I\’m ecstatic that I can finally talk about our special short story issue in Skullkickers #6. It\’s been something we\’ve been pulling together for a couple months now, so now that it\’s out in the open we\’re even more excited.
Issue 6 is a wild jam issue with other creators as a way for us to keep Skullkickers on the stands and in people\’s hearts while Edwin and Misty take the time required to rebuild the art buffer for our second story arc. As nice as it would be to have issues completed in one month, at this point that\’s just not realistic. Everyone on the Skullkickers team is juggling extra jobs to make this work financially and, in turn, issues take longer than four weeks to produce. So, even though we started with issues finished as they were being solicited, we\’ve slowly burned through that lead and need time to get ahead again. We want retailers and readers to know that the book will arrive on time as the story arc rolls out and this is the best way to do that.
Going through the issue 6 creative crew, in alphabetical order:
Brian Clevinger is the writer and co-creator of the hilarious Atomic Robo series, one of my absolute favourite comics being published right now and a real inspiration for the brand of hijinks that populates Skullkickers. Robo is a creator-owned dynamo and if you\’re not reading it you need to stop whatever you\’re doing right now and head to your local comic shop for issues, trades – whatever you can get your hands on.
Jeffrey \’Chamba\’ Cruz is one of those artists who makes it all look so easy, even while you know under the surface that he has masterful skills and works his butt off. His dynamic action artwork and moody colouring has made him a fan favourite on UDON\’s Street Fighter comic series and I\’m excited about having him contribute his skills to the Skullkicker boys.
Ray Fawkes is a rock solid writer and artist who has created titles for Oni Press and Vertigo that strike an emotional core and defy expectations. We first met when I was still in college, lost touch and then reunited through comic conventions and mutual friends. Seeing his skills grow with each project he tackles and knowing that he has a wickedly well developed sense of humour, I wanted him to bring the same kooky/eerie qualities he has in Possessions, his supernatural-comedy graphic novel series, to the world of Skullkickers.
Scott Hepburn is another old college friend and former UDON studio mate who toiled away for years on smaller projects and built up his skills until he was turning heads with the quality of his storytelling and solid figure work. I\’ve wanted to collaborate with him for quite a while and am thrilled that he\’s on board this special issue.
Chris Sims is the gut-wrenchingly funny writer of the Invincible Super Blog. The consistent humour quality of his entries turned it from an occasional amusement in my daily RSS read to a can\’t-wait part of my day. His pointed satire about comics and the industry cuts through crap with ease and I really do feel he\’ll be a big name writer within a handful of years. With that firmly in mind, I wanted to get my hooks in to him early so I could claim some kind of feeble partial credit for his success at a future point.
Joe Vriens is one of those artists who keeps upping his game every time you turn around. From cartoony designs all the way to lushly rendered digital paintings, Joe\’s creativity and natural design sense bursts through in everything he does. After contributing a killer pin-up that we ended up using as the cover for Skullkickers #2 second print, I knew I had to get him involved with this issue.
Adam Warren was the first North American anime-influenced artist I ever saw and his Dirty Pair mini-series (originally published by now-defunct publisher Eclipse and then later by Dark Horse) had a profound effect on my writing and art. His creator owned series Empowered is top notch character study under the wrappings (quite literally) of fetish-y superhero nonsense and it will surprise you with its depth even while it titillates and teases. That I can now count him amongst my friends kind of blows my mind. I\’m honoured to have him on board.
Without trying to hype it too much, I really do think it\’s a killer creative line-up; Some of the funniest writers in comics working with some of the best artists anywhere. I hope comic fans everywhere snag this issue in February to see what kind of alchemy is formed from these guys pouring their efforts in to our special \’Four Tavern Tales\’ and that it helps build extra excitement for the second story arc of Skullkickers series that begins in issue 7.