Musicians drop surprise albums, but it's exceedingly rare for a major comics publisher to drop a surprise new series on its readers. Usually those kinds of things are announced months in advance to give everyone time to pre-order, interview the creators, and get excited. Robert Kirkman and his Image Comics imprint Skybound have decided they don't need to play by those rules this time, though, so when you walk into your local comic book store tomorrow, you'll find a brand-new Kirkman comic waiting for you.
Skybound announced Tuesday that DIE!DIE!DIE! #1 -- a new mature readers comic written by Kirkman and The Walking Dead chief content officer Scott M. Gimple and drawn by Chris Burnham (Batman Incorporated), with colors by Nathan Fairbairn and letters by Rus Wooton -- will hit comic book shops Wednesday, July 11. The book promises an ultraviolent, action-filled new story from its creators, made all the more exciting by its unexpected arrival.
"That's right, in stores TOMORROW! We want to make going to a comic shop exciting again—a place for discovery! The internet has drained all surprise and anticipation from comics. Everyone hears about exciting new projects and then has to wait months or years for it to be in their hands... and half the time at the end of that buildup, the stories get spoiled in some lame attempt at getting wider media attention," Kirkman said in a statement. "So, surprise! Here's a new monthly series. How cool is that?! This is literally the only way I can be like Beyoncé."
DIE!DIE!DIE! promises to tell the story of a "secret cabal within the United States government that influences world matters through targeted assassination," which likely means we'll get plenty of action sequences and chaos along the way. That's all we really know about the book, though. There are no major character details, no sense of how long it will run, and no real sense of where it's headed beyond this surprise announcement. This is just an all-star group of creators wielding their influence in comics to do something others can't necessarily do without the prior publicity buildup in place. Check out Burnham's cover for the first issue above, and look for DIE!DIE!DIE! #1 Wednesday.