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Creators sound off on Oni Press' 'Cruel Universe' #1 out in August
Oni Press

Comic Books

Creators sound off on Oni Press’ ‘Cruel Universe’ #1 out in August

Get a word from creators on ‘Cruel Universe’ #1 including Corrina Bechko, Ben Winters, Matt Kindt, and Chris Condon.

Press Release

Last month, Oni Press revealed new details and art for their EC Comics series Epitaphs from the Abyss, and today, we’ve got new art for the second half of their EC Comics push: Cruel Universe. Set for release in comic shops on August 7th, the series promises to offer bizarre tales of time and space featuring 40 pages of destructive wonder with cosmic implications.

The first issue will feature writers Corinna Bechko (Invisible Republic, The Space Between), Chris Condon (That Texas Blood), Eisner Award nominee Matt Kindt (BRZRKR, Mind MGMT), and Edgar Award winner Ben H. Winters (CBS’ Tracker, The Last Policeman) and artists Jonathan Case (Green River Killer), Kano (Immortal Iron Fist), Artyom Topilin (I Hate This Place), and Caitlin Yarsky (Black Hammer: Reborn)!

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“There were so many twists and turns in the original EC stories that you never knew what you were in for until the last panel,” said Corrina Bechko.” Each was a masterclass in the economic juxtaposition of word and image to build a rich, wicked world in just a couple of pages. I’m willing to bet every creator on this project had as much fun as I did because the beauty of these anthologies is the ability to tell gonzo stories that really kick… And make you think.”

“The cool thing about “going back” to the classic EC style is that it doesn’t really feel like going back, ” said Ben H. Winters. “These guys were thinking and drawing so far ahead of their time, aesthetically and thematically, it’s as if we’re still trying to catch up with them, now. My tale for CRUEL UNIVERSE is about a hard-luck loser who ekes out a living selling memories to the rich—has a touch of Philip K. Dick, a touch of Black Mirror, maybe a smidge of Blade Runner…but all of these touchstones owe a debt back to EC.”

“What is an EC-esque story?” asked writer Matt Kindt. “ I couldn’t quite figure it out, so I just started writing. Ten story ideas and two full scripts later I figured it out. EC is in my DNA. I’ve always been writing them – or my version of them. With one difference: My stories usually end with a sense of optimism. Or at least a melancholy hope that things will get better. Spoiler. These stories don’t do that. These stories are hard cautionary tales. I guess at the end of the day, as dark as these stories get. As twisted as the endings are. They are optimistic by their very existence. The stories are saying –”Don’t do this. Don’t be like this.” Cautionary tales with optimism that you, the reader, can be a better person.”

“There is only one word to describe an EC universe: cruel,” said writer Chris Condon. “So it only makes sense that this new science fiction-centered EC title, CRUEL UNIVERSE, is an appropriately twisted successor to the wildly speculative tales that appeared in the likes of Weird Science or Weird Fantasy.”

Check out the covers below. Covers are by Greg Smallwood, J.H. Williams III, Jay Stephans, and Tom Fowler.

Oni Press reveals art and details for 'Cruel Universe' #1 Oni Press reveals art and details for 'Cruel Universe' #1 Oni Press reveals art and details for 'Cruel Universe' #1 Oni Press reveals art and details for 'Cruel Universe' #1 Oni Press reveals art and details for 'Cruel Universe' #1 Creators sound off on Oni Press' 'Cruel Universe' #1 out in August

PORTLAND, OR (May 9th, 2024) – Compelled to OBLIVION, driven to ENTROPY, all life in our cosmos can only end in one place: COMPLETE ANNIHILATION! Spilling forth from the aftermath of EC Comics’ hugely anticipated resurrection this July in the pages of EPITAPHS FROM THE ABYSS #1 from Oni Press, the limitless fury of the most infamous and influential comics imprint of all time rages onward to wrench bizarre tales of time and space into our dimensional plane on August 7th in CRUEL UNIVERSE #1 – featuring 40, all-new pages of destructive wonder with cosmic implications!

Who are our guides across this double-sized, 40-page introduction to a cosmic maelstrom of strange extraterrestrial entities, malevolent scientists, and terrifying technological catastrophes? Learn to fear the void with the irradiated imaginations of Hugo Award nominee Corinna Bechko (Invisible Republic, The Space Between), rising star Chris Condon (That Texas Blood), Eisner Award nominee Matt Kindt (BRZRKR, Mind MGMT), and Edgar Award winner Ben H. Winters (CBS’ Tracker, The Last Policeman) as they collide with the wondrously destructive visions of artists Jonathan Case (Green River Killer), Kano (Immortal Iron Fist), Artyom Topilin (I Hate This Place), and Caitlin Yarsky (Black Hammer: Reborn)!

“There were so many twists and turns in the original EC stories that you never knew what you were in for until the last panel,” said Corrina Bechko.” Each was a masterclass in the economic juxtaposition of word and image to build a rich, wicked world in just a couple of pages. I’m willing to bet every creator on this project had as much fun as I did because the beauty of these anthologies is the ability to tell gonzo stories that really kick… And make you think.”

“The cool thing about “going back” to the classic EC style is that it doesn’t really feel like going back, ” said Ben H. Winters. “These guys were thinking and drawing so far ahead of their time, aesthetically and thematically, it’s as if we’re still trying to catch up with them, now. My tale for CRUEL UNIVERSE is about a hard-luck loser who ekes out a living selling memories to the rich—has a touch of Philip K. Dick, a touch of Black Mirror, maybe a smidge of Blade Runner…but all of these touchstones owe a debt back to EC.”

“What is an EC-esque story?” asked writer Matt Kindt. “ I couldn’t quite figure it out, so I just started writing. Ten story ideas and two full scripts later I figured it out. EC is in my DNA. I’ve always been writing them – or my version of them. With one difference: My stories usually end with a sense of optimism. Or at least a melancholy hope that things will get better. Spoiler. These stories don’t do that. These stories are hard cautionary tales. I guess at the end of the day, as dark as these stories get. As twisted as the endings are. They are optimistic by their very existence. The stories are saying –”Don’t do this. Don’t be like this.” Cautionary tales with optimism that you, the reader, can be a better person.”

“There is only one word to describe an EC universe: cruel,” said writer Chris Condon. “So it only makes sense that this new science fiction-centered EC title, CRUEL UNIVERSE, is an appropriately twisted successor to the wildly speculative tales that appeared in the likes of Weird Science or Weird Fantasy.”

Galaxies will collapse. Space-time will be distorted. And your very will to exist, too, shall be broken . . . Just remember: it’s all in the name of SCIENCE! The unpredictable return of EC Comics on August 7th continues here with the quantum comics event of the millennium, only in CRUEL UNIVERSE #1 – featuring a quark-colliding line-up of covers from Greg Smallwood (The Human Target), J.H. WIlliams III (Sandman: Overture), Jay Stephens (Dwellings), and Rian Hughes (The Multiversity), plus a top-secret SPA FON! Variant by Tom Fowler (Refrigerator Full of Heads) to be revealed soon:

IN 2024, EC COMICS LIVE AGAIN! This summer, four-color fear infects a new generation in EPITAPHS FROM THE ABYSS #1 – coming to comic shops everywhere on July 24th! Then, two weeks later on August 7th: The next shocking chapter in EC’s long-awaiting resurrection continues in CRUEL UNIVERSE #1 – 40 all-new pages of space-bending stories where existence and annihilation will collide with our reality to make comics history once and for all time!

CRUEL UNIVERSE #1

WRITTEN BY CORINNA BECHKO, CHRIS CONDON, MATT KINDT & BEN H. WINTERS

ART BY JONATHAN CASE, KANO, ARTYOM TOPILIN & CAITLIN YARKSY

COVER A BY GREG SMALLWOOD

COVER B BY J.H. WILLIAMS III

EC HOMAGE VARIANT (1:10) BY JAY STEPHENS

B&W ARTIST EDITION VARIANT (1:50) BY J.H. WILLIAMS III

SPA FON! VARIANT (1:100) BY TOM FOWLER

FOIL COVER (SILVER) BY GREG SMALLWOOD

FOIL COVER (GOLD) BY J.H. WILLIAMS III

BLANK COVER ALSO AVAILABLE

ON SALE AUGUST 7TH | $4.99 (STANDARD) | $7.99 (FOIL) | 40 PGS | FC

IOC: 06/27/2024

FOC: 07/15/2024

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