Axel-In-Charge: Navigating the "Civil War II" Landscape, Bringing DMC to Marvel
Off the top of my head, I cannot recall the tale of a hero told from the perspective of a corrupt cop. But in Nightwatchman (Kickstart Comics), the new 96-page graphic novel from the writing team of MarcBernardin and Adam Freeman, that’s exactly the kind of story you get. To mark the Dec. 5 release of the book, the writers spoke with Robot 6 about their collaboration with artist Javi Fernandez.
Tim O’Shea: How long has this story been rolling around in your respective heads?
Marc Bernardin: It’s been on the runway for a while, one of those ideas that we loved but only had the kernel of. It needed time to ferment, like so many of these things do.
Adam Freeman: You know there’s something to an idea when it keeps rattling around up there. If you can’t shake it you have to explore it or it will drive you crazy.
On Wednesday, Kickstart Comics (not to be confused with Kickstarter) will release Duplicate, the new graphic novel from writer Mark Sable and artist Andy MacDonald. The publisher describes the project as follows: “A seemingly ordinary family man sees his doppelganger and realizes he’s a clone. But not just any clone. A duplicate of the world’s deadliest secret agent. A decoy designed to spend time with The Agent’s family and otherwise provide cover while the spy is off saving the world.”
In addition to answering my questions about Duplicate, Sable was kind enough to share a slew of exclusive unlettered preview pages, which you will find at the end of the interview.
Tim O’Shea: Given that your publisher Kickstart is not one of the Big Two, I was pleasantly surprised to see they have priced your 88-page original graphic novel, Duplicate, at $8.99. Are you hoping the price point will give indie-comics fans more incentive to give the story a try?
Mark Sable: I hope most readers will check out the book for my story or Andy MacDonald’s art, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hope that the price point would be an extra reason to take a chance on the Duplicate. It’s Kickstart’s first foray into a full-size OGNs after doing digest-sized books like Rift Raiders (my previous OGN for them with Julian Totino Tedesco). I think in an economy like this, with 20 page single issues costing $3.99 or more each, having a complete story arc for $8.99 is our chance to compete with value as well as quality.
Welcome to another installment of “Food or Comics?” Every week we set certain hypothetical spending limits on ourselves and go through the agony of trying to determine what comes home and what stays on the shelves. So join us as we run down what comics we’d buy if they only had $15 and $30 to spend, as well as what we’d get if we had some “mad money” to splurge with.
Check out Diamond’s full release list if you’d like to play along in our comments section.
If I had $15, at least $9 of it – okay, $8.98 – would be already spoken for. The first issue of Batman Incorporated ($3.99) and one-shot lead-in Batman: The Return #1 ($4.99) offer up the first glimpses of what Grant Morrison has in mind for his new Batus-quo and, after the way he brought the RIP/Return of Bruce Wayne storyline to a close, I’m pretty much on board no matter what. The remaining money…? It’s a tough one, but I’m going to go for Spider-Girl #1 ($3.99), pretty much because I like Paul Tobin’s writing, I like the Twitter gimmick (Somewhere, Joe Casey’s going “I did it first in Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance!” and I know, Joe), and, most importantly, the Spider-Girl short was my favorite part of last week’s Amazing Spider-Man relaunch issue. Who could’ve seen that coming?
Jimmy Palmiotti has been a lot of things in the world of comics: inker, publisher, editor, writer and even journalist and interviewer at times. A veteran inker who transitioned to writing and editing, back in the late 90s and early 2000s he and Joe Quesada helped turn around then-beleaguered Marvel Comics giving the publisher a new style and swagger. But when Quesada became Editor-In-Chief, Palmiotti famously decided to jump back into the freelance world and carved out a niche for himself as a go-to writer for superhero titles and also a strong voice in independent comics.
Fast forward to today, and he’s riding high on the success of his longest running series ever, DC’s Jonah Hex, is doing some editing for publishing newcomer Kickstart, and has a bevy of projects on both sides of the Big Two on the verge of announcement. But despite his success as writer, or perhaps because of it, his name is often bandied about as a viable candidate for top jobs at both Marvel and DC — but as of yet, Palmiotti continues to freelance. Why? That’s because he likes it.
Variety reports that Kickstart Comics, an imprint of Netter’s film and TV company Kickstart Entertainment, will be overseen by prolific writer/artist Jimmy Palmiotti and AiT/PlanetLar owner Larry Young. The Hollywood trade also said the company has already entered into distribution pact with several major retailers, including Walmart, to produce at least 24 new books over a year. The initial plan is to release four books a month for six months starting this fall.
“This is a way to introduce comic books to a broader audience,” Netter told the trade.
Read the full story over at Variety for more. As they say, this one is developing …
Update: I asked Young about the announcement, and he responded: “At AiT, we’ve worked with Jason at Kickstart for many years. Loved shooting the NOBODY pilot for ABC Family up in Vancouver with him, and we have very similar sensibilities when it comes to graphic novels, so I’m really looking forward to helping the Kickstart team bring a mainstream entertainment experience to comics.”
And from Palmiotti: “I have been working with Jason and Samantha for years since they sold Painkiller Jane to sci-fi and have been writing books for them as well like Back to Brooklyn, and Random Acts of Violence. They asked me to freelance edit some books for them and help them along the way and its been great ever since. I am still writing for them, as well, they are out selling my properties like The Pro and Ballerina and we have enjoyed a great working relationship together.”
Update 2: Here’s the company’s website, which features preview art for upcoming books like Bombhead by B. Clay Moore and Kevin Mellon; Mirror, Mirror by Joshua Williamson and Lee Moder; and Hero Complex by Adam Freeman, Marc Bernardin and Javi Fernandez.