Do you remember when you fell in love with comics? Some people just enjoy the movies and television shows, and that's fine -- but they come from a source material that multiple people worked on for impossibly long hours at a time, trying to create something otherworldly. They're the people that are responsible for our endless debates online on which superhero would win in a fight, or why Spider-Man is simply the best!
WHAT EXACTLY IS AFTERSHOCK COMICS?
I was lucky enough to have a conversation with Mike Marts, Editor-in-Chief at AfterShock Comics. He worked as an editor at Marvel and DC for a little over two decades, and he's not slowing down anytime soon with recent releases that include: Alters, Animosity, Black-Eyed Kids and InSEXts just to name a few. Through this piece you find what comic book sent him on his path to becoming one of hottest up and coming comic book publishing company in the world. Also, insight to the most anticipated comics AfterShock Comics has to offer, and you won't believe the talent they managed to have working on their books in such a short time since starting out.
He is one of the few comic book publishers that are creator-owned, and he's drawing top-tier writers like Tim Seeley (Nightwing), Mark Waid (Avengers), Warren Ellis (Injection), Amanda Connor (Harley Quinn), Garth Ennis (Preacher) and many more.
Yeah, we’re very excited with such a great group talent – on both the writing and the artist side—and some of the people I’ve worked with for years and some with my partner, Joe Pruett, has worked with for years - what I would called a ‘Murderous Row’ – and at the same time giving a great voice to the next generation of talent – Marguerite Bennett, (Tim) Seeley, that might have only been doing it for a year, but are the superstar veterans of tomorrow.
Furthermore, during his time at DC, he found what he really wanted to do while working on the Caped Crusader's line during the runs of Grant Morrison and Scott Snyder's:
When I was working In DC Comics managing the Batman Publishing Line I really got a taste for the editorial work and a lot of the other aspects, the job of a comic book publisher, the various aspects of the overall company dynamics. That was everything from basic editorial work, to managing a group of editors, to doing marketing work, forecasting the budget analysis. And to me it was such a fascinating part of the job. I started to really think about starting a company fresh – from the ground up. It grew each year as I grew in experience and the opportunity with AfterShock presented itself to work with such great creators.
Now, their first comic to publish online was Replica by Paul Jenkins. Later, he brought Alters to AfterShock — it's about a transgender character named Charlie, who's going through more changes than just being hunted by a madman named Matter Man.
Another project we did with Paul, when he brought us Alters to read, and what a special project it was to Paul, and what it meant for him. And how he really wanted to see this project come to life – we were one hundred percent behind this project, and we appreciate all the attention it's receiving.
Lastly, have you heard of The Walking Dead? Well, they started from a creator-owned comic book publishing, and blossomed into one of the biggest pop culture sensations in recent history, even though it's technically not a superhero story. Animosity and InSEXt are gaining traction on Twitter, and they're easily one of the hottest books according to CBR. This separates them from Marvel and DC. For anyone that wants to get in the comic game, it's hard not to be inspired how Marts talked about the respect he has for creators:
I think it’s important for company like AfterShock to offer up a lot different comics for people to read, then it’s also very important for a creator-owned publisher to exist so that creators can have a place to feel comfortable, safe, protected, undisturbed, and to stay true. That’s the type of company we are – we’re creator focused, we want people to come in and tell their stories. We’re strong enough as a publisher to offer insight and input, but at the same time respect the creators by getting out of there way.
SHOULD YOU READ AFTERSHOCK COMICS?
Hopefully, this isn't the first time you're hearing about the popularity of these comics when they're soaring with each additional release. In a simple answer, yes. This is meant for the mainstream in the same way it's meant for the comic-book fan.
Read any site dedicated to comics and you'll start hearing about Alters. One of the reasons is how one could be pleasantly surprised by the way it'll make the consumer feel after finishing reading the first issue. When Chalice (or Charlie) was in their superhero attire, and during work, a familiar superhero sprung into mind -- Spider-Man. Charlie feels extremely awkward at work, mainly due to his best friends attempt to woo the opposite sex, and pretty sure he doesn't know about Charlie's transitioning. Lastly, he has a really odd home life, and then she has some amazing zingers during her superhero outings.
AfterShock Comics have been in the game a little over a year and already amassed the talent that's usually reserved for a company that would probably have quite a few more candles on their birthday cake. After speaking with Mike Marts, it's not hard to see why -- he understands what it takes to make a successful company with over two decades of experience at the big two! Let your creators create, and you're there to support them. That's why we love comics, you let ideas that would usually never fly on the big screen or television run wild, and you see where they take you.
HEY, HERE'S A LIST OF ALL OF AFTERSHOCK COMICS WHEN YOU'RE READY TO CHECK THEM OUT ON AFTERSHOCKCOMICS.COM, AND A FEW COMICS WRITTEN BY THE BEST THE IN THE BUSINESS.