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Exclusive preview: Oni Press’ Power Lunch

You might have heard the phrase “power lunch” and thought of a business meeting over food, but with the word “power” in it weren’t  you hoping for some more … fun?

J. Torres and Dean Trippe rescue the phrase from its stuffy business origins and turn it into a action-packed grade-school drama. If Captain America is a super-soldier due to his superpowers, then Power Punch‘s Joey would be a super-student!

Trippe has described Power Lunch as “elementary school superheroin’ w/snacks”, and that’s just the half of it. Joey gets different superpowers depending on what he eats, from flight to invisibility and even some earth-shaking powers. To keep himself out of trouble he sticks to a strict dietary regimen, but as young kids are wont to do — sometimes they break the rules, especially when it can impress their friends.

An advance read of the book gave me a real thrill for this young-readers book, so look for it when it hits shelves in October. The creators have provided an exclusive five-page preview of the book, which you can check out after the break:

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One man’s Tweet is another man’s comic

Look, everyone thinks their kid is cute. But we all can't be right. So somebody got the ugly baby.

J. Torres is a pretty prolific comics writer, with credits that include Alison Dare, Lola: A Ghost Story, Wonder Woman, Jinx, and the Degrassi: Extra Credit graphic novels. Now even his Tweets are being turned into comics, thanks to Eric Kim (Love as a Foreign Language). The two are collaborating on Twit, a single-panel gag strip based on Torres’s Twitter feed. There are just three comics up so far, but already a theme has emerged: Torres is the father of a new baby, and that has factored into all three episodes. The humor is pretty good, and Kim’s deft art makes these comics easy on the eye, so stay tuned for more Twitter funnies.

Talking Comics with Tim | Matthew Loux

Salt Water Taffy (Vol. 4): Caldera's Revenge

Salt Water Taffy (Vol. 4): Caldera's Revenge

Back in April, writer/artist Matthew Loux released the fourth volume in his all ages Salt Water Taffy series for Oni Press, Caldera’s Revenge (Part 1). This installment (as detailed by Oni): “Part 1 of Jack and Benny’s first multi-volume adventure! The boys are having a hard time reading The Hidden History of Chowder Bay, given to them by Captain Hollister. So when a spooky whaling ship appears in the bay, it’s no time at all before the boys abandon the tome and find themselves in the middle of the action, searching for the fiercest whale that ever lived: Caldera!” The advantage of an interview like this is the fact that back in June 2009 Loux and I discussed the early days of Salt Water Taffy for Robot 6–and this second go-round allowed me to consider Loux’s work then and now (when developing my questions). Thanks to Loux for his time and thoughts. As happens periodically with these discussions, Loux has a question for his readers at the end.

Tim O’Shea: The most recent volume (Vol. 4/Caldera’s Revenge) of Salt Water Taffy was the first part of a two-parter tale (to be completed with Volume 5). Was there any trepidation on your part to do a two-parter split between two volumes, or in fact are you hoping it will draw readers even more into the story than if the two volumes were standalones?

Matthew Loux: When I was working out the story for Caldera’s Revenge I had originally figured it to be one volume like the previous three Salt Water Taffy‘s, but once the script was finished and I started laying out pages, I quickly realized that there was no way I could fit it all and still do the storytelling justice. We were faced with the option of doing a larger book and breaking from the original format, or splitting it into two. I was in favor of keeping the original format and doing two books instead of one. Luckily I was able to end Caldera pt. 1 on a really nice cliffhanger which became a perfect place leave off, and it will be a great spot to pick up again in Caldera pt. 2. Even though I didn’t originally write the story with that in mind, I think It works extremely well for both books.

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Better than a motion comic: J. Torres fan film

YouTube user haiku132 created a short, sweet fan film from J. Torres and Tim Levins’s short comic How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love John Byrne. It’s simple pan-and-scan, but the music and pacing are just right. Take two minutes to enjoy it.

(via J. Torres’s blog)


Preview from upcoming Oni GN ‘Dead Goombas’

Characters from 'Dead Goombas'

Cartoonist Tom Williams let me in on a little secret: his next big project. Coming next year from Oni Press is a new graphic novel titled Dead Goombas. Written by J. Torres, the artist William describes it as a B-movie horror dramedy with the tone of the John Landis’ film Innocent Blood except with zombies.

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Interview: J. Torres updates Jinx

The original Jinx gang, as visualized by Fernando Ruiz

The original Jinx gang, as visualized by Fernando Ruiz

One of the more intriguing pieces of news to come out of Comic-Con was that the Archie folks are bringing back the venerable cute-kid comic Li’l Jinx, but with an older Jinx and a fresh new look. Even better, the comic is being written by J. Torres (Alison Dare, Lola: A Ghost Story). The series will go direct to digital in four 22-page issues and then see print as a trade paperback.

Not only did J. take time to talk to me about the new comic, but the Archie folks provided some exclusive character sketches of the new, more grown-up versions of Jinx and her friends. Hit the jump for comics and conversation.

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