UPDATE: Just added the press release with a lot more info below.
Worth noting: Rich Buckler, who is contributing to the issue, once sued Fantagraphics for libel back in the day. Who says time doesn’t heal all wounds? Actually it’s his son, Rick Buckler. The Beat regrets the error.
It’s not April Fools Day! According to EW, in March Fantagraphics is launching a line of superhero comics, All Time Comics, with Josh Bayer (Raw Power) heading it up as writer. Other contributors to the line include industry veteran Al Milgrom, co-creator of Firestorm, Noah Van Sciver and Ben Marra. Johnny Ryan and Jim Rugg are among the variant cover artists. And the final work of Herb Trimpe will be included.
All Time Comics : Crime Destroyer #1 will be first up, going on sale at the end of March, 2017.
The supersized issue will introduce the four main characters of this shared superhero universe: Atlas, Bullwhip, Crime Destroyer, and Blind Justice, each of whom will be getting their own individual series. As proof of the line’s blending of eras, this first issue will feature the final published comics work of the late Herb Trimpe, a Marvel veteran of the Lee/Kirby era who helped co-create Wolverine.
Each issue, Bayer promises, will feature a new unique mash-up of different cartoonists.
“All Time Comics is celebration of independent comics and the best of pulpy superhero comics of the past,” Bayer tells EW. “We are making a circle complete. This is also a period when comics seem to be in danger of being eclipsed by movies and video games, and All Time Comics is here to remind people that comics, not movies, not action figures or toys, that started our cultural obsession with superheroes. All Time Comics is us, and we stand for comics. Comics are not fading. They will stand… for all time.”
This seems to be a mash-up of Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth’s early (very early) interest in superhero comics, and the current “new action” esthetic in comics as exemplified by Bayer, Marra, Rugg and others.
It’s also a throwback boys club that proves just how far comics have come….not. Tsk tsk, boys. Haven’t you heard the news? Girl cooties are allowed around comics now and even superheroes! If Katie Skelly doesn’t get to controbte to this line, there is no Crom.
Anyway, regressive (in 2016? NO!) politics aside, this looks colorful and brutal.
Oh here’s the press release with a lot more info:
Each issue of ALL TIME COMICS features a mash up of new cartoonists and classic comic book creators collaborating with writer Josh Bayer to unleash superhero stories that no other publisher would dare to publish: a stunning series of six comic books featuring startling stand alone, interconnected adventures chock full of retro crime fighting. The launch title, ALL TIME COMICS: CRIME DESTROYER issue 1, is a 36 page oversized spectacular featuring the wonderful writing of Josh Bayer, the irresistible inks of Ben Marra, and the last art by legendary artist Herb Trimpe, who co-created Wolverine. The first issue also features covers by acclaimed cartoonists Jim Rugg (STREET ANGEL) and Johnny Ryan (PRISON PIT). Upcoming issues of ALL TIME COMICS feature art by Rick Buckler (VIXEN 9), Ben Marra (TERROR ASSAULTER: O.M.W.O.T.), Al Milgrom (co-creator of Firestorm), Noah Van Sciver (DISQUIET), and more.ALL TIME COMICS is the joint venture of the Bayer brothers: Josh Bayer, an underground comics artist and teacher, and acclaimed mainstream director Samuel Bayer, who launched his career 25 years ago with Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video.
“There’s an alchemy to the Bayers’ editorial vision that is undeniably exciting, and I’ve gotten a genuine charge out of their enthusiasm for ALL TIME COMICS,” said Fantagraphics Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds. “In a market flooded with crass attempts to cash in on Hollywood’s interest in superheroes, ALL TIME COMICS is that rare project motivated by a sincere appreciation and affection for the creators behind the creations.”
“ALL TIME COMICS is both an expression of affection for the books that shaped our lives, and a link to a pre-internet time when comic book culture was more precious and rarefied. It originates from a lifetime of research and our devotion to the comics medium,” says Josh Bayer. “This project is a chance to work with not only acclaimed independent figures like Noah Van Sciver and Ben Marra, but to spotlight superstars of the field like Al Milgrom and Herb Trimpe. I see ALL TIME COMICS like an Obelisk: something that can be admired but with a greater significance beyond itself. It stands for all comics.”
“I am so excited by the combination of writers and artists that we have working on ALL TIME COMICS,” says Sam Bayer. “We’re bridging generations of creators — veterans from the 70’s with contemporary creators — to make comics that are retro cool.”
In addition to featuring the last art by Wolverine co-creator Herb Trimpe, ALL TIME COMICS features the first work of veteran artist and industry legend Al Milgrom since 2014. “It’s exciting to be a part of this new publishing venture, All Time Comics,” says Milgrom, “Independent comics have a raw energy and enthusiasm that pushes the comics envelope. I’ve really enjoyed inking BULLWHIP and BLIND JUSTICE and I’m looking forward to this old dog learning some new tricks!”
ALL TIME COMICS is a shared superhero universe featuring four heroes: Atlas, Blind Justice, Bullwhip, and Crime Destroyer.
“Working with Sam and Josh on ATC was about as close to a dream comic-book project as I could ever hope to be a part,” says artist Ben Marra. “Since I was young I’ve been a fan of superhero comics. I’ve always wanted to draw superhero comics. Working on the character designs from the ground up, then being able to collaborate with comic book legends, artists I’ve looked up to since I was a kid, Herb Trimpe and Al Milgrom, was an incredible experience.”
“Sam came to me with the foundation of the characters already laid out,” says Josh Bayer. “I was able to start coming up with details like Atlas’ origin and backstory, Bullwhip’s villains and supporting cast, and a lot of Blind Justice’s story, which I’m maybe the proudest of. I was inspired by details of Bill Mantlo’s life after I read that that he lived in a head trauma center for years after his comics career was ended by a hit and run driver in 1992, I made up the Optic City Center for Cranial trauma Victims as a base of operations for Blind Justice. I also brought in a lot of stuff that fascinated me about the 1980s into some of the stories, basing supporting characters The Misogynist and Candy Chryssalium on figures from 1980s culture, since the whole concept of ATC is about folding time back on itself, trying to go back to right some wrongs, and do things over the way I think comics should be done.”
The oversized first issue of ALL TIME COMICS: CRIME DESTROYER issue 1 will retail for $4.99, and subsequent standard size issues will retail for $3.99.
Keep up with the newest Crime Destroyer, Atlas, Blind Justice, and Bullwhip at http://www.fantagraphics.com/a
lltime1/ Follow ATC via Twitter at @alltimecomics and via Facebook @ALLTIMECOMICS. Don’t miss the most talked about superhero event not published by a corporate conglomerate when the adventures of the world’s most fanta*stic heroes begin in March 2017!
ALL TIME COMICS: CRIME DESTROYER #1
Josh Bayer (story); Herb Trimpe (pencils); Ben Marra (inks); Jim Rugg (cover) + Johnny Ryan (cover); MARCH 2017
ALL TIME COMICS: BULLWHIP #1
Josh Bayer (story); Ben Marra (pencils); Al Milgrom (inks); Das Pastoras (cover) + Tony Millionaire (cover); APRIL 2017
ALL TIME COMICS: ATLAS #1
Josh Bayer (story); Ben Marra (story, pencils, inks); Das Pastoras (cover); MAY 2017
ALL TIME COMICS: BLIND JUSTICE #1
Josh Bayer (story and pencils); Rick Buckler (pencils); Al Milgrom (inks); Victor Martinez (cover); JUNE 2017
ALL TIME COMICS: CRIME DESTROYER #2
Josh Bayer (story); Ben Marra (story, pencils, inks); Das Pastoras (cover); JULY 2017
ALL TIME COMICS: BLIND JUSTICE #2
Josh Bayer (story); Ben Marra (story); Noah Van Sciver (pencils); Al Milgrom (inks); Das Pastoras (cover); AUGUST 2017
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.