Smash Pages Q&A | Josh Hicks on ‘Hotelitor’

The creator of ‘Glorious Wrestling Alliance’ discusses his latest graphic novel about a hotel shaped like a giant robot.

Josh Hicks has worked many odd jobs in his life, which is relevant to the topic of this interview, but right now he is a Welsh animator, cartoonist and director. His work spans comics, animation and music videos. As a filmmaker, he directed Spectre of the Bear, and he helped create animated music videos for the Foo Fighters and Tyler Childers.

On the comics side, Hicks created Glorious Wrestling Alliance, a comic about the surreal world of professional wrestlers, and he’s followed that with a new graphic novel, Hotelitor: Luxury-Class Defense and Hospitality Unit, which comes out next Wednesday from Graphic Universe. It’s the story of a mobile hotel, shaped like a giant Shogun Warrior or other manga-inspired robot, and the denizens that work and stay in it. When a giant alien monster attacks the hotel, the surviving guests and staff find themselves stranded in deep space, leading to all sorts of chaos, and it’s up to 18-year-old intern Anna Greene and her fellow workers to find a way home.

It’s a fun story about giant robots and aliens, but also has deeper themes around the struggle between classes, how we think of thr service industry and late-stage capitalism. I spoke with Hicks about the project and the themes it touches on, as well as the UK wrestling scene and what he’s working on next. My thanks for his time.

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Can’t Wait for Saturday | Free Comic Book Day brings Absolute Power, Jonny Quest + more

Check out a few of the cool + free comics you’ll find at your local retailer this Saturday.

The comic industry’s biggest holiday returns tomorrow as shops around the world bring you Free Comic Book Day, the annual event that yes, indeed, does offer you free comics.

The annual event started in 2002 based on an idea from retailer Joe Field, owner of Flying Colors Comics and Other Cool Stuff in Concord, California. Since then, it’s become a cultural phenomenon, typically coming on the first Saturday in May, though sometimes in the past that wavered based on a new comic book movie’s release date. You can find a participating shop on the FCBD website, and see if any of your local shops are holding special events, sales or creator signings in conjunction with the event.

But of course, the focus is on the free comics. Many publishers use it as an opportunity to reshare a recent favorite or offer a prelude to an upcoming storyline or crossover. Still other will produce something wholly original or introduce a brand new title.

I’ve pulled out a few that look interesting to me below, and you can find the complete list of what could be available at your local shop on the FCBD site. Some things to keep in mind:

  • Not every retailer may have every title. Depending on their shop, they may elect to only have titles they think will excite their clientele.
  • Some retailers may limit the number of free comics you can take, while others may require a purchase.
  • Speaking of which, while titles are free to consumers, they are not free to retailers. So you may want to think about buying some other comics while you’re there regardless.
  • Some of the titles will also be available digitally, in case you can’t make it out on Saturday. So be sure to check your favorite digital comics site on Saturday as well.
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