Stay Tuned for a Giveaway at the End of This Review!
I came across this particular book, when Relium Media’s Jake Rossman followed me on Twitter a couple of weeks ago and of course as a good social media nerd, I checked out his profile and clicked on the link in his bio. I was excited to come to a page with a video for Angel Punk. I was even more excited to get a DM from him a while later asking if I was interested in reviewing his new company’s first comic book. Of course I jumped at the chance to get my eyes on a brand new character and story.
Angel Punk is the story of a rebellious teenage girl name, Mara Layil, who is about to be introduced to a much bigger world. Mara is about to become aware of a dangerous and mysterious supernatural world, and a family legacy that extends far back into the past of humankind.
I liked the #0 Genesis story a lot, it was paced well and did a good job introducing characters without being bogged down with the pesky origin story. There are some origin aspects in this issue, but the majority of the issue is spent setting up Mara Layil and the evil secret society responsible for the disappearance of her parents.
I was really struck by the quality of this book, not just the storytelling or the art, but the production quality of the book. It was printed on a quality paper stock. I’ve mentioned before about how well produced the IDW Publishing books are, the quality of this issue is right up there with IDW.
I have to say I am intrigued by the supernatural aspects, dead fallen angels, secret societies and to find out just who the Blade Guardian is, and what he or she is up to. Now, I want to know more about this all new comic book universe. If you are looking for something new to wet your comic book loving whistle, I would highly recommend Angel Punk. Honestly, with some of the unrest coming from the bigger publishers, finding a new story might not be such a bad idea. This crazy story just may help keep you sane.
You can find more information on Relium Media and Angel Punk at:
***Special Announcement Time***
If you are as intrigued as I am by what you’ve read here, leave a comment in the comments section at the bottom of this page or on our Facebook Page (Facebook.com/ScienceFiction) and we will pick 2 winners to receive a free copy of Angel Punk #0 on July 1, 2011.
Now, for an added bonus, below is a brief interview I had with the folks at Relium Media:
Brian Tudor: Where did the idea for Angel Punk start? What are some of the influences readers will see in this book?
Relium Media: The concept for Angel Punk started as a full-length screenplay. As we developed the script, we began to enjoy our characters and the world more and more. This led to the development of an extensive backstory that became the basis for our canon. We’ve spent a lot of time writing pieces for our legacy document that may or may not become part of the comic series, the feature film or the novel, but they inform the greater storyline, actions and decisions of the characters. This history provides a rich environment and true motivation for the groups, factions and people of the Angel Punk universe.
Brian Tudor: I have only read the 0 issue, obviously, what can I expect in the 1/2 or even the 1st issue? Will Mara discover powers of her own quickly, or will it be a slow “Smallvillian” pace? Can you share what some of those powers may be?
Relium Media: Issue 1/2 provides readers the origin story of how the supernaturals entered the mortal world. Regarding powers, when Issue 1 begins, Mara has recently discovered them but doesn’t yet understand their full scope. Readers will see a few of them demonstrated in Issue 1.
Brian Tudor: Creating new intellectual property in the comic book world can be a rough experience; can you give me some example of the fun in creating Angel Punk? And some examples of how it is difficult to come up with the next great character?
Relium Media: We’ve all written for the screen before and diving into writing for a comic has a different feel in determining how panels lay across a page, how the story is revealed etc.. The writing team of Devon Lyon, Kevin Curry and Scott Nelson have enjoyed the opportunities, and challenges, that comic book writing entails.
In developing Mara, we wanted a strong, rebellious character that can take charge of situation but is almost impulsive to a fault. Every great character has their flaws. Mara is no different.
It has been fun to create a new story universe from scratch and then to place a character like Mara into that world and watch her learn about it. For example, how she learns about her powers, which is in the screenplay, was a blast to develop. And now, in the comic, as she dives deeper into this world, it is fun to see how she reacts and the decisions she makes.
It has also been fun, after months of writing, to see an artist’s interpretation of our world. Working with an all-start team of artists, from Val Mayerik to Steve Oliff, Bob Wiacek and Tom Orzechowski has been nothing short of rad.
Brian Tudor: As an independent publisher, social media will be important to your growth as a publisher, I liked the use of QR Codes in the book. You have also set up and Angel Punk Community at AngelPunk.co, what are some of the benefits to joining the community?
Relium Media: A great aspect of creating this new universe is how grandiose it is in scope. What readers see with Mara in the comic series only touches on a small sliver of it. We realized, in fairly short order, that the magnitude of what we are doing translates across various mediums and multiple story lines. As a part of our online community, which is in its infancy, readers can dive into deeper elements of the universe – and will be rewarded for doing so.
Also, coming from a film background, we all love behind the scenes material. We will be posting both comic and film production blogs and behind the scenes (BTS) footage pretty consistently.
For example, next week we are posting a video interview with Val Mayerik about the art team and the comic art process. It will include a look at some of the pencils, inks and early development sketches for characters.
Brian Tudor: When reading the 0 issue, I was reminded a bit of the Top Cow book ‘Rising Stars’, not necessarily because of the subject matter, but more to the approach to telling your story. Was this intentional?
Relium Media: It wasn’t. Angel Punk Issue 0 and 1/2 rely on Mara narrating the backstory, but in Issue 1 the storytelling approach becomes more “real time” as readers experience Mara’s story as it unfolds.
Brian Tudor: How can the readers of ScienceFiction.com pick up the 0 issue? Is there a Kickstarter campaign where they can donate to help out with publishing costs?
Relium Media: Right now, the only place you can pick up a physical copy of Issue 0 and pre-order Issue 1/2 is on our website. We plan to release Issue 1/2 in mid-July. The art on Issue 1/2 is being done now and looks incredible. We are currently talking with publishers, which would expand our retail presence, but we have not signed a deal. The script for Issue 1 just went to the artists and its publication date is dependent on whether we sign with a publisher before the art is completed. If not, we may explore using services like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo to help with publishing costs.
However, readers will see Angel Punk as an ongoing series, whether we sign with a publisher or not.
Brian Tudor: When I was reading the 0 issue I was caught off guard by the quality of the book as a whole; art, writing and the finished product, can Angel Punk readers expect such a high quality book each month? When the 1/2 and the 1st issues come out, what can we expect to see?
Relium Media: Absolutely, we are striving for top-notch storytelling, art and publishing quality. You should have seen our faces, when we received the proof back for Issue 0. It was like we were proud parents. I bet it’s the same for most first-time comic writers. We have been nothing but enamored with our team’s artwork. When we first started talking with our lead artist, Val Mayerik, he said he would make a few calls and see who might be available. His calls led to signing Steve Oliff, Bob Wiacek and Tom Orzechowski. We couldn’t have asked for anything better. All of these guys are established within the industry and have worked on numerous series from DC to Marvel and beyond. We love how Issue 0 turned out. Now, with everyone dialed into the universe, we expect it to continue to be exceptional. We’ve seen the artwork for Issue 1/2 and we know it’s going to be mint and the story in Issue 1 provides a great opportunity for some terrific art.
Brian Tudor: Since it is fast approaching, I have to ask; Will the Relium Media team be attending San Diego Comic-Con this year?
Relium Media: Yes. We will be at Comic-Con. Myself and co-creator Devon Lyon will be there. We don’t have a booth. As we are newbs this year, we figured it would be a great time to network and do recon for next year, when we will have the completed film and novel in hand as well as all the comics.
Brian Tudor: Finally, what is next for Relium Media? Are you developing more characters for other books? Can you tell me more about the ad on the back cover for the Angel Punk film… coming 2012? Are you planning a full-length feature or will this be a short film?
Relium Media: We realized, in fairly short order, that the Angel Punk universe was ripe in opportunity to explore history and characters. We fell in love with the idea of telling stories from it not just in film but also in comics and a novel. The comic is just the first phase of where we are taking Mara and Angel Punk. The next phase is the novel and the feature film. We just finalized a deal with an author to write the Angel Punk book, which will be finished in 2012 and we plan to shoot the film later this fall for a 2012 release.
The other cool thing about all of these projects is that they are all separate pieces within Mara’s storyline with very little overlap. The film is actually a prequel to where the comic book series starts. The young-adult novel will pickup toward the end of the comic book series and drive the story forward. Plus, with the richness of the backstory, there are opportunities for new series around other characters, set either in modern times or even in the past.
As you can probably tell, we’re having a lot of fun!