Next month, Oni Press will release Xino #1, the first issue of a new three-issue scifi anthology series. Each oversized issue of the series will feature 40 pages of stories from Oni Press creators old and new. Ahead of the preorder cutoff date for the series’ debut issue, the publisher announced a limited ashcan edition of “The Chip,” writer Chris Condon and artist Nick Cagnetti‘s story from Xino #1. Three hundred select direct market retailers received copies of the ashcan earlier this week.
Here’s how Oni describes Xino #1, outlining the mission and the creators and stories featured in the first issue:
Because the future is getting weirder everyday, we give you XINO #001-the first of three OVERSIZED, 40-PAGE intra-ocular lozenges of subversive, surrealist science-fiction to cure your awful awareness of it all. Try not to worry-the insertion process will be guided by the megawatt brilliance of Oni’s brightest talents (past, present, and future) as they slowly tune your hopes, dreams, desires, paranoia, alienation, anxiety, and adrenaline to produce the desired results.
In our first exploratory outing: Rising stars Melissa Flores (The Dead Lucky, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) & Daniel Irizarri (Judge Dredd) surgically activate the hidden dimensions of the human senses; cult phenoms Christopher Condon (That Texas Blood) and Nick Cagnetti (Pink Lemonade) debut the world’s first intravenous video game system; Underground radicals Jordan Thomas (Weird Work) and Shaky Kane (Bulletproof Coffin) surveil the suburbs for signs of covert infiltration, and master cartoonist and foundational Oni creator Phil Hester (Gotham City: Year One, The Coffin) returns to the fold to leave his deepest mark yet!
Here’s the image of Oni’s announcement of the ashcan, written as a transmission from an alien race in keeping with the theme of the anthology (though the continuous computer paper effect feels interestingly retro).
Along with the note, Oni ‘leaked’ photos of the ashcan, which act as a sort of preview for the story and Xino #1.
The Beat was lucky enough to receive a copy of “The Chip,” and it’s frankly pretty fantastic. Condon’s script is tight, and Cagnetti’s artwork is beyond fantastic, capturing the energy and, at times, the grotesqueness of the story’s events. It’s easy to see why Oni put this story out as a sampling for the anthology.
Beyond the quality of the story, the limited-edition ashcan is a unique way to create collector buzz for the anthology. As of this writing five copies of the ashcan have found their way onto eBay, with the first two selling for between $10 and $15 and the other three jumping a few days later to between $50 and $100. Whether that buzz will translate into sales for Xino #1 remains to be seen.
Xino #1 is due out in stores and digitally on Wednesday, June 14th. The final order cutoff date for the issue is today, May 22nd.