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In a creative pairing of stellar proportions, two Eisner Award-winning talents are teaming up for what is destined to become one of the most discussed creator-owned comic book titles of the year.
Acclaimed Black Hammer co-creator Jeff Lemire (Descender, Essex County, Family Tree) is uniting with visionary British artist Jock (Wytches, Batman: The Black Mirror, The Batman Who Laughs) for comiXology Originals' new post-apocalyptic survival series Snow Angels — and SYFY WIRE is hosting a preview of the premiere issue alongside illuminating comments from Lemire.
Skating onto digital outlets on Feb. 16, this coming-of-age sci-fi saga will run for 10 issues and centers around two young girls named Milliken and Mae who reside in the Trench, a vast settlement of people seeking to exist within the towering ice walls of an endless icy road gouged into the surface of a frozen wasteland.
Trenchfolk survive in this savage world by following The Three Testaments of The Trench — golden rules repeated like a mantra from birth to death... 1. YOU MUST NEVER LEAVE THE TRENCH. 2. THE TRENCH PROVIDES. 3. THE TRENCH IS ENDLESS.
On Milliken's 12th birthday, their father takes the two girls on an overnight skate down the trench to instruct them on how to fish the frozen river, how to hunt beastly Trenchdogs that roam its frigid banks, and how to offer up thanks to their wintry Gods — The Colden Ones. It's the outing of a lifetime until the sisters breach the borders of their humble world and awaken the Trench's mysterious defender... The Snowman!
Snow Angels is actually one of Lemire's older projects with a long gestation period similar to Gideon Falls and Black Hammer.
"I came up with Snow Angels in my sketchbooks way back in 2008, around the same time I came up with the initial Black Hammer characters," Lemire tells SYFY WIRE. "It was going to be a project I drew myself, but the timing never worked out. Then in 2014 I approached Jock about doing it together, as it seemed I would never have the time to draw it myself.
"I have always been a HUGE fan of Jock’s both as a person and a cartoonist and really wanted to work with him. It seemed like a perfect fit. Of course it’s taken us quite a while to get to this point where our schedules both lined up, but after all that I’m obviously pretty excited to see it published.
"Snow Angels is all about family and community," he adds. "These girls have lived in this isolated and tight knit community all their lives and as the story begins they literally do not know anything else. And then we follow them as they begin to travel further and further from home. The guiding light is their bond with one another and with their father."
The imposing sub-zero landscape of Snow Angels was inspired partly by Lemire's love of the Canadian winters and ice hockey.
"I know that I am a huge cliche, but so be it," he admits. "I have spent a lot of time on frozen lakes and ponds skating and playing hockey and this really did spring out of that. Taking what I love about the stark winter landscape and also adding desolate and dangerous genre elements to it."
For Lemire, working with Jock for the very first time is just one of many magical elements of this provocative new sci-fi series.
"As I said, I love Jock’s art," he notes. "His expressive, stark style is perfect for the world of Snow Angels. There is a minimalism to Snow Angels, and a lesser artist would use that as a shortcut but for Jock all that white and negative space become an important visual tool. And he really does bring a humanity to the characters that is vital."
In coordination with comiXology, Amazon Original Stories, an imprint of Amazon Publishing, is simultaneously releasing Lemire’s first prose short story, also titled Snow Angels, which introduces the icy world that will be expanded upon in the comic series.
With cover art by Jock, the 21-page story works as a prologue to the comics, but can also be read as a standalone coming-of-age tale blending the evocative world-building and heartfelt characterization that Lemire is best known for.
Snow Angels is a member of the comiXology Originals line of exclusive digital content only available on comiXology and Kindle. Beginning Feb. 16 it's free as part of a comiXology Unlimited subscription, Kindle Unlimited, or Amazon Prime.
Now bundle up and check out our 10-page peek at comiXology Originals' new Snow Angels #1 in the full gallery below.