December is a month for adventure as Oni Press and Scott Chantler return with NORTHWEST PASSAGE #2, the book that proves that the North is just as wild as the West. Coming on the heels of rave reviews and critical praise for issue #1, NORTHWEST PASSAGE #2 promises even more pulse-pounding action in the style of the two-fisted pulps of old.

Rupert’s Land, 1755. Famed adventurer Charles Lord and his men have been forced from Fort Newcastle by ruthless French mercenaries, who leave death and destruction in their wake. Led by the villainous Guerin Montglave, they’re intent on capturing both the fur trade, and Charles’ scalp. Lord must not only lead his small band of surviving traders, but also secure the aid of some old allies if he is to recapture the fort, defeat Montglave, and save his son.

“The basic story, about an aging hero who has to reconcile relationships with his men and try to live up to his reputation, is one I’ve had in mind for about a decade,” Chantler explained. “I could just never decide on an appropriate setting for it. Then a few years ago I read Company of Adventurers by a Canadian historian named Peter C. Newman. It’s history, but it’s written in a really accessible way, and the subject matter–the early, pioneering days of the fur trade in Canada–really struck me as a potentially good setting for it. Like an American western, but with canoes instead of horses.”

“Because of the subject, we decided to go a different route with the presentation of this title,” Randal Jarrell, Oni Press managing editor, commented. “Since it’s all about two-fisted, pulp style adventure, why not present it in a format reminiscent of the old serials about Wild West heroes?”

That format means more pages of pulse pounding cartoon energy for the reader’s buck.

“Where issue #1 gave you three comics worth of story for the price of two, issue #2 is four comics worth for the price of three (only $8.95 for 88 pages!). You definitely get more excitement for your money,” Jarrell added.

And there’s plenty of excitement in the adventures of Charles Lord and his men! Fisticuffs, daring escapes, and ambushes are only the beginning.

“Issue one was mostly set-up, establishing setting and characters and their backgrounds, before the fur really started to fly. In issue 2, it starts flying. We’re into the meat of the story now.” Chantler commented. “There’s more action than in issue 1, and things get a lot worse for the good guys. It’s all still solidly grounded in character drama, though. What really drives the story of NORTHWEST PASSAGE are the relationships between the protagonist, Charles Lord, and each of the other characters. Three new major ones are introduced in issue 2, and he needs each of them in order to triumph over the situation his old enemy, Montglave, has put him in. So all of this isn’t so much a test of Charles’s courage, survival skills, and fighting ability…like any hero, he’s got all of that. It’s a test of character.”

“We kiddingly refer to this book as ‘the greatest 18th century Canadian adventure comic ever’, but in all seriousness, it’s difficult to do historical fiction and make it entertaining. Scott makes it look easy,” Jarrell concluded. “Anyone who hasn’t picked up this book is missing out!”

Northwest Passage #2 is listed in the current PREVIEWS and will ship to comic book stores December 14, 2005. It features 88 pages of black and white story and art, and will retail for $8.95, with the Diamond Order Code: SEP05 3054 and an ISBN of 1-932664-31-9.

Northwest Passage #1 (ISBN: 1-932664-23-8) is on sale now at fine comic book stores everywhere and is still available for order with Diamond Order Code: APR05 3048.

For the comic store nearest you, call 1-888-COMIC BOOK.

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