Max Landis' New Comic, "Green Valley," Presents a Fantasy-Free Tale of Knights and Redemption
In a perfectly timed revival, the webcomic Black Cherry Bombshells is back from the grave.
The horror strip, about violent girl gangs fighting to survive in a future where every man has been mutated into a flesh-eating zombie, was originally serialized from 2008 to 2010 by Zuda Comics. After DC Comics shuttered the imprint, Black Cherry Bombshells remained available through comiXology.
Artist Paul Maybury‘s latest collaboration (with writers Johnny Zito and Tony Trov), D.O.G.S. of Mars, is poised to be released on May 2 by Image. This 120-page/$15.99 story, pitting Captain Zoe and the Mars Base Bowie crew (at Earth’s first Martian colony) against nocturnal monsters, marked Maybury’s return to long-form work since 2008’s Aqua Leung (and was originally released digitally by Comixology in 2011). We discuss it–and he was kind enough to share some preview pages (as well as video showing his process inking some of the pages). After you read this interview, be sure to check out the interview that my Robot 6 boss, JK Parkin, did with the creative team, back in January 2011.
Tim O’Shea: This project originated on Comixology back in January 2011–was it always important to you to see it released in the traditional sense (via Image) or would you have been fine if it had remained as a digital release only?
Paul Maybury: It was definitely a personal goal of mine. I think Comixology is a great format, but it’s definitely hard to stand out under the creator-owned section. There had been talk about going with another publisher that was cautiously approaching the idea, but wasn’t completely sold. Somewhere around the release of issue three I decided to send a pdf copy out to a few trusted people and one of them was Erik Larsen over at Image. I wasn’t really looking to get it published over there, but Erik really took the time to set me back up with Stephenson, who I hadn’t spoken to in a few years. In the end it feels pretty comfortable as Image has been publishing my work here and there since the Belle and Sebastian anthology back in 2004.
Some say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but martian dogs — well, that’s another story.
Over the past few months, a group of Zuda alums have released a new four-issue series titled D.O.G.S. Of War direct to digital on the comiXology platform. Described as a mash-up between space drama and Lord of the Flies with a big dose of horror, the series recently concluded online, but it’s not done yet.
Artist Paul Maybury is currently prepping the book for a collected print edition due out in 2012. In addition to fine-tuning the colors, Maybury is going back and elaborating on some scenes. Readers can go back and buy the original digital version for just $3, or wait til 2012 for the deluxe print edition.
Here’s a trailer a fan cut together (with an awesome David Bowie soundtrack) to clue you in more on the series:
Following the Green Lantern “fan comic” they wrote earlier this year, Dogs of Mars writers Johnny Zito and Tony Trov have created another fan comic, this one a “love letter” to Stephanie Brown and Kara Zor-El. It features art by Brazil’s Aluisio Cervelle Santos
“‘World’s Finest’ is a love letter to the ol’ DCU and two of our favorite characters,” they wrote in a press release. “Reboots happen, we’re OK with that, but Stephanie Brown and Kara Zor-El were pretty cool and we wish we had more time with them.”
The eight-page mini-comic can be viewed on Flickr.
Just in time for the big movie, Moon Girl and Dogs of Mars scribes Johnny Zito & Tony Trov teamed with Azure creator Daniel Govar and letterer (and colorist and artist in his own right) Gabriel Bautista to produce a “fan comic” starring Green Lanterns Hal Jordan and John Stewart. Click that last link to go check it out.
(Also note the other summer movie homage the story includes in the image above).
A project that I recently became aware of is Moon Girl, written by Tony Trov and Johnny Zito with art by The Rahzzah. Moon Girl (originally created back in the 1940s for EC Comics by Max Gaines, Gardner Fox and Sheldon Moldoff) was relaunched by Trov and Zito back in 2010 (after the property entered the public domain) via Comixology. More recently the Moon Girl has begun being published by Red 5 Comics–and Moon Girl 2 (of a five-issue miniseries) is slated to come out this Wednesday. As detailed by CBR back in early 2010: “Masked vigilantes wage a psychotic war against 1950’s bourgeois; it’s The Dark Knight meets Mad Men. Clare is a Russian Princess happily exiled to New York. When enemies from the past threaten her new life, the repressed Warrior Queen fights back. In the media her secret, nocturnal adventures are attributed to a mysterious hero; Moon Girl.” To get some perspective on the uniquely named artist‘s role in creating the series, we recently did an email interview.
Tim O’Shea: Your name is rather unique, what’s the backstory on your name?
The Rahzzah: Nothing interesting. It’s a hold-over from my “band days” where we all had nicknames. It began as Razz Matazz, got shortened to Razza. Then I had a lady friend who pronounced it “Rahzzah” and I liked that so I just started spelling it phonetically (plus I like the symmetry of it). And Rahzzah it stayed for a good long while, until Johnny Zito came along and decided it wasn’t good enough as-is and threw a “The” in front of it for some reason.
Johnny Zito and Tony Trov, writers of Black Cherry Bombshells and Moon Girl, along with Christian Weiser and artist Paul Maybury (Aqua Leung, Party Bear), are teaming up with High Treason Pictures to tell the story of Zoe, “the swashbuckling captain of Earth’s first Martian colony. Isolated on the farthest frontier of civilization, order breaks down when unfamiliar hostiles invade. Zoe faces mutiny, death and dishonor; she must sacrifice her humanity if she hopes to survive.”
I spoke with Paul, Johnny and Tony about the new project, D.O.G.S. of Mars, due later this month. Like Zito and Trov’s Moon Girl, the comic will be released digitally via comiXology, with plans for a film down the line. Thanks to Paul for an exclusive look at some pages from the project; for more, check out this video he created.
JK: What is D.O.G.S. of Mars about?
Johnny: It’s about astronauts marooned on Mars and hunted by monsters. It’s like Lord of The Flies and Star Trek.
Paul: So far it’s about surviving as far as I know. This might sound stupid but I haven’t read the script past what I’ve drawn. This is less an action packed Monster book than a study of the character’s humanity in my opinion. I know roughly that characters die, but it’s more interesting to draw them scene to scene not knowing their fates. I feel like this creates an honesty and an interest in each character as I draw them that I might not have if I know they happen to be a throw away character that gets killed three pages later. Like I said, that probably sounds pretty stupid.
Tony: We like to describe the project as being in the genre of space-ploitation.
Editor’s note: As a part of Robot 666 Week, we welcome guest contributors Johnny Zito and Tony Trov, writers of Black Cherry Bombshells, Carnivale De Robotique, Moon Girl and the upcoming D.O.G.S. of Mars.
by Johnny Zito and Tony Trov
Zombies are kind of our thing. So, in honor of Halloween we conducted an informal survey on Twitter to determine what the most effective zombie killing weapon might be.
We received some pretty unique answers including katana swords, monster trucks, bear traps and “kindness.” Taking the top five suggested methods of murder, death and mayhem, we then looked to pop culture for help ranking them by body count.
The results are reflected in the graph below:
The same rigorous, scientific research also proves that while just about anything can kill a zombie, only one thing makes them hilarious:
To participate in more horror related polls that’ll be transcribed into grossly inaccurate infographs, please check out SOUTH fellini.
Although most fans probably know Comixology as the company at the forefront of bringing other company’s comics to the iPhone, the iPad and the Web, they’ve also been producing their own digital comics for distribution across their various platforms. Joining Moon Girl and Box 13 is a new comic called D.O.G.S. of Mars, which will be released in January.
Johnny Zito and Tony Trov, writers of the Zuda strip Black Cherry Bombshells and Moon Girl, along with Christian Weiser, are teaming up with High Treason Pictures to tell the story of Zoe, “the swashbuckling captain of Earth’s first Martian colony. Isolated on the farthest frontier of civilization, order breaks down when unfamiliar hostiles invade. Zoe faces mutiny, death and dishonor; she must sacrifice her humanity if she hopes to survive.”
High Treason hopes to release the D.O.G.S. of Mars comic in anticipation of the film, which is scheduled for production next year. The comic will be drawn by Paul Maybury, artist of Party Bear and Aqua Leung, with covers by Rhazzah.
High Treason Pictures’ previous films include Bigger, Stronger, Faster and Neil Patrick Harris’ The Best and The Brightest.