavalcanti’s interior work, which will be presented in black and white in the finished book.
Discussion then turned to another book that’s coming up in AHOY’s next wave of books, a continuation of the Snelson series written by Constant and illustrated by Fred Harper. Originally appearing in backup stories in Hashtag: Danger, Constant described the character Melville Snelson as “a stand-up comedian who almost made it in the ’90s, and may or may not have made out with Janeane Garofalo once at a party. He had his big shot, he filmed a pilot, and he just failed miserably. He’s bitter, and in the back-up stories he started flirting with the alt-right a little bit. You don’t need to read any of that to read the upcoming series,” he continued, saying that the new story finds Snelson “cancelled, whatever that means, and […] struggling with that.”
Constant said the series continues the satirical themes of the backup stories, particularly in reference to a certain group within comics, who he described as “the sort of mediocre white men who, rather than try to get better at their jobs, just decide to blame the world and become really bitter.” Constant praised Harper’s work on the series as the type of art that makes him want to write better material to match its quality, and Moore described Snelson as “a favorite of ours around the office,” and said the new series pushes things further than they went in the backups. A quick look at Amazon reveals a full promo image for the series, which appears to be fully titled Snelson: Comedy is Dying.
Beyond the specifics of the two new series, Peyer teased that the conclusion of the current The Wrong Earth series with Jamal Igle, Night & Day, will not be the last that readers see of Dragonfly and Dragonflyman, and that other artists and writers may come in to contribute. Russell said that he has at least two more Second Coming miniseries planned, and that he’s been thinking about another Billionaire Island series with Steve Pugh that will find Business Dog at the center of a cult. Russell also said there are a few stories left in the “Cereal Monsters” stories that he’s done in the Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Terror/Blood anthologies, for a total of nine stories in the series illustrated by Peter Snejbjerg. Peyer added that the Poe series will likely continue as well, “especially since Poe can’t pick on us back,” and Moore referred to AHOY’s recently-announced move to Simon & Schuster for bookstore distribution as taking the publisher’s trade paperback program “to the next level.”
The full AHOY Comics WonderCon panel is available to watch on Youtube, and it’s an enjoyable time, including talk about AHOY giving equal airtime to dogs and cats, as well as some really great discussion about the importance of covers and the way AHOY is excelling in that department, particularly in reference to the covers on Happy Hour by Peter Milligan and Michael Montenat. Check it out below, and look for those titles and more from AHOY in comic shops now and later this year.