COMING SOON: 'Beyond Real' by Zack Kaplan and an All-Star Line-Up of Artists


Zack Kaplan: It's a collaboration with seven, yes SEVEN stunning, phenomenal artists, Fabiana Mascolo (Alice Ever After, Firefly), Eisner-winner Jordie Bellaire (Redlands, W0rldTr33), Jorge Corona (Me You Love in the Dark, Middlewest), Toni Fejzula (The Forgotten Blade, Dead Inside), Liana Kangas (Know Your Station, She Said Destroy), Dennis Menheere (Etheres, Stardust), Vincenzo Riccardi (Star Wars, Dungeons and Dragons), and maybe more. With the incredible Eisner-winner and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou (First Knife, Mindset) and A covers from Eisner-winning artist John J Pearson (Mindset, Department of Truth).

And the scope of this series is truly ambitious! Each issue of this cerebral and heartfelt series will see these artists working in tandem, handing off scenes back and forth to each other as part of the narrative structure of this mind-bending story about simulation theory, the creative spirit, and the struggle for self-determination.

The series follows the struggling artist June following a severe accident that leaves her boyfriend in a coma and causes her to experience bizarre visual phenomena. When she discovers that the world she considers “reality” may in fact be a computer simulation, she must set out on a perilous journey through metaphysical layers of the simulation to reach the true creator and save her love from death.

If you haven't heard of Simulation Theory, it's this odd but engaging idea that we are all living inside a sort of computer simulation, like the Matrix. And in recent years, this idea has grown in popularity and legitimacy amongst scientists and the public alike.

Are we really living in the Matrix?

But what got me thinking, as a creator and creative, is why do we often think of this concept in very digital, robotic terms? Creation is messy, artistic and beautiful.

So with BEYOND REAL, we turn simulation theory on its head, and imagine the layers of life’s simulation in the most artistic and astonishing of ways. It’s a dark Neil Gaiman-esque adventure series into the unknown, it’s a thoughtful and complex character drama about navigating creativity, at times inspiring and unsettling, and it’s a love letter to artists and creatives everywhere. We’re in an inflection point for creators right now, and it’s never been more important to appreciate the challenges they face and respect their profound contributions to our experience in this little world.

So great ready to immerse yourself in creation and travel with us beyond on the most breath-taking of journeys, something only comics could capture...

I can't wait to share a lot more about this series. It's absolutely the most ambitious undertaking I've taken on in comics, but the amount of artistic talent in this series is staggering. And Vault Comics is truly the perfect home for this book, pushing the boundaries of comics and championing artists everywhere.

Seriously, beyond the themes and artwork, it's a story that will excite and challenge you, it's a sci-fi adventure like you've never seen, unsettling and horrific, imaginative and inspiring, and really mind-blowing!

BEYOND REAL #1 hits store shelves in October 2023, and is available to preorder now, with an FOC on 9/3/23.


  1. I'm getting Dr. Mirage vibes mixed with Simulation Theory, but sounds like a great concept....


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