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Writer Eric Hobbs made his bones last year with The Broadcast, a graphic novel about neighbors gripped by the panic caused by Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds broadcast. This week sees the release of a new graphic novel, Awakenings, penciled by Gabe Pena. Awakenings is a supernatural cop story set in a future version of New York City and featuring a cop who is accused of murdering his own son. Hobbs self-published Awakenings as a black-and-white comic before it was picked up by Arcana, so I asked him to tell me a bit about his experience with self-publishing and the evolution of the story.
Brigid: The Broadcast was my introduction to your work, but I know you actually wrote Awakenings first, and actually self-published it with black-and-white art. Can you tell me the story of how that happened and how it worked?
Eric: Awakenings has been a long, long time coming. I think I wrote Awakenings about a year before Broadcast so it’s kind of crazy to see it hitting stands a year after Broadcast was released.
Basically, Awakenings came into existence because a friend introduced me to comics and I quickly decided I wanted to get involved as a creator. Most people are shocked to hear this, but I started writing Awakenings about a month after picking up my first comic. I fell in love with the medium that quickly and wanted to do something right away.
Anyway my friend and I were going to do it together but that fell through so I started looking online for an artist to bring on board. I eventually found an incredibly talented penciller in Gabe Pena, and the thing just kind of took off from there. I brought on an inker and a letterer and just slowly started to teach myself the business of comics publishing.
Unfortunately, my enthusiasm for the project wasn’t nearly enough to make up for the fact that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing as a publisher. Even though we had a book that was getting great reviews and moving a good number of units each month—I was barely making enough to pay the print bill let alone everyone I had promised page rates to. We put out four great issues, but I put myself in so much debt I had to shut down production. I had to move back in with my parents. It was … it was kind of a crazy time.
Welcome to What Are You Reading?, where the Robot 6 crew talks about the books that made it off our “to read” piles and have moved on to greener pastures. This week our special guest is J. Caleb Mozzocco, who blogs regularly at Blog@Newsarama and on his personal blog Every Day Is Like Wednesday.
To see what Caleb and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …
As I was looking through the items on display at the NBM booth at ALA, the cover of The Broadcast really caught my eye. Written by Eric Hobbs and Noel Tuazon, it’s a story about how one isolated community faced the panic started by Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds broadcast—not realizing it is a hoax, four famlies come together for safety but the enemy, as is so often the case in these stories, comes from within.
Hobbs has just posted a scene from the story at the NBM blog, and it makes for powerful reading. There’s a bit more here. I enjoyed Tuazon’s art in Red Plains, so I’m really looking forward to this one.