Oh, hey there, people. You know, it’s weird, but I feel like ever since I decided to update this blog more frequently, less people are reading it. Honestly, I’m so overwhelmed by the sheer number of places to where people’s attention has been diverted online, I don’t really know how to keep up. But that’s not what I came here to talk to you about today. Nope. We’re here to talk comics.
Omega Comics Presents, as you may know, is the name of the flagship series from my lil’ comic company that could, Pop! Goes the Icon. From day one (February 2010, for the record), its mission has been to publish new, original works from relatively unknown creative talents. Some have been weird. Some have been great. Some have been successful enough to launch new properties (sadly, not for us). Because of this unevenness, the series has never been carried by the monopolistic major comics distributor, Diamond, and we’ve had to get by on sales from the internet, select retailers who support indie comics, and convention exposure. Hence, sales have never been terrific — a couple hundred copies per issue would be considered great, at this point — but I have at least been able to cut some small checks and garner some fair reviews.
However, another big drawback on entering the market big-time has been the format of the series: 32 pages featuring three-to-four stories of varying genres and quality — something that makes for a hard sale both to a distributor and to new readers. So last year, just before collecting the best of the first year’s output into a single volume, I decided we had to shake things up. First, Omega Comics had to go full-color. Black-and-white is great for stuff like Scott Pilgrim, but not for something like this. And secondly — more importantly, as far as I’m concerned — we had to sharpen the focus to increase the marketability of each issue. So instead of three or four random stories, we’d highlight one, full-length “cover” feature that could potentially launch a new property, and then back it up with a short that would provide added value and another outlet for up-and-coming creators.
Hence, we have the first issue of the second volume of OCP, namely, which introduces Bluetick & Redbone, a pair of ne’er-do-wells who find themselves caught in the middle of a set-up they never bargained for. It’s the kind of action-comedy you might have seen on the big screen in the 1970s, with lots of cussin’ and shootin’ and drinkin’ and women and cars and … well, you get the idea. It’s written by Alex De-Gruchy, drawn by mpMann, and it’s accompanied by a super-villain spoof by Russell Lissau (a good pal who’s become a regular writer on Strawberry Shortcake comics. No, really!) and Justin Castaneda.
At this point, I’m not sure what physical stores this comic will be available in when it ships on May 9, but if you’d like to have a copy delivered directly to your doorstep, you should pre-order one now. If you do, I’ll toss in a copy of Omega Comics Presents vol. 1, no. 1 for FREE. Yep. If you’re one of those people who likes to read things on your computer, iPad, Kindle, whatever, you can download a PDF version for only 99 cents from DriveThruComics. Amazing, right? We live in the future. And remember, not only will you get a good read out of it, but you’ll help these talented folks buy their next Happy Meal. Win-win, for sure.
(Even better? You don’t have to read any crappy stories by me. I only appear on the credits page!)