CRUEL UNIVERSE #1 will feature 40 pages of reality-shattering science fiction from Corrina Bechko, Jonathan Case, Chris Condon, Kano, Matt Kindt, Artyom Topilin, Ben H. Winters & Caitlin Yarsky.

The press release follows:

Media Release -- Compelled to OBLIVION, driven to ENTROPY, all life in our cosmos can only end in one place: COMPLETE ANNIHILATION! Spilling forth from the aftermath of EC Comics' hugely anticipated resurrection this July in the pages of EPITAPHS FROM THE ABYSS #1 from Oni Press, the limitless fury of the most infamous and influential comics imprint of all time rages onward to wrench bizarre tales of time and space into our dimensional plane on August 7th in CRUEL UNIVERSE #1 – featuring 40, all-new pages of destructive wonder with cosmic implications!

Who are our guides across this double-sized, 40-page introduction to a cosmic maelstrom of strange extraterrestrial entities, malevolent scientists, and terrifying technological catastrophes? Learn to fear the void with the irradiated imaginations of Hugo Award nominee Corinna Bechko (Invisible Republic, The Space Between), rising star Chris Condon (That Texas Blood), Eisner Award nominee Matt Kindt (BRZRKR, Mind MGMT), and Edgar Award winner Ben H. Winters (CBS' Tracker, The Last Policeman) as they collide with the wondrously destructive visions of artists Jonathan Case (Green River Killer), Kano (Immortal Iron Fist), Artyom Topilin (I Hate This Place), and Caitlin Yarsky (Black Hammer: Reborn)!

"There were so many twists and turns in the original EC stories that you never knew what you were in for until the last panel," said Corrina Bechko." Each was a masterclass in the economic juxtaposition of word and image to build a rich, wicked world in just a couple of pages. I'm willing to bet every creator on this project had as much fun as I did because the beauty of these anthologies is the ability to tell gonzo stories that really kick... And make you think."

"The cool thing about "going back" to the classic EC style is that it doesn't really feel like going back, " said Ben H. Winters. "These guys were thinking and drawing so far ahead of their time, aesthetically and thematically, it's as if we're still trying to catch up with them, now. My tale for CRUEL UNIVERSE is about a hard-luck loser who ekes out a living selling memories to the rich—has a touch of Philip K. Dick, a touch of Black Mirror, maybe a smidge of Blade Runner...but all of these touchstones owe a debt back to EC."

"What is an EC-esque story?" asked writer Matt Kindt. " I couldn't quite figure it out, so I just started writing. Ten story ideas and two full scripts later I figured it out. EC is in my DNA. I've always been writing them – or my version of them. With one difference: My stories usually end with a sense of optimism. Or at least a melancholy hope that things will get better. Spoiler. These stories don't do that. These stories are hard cautionary tales. I guess at the end of the day, as dark as these stories get. As twisted as the endings are. They are optimistic by their very existence. The stories are saying –"Don't do this. Don't be like this." Cautionary tales with optimism that you, the reader, can be a better person."

"There is only one word to describe an EC universe: cruel," said writer Chris Condon. "So it only makes sense that this new science fiction-centered EC title, CRUEL UNIVERSE, is an appropriately twisted successor to the wildly speculative tales that appeared in the likes of Weird Science or Weird Fantasy."

Galaxies will collapse. Space-time will be distorted. And your very will to exist, too, shall be broken . . . Just remember: it's all in the name of SCIENCE! The unpredictable return of EC Comics on August 7th continues here with the quantum comics event of the millennium, only in CRUEL UNIVERSE #1 – featuring a quark-colliding line-up of covers from Greg Smallwood (The Human Target), J.H. WIlliams III (Sandman: Overture), Jay Stephens (Dwellings), and Rian Hughes (The Multiversity), plus a top-secret SPA FON! Variant by Tom Fowler (Refrigerator Full of Heads) to be revealed soon:

The first in a new series of fully painted, primary covers for the CRUEL UNIVERSE series from the visionary mind of Eisner Award-winning artist Greg Smallwood (Human Target, Moon Knight).

Issue #1 also available as a wraparound Silver Foil variant.

Spotlighting a different top talent on every issue, this rotating series of secondary covers will soon feature Riley Rossmo (Hellblazer), Kano (Immortal Iron Fist), Malachi Ward (Black Hammer: The End), and more across future issues of CRUEL UNIVERSE.

Issue #1 also available as a wraparound Gold Foil variant.

The second in a new line of 1:10 incentive variant covers from Eisner Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning artist Jay Stephens (Dwellings) re-interpreting a different, all-time classic EC cover image across every new EC release from Oni Press – continuing with Stephens' tribute to Weird Science #16 by Wally Wood.

The second of a new series of "Artist Edition" variant covers, evoking the spirit of gloriously unedited, unexpurgated original artwork. This collection of covers – engineered to replicate the tactical "paste-up" quality of original artwork by award-winning designer Rian Hughes – will continue with a new installment spotlighting a different piece of black-and-white cover art on every upcoming EC issue from Oni Press.

The latest in a new series of high-end "Archive Edition" variant covers for the ultimate Fan-Addict! Manufactured on ultra-heavy duty with UV spot gloss elements and all-new border artwork honoring the EC legacy by master designer Rian Hughes, this collection of covers will continue with a new installment on every upcoming EC issue from Oni Press – as distinguished by different color-coded treatments and frame artwork on EPITAPHS FROM THE ABYSS, CRUEL UNIVERSE, and other upcoming series yet to be revealed!

A special CRUEL UNIVERSE #1 surprise – featuring a reality-shattering take on a classic EC tradition from master cartoonist Tom Fowler (Refrigerator Full of Heads)!

IN 2024, EC COMICS LIVE AGAIN! This summer, four-color fear infects a new generation in EPITAPHS FROM THE ABYSS #1 – coming to comic shops everywhere on July 24th! Then, two weeks later on August 7th: The next shocking chapter in EC's long-awaiting resurrection continues in CRUEL UNIVERSE #1 – 40 all-new pages of space-bending stories where existence and annihilation will collide with our reality to make comics history once and for all time!


ON SALE AUGUST 7TH | $4.99 (STANDARD) | $7.99 (FOIL) | 40 PGS | FC

IOC: 06/27/2024
FOC: 07/15/2024

About Oni Press

Founded in 1997, Oni Press has a 25-year history as one of the industry's most respected and acclaimed publishers of award-winning comic books and graphic novels with titles including Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim, K. O'Neill's Tea Dragon Society, Cullen Bunn & Brian Hurtt's The Sixth Gun, Maia Kobabe's Gender Queer, Ezra Clayton Daniels' Upgrade Soul, Brenna Thummler's Sheets trilogy, and many hundreds more. In 2019, Oni Press merged with Lion Forge Comics – the Eisner Award-winning independent comic book publisher founded by Academy Award-winning producer and entrepreneur David Steward II – to create one of the largest, independent libraries of comics content anywhere in media. The Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group now exists as a publishing subsidiary of Steward's diversified global media company, Polarity.

The Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group publishes more than 60 original and licensed graphic novels annually, in addition to an extensive list of periodical comics.

About EC Comics

As the birthplace of TALES FROM THE CRYPT, MAD MAGAZINE, WEIRD SCIENCE, and more of the most influential and celebrated comic series ever published, EC Comics has cemented itself as one of the central nerves of American pop culture with a legacy that spans more than seven decades. From 1944 to 1956, EC – established as "Educational Comics" by founder M.C. Gaines and later rebranded "Entertaining Comics" under the leadership of Publisher & Editor William M. Gaines – led a creative renaissance for the comics industry that, for the first time, elevated the once-derided comics medium into the echelons of English literature and high art. Heralded as "one of the great explosions of vox-pop literature" by Time Magazine and "fiercely honest, politically adversarial, [and] visually masterful" by The Comics Journal, EC's line of comics books - which collectively sold more than 10 million copies annually at their peak – entertained and informed in equal measure, using brilliantly crafted tales of horror, science fiction, satire, and battlefield conflict to critique and subvert America's dark impulses toward violence, racism, inequity, environmental destruction, and war.

Forcibly shuttered by the Comics Code Authority – a pro-censorship group specifically tasked with eradicating EC's illuminating influence from the American comic book industry – in 1956, EC's unique brand of subversive storytelling lived on through the continued success of MAD Magazine, which would fuel American counterculture through the death of Publisher William M. Gaines in 1992. EC's titles and stories have been adapted in a number of media – including the long-running HBO's long-running TALES FROM THE CRYPT franchise of television series and feature films – and continue to be celebrated by multiple generations of comic creators, filmmakers, comedians, and musicians as a seminal influence.

Today, EC Comics' canon of classic stories can continuously be found in print through new editions at Dark Horse Comics, TASCHEN, Fantagraphics, and IDW Publishing. In 2024, EC announced a new partnership with multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-winning publisher Oni Press to produce the first all-new EC Comics titles in nearly 70 years.

For more updates on Oni Press, visit them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.