Annie Archaya is a disgraced, former NASA astronomical data analyst who discovers a signal from deep space. Only, the message isn’t from an alien civilization…it’s from a human. Her search for the truth launches her on a journey of self-discovery full of alien conspiracies, government cover-ups, and answers that span the cosmos. Posing the question, are we alone in the universe?
The first issue of The Signal #1 stays away from traditional sci-fi themes for the most part. Instead, the debut issue focuses on the conspiracy and government cover-up about the truth of an approaching alien signal. However, the sci-fi elements are more subtle. That subtlelty from writer Kevin Schwoer keeps things grounded and progresses the plot well as the elements begin to merge.
Much to my surprise, the art by Neil Anderson is colorful. That colorful nature manages to contrast the conspiratorial nature plot in an interesting fashion. With this type of story you’d expect a more grim or gritty look to it all. Somehow it manages to work well together, driving the plot forward.
Story: Kevin Schwoer Art: Neil Anderson Story: 8.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy
Graphic Policy was provided with a FREE copy for review
While covering the 2015 Rhode Island Comic Con I was privileged to meet some very talented people. I am pleased to say that one of these people was Mr. Enrique Savory Jr. an independant comic book artist who was kind enough to let me take a few minutes of his time to pick his brain on his work and just the genre of comic books in general.
Graphic Policy: So how long have you been drawing professionally?
Enrique Savory Jr: As far as comic books go, my first published work was back in 2007.
Graphic Policy: What press or imprint was that with?
Enrique Savory Jr: I was working for Big City Comics at the time and I did some penciling and inking for a title called Totem.
Graphic Policy: Ok, is the title still being published today?
Enrique Savory Jr: Um, well it’s still going on in trade format but if they decide to use the character it’s totally up to them. I’m really not sure if they are still using the character.
Graphic Policy: I see. Well I love your work from what I’ve seen personally and it pops out at me a lot. Especially these rendition pieces, what gives you the inspiration for them?
Enrique Savory Jr: Actually for me it’s about turning a negative into a positive. As a kid I didn’t have that kind of a talent to conjure the official image out of my head, so I decided that I would just start making stuff up and it kind of caught on a little bit. The more I did it the more I got sucked in. So I keep using it and it’s worked out pretty good so far.
Graphic Policy: Now what do you currently have published? Any ongoing titles?
Enrique Savory Jr: Not quite yet. I am currently working on something that is co-written, inked, penciled and colored by me. It’s going to take some time to do, because I’m pretty much doing it all by myself. I’m hoping the first issue will be out either the middle or late next year.
Graphic Policy: Well I will definitely have to look and keep an eye out for that. Now, how long does it take you to do a normal 22 page book and for the people out there how detailed a process is this?
Enrique Savory Jr: Well because of the detailed nature of the book it doesn’t take 22 or 23 days for 22 pages it takes quite a bit of time, it can range for penciling and inking anywhere from 30 days to 40 days to really nail down a finished product. It all depends on how the piece itself is constructed from cover to cover. So that takes some time. Doing it yourself rather than being assisted can take say three to four months. Once I nail down my process and get into my groove. I hope to put out about 3 issues a year. It’s all about efficiency.
Graphic Policy: Wow that’s quite involved. Switching gears who is your favorite comic book character?
Enrique Savory Jr: For me, it’s Batman for DC Comics and Spider-Man for Marvel. Grendel is my favorite Independent character.
Graphic Policy: Grendel by Matt Wagner, nice.
Enrique Savory Jr: Yes.
Graphic Policy: What comic books do you currently follow today, and do you have a favorite artist?
Enrique Savory Jr: Well if I follow a certain book it is only because of a certain artist. Like if I’m going to follow Batman, at this point I’m getting the title because Greg Capullo is on it. I truly admire his work. For me I jump on when the artist jumps on, so I don’t necessarily follow the title as much as I follow the artist. So I will flip-flop back and forth and hunt their titles down at times. Chris Bachalo, he did a long run on X-Men that I enjoyed, and Dale Keown if he does anything I’m aboard. I will get him on anything.
Graphic Policy: He was great, I loved him on the Hulk and Pitt.
Enrique Savory Jr: Yes indeed. It’s like pick a run and I will get it. As far as he goes. I will hunt him down and collect it. His artwork is superb.
Graphic Policy: Sure.
Enrique Savory Jr: Of course you can’t go wrong with Jim Lee and Mark Silvestri either. I also keep an eye on people who I was fans of when I was younger to see if there styles have changed or evolved and if it was for the better or the worse. It if it’s for the worse I’ll leave it alone if it’s for the better I’ll pick it up.
Graphic Policy: Absolutely. So for anyone who’s looking to get in to this trade, as someone with experience, what advice do you have?
Enrique Savory Jr: Don’t think its as complicated as you think. It has it’s stresses, but the you decide to start, is the day you become a comic book artist. Not the day you have the idea, but the day you decide to start because getting hired is harder. Not getting published. So if you have material and a means to do it, there are outlets that will allow you to do that, day one. You have on demand printing now. You have digital comics, hard copy etc. The outlets are there you just have to find them.
Graphic Policy: To that point, how do you think that websites like Comixology or those digital imprints effect you the artist personally, or does it?
Enrique Savory Jr: It hasn’t effected me, because I haven’t really put anything out in the digital format. So only time will tell, right now I can’t really answer that particular question.
Graphic Policy: Do you ever go a day without drawing?
Enrique Savory Jr: I try not to. I like to stay loose. I get quite cranky if I don’t. If I go a day without drawing or two, by day three I get very hard to deal with. That’s the honest truth.
Graphic Policy: By the flip side of that, don’t you get burned out?
Enrique Savory Jr: Oh yeah. You get burned out but that’s usually when the work you’re doing isn’t really cooperating. It can get quite frustrating. Another way you can get burned out is when you are doing the work for someone and not for yourself because of the demands. It’s harder to get burned out when you are doing your own work, rather than for someone else. Once you put an issue out, the process starts all over again with no down time at all. So working for someone you can burn out pretty quick.
Graphic Policy: Understood. Last question.
Enrique Savory Jr: Shoot.
Graphic Policy: Besides comic books, what’s the one thing you are passionate about?
Enrique Savory Jr: Easy. Football. For me, football is my life. I’ve liked football since I was four years old. I am a big, big Dallas Cowboys fan. However I am a homer, because I’m from New England I have a little bit of a homer streak in me. So I am a fan of my local teams but when I was four years old, I said that is my team and I haven’t looked back since. Good or bad.
Graphic Policy: Well this was fantastic and I hope you get the exposure you deserve. I’ll keep my eyes peeled.
Enrique Savory Jr: Thank you.
Graphic Policy: Here’s to hoping my Pats can still meet your Cowboys in the Superbowl.
Kooperman is a smart, character-driven comedy bro-mance that blends rich visuals with a driving laugh-out-loud plot-line, while commenting on society’s obsession with superheroes in an age of apathy. Koopermanwas shot on beautiful Prince Edward Island, Canada, by first time feature director Harmony Wagner. It was written by Harmony Wagner and Jason Rogerson.
Griffin Kooperman is a small town zero, the owner of a struggling comic book store, and he has a paralyzing fear of confrontation. When he faces eviction from his stores premises, he must snap out of his fantasy world in order to save his comic book store, his friendship, himself, and become his own hero in the process.
Graphic Policy sat down with the man who plays Griffin Kooperman,Dylan Miller, to have a brief chat about the movie, and the character he plays.
Graphic Policy: So, Kooperman; what can you tell us about the movie?
Dylan Miller: It’s a story about fear and friendship and funny stuff. Basically it focuses on the trials and tribulations of an ‘invisible’ person who is disconnected from real life and has his little oasis of personal reality disrupted and is forced into action.
GP: How did you end up involved with the project? At what point did you come on board?
DM: I was approached by Harmony Wagner and Jason Rogerson to talk about a film project they were in the early stages of writing that was based loosely on myself and a friend of mine Taylor Carver and our unique way of interacting with each other and the rest of the world. Helped out on some tweaks to early scripts and supplied some anecdotes from my real life as a comic book shop owner. Then they got Taylor and I to appear in a ‘trailer’ that was to be submitted to Telefilm Canada. After some hard work Harmony and Jason secured some funding from Telefilm and the project jumped into production!
GP: How did the experience of making the movie differ from your stage work?
DM: I had very little experience in acting for film Or acting for anything really. Mostly I was comfortable on stage doing Improv comedy and that is an entirely different skill set than acting for film. Luckily there were some great talents involved in the film and they helped me fell comfortable and nurtured me along.
GP: How personal (or not) was the role for you?
DM: I mean it’s weird. The character is like the worst version of me in some ways. But in the same token outside the superficial similarities (Comic Store owner, Frisbee enthusiast, jerk) the character is not close to what my real life is. Which was good and bad. It forced me to act more than I initially thought I would have to. At first I thought it wouldn’t be that hard to be a reflection of myself but I found that finding the truth of the character and reacting from his center was difficult. Once I surrendered myself to the character and stopped fighting with my own real personality I felt like it became real on it’s own terms.
GP: Even though Kooperman is set, in part, within a (pretty fantastic) comic shop the synopsis on the website sounds like the movie will appeal to more than just comic book fans. I’m guessing that was intentional?
DM: Not unlike comics themselves the trappings are important and fun but at the heart what is interesting is the people. I think anyone can identify with the feelings of helplessness and invisibility that are part of Kooperman. We’ve all had ourselves be our own worst enemy.
GP: Any chance of a sequel, or another collaboration with the creators down the road?
DM: I don’t know if there is much more to tell about Griffin Kooperman but if there is interest I’d be willing to grow out my hair and not wash it again…. I guess. And certainly I would be interested in working on future film projects. The family that is formed in the crucible of making a movie is a unique experience and has it’s rewards.
GP: How’s the reception been for the movie so far?
DM: Have only really seen it with friends and families of the cast and crew so the reception was very positive! My Mom thinks I’m cool!! But I think that it will surprise the audience with the heart and soul that exist under the skin of this fun and funny film.
Koopermanpremiers Saturday September 19th during the Atlantic Film Festival.
AND WERE BACK!!!! Sorry for the late entries this month guys. But, when karma is pissed, things go crazy. I just got my computer back after dropping it and allowing gravity to smash it into 1,000 small pieces. With that said, as I waited for my tech to fix my computer Brett was still awesome and gave me some really cool assignments. So now that Indy Spotlight is back, here we go!
Manticore! A horror comic that is, how can I say? Amazing? This book is great. To be honest when I first hear of the premise I was caught off guard somewhat. I mean a thriller/horror story in a prison? Sounds like a great idea, but, then your like, but how? As in how can it work? What tropes are they going to use? What elements stay for the prison portions and which ones go? And for the horror / thriller parts, how do you build the tension just right? How can will the reader be invested to care about prisoners dying in horrific manners when I know most might be on death row for being horrifically violent people that a reader wont want to get emotionally attached to?
Well, I will tell you how. By proving they are human just like everyone else. Yes this book has many crime noir feel to it to propel its story and the art carries it with a beautiful black and white feel of the old 1940’s thriller comics. However, Manticore as a unique way of putting a modern twist within it, to help make the reader understand what its trying to do. The best part is how the dialogue is written for the reader to follow. It uses classic crime slang, but, not so much that a new reader would get lost. It has enough for the right feel but, not so much to be irrelevant. The only thing that bugged my about the letters was the first page, it just didn’t flow right in the one panel. However, I still got what the creative team was still trying to do. So it wasn’t that big of a negative. Definitely the best comic I read so far for this column to be honest. It was a fantastic story that I hope you guys buy.
If anything check out there site hereManticore has so much to offer its readers and the creative team behind it of Keith Miller and Ian Gabriel, go really well together. I don’t know if they worked together before, but, if they did I am interested in seeing what they did. These two work really well and that’s so vital in a good comic. When both creators can read each other and add to the beauty of the work at hand and not hinder it. I mean when you read this comic you’ll come to appreciate it.
The art work: 10 and the writing was: 9.5 (cause of the miss-lettered page) for an overall 9.5 out of 10. I’m serious this one is a buy guys, check it out.
Story: Keith Miller Art: Ian Gabriel Story: 9.5 Art: 10 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy
Rosarium Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Welcome back everyone to another Graphic Policy Indy spotlight review! This week Brett gave me another fantastic comic for you guys to know about. Its called The Showdown Vol. 1 and it was created by Russ Lippitt and Tony Guaraldi-Brown. Looking at this cover alone had brought me back to my youth of great horror movies I would watch on late night HBO during October or listening to The Misfits for the first time. This book was the perfect match made in hell! I really do wish this book was given to me in October, it would’ve been a great Halloween article. But none the less, I surely enjoyed the crap out of this book.
As a horror fan, there aren’t really that many comics out there that hit the coffin nail that often. I enjoyed 30 days of night was great, but, hated The Dracula stuff that came out after. Or when Walking Dead came out and blew everyone away, so everyone thought they could write a “good zombie” comic? Believe me when I say, here is that new horror story. Something that looked deep into our enriched dark past and pulled something out of the closet so awesome, its hard not to check it out. Let alone talk about it.
When Russ wrote this books script, I can only imagine the demons he must have beaten with a baseball bat to ensure this book came out just right. I mean any time a writer creates a world with so many characters that have so many influences, the story can be sacrificed to the boring origin story god that is currently killing The Fantastic Four movies (plus a million other things). But Russ has this really cool chaotic plan. Its like twisted metal, leaped into the great horror era of the 1950’s B cult films with a 1970’s punk embraced attitude while toping it off with a nod to the great spaghetti westerns! And Holy Cheese on a shmacker, is it awesome! It defiantly follows the tropes of American Goth for sure the way it speaks and passes the story through the panels. My favorite “gang” or “racing crew”, would be The Mischiefs followed by the The Dead Belles! Who will win? Don’t know yet, but I cant wait to find out!
As for the art, like I said this book was the perfect match in hell! Tony knows how to make this story roll dude, pun intended! The cars look amazing. The cars are cool nightmarish and sexy. This book thanks to him like the cast of Grease went to hell and thanked the devil for the trip. Each character has their own signature look as they pay homage to the great monsters of old without getting tiresome or boring. The other thing too, he makes the art look like the old drive in movie posters you’d see from back in the day and it really pays off for this book. Defiantly check this book out if you’re a horror fan.
The only bad things I can say for this book however, is that its a horror book inside a story about racing. And if you’re not a fan of either one of these things, you might not like this book . The other is, sometimes the color didn’t flow like the rest of the pages. Some were waaaaay, too dark to the point it was hard to make out the image. While others were just perfect.
For sure, please check out the comic here and if you agree with my assessment please support these guys by buying it. Thanks again and I hope to entertain you guys soon!
You know what is awesome? This last week I was given the chance to review an awesome indy comic. And thanks to it, as I work here at Graphic Policy I have decided something. My review will be the indy review article every week. Why? For one thing, I love all comics. And secondly, this will give you guys a chance to check out comics that you wouldn’t have if no one ever told you. Comics is a hard business and I will dedicate my writing and reading of comics to those brave enough to bleed their souls to this wonderful art form. So without further due…. Here is the first Graphic Policy Indy Spotlight!
This week I am going to focus on the comic called Job Dun: Fat Assassin! Brought to us by the indy publisher Spray Comics. Now when I was given this comic by Brett in my inbox, I knew it was mine to read already ! I mean check out the cover! II mean it totally screams gritty comedic badassary with a hint of epic cult like strange
So there I was foaming at the mouth for some epic goodness. The creators of Job Dun know how to market their character without pulling punches. Great logo that easy to read and well placed and the cover also has a great tag line: “Size does Matter” (very tongue in cheek). But, for this character it works. They know how to set up the reader into this characters world and draw them to the book so they will look at what is going on inside this comics pages.
The first page is very Pulp Fiction-esque as the writer gives you the definition of Job Dun as they do it with a Google parody ribbing fake website called gurgle. Right away for comic fans this immediately tells the reader this isn’t going to be apologetic nor is it going to be very pc friendly to those who are going to be daring and read the story. And right away was I right. In the first few pages of the story our hero is fighting two thugs in a good old-fashioned street fight as he narrates in a very noir like tone like you would hear from old radio shows, but with a mafia like flair.
The writer set up the scene good and opens up this theater of the absurd in a pure way. That’s why I know, if this comic keeps going in publication it will soon to have a cult following. The idea is so unique and weird, as if saying, “Yeah we went there and were not afraid to push the envelope!” I mean in the back ground as the hero is fighting to thugs, people are walking around in bondage! Job Dun knows when it’s joking with its dark humor and knows when it needs the hero to be serious without being too serious in a way that might take away from its dark humor.
The down sides of this comic are (in my opinion), over used of stereotypes at times. Comedians often rib stereotypes in their acts for a laugh, Job Dun does that too in the art. However, sometimes the artist and the writer should have pulled back some. I mean, one character goes soooooooo far in its absurdity, that it takes away from the joke. In comedy art (like comedic jokes) there’s a rhythm to things. If you go too far your forcing the idea and if you hold back too much, you choke it. The obnoxiously breasted women was forcing it to the reader too much. And the fight scene with the nuns could’ve pulled back on the sexy bondage get up and possibly had a funnier impact if they were old lady nuns who happen to be secret deadly ninjas who kicks the crap out of the hero for a bit.
Action comedy is one of the hardest things to pull off in comics. Everything has to be right. Job Dun does a great job of setting things up but, has trouble on giving a good punch line or action pay off. I do enjoy seeing how the art from the first comic of Job Dun has greatly improved from the last issue of Job Dun though. These creators are growing and beginning to understand their character and the world that they want this hero to be set in. The first books coloring was so bad, it muddied up the image to where you couldn’t see the anatomy of the characters. However, the new book is such an improvement! So, without a doubt this book will become something very special in the near future if these creators keep pushing themselves to improve their talents. If done right, this book can be a huge cult hit. I defiantly will keep my eye on this group and will let you guys know when they have reached the potential of what this book has the power of being.
Until then, this book is a read. I wouldn’t buy these first two issues because the idea seems to be still lacking in some of its core areas. But, it does entertain the reader in the way its trying to do. It just doesn’t entertain as much as it possibly can. A little more fine tuning and this book is going to be awesome, I’m telling you.
Thanks for your time everyone and thank you for checking out this article on Graphic Policy. I hope to entertain you soon!
Story: Mark Hobby Art: Ben Michael Byrne Art: 5 Story: 6 Overall: 6.7 Recommendation: Read
Spray Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review