Category Archives: Retailers

Skullkickers Win The Eisner?

Okay, not exactly…

The Eisner Awards are the comic book industry\’s highest honour.

This year, at the 2010 Eisner\’s, Image comic\’s Popgun V3 won the award for \’Best Anthology\’. Since Popgun 3 included a Skullkickers short story called \’Interlude\’, that inadvertently means the Skullkickers are Eisner Award winners!

or, more accurately…


Exploding from the Eisner Award-winning Popgun anthology in to their own series!

I think it\’s got a nice ring to it. What do you think? 🙂

On Influences

Happy Canada Day to any of you reading from Canadian locales.

I wanted to write a little bit here about the things that inspired the stories in Skullkickers. Hopefully some of these bring a smile to your face or inspire you to seek them out if you haven’t tried them before:

Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser: In my mind, these two were the original fantasy duo. The stories have a wickedly dark sense of humour and loads of personality. If you’ve never read them before, you should move them right to the top of your fantasy reading list.

Dungeons & Dragons: Yup, the grand daddy of tabletop role-playing games is a key player in the adventurous hijinks in Skullkickers. My brother introduced me to the game when I was around 9 years old and it was one of those things that kept us close even as we grew up and changed in high school and college/university. In retrospect a lot of it was ridiculous, but it infused my brain with a love of fantasy and spurred on ideas for telling stories instead of just reading about them.

Conan: The novels, the comics and the original movie all hit certain notes I’d love to echo in Skullkickers. The dwarf has a line in the first issue where he describes his job as “a guard, a thief or a killer if that’s what ye need”. That idea, that the characters are adaptable survivors and absolutely mercenary is very Conan-like.

Army of Darkness: Sam Raimi’s over the top zombie epic rides a fine line between being either an outright slapstick farce or a loving pastiche of fantasy tropes. Ash is despicable and selfish and yet you can’t help but cheer him on as he charges in his own direction and wins through pure sass, grit and stupidity. If I do my job well then Skullkickers should feel a bit like having two Ash-esque characters who banter between themselves.

Hellboy: It won’t be as obvious as the other influences, but Mike Mignola’s balance of atmosphere and humour is a huge influence. I want to create stories where there’s a palpable sense of dread punctuated with snappy banter and big action. I think once I’m more comfortable with the characters and feel like the reader knows them well I’ll be more confident setting up wordless establishing shots and a grander sense of the fantasy world they’re in.

I Want to Buy Skullkickers!

The new Diamond Previews catalogue comes out tomorrow, but we’ve already got the order code here for retailers. With that in mind, I’ve put together a handy image you can click on, print out and take to your local comic retailer as a simple way of reserving your copy of issue #1.

Skullkickers Pre-order FAQ

Q) How do I pre-order Skullkickers?

A) Just print out that handy-dandy coupon image above and take it to your local comic retailer. If you don’t have a printer, just write down the Diamond Order Code for the book and give them that instead: JUL100392

Q) Why should I pre-order? I just go to the comic book store and buy issues as they come out.

A) Pre-ordering lets retailers know what titles are of interest to their customers so their orders are more accurate. In addition, you’re guaranteed to get the book you want. With a new series like this it’s difficult for retailers to know how many they should bring in or if it’s a title worth pushing. Your pre-order can bring interest to Skullkickers. It makes a big difference, believe me.

Q) I wish there were more awesome fantasy comics!

A) That’s not a question, but I whole heartedly agree! If you’re a fantasy fan, I’m hoping you’ll support this book and show comic retailers and publishers that fantasy is a bad ass genre worth investing in.

Q) I’m a retailer. Why should I order your Image book?

A) It’s a fun comic with solid art in a genre that isn’t over saturated. It’s great for your long time customers and also good for new readers who love fantasy, D&D or movies like Army of Darkness. More importantly, the first issue is complete, coloured and lettered, so you can be assured that it will ship on time. I know that’s something a lot of retailers worry about, especially with new untested books.

Q) This FAQ is just a promotional ploy, right?

A) This whole blog is for promotion, so “Yes”!

All I know is that I have to do something to raise interest in this book or else I’ll feel like a fool for letting this chance slip by me. I want this comic to make it in a market that eats up and spits out a lot of titles. Image believes in it and I hope, over the summer reading this blog, you will too.