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 http://www.theherobiz.com/.
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 http://www.theherobiz.com/. 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: