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Your Guide to MonkeyBrain Comics

A new comics imprint has launched with five new series. Here’s a rundown of each.

Earlier this week, writer Chris Roberson and his wife Allison Baker made waves in the comic book industry when they pulled back the curtain on MonkeyBrain Comics, a fresh imprint where creators’ rights are of the utmost importance. MonkeyBrain represents a safe haven for creators to go to create without the need to worry that “The Man” would forever own their intellectual properties (he doesn’t).

Even crazier, MonkeyBrain, as of right now, is a completely digital enterprise. MonkeyBrain has teamed up exclusively with the forefront leader in digital comics, comiXology, to release all MonkeyBrain titles. And to celebrate “Independent’s Day,” as Roberson coined, MonkeyBrain released the first wave of new series under their imprint earlier this week.

I’m coming to you today to give you a rundown of each of the five new series – who’s writing and drawing them, what they’re about, how much they’ll cost, etc.

But before I get into the details, let’s me just start by saying all of the books are worth checking out, at least for their first issues. Personally, I didn’t find a rotten apple in the bunch. But then again, I have a very eclectic taste in comics, able to get into pretty much anything as long as it’s well written and well drawn. Your tastes may vary, however. So that’s where this guide comes in.

Aesop’s Ark #1

Written by: J. Torres, Art by: Jennifer L. Meyer, Cost: $0.99

How do you feel about animals sharing anecdotal stories to help each other live better lives? If that sounds like your cup of tea, then Aesop’s Ark is the book for you.

What I love about this series the most, however, is that it’s a perfect book for children (and let’s be honest: it’s hard to come by comics aimed for the younger crowd these days). Jennifer L. Meyer beautifully renders the book, and the stories by J. Torres relay important life lessons without ever feeling heavy handed.

Amelia Cole and the Unknown World #1

Written by: Adam P. Knave & D.J. Kirkbride, Art by: Nick Brokenshire, Cost: $1.99

At $1.99, Amelia Cole and the Unknown World #1 is the most expensive book in the MonkeyBrain lineup (how freakin’ awesome is that?!). The story follows Amelia as she protects the normal world from the world of magic, along with the help of her aunt.

Judging from the series’ first issue, Amelia Cole and the Unknown World has a ton of potential. The story has a strong setup and the mythology could go in any direction. Therefore, it's an easy recommendation to continue reading past issue #1.

Bandette #1

Written by: Paul Tobin, Art by: Colleen Coover, Cost: $0.99

Of the five “first wave” titles, Bandette is probably my favorite. The book follows the thieving adventures of Bandette and her legion of dedicated cronies helping make it possible for her to get away without a scrape or run-in with the law.

According to MonkeyBrain’s official site, Bandette is a mix of Nancy Drew and Tintin, with a bit of costume action thrown in for good measure. I tend to agree with this description 100%.

Also, there is an adorable puppy in the first issue. Must. Buy.

Edison Rex #1

Written by: Chris Roberson, Art by: Dennis Culver, Cost: $0.99

Chris Roberson isn’t only the co-creator of MonkeyBrain, he’s also contributing one of the line’s first series. Edison Rex sets out to answer the age-old question: what does a super villain do when he gets rid of his arch nemesis? Imagine if Lex Luthor was able to finally destroy Superman, would he go about taking over the world or would he actually set out to accomplish everything he’s always talked about to prove mankind can aspire to be more when they’re not ogling over an alien up in the sky.

Edison Rex is a well-drawn series by Dennis Culver, whose cartoony visuals give the book a lighter tone, which works surprisingly well for such a inherently dark story. With how this first issue plays out, it looks like Edison is going to have his hands full moving forward. If I had to throw out a label, I would call this book a “dark comedy.” So if that’s your thing, give Edison Rex #1 the ol’ college try.

October Girl #1

Written and Drawn by: Matthew Dow Smith, Cost: $0.99

October Girl follows an 18-year-old girl named Autumn Ackerman, who is currently stuck at a dead-end job serving coffee and who frequently questions the meaning of everything (We’ve all been there, ammirite?).

The first issue of October Girl starts off a little slow. But if you stick with it you might find the best cliffhanger of all the MonkeyBrain titles to date. It was honestly an “Oh crap” type of moment. And I can’t wait to see where this series goes.

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That does it for the first wave of MonkeyBrain comics. We’re definitely off to a great start and there’s more coming down the pipe, including a story written by Fables creator Bill Willingham.

The creative possibilities of MonkeyBrain Comics are endless considering none of these creators have to worry about corporate meddling. This is an imprint made by creators for creators. That’s an exciting notion, indeed.

If you’re a digital comics reader, then you can log into comiXology and find all the MonkeyBrain books for sale right now (there’s a handy advertisement on the home page). If you haven’t yet dabbled in digital comics, this gives you an excuse.

For readers interested in the books who don’t want to dive into the realm of digital, MonkeyBrain is looking into eventually bringing the stories to print in trade form. However, no concrete plans have been made just yet.

So what are you waiting for? Give some new creator-owner series a shot!

Erik Norris is a freelance writer for sites such as ComicVine, IGN and CraveOnline.com. You can stalk him on Twitter @Regular_Erik.

26 Comments
Posted by KRYPTON

I'll be sure to check some of theses stories out, looks cool

Posted by SUPER-MAN 23

Gladness, more new comic publishing companies!

Posted by hectorsquall

Awesome! That's a great initiative and some of these series look pretty interesting, especially Edison Rex.

Posted by Nuec_Sol

I love Independent books, so this looks like something worth checking out.

Posted by moywar700

these books are better than **** that's getting put out

Posted by haydenclaireheroes

Alot of these series look interesting

Posted by Lvenger

Always nice to see fresh comic book publishers popping up.

Posted by wowylied

They are right :

- comics by the creator et with the creator leading

- 0.99/issue

Only problem is that comixology don't let you download what you have bought on your pc if you don't search in your cache.

Posted by BatWatch

Sounds great. If I had the money to throw into new comics, I'd give all these a try.

Posted by sora_thekey

Someone tell me what October Girl is about!!!

That cover and the promise of a great cliffhanger intrests me!!!! (If you know me at all you'll know that I will never like a story unless it has a good cliffhanger)

Moderator
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

I'm already sold on October Girl 

Posted by Webjaker

Would like to have seen some sample pages, but Im intrigued. I like the fact that they're big on Artists' rights

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

So.... it's like Image, but entirely digital?

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

These look extremely promising. I do hope they move forward with the possibility of print trades for these titles. But still, like the concept even if it does smack of Image a little.

Posted by erik_norris

@Webjaker said:

Would like to have seen some sample pages, but Im intrigued. I like the fact that they're big on Artists' rights

Click the link out at the top of the article to MonkeyBrain Comics for more about each series, including preview pages ;)

Posted by Duke_Nasty

Really cool idea. Edison Rex sounds interesting if it ever comes to print I'll give it a try.

Posted by YourNeighborhoodComicGeek

Edison Rex caught my attention the most. Looking foward to that one.

Posted by strangeling

Awesome! Love the imprint name. Digital-only though? Guess I'll have to give that a try, even though I don't have an optimal device to view them on... but at the very least I MUST read Bandette! I dig Colleen Coover's illustrations; I use to buy comics from her and Paul Tobin when they worked at Daydreams =D

Posted by moywar700

bump

Posted by zackattack529

pretty soon all media aspects including video games and COMICS.

what i wanna know will the worth of lets say Acton comics 1 or showcase 22 or any of those comics go UP in price or will they remain the same?

for that matter will all print comics go up in price in the future when everything is digital???

Posted by erik_norris

@zackattack529 said:

pretty soon all media aspects including video games and COMICS.

what i wanna know will the worth of lets say Acton comics 1 or showcase 22 or any of those comics go UP in price or will they remain the same?

for that matter will all print comics go up in price in the future when everything is digital???

Doubtful, unless in a future where digital rules, the print runs of physical copies are severely cut back. Nothing that's come out recently will be worth any more simply because all books today have such large print runs to begin with, in my humble opinion. Stuff like Action 1 is so valuable because print runs of comics back then were so small, and then consider a large portion of those copies were thrown out/burned by parents whose children left home for school or what-have-you, and that explains why something like Action #1 is so valuable. It's a super rare item. Comics today will never reach that point.

Posted by RoboShark

Didn't know about any of these. Cool beans! Definitely checkin out October Girl and Edison Rex.

Posted by Jaymundo

October Girl sounds interesting

Posted by knighthood

I think these comics need a little more exposure.

Posted by sora_thekey

@knighthood said:

I think these comics need a little more exposure.

They do! A lot of these titles are really good!

Moderator
Posted by impossibilly

I'm really enjoying Edison Rex and Bandette.