Lion Forge Comics builds on its promise of “Comics for Everyone” with the announcement of Hunters, an all-new fantasy epic told through a diverse cast of today’s top creative talent!
Famed warrior Azarias has gathered a small army of varied adventurers on a quest to gather the dust of a distant island god in order to save the life of their king. Along the way, they encounter numerous beasts and monsters, all in the process of gathering artifacts necessary to locate the island god before ultimately defeating it. Throughout the course of the adventure, the band disperses into small groups with individual objectives in order to cover more ground in shorter order. These individual side-story adventures reveal more about each of the many unique and intriguing characters and their different interactions in different combinations.
This very intricate and original fantasy universe is filled with a large cast of intriguing, complex, and diverse warriors deserving stories of their own, building to the ultimate encounter. While the primary storyline is told by series co-director Josh Tierney and illustrated by Miguel Valderrama, the individual short tales are told by a variety of their celebrated comic-industry peers in different visual styles.
Co-created by Paul Maybury and Josh Tierney, this epic anthology taps Miguel Valderrama, Carlos Valderrama, Afu Chan, Devin Kraft, Niami, Meg Gandy, Jared Morgan, Irene Koh, Kyla Vanderklugt, Benjamin Marra, Alexis Ziritt, Travel Foreman, Carlos Carrasco, Vlad Gusev, and Ramon Sierra for an epic high fantasy tale.
Hunters is published in partnership with Buño Books and is slated for release in June.
Publisher: KaBOOM!, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writers: Meg Gandy, Travis Betz, Kevin Jay Stanton
Artists: Meg Gandy, Ruth Turner, Kevin Jay Stanton
Main Cover: Jen Bartel
Incentive Cover: Meredith McClaren
The annual Halloween tradition for Adventure Time continues with this brand-new collection of spooky short stories!
There’s nothing more terrifying in Ooo than…a penguin?? That’s right! Gunter, the most evil being in the Land of Ooo, takes center stage!
It’s the fifth week of our “Women of BOOM!” feature, spotlighting the many kick-ass women that work at BOOM!, Archaia and KaBOOM! We’re focusing on everyone, editors, designers, writers, artists, you name it! We’re making sure to include the hard-working folks whose contributions are often overlooked in the process.
BOOM! (and KaBOOM! and Archaia) has given us unprecedented access and the chance to ask questions to their staff, and creative teams, to find out why the publisher is so successful in hiring women and their experiences in the comic industry as women.
Up this week is artist Meg Gandy, the artist on Archaia’s Spera Vol. 3 (out now, hint hint)!
Graphic Policy: How did you get involved in the comic book industry?
Meg Gandy: I started a webcomic after college. Not long after that, a small time publisher saw it and offered me a work-for-hire contract, which was simultaneously one of the best and worst things I ever did–worst because it was a truly awful experience. Best because once a few of the local writers heard that I was available to work, I started lining up projects.
GP: Did you read comics growing up? Do you read them now?
MG: I did when I was introduced to a comic worth reading. The Sunday papers with Calvin and Hobbes were good, and Disney Adventures briefly ran Bone. I had a babysitter that had a massive box of older comics, like Casper the Friendly Ghost, Richie Rich, Archie, that sort of thing. But I had never seen a comic shop, and the rare superhero comic that made it my way was invariably ugly and dull (it was the 90s). So I wasn’t a regular fan until high school, when I first encountered manga. I read tons of books now.
GP: How did you come to work with BOOM!/Archaia?
MG: Josh Tierney dropped me an email, so it’s more that I was working with him than Archaia. I had already heard of Spera, and been a fan of both Tierney’s and Archaia for some time, so I was thrilled.
GP: How would you describe your job for people?
MG: Long hours, shit pay, incredibly lonely, often tedious, crazy fulfilling.
GP: For people who want to pursue a career in what you do, what advice would you give them?
MG: Be good at budgeting and expect to be quite poor. Make sure you get some manner of exercise. Take your vitamins. Learn to like backgrounds. Pull out your favorite comics and study why they work so well. And draw, draw, draw. There’s really only one way to get good at making comics, and that’s to make comics. Start a webcomic. And kiss your social life goodbye.
GP: Did you have a mentor to help you break into the industry? Do you mentor anyone yourself?
MG: No, and no. I like the idea though, and I hear Sean Gordon Murphy is looking to do something like that for a few lucky people.
GP: Do you think women have a more difficult time breaking in and making it in the comic industry, if so why? And if yes, how do you think that can be overcome?
MG: Having never worked for the companies people usually mean when they say “the comic industry,” I can’t speak to the issue personally. What I can say is the #1 obstacle to my working for them isn’t even if they want me, which I’m sure they don’t, but that I don’t want them. The books I want to make are not the books they want to sell. The stories I want to read and write are not the stories they want to give anyone. The characters I want to know about are not the ones they want to make. And working for them would mean compromising values I’m not willing to give up. And that’s not even addressing how badly work-for-hire contracts suck. If I’m going to be poor, it’s going to be on my terms, making the kinds of books I want to make.
GP: We notice that when it comes to women in the comic industry, BOOM!/Archaia has a lot of diversity present. Why do you think have they succeeded when so many other publishers struggle with this?
MG: There’s a number of things at play here–for starters, Archaia was originally founded to publish Artesia. This is a company founded only a little more than a decade ago to publish a fantasy book about a female character in reasonable armor, who made the leap from concubine to general, outlives her king and sets out to avenge not her king, but her sister-wives (some of whom assist her from beyond the grave). I found this book by chance in a musty, crowded used book store and through that, discovered Archaia. After Artesia, Archaia published things like Mouseguard, Cursed Pirate Girl, and of course, Spera. Fantasy is a culturally safe genre for women, so there’s already a reason for women to be interested. The overt sexualization used by other publishers to attract readers just isn’t common in Archaia’s line-up. And since the books are creator-owned, women get to keep what they create, rather than just hope to tack onto some other guy’s idea. I can’t speak for other women, but having NOT grown up with mainstream comics, the whole set-up of how they work kind of appalls me. And their PR is awful. The response to serious criticism is never “well if you think we’re racist/sexist, don’t read our books” because I will always respond “okay” and go and spend my money, and take my talent, elsewhere.
GP: We’ve heard horror stories concerning women in the industry, have you ever seen or been discriminated/harassed and if so, how did you handle it?
MG: I’m not well known enough that anyone’s ever felt like I needed to be taken down a peg. I have seen the bullshit flung Kate Beaton’s way. She handles it with great hilarity and grace. I don’t know that I would be so kind about it.
GP: What advice do you have for women looking to break into the comic book industry?
MG: That you don’t really have to anymore. The most useful thing I ever did was start a webcomic. Writers and publishers can see up front what I can do and decide for themselves if they’re interested in working with me. I can self publish using any number of tools available on the web. If you’re willing to do the work, you can be in comics.
Written by Josh Tierney Illustrated by Michael Dialynas, Cory Godbey, Afu Chan, Meg Gandy, Amei Zhao, and Sam Bosma Cover by Afu Chan HC, 176pgs, FC, SRP: $24.95 Diamond Code: JUL13 0785
Exiled princesses Pira and Lono travel to avoid the clutches of Pira’s mother, the Evil Queen. Obtaining jobs as adventurers, the two best friends set out on a series of quests that land them in perhaps more excitement than they’d bargained for. This lush hardcover series collects and remasters the ongoing adventures, written by creator Josh Tierney and illustrated by a rotating collection of some of the finest sequential artists on the web. The series, which first began as a popular webcomic, brings artists together from around the globe to showcase their talents as some of the premiere fantasy artists in the industry, and Volume 3 is no exception! Featuring artwork from Cory Godbey, Michael Dialynas, Afu Chan, Meg Gandy, Amei Zhao, and Sam Bosma, Spera Volume 3 will transport you to a colorful world of wonder and excitement!