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Comics Are Trying to Break Your Heart #57 by Drew Barth

The Upshot of Things

In the past few years, the number of new comic publishers has exploded to levels not seen since the 90s. Publishers like Aftershock, Vault, Ahoy, Boom!, Black Mask, and a host of others have changed the landscape of monthly comics. Each publisher has its own unique voice and feel to its stories as well as a distinct image and style their comics on the shelf maintain. Back in 2018, another new studio was founded by former Marvel comics officers Axel Alonso and Bill Jemas. The pair, with Jon Miller, began AWA Studios and from there began the comic publisher Upshot Comics.

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What makes Upshot as a publisher so interesting right now is two things: 1) They haven’t even released a single issue yet and 2) There is already a large selection of their work already out in the world.

Just a few months ago during New York Comic Con, Upshot Now #0 came out, highlighting many of the new stories coming from Upshot across 2020—even including nearly the entire first issue of their flagship book, The Resistance by J. Micheal Straczynski and Mike Deodato, among others. Some of the upcoming releases only had a couple pages, enough to make me want to read that first issue.

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Upshot Now is a statement book—it is black and white newsprint filled with nothing but comics, covers, and that’s it.

When I was first given a copy of this book, I didn’t know what Upshot was and even after finishing, I still wasn’t completely sure since the only explanation was a quick letter from Axel Alonso at the end of the book. That just made me more curious. Where did this publisher come from? Why were they putting out these books? Why were names like J. Michael Straczynski, Margaret Stohl, Garth Ennis, and Benjamin Percy attached to create all new series? The book was a mystery object, but the snapshot of the upcoming comics inside was still solid. Books like The Resistance, Hotell, Year Zero, and Old Haunts don’t look like any other book on monthly shelves and this is before I’m even able to see them all in color.

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There is a distinct brazenness in how mum Upshot Now is about the publisher. They’re letting the comics speak for the company itself. We’re a month out from the first issue of their first series, The Resistance.

Get excited. There’s always something new.


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Drew Barth (Episode 331) is a writer residing in Winter Park, FL. He received his MFA from the University of Central Florida. Right now, he’s worrying about his cat.