Tag Archives: voracious

Those Two Geeks Episode Twenty Three: There

On the docket this week: The geeks use fancy editing to cobble together an interview with Markisan Naso and Jason Muhr, the writer and artist of the indie book Voracious. With the Kickstarter for the third volume launching today, the geeks thought it’d  be a great idea to sit down and talk about the Kickstarter, the variant cover rewards, and the comic itself.

We hope you enjoy the interview as much as we did recording it.

You can back the project on Kickstarter now.

As always, the Alex and Joe can be found on twitter respectively @karcossa and @jc_hesh if you feel the need to tell them they’re wrong individually, or @those2geeks if you want to yell at them together on twitter or email ItsThose2Geeks@gmail.com.

Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next week in the future!

Those Two Geeks Special: Talking Voracious with Markisan Naso

On the docket this week: The geeks are joined by Markisan Naso, the writer of the critically acclaimed Voracious, the comic with the best elevator pitch around: time travelling chef hunts dinosaurs.

Contrary to their usual approach, the geeks remain largely spoiler free as the talk ranges from all things Voracious, to boxing, to the WWE and food.

As always, the Alex and Joe can be found on twitter respectively @karcossa and @jc_hesh if you feel the need to tell them they’re wrong individually, or @those2geeks if you want to yell at them together on twitter or email ItsThose2Geeks@gmail.com.

Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next week in the future!

Those Two Geeks Episode Seventeen: The One Where We Ramble

On the docket this week: The geeks are back after a sickness based absence (flu) and start talking about Batman #40, Superman #39, Gotham By Gaslight and Black Panther.

As always, the Alex and Joe can be found on twitter respectively @karcossa and @jc_hesh if you feel the need to tell them they’re wrong individually, or @those2geeks if you want to yell at them together on twitter or email ItsThose2Geeks@gmail.com.

Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next week in the future!

Alex’s Best Of 2017

Now that 2017 is in the history books, it’s time to have a look back at some of the comics, movies and events that really stood out for me. These comics were all released this year, and in the case of a limited series if had at least two issues released this year (if a mini series began late this year but is scheduled to end in 2018, then expect to find it on next years list – if it’s any good). Remember that this is all based on what I’ve read, and if your favourite comic isn’t here, it may be because I may not have read it, not because I didn’t like it.

First up there’ll be your standard Best Of categories of Ongoing Series, Mini/One Shot, Single Issue, Writer, Artist, and Colourist. However, you’ll notice that the word “best” isn’t used, and that’s because I didn’t read everything this year – so I’ve gone with my favourites and subsequently awarded each at least one of either a Gold, Silver and Bronze medal.


Favourite Ongoing Series

The reason this is first is because honestly this was the easiest category to decide on as there really wasn’t a choice when it came to my most anticipated comic each month.

BSS_TPB_001_COVER_ROCAFORTGold
Bloodshot Salvation (Valiant) 
An absolutely gorgeously rendered series by Lewi Larosa and Mico Suayan, Bloodshot Salvation follows on from Jeff Lemire’s excellent Bloodshot Reborn series, with the writer being able to continue the story (after a bit of a time jump) while making the first issue very accessible for new readers looking to jump into one of Valiant’s flagship series.  The reason I picked this series is because of how excited I am to read every issue; the themes may be deeper and more intricate in some of the other series I’ve been reading, but there is no other series I look forward to reading as much as this one when it arrives in my inbox (and then once again when I get to pick up the physical copy).

Silver
Aquaman (DC) Had you asked me last year what would be on this list, I’d never have said that Aquaman would even be in consideration… but here we are. A series about inherited obligation, predetermined destiny and the usurpation of a king and his subsequent realization that he wasn’t the best king for Atlantis. So when Arthur Curry finds himself fighting for those far less fortunate than himself it creates a very interesting situation where Arthur Curry refuses to acknowledge his former identity, and has become the Batman of Atlantis; the Aquaman. The king is dead, long live the Aquaman.

Bronze
Ninja-K (Valiant) 
I wasn’t going to include this here because only two issues came out this year, but those two issues were phenomenal. Had there been more to read in 2017, I have no doubt this would have taken the gold. With no real prior knowledge of the character required to enjoy this, there’s no reason for you not to dive right in to this stylish action thriller starring everybody’s favourite British ninja spy.

 

Favourite Limited Series or One Shot 

There were so many great miniseries released this year, that it hurt me to only choose three. Alterna had some wonderful series, as did Image and Valiant, but in the end I had to settle on just three, and so I went with three shining examples of comics in 2017.

SW_HC_001_COVER_ALLENGold
Secret Weapons (Valiant) 
It’s no secret I enjoy Valiant’s comics, or at least it shouldn’t be. So when they put out a series based around a group of super powered rejects with powers that are effectively useless, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it wouldn’t work. And then you’d read it just to see the train wreck only to discover one of the year’s standout offerings. The second issue alone has a Sikh character, also with minor super powers, noticing people pointing at him and speaking in hushed whispers as he is attending class. Worried that people are mistaking him for a Muslim, and by extension a possible terrorist, he keeps his head down and leaves, only to be confronted by three thugs who don’t care about his appearance, only that he has powers. It’s a tense, and incredibly well written sequence that highlights just how much the creative team have to say. It’s a prime example of comics at their very best.

Silver
Voracious: Feeding Time (Action Lab) 
I could tell you so many reasons why you should read this emotional tale about a time traveling chef who hunts dinosaurs, whether it’s Markisan Naso’s fantastic dialogue or the wonderful artwork by Jason Muhr and colourist Andrei Tabacaru. I could tell you that comics like this are the reason you should pay attention to indie comics publishers, because if you don’t you’ll be missing out on some of the best stories  the year. But I won’t; instead, once again, I’ll tell you tell you all the reasons why you shouldn’t  read this:

Bronze
God Country (Image) A man suffering from Alzheimer’s becomes a god when he holds Valofax, the god of swords. The first issue of this series deals with the heartbreaking  reality of watching a loved one suffering with this horrible disease, before adding in a dose of space gods. The familial theme never leaves this series, regardless of the setting, grounding this galaxy spanning story remarkably well.

Favourite Single Issue

The top spot was never in question for me here, but the other two issues could have easily have been different if I was in a different mood when I wrote this. There were so many wonderful comics released this year that choosing only three was, once again, painful.

Voracious FT 3.jpgGold
Voracious: Feeding Time #3 (Action Lab) 
This issue set the bar very early in the year. The series was continually, and consistently, of a high quality in every aspect every issue, but it’s the third that was the high point with a superb interview sequence interspersed with one of the greatest two page spreads of the year, only to culminate in perhaps the most emotional scene in any comic as one character talks to another about  his fears that due to the altered timeline he may forget his wife ever existed. Without the context of the preceding issues, one would that the emotional impact of the scene would be lost. I assure you, it isn’t.

Silver
Batman #36 (DC) When Tom King is good, he’s really good. This issue sees him at his very best as he explores the friendship between Bruce and Clark and the admiration each feels for the other in an oddly touching way with each man talking to his significant other, who also show just how much they understand their husband or fiance. The action is almost secondary to the characterization – and I’m very okay with that.

Bronze
Ninja-K #1 (Valiant)
 What better way to start a new series about the history of MI6’s Ninja Programme than with a brief history taking up half an issue that doesn’t feel like a recapNinja-K #1 immerses you into its world with an effortless grace such as that you’d expect from the title character. As an introduction to the character, this is fantastic. Christos Gage doesn’t try to throw out the previous run, instead he briefly acknowledges that it happened in a way that doesn’t alienate new readers before plunging on with story itself. One of the very best first issues this year.

 

Favourite Writer

Three writers who produced the best comics of 2017, hands down.

Gold
Matt Kindt
Everything that Matt Kindt touched this year was a winner for me. I don’t think he penned anything less than a good issue in 2017, and his output reads like a recommendation list for getting people into comics. If you want to read a good comic, then grab anything by Matt Kindt. He will take you on an incredible journey no matter where you’re going.

Silver
Jeff Lemire
Another writer with a stellar output this year, the only reason Lemire landed in Silver was that I just didn’t click with his run on Moon Knight. But plenty of people did, and the comic was very well received; it just wasn’t for me. That said, the work he did for Valiant this year was second to none, as was Black Hammer for Dark Horse. Honestly, Moon Knight aside, I loved everything Lemire put out this year (that I read).

Bronze
Markisan Naso
He may not have been as prolific as other writers in comics this year, but he wrote the best issue I read all year. Pound for pound, he was the best writer in comics in 2017, and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us for 2018.

Favourite Artist

Art is always subjective, but the following artists were, in my opinion, three of the very best. Next year, I may move away from the gold/silver/bronze because choosing only three sucks.

Gold
Lewis Larosa
I… look I can’t tell you how amazing Larosa’s work has been this year, so I’ll show you a random page as an example. And when I say random, I took the first result of a “Lewis Larosa 2017” google search that was big enough to highlight what I needed.larosa 2017.jpg

Silver
Raul Allen & Patricia Martin
Their work on Secret Weapons alone earns them a spot on this list with a deliciously classic style and some incredible use of the page layout and the pacing of each issue they draw. This style is best experienced within a full comic, but there’s an example below.SW_002_004.jpg

Bronze
Mico Suayan 
Yet another incredible artist to whom words won’t do justice. Another random page, because everything Suayan touches is incredible.

BSRB_014_002.jpg

Publisher Of The Year

Gold
Valiant Entertainment 
In terms of output, there was maybe three comics Valiant VALIANT LOGOpublished this year that I didn’t love; they were still good, but weren’t ever candidates for this list. That’s three issues out of their entire line. On top of giving us the phenomenal Secret WeaponsNinja-K‘s stratospheric debut and two other incredibly solid titles in Bloodshot: Salvation and the relaunched X-O Manowar the publisher also made headlines with their tongue in cheek homage to the mid 90’s with the Quantum & Woody #1 variants, the number of which is mind boggling. Including a single issue second printing that made $1600 or so for the CBLDF. When I asked Valiant CEO Dinesh Shamdasani about that, he said that there were no spares created in case the second printing got damaged – had that happened then Valiant would have incurred costs to print another comic. This is a company run by people who are in it for the comics and the fans (and to make a buck), as is evidenced by the activity of Mr. Shamdasani and the Valiant staff on twitter with fans. Valiant genuinely seems to care about putting out quality over quantity.

Silver
Alterna Comics With a concerted effort to bring comics back to the masses, Alterna launched their newsprint line with prices topping out at $1.50. That’s all well and good, but if the comics aren’t any good, then they’re just selling kindling; fortunately, Alterna’s range of comics and miniseries were some of the most entertaining issues I read all year. You want stuff for an all-ages audience? Check. You want a creepy horror themed story? You’re in luck. Post apocalyptic survival? Yup. If you  committed to Alterna this year then aside from saving your wallet a beating, you would have read some fantastic stories at an amazing price point.

Bronze
Self Publishers No matter who you are, if you’ve decided to self publish your comics this year, then I tip my hat to you. I can only imagine the dedication it takes to ensure your story gets out to the public – whether that’s digitally or in print.

Movie Of The Year*

Logan
Hugh Jackman’s last hurrah as the Canadian mutant was better than I ever could have imagined. Not only was this movie my favourite of the year, but it’s probably my favourite movie of all time. I’m a huge Wolverine fan, and this was a perfect homage to the character without being bogged down by continuity or an attempt to follow a preexisting comic story to the letter. Everything about this movie was excellent; the acting, the story, the action and the finale. I couldn’t have asked for a better movie.

*for a list of my top five movies, check out an upcoming episode of Those Two Geeks.

 

The Moment That Had Me Grinning Ear To Ear

  • The release of Batman & Bill on Hulu. An incredible look at the crusade of Marc Tyler Nobleman to give Bill Finger, the co-creator of Batman, the credit he deserves after Bob Kane screwed him over more than 75 years ago. This heartbreaking documentary is powerful watching, and is a must for any fan of comics.

 


 

Well there we have it; a look back at some of the best comics that I read over the year. Agree, or disagree? Let me know!

Underrated: Voracious

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of Voracious_TPB_Cover_Vol1comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Voracious.


This week I wanted to take a look at a series that I think epitomizes what this column is about: a great comic book series or story that too few people have read. Published by Action Lab, Voracious is written by Markisan Naso and drawn by Jason Muhr, with the co-creators being joined by colourist Andrei Tabucaru, and can usually grab your attention with the shortest of descriptions: “time travelling chef makes dinosaur sandwiches.”

It sounds awesome, right? Well, that’s because it is.

In an ideal world, that’s really all you would need to rush out and buy the two trade paper back collections (Diners, Dinosaurs & Dives and Feeding Time), but it can be tough to buy two trades wholly on those words – I get that. I really do. Look, it’s no secret that Voracious is one of my favourite series to come out in the last couple of years (you can find the reviews for most of the comics in the two miniseries under this search),  and it’s one of the few that I’ll buy in floppy form after reading the review copies – and it’s the Voracious_TPB_Cover_Vol1only one that I also buy the TPBs as well.

You see, I put my money where my mouth is because Voracious is a wonderful breath of fresh air in an industry that has been choking on relaunches and rehashes; the five issues that make up Feeding Time are some of the highest scored comics that I have reviewed for Graphic Policy. Voracious does have an awesome elevator pitch, but that’s not what draws me into the series (though it certainly helped).

After only nine comics (technically ten, but the first issue was a double sized comic) Markisan Naso has become one of Those writers who has earned my complete and utter trust; I will probably buy anything that he puts out from this point on. Aside from having an excellent music taste, Naso has an ability to give a unique voice to his characters that when combined with Jason Muhr’s artistic ability allows you to understand all you need to know about a character within a page or two at most. Yes, there are deeper layers to the people you’re watching navigate their lives on the page, and they’re expertly revealed as the series progresses in a way that you’re never really subjected to an-out-of-left-field moment that takes you out of the story because of a character’s actions because of how well developed they are; you won’t be shocked at the actions of the people in the comic because it all seems so in character for them once you understand their motivations.

As with any well written story featuring time travel you hope the visuals measure up to the intricacies of the story, and oh boy do they ever.Voracious_02-8

Jason Muhr is a brilliant visual story teller; there are so many brilliant double page spreads where his talents shine, and yet some of my favourite moments are the ones where Muhr focuses in on the emotions playing across the face of the character he is drawing; obviously I want to avoid significant spoilers so I’m not showing you as many pages from later issues, which is a disservice to both you and Muhr because as the series progressed he really found his groove.

If you’re tired of reading about superheroes fighting each other and you want a story to take you across the emotional spectrum without the use of glowing rings then you need look no further. While the comic is about a time traveling, dinosaur hunting chef, it’s also a powerful look into what makes us who we are and how. It’s a story about mistakes and loss, and most importantly coping with those things.

Voracious is the best comic you’ve never read, so change that. I haven’t heard a singe person I’ve made read the book complain in anyway. This story is what comics are all about; a masterpiece of visual story telling that couldn’t be told any other way even half as effectively as it is in comic form.

Now, excuse me while I go and read both trades again.

If you want more Voracious, then you can check out the episode of GP Radio where we talked all about the dinosaur sandwiches with both Markisan Naso and Jason Muhr.


Unless the comics industry ceases to exist this week, Underrated will return next week.

Best Comics of 2016 – Alex’s List

Now that 2016 is in the history books (thank the fucking gods), it’s time to have a look back at some of the comics and events that really stood out for me, personally. These comics were all released this year, and in the case of a limited series if had at least two issues released this year (if a mini-series began late this year, then expect to find it on next year’s list – if it’s any good). Remember that this is all based on what I’ve read, and if your favourite comic isn’t here, it may be because I may not have read it, not because I didn’t like it.

First up there’ll be your standard Best Of categories of Ongoing Series, Mini/One Shot, Single Issue, Writer, Artist, and Colourist, then we’ll move on to a few other things I wanted to talk about.

Best Ongoing Comic

Last year I had a hell of a time with this one, so thankfully this year was much easier. Although I could have made a case for almost any of the comics listed below  (and, like last year I’m still wishing I had decided on a “top five” for this category without an overall winner), at the end of the day there really was only one comic that would end up here.

WRATH_003_COVER-A_LAFUENTEWrath Of The Eternal Warrior (Valiant) – The final issue came out in December, so technically this isn’t an ongoing anymore, and while I’ll miss the shit out of it in 2017, it sits in the top spot for 2016 (because it was an ongoing in 2016).  This was THE book of the year for me without question; although the first issue felt a lot slower than I expected, this quickly morphed into the one series I couldn’t wait to read. Robert Venditti has crafted fourteen of the most exciting, and compelling, issues about Valiant‘s immortal soldier I have ever read as he finds a way to have Gilad deal with death – and failure – in a way I haven’t seen anywhere before.

Venditti also built this series in layers as he dropped lines of dialogue and exposition in one comic that you’d be forgiven for missing, but once the inevitable pay off happened it was something special. For an action comic, Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior made you think quite a bit, and I loved every fucking moment (even the first issue after a reread six months later).

Honourable Mentions:

  • Faith (Ongoing) (Valiant) Narrowly missing the top spot, Faith has had a fantastic cast of artists joining Jody Houser all year, with each one bringing something wonderful to the table. This is a series that every comic fan should check out.
  • All-Star Batman (DC) Scott Snyder proves once more why he’s my favourite living Batman writer, and I actually enjoyed John Romita Jr’s art for the first time in a while.
  • X-O Manowar (Valiant) Another Venditti penned series, this had arguably the best concluding arc of any long running series I’ve read in a long time.

Best Limited Series or One Shot 

Voracious_02-1Voracious (Action Lab) I could tell you so many reasons why you should read this emotional tale about a time traveling chef who hunts dinosaurs, whether it’s Markisan Naso’s fantastic dialogue (and his recipes) or the wonderful artwork by Jason Muhr and colourist Andrei Tabacaru. I could tell you that comics like this are the reason you should pay attention to indie comics publishers, because if you don’t you’ll be missing out on some of the best stories  the year. But I won’t; instead I’ll tell you tell you all the reasons why you shouldn’t  read this:

Honourable Mentions:

  • Klaus (BOOM!But not The Witch Of Winter. That was fucking awful, and it’s better if you pretend it didn’t exist.
  • Divinity II (Valiant) 
  • Faith: Hollywood and Vine (Valiant) 
  • Batman / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (DC/IDW) All my childhood dreams came true with this six issue miniseries that I  was expecting to suck. It didn’t! It was actually really good.

Best Single Issue

FAITH_003_COVER-A_DJURDJEVICThere’s no honourable mentions because there was nothing remotely close to Faith #3:  (Valiant) for me this year. That’s #3 from the Hollywood And Vine  miniseries, not the currently ongoing series

There was never a question of this comic not being the best single issue of 2016, and its almost entirely down to the scene where Faith literally bursts from a closet. Everything about that sequence, from her internal monologue to the character’s reactions were just perfect. I still think about that moment nearly a year later, and it still sends chills down my spine.

Best Writer

Robert Venditti (Flash, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior, X-O Manowar)

I didn’t read a bad comic written by this man all year. Obviously, some were better than others, and I didn’t read everything that Venditti put out, but what I did read was always fantastic – and you’ve probably already noticed my love for Venditti earlier on this list.

Best Artist

faith_005_cover-b_hetrickMeghan Hetrick (Red Thorn, Faith)

In a year with some truly amazing artists putting out some beautiful work, from Juan Jose Ryp, Doug Braithwaite and Robert Gill for Valiant, to David Finch, Rafa Sandoval and Patrick Gleason for DC, it was relative newcomer Meghan Hetrick who made my jaw drop with every issue and cover that she drew. Her work on Faith is what sealed her in as my top artist of the year, although her cover to the 4001 A.D. Shadowman tie in is also superb, not to mention Red Thorn. There are few artists whose work I’ll buy regardless of the writer, but Meghan Hetrick is one.

Best Colourist

Jordie Bellaire (Pretty Much Everything)

If you read more than one comic a month this year then you have probably read a comic with Jordie Bellaire’s work. She is one of the most prolific colourists around, and yet her versatility shines with each and every comic. When Jordie Bellaire’s name is on a comic, then you know it’s going to look awesome – regardless of who drew it.

Most Depressingly Canceled Comic

Red Thorn (Vertigo)

Every year comics are canceled prematurely, but Red Thorn The series was great, but sadly the sales figures just weren’t there. Treat yourself when you have a chance and go check this out. You’ll find a wonderfully illustrated tale steeped in Scottish mythology quite unlike almost anything you’ll read this year.

The Comic I Wanted To Read But Never Did

The Vision (Marvel)
I have heard nothing but great things about the twelve or so issues of Vision, and yet for some reason, I haven’t picked it up even though I’ve heard it said that this is Tom King’s finest work from 2016. but it was never on my radar because of the characters and setting involved. Maybe I’ll check out the trades at some point.

Biggest Surprises

I) Ben Affleck Was A Fantastic Batman

I hoped going into the movie that Affleck would be decent, and I suspected he would be, but I never expected him to turn in a performance that went right into my top three Batman performances – that took me completely by surprise. The theatrical cut of Batman v Superman wasn’t quite as good as Affleck’s Batman, but because of his acting (and Gal Gadot) I left the theater feeling I’d got my money’s worth.

bruce waye affleck

II) Marvel Actually Finished Civil War II

After the amount of delays this series suffered, I wouldn’t have been surprised had Marvel just quietly shuffled the final issue or two off their publishing schedule. When the next event (and it’s prequel) Inhumans Vs X-Men unintentionally start before your Big Summer Event is over, you have to ask yourself whether anybody still cares about said summer even .

III) DC Rebirth Wasn’t A Stonking Pile Of Manure

I honestly had no faith the DC’s latest reboot would be anything other than a quick cash grab with at best mediocre titles. Thankfully, i was very wrong. While there were some average titles, good comics that weren’t for me and the occasional miss, for the most part I’ve enjoyed every comic under the “Rebirth” banner (and I’ve read them all for Graphic Policy’s Rebirth Review feature). In fact, the standouts for me came from characters I previously had no time for; Aquaman, Superman, Wonder Woman  and the Green Lantern Corp

The Moments That Had Me Grinning Ear To Ear

I) Bill Finger’s Byline

This was the single greatest thing to happen in the comics industry this year in my eyes; Bill Finger was finally acknowledged officially as having something to do with Batman’s creation, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Marc Tyler Nobleman.

moviescreen-grab

Regardless of my thoughts on the movie, seeing Bill Finger’s name here was fantastic.

II) Interviewing Marc Tyler Nobleman

I don’t know what I expected when I reached out to the man who inspired me to write about comics, but talking to him about Bill Finger was an absolute joy.

III) Having My Reviews Quoted On Comics

This year was the first time I saw one of my reviews quoted on the cover of a comic, and it was a moment that I won’t forget anytime soon (the comic was Red Thorn #3 if you wondered). Since then I’ve seen my reviews quoted on several Valiant comics, as well. It makes me grin every time.

 



 

Well there we have it; a look back at some of the best comics that I read over the year. Agree, or disagree? Let me know!

Listen to Markisan Naso and Jason Muhr Talk Voracious on Demand

On demand: iTunes ¦ Sound Cloud ¦ Stitcher ¦ Listed on podcastdirectory.com

JURASSIC PARK MEETS TOP CHEF! Haunted by the death of his sister, Chef Nate Willner has lost his desire to cook. Forced to move back to his hometown in Utah and work at a coffee shop, Nate’s life is quickly becoming a dead end. But when he unexpectedly inherits a time travel suit that takes him to the age of dinosaurs, Nate’s passion for cooking is reignited! Voracious is the critically-acclaimed comic series by Markisan Naso and Jason Muhr which is back with its second volume Voracious: Feeding Time.

Naso and Muhr join Graphic Policy Radio with host Brett who is joined by GP contributor Alex.

Markisan Naso is the writer of the critically-acclaimed comic book series, VORACIOUS, published by Action Lab Entertainment. He is also an editor and publishing expert who has managed and revitalized national publications such as Knowledge Quest and School Library Research for the American Library Association. An accomplished journalist, Markisan has authored more than 150 features in print and on the web, covering subjects as diverse as EF5 tornadoes, death metal and Superman. Most recently he wrote a tribute to the late Darwyn Cooke for The Comics Journal. Markisan has also edited over a dozen books, including The Anatomy of Zur-en-Arrh: Understanding Grant Morrison’s Batman and Voyage in Noise: Warren Ellis and the Demise of Western Civilization for the Sequart Organization. In his spare time he interviews comic book creators for his podcast, COLLOQUIUM. He loves kitties and metal.

Voracious_Vol.2_01_KS_VariantTo find out more about Markisan, visit his website, www.markisan.com. Follow him on twitter: @DarthSan and Facebook facebook.com/MarkisanNaso

Jason Muhr is the artist, designer and letterer for the critically-acclaimed comic book series, VORACIOUS, published by Action Lab Entertainment. He has also worked for Marvel Comics and Valiant Entertainment, and co-created the short story “Like Giants” with Mark Waid for Thrillbent. Jason has a decade of experience as a professional illustrator and graphic designer, providing companies with logo and concept designs, and art for products such as plush toys, remote-control robots, interactive games, garden accessories, pottery and candy. Prior to entering the art and design world, Jason spent six years on the retail side of the comic book market, as an assistant manager at the Graham Crackers Comics chain of Chicagoland comic shops.

To find out more about Jason, visit his website, www.jasonmuhr.com. Follow him on Twitter @JasonMuhr and Facebook facebook.com/jason.muhr.

Also follow the series on Twitter @VoraciousComic and Facebook facebook.com/VoraciousComic.

Markisan Naso and Jason Muhr Talk their comic series Voracious LIVE this Monday

GP Radio pic MondayJURASSIC PARK MEETS TOP CHEF! Haunted by the death of his sister, Chef Nate Willner has lost his desire to cook. Forced to move back to his hometown in Utah and work at a coffee shop, Nate’s life is quickly becoming a dead end. But when he unexpectedly inherits a time travel suit that takes him to the age of dinosaurs, Nate’s passion for cooking is reignited! Voracious is the critically-acclaimed comic series by Markisan Naso and Jason Muhr which is back with its second volume Voracious: Feeding Time.

Naso and Muhr join Graphic Policy Radio with hosts Elana and Brett who are joined by GP contributor Alex.

The show airs LIVE this Monday at 10pm ET.

Markisan Naso is the writer of the critically-acclaimed comic book series, VORACIOUS, published by Action Lab Entertainment. He is also an editor and publishing expert who has managed and revitalized national publications such as Knowledge Quest and School Library Research for the American Library Association. An accomplished journalist, Markisan has authored more than 150 features in print and on the web, covering subjects as diverse as EF5 tornadoes, death metal and Superman. Most recently he wrote a tribute to the late Darwyn Cooke for The Comics Journal. Markisan has also edited over a dozen books, including The Anatomy of Zur-en-Arrh: Understanding Grant Morrison’s Batman and Voyage in Noise: Warren Ellis and the Demise of Western Civilization for the Sequart Organization. In his spare time he interviews comic book creators for his podcast, COLLOQUIUM. He loves kitties and metal.

Voracious_Vol.2_01_KS_VariantTo find out more about Markisan, visit his website, www.markisan.com. Follow him on twitter: @DarthSan and Facebook facebook.com/MarkisanNaso

Jason Muhr is the artist, designer and letterer for the critically-acclaimed comic book series, VORACIOUS, published by Action Lab Entertainment. He has also worked for Marvel Comics and Valiant Entertainment, and co-created the short story “Like Giants” with Mark Waid for Thrillbent. Jason has a decade of experience as a professional illustrator and graphic designer, providing companies with logo and concept designs, and art for products such as plush toys, remote-control robots, interactive games, garden accessories, pottery and candy. Prior to entering the art and design world, Jason spent six years on the retail side of the comic book market, as an assistant manager at the Graham Crackers Comics chain of Chicagoland comic shops.

To find out more about Jason, visit his website, www.jasonmuhr.com. Follow him on Twitter @JasonMuhr and Facebook facebook.com/jason.muhr.

Also follow the series on Twitter @VoraciousComic and Facebook facebook.com/VoraciousComic.

Tweet your questions to @graphicpolicy and listen in this Monday at 10pm ET.

Voracious’ Creators Stop By And Chat About The Kickstarter For The Sequel

Voracious was one of the best miniseries released so far this year, and for me personally, it remains the one to beat in 2016. The series focused on a chef who discovers time travel, and using his new found ability, decides to make a dinosaur sandwich. There’s a lot more to the first four issues, and I highly recommend you check out the trade paperback (out now at your favourite comics retailer!) if that sounds even remotely interesting to you, because it’s twice as good as you’re expecting it to be.naso-muhr

The series creators, writer Markisan Naso and artist Jason Muhr, recently launched a Kickstarter to fund the production of the second series, Voracious: Feeding Time. I recently had a chance to  catch up with the two to  talk about the new series, and how things had been going over the summer for the two.

Note: Just before this interview was published, the Kickstarter was successfully funded.

Graphic Policy: So how’ve you guys been?

Jason Muhr: Good.

Markisan Naso: Been great! I just went to a place called the Metal Haven Grill here in Chicago to celebrate my buddy’s birthday. They sell metal records and make fresh, locally-sourced comfort food. Few things make me as happy as fried cheese curds and Slayer.

How are you doing, Alex?

GP: I’m good, thanks! It’s been a month or two since we last spoke, but the last time we did the two of you were heading to Wizard World in Ohio. How was that?

MN: The con was a lot of fun. It was great to do a show outside of Chicagoland for the first time, pitch the book to people in Columbus and make some new fans.

JM: It was a smaller show than we’re used to in Chicago, so it was nice for our little book to stand out a bit more.

MN: And after the convention we got quite a few messages from folks who took a chance on Voracious and told us how much they loved it. That was really nice to hear.

Voracious_Vol.2_01GP: You launched a Kickstarter to fund the second volume of Voracious, Voracious: Feeding Time (which, in the interest of full disclosure for our readers, I’ve backed). But now that you’re Comic Book Creators, I thought you guys would be swimming in money like Scrooge McDuck. That’s not the case?

MN: Ha! I know you’re kidding, but I’m going to answer this question seriously anyway! The vast majority of comic book creators don’t make anything near McDuck bucks unless they work on high profile gigs for Marvel or DC, they’ve established a huge fan base, or they’ve successfully adapted one of their indie books into a TV show or film. For creators like Jason and I who are working on our first series, there isn’t a lot of bank rolling in just yet.

We are incredibly fortunate to have a dynamic publisher in our corner like Action Lab, but we weren’t paid anything up front. That’s how it generally works with most independent publisher deals. We can potentially make a little money on the back-end, but that would only come after all the production, printing and marketing expenses are subtracted from the total revenue. We’ll find out in a couple months whether or not we make anything off the initial Voracious  miniseries.

A lot of people probably don’t realize that most indie comics creators operate at a loss. Jason and I create Voracious because we LOVE comics, and we think we have a great story to tell, but the fact is that we’ve paid for the series out-of-pocket for the last couple years. There are multiple expenses that we incur throughout the process, from Andrei’s gorgeous colors, to commissioning variant covers, to ordering books from Action Lab to sell, to attending conventions and signings. And Jason has to spend a lot of time drawing our series. He’s actually had to turn down some paid opportunities to illustrate Voracious.

We aren’t complaining about any of this, mind you. We would definitely do the same thing all over again because we believe in our story and we’ve dreamed about becoming comic book creators since we were little kids.

But we also realized we could ask for help with our production costs. That’s where Kickstarter comes in. Starting a campaign just seemed like a good way to cover some of the expenses for Voracious: Feeding Time. We aren’t looking to pay ourselves at all with our campaign and we don’t even expect to recoup all our front-end costs. We’re just hoping to reduce them. Thanks to a lot of generous people it looks like that will happen.

GP: The response to the Kickstarter has been pretty good, to say the least – did that catch you by surprise?

MN: Oh definitely. Jason and I had never done a Kickstarter and we were honestly pretty worried about getting it funded. Even though the first issue of Voracious sold out at the distributor and we’ve gotten good buzz for the series, we just weren’t confident that we’d be able to get enough backers to support our weird, little comic book. We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who’s pledged in the first week. We just have a little bit more to go to make our goal. Hopefully we’ll earn a few more supporters and get over the hump soon. Then it’s on to the stretch goals!

JM: And, aside from hand-selling issues at cons and receiving nice messages on social media, we didn’t really have a grasp on how many people embraced us and our work. Voracious reaches shop shelves and then it’s out in the cold, dark world, hopefully selling itself. So the Kickstarter was really a nice way to interact directly with fans and see how much they were digging what we’re doing. We were nervous all the pledges would be coming from our parents, but the fans really came out to support us, and it blew us away.

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Page 3 of Feeding Time

GP: The sneak peaks of the first issue you’ve posted on the Kickstarter page look fantastic.

JM: Thank you.

MN: Yeah, thanks for saying that, Alex. Jason and Andrei have really taken the art and colors to another level in Voracious: Feeding Time.

GP: I know the first issue takes place in the setting you’ve shown, so I was wondering how exciting it is to get to explore more of the Voracious universe?

MN: We are having a blast doing this new series! Jason and I have been looking forward to getting to this chapter of the story since before we even started working on the very first issue of the first series. When I pitched Voracious to Jason, I told him there were really two hooks – a chef who travels back in time, kills dinosaurs and serves them in a restaurant in the present; and the huge twist that happens at the end of #4. So now we get to explore what the consequences of that big reveal are for Nate, Jim, Starlee and the rest of the cast. And we get to introduce some new characters in a completely different setting. It’s a lot of fun to bring it to life.

GP: For readers who have yet to read the first series, are they able to start with Voracious: Feeding Time?

MN: The short answer is yes. Kinda. Let me explain. Voracious: Feeding Time is a continuation of our story and I’d definitely recommend reading Volume One first before diving into the new series. Our book was designed to be a finite, ongoing without breaks. That’s the way we pitched it. However, Action Lab thought it would be better for us to do a series of miniseries. Putting out a new #1 helps with sales and with maintaining order numbers at the distributor, which have to reach a certain level every issue for a series to continue being solicited. For an indie book that is important.

Voracious_TPB_Cover_Vol1But all that said, a new reader can actually pick up Voracious: Feeding Time #1 and they won’t be lost at all. The story is told from the perspective of characters who debut in that issue. They know nothing about Nate, Jim, Starlee, Maribel or the other Blackfossil townies who were introduced in the first series, so the story is told from their perspectives. The reader learns about what’s happening as the new characters do.

JM: Plus, there is a nice recap on the inside front cover of the first issue. If people do want to catch up first, many of the Kickstarter reward levels include the Vol 1. trade paperback, both physically and digitally, so we’re making it as easy as possible to hop on board.

GP: What’s your timeline once the Kickstarter is over in terms of getting Feeding Time into readers hands, and on the racks?

MN: Assuming we hit our goal, the Kickstarter will end successfully on October 4th and very shortly after that we’ll be sending out PDFs of Voracious: Feeding Time #1, a full two months before the book debuts in comic stores and on ComiXology. The issue is already finished. In fact, we’ve finished four of the five issues.

Here’s an exclusive for you, Alex… our first stretch goal will be a digital rewards package that includes the Feeding Time #1 PDF, my script for the issue, wallpapers, Jason’s original thumbnails for the issue and maybe more.  So, if we hit stretch goal #1, everybody gets to read the digital book two months early.

The physical rewards will ship sometime in December, the month that the first issue officially hits the stands.

GP: Do you have plans for any of the clothing-based rewards to become available after the Kickstarter is over?

MN: Maybe. We will print the shirts and aprons in lots of 20 or 25 most likely. Depending on the number of pledges and the number of add-ons people select, we may have a few extras lying around. I suspect those will probably be gifted to family members or maybe we’ll use them as contest giveaways, which is something I’ve been thinking about. There won’t be many extras because these rewards are Kickstarter exclusives for folks who are kind enough to support us right now. We do have some ideas for other T-shirts and merchandise that we may pull the trigger on at some point. If we do, we’ll take them on the road with us and make them available at our online store.

We will probably have some of those gorgeous prints by Jason and Andrei left over. The print is limited to 100 copies and each one will be hand-numbered and signed. We plan to print all 100, so if we don’t sell out of them on Kickstarter we’ll make the rest available after the campaign ends.

GP: You have another convention appearance coming up, eh?

JM: Yeah! We’ll be at the Madison Comic Con on Sept. 18 in Wisconsin. It’s a one day show. We’re really looking forward to meeting comics fans and talking about dinosaur lasagna in a new city.

GP: It’s been a pleasure chatting with both of you, as always. Thanks for your time!

MN: Thanks so much Alex. Always great to talk with you too!

JM: Thanks Alex!

Preview: Voracious, Vol. 1: Diners, Dinosaurs and Dives

VORACIOUS, Vol. 1: DINERS, DINOSAURS AND DIVES

Writer(s): Markisan Naso
Artist Name(s): Jason Muhr
Cover Artist(s): Jason Muhr
128 pages/ Rated M / FC
$14.99

Haunted by the death of his sister, NYC Chef Nate Willner has lost his desire to cook. Forced to move back to his tiny hometown in Utah, Nate’s life is quickly becoming a dead end. But when he unexpectedly inherits a time travel suit that takes him to the age of dinosaurs, Nate’s passion for cooking is reignited!

With a little help from his knife-wielding Grandmother Maribel, and friends Starlee and Captain Jim, Nate opens a restaurant that secretly serves dinosaur meat. Can he survive long enough to make it a success and turn his life around? Collects issues #1-4 of the hit Action Lab: Danger Zone series, VORACIOUS.

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