AHOY Comics is celebrating their fifth anniversary later this year with the debut of a new anthology series dedicated to the world’s strangest creatures. Project: Cryptid will debut in September, with each issue featuring what the publisher calls “unbelievably hilarious and hilariously unbelievable” stories about mythical creatures from around the world. The first issue will feature two tales from the creative teams of Paul Cornell & PJ Holden and Mark Russell & Jordi Perez, and will sport a main cover by Rob Steen (featuring artwork by Holden & Perez) and a variant cover by Taki Soma.
Here’s how AHOY describes Project: Cryptid:
Featuring comics and short stories from well-established creators as well as new voices, PROJECT: CRYPTID will transport readers from the depths of Loch Ness to the wilds of the Yeti’s Himalayan Mountains to the Ohio backroads where the Loveland Frogman lurks, asking the important questions like are any of these mysterious, unthinkable creatures actually real? And more importantly, are they funny?
(As an Ohio native, I’m glad to see the Loveland Frogman represented here.)
Along with Cornell, Holden, Russell, and Perez, the new series will feature work from creators including Alisa Kwitney, Alex Segura, Bryce Ingman, Paul Constant, Liana Kangas, Henry Barajas, AA Rubin, Joe Illidge, Melissa Olsen, Zander Cannon, Gene Ha, Hanna Bahedry (hey I know her!), Matt Ligeti, Stuart Moore, Madeline Seeley, Mike Spicer, Mauricet, Steven Bryant, Peter Krause, Richard Pace, Jamal Igle, Ted and Ro, Lew Stringer, Lane Lloyd, and more.
Project: Cryptid is the latest anthology from AHOY Comics. The publisher has previously released four iterations of the Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Terror/Blood/Death horror humor anthology series, as well as the anthology one-shot Steel Cage, the voting scandal around which continues to vex the comics industry to this day (and hey, where are Noah Zark and Bright Boy?).
In a statement announcing the new series, editor Sarah Litt and creators Russell, Kwitney, and Cornell all expressed their enthusiasm at working on the new series and described their own histories with cryptids:
“Everybody needs something to believe in, especially these days,” said editor Sarah Litt. “We here at AHOY believe that anything is possible — and possibly, everything is possible. From mothmen to chupacabras to Mongolian deathworms, the creatures in PROJECT: CRYPTID will test the limits of your faith in reality. You’ll believe something is out there, although maybe not the truth.”
“I’m excited for this. And not just because they let me write a story about Yeti justice,” said writer Mark Russell. “AHOY has assembled a murderers’ row of writers and artists and parachuted them into a forest of weird. This is the kind of comic I’d want to read as a fan.”
“Combining horror and critters is the peanut butter cup of comic deliciousness,” said writer Alisa Kwitney. “Also, cryptids exist. I had a Bigfoot encounter in Davie, Florida, when I was staying overnight at the Sunny Daze Nudist Camp back in ’76. Mauricet, my artistic partner in crime, claims to have kept a small mandrake in his drawer for years but finally had to throw it out when it grew large and its screams could be overheard in the neighboring apartment.”
“I’ve always loved my pet Mongolian deathworm, Dave, and maintained slightly indignant diplomatic relations with the fairies at the bottom of my garden, so it was a delight to work with the great monster artist P.J.Holden and the doyen of classic British cartoonists Lew Stringer on these two hopefully comedic tales of creatures that should exist, but don’t or vice versa,” said writer Paul Cornell.
AHOY Editor-in-Chief Tom Peyer also described the upcoming celebration of the publisher’s fifth anniversary, and teased a return for past creators including The Wrong Earth‘s Jamal Igle, Captain Ginger‘s June Brigman, High Heaven‘s Greg Scott, and even Grant Morrison:
“Five years of AHOY?! It doesn’t seem possible!” said editor-in-chief Tom Peyer. “Like sands through the hourglass, so are the comic books of our lives. September ’23 will mark the fifth anniversary of THE WRONG EARTH #1, the first comic we ever shipped. Jamal Igle, June Brigman, Stuart Moore, Mark Russell, Greg Scott, Grant Morrison — these artists and writers who helped launch AHOY — will return, and new creators will join them in the wildest celebration this young century has seen! The boisterous bacchanalia begins with our bestial new anthology PROJECT: CRYPTID and continues with a wave of projects, familiar and new, through the end of the year.”
AHOY has yet to release a bad comic, and this new series sounds like that streak won’t be ending anytime soon. Check out Taki Soma’s variant cover for the issue below, and look for the first issue of Project: Cryptid to arrive in stores on Wednesday, September 6th.