C2E2 2018: Hear The Lions Roar – Lion Forge In Chicago

by Noah Sharma

Sales and Marketing Manager Devin Funches and Senior Publicist Jeremy Atkins introduced Lion Forge, a publisher looking to make “comics for everyone”. Funches explained Lion Forge’s organization, with the Cubhouse line for young readers, the Roar imprint serving teens and young adults, the Magnetic collection delivering high quality printings of fascinating and unique titles from around the world, and Catalyst Prime, Lion Forge’s shared superhero universe, rounding out the line.

Funches guaranteed that Catalyst Prime is not going anywhere and in fact is growing. Kino is getting a new creative team of Alex Pakanedel and Diego Galindo. After years of being stuck in a simulated reality, Kino is finally out and has discovered that there is already someone living his life with his powers.

Incidentals is also getting a new creative team, Brandon Easton and Ramon Govea writing and Jose Jaro on art, who will be exploring a story about a powerful man in Los Angeles who got powers in the Event and used that power cruelly. It’s a story that the editorial team has handled very carefully that is about suffering abuse and sexual harassment and not only still being a hero but turning the tables to protect others. Though the panel explicitly compared it to the Harvey Weinstein scandal, they assured the audience that they think it will be empowering and not triggering for readers.

Superb is still being written by David Walker but Alitha Martinez is taking over as artist. The book is also being transferred to the Roar line so that it is absolutely clear who can be reading the book.

Mae is about a girl from rural Indiana whose sister disappears without a trace. It turns out Abby has been in another world fighting monsters and mad scientists and now its followed her home. Mae previously was published through Dark Horse and now the previously published material and new issues will be coming from Lion Forge. Writer/artist Gene Ha said that the series is about realizing that other people’s truth is not necessarily yours. “This is a book about being a geek and using that power to do good things.”

Damian Duffy and John Jennings consider their role to push back against monolithic conceptions of blackness, and Black Comix Returns is a tool to do that. Yes, we have Wakanda now, but one great depiction of black heroes is not enough. This book looks at black nerd culture and art and explores the presence and the diversity of those creators.

Looking at another group that’s not always served, Perkins turned to a book targeted at young readers”…written by a couple of old dudes”, namely Dave Scheidt and Scoot McMahon. Wrapped Up is about Milo, a young mummy from a separated mummy family that’s fun and wild and weird. There’s talking pizzas and ex-con wizards and all kinds of things that make the creators laugh and feel like they did as children. Scheidt spoke about embracing weirdness and that’s natural for writing for kids. Children don’t care about suspension of disbelief – ‘he’s a wizard? Cool’ – they just go with the flow, but they know when they’re being pandered to. Wrapped Up is all about being sincere.

Puerto Rico Strong has sold out at the distributor level. The anthology not only seeks to educate people about the history and resilience of the Puerto Rican people, but 100% of the profits go to United Way of Puerto Rico, helping the island recover from last year’s hurricanes. Editor and writer Marco Lopez’s story “Of Myths and Monsters” sought to provide not just a story about the recent disasters or Puerto Rican history, but also a chance for Puerto Ricans to be the stars, giving readers an E.T.-like first contact story at a Taino excavation.

As much as Lion Forge wants comics for everyone, they also want comics from everywhere and the Magnetic Collection has a history in providing just that. Orphans takes place over the course of decades and was described by Magnetic founder Mike Kennedy as being Phillip K. Dickian. The series will release in four volumes, each collecting three hundred page original collections.

Infinity 8 is pulpy, Heavy Metal-esque sci-fi that contains 8 parallel stories of eight characters with eight superstar European creative teams exploring a single interstellar mystery.

Herakles by Edouard Cour is a tongue-in-cheek retelling of the ancient legend, with a striking visual style. Kennedy described it as having a Hellboy-like ethos

A Sea Of Love by Wilfrid Lupano and Gregory Panaccione is another beautiful comic, the tale of an old sailor caught at sea and his wife searching to bring him home. The book is completely wordless, told entirely through art.