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Wednesday, July 13, 2005


SAN DIEGO -- Oni Press, which will stage its Comic-Con International panel on Saturday, on Wednesday unveiled several new projects.

"I'm genuinely thrilled about the books we have coming up," said James Lucas Jones, editor-in-chief, about the announcements. "These new titles fit right into our Oni library, while stretching it in new and exciting ways. Our tried-and-true favorite creators are moving in compelling new directions with their work, and we are pleased to welcome some very talented new creators into the Oni fold as well."

Following is a rundown: * Local is a new 12-issue series by writer Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly. Local will feature standalone issues, each focused on normal people in extraordinary, life changing situations. Each issue takes place in a different town, with the town playing as much of a role as the characters themselves. The series will debut in November, and continue on a monthly basis.

* Chynna Clugston brings her fanciful style to Strangetown, a new series created with Ian Shaughnessy. Strangetown is the story of Vanora Finnar, a young woman living in a very, well, strange town. Found on the beach of Grangeton, Oregon as a young child, Vanora has always found the people of the town fascinating.

"Grangeton is full of odd characters, bound together by an unspoken similarity of disposition and habits. It's a place where any oddball can go and be accepted without hesitation, not that they think they're strange in the slightest. Actually, they seem completely unaware that they are different and continue to function in their day-to-day lives as if nothing is off-kilter," Clugston said. "We meet them through Vanora's eyes, as she studies them, as a scientist or writer might."

* Each issue of Strangetown will feature an ongoing story, as well as backup stories. The series will be written by Clugston and Shaughnessy, with art by Clugston. The first issue will ship to comic stores in November.

* The Damned is slated to join the Oni Press line this spring with a five-issue miniseries. Writer Cullen Bunn and artist Brian Hurtt bring the world of the prohibition-era mafia and the supernatural together in a story that's sure to thrill and surprise.

During the Prohibition Era, gangsters grew rich, and rivalries between criminal organizations resulted in open warfare and gangland murders. But unknown to the common man, a more sinister power controlled the mobs, using greed, gluttony, lust, and other sins to fuel a much more lucrative trade: human souls. As mortals and half-breeds claw their way up the ladder of power, Eddie, cursed and unable to rest, finds himself caught in the middle of a sinister web of kidnapping, betrayal, and damnation.

* Antony Johnston and Chris Mitten, the creative team behind Queen & Country: Declassified III, re-team for Wasteland. Set in a devastated America, this ongoing series looks at life after the "Big Wet," a catastrophe that brought the seas inland, washing away the cities and forging a new world map. New civilizations and religions have sprung up in the hundred years since the mysterious disaster, as mankind struggles back to its feet. Some say the answers to all the questions can be found at A-Ree-Yass-I, the fabled land where mankind's downfall began. But everyone knows A-Ree-Yass-I is just a myth.

Now, somewhere in this new America, a wandering scavenger brings chaos and disruption to the small shanty town of Providence. Michael has literally been walking the wasteland for longer than he can remember, a refugee from normal life - but in Providence, he's about to meet someone who shares his strange past, someone who might even bring Michael hope of learning the truth about himself. A truth that lies in A-Ree-Yass-I.

Wasteland is an ongoing series shipping every six weeks. The first issue arrives next spring.

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