Queer-Led Mutant Horror Comedy Comic Book “Toxic Summer” to Debut This May!

Toxic Summer issue 1 May 2024 Oni Press
Toxic Summer Issue 1 – Cover A by Derek Charm (Image: PR/Oni Press)

Oni Press has announced that the queer-led teen mutant horror comedy comic book Toxic Summer issue 1 will debut come May 1, 2024. The upcoming story is by award-winning cartoonist Derek Charm.

The narrative in Toxic Summer will be told over three “specially formatted” bi-monthly issues, beginning May 1, 2024. The debut chapter will be 48 pages long, allowing readers to follow the living nightmare the two young leads find themselves in while wanting to attend a beach party.

According to Derek Charm, Toxic Summer was inspired by classic beach movies, Mad Magazine, gross-out teen horror, and his own friendships. Set in the early ’00s, the story is said to be a mix of Riverdale and The Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Here’s the official description:

Best friends Ben and Leo had the perfect summer planned after high school graduation. As lifeguards in the idyllic beach town of Port Dorian, they were planning for three months of hot guys, late-night bonfires, and no regrets . . . until a toxic spill of unknown properties on the beach transformed their dream summer into a waking nightmare. Now Port Dorian is flooded with panicked tourists, a local researcher is paralyzed while investigating the spill, and a horrifying pack of subhuman monstrosities is snatching beachgoers in the night.

With Charm writing and drawing the book, the project has been edited by Bess Pallares with the lettering being done by Frank Cvetkovic.

As for the covers, you can enjoy work from Charm (Star Wars Adventures), Scott Forbes (Aggretsuko), Skylar Patridge (Jill and the Killers), and Eisner Award winner Francesco Francavilla (Afterlife with Archie). There’s also a special “Radioactive Waste Fifth Ink” sketch variant.

Toxic Summer issue 1 Oni Press
Toxic Summer Issue 1 – Cover B by Scott Forbes (Image: PR/Oni Press)

Toxic Summer is one of the projects under the ONI 2024 banner that includes a slate of five monthly comic book series from award-winning creatives covering various genres such as horror, sci-fi, fantasy, crime, and more.

Here’s the full list of the titles:

  • Invasive Issue 1 by Cullen Bunn & Jesús Hervás.
  • Jill and The Killers Issue 1 by Olivia Cuartero-Briggs & Roberta Ingranata.
  • Cemetery Kids Don’t Die Issue 1 by Zac Thompson & Daniel Irizarri.
  • Night People Issue 1 by Barry Gifford, Chris Condon, Brian Level, Alexandre Tefenkgi, Artyom Topilin & more.
  • Akogun: Brutalizer of Gods Issue 1 by Murewa Ayodele & Dotun Akande in April.
  • Toxic Summer Issue 1 by Derek Charm in May.

Available in stores come May 1, 2024, the 48-page long debut issue will retail for $6.99. The FOC is 04/08/2024 with the IOD being 03/28/2024.

As for Charm, he’s an Eisner Award-winning comic artist, illustrator, and character designer for animation. His work includes Jughead and Jughead’s Time Police for Archie Comics, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl for Marvel, and Star Wars Adventures for IDW Publishing/Lucasfilm. Outside of comics, Charm has done illustration and design work for Marc Jacobs, Pepsi, and Warner Bros. Animation.

You can follow him on Instagram and his official website.

Sharing my opinion about such a book, I’m here for queer-led titles with interesting premises, especially ones involving elements of mystery and horror. Also, we don’t get a lot of stories set in the early ’00s where both leads happen to be queer and best friends. So, yeah, I will definitely try and check it out.

Are you interested in picking up Toxic Summer?

You can read more of our comic book coverage here.

(via Press Release)

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.


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