Remember creating comics when you were a kid? Y’know, guys like Web Man and Tarantula Kid, who were basically Spider-Man crossed with Batman and Robin, or Captain Fantastic, who had all the powers of the Fantastic Four? Not everyone imagined blanket ripoffs of other characters; Rich Tommaso of She Wolf and Dark Corridor fame created Spy Seal, a seal that’s also a spy, and in August, the character finds his way into his own comic.
“It’s wonderful and surreal to be working with material that I created as a 13-year-old kid,” said Tommaso. “I’m enjoying doing a spy story too—it’s a genre I’ve never explored in my adult career as a cartoonist.”
Spy Seal garnered attention last fall when Tommaso posted an image of him online — generating “fan enthusiasm, cosplay, and Hollywood interest”, according to the press release, before being snapped up by Image Comics for an ongoing series. The series’ first chapter, “The Corten-Steel Phoenix,” finds Spy Seal, Britain’s newest covert agent, up to his neck in saboteurs, snipers, assassins and double agents.
“The approach I’ve decided to take is to illustrate, write, and design everything in the style of those mid-20th-century Franco-Belgian comics—mainly Hergé’s Tintin, which I’ve really admired for years,” added Tommaso. “I’m going for the cozy feel I get from reading those old adventure comics, sending Spy Seal around the world to see as many corners of it as he can, while flying high in amphibious planes, driving retro-modern cars, exploring secret, underground hideouts, and meeting foreign contacts in mysterious locations. Basically, run him through the gamut of obstacles Alfred Hitchcock would run his heroes and heroines through.”
For a really great interview with Tommaso, check out this recent Inkstuds one. Spy Seal #1 arrives Aug. 16.