Fantasy and worldbuilding fans, this week is for you. This edition of the Small Press Spotlight highlights Outland Entertainment, an independent publisher that produces fiction, comics, original graphic novels, tabletop games, RPGs, and more. With a specialization in transmedia worldbuilding, the company designs, produces, and distributes its line through its website and other networks such as Comixology and Independent Publishers Group (IPG). They also have a creative services side where they help clients bring their projects to life.
The company expanded in 2017 when it acquired Ragnarok Publications, which added a host of intellectual properties and anthologies to its library.
We’re taking a closer look at three of their books hitting in June and July. Read the details and check out some art below!
The Bean: Riddles and Shrooms is Thomas Hanson’s all-ages fantasy printed for the first time in full color. Initially an Eisner-nominated webcomic, previous incarnations were printed in black and white. Available now, the synopsis is below:
In a little inn, deep in the heart of Darkleaf Forest, works a young dishwasher named Bean… While on an errand for shrooms, Bean is kidnapped by a troll and ends up finding a very special sword that needs to be healed. So begins a journey that will be filled with danger, adventure, and the realization that he is the only one that controls his destiny. Bean is the 2011 Eisner nominated webcomic from creator Travis Hanson.
Sorghum & Spear marks Outland’s first partnership with author Dedren Snead of Subsume Media and artist Welinthon Nommo. Successfully funded on Kickstarter, the African fantasy is set to release on July 13. The story details and foreword by Snead (and photo with Nichelle Nichols!) are here:
Sorghum & Spear is an African fantasy saga of young girls called to serve their people in a time of war during their ages of innocence. For a young farm girl NAMAZZI who dreamed of escaping the sleepy farm village of her birth, her life would be forever changed the day that a band of monsters came looking for her. SORGHUM & SPEAR is an inclusive Speculative Fantasy comic and Anthology series set in the Eternal Realm of ORUN AYE, where a race of warrior women, known as the ANF’RE, have fought against a legion of demons to protect a rare artifact called the LIFESEED. Guided by their maternal goddess ESHE, THE ALL-MOTHER, they have found a rise in power of their foes known as the ABIKU. As the tides of the FOREVER WAR now threatens to end their people, they call upon the last generation of girls to use their hidden powers and skills to save their world and their way of life, The Way of SILK AND STONE.
Jotunn War by Ian Stuart Sharpe, Ger Curti, Paul Little, and Ed Dukeshire is a four-issue series set to be collected into a one-volume hardcover graphic novel. Both the final issue and the hardcover edition will launch on Kickstarter this month. Here is a synopsis of the plot:
THE VIKINGVERSE IS A PARALLEL TIMELINE WHERE THE NORSE RULE SEAS AND STARS
WITH RESTLESS FLEETS AND CHRISTIANITY HAS BEEN PUT TO THE VIKING SWORD.
In a series of interwoven sagas, the storied heroes of mankind emerge in new and brutal guises drawn from the pages of mythology, fighting for a future stretched to breaking point by the ever-present peril of Ragnarok.
Be Warned: the meek shan’t inherit this Earth!
For more on these and other titles, head to Outland Entertainment’s website.