‘Shift’: A New Comics Anthology Available Now
by Richard Bruton
The latest comics anthology coming out of the UK is here and its name is Shift. Featuring a mix of UK and US-based creators, original and reprinted material, Shift promises a brand-new anthology full of a wide range of comics to suit all tastes! Here, we thought you might fancy a little look inside.
In issue #1, you’ll find To The Death by Simon Furman & Geoff Senior, whom you may well know from Transformers and Marvel’s Death’s Head, and you’ll find a couple of US series from back in the ’90s, Foot Soldiers by Jim Krueger & Steve Yeowell and the epic fantasy of Soulwind by Scott Morse. Then there’s Shifter by the very familiar team of Brian Haberlin (Witchblade) & Brian Holguin (Spawn).
You’ll also find the work of Chris Geary with Kora and the first of a series of self-contained, done-in-one strips, Hungerville by Warwick Fraser-Coombe. Both rather incredible UK creatives.
And finally, there’s Tiny Acts of Violence by Martin Stiff. Now, here I have to apologise to you, dear reader, and to Martin Stiff, because I have a copy of Tiny Acts of Violence sitting here on my laptop that I’ve not yet fully read and told you about. And that’s a bad, bad thing because his debut series, The Absence, was a book that I adored, a fantastical and fantastic thing that existed from 2010 to 2014 with six issues that amazed and thrilled me, a tale of return from war, of strangeness, of science, of the unknown, and so much more.
So, to say that I’m excited to see Tiny Acts Of Violence here is a big understatement… which is why we’re leading off with that particular strip…
Tiny Acts of Violence – Martin Stiff
Published earlier in 2020 as a hardback graphic novel, Stiff’s second graphic novel is set in East Berlin of 1968, a city of paranoia and fear, a city recovering from the nightmares of WWII, and a city where the state police, the Stasi, can spirit anyone away, never to be seen again.
In this cold-war city, damaged school teacher Sebastian Metzger is being stalked from the shadows of war-torn buildings by something ancient and evil –something which threatens the city and perhaps even the future of humanity itself.
Shifter – Brian Haberlin, Skip Brittenham, Brian Holguin, Geirrod Van Dyke and Kunrong Yap.
Described by Shift as a “Sci-fi murder mystery with a unique perspective, a pulse-pounding thriller that explores the depths of humanity’s evil and the tremendous powers of the animal kingdom,” Shifter features a world where you can shift into other forms, including all those that ever were and more… or, as the PR puts it…
“What if you could soar with the birds – not in a man-made contraption or by using virtual reality, but as an actual bird? What if you could literally be a fly on the wall in a top-secret meeting? What if you could become any animal in the world or, better yet, anybody in the world? What if you could become any creature that has ever existed (and some you never believed could exist)?”
The unique feature of Shifter is the support for the companion augmented reality app, allowing you to view characters, creatures, and artwork coming off the page.
Foot Soldiers by Jim Krueger with art by Steve Yeowell
A series that’s become an epic, Jim Krueger’s Foot Soldiers originally appeared at Dark Horse in 1996, before work at AiT/Planet Lar, and Image, first with Michael Avon Oeming, then featuring Phil Hester.
This new work in Shift features art from Steve Yeowell, features two huge three-page foldouts in the first issue that gives you the full story of Foot Soldiers so far. The first issue also features an interview with Jim, giving an insight into Foot Soldiers and his other work.
In Foot Soldiers, all the old superheroes are dead and gone, killed by the oppressive robotic beings who rule what is now a totalitarian society. But when a group of youngsters go digging around the superhero graveyard they find a treasure trove of superhero artefacts to grant them powers.
To The Death – written by Simon Furman with art by Geoff Senior
The creative team on Transformers and creators of Death’s Head started To The Death as a digital, frame by frame online comic before realising that this was better done in traditional form and put out 10 issues of the comic, concluding the first two volumes early in 2020. And now the huge action and adventure of the series comes to the magazine-sized pages of Shift.
It’s set on an Earth of 2674, where off-world combat legend Aleksy Dryagin is returning home to a hero’s welcome… and a death sentence. To The Death follows Dryagin’s struggle as he’s caught between a trio of corporate heads, the Triumvirate, who want to see him ended, and the subversive White Noise group, who want him as a symbol for change. In the end, he’s forced to fight, once more, the lives of billions in the balance.
Soulwind – by Scott Morse
First published by Image Comics in 1997 before moving to Oni Press, this Eisner award-nominated story is a beautifully done epic thing from Morse, crafting minimalist black and white pages with a strange, almost zen beauty to them in the earliest instalments.
Beginning with a young boy being transported across the universe to retrieve the legendary sword Soulwind, and ending with an old woman unravelling the true account of creation, Soulwind tells a wistful, fantastical, complex tale that mixes ancient myth and legend with futuristic fantasy.
Kora – by Chris Geary
Originally serialised in David Lloyd’s digital anthology, Aces Weekly, Kora has been extensively enhanced, expanded with new pages, re-worked and reformatted for publication in Shift.
A near-wordless strip, Kora tells the tale of one girl’s struggle to survive after crash-landing on an unknown planet. With a rather gorgeous looking Euro-style about it, this is a comic of big panels, huge vistas, and strange landscapes with threats around every unfamiliar corner for a young girl who just wants to go back home.
Hungerville – by Warwick Fraser-Coombe
The first in a regular series of one-off new tales from some of the best in the UK, Hungerville comes from Warwick Fraser-Coombe, whose self-published work includes The Shadow Constabulary and Skullf***er.
Shift is published by Comic Toolbox/GetMyComics and is available from GetMyComics and as part of the Comicscene subscription bundle as well as from the shelves of newsagents and comic shops in the UK.
The first issue is out now and you can check out their YouTube channel here.