Z2 Comics, best known for publishing the graphic novels Escapo, Fear my Dear, Cleveland and Henni, is getting into the periodical business with three new titles. The announcement was made in the Washington Post where publishing Josh Frankel expanded on his plans noting, “There’s no house style, but these days there’s no need for a house style,” he said. “There’s a diverse audience of readers out there waiting to discover the next big thing in comics. We think this could be it. ”
“Being able to offer readers new stories from incredibly talented creators is really gratifying, and will also help Z2 Comics continue to grow,” Frankel told The Post’s Comic Riffs. “Serializing comic books is a great model for a smaller publisher, allowing us to pay all the artists and writers a livable page rate for their creator-owned comic books, which helps me sleep at night.”
“As a publisher, our job is to find ways to get our stories into the hands of readers, across multiple platforms, working closely with our distribution partners,” Frankel said. “There’s so much excitement for comic books right now, and comics readers are more diverse than ever before. It’s the perfect time to launch three equally diverse titles.”
The addition of a new creator owned line of periodicals s a pretty bold move in today’s market, but as we just pointed out, this industry needs more options.
Here’s the full line-up, with an exclusive look at the Welcome to Showside cover:
WELCOME TO SHOWSIDE by Ian McGinty
Following his stint as artist on the BRAVEST WARRIORS comic book, Ian McGinty will publish his creator owned debut as a writer/artist with Z2 Comics. WELCOME TO SHOWSIDE features the adventures of Kit, a lovable kid with a monstrous secret: his dad is the Great Shadow King and he wants Kit to take over the family business of destroying the world.
“Kit is a fun-loving dude who wishes he didn’t have a care in the world,” said Ian McGinty. “But as much as he wants to skateboard, eat rad food, and hang with his buds like any kid would, well, his father is the Shadow King, Ruler of the Nexus, and that means sometimes Kit and his friends have to defend the town of Showside from ghosts, demons and monsters.”
CARVER by Chris Hunt
After an absence of five years, globe trotting and notorious gentleman of fortune Francis Carver returns to Paris in 1923. He has come back to aid Catherine Ayers, the wife of a wealthy Parisian socialite and the only woman he has ever loved. Her daughter has been kidnapped by the leader of a crazed anarchist gang, a man named Stacker Lee. In order to bring the girl home, Francis will have to crawl through the underbelly of the city while confronting the demons of his past, before being faced with a final choice: succumb to the man he has become, or take that mask off and be the hero he always wanted to be.
“CARVER is my homage to CORTO MALTESE,” said Chris Hunt, “I’m bringing a modern edge and sensibility to classic, serialized adventure storytelling, starting with the first storyline CARVER: A PARIS STORY.”
ALLEN: SON OF HELLCOCK by Will Tracy, Gabe Koplowitz, Miguel Porto
Allen is cowardly, directionless, and less physically menacing than a daffodil. He’s also the only son of the mightiest hero ever to plunge his sword hilt-deep into the dark heart of evil… the mighty HELLCOCK! Enjoy the ride as Allen is thrust sword-first into a not-so-classic fantasy quest that, frankly, he would rather just sit out. ALLEN: SON OF HELLCOCK is the comic book debut of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver writer Will Tracy, co-writer Gabe Koplowitz and artist Miguel Porto.
“ALLEN: SON OF HELLCOCK has it all: washed-up sorcerers and swordsmen, terrifying horse-donkeys, sensitive ogres, fashionable elves, ornery minotaur landlords, an exceedingly polite retired despot, a black-hearted but oddly lovable villain, and an idealistic young woman who’s the only one with any brains,” said Will Tracy.
“Uh, don’t forget Allen,” said Gabe Koplowitz.
“Did you mention the horrid horse-donkeys already? Oh god… the horse-donkeys…” said Miguel Porto.
Disclosure: Just to be upfront, Z2 and The Beat have partnered on several events in the past, and they are an occasional client of my consulting company.