TKO (stands for Total Knock Out) Studios has made quiet a splash in the comic publishing scene. Touted as the Netflix of comics, TKO plans to release the entire mini series of all of their titles both in a six issue box set collection and a trade at the same time. With an impressive roster of creators including Jeff Lemire, Garth Ennis, and Roxane Gay, this new comic publisher aims to shake things up. All the first issues to the first four series they’ve released are available on their website and I’ve read them to give you the details on these exciting new series.
The series I started with was Goodnight Paradise. Written by Eisner Award nominated writer Justin Dysart and his frequent artistic collaborator Alberto Ponticelli, it centers around a homeless man in Venice Beach as he tries to find justice for a murdered runaway teenager. This is the least bombastic of the series, focusing more on quiet character driven drama than explosions. Haunting in its portrayal of homelessness in America and focused at its core to show a man at his lowest point and how life evolves in dire situations, Goodnight Paradise was my favorite of these debut issues and left me hungry for more of its melancholy beauty.
My second favorite of the four was Garth Ennis and Steve Epting’s Sara. Centering around a group of women snipers in Russia during World War II, this beautifully illustrated book strikes the balance between riveting war drama and thoughtful political commentary on dictatorial regimes and the twisted propaganda they feed to their citizens. A lot less gruesome than has come to be expected from Ennis, Sara feels like a cross between Ennis’ War Stories, and Epting’s Velvet.
Next up The Fearsome Doctor Fang, written by TKO founder and TV writer Tze Chun and illustrated by Dan McCaid whose work on the Big Trouble in Little China comics lends himself perfectly to this pulpy story of globe trotting, treasure hunting, intrigue that would be just as at home in an Indiana Jones movie as this comic. Centering around a San Franciscan police detective who is obsessed with catching a mythical mastermind from the east after his brother’s presumed death at Doctor Fang’s hands there’s plenty of explosions, betrayal and shocking reveals in this story right out of 1930’s radio play.
Last but not least 7 Deadly Sins, written also by Tze Chun with art by Russian comic illustrator Artyom Trakhanov, this comic is a similarly pulpy western story centered around a group of diverse escaped convicts who are recruited by a Mexican priest to join a suicide mission on the Texas/Mexico border. Distinctive art and time period appropriate social conflicts, 7 Deadly Sins doesn’t shy away from the grisly aspects of the western frontier. Delivering on it’s ultra violent premise 7 Deadly Sins is perfect for any one who enjoys spaghetti westerns with a twist.
Any of these new comics can be pre-ordered at your local Dragon’s Lair!