Comics Interviews

Chris Shehan’s Interview

Chris Shehan has had a busy year! After wrapping up the prettiest horror story you’ll ever read, The Autumnal, it was announced that they would be the artist for the upcoming House of Slaughter. Somehow, between all of that, they’ve also drawn variant covers for some of our indie horror faves The Plot and The Last Book You’ll Ever Read. We got a chance to ask Chris for details on these projects, and some other important questions, starting with:

What is your favorite sandwich?

My favorite sandwich to eat is a BLT with avocado. Hard to beat. Favorite sandwich to make is grilled cheese. I go all-out and make a special event out of it.

Your next work, House of Slaughter, is out next month (FOC is next Monday, September 13th)*! What do you want to share with us about that?

For anyone who may not know, it’s a spin-off of Something is Killing the Children. It’s a little bit of a prequel following some stuff that Aaron Slaughter was up to before we see him in SIKTC. There’s some back story and more lore and mythology to the world crafted by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera. I won’t say much outside of that, but I’m really enjoying working on it.

* Final Order Cutoff is the last day local comic stores can put in orders for a print comic book and have it guaranteed that they’ll get a copy. Publishers use the numbers they get on that day to determine how much of a comic they should print, and if you decide you want one after that, they might have sold out. So, if you want House of Slaughter #1, tell your local comics store before next Monday!

Is this something new readers can pick up if they haven’t read Something Is Killing the Children?

I believe so, but I think the added context of Something Is Killing The Children will really help fill out the world for the reader. Plus, it’s one of my favorite comics, so I honestly would recommend it whether I was working on a spin-off or not!

Can you tell us about getting signed onto this project? Is it true that it started with fan art? What happened after that?

I’m not actually sure how it really started, but James Tynion IV had helped get the word out about The Autumnal when we first started promoting that, and I assume my work on that had led to being considered for House of Slaughter. But I did do Erica Slaughter fanart that James liked, and I like to think that helped! As I was finishing the final issue of The Autumnal, I was contacted by Boom about the project, and as a SIKTC fan, it was hard to say no!

How does it feel to have drawn a $2000 comic? Can I ask how variant covers** work from an artist’s perspective since you’ve had comics with variant covers and drawn variant covers for other comics?

Oh wow, I didn’t even know that was a thing. I’ve only very recently started learning about the way collectors use comics as a form of art collecting and/or investing. I’m honored people find value in comics, but I don’t fully understand it. As for how it works for me, I’m generally just asked to draw a cover or variant for my usual rate. With exclusive retailer variants, I might do some profit-sharing, but honestly, my rep handles those deals, and I try to just focus on drawing. I’m fascinated by it, though.

** Variant Covers are comics where the cover of an issue is drawn by a guest artist. The interior of the comic is the same! Sometimes publishers will make variant covers generally orderable, so you just have to ask your local comic store to get a variant cover for you. Other times, they’re sold as incentive bundles, where your local comic store is only allowed to order one copy of the variant for every x copies of the regular comic they order. Different stores will have different policies on getting these incentive covers for you or how much they charge for them, so if you’re interested in one of those, you should ask about your local store’s policy!

How is working on House of Slaughter different from working on your most recent project, The Autumnal? How do these compare to your guest covers for The Plot? What is it like to add to an existing IP? Do you approach it differently?

I’m much more careful when working on something that already has an established fan base. I try to find a balance of bringing my voice to something while matching the voices that came before so that what I do can exist, believably, in that world. I’m very nervous for this book to come out. I do hope that the fans love it. I’m having fun working on it. My guest covers on the plot were less nerve-wracking because I had The Plot co-creator, Tim Daniel, art-directing those covers from start to finish. That gave me a lot more confidence.

What kinds of things did you enjoy drawing the most in your projects? What were the most difficult or challenging things to draw?

I love drawing emotional character moments more than anything else. The most challenging things to draw are crowds of people.

Who are your influences? What artists are you seeing doing cool things right now?

I have so many influences at this point it’s hard to list them all. Lately, I look at a lot of Mike Mignola, Yoji Shinkawa, and Ashley Wood. Artists who are doing cool things right now are people like Martin Simmonds, Jason Shawn Alexander, Werther Dell’Edera, Sally Cantirino, Josh Hixson, Matteo Scalera. I can go on and on and on. It’s a great time to be making and reading comics right now, honestly.

Some fun details showed up in The Autumnal—references to other Vault comics! How did those come about?

I like Easter eggs! Some stuff was simply just Easter eggs. I put myself as an “extra” in everything I do. My dog also showed up in The Autumnal. And the crossover between The Autumnal and The Plot was Tim Daniel’s idea, and I loved that. I like the idea that they exist in the same universe, and I’d love to see The Autumnal references in other Vault Nightfall titles.

Do you have a list of dream projects that you would love to work on?

First and foremost, I’d love to write and draw my own big epic story. I’ve been sitting on a great one, and I’ve already got designs and art for it, so it’s just a matter of finding the right time to pitch it. The right place is Vault Comics. I can’t see doing it anywhere else. After that, I’d love to do some Batman, something in the Hellboy universe, maybe a short Spider-Man story, and as much creator-owned stuff with great writers that I can manage. The Autumnal was a delight, and any other creator-owned I’ve done with other writers is very special to me, so I’ll likely never stop doing that.


BoomCrashers! Tales (Boom! Studios Releases for 08/25/2021)

Dark Blood

Flung to another world, she opened her eyes. A dream or a memory projected around her in a circle. She looked from frame to frame, her head on a swivel. Avery, she recognized from her previous time in this dimension, knelt on the ground in a twilight forest. A woman named Emma wore a blue dress, caressing Avery’s face as his eyes adjusted from her ethereal glow. Emma begged Avery not to leave her, but fate twisted their promises. The woman watched the universe burst into flames around them all while Avery dreamt of crash landing from a plane.

Then, the two woke simultaneously. She swan-dove into Avery’s existence again, a feeling akin to parachuting from an aircraft carrier. From behind the corner inside Avery’s house, she heard him. Avery talked with his loving family. His reading-obsessed daughter begged to read an edition of “Astounding Adventures”, and his pregnant, independent wife reminded the two about more pertinent priorities. The woman took out her journal and began writing.

Emilia’s Journal: I am revisiting universes! I’m here in Alabama again, this time watching Avery interact with his family instead of witnessing him experience racially motivated altercations. It’s nice to see he has a family unit. Love and care amid darkness can help propel anyone back into the light. Having someone to return to at the end of the day is an inspiring motivator…one I wish I had back home.

She blinked, and the images in front of her winked out like a star. She found herself now hidden behind a tree beside a dirt-carved road.

Emilia’s Journal: I can’t explain what just happened, but…I seem to have moved slightly forward in time? I was listening to the Aldridge family discuss school and responsibility, and now I see children eagerly chasing their sky-blue painted van. Oh, it’s a bookmobile! They offer free books to the kids here. It brings me so much joy to know they are igniting a love of reading in these children at such a young age. Books have been my companions for as long as I can remember. Hardships in life can be circumvented just for a few hours, lost within the earthy pages of a novel. Could they have any poetry books in there? Any Emily Dickinson? I miss my books, but it feels like I’m living in one as well!

Dark Blood #2 (Written by Layota Morgan, illustrated by Walt Barna, colored by A.H.G and lettered by Andworld Design) / Source: Boom! Studios

Running at implausible speeds, she kept up with the blue van. Avery’s wife dropped him off in town. Everywhere, signs of racial injustice and segregation physically and literally cast a shadowy pall on the well-lit town. Avery’s service as a WWII veteran equated to very little in an era where even separate waiting rooms reduce Avery from a human to a skin color fraught with oppression.

Emilia’s Journal: I’ve been sitting here for hours — or is it days? Time moves strangely here like it’s racing by to show me what is significant. Avery works in a restaurant. His incredible commitment to labor and perfection are overlooked. The customers — all white — find fault with every damn thing he does. They call him a liar, using derogatory tones and words. His manager reminds Avery how lucky he is to merely be employed at the disgusting establishment. My heart ached the last time I was here. Again, I feel repulsed at these men, knowing I can do nothing but wait in the shadows in fear of interrupting the natural cycle of events in this strange time-traveling existence I’m experiencing.

Late that night, three white boys physically assault Avery after closing hours. A stranger, a white man in a bowler hat and round spectacles, berates the boys and aids Avery. The woman perfected the art of soundlessly existing a long time ago. She trailed the two men, curious why the white man bandaged Avery’s wounds and offered sympathy toward Avery’s pain as a Black man.

Emilia’s Journal: I don’t trust this guy…he appeared out of nowhere. Usually, men like this have a god complex or some sort of white savior ulterior motive. Now he’s telling Avery about his services at his clinic outside of town. He wants Avery to return if the pain ensues, almost aggressively demanding rather than suggesting the statement. I don’t trust anyone, but especially not white men with medical leeway.

She felt time bypassing. Careened forward a week into this universe’s future, she peered into a room in her line of sight.

Emilia: Woah, did I just skip more days again? There’s Avery with…that man! The doctor! Wait, what is this?

Dark Blood #2 (Written by Layota Morgan, illustrated by Walt Barna, colored by A.H.G and lettered by Andworld Design) / Source: Boom! Studios

Next to her, she found a book laying on the ground. It was not a book from the Aldridge bookmobile but a novel she had never seen before. The title, glowing dark red against a black background, said “Medical Apartheid.”

Emilia: What is this? Is this a clue? I can’t see enough to read!

She fumbled with her journal pen, hoping the words written under the desolate shadows transferred legibly onto the page.

Emilia’s Journal: Time is too chaotic here. Unpredictability terrifies me. These time jumps are throwing wrenches in my ability to cope with this situation. On top of everything, I found this eerie book about apartheid, and…the title looks like dark blood. I know it has some meaning or a code locked inside, but it’s far too dark in here to see any words. I’m now at the doctor’s clinic. Avery is laying on a table, backside up. He had talked about intense back pains before to his wife, I think…my memories are murky here. God no, he’s letting that doctor administer a shot right into his back! The doctor said this shot was like a magic bullet. I don’t think this is the type of magic that will help alleviate Avery’s pain, though! Damn this world for making me watch people suffer!

Sorrow weighing on her chest, she closed her eyes — or something closed her eyes for her — and blacked out. She clutched both the journal and medical research book she discovered close to her chest before slipping back into the great unknown. 

Good Luck

Martin scratched his head. He thought he recognized this place. The brick walls, the newspaper stand lying nearby…yes, this was the same location he had fallen asleep once before. He got up, his back smarting from lying against the wall.

Martin’s journal: I’m back. The place with the kids in those astronaut suits. I’m a bit scared to check, to see what happened to them. But I suppose I should.

Martin glanced around the corner. There was an impact crater where the explosion of energy had happened the last time he had been here. Otherwise, there was nobody around. He tentatively called out, “Hello?”

Good Luck #3 (Written by Matthew Erman, illustrated by Stefano Simeone, and lettered by Mike Fiorentino) / Source: Boom! Studios

Martin’s journal: They’re gone. Place is empty. Looks like it’s been a while.

“Oh hey,” came a voice from above him. Looking up, Martin spotted a figure in yellow with long blond hair staring down. “Didn’t expect to see you here.”

Martin blinked. “Are you… the one who wrote in my journal?”

The figure chuckled. “Oh, no. To be frank, I don’t know who you are or how you got here. I’m just here waiting for the kids to come back.”

“Oh, you know them?” Martin asked, raising his pen to write.

“Not really, but I’m going to get to know one of them pretty well soon,” the figure said, taking a step through the air. “I’m Ursa Major, you see, and he’s Ursa Minor. Or, well, he will be.”

Martin’s journal: Found somebody here, saying they’re Ursa Major. Maybe they’re connected to the giant I saw last time? Still unsure what’s going on.

“You writing about me?” the figure asked, peering down onto Martin’s journal. “Not going to report to the Secretary of Luck, are you?”

Martin laughed. “Honestly, I have no clue who that is.”

“Alright, I believe you. Anyways, I must be going. Kids are set to emerge from their new lives in a minute. See you.” The figure floated away, leaving Martin starting after him. Martin laid back down, sighing. Looking up into the sky, he found the constellation Ursa Major in the skies. It looked beautiful, twinkling up in the skies, the Big Dipper and its surrounding stars.

Good Luck #3 (Written by Matthew Erman, illustrated by Stefano Simeone, and lettered by Mike Fiorentino) / Source: Boom! Studios

Martin’s journal: How can a person be a constellation? I don’t quite get it. You know, this world’s actually kind of nice. Nobody trying to actively kill me or anybody else, just the buildings. That guy was actually pretty nice, too. Anyways, I can kind of see how Ursa Major fits that being and this world. The stars are pretty nice here. They feel like… more than the stars that I’m used to. Though I can’t even remember those ones, I admit. At least the constellations here are the same.

Staring up at the stars, Martin reached into his pocket. Feeling around, he found a tiny version of the constellation. Pulling it out, he stared at it for a bit, before stuffing it back into his pocket. Across the street, he saw a flash of yellow light as four figures emerged from the air.

Martin’s journal: Looks like the kids are back now, and they’re safe. Guess Ursa Major slipped me that constellation, huh? It’ll be nice to have, in any case.

Tucking the journal away, he fell asleep once again.

Something is Killing the Children

A new universe shaped itself around her, slowly coming into sharpened focus. She saw two identical boys with red-tinged hair terrorizing a young man in bed with a knife until he cried. Before she could assess the scene, a person intervened. Cecilia’s hazardous crimson-colored eyes bore into the assailants. She assuaged the situation using only carefully strict commands, words flying like knives into the boys’ ears through the white bandana draped over her mouth.

The world spun on its axis, flipping her into another scene. Instantaneously, she recalled the lightless barn room. She was a penumbra in the room hosting a monstrous leviathan, a shadow surrounding a cataclysmic evil in the rooms’ core. Fingers flexing, the woman wrote, although the pages were captured by the darkness.

Emilia’s Journal: Erica’s world is teeming with monsters, both human and supernatural. I’m inside with her this time. I might as well be a participant in the evil the adults have thrust this little girl into. She talks to her purple stuffed octopus, Octo, as if he is real. I know Octo is more than a toy — he is a harbinger of the greatest terrors Erica has ever endured. She talks about a day in the past. Her entire family was slaughtered by the creature now inhabiting Octo, the toy. Death and destruction follow all these people I visit bouncing from realities. Death follows me in ways I never wanted to think about after…maybe seeing how others handle the aftermath of loss and grief is on purpose? Can I learn how to handle my own turbulent grasp on life after my dad’s passing?

Erica screamed at Octo. The monster killed her mother, her father, and her sister. Blood spilling out of their bodies and leeching happiness from her soul. Angered, Erica reminds the monster of his own slaying. She retrieved a knife. Instead of fleeing, she used her outpouring sorrow and misery to thrust her into the belly of the beast.

Something is Killing the Children #19 (Written by James Tynion IV, illustrated by Werther Dell’Edera, colored by Miquel Muerto, and lettered by Andworld Design) / Source: Boom! Studios

Emilia’s Journal: Wow, Erica isn’t a timid little girl at all. She is strong, stronger than I’ve ever been. Not once does she back down from this looming creature in front of her. She shouts, the memory expunged from her mind onto the surface of this untamed reality. Her arms make a stabbing motion as she relays the simple facts: She killed the monster, and the monster did not kill her.

Faltering, Erica stepped back for a moment. Memories can be redistributed, temporary pieces of information reformed into an amalgam of objectivity by their narrator. The woman retreated further away from the confused young girl. Then, a nascent silhouette flickered into view. She gripped her eyes, forcing them to adjust to the weighted blackness. If anything was real, it was the person sitting only footsteps away from her. Another human. Another traveler. She never talked to people. Somehow, the compulsion to speak outweighed her social anxiety. Another person meant she was not alone any longer.

Emilia: You…you’re real.

Aimée rubbed their eyes as their body automatically sat in a position appropriate for running away as easily as possible if needed. Their eyes explored the room with weariness, but all of their muscles tightened when they realized they had obliviously skipped the person just in front of them. After crawling in urgency a few meters back, it came to their attention that Emilia wasn’t trying to do anything. She was excited, even. Should Aimée run, or was this truly the first person they ever met with who they could properly interact with? However, time for questioning was short, as every ounce of focus was directed at their hands. Specifically, the journal they were holding. Now, it was no longer a matter of some docile person finding out about them. She was the person they were looking for.

Aimée: Holy…It’s you! I can’t believe it worked. It’s so…Here, look!

Aimée took their journal out of their pocket and flowed all the pages before Emilia’s eyes.

Aimée: Who are you? Do you have any idea what is happening to us? Are you taking any part in it?

Timidly, Emilia pushed her own journal forward.

Something is Killing the Children #19 (Written by James Tynion IV, illustrated by Werther Dell’Edera, colored by Miquel Muerto, and lettered by Andworld Design) / Source: Boom! Studios

Emilia: I don’t know what’s happening, but…I’ve been writing it all down. Something said to write it all, so here it is. Every event and every person I’ve been watching is all documented inside. Have you been…here before?

She gestured to them in the dark. Beside them, Erica verbally tussled about altered memories with a glowing, enormous yellow sequid creature dwarfing all the humans in the room. To the left of Aimée, Emilia sees the faint outline of an object.

Aimée: Nothing I can recognize here, so I guess not. But I’ve been to other places, and the only thing they had in common was how fucked up they were. I managed to stay out of harm’s way though so that’s been nice…So, what’s her deal?

Aimée said as she nodded in direction to the sleeping girl. If it weren’t for the fact that she was talking, Aimée would’ve thought Erica was only a corpse. The whole imagery found in that room unsettled them, even though there was nothing overtly creepy about it, which concerned them more. Emilia explained everything needed about Erica as well as she could with help from her diary, which Aimée translated into their own.

Aimée: Listen! I think she’s saying something important.

Both of them mirrored each other as they started writing. Erica was fighting with Octo directly now. He was manipulating the events, corrupting her memory like it meant nothing. However, Erica demonstrated her strength, realizing the cruel game she was put into, and went through the real murder of her whole family all over again. Her mother wasn’t alive, and she never escaped. She was rescued by another person, someone from the order just like her, who also captured the monster inside Octo.

Something is Killing the Children #19 (Written by James Tynion IV, illustrated by Werther Dell’Edera, colored by Miquel Muerto, and lettered by Andworld Design) / Source: Boom! Studios

Erica’s still body suddenly moved. Her fingers grasped the table she was on and started reacting to something in some kind of limbo between her subconscious and reality. Emilia noticed it right away and alarmed her new acquaintance of the danger.

The travelers ran outside the barn and hid in the shadows, soon to be conquered by the sunset. Erica’s silhouette walked out slowly with Octo in her hands, almost as a sign of power. They waited for her to be far enough to reunite and keep talking, which was hard to know given Erica’s background and skills to not let things like that go unnoticed. When the circumstances finally allowed them to feel secure and free to conversate, Aimée noticed something beside them. An old butcher’s knife with the blade covered in blood, resting in the grass.

Aimée: Hey, take a look at this! I guess it makes sense to find something like it here, but it feels…off, in a weird way. I can’t explain it. Do you understand?

Emilia explains how she just found the book, which produced her the same feeling, and prompted Aimée to keep it as she did with her object.

Aimée: When will we finally be free of all this? I thought it might have been a horrible joke from the universe, and we’re just fucked, but…there’s something, maybe even someone actively making us look for all this shit. If there’s a purpose to all this, why choose us? Me?

Emilia: I don’t know, but I…I’ve never liked change. And there’s so much sadness in these places, and we can’t do anything about it. I don’t know why it would pick us. I’m not a person who can handle…other people…very well. Someone is controlling our lives! How do we escape an invisible enemy?

Aimée: I guess if anything, it means we have to keep looking. It may not be a joke, but it sure does feel like it…I could find you before. I have to be able to find you if needed. You too! We could even find others if there’s any. 

Emilia: I agree. Something has changed, and now these strange objects are appearing! If we can work together again, I think we can figure out more than we would on our own.

Something is Killing the Children #19 (Written by James Tynion IV, illustrated by Werther Dell’Edera, colored by Miquel Muerto, and lettered by Andworld Design) / Source: Boom! Studios

Aimée: Well, it was surprisingly nice knowing I’m not alone in this. Thank you. I hope this is not the last time we see each other.

Emilia: I haven’t talked to anyone in so long…I never thought I’d miss human interaction. We’ll be reunited again, I’m sure. It’s the only way…

Both lay down in the cold grass; the sun was about to reach them as the mountains were letting it reveal itself. Sleep came quickly as always for them, but this time was different. There was someone there who, even if a stranger, meant they were not totally alone in these worlds.

Writers: Katie Liggera, Simon Zuccherato, Gabrielle Cazeaux.


Eat the Rich #1 Review

Eat The Rich is, in many ways, a story that has been told time and time again. It’s a combination of class disparity and horror, as the discomfort of being somebody of a lower class amid an upper-class group is highlighted through the use of suspenseful storytelling techniques. This can be a very successful combination, as the 2019 Academy Award, Best Picture winner Parasite will attest. It can be a tricky story to tell, however, requiring both a deep understanding of class dynamics to ensure neither side comes across as a caricature and a hook to help set the series apart from its competitors.

Eat the Rich #1 (Written by Sarah Gailey, illustrated by Pius Bak, colored by Roman Titov, and lettered by Cardinal Rae) / Source: Boom! Studios

As the opening chapter of this story, this issue, written by Sarah Gailey, focuses on introducing our characters and setting. The main character, Joey Dorsey, is a young woman brought to the beachside town of Crestfall Bluffs to meet her boyfriend’s family. Joey is the centre of this issue, and to the book’s credit, it does a good job of establishing who she is. She’s forgetful and a bit of an introvert, but most of all, she’s kind.

That kindness is not appreciated in Crestfall Bluffs, however; while Joey’s boyfriend Astor’s family professes to treat their staff as a part of their family, it’s made clear by the nanny that Joey’s treating the staff kindly will only result in rejection. True kindness seems to be alien to Astor’s family.

This is a series that has very little room for ambiguity; you’re either on Joey’s side or not, and the visuals do a masterful job of conveying this idea. I’m a big fan of the colour work in this issue by Roman Titov. Joey and the things in her comfort zone are depicted in a calming blue, while the unknown is coloured a blood-red. This colouring manages to accurately convey Joey’s state of mind at all times throughout the issue, which is important for an issue so focused on mood as this one.

Eat the Rich #1 (Written by Sarah Gailey, illustrated by Pius Bak, colored by Roman Titov, and lettered by Cardinal Rae) / Source: Boom! Studios

It is complemented well by Pius Bak’s line art, rendering people and objects in crisp, clean, and simple lines, which composes layouts where this colour palette can really shine without being too conspicuous. Cardinal Rae does a great job on lettering here, using a variety of lettering effects to portray emphasis and tone. Rae’s balloon placement is also strong, trailing across panels and highlighting the divides between characters.

Eat The Rich #1 has all the pieces for the start of an enjoyable miniseries. And while it may not be the quality of Parasite, few things are. Hopefully, the rest of the series manages to follow through.


BoomCrashers! Tales (Boom! Studios Releases for 08/18/21)

Eat the Rich

The calm sound of the waves washed over Martin. He stretched, looking around. This time, he was on a sandy beach in the dark. He glanced from side to side. Looked…normal. Uncannily so, after what he had been through. “This can’t last,” he said out loud. Wearily, he pulled out his notebook.

Martin’s notebook: Well, it’s another new place. No rest for the wicked. I’m assuming that’s why I’m here. It’s some sort of punishment. At least I’m still alive in some form or another, so I’m gonna try and make the best of it.

Flipping to the next page of the journal to continue writing, Martin blinked. There was a note already scrawled there:

Time is running out. Look further.

Martin looked closely at the handwriting. He didn’t recognize it. Flipping to the next page, Martin continued writing.

Martin’s notebook: How did somebody else get this book? Am I being taken somewhere in-between all these different places? I’m not sure. And frankly, I’m fed up with being unsure. Either way, this no longer seems like a punishment, a purgatory, if there’s someone else intentionally communicating with me. Maybe there’s some hope left.

From down the beach came the lights and sounds of a beach party. Martin sighed.

Eat the Rich #1 (Written by Sarah Gailey, illustrated by Pius Bak, colored by Roman Titov, and lettered by Cardinal Rae) / Source: Boom! Studios

Martin’s notebook: I know, I know, I should go check out what’s going on down the beach. It’s my job, as much as I have one in a place where I don’t get paid and don’t seem to be helping anyone. Maybe this will actually be a nice party where I’m accepted and actually get a chance to relax…but I doubt it. And, I’m sure, if anyone else ever gets to read this…you doubt it too.

Slowly, Martin plodded his way down the beach. Reaching the party, he noted that everyone there was very well-dressed. This was clearly an upper-class party, and he wasn’t invited. He loitered off to the side, trying to stay out of the way, trying to avoid notice. His eyes were drawn to a man standing on the stage with a microphone in hand.

Martin’s notebook: Made it to the party. There’s a guy here, and he’s just calling out insults to specific people in the crowd. Honestly, sounds like a pretty trash party. I’d leave if I were one of the guests. And it looks like some of them are. Let me follow.

Martin followed a woman wearing a blue and white dress closer to the edge of the water, where a couple men were already standing around talking.

Martin’s notebook: You know, maybe this is fine. Maybe it’s just a normal event. That’s gotta happen sometimes, right? Maybe whoever wrote in my notebook actually sent me to somewhere nice… or, at least, not terrible.

Looking up from the notebook, Martin noticed one of the men had tackled another. Pulling out a knife, the man on top started stabbing the one on the ground, covering both of them with blood. Backing away, Martin quickly started running.

Eat the Rich #1 (Written by Sarah Gailey, illustrated by Pius Bak, colored by Roman Titov, and lettered by Cardinal Rae) / Source: Boom! Studios

Martin’s notebook: Well, that’s that down the drain. Another murder. Another death. They don’t seem to care about me, luckily enough, or maybe they just haven’t noticed. Either way, I don’t care. I’m out of here. What’s with all the violence anyways?

Turning the corner to hide behind a nearby beach house, he stopped. He didn’t even notice how quickly he was breathing. He tried to force himself to calm down.

Martin’s notebook: It’s gonna be alright. I’ve survived so far. It’s gonna be alright. I just need to keep believing that.

And behind that beach house, he curled up and fell asleep.

Power Rangers

Sometimes dreams are more than one’s mind projecting an abstract illusion of what it feels or wants. Sometimes there are anomalies at the root of what we see. This dream was a twisted vision of something that transpired or may have transpired. Time itself is always changing and contorting.

This particular dream was one of a tragedy that occurred centuries before. This is a dream that Mazarine saw, a dream that others have had through time. It wasn’t clear if it truly is a dream or a ripple effect of energy created by the Zeo Crystal itself. It started as Zophram stood at the center of the stars, a hologram to meet with Elders of Eltar. A plea was put forward by Zophram to move the Zeo Crystal to Eltar itself as another attempt had just been made by the Dark Spectre to claim it. The latest attempt nearly claimed the life of Zordon of Eltar, who Mazarine knew much about as his importance to the galaxy was still felt today.

Power Rangers #10 (Written by Ryan Parrott & Rachel Wagner, illustrated by Moisés Hidalgo, colored by Raúl Angulo with color assistance by José Enrique Fernández, and lettered by Ed Dukeshire) / Source: Boom! Studios

The plea fell on the uncaring Elders who denied Zophram as they had not yet come to a decision of what to do with the Zeo Crystal. That’s when the mood quickly flipped from desperation to anger. Zophram was the Elders Supreme Guardian, tasked with protecting the galaxy. But Zophram knew the Zeo Crystal could end their enemies with ease, protecting countless lives and maybe even prevent the death of his close friend Zordon. Once again, the Elders relied on their platitudes of protection while their own people died.

What came next was clouded, but a few things were clear to Mazarine as he followed Zephram through the vision. Zephram was going to move the Zeo Crystal without their help, but when he touched it, there was a massive energy surge. A surge that changed everything. Zephram of Eltar was dead, but something much more sinister was left in his place. A conqueror whose name was known even now…Lord Zedd.

As if the backlash of the energy surge were real, it awoke Mazarine in his bed in Millennium City in the year 3015. His hand reached out from his bed to grab his Chrono Morpher from his bedside. Mazarine is a part of the Time Force special investigations unit. This dream meant something was going wrong in the timeline.

“I have to go back.”

Save Yourself

Swirling comets turned inside out, posed as the most beautiful planets, and disappeared before their eyes in a heartbeat. Unforgettable views that they would soon forget. Terrors hunting you to bring out your insides and play with them. All the vivid moments that seemed tailored just for them like they always wished. Experiences that no other could live lost in the back of their subconscious forever. That’s all dreams are.

Now Aimée found themself inside some kind of metal fortress. The striking disparity between the placid dreams and the imponent, almost frightening feeling of the cold metal made itself apparent almost instantly. However, the fear could not take over them this time. At this point, they knew the force that led them into this always put them somewhere safe.

Aimée: It seems like some kind of…spaceship. Am I in space? I always wanted to go to space!

They got up and walked towards a door. It opened automatically to reveal a room full of creatures unlike themself, all varied in color, shape, size. Screens hovered above the floor, showing seemingly human people, monsters, and a building.

Through the pages, they found a new annotation made by someone other than them. ‘’Time is running out. Look further’’. Aimée was becoming used to things beyond their understanding, taking just a few seconds of processing before turning the page to start writing.

Save Yourself #3 (Written by Bones Leopard, art by Kelly & Nichole Matthews, and lettered by Jim Campbell) / Source: Boom! Studios

Aimée’s journal: There’s a humanoid, cosmic-looking shark, and even they seem friendly. They’re some kind of federation. I’m hearing something about a missing human, related in some way to a human person here named Gigi. He has been kidnaped by three aliens that pretend to be heroes for humankind, but they’re trying to destroy it…somehow, this isn’t even the worst place I’ve been to.

Aimée wrote everything as they detailed the rescue plan, which involved a distraction by the sibling of the invaders, Mia, who now worked with the federation. Gigi and the leader went to the three alien’s spaceships to rescue Shawn. Both Mia and Gigi talked before parting ways. The tenderness and awkwardness in their words demonstrated a relationship with the potential for a beautiful love. Meanwhile, Aimée decided to follow Mia to write the events.

The sunset arrived as Mia waited at a beach’s shore where they agreed to meet with their siblings.

Aimée’s journal: Why are they taking so long to come? It feels real off…Wait! I think I see someone coming from the sky? It’s the aliens, they look like people now. Except for the flying part, y’know. They’re landing and…The trap the federation set trapped one of them!

The excitement made them almost scream in support, but that was fortunately contained. Sadly, one of them evaded the trap and was prepared to attack! She grabbed Mia and threw her away to the water. Fear filled the bodies of the brave agents, who were too weak to face the alien conqueror. But then, everyone’s attention turned to the sky. A distant figure eclipsed a portion of it as they intuited what it was: The ship where Shawn has held hostage, and the leader and Gigi infiltrated. The alien they were fighting worried for a reason unknown to the federation until she revealed: The third of them stayed behind to guard the ship.

Save Yourself #3 (Written by Bones Leopard, art by Kelly & Nichole Matthews, and lettered by Jim Campbell) / Source: Boom! Studios

Aimée’s journal: How are they supposed to survive with her inside? They seem to be too powerful! That must be why they flew the…

As they were writing, their hand suddenly slipped as a reaction to a deafening explosion; in the place of the spaceship was now only an expansive wave of fire. Everyone, even the federation’s enemy, turned silent and froze in place. The explosion’s wave stunned Aimée, who stumbled back until they fell to the ground, trying to come back to reality.

Aimée: Mia…They lost everything. Gigi is dead, their family hates them, they’re alone…I can’t keep doing this. I can’t keep escaping world after world. Seeing people lose loved ones, their whole lives, everything they held dear. Always seeing from a distance…The person I saw in the apocalyptic world. Where the twins were! I must go there. I have to try to go there. Maybe we can decipher what all of this is together.

This time sleep didn’t come by itself. Didn’t caught up to them and force them to leave. It wasn’t a way to escape. This time Aimée was using it for a purpose. If they traveled between worlds unaware as they slept, maybe they could control it, and they were going to try.


BoomCrashers! Tales (Boom! Studios Releases for 08/11/21)


World matrices and a labyrinth of unexplored realities merged. Dark spirits transported the woman in their palms, passing her along until quantum dimensions synthesized. The bodiless forces quavered momentarily, reticent. Nevertheless, she somersaulted into a universe where spirits crawled from the galaxy’s outer reaches onto quiet grasslands. But something changed. She was sent here before, she recognized, hiding in an attic behind wooden boxes and a long-forgotten childhood basketball. Reality-jumping came full circle, like a snake consuming its tail.

Emilia: Orla. Jo. It’s them again…

Already, her fingers meshed with the quantum-strained pages of her leatherbound journal. The witch, Orla, and the girl with the sick mother, Jo, climbed down the creaking attic stairs before the woman could slither out to follow them.

Emilia’s Journal: Somehow, I am back. Fate has returned me, and I watched Jo and Orla capture Mamo’s insidious, viscous-appearing spirit inside a taut coin sack. No time has passed here since I left them. How is it possible? Is magic key to returning home? Do I want to return home? At least I landed inside Jo’s house this time. I entered a cabinet, the slats providing me enough light to watch them from afar. But I am finding darkness and isolation…not as comforting as I used to.

Mamo #2 (By Sas Milledge) / Source: Boom! Studios

As Orla sewed luminous threads of magic into the sack containing her grandmother’s restless spirit, the woman wrote everything. Their existence was the antithesis to the woman’s own secluded life. Orla prepared an altar at the hearth and set it aflame. A coal-colored spirit resembling a lizard extracted a bone, Mamo’s bone, from beneath the hearth’s ashes.

Emilia’s Journal: Orla and Jo are leaving the house now, so I’m writing as quickly as I can. Orla, with her magic and knowledge, released the hearth spirit building a nest out of Mamo’s bones. The bone, no smaller than the length of my Orla’s finger, was radiating untapped power. Jo’s mom should get better from her sickness now that the girls extricated the bone. Mamo didn’t receive a burial after death, Jo explained. Instead, her energy was redistributed…and they need to locate Mamo’s bones to conduct a proper burial. Death…I am so familiar with death. I can’t help but hold out hope that maybe…maybe Mamo isn’t dead?

Orla and Jo traversed the sweeping countryside, burying the bone at Haresden’s border. The woman trailed them, emotions rolling through her like the ebb and flow of the hills surrounding them. She noted a tangible connection growing between Jo and Orla. For the first time, after watching Orla describe how the anchoring talisman Jo wore on her neck was a protective witch power source, a longing for human gnaws at the woman’s broken heart.

Emilia’s Journal: Mamo’s unburied bones have been scattered across countryside gravesites. Jo doesn’t hesitate when Orla announces the necessity of visiting each gravesite and fixing the berserk magic plaguing Haresden. Although they barely know one another, and Orla remains somewhat closed off, they have a deep-rooted understanding. The symbiotic borders of Haresden need to be maintained. Jo will do anything to quiet the restless fae and swelling waves threatening her town, even without magical abilities. I remember that desire…a burning flame of loyalty toward my father throughout our limited time together. Orla and Jo… are showing me that death does not have to be an endpoint. Through death, an ember can spark, leading to new relationships. Have I been wrong to close myself off from the outside — from everyone — my entire life?

She followed them, listening to conversations multiplying her grief while Orla dined with Jo’s inviting family. She followed them as they mapped their journey on paper, identifying a pattern in Haresden’s borders coinciding with Mamo’s power as a hedge witch. Talk of patterns was paramount. A spell was required to reinstate the deceased witch’s power. If only spells could restore the woman’s life so easily, she yearned.

Mamo #2 (By Sas Milledge) / Source: Boom! Studios

They traveled to Haresden’s docks, where a humble fisherman and an old fishwife pointed them toward vexed fae in the rockpools. Diminutive rock trolls ambushed Orla and Jo on their escapade. Mankind intervened in magical beings’ natural order, and Mamo’s death meant an inability to protect the finite balance between structure and chaos.

Emilia’s Journal: I’m exhausted. After a few days here, I’m beginning to wonder if I will have to leave. Haresden is beautiful, and Orla is bringing peace back to the unsettled land. When Jo speaks about her love toward Haresden, I want to experience that same joy and commitment somewhere. I don’t love the solitary existence I meticulously created for myself back home…I want a home again. Traveling is new after years locked inside a self-made prison, yet it also brings me a feeling of…catharsis? Orla and Jo rebuild the cairn townsfolk had destroyed to widen the road. They appease the trolls, but Orla’s demeanor is downcast. She explains how magic is a resource meant to be harnessed, and how constant traveling brought her a similar sensation of magic. Magic holds potential, but corkscrews and flourishes in different places for each person who wields it. Orla left Mamo because she could not thrive with her grandmother. My father left me through death, and I could not thrive without him. Could Mamo and I be harboring similar resentments?

Ruminations on life, family, death, and magic spilled into her mind like a gurgling water pitcher until the dark maelstrom seeps inside. Her thoughts cracked into a million shards as magic whisked her away to another world.

New Day

Francesca was suddenly awoken once more. When did she fall asleep? Was she knocked unconscious? If she had a body she could readily discern, it would be aching. She felt pangs of discomfort and soreness, despite not really being in a corporeal form. What was going on?

She looked at the screen again to see Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, and Big E once more. The pain she was feeling seemed irrelevant when she saw these three men before her. The trio was in Triple H’s office after their successful first outing as a tag team. They were introduced to awkward dudes who seemed to be doing the same song and dance she had seen earlier with Kofi, trying on different gimmicks and corresponding costumes, only to feel like none of them felt right. Francesca started to feel a deep sense of sadness, “Why am I so attached to these people? Why do they feel so familiar?”

Big E, Kofi, and Xavier finally settled on an evangelist gimmick that they didn’t entirely love but were asked to stick with at the behest of Xavier Woods. They agreed they love the name The New Day but felt like the preacher angle is mildly offensive at best. Francesca looked on with anxiety, “I know this is incorrect, but I can’t figure out why exactly I know this. Why does this feel so wrong and still so…gah, why does everything HURT?” She muttered to herself.

WWE: The New Day – Power of Positivity #2 (Written by Evan Narcisse & Austin Walker, illustrated by Daniel Bayliss, and lettered by DC Hopkins) / Source: Boom! Studios

As Francesca continued to watch these men struggle to find their place amongst their WWE peers, the men finally seemed to come to some kind of impasse. They separated, only for Xavier Woods to hope that once their break was over, they’d all come back as the New Day to fight in the ring again. Francesca’s anxiety built as she witnessed each member go back to their respective homes and lives outside wrestling. They discussed with their loved ones how they couldn’t seem to find the right footing yet, and whether or not they should bother continuing on their current trajectory. She was suddenly drawn closer to the screen as she saw Xavier Woods gently caressing his locker as he cooed: “The time isn’t right. Not yet, old friend. We have to wait” Francesca could hear this echoing in her mind and started to feel dizzy. Was this a déjà vu?

After several disappointing losses left both the New Day and Francesca feeling pretty deflated, Xavier Woods, like the lovable rapscallion he is, decided the best course of action to get their star on the rise was to simply…be themselves.

As the New Day was asked to use their power of positivity to boast about potatoes in the great state of Idaho, they did exactly what WWE creative generally didn’t want from their performers; they improvised. Francesca cringed the entire promo as they haphazardly tried to talk up the special spud but started to feel a rush of prideful adrenaline when the improvisation began. Xavier, Kofi, and Big E started bad-mouthing the potatoes given to them for the spot. This pivotal moment was where the future of the New Day really became clear.

Francesca watched as the light in Xavier Woods’ eyes glimmered. He showed Kofi and Big E the internet’s reactions: they were being talked about. ”Hey, any heat is better than none, right?” She thought. The New Day then found themselves in a feud with The Shield over the differing opinions regarding their formerly slighted tuber. The Shield had challenged them to a pancake fight in Philadelphia. She felt the infectious energy of the men’s excitement built on this absolutely ridiculous angle.

The three men were lost in thought, stunned by the chance they had always wanted but unable to process how overwhelming that opportunity was. They are then pulled back by a young girl who notes she is a fan of theirs and wants a selfie with them. The New Day knew at that moment how they were going to proceed with this huge opportunity they had been given.

WWE: The New Day – Power of Positivity #2 (Written by Evan Narcisse & Austin Walker, illustrated by Daniel Bayliss, and lettered by DC Hopkins) / Source: Boom! Studios

The pancake fight with The Shield was underway and Francesca felt unease creeping through her. Half out of excitement from seeing The New Day looked so in sync with one another, moving effortlessly like they were three parts of one greater being. The other half being fear of the outcome of this match. Could they win? If they do, where would they go from here? Too many questions to even begin to answer, and they all made her feel sick with worry. Then suddenly, she saw it. The moment she was unaware she was waiting for: Xavier Woods jumped into the squared circle and started shouting, “NEW…DAY ROCKS…NEW…DAY ROCKS!” She started to feel and hear the echoing in her mind again and winced. Once she looked back at the screen, she saw it. Xavier Woods, proudly playing his beloved trombone in the ring for the first time with the New Day. She heard Kofi’s innermost thoughts, “I was so caught up in it, I almost forgot to pin him. Until I heard Francesca.”

Everything comes flooding back to her in this moment of clarity. She was Francesca. Francesca I, Xavier Woods’ beloved ringside companion, met her demise at the hands of Chris Jericho. Her memorial was on the January 18th, 2016 episode of WWE Monday Night Raw. This is her story.


This time they couldn’t remember what they dreamt. An all-black panorama tainted with white spots was the only image that would pop out in their minds if they tried to remember. Everything was incinerated by the white spots, as Aimée opened their eyes to intolerable pain. To their misfortune, their back was serving as a blanket to all kinds of scraps.

Lifting their upper body, they were met with a devastating view. The buildings that were still up looked like relics, ruins from a past time that left nobody to be remembered by. It felt like every frightening thought lurking in a kid’s mind at night crossed to reality at the same time. What struck them the most, however, was the silence, the emptiness. There was no one around.

Aimée: This…Looks like my world. What if it is? 

The sound of people not sufficiently far away startled them. Hiding amongst all the junk with velocity, they saw two young people relaxing on the roof of a deserted house. Aimée checked if the journal was still in the pocket and hadn’t fallen out and combined with all the trash to a pleasant confirmation. The two people could’ve been confused as the same person if it wasn’t for their age difference; one of them a kid, and the other a teen. However, there was someone else, apart from anyone else as they were, who Aimée was unaware of.

Emilia: Eve and her…sister……they’re together. They’re safe!

Eve #4 (Written by Victor LaValle, illustrated by Jo Mi-Gyeong, colored by Brittany Peer, and lettered by Andworld Design) / Source: Boom! Studios

The pen returned to her hand. She eavesdropped and wrote because listening and writing had shielded her from harm thus far.

Emilia’s Journal: I am happy to report the older version of Eve acting as younger Eve’s guardian. I remember the fearlessness in Eve from the last time I visited this world. Although, Eve’s clone exhibits Eve’s tenacity amplified! They are a united front in the face of a hopeless world, which gives me hope for my own situation. Wexler, that evil bear I saw massacre the other orphans last time, was taken down by older Eve! Yet, I hear them talk about Wexler’s ability to rebuild — he is hunting them again.  I wonder if I am being hunted by that inexplicable light source still? We are all running from evil as it adopts different forms.

Keeping up with the two adolescent girls became an arduous task for the woman. She ran, nimbly and quickly, feeling emboldened by the freewheeling affection the girls displayed.

Emilia’s Journal: These two don’t stop moving! They have a mission to find a vault — one sunken underwater into the hollow recesses of the ocean. Their determination forces me to evaluate myself, humbling me. Overcoming impossible odds seems plausible with someone by your side. If I ever get home, I need to seek out companionship. Living life alone, I am betraying an instinct for friendship. The older Eve just told young Eve how Wexler betrayed them both. The son of a bitch bear murdered their father! Oh god, they lost their father at such a young age. At least I had nearly twenty years before my dad died…they are so young, yet so resilient.

Eve #4 (Written by Victor LaValle, illustrated by Jo Mi-Gyeong, colored by Brittany Peer, and lettered by Andworld Design) / Source: Boom! Studios

The elder version of Eve told the younger Eve her survival methods. Her words revealed a barbaric truth undercut by irony as the two gorged themselves on a feast.

Emilia’s Journal: I slipped into a boarded-up room while the Eves ate. What I discovered…worries me. Older Eve related how she forced herself to eat a minimal amount of food to stay alive. At first, I felt horror at this planet, forcing a mere child into starvation.

As night blanketed the girls in shadows, the woman listened to a tale with enough terror to fracture her worldview.

Aimée: What if this is my world? How the fuck can I be sure that’s not the case? All those people, just gone. All the time I spent alone, avoiding everything. Guess I don’t have to make that much of an effort now…Shit, what am I talking about? I don’t know if it’s that what hurts me or the fact that it doesn’t hurt me as much as it should.

Emilia’s Journal: Out of every dimension I have visited, I can’t help but question the creation of a place so beset with horrors. The older Eve is a clone — and not a clone of the younger Eve. No, they are two out of six clones of an original, human Eve. I must be lost within the withering pages of a science-fiction novel. They were born and grown in labs, learning about a world lost to mankind’s environmental mayhem. The Eves were meant to be saviors. And the cruelty of this world continues…only these two Eves survived. I can only rely on a former instinct telling me that I will survive too.

Morning came again, and the woman soaked in daylight like a sponge.

Emilia’s Journal: As they eat breakfast, I listen intently and am determined to record every word of their encounter. Apparently, restricting calories was necessary. By hindering pubescence, the older Eve has been forcefully preventing herself from reaching adulthood. She has every reason to fear adulthood. Here, adults turn into monsters. Adulthood has its challenges in any world, but adults cannot thrive as people here. I feel my stomach churning, thinking about how much these children have endured.

They ventured outside and began to rummage through a towering junk heap on the docks. The woman tentatively followed them, overwhelmed with a chill. Somewhere, another presence lurked.

Emilia’s Journal: I waited inside the red stone building instead of following the Eves. I can see them from the slats in the wall. The older insisted on Eve taking a boat out to search for the underwater vault while the older Eve clone waits behind. As I watch the younger Eve float out toward the sea, a figure caught my eye. I am looking now, straining to look across these mountainous trash piles cluttering the land. Could it be? Another person? Another traveler? It’s definitely a human…but I can sense their impermanence in this world. They are like me. I…I am not the only one.

Eve #4 (Written by Victor LaValle, illustrated by Jo Mi-Gyeong, colored by Brittany Peer, and lettered by Andworld Design) / Source: Boom! Studios

Aimée’s journal: I saw someone moving beyond the girls. At first, I thought she was going to attack the girls, but…She’s just writing, like me. What could this possibly mean? Maybe I’m not the only one going through all of this. Should I reach out? Why would I?

Sadly, accurate conclusions coalesced in her thoughts too slowly. The robot bear clanked loudly, distracting the woman from the person writing in an exact replica of her journal. Wexler, the robot, spoke calmly to the elder Eve, igniting a reunion much like a parent returning to their abandoned child. Humanity’s continued existence depended on Eve, the bear said. Although, a suggestion floated in the air; dandelion seeds catching the wind before replanting in fertile soil.

Emilia: Humans could be…wiped out? This planet is devastated though..maybe it could regrow without humans for a while.

Her worldview splintered, and sleep came easily.


BoomCrashers! Tales (Boom! Studios Releases for 08/03/21)


Pinpricks of luminescence as sharp as razors descended up her; a shapeless form of radiating pursued her. The memory scraped against her thoughts like a scalpel as she somersaulted into another universe. Reality no longer felt solid and unyielding: Reality was malleable. She tried to connect the words to form a coherent idea. Instead, the concept was two goalposts separated by a field spanning galaxies. She was both the midpoint, the untouched ball, and the two opposing teams. But, without an endpoint, she was marinating in a cesspool of endless directions. 

Reality was malleable. There was no altering the fact. There was no changing another fact: Someone — or something — was hunting her. She escaped once, the fear of death a tornado unspooling inside her stomach. She had weighed her options in the chase. Prey versus predator: Who would prevail? Losing her father was inevitable, but she did not want to lose herself. Circumnavigating her own death helped her cling to an idea of escape from this threat. Then, she cannonballed toward another plane on the innumerable spectrum of realities. Sapphire steaks of light rained down from the stars. Comets, she gaped, before the cosmos swept her away and, she too, fell. 

Emilia: There’s magic here…I can sense it. 

Magic #5 (Written by Jed MacKay, illustrated by Ig Guara, colored by Arianna Consonni, and lettered by Ed Dukeshire) / Source: Boom! Studios

She found her journal — her minute version of salvation. Writing in the notebook may have been a command from a silent entity before, but she had always loved the written word. The journal was a lifeline, a secure container to process her thoughts about worlds and people she had purposefully avoided before.

Emilia’s Journal: I see a woman with a dark complexion walking alone. Pillars with ancient symbols bisect the green earth. Everything here feels like a relic, but the woman seems unafraid of trespassing on its path. It’s even more important to stay hidden since something is trying to catch me. If I had built up any courage to possibly interact with another person for the first time…the strange light pursuing me has doused that flame. 

A fair-skinned man wrapped in crackling, lightning bolts of water materialized next to the woman. No less than a breath later, a green-tinged woman taking on the striking appearance of a Gorgon takes her place beside the duo. 

Emilia’s Journal: I have to be in a mystical realm. These three beings pulse with energy, magic suffusing their skin. I hear them address one another as Kaya, Ral, and Vraska. They know each other well and converse about separate adventures. It seems Ral traveled to an inn and blew up…werewolves? I must be inside a fantasy novel. This is why I prefer poetry. Reality over fiction. But this journey has made me question…what do I even know about reality? Have I been living in fear of other people, of the outside, of all these factors that make up human existence when reality is just a facade? 

Each planeswalker spoke of their search for knowledge across multitudinous dimensions. Success in obtaining information was vital, for the planeswalkers lacked evidence. A man, Jace Beleren, went missing after a near-death psychic overdose. Targeted attacks in the resplendent realm of Ravnica mounted, endangering lives on every plane. A cult put plans in motion to summon an evil apparition — a god of old. So, the planeswalkers split. Locating an elder planeswalker woman possessing fire-casting abilities and counsel became pertinent. The trios’ individual might and resilience promised results — but they returned to one another near empty-handed.

Emilia’s Journal: Ral tells the group about Innistrad, a plane overrun by werewolves with an appetite for flesh. A full moon turned men into wolves during a nighttime sea voyage. Summoning a storm, Ral escaped without a scratch but no word on this mysterious fire-woman. Vraska, the gorgon-woman, sailed the high seas as well. Gossip from her former crew revealed nothing. She frightens me, but she speaks with a quick wit and amicable nature. Her power emanates from her alluring eyes. Their glow reminds me of that light…and now I am questioning my safety once again.

Magic #5 (Written by Jed MacKay, illustrated by Ig Guara, colored by Arianna Consonni, and lettered by Ed Dukeshire) / Source: Boom! Studios

Kaya, an assassin who can pass over into the ghost realm, reported no confirmation of the elder planeswalker during her search in Amonkhet. Sand and death, skeletons and creatures trapped in a cyclical loop of misery, impeded Kaya. The hiding woman listened in astonishment. Kaya’s feats were extraordinary. As someone plagued with grief and death’s bondage herself, the woman pondered communication with the afterlife.

Emilia’s Journal: They walked for what felt like an eternity. Eternity — the concept no longer holds weight. Is my dead dad living in an eternal version of heaven somewhere? If these infinitesimal universes exist, maybe I’ll find him…I wish I could stay here. Magic feels safer than reality’s confines now. I would like to learn to harness magic to learn my purpose and defend myself from my haunting pursuant. These planeswalkers could teach me to live again. 

She stopped writing when the trio found who they were searching for. Standing defiant in the rubble of cracked stones, a woman in a red cloak turned toward them. Lines ran like rivers across her face, giving the impression of a woman as old as the sediment beneath their feet. Jaya Ballard’s mouth dropped open when the planeswalkers uttered a name. The name, Marit Lage, belonged to a Kraken-like demigod — a primordial evil capable of sowing irreparable damage. 

Emilia: I’m not safe here after all if a simple name can scare these magic wielders…I’m not safe from anything in any reality.

Devastated, she tried to throw the journal. Sadly, the unkind darkness came for her, as usual.


Martin bolted upright, looking around. He was sitting at a picnic table near a short, small, secluded building. He could hear cars rushing by; they must be near a highway. Then this was some sort of rest stop. He pulled out his notebook.

Martin’s journal: Didn’t think I’d get away. But I did, and I’m somewhere else. Somewhere that’s… hopefully… safer. Wish I had more goals beyond survival, but I can’t afford that. Not when I don’t know where I am, or where I’m going next. So I’ll keep running, and escaping when I need to. At least this time it’s somewhere with a working restroom.

Stretching, he got up and headed into the rest area for a much-needed bathroom break. After washing his hands, he made his way out of the restroom and headed for the door outside. But then… he froze. There was a ball of light waiting outside, similar to the one that had chased him previously. As a family made their way into the rest stop, unaware, the ball entered the rest stop with them. Panicking, he scrambled back into the rest stop, heading towards the entrance on the opposite side of the building. But he stumbled as he noticed something else, the light glinting off a familiar pair of sunglasses.

Basilisk #3 (Written by Cullen Bunn, illustrated by Jonas Scharf, colored by Alex Guimarães, and lettered by Ed Dukeshire) / Source: Boom! Studios

Veering off to the side, he made his way into a shop selling some t-shirts, some books, and a few other souvenirs. He pulled out his journal.

Martin’s journal: I can’t do this, I can’t face them again. The ones who almost killed me at that diner are back, them and the ball of light, and I don’t know how I’m supposed to avoid both. How did they both find me here? What even is this rest stop? I’m not sure, but I need to get out of here as quickly as I can.

Finding a changing room in the back of the store, he headed in and closed the door behind him.

Martin’s journal: Alright. I think I’m safe here. Now how long do I have to wait before it’s safe? How will I know when they’ve gone? I just want to actually find some time to figure things out. Like, who actually am I? And how do I get home?

Martin took a deep breath, closing his eyes. As he opened them, he heard police sirens.

Martin’s journal: I can’t face this. I’m staying here. Nobody’s going to look here. I’ll be safe. I have to believe that. After all, nothing all that bad has happened so far, right? Other than being chased by people who want to kill me and something that could want to do worse, as far as I know.

Basilisk #3 (Written by Cullen Bunn, illustrated by Jonas Scharf, colored by Alex Guimarães, and lettered by Ed Dukeshire) / Source: Boom! Studios

He stayed huddled in the changing room. He heard the whirr of a helicopter, then screams. More pointless death, he would’ve predicted that’s what those serial killers would end up doing. He hoped they’d end up in jail or dead, but with how the police were faring against them, that wasn’t likely. Then the ground shook with a deafening noise.

Martin’s journal: Maybe that’s the helicopter down, I’m not sure. Either way… I think everyone here’s dying again. And if I survive, I still have to escape that light ball too. It’s too much. Another day, another high likelihood of death.

Maybe when I die, I’ll wake up at home.

Eyes squeezed shut, he huddled on the floor, scared but exhausted. Slowly, softly, he fell asleep again.


They felt the cold and humid floor on their back, and their mind drove to late nights when they fell out of their bed and stayed asleep on the ground. The memories made them even more tired, and their mind struggled to reconcile the necessity to open their eyes for any dangers that awaited them in whatever place they found themselves in.

Aimée: This looks like the faerie castle. I never thought I’d see the same places more than once. Does this mean instead of infinite universes there are like four? I guess scientists missed the fucking mark on that one, huh. 

Their black boots slid against the ground as they raised their knees to stand up. Taking the journal out of their old green jacket, they started writing and giving nonchalant steps guided to the room’s window. Nearby enough to hear the conversation, Aimée witnessed Wynd and his sister talking. It started fairly simple, but each word flowing out of their mouths felt more upset than the last one. Wynd wants to stay and help with the war, but his sister wants to go somewhere safe for both. 

Aimée’s journal: I don’t think either is wrong; they’re both just scared in their own way. It’ll be easier if he just flew away…Is it a good idea to leave alone like that? They were being chased by Vampyres. 

Wynd #9 (Written by James Tynion IV, illustrated by Michael Dyalinas, and lettered by Andworld Design) / Source: Boom! Studios

In the structure front of where they were, Aimée distinguished something moving. It was a light, just like the one who chased them before. Somehow, they (or it?) knew Aimée was here. They dropped to the ground with their back to the wall, pressing the journal onto their chest. 

Aimée’s journal: The shitty lights are looking for me again. Why in the world am I their objective? I can’t just wait around for them to catch me, and I have things to do (I guess?).

Wandering through the room, trying to avoid the lights and anyone else who may see them, they reached a room with one of Wynd’s friends on a table and unconscious. It startled them for a moment, but he was there just to be taken care of his wounds. Before they could move, the sound of Wynd and the faerie who helped them before entered Aimée’s ears; they were about to enter the room. They hid behind the door as rapidly and subtly as possible.

Aimée’s journal: Wynd seems awfully concerned about his friend, and I can’t blame him. Although he seems better, fortunately. He started telling the faerie Thorn is so important to him because he couldn’t go outside in the city, so he often climbed up a high point and watched people live their lives to feel less lonely. I kinda know how he feels. Despite all, this is a beautiful place. It saddens me that some people cannot even experience it, and then there’s the war too…

The lights vanished in a heartbeat, followed by distant, crumbling sounds. The floor shook, taking everyone out of equilibrium. If it wasn’t for all the noise rumbling at the same time, they would’ve noticed Aimée. They heard the words coming out of the faerie, ‘’The tree’s coming down!’’. It felt like a hit to the nose that stopped time for a second, and before being able to move or attach to anything, they were already in the air. Fleeting images raced against her eyes as their body hit everything in proximity without control as time was somehow slower and faster than usual. They questioned if they may have been dead when everything stopped but were gladly (And painfully) surprised to know that wasn’t the case. There was a piece of wood just on top of their ribs, but between grunts, Aimée was able to lift it. 

Their hands were trembling too much because of the fall; they weren’t going to be able to write anything for some time. But they could try and watch, if barely. Standing up with help from the wreckage, they could discern Wynd, the prince, and the faerie, but…Thorn was below so much debris, and there was so much blood. The three weren’t even able to cry for their friend, as they were attacked by the Vampyres, who immobilize the faerie, captured the prince, and stabbed Wynd. They weren’t interested in anyone else; if the case were any other, Aimée would’ve been dead already. 

Wynd #9 (Written by James Tynion IV, illustrated by Michael Dyalinas, and lettered by Andworld Design) / Source: Boom! Studios

Aimée: I have to…Do something. I have to help…

It only took a few steps for their body to waste the little energy it had, and like a puppet whose puppeteer suddenly dropped, Aimée fell to the ground unconscious. 


BoomCrashers! Tales (Boom! Studios Releases for 07/28/2021)

Good Luck

Martin opened his eyes on a park bench. Standing up, he looked around. It wasn’t the diner where he had fallen asleep; that was near a forest. He was in the middle of what appeared to be a small town. Something was wrong, though, and it took him a few seconds to put his finger on it.

Martin: No people…

Pulling out his notebook, he flipped to a new page and began to write.

Martin’s notebook: I’m in what looks like a midwestern American town. Maybe Kansas. But it’s empty, and I have the dreadful feeling that something’s gone wrong here. Or is about to go wrong. Or maybe even both. At least I’m away from that diner, but I can’t help but feel that I’ve just landed myself in a situation that could be just as bad.

Hearing a noise, Martin spun around to see four children slowly making their way down the street, wearing strange suits that covered their bodies. Martin hid behind a pillar as he continued to take notes.

Martin’s notebook: There are some kids here, in what look like spacesuits. Should I have one? It seems like I’ve been sent here without one, so it’ll have to do. And I seem to be breathing fine, in any case. One of the kids is throwing a rock at stuff for… some reason. I should get closer to try and hear what they’re saying. Maybe it’ll help me figure out exactly why I’m here.

Good Luck #2 (Written by Matthew Erman, illustrated by Stefano Simeone, and lettered by Mike Fiorentino) / Source: Boom! Studios

He tried to edge himself closer to the children, staying close to the side of a nearby building to avoid getting spotted. As he did, though, he paused; one of them was walking in his direction. Backtracking, Martin wrote furiously.

Martin’s notebook: I think one of them might have noticed me. I’m going to pull back and see what happens.

As he slipped away, he noticed a figure in the lot across from where he had woken up. He hadn’t noticed the figure when he had first arrived, but now he could see there was a child there who looked nearly identical to the one who had gone away from the rest of the group.

Martin’s notebook: He’s found what looks to be his doppelganger, but it’s surrounded by this red glow. I don’t think it’s-

Looking up from his writing to check the scene, Martin noticed a giant form looming above the doppelganger. It was taller than the buildings surrounding them, taking the form of a bald person in a black outfit.

Martin’s notebook: There’s some figure controlling the doppelganger, and they’ve captured the kid, just picking him straight up off the ground! There’s this red energy coming off of the two of them, I don’t know how to describe it, but it feels… like some sort of jinx. I’m just glad I’m not caught up in the centre of it. The giant’s staring at the kid intensely… but she’s thrown him down now, right through the pavement! That must hurt.

Good Luck #2 (Written by Matthew Erman, illustrated by Stefano Simeone, and lettered by Mike Fiorentino) / Source: Boom! Studios

A burst of light, seemingly from near the epicentre of the red energy, lanced out and started heading directly towards Martin. Glancing back, he knew that he couldn’t let it reach him. There was a reason the kids were wearing protective suits, after all. Getting up, he started to run, jostling to write as he did.

Martin’s notebook: The kids’ friends have come to help him, I think, but I can’t see what’s happening next. I just need to go away.

Diving into an alley, he watched the light zip past him. Breathing a sigh of relief, he noticed a newspaper stand, abandoned for what looked like years, with only one newspaper left. Picking it up, Martin shook the dust on it and read the headline:

“Stay on the move. Don’t let them catch you.”

Shivering, he turned back to look towards the giant. Just as he did, he saw it make contact with a new golden apparition that had appeared, blowing him backward. He fell back against the ground, knocking him out.

Something Is Killing The Children

There are truths, and there are lies. And then, there are monsters waiting in the shadows. They wait to twist and bend reality, leaving nothing but decimation trailing behind it. She did not know who controlled the marginal space between perception and authenticity, fact and fiction. All she understood was a lack of control. She had allowed wayward circumstances to mold her destiny long before she spun out of existence. Shadow realms whispered secrets without candor. The beasts came out to play. Monsters not unlike the ravagers of unknowability rampaged in her mind as she hurtled down through the chasm past the liminal space again.

Contorting shapes disintegrated until she saw a vast white mansion. The houses’ enormity looked daunting in the forefront of a forest stretching far beyond her eye line. She watched as a red car pulled up, staking a claim on the dirt territory. Her location felt removed from urbanity. The woman sensed an unsettled atmosphere in the landscape, purporting a rural utopian exterior. A hippie-looking man sporting a black bun piled atop his head emerged from the house. Accompanied by a pack of black dogs, he approached the vehicle.

Something is Killing the Children #18 (Written by James Tynion IV, illustrated by Werther Dell’Edera, colored by Miquel Muerto, and lettered by Andworld Design) / Source: Boom! Studios

Emilia: I am so far away, but…are those dogs in the distance? Why do people own animals with all their slobber and fur matted with diseases? Why couldn’t I have landed in, I don’t know, a hospital or something? I’m tired of this outside world and unclean environment. Wait, a young girl just exited the car with a woman. Is this man friendly? He’s giving me a horrible feeling…Where’s that journal?

The beer-bellied man introduces himself to the girl, Erica, as Gary Slaughter. The trio entered his house. The woman cursed as she fumbled to write in her ever-present journal.

Emilia’s Journal: I looked away to find this damn thing, and now they’ve disappeared. I’ve crept up to the side of the house, now. Gary Slaughter’s voice pulses with authority, carrying through this cracked open window I’m peeking through. I hear him talking to Erica, the shy girl masking her emotions behind that swatch of hair covering her eye. Although, I recognize grief when I see it. She is grieving, possibly from a loss. I know loss. I relate to that feeling — wanting to retreat into yourself but knowing you must adapt to circumstances to survive. Erica’s visible eye doesn’t quite focus on Gary. I admit, he is a formidable presence. Gary sounds jovial, but now he’s talking about monsters. I’m unsure whether he means metaphorical monsters or…real ones. I’ve seen enough in my travels beyond my world now to anticipate the supernatural. For Erica’s sake, god, I hope the monsters aren’t real. The only monster I’ve seen so far is Gary. I’m making deductions through intuition, but I haven’t interacted with people in so long, I hardly know anything beyond the pages of my books. Still, I sense something sinister here.

They ate and spoke of monsters present on the premises. Words about training to fight and warfare against primordial beasts startled the woman listening outside. Daylight waned as stars began pockmarking the dust-colored sky. Erica, the adult woman, the horde of dogs, and Gary exited the house. They trudged from the looming mansion across a field of grass. Unbeknownst to them, the woman followed behind discreetly. Thoughts of shuffling dimensions and cosmic fields she has traversed suppressed her emotions. She felt connected to young Erica in ways she wished she could jettison into the darkness, swallowing their grief whole.

Emilia’s Journal: The blonde woman places a mask over Erica’s face after Gary enters a hulking red barn. I think of blood when I see it, and I feel an impetus to stop this strange ritual from occurring. But of course, I cannot intervene. I wait in monolithic silence as the woman tells Erica she has to enter the barn with Gary alone. My god…are they sacrificing this poor child? Hasn’t she been through enough? This reminds me why people frighten me. Evil courses through my own world. Evil people. Evil diseases. Cancer…and the good people, as hard as they try, can’t save everyone. No one could save my dad. And now I am alone, like poor Erica. They are sending her off to slaughter in some sadistic ceremony after terrifying her with tales of monsters. The woman tells Erica how Gary will ask Erica questions like her name and something about a totem named Octo? Is this a cult? Is Gary a monster — something about to kill this child?

Something is Killing the Children #18 (Written by James Tynion IV, illustrated by Werther Dell’Edera, colored by Miquel Muerto, and lettered by Andworld Design) / Source: Boom! Studios

Horror flirted with her premonitions of violence as Erica entered the barn. The woman gasped when visions pummeled her. Extraordinary sight allowed her to watch a man in a blue mask interrogate Erica. From afar, she recoiled. She saw everything Erica saw, experiencing the depth of Erica’s memories as if they belonged to the woman too. Erica’s family is murdered while Erica is spared. The purple octopus toy Erica clutched close to her chest in the barn protected her from death. A plush toy absorbed a black, spider-limbed monster. The womans’ body convulsed along with Erica when the monster was summoned from Octo in the lightless dark of the barn.

Emilia: Why are they doing this to a child? That’s a demon! How can she possibly survive?

A waterfall of red light gushed from Erica’s small frame. Blood rivulets flooded her nostrils, and then Erica crumpled to the ground. Gary and the masked man observed in abject consternation but stood fettered in place. Erica passed out, Octo sprawled on her chest like a shrine. The barbary ended before the womans’ trepidation nearly forced her to scream. 

Again, a distorted light flared. It sizzled into view, defecting to whatever held it back previously.

Emilia: That light! The sun! It’s come back for me. It’s not stopping!

The light oscillated and advanced upon her. Her heart galloped along with her pounding feet as she ran from her faceless pursuer. She ran across the field until her feet no longer tread on tepid grass. Losing the light, a shadowy figure suddenly uncoiled in a mass of blood and teeth. The crimson-stained canines spelled out a message: “Stay on the move. Don’t let them catch you.” Then, she felt the celestial sphere pluck her out of reality.

Blood Of The Sardaukar

Aimée was now in a room. It was the same cold room they lived in for two years before they disappeared. It gave a feeling of desensitization, with white walls turning grey, a table that shared one single chair with an unstable desk, an old kitchen. It was the same as always, except now some small things were missing, and some added. It didn’t feel great to be in that room, but it felt normal, at least.

With their eyes open, they started witnessing a series of flashing events. They saw a kid from a noble family, which was slaughtered because of a diplomatic fraud. He was captured by the killers and trained through life and death situations he had to endure for years, to become one of the Sardaukar, the empire’s army. He had to live inside a prison for two months, where his little brother died beaten up by the inmates. Then was released in a desert for years where his other brother was poisoned by a lizard. He was the last member of his exterminated family, and Aimée was his witness. They appear on these memories flashes conveniently positioned on safe places among all the destruction and tragedy, as if it was premeditated.

Dune: Blood of the Sardaukar #1 (Written by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson, illustrated by Adam Gorham, colored by Patricio Delpeche, and lettered by Ed Dukeshire) / Source: Boom! Studios

Aimée’s Journal: What kind of hell is this? They just tortured that kid. This is all so fucked up. This is not like the other places I’ve been in. I have to be extra careful here; it feels like everyone would kill me on sight.

Before Aimée could adjust to the place, they appeared on a giant corridor, supported by imposing columns where they could hide behind. A conversation could be overhead flowing through the air. The tone that bordered on whispers functioned as a seal that let them know it was a pressing matter. It was a duke and his bodyguard talking about the ramifications that the duke’s actions could have. He freed a territory that the empire took over, administered before by the Kolona family. Aimée’s mind took a moment to process that information, as they were simultaneously trying to hide as well as possible, but soon it clicked; Kolona was the kid’s surname.

Aimée’s journal: Is it possible that the kid might get his family’s position again? I mean, the duke said he was giving it to the extended family, but he can step up. Would he want to? After seeing what that system’s capable of, maybe he wouldn’t even dream about it.

In less than a heartbeats time, the sound of explosions entered Aimée’s eardrums as a nail enters a piece of wood. Then screamings followed. Everyone started to panic, and the corridor was rapidly full of people running, that didn’t bother to think twice about Aimée’s presence. After running to a balcony, they saw what was happening: they were being attacked. If they were to trust the people running through the corridors, some faction called the Harkonnen was behind the attack. They had no reason to think otherwise, especially because they were foreign to this world and its divisions.

Aimée’s journal: They’re killing everyone! This seemed like a peaceful place. It’s part of the empire! How is it suddenly being attacked? Who are these Harkonnen they keep mentioning?

Things became clearer when they distinguished someone running on the roof that was just in the front. It was the kid, or who was a kid, and now a man. He was one of the attackers. This made Aimée understand the Sardaukar were sent by the empire to stop the duke, disguised as Harkonnen, to avoid connections.

Dune: Blood of the Sardaukar #1 (Written by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson, illustrated by Adam Gorham, colored by Patricio Delpeche, and lettered by Ed Dukeshire) / Source: Boom! Studios

Aimée’s journal: He’s about to fire a missile to a spaceship! That must be where the duke is. Why would they bother then? Oh my god, he just missed! The duke may survive. Maybe he missed on purpose?

Still, with the diary and pen in hand, they saw a light beam floating in space, just like the one they saw before. This time it was close and visible enough to make sure they weren’t just seeing things. They couldn’t even focus on it when it started floating threateningly against them. Almost dropping the diary, they started running down the nearest stairs. There was no time to look back, and it was already hard to avoid all the murderers present in the place. The screams, blood jumping out of stabbed bodies, and the deafening explosions almost made them just throw themselves against the floor and cry for help. They jumped a wall, went into two alleys, and hid behind a spaceship before they finally looked back to realize the light was gone. At Aimée’s side was a corpse; it had been stabbed with such strength that its guts were visible. But that’s not what caught their attention. There was the blood coming out of it slowly formed words before them: Stay on the move. Don’t let them catch you.

Aimée’s journal: I’ll have to think about what I just saw another day. I’m tired to even do that, and the sooner I get out of this fucking place, the better I’ll be.