Tag Archives: chris hunt

Z2 Comics Partners with Skillet for Eden: A Skillet Graphic Novel

Coming on the heels of Apocrypha: The Legend Of BabyMetal and the upcoming The Ghost Of Ohio graphic novel, Z2 Comics has announced their next title is a collaborative partnership with multi-platinum, GRAMMY-nominated rockers Skillet. Eden: A Skillet Graphic Novel is based on an original story idea created by Skillet frontman John Cooper alongside the creative team of Z2 Comics: Josh Frankel and Sridhar Reddy. Writers Alex Paknadel and Dan Watters of Random Shock Studios are writing the comic with Cooper. Artist Chris Hunt created the cover and will be working on the pages of the comic scheduled for release late Summer 2019.

The story of Eden: A Skillet Graphic Novel follows the two main characters of John and Korey (based on the real life Coopers). To save their family and town they must uncover the mystery of what lies behind the dreams of a prophecy that threaten to consume them. They set out on a quest that will take them through the barren wastelands and gleaming cities of a near-future Tennessee. Bandmates Seth Morrison and Jen Ledger are also focal characters in the story about survival, determination and strength of personal beliefs. Fans can pre-order the standard edition of Eden: A Skillet Graphic Novel. A deluxe edition of Eden: A Skillet Graphic Novel, available for $99.99 and limited to 1000 copies, is autographed by John Cooper and comes in a large, coffee table bound edition with four exclusive prints.

Eden: A Skillet Graphic Novel

Z2 Comics’ Murder Ballads Gets a Single and a Preview

Z2 Comics has published the eagerly anticipated Murder Ballads original soundtrack by bluesman Robert Finley and Grammy-Award winner Dan Auerbach and the graphic novel by writer Gabe Soria and artists Paul Reinwand and Chris Hunt, now on sale wherever books are sold. The Murder Ballads Original Soundtrack includes Finley and Auerbach’s cover of the classic Leadbelly song “In the Pines” and four original songs—“Bang Bang,”“Butter Sandwich”, “The Empty Arms” and “Three Jumpers”—created specifically by Finley and Auerbach to accompany the Murder Ballads graphic novel about the music industry and redemption. The standard edition Murder Ballads graphic novel includes downloadable codes to the original soundtrack.

Z2 Comics has released the single “Bang Bang” from the Murder Ballads original soundtrack, which is only available with the purchase of the graphic novel and will not be sold separately:

A meditation on music, obsession and how far someone will go to see their vision become real, MURDER BALLADS follows the fall and reinvention of Nate Theodore, the dead-broke and deadbeat owner of a failing record label who is on a cross-country drive in the dead of winter, fleeing the wreckage of his business and trying to save his crumbling marriage. Nate is given an unexpected chance to reverse his fortunes when, during a stop in a desolate rust belt town, he “discovers” Donny and Marvell Fontweathers, two African-American brothers who play a raucous brand of doom-laden country blues.

Later this fall, Mondo will also release a Limited Edition Murder Ballads Original Vinyl Soundtrack and Graphic Novel which will retail for $200, featuring original album cover art by Jon Langford. Langford’s the acclaimed visual artist by and large best known for his striking portraits of country and rock music icons including Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley. In addition limited edition prints by Tyler Boss will be released.

Paul Oakenfold Creates a “Wonderful World” With New Graphic Novel

Paul Oakenfold is one of the progenitors of electronic music, a platinum selling artist and of one the greatest DJ’s of all time, and this fall he’ll tell the “not quite true” story of his life with his first ever book, a graphic novel. Oakenfold is collaborating with a roster of renowned indie graphic novel artists, including Tyler Boss, Chris Hunt, Ian McGinty, and Koren Shadmi for The Wonderful World of Perfecto: With Paul Oakenfeld and Friends, which will be published on November 21, 2017 by Z2 Comics. To accompany the graphic novel, Oakenfold is composing an original soundtrack which will only be available with the purchase of the graphic novel.

2017 marks the 30 year anniversary of Paul Oakenfold’s famed trip to the white island of Ibiza,  sparked the creation of club culture as it is known today as well as his legendary DJ’ing career. The Wonderful World of Perfecto: With Paul Oakenfeld and Friends charts his historic career rise to fame, fortune and musical nirvana and each of the artists collaborating with Oakenfold will illustrate a different time period in the DJ’s life, from his residency at Cream to drinking absinthe with Hunter S Thompson and touring with U2.

The Wonderful World of Perfecto: With Paul Oakenfeld and Friends is part of a new initiative by Z2 Comics to publish graphic novels about music, with each book accompanied by an original soundtrack. This month, the publisher will release Murder Ballads, the highly anticipated rock’n’roll noir graphic novel about the music industry and redemption by writer Gabe Soria and artists Paul Reinwand and Chris Hunt, and and the Murder Ballads original soundtrack, featuring music by bluesman Robert Finley and Grammy-Award winner Dan Auerbach.

The Wonderful World of Perfecto: With Paul Oakenfeld and Friends will be on sale in comic book stores and bookstore on November 21, 2017 and will retail for $24.99.

Mondo and Z2 Comics Announce A Limited Edition Murder Ballads Original Soundtrack and Graphic Novel

Mondo and acclaimed indie publisher Z2 Comics are releasing a limited edition Murder Ballads graphic novel and original soundtrack 10″ vinyl record release by bluesman Robert Finley and Grammy-Award winner Dan Auerbach. The Murder Ballads Original Soundtrack includes Finley and Auerbach’s cover of the classic Leadbelly song “In the Pines” and four original songs created specifically by Finley and Auerbach to accompany the upcoming graphic novel release Murder Ballads, the highly anticipated rock’n’roll noir graphic novel about the music industry and redemption by writer Gabe Soria and artists Paul Reinwand and Chris Hunt. The standard edition Murder Ballads graphic novel will be released by Z2 Comics this July for $24.95 and will include downloadable codes to the original soundtrack. The Limited Edition Murder Ballads Original Soundtrack and Graphic Novel from Mondo will retail for $200 when it opens for pre-order on May 24th, and will feature original album cover art by Jon Langford, the acclaimed visual artist best known for his striking portraits of country and rock music icons including Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley.

The Murder Ballads Original Soundtrack contains “In the Pines”, the iconic blues song performed by Leadbelly and four songs: “Bang Bang,”“Butter Sandwich”, “The Empty Arms” and “Three Jumpers.”

Z2 Comics also announced today that the Murder Ballads graphic novel will be written by Soria, with Paul Reinwand illustrating Side A and Chris Hunt illustrating Side B.

A meditation on music, obsession and how far someone will go to see their vision become real, Murder Ballads follows the fall and reinvention of Nate Theodore, the dead-broke and deadbeat owner of a failing record label who is on a cross-country drive in the dead of winter, fleeing the wreckage of his business and trying to save his crumbling marriage. Nate is given an unexpected chance to reverse his fortunes when, during a stop in a desolate rust belt town, he “discovers” Donny and Marvell Fontweathers, two African-American brothers who play a raucous brand of doom-laden country blues.

Review: Carver: A Paris Story

carver_trade_frnt_cvr_superfanNotorious gentleman of fortune Francis Carver returns to the City of Lights in 1923 after an absence of five years. He’s come back to aid Catherine Ayers, the wife of a wealthy Parisian socialite and the only woman he’s ever loved. Her daughter has been kidnapped by the leader of a crazed anarchist gang, a man named Stacker Lee. In order to bring the girl home, Carver will have to crawl through the underbelly of the city while confronting the demons of his past, before being faced with a final choice: succumb to the man he has become, or take that mask off and be the hero he always wanted to be.

Written and drawn by Chris Hunt, Carver: A Paris Story has vibes of Paul Pope, which makes sense as Hunt is a protege of Pope. Published by Z2 Comics, the story, now collected, is an entertaining read which definitely feels like the heartfelt homage to Hugo Pratt’s Corto Maltese that it presents itself as.

Carver is a war hero who has a heart of gold, though doesn’t feel that he is, and the story itself presents itself as a noir with a bit of 70s/80s action film thrown in. Taking place in the 1923, the setting of time helps shape a story devoid of modern technological distractions. Phones aren’t pinged, emails aren’t sent, things aren’t Googled, the lack of technology feels like it enhances the story. It also makes the weapons more low-key, knives, pistols, bottles, there’s a bit more of a rawness to it because of that.

CARVERThe overall story has some hiccups. Like the vigilante films of the 70s/80s, not everything is explained, you just going with the flow of bad guys that need to die. Also, the story taking place in Paris, it doesn’t feel like the location is used enough. Speaking of, the character of Stacker Lee, I always heard speaking with a Southern accent, no idea why. None of that causes major issues, because with this type of story I want brutal fights, bullets to fly, and blood to flow. It all happens here in entertaining presentation where Hunt uses the art to give us glimpses instead of details. That allows us the reader to fill in some of the specifics with our imagination, and anything we imagine will likely be so much worse than if Hunt showed every bullet entering or every stabbing location.

The art matches the story well with a nice grittiness to it that enhances it all, especially those action sequences. Things happen quickly in flashes which helps with the flow of the story and also keeps us focused on the characters as opposed to what they do. Hunt wants us to focus on Carver the person.

I finished the trade wanting to find out more about Carver. There’s lots of history that are barely touched upon like his past love interest, his time in World War I, his experiences after the war. All of it leaves so much to be mined in further adventures and it sounds like we’ll get more. Speaking of more, we also get two short stories featuring Carver done by Paul Pope which are both entertaining.

If you’re a fan of noir/revenge tales this is a great comic to pick up and enjoy. The setting and character feel like an excellent homage to the past, something that could have been done then and being reprinted now. A solid entertaining read and one that probably flew under your radar.

Story: Chris Hunt Art: Chris Hunt
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Z2 Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Carver: A Paris Story

Carver: A Paris Story

Story: Chris Hunt
Art: Chris Hunt
Back-up Story: Paul Pope
Publisher: Z2 Comics
Paperback
$14.99
172 pages

Paul Pope’s protege, the cartoonist Chris Hunt, exploded on the comics’ scene last year with his first ever creator owned comic series. Hunt’s CARVER: A PARIS STORY is a pulpy, black and white comic book and a loving throwback to old fashioned, globetrotting adventure. A heartfelt homage to Hugo Pratt’s CORTO MALTESE,  CARVER: A PARIS STORY blends the best elements of European and American comic book storytelling.

Notorious gentleman of fortune Francis Carver returns to the City of Lights in 1923 after an absence of five years. He’s come back to aid Catherine Ayers, the wife of a wealthy Parisian socialite and the only woman he’s ever loved. Her daughter has been kidnapped by the leader of a crazed anarchist gang, a man named Stacker Lee. In order to bring the girl home, Carver will have to crawl through the underbelly of the city while confronting the demons of his past, before being faced with a final choice: succumb to the man he has become, or take that mask off and be the hero he always wanted to be.

carver_trade_frnt_cvr_superfan

 

Chris Hunt has a certain, dare we say, je ne c’est quoi. CARVER: A PARIS STORY will capture the imagination of anyone who’s thrilled by international intrigue.

Preview: Carver: A Paris Story #2

Carver: A Paris Story #2

Story: Chris Hunt
Art: Chris Hunt

Our protagonist confronts his past head on, when he finally comes face to face with the woman who broke his heart as a boy. Will Francis continue to wear the mask of “Carver,” the callous and cold gentleman of fortune, or will he finally let go of his anger and let his heart guide him once more?

CARVER 2_COVER

Chris Hunt Discusses Carver: A Paris Story

Carver #1 Paul Pope Cover

Carver #1 Paul Pope Cover

After an absence of five years, globe trotting and notorious gentleman of fortune Francis Carver returns to Paris in 1923. He has come back to aid Catherine Ayers, the wife of a wealthy Parisian socialite and the only woman he has ever loved. Her daughter has been kidnapped by the leader of a crazed anarchist gang, a man named Stacker Lee. In order to bring the girl home, Francis will have to crawl through the underbelly of the city while confronting the demons of his past, before being faced with a final choice: succumb to the man he has become, or take that mask off and be the hero he always wanted to be.

I got a chance to talk to creator Chris Hunt about Carver: A Paris Story including it’s influences and Hunt’s time working with Paul Pope.

Graphic Policy: So to you, how would you describe the series Carver?

Chris Hunt: It’s a love letter to Corto Maltese, Indiana Jones and Hemingway amongst other things. At times it appears to be a straightforward adventure story but as the series progresses I think readers will come to realize there’s more at play within the characters than the two dimensional archetypes I introduced them as. My goal with Carver was to bring back familiar tropes that are no longer at the forefront of the cultural zeitgeist, but are still very much tied to our identity especially in the West, and try to peel back the onion on them a bit.

For instance as a fan of Ernest Hemingway’s writing, it’s sometimes hard to distinguish where his writing blurred into the “legend” of Hemingway. I have always been more interested in the self reflection of The Green Hills of Africa, and especially A Moveable Feast. In the latter you have an author who is more or less inextricably associated with machoness and misogyny, and here he is talking about this amazing period in his life, when he was with his first wife whom he never stopped loving, surrounded by surrealist artists, poets and filmmakers. I love the dichotomy of what he was versus what he let himself come to be seen as. That’s more or less the theme of Carver.

GP: Where did the idea for the series come from?

Ccarver_4H: Well I had a character I created for a short comic that was just this anonymous hunter. I went out of my way to draw him as a cliche because it was just a fun exercise. The more I looked at him though, I kept wondering what his backstory would be, and I thought it would be kind of funny if this broad chested, mustachioed badass had this really unexpected backstory. Furthermore I thought it would be interesting to imply that he never went out of his way to project this persona, but it was more or less just a result of one decision that led to a series of events that crafted this terrifyingly effective man from a gentle hearted, empathetic boy. From there I started building his backstory, and that led in an organic way to Carver: A Paris Story. I wanted to introduce the character “in media res” so to speak; already broken and yet reforged into a weapon of sorts, so that the audience can see how that blade will be honed from man he has become, against the wet stone of who he once was. To me that seemed interesting.

GP: How did you get into creating comics? You got this fascinating life taking you from Idaho to New York City.

CH: I got into making comics the way a lot of people do, which is I became a fan. Very few people I’ve met who love comics haven’t at least entertained the idea of wanting to create them. There’s something very special about comics from an outsider’s perspective still. I think there is still an aura of mystery about it because so little is known about the inner workings of the industry from a layperson’s perspective. But specifically, I knew I wanted to make comics when I read my first one, which was THB which Paul Pope was self publishing back in Ohio when I was a kid before I moved to Idaho with my mom at age 9.

I love Idaho. I miss it terribly. I learned so much in the 20 years growing up there. Coming to New York City was more about putting my money where my mouth was because I had really grown as much as I was going to be able to living in Boise. The internet is a powerful tool for many industries but there still is no replacement for having boots on the ground somewhere, and plugging into a community directly. Not to mention it’s almost impossible not to grow from the experience of leaving a small place like Boise, and learning to survive in a (at times) hostile environment like New York.

GP: What was it like to work with Paul Pope? How did you come to be mentored by him?

carver_5CH: Working with Paul over the past five years in various capacities has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. As I said, it was Paul’s book THB  that originally inspired the desire to make comics in me as a small boy. There really wasn’t ever a time after that I don’t recall pouring over those books incessantly, or trying to order his new books at the one shop in my town. I knew someday I’d be making comics and I wanted them to extend from that place he had planted his flag where he’d found this balance of European, Japanese and Silver Age American comics, with philosophical undertones. So when I got serious about it finally a couple years after I graduated from High School, I reached out to him online. From there we built a friendship that eventually became something I was able to learn from. No matter the person or the industry, typically you can’t just knock on someone’s door and demand they give you their knowledge. For one it doesn’t work that way, and two it’s incredibly self serving if you come at it from that angle. With someone like Paul, once they get to know you it’s almost impossible not to be learning from them because the knowledge just spills out. You have to do the work though. A LOT of work and you aren’t going to have your ego stroked while doing it if you really want to get good.

GP: When it comes to being mentored, what’s the type of things you learned working with him?

CH: Honestly, the most important thing I’ve taken away from working with Paul is the sense of lineage that can still exist in comics. I don’t think it is as common as it use to be in the creative trades, but there use to very much be this sense that “you were taught by so and so, they were taught by so and so, etc, etc”. It’s almost like my experience as a sleight of hand magician. There are things you can read about it in a book, but the real knowledge is passed down orally. It really feels like we are keeping a tradition alive. A tradition mired in storytelling which I think is very powerful. I hope at some point if my career can sustain itself and I get better, that I’ll have a chance to pass my knowledge on to someone and keep that torch burning. Along with that, the need to reinforce in one’s self, the importance of experimentation and self learning, and not least of all the absolute need to keep the integrity of your imagination alive.

GP: I hear your own real life romance inspired the book’s love story?

CH: “Write what you know”, right? I was in France when I came up with the character that eventually became Carver. I was visiting an ex-girlfriend, who really wasn’t an ex, but no longer my girlfriend either. Early 20’s kind of stuff. Which didn’t really bother me too much at the time because it was just incredible to be in France with this beautiful and intelligent person I cared so much for. We were in Aix-En-Provence most of the time so I was wandering around narrow cobblestone alleys, and drinking too much coffee and smoking WAY too many Gauloises cigarettes on sidewalk cafes while drawing in my Moleskin. I was really trying to hit all of my French cliches on my bucket list hahaha. Before I left though, we spent a weekend in Paris which is where it went sideways really fast. That was when we both learned that you don’t go have a romantic weekend in Paris with someone you aren’t sure you’re in love with, either direction on that scale. That being said, it was incredibly romantic despite the tenseness we were feeling and it gave a lasting impression to both of us. It was the inability to communicate that uncertainty though that really seeped into A Paris Story.

GP: I’ve just read the first issue, but it takes place in Paris. Why’d you set the comic there as opposed to a city like New York or Chicago? Both are two I think of when it comes to the noir-ish story the first issue feels like.

carver_6CH: Well firstly, I don’t know if I should admit this but my goal wasn’t to create a noir comic per se. There definitely were elements from noir I wanted to work in, but so too were there elements from adventure stories and romantic literature among others. If I had set out to create a strictly noir comic I sincerely doubt I would have been able to hit the mark without it seeming like pastiche. I’m very happy that’s the way the book has been coming across to people though.

As I mentioned above, a lot of the relationship between Carver and his ex, Catherine is informed by my experience in Paris with the real Catherine and how are relationship existed for a number of years after. Paris for me worked for the story beyond that though in a lot of ways. I wanted to juxtapose Carver’s crassness, and unrefined qualities against a glittering city known for being a mecca of culture, especially at the time the story takes place in the early 20’s. Plus, I’ve seen Chicago and New York so many times already. I don’t think I have anything to add to them that hasn’t already been done with this type of story. Plus, there was this incredible upheaval in Europe post WW1, in conjunction with the optimism of having fought what many thought was the last great war, and you’re seeing this explosion of art and writing coming out of the Left Bank in Paris with all these expats. It’s just an incredibly rich and dynamic moment in history I’m surprised more people don’t exploit.

GP: How long did it take for the series come from your first idea for it to print?

CH: By the time the book comes out this month, it will have almost been five years to the day. I had the idea for the first draft in November of 2010. I had visited Catie in France that March and gone to a month long residency with Paul in October. My plan was to start drawing it in March of 2011 but that plan, and the rest of the year basically became a wash when I learned that my good friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer early in the month. Then, my best friend who was also a mutual friend of the one dying, died while riding a freight train home to say goodbye to him. I talk about this a bit in the coda at the end of the first issue, but it was just a hellish year and it was a long time before I had it in me to do much of anything. From there my road back to myself started to become the overarching narrative thread in how Carver came to be what it is now. Along the way I produced it as a radio drama, a short film and applied to some Sundance labs, each step helping me to hone the story as I got my sea legs back.

GP: You’re self-taught, and also had Pope as a mentor, what advice would you give to individuals getting started in comics?

carver_7CH: I’d say know exactly why you want to make comics. It shouldn’t be for glory, or money, it should be because of an overwhelming need, or a sense that you’d regret not going after it if it truly is a dream you have.

If you decide you are going for it, the most important thing you need to understand at the beginning is that there is no clear path into the industry. There is no secret door, or amount of money or clout that just lets you in. Even if you think there is, trust me there isn’t. You have to put the work in. If you’re a writer, write. If you’re a penciler, pencil. I wanted to be everything so I had my work cut out for me. With regards to just say penciling and inking though, something that Paul told me early on I think perfectly encapsulates the scope of what you’re entering into. He told me I would hate my first thousand inked drawings. And not just sketches, I mean the ones that you’re putting your blood sweat and tears into. You’re going to hate the because they aren’t as good as you see them in your head. Don’t let it discourage you though. Just start chipping away. Focus on the numbers because you won’t know it but you are getting better every time you draw. I actually kept track of mine on Flickr. It’s pretty cool to be able to look back on hundreds of drawings from the past 8 years and not only see the progression, but see what I was interested in, the ideas I had and how I attempted to put them into play. Do that for yourself as well, whether you’re strictly a writer or an artist or whatever. Set the impossible goal and start getting to it, and don’t even start thinking about money or glory. If you become good enough that you can’t be ignored, you will bring that to you.

GP: Any other projects we should keep our eyes open for from you?

CH: Well I have a giant robot story called “01-AD GO!” I’ve had waiting in the wings for a few years. I’m waiting until I’m done with A Paris Story before I really start digging into that and pitching it around. In the meantime, Paul and I are planning on doing some more collaborations after our Vertigo short for Strange Sports Stories. I can’t really say who or what they’re about because they haven’t been announced yet but they’re for some pretty cool properties that I’m excited to work on with him. If all goes well with this first arc of Carver though, I’d like to dive back into the world after I take a short break and go wander a bit.

Z2 Comics Announces New Creator Owned Line

z2logoblueZ2 Comics, the boutique graphic novel publisher, announced today a new line of creator owned periodical comic books. The New York-based company will launch its periodical line in the fall of 2015 with three dynamic titles: the first creator owned comic book by Bravest Warriors comic book artist Ian McGinty, an international adventure caper by Paul Pope’s protege Chris Hunt, and the comic book debut by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver writer Will Tracy and co-writer Gabe Koplowitz. All Z2 Comics standard periodicals will be 32 pages and priced at $3.99; they will be distributed at comic book stores nationwide via Diamond and will be available digitally via ComiXology.

Welcome to Showside

by Ian McGinty
October, 2015

Following his stint as artist on the BRAVEST WARRIORS comic book, Ian McGinty will publish his creator owned debut as a writer/artist with Z2 Comics. WELCOME TO SHOWSIDE features the adventures of Kit, a lovable kid with a monstrous secret: his dad is the Great Shadow King and he wants Kit to take over the family business of destroying the world.

Carver

by Chris Hunt
November, 2015

After an absence of five years, globe trotting and notorious gentleman of fortune Francis Carver returns to Paris in 1923. He has come back to aid Catherine Ayers, the wife of a wealthy Parisian socialite and the only woman he has ever loved. Her daughter has been kidnapped by the leader of a crazed anarchist gang, a man named Stacker Lee. In order to bring the girl home, Francis will have to crawl through the underbelly of the city while confronting the demons of his past, before being faced with a final choice: succumb to the man he has become, or take that mask off and be the hero he always wanted to be.

Allen: Son of Hellcock

by Will Tracy, Gabe Koplowitz, Miguel Porto
December, 2015

Allen is cowardly, directionless, and less physically menacing than a daffodil. He’s also the only son of the mightiest hero ever to plunge his sword hilt-deep into the dark heart of evil… the mighty HELLCOCK! Enjoy the ride as Allen is thrust sword-first into a not-so-classic fantasy quest that, frankly, he would rather just sit out. ALLEN: SON OF HELLCOCK is the comic book debut of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver writer Will Tracy, co-writer Gabe Koplowitz and artist Miguel Porto.