Adult Swim's Rick and Morty is still in production on its fourth season, but fans won't have to wait long to see more adventures as Oni Press is bringing back the Rick and Morty Presents comic book series for a second volume in 2019. Each of the upcoming quarterly one-shots will feature oversized stories that put the spotlight on Rick and Morty's supporting cast.
Writer Ryan Ferrier is teaming up with artist CJ Cannon for Rick and Morty Presents: Jerry #1, which gives Rick's hapless son-in-law his own story.
"Everyone's got a little Jerry in them, but we explore something truly horrible within Jerry," shared Ferrier. "I'm thrilled to join CJ in bringing the monster out of him — literally and figuratively — in the grotesque and hilarious fashion that Rick and Morty fans expect."
Cannon will be the artist on all four one-shots, including Rick and Morty Presents: Unity. Writer Tini Howard briefly told SYFY WIRE why she decided to focus on the collective hivemind that once loved Rick Sanchez.
"I chose to bring back Unity, because it's hard not to love a woman who can just so effortlessly wreck Rick's life," explained Howard. "Honestly, that's the kind of experience we all dream of, using all the power of the galaxy to just ruin the lives of people who have wronged you. I think comics should be aspirational."
James Asmus and Jim Festante will join Cannon on Rick and Morty Presents: Mr. Meeseeks #1, which will force the title character to find the meaning of life... presumably without going too crazy in the process. Finally, Lilah Sturgis and Canon will combine forces in Rick and Morty Presents: The Flesh Curtains #1; which takes a look at the rock band formed by Rick, BirdPerson, and Squanchy.
SYFY WIRE had the opportunity to speak with Canon, who revealed a history with the show that predates its debut on Adult Swim.
"Originally I remember hearing nothing about it until a friend of mine, Mady G., told me about a concept their friend (Justin Roiland) had greenlit and was nearing post-production," recalled Canon. "They described it as 'Back to the Future but with a drunk scientist and a kid with an anxiety disorder plus some dark philosophy,' [or] something along those lines! The description piqued my interest and I made sure to tune into it when they informed me as to when it would be premiering."
Canon also shared some insights into Jerry, and the artistic approach that his character demands.
"He's…. frumpy, for lack of a better word," related Canon. "I naturally make him more soft and with a little more dad bod than his show's counterpart because he legit reminds me of that clueless, but well-meaning parent who kinda just blends in with wallpaper, eats oatmeal every morning, and reliably orders the same meal at Mc(insert non-trademarked name)Dillys. Heck, even his shirt looks like a wallpaper design."
"I keep important elements of the show within my stylistic interpretation," added Canon. "Due to the medium being stills (sequential), however, I try to make certain 'ugly' angles more visually appealing by taking some simplified shapes and making them a little more organic and fleshy. Not too much though, because you also don't want to lose the visual appeal of the characters or have them enter uncanny valley."
Canon was naturally reluctant to share too many details about Jerry's issue, but did reveal that "a being just as grotesque and cobbled up as [Pickle Rick] is appearing," in addition to Jerry's wife, Beth. "Actually [Beth is] the only other character outside of Rick, Morty, and someone else I'd rather keep quiet about for plot and story reasons."
Finally, Canon offered Rick and Morty fans one last taste of things to come.
"Prepare your butt for some fun, excitement, and gross visuals! This…statement works on two levels once you read the issue. Ryan Ferrier knows what's up though!... I get to draw a lot of moobs and pudge. Anyone who's seen my personal art and knows what characters I frequently draw in my spare time KNOWS this was a win-win for me this issue."
Oni Press also provided the official descriptions for each issue of Rick and Morty Presents; which you can see below.
Rick and Morty Presents: Jerry #1
(W) Ryan Ferrier, (A) CJ Cannon, (C) Joshua Perez, (CA) A: CJ Cannon and Joshua Perez, B: Sina Grace
Rick and Morty Presents is back by popular demand! This very special issue focuses on everyone's favorite character, Jerry. Jerry's wisely blaming all his marital issues on his Dad-bod. When he goes to Rick for a quick fix, things go so poorly, it's... demonic. Written by Ryan Ferrier (Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Regular Show, D4VE, and more!), with series artists CJ Cannon and Joshua Perez! Features a variant cover by Sina Grace.
Rick and Morty Presents: Mr. Meeseeks #1
(W) James Asmus and Jim Festante, (A) CJ Cannon, (C) Joshua Perez, (CA) A: CJ Cannon and Joshua Perez, B: Sarah Stern
A message from Mr. Meeseeks: You ASKED for it, and we're obligated to deliver! That's what Meeseeks DO, after all! But WAIT… who the asked us to find the MEANING OF LIFE?!? THIS IS ONLY A 30 PAGE STAND-ALONE STORY!! I'm Mr. Meeseeks and this will not end well!
Rick and Morty Presents: The Flesh Curtains #1
(W) Lilah Sturgis, (A) CJ Cannon, (C) Joshua Perez, (CA) A: CJ Cannon and Joshua Perez, B: Marie Enger
Learn the true origins of THE FLESH CURTAINS, Rick's rock band with BirdPerson and Squanchy! Booed off of every stage, they consider giving up... until Rick invents a machine capable of writing songs people can't resist. But when their multi-dimensional concert goes awry, Rick suddenly finds himself in massive debt to a ruthless alien loan shark. Will Rick do the safe thing and play the music guaranteed to make the band a success, or do the insane thing and play the music guaranteed to alienate almost everyone in order to impress his favorite musician?
Rick and Morty Presents: Unity #1
(W) Tini Howard, (A) CJ Cannon, (C) Joshua Perez, (CA) A: CJ Cannon and Joshua Perez, B: Sina Grace
It takes a special kind of madness to capture and imprison Rick Sanchez - the kind of madness only an ex can deliver. Unity wants to make a play to take over the galaxy, and she'll need the best (and worst) of her exes in her clutches to do it. And Rick wants his Party Naked t-shirt back, she stole it when they broke up.
The first issue of Rick and Morty Presents Series 2 will be released on March 13, 2019. The remaining issues will follow in June, September, and November.