OpticHouse Publishing Brings a Fresh Raw Voice to Comics

GameStop, Inc.

I had the pleasure of meeting Gerimi Burleigh at Long Beach Comic Con a few weeks ago. I was introduced by a mutual friend, Josh Finney from 01 Publishing. We hit it off right away, it’s not often you meet a black guy wearing a Manowar t-shirt. We spoke for a while, and he showed me some of his comics; his original graphic novel Eye of the Gods, and the first three issues of his new series Morningstar. The concepts intrigued me instantly; Eye of the Gods being a science fiction thriller steeped in shady governmental dealings and paranoia, and Morningstar breathing new life into the story of Lucifer as a western. We swapped business cards, and a few days later Gerimi had emailed me copies. To say they were good would be the understatement of the year. They both were not only two of the most original concepts I had seen in a long time executed insanely well, but there was a rawness to them that is missing from most comics these days. They were mature in the sense that they dealt with adult subject matter that didn’t speak down to the reader, and were refreshingly frank. Trust me, Gerimi Burleigh may not be a name you’re familiar with yet, but he will be.

EotGEye of the Gods is a psychological thriller about a man whose life spirals out of control when he is cursed with the ability of remote viewing.

It combines the high-tension paranoia of ENEMY OF THE STATE with the foreboding chill of THE DEAD ZONE.



Sean Black undergoes surgery, cloning his eyes to restore his failing vision. After the operation, he “dreams” of a murder, only to discover that it really happened…

 But the death isn’t being reported as a crime. When his curiosity gets the best of him, Sean uncovers a conspiracy and sets off a chain of events that unravel his life.

This 144 page black and white book is like a Phillip K. Dick fever dream with everything that would entail. It’s a high-octane political thriller full of secrets, twists, deceit, double-crosses, men in black, a government spying on its own people, and all of the best sci-fi tropes without ever feeling cliched. Like the best sci-fi, it uses the future to shine a light on our present fears. For a first graphic novel it’s very impressive, from the writing to the art.  This was obviously a passion project for him, and he pulled it off magnificently. Sure there are a few hiccups here and there, but overall it is a great book and I recommend it highly.

Morningstar1At the dawn of creation, existence was a raw, untamed frontier. Seven gunfighting Archangels defended the town folk of Heaven from Daemons, primordial beasts dwelling in the void beyond. They strove to carve out a civilization from the chaos of the naked universe, but the greatest danger they faced was not from the wilderness. It was from within.

Before he was the Devil, He was Lucifer Morningstar. Brightest of all the Archangels, Marshall of Heaven. This is the story of his Fall.

I loved Eye of the Gods, so I couldn’t wait to read his follow-up, and it did not disappoint, except for the fact that issue four is not yet out so I couldn’t finish the story. The concept is brilliant, and the execution even more-so. Gerimi has grown as a writer and artist since EotG, his pacing, dialog, and page design becoming that of a seasoned creator. Seriously, his panel layouts are great, especially when he thinks outside the box and plays with the page’s design. His character designs are interesting and unique, especially the female demon. Making Heaven into a western boom town, with all that entails, is a really bold choice, and having Lucifer as the town’s marshal works really well from a story standpoint. The action is intense from the get-go, and ramps up as the issues go along. Morningstar is a great western and fantasy story all in one, and a fresh take on Lucifer’s fall from grace.

You can get these and more at the OpticHouse website, including an Artist Edition of Eye of the Gods with an original ink sketch by the man himself. And if you ever see him at a comic convention, definitely hit him up, if not for the comics then for the awesome conversation at least. He’s also on Twitter.

 

 

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