James Douglas – as well as his trench coat and bangs – is back in the second issue of Pj Perez’s The Utopian. Debuting at the 2009 Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival last November, The Utopian brought to print the previously web-only story of a high school senior who decides to take action to end the injustice he perceives around him – by creating the identity of “The Utopian.”
At the end of last issue, James’ secret was uncovered by nosy but alluring school reporter Michelle Matterson. Now James must not only deal with that new development, but also with the witch hunt started by school principal Richard Praglin and the abusive behavior of the school football hero, Nate Aguila. The issue builds to a dramatic ending sure to leave readers asking for more.
“Although billed as ‘America’s Most Emo Comic Strip,’ The Utopian doesn’t read anything like a My Chemical Romance lyrics sheet,” writes Las Vegas CityLife‘s Jarret Keene. “It owes more to teen adventure series like The Bloodhound Gang, Buffy the Vampire Slayer or early issues of Amazing Spider-Man.”
Two versions of the 24-page comic, a “deluxe,” full-color edition ($5) and a “standard,” black-and-white edition ($3) will be released this Wednesday, Jan. 13, featuring respective covers by Hernan Valencia and Perez with Steve Downer. Both editions feature new splash page artwork, never-before seen sketches, a new letter column, exclusive event photos and more.
The comic is available in select stores and for direct purchase online at theutopiancomic.com. If your local shop doesn’t carry The Utopian, all of Pop! Goes the Icon’s titles can be ordered by retailers through Haven Distributors.