The Stairway Anthology- The Future of Comics looks Badass.
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About Stairway Anthology
The Stairway Anthology is a collection of Tales by established and upcoming creators in the Comic Book Industry. It is published by Top Cow.
In the very beginning of the anthology Matt Hawkins talks about how he was brought into the industry via an extremely round-about way through being a press release writer for Rob Liefield’s Extreme Studios label. He recounts this as a set up to the core premise of the anthology. Which is to say, to use it as an opportunity to let fresh talent have an in, a introduction to their writings, all bundled together in one volume for people to enjoy.
The theme of this anthology, it should be noted, is around many sci-fi tropes we all know like the back of our hands. Genetics, time paradoxes, the future of AI and robotics. But what makes the anthology unique is by the very same creators they are showcasing. Each one brings something interesting to the table, a twist to a trope that both parts refreshing and delightful. Now, it should be noted that as they are short stories, none of them “finish” the tale they begin. They are all parts set up with the tantalizing potential to be expanded upon later.
As such, I’ve decided that I would pick three of my favorite tales from the volume and discuss my feelings about them here in this review! With that said, let’s start off with what really grabbed my attention from the very beginning.
Stairway Anthology Review
Spirit of 666
Anyone who knows me can tell you, Im a sucker for alternative tales of history. So when the first couple of pages of this short story came together I already knew it was something I needed as a full series. It opens with two questions. The first being, “What if I told you everything you knew about the Pilgrims was a lie?”. The second, “What if I told you these Puritans put on the most elaborate of masquerades in order to hide their true intentions?”
As a quick aside, the Pilgrims being referred to are the settlers who traveled across the ocean to found “America” as the history books tell it. While there is a lot more nuance and details glossed over in that, the basic premise is the focus for this tale. As it then proceeds to turn far into left field by proclaiming these same Pilgrims as being devil worshipping cultists. Traveling across the ocean to perform a vile ritual that unleashed Hell upon the Earth.
This reviewer is 1000% on board with this kind of premise and I’m dying hoping it becomes a real thing in the future.
Temporal Intelligence Agency
I will level with you dear reader: Time Travel as a story plot is really hard to do. There are so many icky paradoxical outcomes that could result in writing them that readers point out the writer might have missed. These then tend to spiral out of control in forum discussions, Youtube vids, etc that eventually just wears a guy down.
However. There is that occasional story that is just intriguing enough to have some serious potential. While not a lot happens in this particular short story action wise, the set up of an intellgience agency that deals with threats in the present by traveling to the past is a novel one. Spy thrillers have always been fantastic reads when done properly, so to add an element of time travel can raise the stakes on potential shenanigans. Another premise I hope becomes a real thing.
Okay real talk: This short story is Weird. I don’t particularly know where it is going, but sometimes that is half the fun of reading it. Its premise follows a man who recounts the many things he is afraid of. Thunder, his own anxiety, etc era. However, when he arrives at his home something is amiss. That turns out to be a rather large hole in his door which freaks him out something fierce.
Grabbing some cash, he makes his way to a local Comic Book Convention in order to buy a suit of armor and sword which are not props in the slightest. Thusly armed, he returns to his home to do battle with what apparently is his nemesis which, in the close pages, turns out to be a bumblebee. But not just any bumblebee, this one is glowing. With his nemesis confronted, the short story ends with an omnious “…come what may” in reference to the idea he might not survive the encounter.
Like I said, its really weird. But seeing as how I like weird stories it is completely up my alley.
The Stairway Anthology is an excellent example of a company offering people the change to achieve their dreams and those same people jumping at the chance to do so. Each and every responsible for the a story in the anthology brought something interesting to the table. And while I personally highlighted three of my favorite tales, I would encourage you to seek the anthology for yourself! Perhaps there is a tale there that captures your attention just as the ones I mentioned did for me.
Either way, each and every person that contributed to this volume is definitely someone to have on your radar for future stories. I personally can’t wait to see what those stories might be!
Engage with the Creators
Mark Schmidt – Image Comics Profile
Octavio Karbank – Twitter
Christopher Preece – Image Comics Profile
Austin Allen Hamblin – Website
Kevin Cuffe – Twitter
Simon Birks – Website
Frank Martin – Marvel Profile
Donny Tran – Instagram
Eva Cabrera – Twitter
Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque – Twitter
Balazs Valyogos – Image Comics Profile
Atilio Rojo – Facebook
Christian Dibari – Twitter
Raffaele Ienco – Twitter
Pick up The Stairway Anthology
Pick up Stairway Anthology from our Preferred Comic Shop – Things From Another World.