‘The Rattler’ strikes again at Image Comics

Jason McNamara and Greg Hinkle’s crowdfunded graphic novel finds a new home.

Following a successful Kickstarter in 2014, Jason McNamara and Greg Hinkle’s The Rattler has slithered over to Image Comics for a “mass market” release.

Inspired by true events from McNamara’s own life, the horror graphic novel is about a guy whose fiancée vanished without a trace and, 10 years later, he starts hearing her voice.

“The story was inspired by true events that happened to me on a road trip years ago,” McNamara told me last year. “I’ve written an afterword to the graphic novel that gets more into it, but basically a female friend and I were on a road trip and had a breakdown in a rural area of California. A seemingly helpful motorist stopped and offered to tow our car. Instead, he took off with my friend and left me behind. Luckily, in the true events she was able to get away, and we were able to get help. But I always wondered: What if she didn’t get away? What if I had to live with that? That was the inspiration for The Rattler.”

The Image Comics release will have a new cover and one new page, and is due out in March. If successful, McNamara hinted to the project’s Kickstarter backers that a sequel could follow. Check out the cover for the new release below:

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Smash Pages Q&A: Dan Parent on ‘Kevin Keller’

KevinKeller_01-1nDan Parent is currently in the midst of stage of his long career where his hard work is reaping substantial reward. In addition to his great gains in the Archie Universe, Dan has a Kickstarter (Die Kitty Die) along with Fernando Ruiz that asks: “What happens when a longtime comic book character has come to the end of her run? You kill her! But how? That’s where the fun begins…”

Tim O’Shea: After a couple of years is it good to no longer be pigeonholed as the resident expert writing GLBT characters?

Dan Parent: Well, I don’t really mind. I mean, I do a lot of other work, but my work with Kevin Keller is probably my most important, so I’m happy to be pigeonholed there!

What are you most proud of in terms of your storytelling dynamics for the Archie Universe?

In addition to Kevin, my Archie/Valerie storyline was something I was proud of. And I’m happy that I’ve been allowed to take the Archie characters into more progressive territory than was allowed in the past.

Who do you regard as rising stars among the current roster of Archie creative talent?

Arch_K_A015nWell, Gisele Lagace is great, but she’s a rising star with her own webcomics.  And Fernando Ruiz is doing the best work of his career!

In what ways have you honed your storytelling skills in recent years?

More realistic dialogue, less slapsticky.

Am I right in thinking you take a great amount of effort in fostering a rapport with fans at cons. How critical has that been for your long-term success?

I have a great relationship with the fans at cons.  They give me a lot of insight about what they like and what they don’t like.  And they’re the people you want to listen to, because they’re the real fans and they know what they’re talking about.

Anything we should discuss that I neglected to ask you about?

Hmm.. you didn’t ask me…Betty or Veronica….and of course, it’s Veronica!

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Artists unite for ‘shiny and chrome’ Fury Road Fan Zine

Furiosa and the crew ride again in a new fanzine collecting fan art based on “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

One of the things I find fun about Tumblr is seeing how much influence pop culture has on the many artists I follow. For instance, “black suit” Daredevil was all the rage when the Netflix series debuted, while Mad Men tribute pieces had their day when the series ended. And let’s not even get into Donald Trump. But the one thing that’s really made a huge impact — I still see new images in my feed to this day — is George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road.

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Get a ringside seat for the ‘Muscle Temple’ comics anthology

Help drop-kickstart a new wrestling-themed comics anthology featuring Box Brown, Zac Gorman and more.

Comics and wrestling have been tag-team partners for years, whether you’re talking about comics starring wrestlers, wrestlers writing comics or even comic heroes fighting super villains in the ring. It’s no surprise that wrestling counts many comic creators among its fans, and several of those creators have come together to create Muscle Temple, an anthology of wrestling comics.

Spearheaded by Frank Gibson, the anthology features enough creators to fill a battle royal, including names from webcomics, alt.comix and animation. Together they will publish a “60ish” page, two-color comic featuring “funny and weird short comics and goofy illustrations about our love and passion … PRO WRESTLING!” The roster includes Box Brown (creator of Andre the Giant: Life and Legend, one of the best wrestling-themed comics in recent memory), Zac Gorman (creator of the wonderful Magical Game Time), Jimmy Chang (whose Secret Item World webcomic I’ve been binge-reading over the last few days), Rosemary Travale (The Champ), Sam Alden, Amanda Meadows and Geoffrey Golden of the now-defunct The Devastator, and many more.

They’re currently looking for funding via Kickstarter, with prizes that include limited edition prints, T-shirts and your very own stop-motion puppet by Rosemary Travale — and of course the book itself, which can be yours for $15 plus postage. Check out some art below, or visit their Tumblr to see more.

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