A little over a month ago, AfterShock Comics announced the formation of Seismic Press, a brand new YA imprint focused on developing new content for readers 12-18 age range. They also dropped a little information about RAINBOW BRIDGE from Steve Orlando and Steve Foxe and illustrator Valentina Brancati, their first offering under the new imprint. And with it being officially set for release this August, we now have the full scoop on the story, including some gorgeous preview artwork from Bracanti and colourist Manuel Poppo.
Here’s the official synopsis, from the mouth of Orlando himself:
“Rainbow Bridge is about a 14-year-old boy, Andy, whose lifelong canine best friend passes away right before Andy is about to start high school.”
“Andy has relied on Rocket for support ever since he was a toddler and Rocket was a pup, and now he’s not so sure about handling such big life events without Rocket in his life. When Andy gets overwhelmed and runs off to a spot that was important to the two of them, a dizzyingly colorful splash of light swoops down and carries Andy away to the Forever Fields, the afterlife paradise for animal companions.”
“It turns out the Rainbow Bridge that pet lovers always talk about when an animal passes away is real, but humans are NOT supposed to cross it—especially humans who are still alive. If the Rainbow Bridge allowed Andy across, it must mean there is powerful unfinished business between him and Rocket. And as Andy soon discovers, animals who linger with unfinished business run the risk of turning into wraiths, vengeful, shadowy spirits that haunt the outskirts of the Forever Fields, driven by unresolved pain and trauma. Rocket has always been there for Andy.
Now it’s Andy’s turn to find his best friend and make sure Rocket gets the afterlife he deserves.”
So far, so fantastic, right?
The 120-page full colour graphic novel is also clearly a bit of a passion project for Orlando and Foxe, both of whom are self-confessed “dog people”, and whose inspirations behind the book are fairly clear: as you can see:
“Having animals in your life, whether it’s for 14 years or 14 days, is a friendship and a bond like no other. We wanted to explore that bittersweet fact for sure, but also celebrate the friendship and wonder inherent in having a childhood pet.”
It’s fantastic to see AfterShock branching out into the YA market, as they’ve been one of our favourite publishers here at the Big Comic Page since their formation back in 2015 and have cultivated quite a stable of talent during that time.
This also sounds like the perfect title to launch Seismic Press with, and we’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for what else is coming down the pipeline for the future.
Featuring lettering by the mighty Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, and priced at just $16.99, RAINBOW BRIDGE OGN goes on sale on the 4th of August 2021.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]