Santa Must Die. Join the Execution.


Like dark humor?

RED XMAS: O HOLY CRAP! is a 56-page, perfect bound comic book collecting the first two issues of the series Starburst Magazine calls, “Brilliant reading whatever the time of year.”





“When Mrs. Claus dies in a tragic toy accident, Santa sets out to make all those little brats pay. Now, a Santa-skeptic FBI agent must team up with her wannabe-elf ex-husband to save their son–and Christmas!”






Read more

The Greatest Comic Book Covers #1 – Action Comics #1

Geek Genie kicks off its new regular series looking at the Greatest Comic Book Covers with the one that started it all…Action Comics #1!.


It’s an iconic image for an iconic figure. Superman crashed through the front cover of Action Comics #1 in June 1938 and forever changed the comic book landscape. It ushered in the age of the superhero and laid the foundations of a pop-culture war between DC Comics and eventual rival Marvel Comics.

Joe Schuster’s iconic cover captured the sense of wonder, awe and terror as a yet unknown Superman delivers a fantastic display of power.





The sheer rawness of the cover, with no words or text other than the cover title, added to its power. Even the title, Action Comics, leaped from the page in a new, bold and exciting style that has now become synonomous with the character.


The science fiction influence on the creation of Superman is well documented but what influenced the cover art? According to Christopher Knowles, author of Our Gods Wear Spandex: The Secret history of Comic Book Heroes, there is a mythological influence found in the art piece Hercules Clubs the Hydra by Antonio del Pollaiolo. We don’t know for certain, however it would be fitting that one mythology would inspire another.


And just as the character himself has inspired other creators to create their own “Supermen”, so too does the cover art still influence and inspire modern comic book artists. Several “homage” covers, even from the old enemy over at Marvel, testify to the enduring legacy of that seminal moment in comic book history. From The Amazing Spider-Man to Spawn, the first Action Comics cover is still a reference point for all that work in the medium.




Read more


With the forthcoming release of Image Comics’ “Paradiso”, Geek Genie caught up with rising creative star Ram Venkatesan to get the low down on this eagerly anticipated release.

Can you introduce yourself and the rest of your creative team?
Sure! I’m Ram Venkatesan. I’ve been writing comics as ‘Ram V’ since 2012. I started off by writing an ongoing series called Aghori, back in India. I self-published a graphic novel called Black Mumba in 2015 after moving to the UK. I also occasionally write prose short stories which have appeared in anthologies and e-publications. My most recent projects are the upciming Grafity’s Wall with Unbound and PARADISO of course, with Image Comics.
Dev’s a long time collaborator of mine. He’s a self taught artist from India who’s been in love with the medium as long as he can remember. Dev’s work has appeared in comics by Graphic India, in Nightbreed and Adventure Time from BOOM! studios. Dev also worked on two of the stories  in BLACK MUMBA.
Dearbhla Kelly is the colourist and designer on the book. She’s also an illustrator in her own right. Apart from PARADISO she’s also working on DC’s Michael Cray.
Aditya is the letterer of PARADISO and many many other books. He’s done stellar work on titles such as BLACK CLOUD, DRIFTER, MOTOR CRUSH and far too many excellent books to mention.
And I want to mention my friend and architect Rajiv Bhakat who originally conceived of PARADISO with me and still consults on the book in his capacity as a urban designer and architect.

How did you guys get together for Paradiso?
Rajiv and I first came up with the Idea for PARADISO long before I had begun writing professionally. Back then, it was a hobby and we wrote short stories and vignettes to give shape and structure to the world. By 2015 Dev and I had met and worked on a few things. We were just about wrapping up the last story in Black Mumba when I suggested we work on something longer. We agreed to create a pitch for PARADISO and see where that went.
Aditya and I had also met while working on Black Mumba. He lettered 3 out of 4 stories in that book and has pretty much lettered everything I’ve done since. We initially started the project with colourist Alex Sollazzo on board but a little after the pitch had been picked up, he had to step out due to unavoidable circumstances. I’d just started getting to know the Irish Comics Scene back then and I’d found Dearbhla’s work. It had commonalities with Alex’s painterly style that I thought would seamlessly fit in with the work we had  already done on the pitch pages.
There you go, that’s how we all came together. Mostly relationships built over time, struggling together to make comics. And a little bit of good luck, because I’ve really got the best people to work with, here.
The artwork is amazing! How much license did Dev and his team have to dream up the visuals in the book?

It’s a difficult question for me to answer. My scripts are pretty tight in that I do tend to describe the visuals and often give visual directions on the script as well. But, then again, my collaborators know that these are more suggestions than anything else. They know I trust them to take my scripts and change and bend and warp things to let them do the best they can. This is especially true with Dev. We really brainstorm through all the pages and often, things change a lot from the script. It helps that Dev and I are usually on the same page. And I’d like to think that I’m the kind of writer that scripts for his artist.
Dev’s work is just amazing in any case. I doub’t the guy could draw a bad page if he wanted to. So, it’s easy to script for someone like that!
Please tell us a bit about Paradiso. Set the scene for potential readers.

Paradiso is only truly dystopian in that there is certainly a sense of a world gone wrong. But beyond that it isn’t trying to make commentary on the future of humanity. It’s not trying to be oracular or didactic in anyway. The post-apocalyptic world really provides a lens with which we can look at characters under duress. And I’d like to think that Paradiso, eventually is a story about the resilience of life, human or not.
In terms of the practicalities it is quite distinct from Blade Runner or Mad Max. This isn’t really a futuristic society, in that people have lost touch with most of the technology that exists around them. But neither is it the kind of society we see in Mad Max. Technology is not lost. It’s still there. The city herself still exists and is functioning. There’s power and magic still running in her veins. But human understanding of technology has gone backward and so everything ancient is actually futuristic. Everything technological is to an extent magical and mysterious.
Tell us a bit about the main characters?
There’s quite a few and I’m not going say which characters become important or if they’re antagonists or protagonists. There’s Jack Kryznan of course. The young man with a haunting memory from his past who shows up at the border to Paradiso with the Pneumas, trying to get in. There’s Noira, whom he meets at The Bunks in Aquarius. She seems nice at first, before she decides to betray him, that is. Then there are the Guardians – Cyborgs that wander the city of Paradiso, getting up to their own mysterious machinations. Of these, we meet Dandy and Honeybad to begin with. They’re pretty important to the story, of course.
There’s more you’ll meet in Issue #2. They’ll all change and pick up bruises and scars as the story unfolds. Good ones will turn bad. Bad ones will turn good. They will all go through hell. The ones that survive will never be the same!
What themes does the story attempt to explore?
The sentiment at the heart of Paradiso is one that is entirely human and common to us all. It’s the search for meaning. And, it layers over all the narratives that we’ll follow as the story of PARADISO unfolds. The survivors contending with their new reality are looking for new meaning to their lives inside this living city. The cyborg Guardians are looking for meaning to their existence, outside of serving the function that they were meant for. The city herself, once inanimate, now immortal, trying to understand the meaning of her life by looking at the people who live within her. That, in particular, is a beautiful contradiction in a sense. How can a thing we made, an intelligence we constructed, ever comprehend the meaning of her existence if we could not comprehend the meaning of ours? But I want to be careful not to come off as trite. I don’t have answers, I don’t think anyone does. I think these are the kind of answers you find for yourself by observing people and life. Which is what the story does!
Image Comics has always been synonymous with innovation and diversity, how important do you think it is to have an Indian voice telling us new stories?
I do think it’s very important. And part of the reason I’m so excited to have this book out at Image is that I’ve always found their editorial choices to be very eclectic and encouraging of new and distinct voices. I grew up in India reading fiction that was largely written as a part of the American or European canon and I loved every bit of it, but I know what it’s like growing up without representation. With there being very little in common between my reality and the fiction that I was reading. In the world we live in today, I think it is a travesty to not have and encourage stories from diverse voices.
Every so often is there is talk of a lack of original stories and how all fiction is recycled over and over. I’d argue that it isn’t. Image has been at the forefront of new and original content for as long as I can remember. And I can see why.
Geek Genie is huge supporter of creator owned projects and supports independent comic books. What advice do you have for aspiring creators looking to bring their stories to life?
On the creative end of things, my advice to new creators would be to tell original stories. Something only you can tell. Something that carries a bit of your DNA in the writing, drawing and the telling of it. If we only aspire to produce fiction that is inspired by other fiction, how can it be anything but a paler reflection, mired in nostalgia and/or mimicry.
On the craft and graft end of things. Always remember, you can make things happen. Don’t wait to be discovered. Don’t sit around hoping for that big break. Decide if you want to be a creator or if you want to be ‘known’ for being a creator. There is difference. Just tell your story, Make your book. Be uncompromising when it comes to quality. Find collaborators who believe in the project and it might take longer and it might be harder to finish. But do it. There is nothing more freeing, encouraging or empowering than the realisation that you decide what happens to your endeavours.
Paradiso is published by Image Comics and will be available on release on 6th December, 2017. Order your copy today!
Read more

The Indie Index – Interview with Campbell Whyte

For those who aren’t aware of you or your work, please introduce yourself.

My name is Campbell Whyte, I’m a Perth [Australia — Mike] based comics maker. I’ve been making work for a long time, small mini-comics, card games, picture books, exhibitions and all kinds of other things. Home Time is my first, large scale comics work. When I’m not making comics, I work at the Western Australian Museum where I develop visitor engagement activities. I also run the children’s art school Milktooth with my wife Elizabeth Marruffo where I teach comics making.

My work is often about the intersection between personal memory, popular culture and place based history. I try to make works that are fun, playful and ask a lot of the reader.
You’ve had solo and group art exhibitions all over the world and received various grants and awards. In your artistic career, thus far, what has been the most surreal moment for you?
The most surreal moment? I had this exhibition about 7 years ago called New Perth. It was this series of paintings, sculptures and wall works that told the story of a fictional, post-mining boom, artist led revolution that occurred in my home town. It was really grueling, finishing all the work in time for the opening, while working a day job and being a new father. For the week leading up to the opening, I was starting to get really sick and working in a fugue state. I wound up getting so sick, that I couldn’t attend the opening, I had to stay home in bed in a fever dream. My wife sent me pictures from the exhibition, so I kind of remember the whole experience through those photos.
What creators are impressing you at the moment?
I am currently finding deep meaning in the works of those around me at the moment. The creators I connect with and whose works speaks from a similar place as mine. There’s something profound in knowing the person who makes the work and of labouring side by side with them.
The person who impresses me the most and has for as long as I have known her is my wife, Elizabeth Marruffo. She is an incredible creator who is making brave and sensitive work in a hostile world. My work, Home Time, would not have been possible without her.
Furthermore, there are two groups that I need to acknowledge. The first is the Comic Art Workshop, that I just got back from spending two weeks with in Indonesia. It’s a group of mostly Australian comics makers who come together every two years in a different, far-from-home location to workshop huge, ambitious and crazy projects. The workshops are life changing, powerful and reaffirming. Everyone who takes part are not only super talented storytellers, but they are also real gems of people: Pat Grant, Max Loh, Sanchia Hamidjaja, Nicky Minus, Sam Wallman, Owen Heitmann, Eleri Mai Harris, Chris Gooch, Sarah Firth, Thi Bui, Josh Santospirito, Mirranda Burton, Georgina Chadderton, Leigh Rigozzi, Fionn McCabe, Elizabeth MacFarlane.
The other group, is the Comics Maker Network, that I run locally in Perth. It’s a monthly get together for people who are creating incredible comics in this little, isolated pocket of the world. We share skills, stories, tales of woe and celebrate triumphs. These are just some of members: Sarah Winifred Searle, Hien Pham, Soolagna Majumdar, Alyce Sarich, Bodie Hartley, Samantha Ee.
Home Time was released recently via Top Shelf Productions, how did Home Time get noticed?
It got picked up by Top Shelf through a strange set of circumstance.
I had been submitting the project to publishers in Australia for a little over a year. The book is set in Australia, I’m an Australian author, it’s my first book, so I thought it would make sense to keep things local.
The submission consisted of around 60 pages of finished art and scripts of the rest of the chapters. None of the publishers I had approached were really keen to sign the book for a variety of reasons. Some had concerns that the shifting art style would put readers off. Others felt it was too big an investment for them to make on a first-time author. A few publishers wanted to see another 60 pages of completed art before they would commit to it. One publisher even thought that the fact the story was set in Perth was too niche.
IDW was holding a portfolio review at the Perth Supanova. I didn’t really think my project, or my work, was quite the right fit for them, but figured I’d go along anyway. It’s not often that international publishers make their way to Perth. I had my friend Luke Milton book me a spot on the schedule and I brought my work in. Ted Adams, the CEO of IDW was running the sessions. We had a good chat about my work, he was lovely and encouraging, but we ultimately agreed that it wasn’t really a right fit for what they were doing at the time. Ted offered to pass my work on to a friend of his. I figured he was just being polite and thanked him for his time.

A few days later, I got an email from Chris Staros of Top Shelf. From there, we started chatting. Chris understood the project immediately. All the fears that other publishers had, he was excited by them. It’s my first book? Amazing! It shifts art styles? Brilliant! It’s set in Perth? How neat! He had complete faith in the book from the beginning.

Using 10 words or less, describe Home Time.
Gumnuts in the drink fountain, now lost in the river.
If you had to make up a genre for Home Time, what would it be?
I don’t think I have to make up a genre, it’s pretty much a classic ‘coming of age’ fantasy story. Along the lines of Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe among so many others. It’s truly nested in labour of others.
I think visually though, it owes a great debt to the musical genre of mashups. I was trying to bring together some of the way those songs make me feel, with their all-at-onceness, their playfulness. The different visual styles that I used throughout the book are a reflection of this. Trying to tie together all these visual mediums and traditions that I love. Ones that washed over me as a child. The sights and sounds of aggressively marketed toy lines and national myth-building culture all kind of coming together at once.
What was your reaction to the school bell ringing at the end of the day?
It was excitement, my most vivid memories were of walking home after school, so that was what the bell signaled the beginning of. Hundreds of screaming, running children, rushing into the playground, out into the streets. Then there was the long walk back home, the group of kids was always slightly different as well, which always made the dynamics shift and slide a little bit.
We’d walk through the local shopping strip, which meant we’d pop in and out of various establishments to carry out mischiefs. The fish and chip shop, where you could feed 6 kids with $1 worth of chips. The newsagent, where we would spend 30 minutes carefully curating 30c worth of lollies. And there was a small cafe that had a cast iron figure of a butler in the doorway. The butler had a tray that was filled with jelly beans, it was meant for customers but we’d dash in, grab a handful and then run away.
Did you ever have a school holiday that didn’t go to plan?
I don’t think so. At least, not as badly as one the Home Time kids got into.
As a kid, we used to holiday south of Perth in a small town. My auntie lived there in a beautiful mud-brick house that she’d made the bricks for herself, we’d stay with her. It adjoined large swathes of untamed bush land, winding and twisting plants, all sharp and angular. You could walk through the bush to get to the ocean. Or you could walk through the bush to get to more bush.
In summer, the cicadas called endlessly, the sand was hot and the water clear. We would swim out to the pontoon that was moored in the bay, bravely and carefully over the fields of seaweed.
In winter, the fire cracked and hissed. Laying on the rug in front of the flame, reading books late into the night. Clouds laying thick all the way out to the horizon.
The town started changing though, the town started coming under development, large blocks of land were bought up, flattened, concreted and turned into holiday homes. Resorts, investment properties. Weaponised real estate. Eventually it all changed so much that my auntie left.
Maybe that’s a holiday that didn’t go to plan.
What quote has stuck with and resonates with you?
It’s one that I heard recently actually, Kelly Reidy from Museum Hack said ‘The future of the past in female’, which I keep turning over and over in my head. It’s female, and it’s queer and it’s filled with people of colour. I think it’s a concept that is radical and optimistic and very real.
Any advice that you would give to people wanting to create comics?
Make comics. Don’t worry about having the ‘right tools’, use the tools you have.
Don’t worry about having the right skill set, you’ll always get better and never be quite good enough.
Make comics often. Make small comics and share them and then make more small comics and then make slightly bigger ones and share them.
Study culture and art outside of comics, have adventures and be inspired by everything around you.
Fill your comics with things that only you can, things that only you know.
Plug your work:
HOME TIME is the big book of mine that you should all check out. It’s been a long time coming for me and it’s exciting that it’s finally out. It’s a fictionalised autobiography, it’s an attempt to map the history of my home town all wrapped up in the popular culture of my childhood.
You can pick it up at any good comic shop or book store.
You can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter: @campbellwhyte
Interview by Mike Speakman.
Read more

The Indie Index – Interview with Bruno Oliveira

Bruno Oliveira is a professional comic book artist from Brazil. Having worked for several publishers like IDW (Drones), Arcana, Oliveira has most recently donework for Marvel (Amazing Spider-Man Annual, Gwenpool Holiday Special, Mosaic). Bruno has been trying to find the right time to do this story for a long time. A story about working as a comic book artist and juggling all the important things in life…in an entertaining way. It’s a realisation of how an artist’s tragedies are only tragedies until he writes them down, and suddenly they’re funny! It’s Bruno Oliveira reduced to 64-pages!


What Now, Bruno? is currently on Kickstarter, what made you decide on using crowdfunding to make this project come to life?

It’s mostly because you can get a better understanding of your audience, you can get in touch with them and build a sort of relationship during the time of the campaign (and hopefully after as well). Besides, I wanted to have control over the quality of the printed material.

If you were to pitch What Now, Bruno? to a publisher in one sentence, what would it be?

It’s a good TV show in comic book form about the life of a comic book artist with his girlfriend.
What Now, Bruno? focuses on various aspects of your creative career along with your personal life. If What Now, Bruno? were to become a biopic, who would you like to portray you and why?

Oh, that’s interesting. If it was shot in Brazil, I’d like to play myself, get fired and then do auditions. If it was made in the U.S., maybe Josh Gad if he lost a few pounds (I’m not that fat yet).

Personally, what is your definition of “breaking in”?

That’s a fantastic question and I asked myself that before doing the campaign. I think it’s a personal definition, it’s what you consider that stage in which you feel like a professional artist (even though most people see you as a professional before that, it usually takes a while before you see yourself like that). To me, breaking in happened the first time I was published at Marvel.
How did your big break come about?

It was actually because of my girlfriend. I have been sending samples since 2006 to Marvel but only started to get some attention around 2009. However, nothing happened. I kept sending samples and something weird happened in 2011. They stopped telling me to fix things. It was like they liked the art, but no work was coming.
So finally in 2015 my girlfriend said: why don’t you get a table at an artist alley somewhere? Because I never felt like a pro, that honestly had never crossed my mind. I told her I wasn’t ready and she said it was nonsense. So I applied to get a table at Comic Con Experience here in Brazil and as it turned out, the guy I’ve sending my samples all these years (Rickey Purdin) happened to come by my table, remembered me and we started talking a bit more. About 3 months after the con, I got my first work for Marvel.

You’ve worked in both indie and mainstream comics, what’s the difference between the two in regards to creativity and boundaries?

Honestly, I got a lot more freedom from Marvel than small projects. Basically because most small projects are someone else’s dream you’re working with. So they tend to give a lot more instructions and sometimes ask for changes. With Marvel, the most important thing is the deadline. Quality should be a given because otherwise why the hell would they call you? So you have to deliver great work on time. If you can deliver that, you don’t have a problem and it’s such a joy to work!!
What creators should we keep an eye out for and why?

That question makes me feel like a veteran and I’m certainly not even close. But I’m a huge fan of Daniel Johnson! The guy is amazing! Now when it comes to writers, Felipe Cagno! That guy is getting bigger and bigger and it’s not gonna be long before a big publisher grabs him! And they would be very lucky to do so!
I normally ask interviewees what advice they’d give to aspiring creators, I’d like to ask you: What advice would you give to creators wanting to break in?

Doing this story about myself I had to revisit a lot of concepts that we say but take for granted. I think we need to ask ourselves a bunch of questions before we say: I want to break in.
That meaning to everyone is different. But assuming you mean getting into a big publisher, I would say do your own work and put it on Instagram, Facebook, everywhere. Try to get noticed from your own work. Publishers see the recognition you’re getting without big name characters and think: imagine what that guy can do with our Spider-Man?
And one other thing if I may, try to think about your career. What do you want it to be? Learn how to talk to editors, writers and artists. Be polite to everyone and remember everyone.
Plug your work:

Currently I have a campaign on Kickstarter to launch my comic book called “What Now, Bruno?”. About the life of a comic book artist and his girlfriend. And if you want to see more of my work, my instagram is @bbrunoliveira and my tumblr is
Interview by Mike Speakman.
Read more

Monolith Comics is now reprinting its graphic novels in full color!

Monolith Comics’ creator Theodore Raymond Riddle has published 27 Black and White graphic novels entitled Compu-M.E.C.H., Mechanically Engineered and Computerized Hero® since 1998. Each novel has at least 120 pages each. In November of 2017 Monolith Comics has begun to reprint their novels in full color.

The Compu-M.E.C.H. Program was invented by Dr. Green and the robot hero, The M.E.C.H. Unit, is operated by Tommy Chase. Together they fight the evils in the world with Truth, Honor, and Justice. They are our protectors.

They are Compu-M.E.C.H.!

You can view and purchase these dynamic novels at


Read more

Monolith Comics Announces AMA – Comic Creation A-Z!

On February 2, 2018 at 6:00 pm EST Monolith Comics is going to be running an AMA about everything on how create a comic from conception, to creating, to the printed piece and then marketing your product.

Monolith Comics is running an AMA, which stands for “Ask Me Anything”. It is entitled the following: “This AMA is about how to write, layout, pencil, ink print and distribute, and market a comic book by Monolith Comics’ Theodore Riddle.”

In this dynamic AMA you will have the opportunity to get answers to you questions about every aspect of creating a comic book from the conception all the way to the printed piece and then how to effectively market your product. You will have the opportunity to draw upon my 20 years of experinece in self publishing graphic novels through demos and illustrations as well as links to other professionals websites and tutitorials already in the field. If you wish to see my book and products you can go to my website at to see what I have acheived and my experience. If you ever dreamed of doing this for a living this is the perfect opportunity to learn about this very lucrative field and live out your dreams to be a comic book artist. This is the link to the AMA that is being hosted by AMAfeed: I hope you find this interesting and helpful.

Read more

The Indie Index – Interview with Chris Gooch

Hey there, loyal readers! I’m deeply sorry that The Indie Index has been quiet for the past month. Christmas, holidays, work and all of the other usual things got in the way of publishing more pieces for you to read. Never fear though, we’re back with an interview with none other than, Chris Gooch!


Please introduce yourself to the readers who may not know who you are yet.
Hello, my name is Chris Gooch and I live in Melbourne and spend most of my life drawing and writing comics.

Where do you draw your inspiration from? 
Movies are my favourite thing so they’re probably the biggest influence on my work – particularly when it comes to pacing, framing and story structure. My favourite films in the past couple of years have been ones that fall apart as they go on, sort of collapsing under the weight of all the great stuff they did in their first two thirds – Snowpiercer, The Handmaiden and Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 are probably the key ones (I didn’t like it much the first time, but I’m hoping The Last Jedi can join the list on a second viewing). I think it’s being able to see the seams of the movie that makes it so great – and so much easier – to think about how the storytelling, framing, etc of the film and how to apply it to your work. The more sort of ‘perfect’ movies – There Will Be Blood, etc. – are just mystifying and slippery. No help at all.

If you could collaborate with any artist or writer, who would it be and why?
Maybe Jillian Tamaki. Someone who could do comics stuff I could never do.

What creators should readers keep an eye out for? 
I like Jillian Tamaki and Charles Forsman a lot at the moment. Their comics are really widely available.


Bottled was recently released by Top Shelf Productions, how did getting Bottled noticed come about? 
Pat Grant was nice enough to introduce me to them. After that it was talking on Skype about them possibly picking it up and some revisions I was going to do.

Could you give readers a quick elevator pitch as to what Bottled is about?
Bottled’s about two friends who don’t really like each other anymore and, when given the chance, one decides to blackmail the other. I spent a long, long time drawing it and I think it’s probably the best thing I’ve done so far.

What’s next for Chris Gooch? 
I’m working on a science fiction prison book at the moment. Hopefully I’ll be able to start publishing chapters of it towards the end of the year.


Is there any advice that you would give to anyone wanting to create comics and/or zines?
Start on something small and self publish it when it’s finished. If you’re in Melbourne then you should definitely get a stall at the Sticky Zine Fair to sell it.

Plug your work and where people can find it:

chris.gooch.982 on instagram

You can buy Bottled online via Book Depository or any other big website.

Or, if you live in Melbourne, All Star Comics definitely has copies.

Read more

Rok of The Reds – Interview With John Wagner

Geek Genie caught up with legendary comic book creator John Wagner to talk about the 2018 slated sequal to “Rok of The Reds”. Get ready for aliens, action and football! 


GG: For those who didn’t pick up the first series, can you tell our audience a bit about Rok of the Reds?

JW: To escape galactic assassins, mighty alien shape-changer Rok of the Arkadii flees to the far reaches of the galaxy – the planet Earth – where to conceal himself he assumes the identity of the first human he encounters – bad boy footballer Kyle Dixon.   In this identity Rok develops a deep fascination with the game – a fascination that may end in death as his pursuers are hot on his tail.

GG: There’s a long tradition of football themed comic books that came out of the UK. Do you see this as a continuation of that tradition? How did you and Alan Grant come up with the idea of Rok?

JW: In many ways it’s a homage to the comics we grew up reading, with a distinctly futuristic twist. Alan and I were developing a new anthology comic (later abandoned) and wanted a football story in the mix.  How could we create a football story with a difference?   With the world’s first alien footballer, perhaps…


GG: Do you have to be a football fan to enjoy the series?

JW: It’s the reason a few people have given for not dipping their toes in, even though I explain that you don’t need to know anything about football, you can hate football, doesn’t matter – the game is merely a vehicle to carry the story.  You won’t get bogged down in it.

GG: With the second series on the horizon, readers will have a chance to get up to speed with Rok with the launch of the trade paperback collecting the first series. When is the trade paperback being released? 

JW: We’re hoping April ‘18, though May may be a more likely date.   Apart from more normal channels copies will be available via my Facebook page, or artist Dan Cornwell’s.  Can’t give you a date for the second series yet.

GG: Without giving away spoilers for those who haven’t yet read the first series, what can Rok expect to face in the new series?

JW: Magic, danger, nail-biting action and a devilish offside trap.


GG: Well you can’t argue with that! Thanks for your time Jon and good luck with Rok of the Reds!

Read more

The Indie Index – Indie Character Showcase

I’ve been thinking a lot about the blood, sweat and tears that creators put into the creative projects and why people enjoy them as much as they do. Characters are often what people relate to and helps keep them fully invested in a story. So, I put the question out into the wide, wide world and asked: What is your favourite indie comic book character and why?


Kevin Joseph:
I just met Tim Stiles’ Knockaround Guy today and he was badass. I also really dig Icicle from Josh Dahl & Shawn Langley’s Rapid City: Below Zero. Knockaround Guy works because the absurdity of a talking gorilla working with a mime is juxtaposed by pretty straight noir narration. Icicle works because she’s had everything taken away from her and she has no interest in getting what she lost back. She’s only interested in making the person who did it pay.
Pat Shand:
Strangers in Paradise. Incredible longterm character development, broadly focused narrative that always comes back to the core characters and themes, and the best artist/writer to ever do it telling the story he is most passionate about.

Belinda Fernandez chimes in: I don’t have much to add in the way of praise or explanation (such a great book!) – only that reading it made my heart hurt sometimes, and it made me joyful other times….and sometimes I would get so mad at the characters for making such horrible life decisions – in other words, the characters felt like real people, with everything that entails, good and bad and in-between.
Pat Shand replied: YES 100% agreed. I felt so much the same way.
Angela Fullard:
Ghost, a character from The Derogatory Tales of Franklin and Ghost by Garrett Gunn and drawn by Nicolas Touris, because he’s a flying skull and he’s adorable and I love him so much for real.
Ian C.Thomas:
Skywise in Elfquest, early Cerebus the Aardvark, Maggie the Mechanic in Love &

Rockets,and Ted the Bug in Bone. The most important aspects for me are good character writing, an appealing visual look, compelling plot, and no confusion in narrative structure.
Kyle J. Kaczmarczyk:
Hellboy. I love how it pulls from all sorts of folklore and mythology, as well as Lovecraft and old Hammer/Universal monster movies. I also love how blue collar Hellboy is. He approaches it like a job even when he’s saving the world. Finally, I absolutely adore the art. Mignola and Duncan Fegredo are my favorites but there isn’t an issue I don’t enjoy.
Darryl Martin:
I’ll give Killeroo a plug. Although I always want to know where That Bullet Proof Kid was going. For TBPK it’s because there I feel like I’m left asking more questions than I’m getting answers. It’s halfway between suspenseful and frustrating.
As for ‘Roo, I’m stuck more on the concept, a mash of Mad Max and TMNT.
They are both characters I would love to work on as a creator.

Trevor Richardson:
Definitely Spider Jerusalem. As a diehard Hunter S. Thompson fan, a lifelong sci fi lover, and someone who enjoys a political point made in the most hilarious, incendiary way possible, Transmetropolitan remains my all time favorite comic.
I (Mike) decide to butt in: HST is my favourite writer.
Richardson then says: I don’t know who I’d rank above him. I like all kinds of stuff, mostly geeky stuff. I’d say he’s my favorite “serious” writer by a lot.
Patrick Buermeyer:
Punk Rock Jesus. I think Sean Murphy is the best artist in comics right now. This was one of his earlier and maybe most unadulterated go wild and do sick art books since he had total creative control. In addition to that it has some really poignant social commentary and really rich characters.

And some more characters that you cant help but love…

Nathan Yocum: Tank Girl! Brilliant character.
Ed Bickford: SCUD! Just the concept is imaginative and the book is humorous.
Tad Pietrzykowski: Nexus by Baron & Rude – interstellar executioner – great space-opera & it debuted at the exact same time as The Dark Nebula (oops!).
Theodore Riddle: My favorite Indy Comics is “The Colony of the Damned” by Rhino Rinaldi. This comic is extremely detailed and dares to go where no one has gone before in a Horror Comic. This a must read for people who like that kind of stuff.
Gene Hoyle: The classic Elementals. It deconstructed heroes long before Watchmen. Specifically Ratman from that book. He was a fun villain who sort of fell into a hero role.
Olivier Walgraffe: Too many to choose from but I’ll go with One-Eye from Orc Stain. A loveable rogue main character in a fully fledged Orc world drawn with crazy details by James Stokoe. Now when can I finally get issue #8?
Marc Lombardi: Invincible because he feels like a genuinely new character and I’ve been able to be there from early on. Additionally, the surrounding cast and Universe that Kirkman and Ottley/Walker created for him is vast and great.
Chris Thomasma: Dimitris Moore’s Telza or William Satterwhite’s Stealth. What I like about Telza: Her personality is a very intriguing personality & making her a college student/hero gives her a uniqueness. What I like about Stealth: He’s not an average black hero or speedster. He’s like a black Peter Parker & his alias Stealth is like if Batman were a speedster.
Article by Mike Speakman.
Read more