Cartoonist and Judge Dredd writer Ulises Fariñas is one of the most vocal comics industry insiders advocating for creators’ rights. Now he and Magnetic Press are partnering to turn those words into action through Buño, a new publishing imprint independently curated and operated by Fariñas and Storme Smith.
According to the press release, Fariñas started Buño “because we want to make this industry better. I’m a Latino creator, I’m Cuban American, I’m Cuban/Afro-Cuban, I’m a lot of things, and I want to not just hear publishers talk about diversity, I want to be that diversity, and I want to make that possible for others as well.” Described as “an indie publisher and a half,” Fariñas says Buño’s partnership with Magnetic Press will allow many traditionally small self-published works to reach a much wider audience “all around the world.”
There are currently three titles on the fledgling line’s slate. The first book, Light, will be written and illustrated by Rob Cham. Cham originally published LIGHT through the Filipino imprint Anino House, but through Buño, it will be available for the first time in the west. The book releases in September 2016 and is described as follows:
“LIGHT [is] a silent, original graphic novel written & illustrated by Rob Cham. Light is a silent graphic novel that follows a pair of adventurers from a black & white world as they embark on an epic quest to collect five magic gems of color from deep inside the earth and bring them to the surface to return color to the world. Their perilous journey through torch-lit darknesses takes them to vibrant secret caverns, endless passages, crystal-clear waters, and encounters with strange beasts, dangerous creatures.”
Fariñas and his frequent collaborator Erick Freitas (Amazing Forest, Judge Dredd) are co-writing Cloudia & Rex. The book will be illustrated by Daniel Irizarri of Prophet fame. In an interview with Fariñas, which will be released on The Comics Beat this Wednesday, Cloudia & Rex was described as a story inspired by the classic Captain Marvel comics– except it involves spiritual faiths and gods from all around the world. It is described as follows:
CLOUDIA & REX is a lushly rendered supernatural fantasy that follows two girls and their mother who find themselves in the middle of a vast, supernatural exodus. On their journey Cloudia is bestowed the powers of hundreds of different gods, but even those don’t help her come to terms with the death of her father.
Finally, Buño will publish The Guardian Force Design Manual, which is characterized as a “meta-fictional art and design book” that is written and drawn Fariñas and inked by Mike Prezzato. It is a love letter to the Sentai and Tokusatsu genres of television, best exemplified by shows like Ultraman and Power Rangers.
Packed with Fariñas’ signature style of endlessly detailed art; the book presents a staggering array of strange technologies, bizarre monsters, and towering super-suits. THE GUARDIAN FORCE DESIGN MANUAL seamlessly blends fiction with real-world design history, functioning as both an artistic timeline for a vibrant fictional world, and a showcase for the lineage of design in the Sentai and Tokusatsu genres.
“Buño is a silly made-up word, and it really reflects the kind of content we want to publish,” said Fariñas. “We’re going to publish comics that are fresh and unexpected. We are going to make the kind of books you can make when you have 100% creative freedom.”
Stay tuned to The Comics Beat all week as we feature more exclusive content on Buño, including interiors from two books on Tuesday and an interview with Fariñas which will be released on Wednesday.
Alex is the New Media Editor of the Comics Beat. He is also a freelance comics editor with previous credits at First Second, Top Cow, and Papercutz. He primarily covers DC Comics and Magic: the Gathering.