Inking Ink

Ink for Beginners

Retrofit/Big Planet

Words/Art/Everything: Kate Leth

Published by the wonderfully independent publishers/collaborators Big Planet Comics & Retrofit (find more info on them here), Ink for Beginners is a book that captures the essentials of getting tattoos as well as tattoo etiquette for new folks. The book is written, drawn, designed, colored, etc. etc. by Kate Leth, who is currently writing Edward Scizzorhands and has a super cool looking creator owned comic coming out called Power Up (Boom! Studios, July, be there). Some may also know her from her work on the Adventure Time series or for her hilarious webseries, Kate or Die. She also has a fun podcast you can listen to called Less Than Live with Kate or Die WHICH you can check out on The Village Soundcast Network or on iTunes or wherever you listen to things. 

Look, I am no stranger to tattoos, having some sizable pieces of my own. However, that wasn't always the case (obviously). Most of the information I received before taking the plunge came from my wonderful wife Jordy, and honestly, it was a little intimidating at the time. What we get from Leth is an in depth, honest, visual look at the whole process from conception to after care (that kind of a makes it sound like having a baby). She gives good tips on topics such as which area of the body will be the most painful, what not to do before hand, all that jazz. Oh and she goes into tipping the artist, which I consider pretty important. The reader will see a variety of opinions not only from Leth but also from various tattoo artists. Each subject or topic is made relatable with personal experiences all matched with fun panels. A knowledgeable approach is an appreciated approach!

If you are familiar with Leth's work then you are familiar with the amount of charm in her dialogue. Though this is a very informative book, it is literally Kate walking you through these steps, which provides a much more personal touch. She uses terms and dialogue mixed with modern humor to make the process seem a little less daunting (which it really doesn't have to be). That being said, she also stresses the importance of realizing that this art style is, for the most part, permanent and doesn't shy away from the fact that sometimes it can hurt. Throughout the book there are quotes from a whole mess of tattoo artists and what is really respectable each gets as much credit as possible on the last page. What a nice extra touch!

Leth's art is fun and funny while giving practical examples of what she discusses. Her examples range anywhere from informative diagrams to before and after panels (those are my fave). The coloring is used in a great way, as it all includes shading and color schemes that are reminiscent of the style of traditional tattoos. I mean look at that cover! Great stuff! I'm going to talk about this in my next podcast, but I really appreciate when tattoos look natural on characters. In this comic especially, they all fit for each person, whether it is as a joke or a practical example. The cartoony visuals and unique coloring create a humorous and easily approachable guide.

So if you are thinking about getting inked for the first time then check out this book, if you like Kate Leth and her writing/art then check out this book, if you like tattoos as a medium and think them interesting then pick up this book, basically it's for pretty much anyone. Normally, Ink for Beginners isn't the type of thing that I would discuss on this blog, but it is a creator owned title that does teaching right! You can pick up the book here physically or digitally for only $3.99! I would hurry, comics like this don't typically have more than one printing, so jump on it! If you order it super soon then you might even be able to get it signed at Special Edition: NYC!

Lower Class on Fire!

Bowery Boys

Dark Horse Comics

Writer: Cory Levine
Art: Ian Bertram & Brent McKee

Coming this August from Dark Horse Comics is a powerful historical fiction work based around the union riots of Manhattan in 1853. The series was first produced digitally as a webcomic and is now getting printed as a graphic novel titled Bowery Boys: Our Fathers. The first issue of this story is actually available on Noisetrade at THIS link. The series is written by Cory Levine, who was an assistant editor at Marvel Comics for a good chunk of time. The art is done by Ian Bertram, who has worked on a whole mess of Batman titles as well as a couple of the X team books. Bertram is joined by Brent McKee, most notable for his work on the enjoyable Noble Causes as well as a Super Ego story. 

Bowery Boys has a large cast of characters, the most prominent of which are William McGovern, in charge of the union movement, and his young son Nikolaus. These two are both dealing with the situation of union and strike in different ways. William tries to keep spirits high with rousing speeches that are incredibly powerful (and are, in some ways, relatable to current events). Nikolaus has a more hands on, thefty approach, bringing action, violence, and vigilantism to his father's words, without the father knowing of course. The result is an ironic paradigm shift, resulting in the union being regarded as more of a threat than they truly are and causing tensions to rise drastically. Making things escalate even more quicker is the mysterious "gentleman" Welsh and his army of thugs waiting to hit the union workers hard. When one drastic action is taken, everything gets put into jeopardy for the McGoverns and the rest of the union, leading to what can only end in chaos (and great storytelling).

Levine is intense in this story in all of the right ways. Maybe it is because I have been broke and questioned those with more money than myself, or maybe it is because of the extraordinarily powerful dialogue William is written with, but you feel not only for this main cast, but also for the multitudes of workers who create this union. On the other side of that is Nikolaus and the other children, whose actions could definitely come off as riotous but their dialogue has a strangely aligned innocence. These kids are all relatively young, so this upset is a lot of what they have ever know, and they are doing what they think is best to try to provide comfort in the lives of themselves and their families. Levine also manages to put us in a somewhat similar mindset as the union, giving a persona to Welsh and the upper class that could only be described as antagonistic. Between the striking adults, clandestine children, and the sinister upper class Levine has penned some engaging characters that make for a very engaging story.

The artistic duo on this book has a style that demands attention and produces a very high level of detail. Manhattan is drawn as an appropriately sprawling, filthy, overcrowded metropolis. The characters which occupy this sepia toned setting are all unique in their own ways. The McGoverns and the other lower class folks are drawn to fit in well with the environment, with brown toned clothes and facial expressions that make their demeanor as well as their passion very apparent. Bertram and McKee understand human emtion and are able to capture it in a realistic, powerful way. The upper class, clearly the minority in this society, are drawn pale, with lighter hues and a pampered arrogance drawn into their physiques, producing an even stronger visual dichotomy. The action sequences contain explosive violence and are so fast paced that you can feel the movement as these characters run through the streets. This art style would fit well in a character study story or in an action story, in this issue we really get both!

Bowery Boys, the webcomic turned graphic novel, is a success on all front. An intense yet intriguing story with a definite sense of realism that never lets down the momentum and looks incredible while doing it. If you would like to preorder this graphic novel, you can do so here. If you'd like a preview first, then download book one here!

What Terse Friends You Have!

Johnny Viable and His Terse Friends #1

Floating World Comics

Writer/Artist: Steve Aylett

This book is truly insane... in the best of ways. With a whole mess of stories featuring the bizarre and the absurd, some of which originally published in Alan Moore's Dodgem Logic magazine, Johnny Viable makes the reader laugh as well as think at least 5 times per page! Now being published by the store/indie publisher Floating World Comics, Steve Aylett gets to produce even more strange adventures of Johnny Viable and the world he inhabits. Some of Aylett's other titles include Lint, Slaughtermatic, and The Caterer. There are a bunch more, all of which can be checked out HERE!

As I mentioned, Johnny Viable is a collection of stories. I will briefly go into the synopsis of the first, which sets the tone for the whole book very well. Johnny is curious about his strangely enigmatic and insane grandfather who clearly hates the whole family so he asks his father, Peter. Well Peter accidentally leads Johnny to believe that granddad was an octopus which causes a mess of problems. The easiest way for Peter to get his son to understand is to take him to the man himself. What follows is a ridiculous origin story from this old Asian gentleman about how he went to war but was disrespected so he swam far away only to find himself ridiculed elsewhere due to lack of pants. The ridicule taught him many valuable lessons though, such as "puppets are expensive" and "schools use books as trampolines", that sort of thing. As Peter hoped it would, this tale inspires his children to choose their own path. From there we go into stories of other characters including illegal lard traders, frog people, a face hating young man, and many more. Oh man not to mention the personality put into the letter page... I hope you have good insurance because you will need stitches.

Intrigued yet? You should be! Aylett uses a large amount of heady dialogue to jam as much obscurity into text boxes as possible. This provides for more jokes, some of which you will get immediately, and some that may take a second, but rest assured they ALL will have you rolling on the floor soon enough. His characters aren't written to make sense, but rather to say dialogue that is funny simply for the fact that it isn't a chain of words we would ever think to hear. We are also thrown into situations starring outlandish, eccentric personalities (if you couldn't tell from that last sentence of the previous paragraph). This is a smart and hilarious read and if you are willing to think outside the box a little bit I think you will find that there is much more to these goofy vignettes then meets the eye.

The art style in this is SO MUCH FUN! It captures the essence of Golden Age comics while still bringing something new to the table! With that we all see some great vintage outfits as well as the campy smiles and facial expressions we have come to expect out of such stories. It is fun to see this art in a relatively modern setting (modern in terms of humor). With the quipy dialogue of the story we see this art style in a whole new light, providing an exuberant amount of life and charm.

This comic is a lot to take in at 64 pages, but I think you will find each tale is even more hilarious than the last. I would love to see more collections of Johnny Viable from Steve Aylett, he is a filling a distinctly original niche that was previously nonexistant. Johnny Viable and His Terse Friends had a relatively small print run but is still available online. Pick it up and step outside the box!

Haints in Them There Woods

Harrow County

Dark Horse Comics

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Letters/Art: Tyler Crook
Backup Story Art: Owen Gieni

Witches, ghouls and ghosts have become more and more popular antagonists within the last year or so, with titles such as Wytches, Afterlife with Archie, Sabrina, Ghosted, etc. If used correctly, these supernatural entities can come off quite terrifying, and Harrow County, published by the increasingly out of the box Dark Horse Comics, absolutely uses them correctly. This series is written by Cullen Bunn, who continues to use his incredible mythos building style. Bunn consistently has proven that he is a professional at making worlds and creating rich histories for those worlds, examples of which can be found most recently in Sixth Gun, Wolf Moon, Empty Man, and even Terrible Lizard! His writing is joined by Tyler Crook, who is nooooo stranger to the supernatural genre, having given his strong talents to various BPRD titles, Witchfinder, and numerous other series. His art consistently questions what is lurking in the darkness, and that's just great. Check out more of his art at

This first issue introduces the readers to Emmy, a young lady plagued by fears and nightmares. However, much more than that, the reader is introduced to Harrow County, a land that has had a bloodied, pagan past. This past was mostly rooted in the local witch, Hester Beck, and the horrors she brought down on Harrow County. Emphasis on the word "had". Quickly dispatched early on in the book, Hester Beck's dark influence on the town seems to have faded... but Emmy finds that her dreams are getting more and more vivid and events she is witnessing continue to grow in terror and absurdity. It is clear that the story is more than just witches, as other creatures are hinted at residing in Harrow County... each one bound to spook the reader. (Sounds fun to me.)

Bunn is incredible at world building. Truly. He has been displaying this talent for years and Harrow County is a shining example of how great he has become at it. The story tells a short but comprehensive chapter in Harrow County's dealings with the supernatural. As the series goes on it is going to include shorts with tales showing even more of the sinister past of Hester Beck and the town as a whole. Outside of the history, Bunn also gives characters a voice showing that they want to move on, but the roots of past events run too deep to simply forget. The older characters are in complete contrast to the innocence and naivete of the younger cast, providing a feeling that there is a secret past between the generations of the community. Lastly I would like to mention the narratives present throughout the issue. The dialogue used in these text boxes was carefully chosen for a sense that there is an even larger plan in motion, and far more eeriness on the way, but in the form of a fable.

Crook uses gory visuals to not only show us the events which have transpired, but to also give us a glimpse into what sort of horrors are headed our way. We see a full range of atmospheres in this issue, ranging from fearful to peaceful to beautiful to just plain weird, each with it's own unique color palette which gently shifts into the next. Regardless of the tone, every environment and character model seems to have a filter of whimsy over them, adding to the fable-like storytelling. The distinction in age between the characters is also made to be quite important, with the older characters having a look of worn out, pained experience. However they have a carefully drawn look of hope when they look at their children, who have a calm but neverending curiosity, as shown with their actions. Also, man oh man, I won't say what it is, but there is one moment that Crook draws that sends a shiver down your spine GUARANTEED. Then you think you're good, look again, and are immediately met with another sharp shiver. Real quick I would like to mention Gieni's one page back up, which is similar to Crook's style in many ways, however it is just different enough for a distinction between the stories. It provides more details about Harrow County, and it... is... good!

Harrow County grabs you by the eyes as well as by the gut and creates true terror, as well as a history about a small southern town that I can't wait to learn more of. The characters are all written with great dialogue and drawn with such talent that this is bound to be a staple in Dark Horse's library of hits. Bunn and Crook are a great team, and their partnership guarantees the readers a great experience. The first issue of Harrow County came out on 5/13 for $3.99! Get you some!

Meanwhile, Underwater...

Thanatos Diver

Th3rd World Studios

Writer: Nick Tapalansky
Artist: Alex Eckman-Lawn

A comic where folks explore the sunken remains of civilization?! I'm game! A Free Comic Book Day issue that catches most of the first issue?! I'm SUPER game! Thanatos Diver is a new series that is being published one page at a time at this aesthetically pleasing website by Th3rd World Studios, the company that puts out The Stuff of Legend and Gossamyr. Nick Tapalansky has an incredible world building and well worded narrative, as seen in his other great works, such as Awakening and the short story he contributed to Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard. Alex Eckman-Lawn and Tapalansky have had some experience working together, as Eckman-Lawn has also worked on the aforementioned Awakening and Mouse Guard titles. He has also contributed to the compilation Moon Lake (see more of his art here). Man I gotta tell you, if there was one word I would use to describe both of these creators it'd have to be versatile.

Thanatos Diver is the story of Sam Loring, a young lady who has always been fond of exploration and lives on a small island called Cervaille. This island is surrounding by ocean (well yeah it's an island), with no land anywhere for as far as the eye can see. As a child Sam's mother, Katy, had discovered a submersible and as Sam grew up she began to pilot it. Why even use a submarine when you are on a secluded island? Because in the ocean around the island lies the remains of a sunken civilization, pretty modern too, buildings and factories and whatnot. Sam works with her father to explore these ruins to find parts and building materials which help the town on the island stay afloat (no pun intended... probably). Sam has a rival in this enterprise named Jade, who unearthed something impossible from the Forbidden Zone while the two were having a contest. What is the artifact? Why is the zone forbidden? What happened to that civilization?! We don't know... yet.

Tapalansky has written a world that seems small but dense with story. He makes the reader so curious about what life on this island is like while simultaneously throwing the mysterious depths around the island in your face. Something has clearly happened, and whether it is eventually revealed or not it is an extraordinary plot device that makes for an innocent but captivating read. Through dialogue early on it is clear that the island is not large. Therefore as the main cast and other citizens make their appearances, their tight nit connection is very apparent. The two rivals, Sam and Jade, definitely stand out from the rest of the crowd, having very similar goals but still maintaining their own unique personas. The island clearly has a lot of personalities, and getting to know each one is bound to be a trip!

Eckman-Lawn has captured an element of whimsy in this tale by adding vibrant colors to this beach environment and the characters that inhabit it. His illustrations of the ruins within the ocean also provide further intrigue, using dark shades for added mystique. The oceanic scenes are in direct contrast to the island, with Jade and Sam bridging the two areas together. The two ladies have hair colors and other features which bring life and fun to the dead sea. The other members of the main cast are all drawn in their own way, whether it be through outfit or a totally righteous moustache. It looks as though Eckman-Lawn uses pen and watercolors to create his art, as well as the panels that contain it. The final product is a light toned story with an evergrowing world that tantalizes the reader over what else it may contain. Oh and sidenote: I LOVE the way he draws noses.

Yes, folks, Thanatos Diver is off to a great start, and it's only going to get better. Normally when something gets the "All Ages" rating, I've noticed it slips more into the kid friendly side of things. However, this book does that rating right, with a rivalry and sense of exploration that the younger fans will appreciate and an overarching, curious world which adult fans will greatly enjoy. From what I have seen from Tapalansky and Eckman-Lawn, this story is a little outside of their typical styles. That being said I am super glad they decided to give this story life, because it is bringing a lot to the table. You can check this book out at the link mentioned up top or read the FCBD preview here. ALSO, there is a graphic novel of this series coming out at some point this fall so keep an eye out!

You Pumpkan't Escape!

Blood & Gourd #1

Dead Peasant

Writer: Jenz K. Lund & D.H. Shultis
Pencils: Dave Acosta
Inks: Juan Albarran
Colors: Fran Gamboa
Cover: Juan Antonio Ramirez
Letters: JC Ruiz & Jessica Jimerson

The indie comic book gods celebrate as once again a new publisher has found it's way into the public eye! Dead Peasant is a company formed via crowd funding and Blood & Gourd is their premiere comic! Jenz K. Lund of the Two Headed Podcast writes this grand entrance for Dead Peasant alongside D.H. Shultis, who has written the bold work, American Scum. The premiere is further improved by the vibrant, campy, gory and vivid illustrations of Dave Acosta. This team, coming completely out of left, has created a hell of a fun story that mixes the lunacy and charm of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes with the mythology of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

This story takes place on October 30th at Henderson Farms, home to the 47th Annual "Ain't that Something" Pumpkin Contest. Families and friends are gathering from all around to have some fall fun with facepainting, picking out pumpkins, games, the whole nine yards. Once the winner of the contest is announced things escalate quickly, as the very pumpkins that everyone is there to celebrate begin to attack! What do these pumpkins do exactly? They EAT PEOPLE... sort of, you'll see. Why are the pumpkins so abnormal? Who is behind all of this? Pick it up and find out!

The writing team takes this very interesting approach to the characters. Most of the attendants and workers at the Pumpkin Contest are given distinct personalities and seem like they are important to a plot or sub plot. However, as the story progresses it is abundantly clear that no one is safe, regardless of whatever they may have been in the middle of. This adds to the shock value in a big way, as the reader begins to feel like growing too attached to any one character is unsafe. There is also something to be said for the hometown, good 'ol boys dialogue that everyone uses before catastrophe hits. This gives even more contrast within the issue as things go down hill. This book gives you likeable characters and then takes them away, but not before you feel something for them, making for a unique surprising (and morbidly fun) comic experience.

The unsuspecting farm in this story is met with some striking visuals by the whole artistic team. There are a couple of things that make this horror comic different than the rest. For example, this story takes place during the day, which isn't typically how it's done. By making it take place during the day this story was able to feel much more true to it's somewhat light hearted B-movie roots, whereas if it were at night it would have a totally different, more serious feel. Instead, the background gets darker as the story goes on but keeps the time of day consistent. The backgrounds of the farmland seem natural and feel familiar to the reader, while the pumpkin creatures, in all forms, add a touch of menace to the landscape. The sheer volume of pumpkins at this get together makes for a feeling of hopelessness for these characters. For real, the things are everywhere! The character models wear common, somewhat non descript outfits, however each of those is specifically catered to the person wearing it (if that makes sense). In other words, the characters look natural, with an intentional exception or two. All in all, this art is used in perfect symmetry with the dialogue for a consistently out of the box, well paced read.

This is what it's all about gang! This team had a story in mind, and with some dedication (and a little crowd funding) we arrive at the over the top and enjoyable Blood & Gourd #1. It takes a lot of ambition to start an imprint from scratch and when I see this as a fan of the medium, I feel proud of all of those involved. If you would like to check out this original story, head over to the website at where you can see more on the team and preorder the super sized issue (being shipped this month). As always, thanks for reading and thanks for taking the time to check out this awesome project.

Sifting for Gold- Steven Seagal

Martial Arts Masters: Steven Seagal

Personality Comics

As always in Sifting for Gold we will begin by talking about the cover... which will be shorter than normal. Alright so we've got the man, the myth, the legend, Steven Seagal looking confused/wishfully into what I can only assume is a setting sun.

This here comic tells the origin story of Steven Seagal (up to 1992). He started out as a football player, saw a martial arts demonstration and was totally wowed. When his family moved to California where he played in a garage band (which I would LOVE to hear) when he wasn't practicing Akido. He went to college for a bit then went to Japan to learn even MORE Akido (and teach a little english). Seagal met his 1st wife Miyako Fujitana and they had a son and a daughter, the marriage lead to him teaching at a dojo. Get this, this sounds like a movie he would star in. Since he was an American teaching in a Japanese dojo, things were extremely dangerous because people would publicly challenging him to fights... I bet he brought great shame to those opponents. 

Anyway, the story goes more and more into his goofy work history, which includes opening dojos in Los Angeles and New Mexico, training unique individuals (some of which became CIA agents), security for the Shah of Iran, solving a year long missing persons case within three days of getting involved, that sort of stuff. Somewhere in there he met his new wife, Kelly, and got her pregnant, which caused a divorce with Miyako. After that Kelly has another kid, bringing Seagal's total up to 4. It's cool though, the book makes sure to note that Steven Seagal DOES pay child support! Anyway, he ended up acting in more movies on that and went on to have many great adventures. THE END! You know, this comic has some facts but it can't really say anything for sure. There is a a lot of "It's been said" or "We have been told that" and even some "No one can be sure but" sort of statements.

Black and white with hatch marks all over, this book chronicles Seagal's life from a young age, however he never looks that young. He always looks the same... maybe that's part of the legend. My favorite panels are the ones where he is doing so much karate. The art also tells me he was a very smiley guy, unless he was acting.

I am not entirely sure how this issue or this series came to be, but it was a surprisingly informative text. I mean there was a whole mess of heresay but ya know, I know at least a little more than I did about the guy. Still, what a strange life, and more than that, what a strange choice of a person to capture in comic book form. 

He's Out There

And Then Emily Was Gone #0


Creators: John Lees & Iain Laurie
Story: John Lees
Art: Iain Laurie
Colors: Megan Wilson
Letters: Colin Bell
Cover: Ryan Stegman

It should be noted that this issue also has a fun look at ComixTribe's time travelling maniac, Oxymoron, created by Tyler James and Alex Cormack. However, for the sake of consistency and length I will only be discussing the title story. And Then Emily Was Gone has been getting a steady increase in popularity since it's initial release. The series now has one full trade out (which I will podcast about soon enough). The series features strange Twin Peaks-esque characters as well as grotesque creatures to produce true terror with a totally immersive experience. John Lees has been working with ComixTribe on the titles Oxymoron, The Standard, and Scamthology. He has an excellent grasp on horror motives and situational dialogue. Iain Laurie has an art style is completely unparalleled! I have never seen anything like it... and it's EPIC! Laurie has worked on some very independent comics in the past including Gonzo Comics, a Craig Collins collection, and Last Caress.

And Then Emily Was Gone #0 is a prequel to the first story arc (which ended last year) and tells the story of Billy McTaggart who keeps getting nightly visits from a strange and frightening man. His parents are in disbelief of these claims, and as Billy's fear grows he comes to the conclusion that this creature is the legendary taker of children, Bonnie Shaw... who gets closer to his window every night. If you'd like to know Billy's fate and the reason Bonnie Shaw has chosen him, you will have to read this issue. 

Lees further cultivates the series sense of dread through the disbelief of the parents and the scared dialogue of Billy. He also gives the story a very noticeable build up to an ending that isn't entirely unpredictable, but is definitely rewarding. There is an interesting effect within Lees storytelling that makes the reader believe more and more in Bonnie Shaw as the story goes on. With a window of opportunity that is closing on Billy and parents that refuse to believe his tale, there is a sense of dread that creates stress and helps mount the fear. See more of his crazy art by visiting Horror Mountain!

As I mentioned earlier, Laurie's art is something I have never seen before. The characters aren't particularly attractive, but as most stories might find that to be a detriment, Laurie uses it to his benefit to further convey the level of creepiness that many horror stories fail to reach. The way the backgrounds are drawn at night give a sense that there is something in the darkness, with Billy's window being an intense and sudden answer to "What is going bump in the night?" For a story like this, to actually scare an audience and produce images that really make shock folks, it couldn't possibly have had a better artist. Laurie has found a great genre to contribute to, and I can't wait to see more as time goes on.

If you want to be scared silly then go ahead and find yourself a copy of And The Emily Was Gone #0. I'm sure some comic stores still have a copy or two left and it is also available online for pretty cheap (at least for now). You can read a short preview here as well. If you dig this issue then you can also order the trade of the first arc. With Lees and Laurie at the helm of this series you are guaranteed to think, enjoy, be scared... and possibly even wet yourself.

You can also download the first issue off of good 'ol Noisetrade right here.

Business is Booming!

The Hero Business

Written/Drawn/Colored by Bill Walko

Y'all might not know this, but I am a big fan of webcomics. The problem is that I just can't keep up. That being said, when I can find them from the creators in print at conventions, I am allll over it. So when I met the talented Bill Walko at ChaseCon this year, the enthusiastic creator had no trouble convincing me to invest in the first 4 issues of this excellent series. The Hero Business is available for people to read online at

The Hero Business focuses on a group of employees at an agency which helps aid superheroes in terms of publicity, costuming, gadgetry, and overall super-heroics. The team consists of Parker the receptionist, Bravado the superhero consultant, Dr. Malefactor head of R & D (and ex-super villain), Morgan the PR director,  Simon the marketing director, and Brody the art director. Each member of this cast has their own voice and with their roles clearly defined from the beginning you get an instant feel for what their strengths are. With that in mind, it is important to note that the characters do go through a lot of growth during the series. Whether it be ulterior motives, romantic feelings, morality, or confidence and self doubt, the whole cast is constantly changing to keep the story fresh.

While they are all dealing with the business side of superheroes and having quipy or informatively expositional conversations with each other, there is also a lot to be said about the way they handle the clients that show up. Each client is a new dynamic being brought to the office. This brings with it new humor and complications. All in all each entry to this ongoing series keeps the story well paced and constantly fun. Walko has made connections between these characters that are a blast to witness. Not only that but he shows us a very human side to this superhero community, providing a fresh new look at the genre.

Part Bruce Timm, part Lissa Treiman, but with a definite originality of his own, Walko's art style fits this story perfectly. We are shown enjoyable, over the top characters which dress how they act and make sense to the story. Not only that but his character models for some of the amateur superheroes play off of existing characters to produce a fun parody/satirical effect. The villainous characters in the story have been brought to a level where they still seem like they could be a threat to the heroes, however they don't detract from the overall feel of the story. Backgrounds consist of faded colors and details to give the reader an understanding of where the characters are without detracting from the dialogue and actions of the scenes, which is a pretty neat effect.

The Hero Business has been around since 2010, and it baffles me that it doesn't have more attention then it does. The series twists a character archetype that every comic fan is familiar with and adds original concepts to form a unique read. Walko is clearly enjoying what he is doing as displayed by the way the story constantly improves on itself. The Hero Business, as I mentioned earlier, is very accessible at You can also buy individual issues there if you're internet challenged like me. Give it a read! I think you'll have a grand ol' time. Thanks for reading!

Here's more of Bill Walko's art, just because I think it's neat: