Out of the Blue is a comics anthology published by Stache Publishing in 2014 that has left readers wanting more. The first volume collected some fine stories under the umbrella theme of strangeness. Now, Stache is back for a second round with Out of the Blue: Volume Two. This volume will be horror themed and the stories will have a scary slant with twist endings. Stache Publishing has announced a call for short works to populate the anthology and preference will be given to works and creators with no previous publication.
Having an anthology championed by a supportive small publisher allows contributors to have their work made available through both the online marketplace and in print, as well as directly to fans at conventions and local comics shops. To find out what is up with this anthology we spoke with Corey Fryia, who is returning as an editor on the book.
Seth Ferranti: What is Out of the Blue about?
Corey Fryia: Last year we partnered with Statche Publishing to produce Out of the Blue: A Collection of Strange Stories. As the title would lead you believe, this book was an unusual assortment of thirteen strange stories that transcend the ordinary. Contributors included New York Times bestselling comic creators, winners of the Eisner and Ghastly awards, and more. Thankfully, the book was extremely well received and we’ve been given the opportunity to produce a follow up.
This follow up book, which we jokingly call “Out of the Blue 2,” will be created in the same image as the first volume, but instead of just strange and unusual shorts, we’re looking to collect a group of strange shorts with a scary edge. If you enjoy reading bizarre horror stories around the campfire then this book will be right up your alley.
Ferranti: What is your role on the graphic novel?
Fryia: The talented Marta Tanrikulu and I share co-editor roles on Out of the Blue and we’re very fortunate to have an extremely supportive and involved small publisher like Stache Publishing to aid us along the way.
Ferranti: How did you get involved with Stache?
Fryia: I actually met Marta Tanrikulu through a Facebook group for indie comic creators called Small Press Commandos. She expressed an interest in compiling a book full of completed comic shorts that “didn’t have a home” or weren’t necessarily available to the public whether that be digitally or in print. I offered to help her in the process and, a year later, here we are doing a second volume of Out of the Blue. Marta spearheaded the effort to get Stache Publishing involved and we both couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out.
Ferranti: What is your history with comics and editorial?
Fryia: Technically, I’m more of a writer by trade, but I also enjoy taking a step back and assuming the role of an editor from time to time. As a writer, I’ve contributed work to a number of small press anthologies, including Steampunk Originals Vol. 8 from Arcana Studios. I also have plans for launching a Kickstarter later this summer to help fund a project that I’ve been working on for the past several months which is tentatively titled “The Unworldly Adventures of Dr. Crowe.”
Ferranti: What are you looking for in submissions for Book 2?
Fryia: When it comes to scary stories or just horror stories in general, I personally prefer more classic horror like something you might find in the pages of Creepy. We’re also looking for stories that have unique twist endings, but this isn’t necessarily a requirement. Generally, if you have a scary comic short that you feel is well written, has quality art and needs an audience – we’ll definitely take a look. We’re very open to welcoming any and all submissions in an effort to produce the best book that we possibly can.
Ferranti: Where can people send their submissions?
Fryia: We’re asking that interested parties submit a low-resolution version of their short as an attachment or secure link to firstname.lastname@example.org. If the work was previously published or accepted for publication, please state where. A short creator bio is also requested when submitting. Submissions will be accepted between July 10 and July 31st.
Ferranti: When do you plan on releasing the book?
Fryia: The plan is to have the book completely wrapped up and ready for readers by Halloween 2015.
Ferranti: What do you like about working on comic books?
Fryia: Without getting in to too much detail, my favorite aspect of working in comics is the idea of world building. I enjoy taking character and placing them in a world that just doesn’t exist in our day-to-day life. I’m fascinated by the amount of effort it takes to create something like George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice and I strive to one day be able to even comprehend how he did it.
I’m also a big fan of collaborating with other creative people and creating comics is by far one of the most collaborative mediums out there. When you really find somebody who clicks and understands your story, seeing it come to life in every stage of the process – whether that’s the pencils, inks, colors, letters, etc. it’s incredible to watch it come to life. And then having a chance to place that in the hands of a reader and seeing how they react? I love every minute of it.
Ferranti: What comics do you like or read?
Fryia: There isn’t really one type of comic that I’d say dominates what I read. I’m all over the board currently. For example – I really dig what Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have done with Batman since the New 52 re-launch, I’m head over heels in love with Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples’ work on Saga, and what Frank Barbieri and Chris Mooneyham do on Five Ghosts blows my mind. I also thoroughly enjoy what Marvel has done with their new Star Wars books. Ultimately, I tend to gravitate towards creator-owned books. Image has a great crop books right now from a slew of my favorite creators. I’ll read anything Joshua Williamson writes these days. That guy is on fire.
Ferranti: What inspires the work that you do?
Fryia: Perhaps it sounds cliché, but I draw inspiration from the stuff I grew up with, I’m huge Star Wars fanatic, so I feel like there’s always a little bit of Star Wars in every single thing that I write. I also grew up watching classic westerns with my grandfather; so western elements tend to bleed into my work from time to time…especially in my dialogue. Outside of that, things that catch my eye in video games, movies or other comic books usually give me an initial idea and then I just run with it.
You can find more information about Corey Fryia’s work on his website: www.coreyfryia.net. You can follow him on Twitter @CoreyFryia. For more information about Stache Publishing, check out http://www.stachepublishing.com.
Seth Ferranti writes for VICE, The Fix, Don Diva and other media outlets. He runs www.gorillaconvict.com, www.thegr1nd.com and has 8 true crime books out, one of which, The Supreme Team, is now being adapted into a graphic novel with Stache Publishing.