Small Press Spotlight: There’s a MONSTROUS return while CONTRABAND dives deep into the dark web

Comic News

March is nearly over, which means spring is actually here! If you are looking to add to your springtime reading list, Small Press Spotlight offers two books to consider. Read more about releases from Source Point Press and Markosia below.

Monstrous

Source Point Press brings back their gothic steampunk series Monstrous with a new miniseries Monstrous: Heartbreak and Blood Loss. Described as “a swashbuckling ghost story with hidden secrets, bloodthirsty pirates, a cave filled with treasure, and a whole host of things that will leave you haunted,” the first issue of the publisher’s longest-running book is available for pre-order now and will be in shops Wednesday, May 26.

Written by Greg Wright, each issue of the miniseries features an original story with its own artist including Maria Santaolalla, Gary and Josh Sobek, Alexander Mortarion, and Rachel Young, who illustrated the first installment. Issue #1, which is a great place for new readers to enter the universe, involves a lonely lighthouse keeper who learns she’s living right above a ghost pirate protecting cursed treasure. At first, they struggle to figure out who will give up the territory, but they quickly learn they have a lot in common, including some enemies determined to destroy them both.

Wright said in a statement, “These stupendous artists help to ground this world, making it feel real and lived in. There’s a rough and dark beauty to these stories of supernatural monsters interacting with the living, and this art team finds the different flavors and tones to the stories to bring them to vivid, pulsing life.”

The writer continued, “The classic feel of Gothic horror infused with steampunk flavor is still there, as is the humor and a cast of strange and unusual characters. But this volume is a little more focused on how romance can sometimes do more damage than the most menacing of monsters. There’s something for everybody in here, and I can’t wait to hear what folks think of this new batch of Monstrous stories!”

Monstrous

UK publisher Markosia presents the tech sci-fi graphic novel Contraband. Written by TJ Behe and illustrated by Phil Elliott, the book is “an intense, dark foreshadowing of today’s tech-driven paranoia and online political chaos.” Read the full description from the publisher:

“When a hacker shifts real-time ownership of a wildly popular social app to each creator of its top-viewed video, rampant violence, misinformation, and privacy invasion ensues – as people everywhere chase the money, fame, and power of being ranked #1.

The story centres on a self-styled citizen journalist forced to hunt down an activist sabotaging a ruthless entrepreneur’s dark web social app, Contraband.  His search leads him into a voyeur underground where profit-hungry youths prowl city streets secretly inciting, staging, and filming violent events to satisfy society’s accelerating demand for sensational content.

Published by Slave Labor Graphics in 2007, Contraband was one of the first social media-centric tech thrillers. Contraband’s chilling collection of ideas in this earlier era may have seemed outrageous – but are now rampant in 2021. Dark web communication apps secretly serving criminals banned from Twitter, Facebook, and other big-name social apps. Rampant “happy slapping” with credibility-hungry kids filming violent, exploitive acts.  Professional citizen journalists empowered with mobiles chasing down video stories to gain their own online fame.”

Look for Contraband on May 10.

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