By Shawn Perry
Photography by AM Grade
Last week I attended Hartford Comic Con and met a lot of great young artists, many of which will be featured in next month’s edition of Indie Spotlight. But before I get to all that good stuff I want to share an interview I did with the co-founders of one of the most successful small publishers I have ever encountered: Mark Frankel and of Wayward Raven Media who were their promoting their newest book, The Committee, as well as Signed #3 which be available just in time for New York Comic Con next week.
Shawn Perry: Talk to me an little bit about the state of Wayward Raven because most indie self-publishers do not have four or five books going at once but yours seems to be growing with both the recent launch of The Committee as well as another issue of Signed coming out next month…what’s the deal with all the high-quality storytelling and success? Show-offs.
Mark Frankel: As you said we’ve got Signed #3 coming next month and the cool thing is it’s got an really striking cover. See I am always all about the eyes, they draw me in a lot of the time and that’s what I like about this one. This next issue explores C’s history. It will take you back in time a little bit and give you a look at who that character really is and what’s molded her and maybe that a-ha moment if you haven’t had it already. This issue is going to be released at NYCC next month but you can pre-order it right now on our website for $2.99 and save a dollar.
SP: But that’s just one of your books at Wayward Raven, you guys also publish The Ascendant, Horsemen, Damn Heroes, Percy and The Committee… seriously, that’s a lot of books, how do you do it all?
MF: We have recently started publishing other people’s works like James’ The Committee and we’re really excited about it! The cool thing about doing other people’s stuff is we are the editors. James wrote it, inked it and we went over the script with him several times and brought in some talented people to do colors and letters. It’s really cool and we’re starting to look at book two with him very soon. He will be at NYCC next month. We’re also excited about the artwork of Alex being used for shirts and prints.
Alex Sapountzis: If you check out our website you will see that we’re starting to get into producing shirts using some of the prints that I have done. We’ve got a Harley Quinn-inspired shirt available right now that is specifically for ladies. We’re looking to put out an unisex shirt with our Deadpool print and we also have our ‘Hero’ and ‘Villain’ shirts, you will notice the font is similar to an major media company that I will let you figure out. It’s an Shakespearean font with mice talking dogs. Damn Heroes is also continuing and we are going to have more soon after NYCC. Right now you can pick up volume one and our fun book.
SP: Back to Signed, I loved the first two issues and think it has the potential to be a really big book for Wayward Raven. What do you say to the inevitable criticism that you are ultimately creating a character very similar to Wonder Woman, if only cosmetically if not thematically?
MF: We are pulling more from mythology on this than pop culture. I will say this that I think when Wayne started to draw he may have started to pull on that…
AS: Hot Greek Girl in armor. Without giving too much away she is an sorceress from greek mythology right? Wonder Woman is based on greek mythology and the amazons so it pulls from some of the same pool but the chracters have totally differnet personalities, totally different motivations…they have some similarities that they are hot women with dark hair but…
MF: At the end of the day how many hair colors can you have…
SP: Well, as the Greeks said there are only seven stories that can be told…
MF: I would say there is only three: it’s man vs. man, man vs. nature and man vs. self and that’s all you got.
AS: This is the part where the interview disintegrates into us rambling about different things…
SP: Mark and Alex then flew away on the wings of their own imagination and reached out to assure me that they will continue our interview at NYCC next month. Until then…
Fly on Bleeders!
Shawn Perry is a comic book and film enthusiast striving to be here now. He currently rests his head in East Hartford, Connecticut. Tweet him @thesperry and email him about life and your stories at Shawn.Perry88@gmail.com.