The independent press has always been both the most praised and most scorned group in comics. Despite being dismissed by those closer to the mainstream, this unwanted stepchild of the industry has turned out some of the biggest blockbusters to come out of the medium, like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Bone, Cerebus, The Crow, and The Mask among many others. Today, the self-publishing world continues to grow and attract a wider audience.

This year Lance Stahlberg and Chris Manning have thrown in with the revolution. Their company, Powerful Press, has officially launched with two exciting new titles.

imageMetadawn #1.0 is the prologue of a science fiction epic set in a diverse new superhero universe. “It’s not a four-color world where superheroes just happen to be part of the setting,” Lance explains. “Imagine the real world where 1 out of every 1,000 people can fly, read minds, generate fire with a thought, run faster than sound, or rip solid steel with their bare hands.”

The series boasts a massive host of characters, focusing on the arrival of a new kind of hero with a vision to bring order to a world in chaos.

image image

imageNocturnal Essence #1, while set in the same reality, is a very different kind of book and will carry a Mature Readers label. “It’s the darker side of the Powerful Press universe,” according to series creator, Danika Kenn. “Vampires, werewolves, and magic users have their own society and their own story.”

In the opening of this saga, events threaten to break the fragile truce between the factions of Earth’s mystic underground.

image image

Both books will cross over in some aspects, but they will be self-contained and tailored for decidedly different audiences. Every issue will give readers either a 32-page feature story, or a more ‘standard” length feature with an 8 to 10 page backup.

“We try to give our readers as much bang for their buck as possible,” Lance adds. “We have way too much story to tell. The last thing we want to do is try to decompress it.”

Metadawn #1.0 is out now and Nocturnal Essence #1 will be out June 12. Both comics are 40 pages, black and white, and are on sale for $2.95 direct from the company on their website ( and through The Guide published by the Small Press Association (