AWA Studios' imprint Upshot Studios has unveiled six covers for their March "Big Book" title CHARIOT by Bryan Edward Hill (Batman, Titans), Priscilla Petraites (Rat Queens, Batman), and Marco Lesko (Robotech, Blade Runner).
"The Chariot was a Cold War-era secret government project to provide its star agent with a weapon unlike any other in the form of a supercharged muscle car. It sank into the ocean decades ago, and the agent along with it. Now, a petty criminal looking to reform his life has stumbled upon the Chariot, and he's about to find out that the agent's consciousness is still controlling it in this synthwave thriller."
The Hollywood Reporter calls CHARIOT "Knight Rider meets The Matrix" and says that it poses the question: "What happens when a Cold War-era superweapon considered lost decades earlier suddenly reappears, throwing the life of the man who rediscovered it into utter chaos?"
Along with AWA Studios' Cover A by Jeff Dekal and Cover B by Mike Deodato Jr., Upshot is announcing the retailer exclusive variants commissioned by Sanctum Sanctorum Comics & Oddities of Plymouth, MI and Slab City Comics in Godalming, Surrey, UK, featuring artist Elias Chatzoudis; and Sad Lemon Comics in Ickleford, UK, featuring artist John Gallagher. Both artists were set on the challenge to capture Bryan Edward Hill's "ode to the neon-righteous sci-fi action stories I've always loved."
AWA Studios CCO Axel Alonso believes that the artists surpassed the challenge, bringing their unique styles to the table: "I am grateful these retailers were so enthusiastic about this great new series to do their own variant. We are nothing without our retailer partners, so when they go the extra mile, we don't take it for granted. Both Elias Chatzoudis and John Gallagher created cover images that are completely in sync with the vibe of this synth-wave thriller and its femme fatale, Gillian, whose spirit resides in the ultimate muscle car."
"After seeing the whole story of the first issue, I wanted to give a sense of strength, confidence, and determination. I think, with perspective and composition that I gave on the cover, I achieved the desired result," says artist Elias Chatzoudis.
"We love being a part of the launch of this title and knew Elias's vision and talent could bring this character to life for our exclusive art cover. We have been fortunate to work with Elias for years now, and, as usual, he has created an amazing cover that is sure to be coveted by many collectors and fans of his art for this soon to be released title, CHARIOT," says Stefanie Dioso, owner of Sanctum Sanctorum Comics & Oddities.
Artist John Gallagher expressed: "My Spotify is overflowing with Gunship, Carpenter Brut, The Midnight, and Scandroid, amongst other synthwave bands, so the retro '80s vibe is a natural fit for my brain space. Simon Payne and Sad Lemon Comics have always been a blast to work with. AWA is a top-shelf publishing house doing on-point work and, with the variant cover of CHARIOT, I have the privilege of all three of these dovetailing in one project. Who could say no to that challenge? Clearly not me!"
Simon Payne, the owner of Sad Lemon Comics, added, "Having done various covers with John Gallagher before, he was an easy choice for this book, as he is always a consummate professional to work with, always brings the fire, and was a perfect choice the 80's vibe for this book."
CHARIOT #1 is in shops on March 2021 and features main cover art by Jeff Dekal as well as a variant cover by Mike Deodato Jr. Print copies of CHARIOT #1 Cover A and Cover B will be available on March 3, 2021, at local comic book shops (use comicshoplocator.com to find the one nearest you). Digital copies can be purchased from content providers like ComiXology, Amazon Kindle, Google Play, and Izneo.