It's a good weekend for Simon Furman. Not only did IDW announce his prequel to the original 1980s Transformers comic book, for which he wrote so much, but we also get a trailer to his new comic with Transformers' stable-mate, Geoff Senior.
Also the word that To The Death will not be distruibuted to comic book stores via Diamond Comic Distributors, as might be more usual, but through a new comic book store distribution system.
To The Death is a ten-issue series, from the writer and artist who brought you the decent Transformers comics in the eighties, and who created Death's Head and my own personal favourite Dragon's Claws.
The comic To The Death sees career soldier Aleksy Dryagin returns from off-world wars to find that putting down his guns and picking up where he left off with his wife and young son is not an option. Instead, he's marked for death, the pawn in a power struggle between the omnipotent Tri-Corp and subversive organization White Noise. But Dryagin is no one's pawn. You pick a fight with Dryagin… It's To The Death. Populated with colourful characters – such as evolved fish-man Killatoa, The Triumvirate, and Dryagin's crack Scourge platoon of 'Pacifiers', To The Death is widescreen kinetic action all the way, building to a truly Earth-shattering conclusion.
I know, I have a copy of the first issue. It is off the chart.
Furman and Senior are also known for the likes of Alpha Flight, Annihilation: Ronan, Battletide, She-Hulk, Terminator and Robotech. for Marvel, Titan, IDW, Dreamwave and more. They also have wide experience in TV, film and animation. So for their return to comic books together, they clearly want to try doing things a different way. And for To The Death, they are stepping outside of the usual way of doing business.
With publishing partners Comic Toolbox, a new indie comics portal, Furman and Senior are launching a dedicated online local shop distribution service, with direct ordering for comic book stores nationwide. Comic Toolbox's indie portal is tailored specifically to delivering creator-owned titles directly to the consumer smoothly via participating comic book shops – or direct, if none are available. And sidestepping Diamond Comic Distributors, which is the comic store distributor for 99% of single issue comic books. Maybe they will have a few others join them soon?
The prequel story To The Death, Forged by Fire, appeared in The Great Big Comic Scene Annual and that a standalone version will be available to subscribers and at conventions.
The official comic book launch will be at MCM London Comic Con in May.
More when we have it…