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TONY FLEECS
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DF Interview: Tony Fleecs brings a new arc, new jumping-on point in ‘Local Man’ #10

 

By Byron Brewer

 

Things were bad enough for the hero formerly known as Crossjack when it was just his tiny hometown that hated his guts... now the whole world wants him dead. Jack looks to hide out with an ally from his superhero past, but there are some things you can't hide from. They say you can't go home again.

 

From Tony Fleecs and Tim Seeley comes a new jumping-on point as a new arc begins in Local Man. I sat down with Tony to chat more about the new arc, and this unique book as a whole.

 

Byron Brewer: Tony, Local Man is a very unusual book, with a “flip” format. Tell readers a bit about how that works in your collaboration with co-creator Tim Seeley. It is quite fascinating.

 

Tony Fleecs: We based the format on the original Image comics. Youngblood and Brigade and a lot of the early EXtreme Studios books were flip books. They would use the flip side to introduce new characters (Like Prophet or ShadowHawk or Supreme) or sometimes it would be like home team on one side/away team on the flip.

 

Tim and I wanted to put readers back in the mindset that they were in when they read those first Image books. The ones where it was all one big shared universe because that's the universe our story takes place in. The only big difference is, we're using the flipside to give you glimpses into Jack Xaver's past.

 

Byron: For those under a rock (and you know who you are), Local Man as a book has been out for a while. It is about to have a big arc change with issue #10 coming in May. But before we discuss that, can you summarize (without any spoilers that may effect #10) what the main story of the mag has been up to this point?

 

Tony Fleecs: Local Man's about a former 90s Image Comics superhero named Crossjack who had a whole superhero career and now he's been fired from his superteam, sort of cancelled and forced to move home to the small town he grew up in. Everyone there hates him now. And he's not allowed to use his superpowers. While he's trying to figure out what to do with himself now that he's not a superhero anymore, people connected to his super-past start to get murdered. So now Jack has to try to figure out what's going on without his costume or his weapons... He's got to try to save the day without all the extreme heroics.

 

While all this is going on, he rekindles his friendship (maybe more than friendship) with his high school ex-girlfriend... Who's now married to the chief of police. And she's wrapped up in everything he's investigating more than he would ever expect.

 

At the end of the second arc, there's been a huge disaster in Jack's hometown and everyone blames Jack. So, he's a local pariah. And then a huge secret about him gets leaked to the national media. So, when we start the third arc, it's not just the town of Farmington that hates Jack... Now it's the whole world.

 

Byron: What more can you tell readers about Jack Xaver?

 

Tony Fleecs: Jack is a guy who, when he was younger, thought he was a hero. He thought he was doing good. But he's learning that a lot of the time he was just looking cool and fighting other superheroes. Now that he's home and he can see the town that he grew up in, he’s dealing with real issues. Social issues, economic issues... real world problems. And he's having to figure out if he's even equipped to help these people. Does he have to be a hero? Is it okay to just be a good guy?

 

Byron: Can you introduce some of the important characters we may meet in this new arc?

 

Tony Fleecs: We've been teasing this group of villains called the Faceless Horde since issue #1. And we're finally gonna get into them and show you what they're all about. Their origins track back to the very first Image comics. And each of the backup stories this arc will focus on one of Jack's former teammates from Third-Gen.

 

Byron: Is #10 a good jumping-on point for new readers?

 

Tony Fleecs: Yeah! We try to make every issue as new reader friendly as possible but we ESPECIALLY try to do that at the beginning of a new story arc. We also just had Local Man: Bad Girls come out on March 27. It was a one-off issue. Hopefully another good jumping-on point. Really, jump-on whenever. We're having fun over here.

 

Byron: Was there anything for you or Tim in particular that inspired the creation and the unique format of Local Man?

 

Tony Fleecs: It's all Image comics stuff. The flip books, like I said, we stole that format from the first Image Comics. Youngblood, Youngblood: Strikefile, etc. And then the drawing on the same page that we sometimes do... That's straight from Image United.

 

Local Man's one of the few/only books ever to be co-written and co-drawn by two writer/artists. So we're able to be creative and collaborative in all kinds of unique ways.

 

Byron: Tony, what other of your coming projects, inside or outside comics, can you tell readers about?

 

Tony Fleecs: It's all comics stuff. But there IS a lot of it! I've got another book at Image right now: Feral. That's the follow-up to my 2021 book, Stray Dogs, by me and Trish Forstner, Tone Rodriguez and Brad Simpson. Three house cats lost in the woods durring a massive rabies outbreak. A zombie story with cats. Then I'm doing a book at BOOM! Studios with Dave Wachter called Uncanny Valley which is a beautifully rendered real world/cartoon coming of age story about a boy who finds out his grandpa is a cartoon character. Think Percy Jackson meets Roger Rabbit. And then Pop Mhan and I are continuing my run on Army of Darkness Forever at Dynamite. It’s the official sequel to both the theatrical AND the director's cut versions of Sam Raimi's masterpiece. And in case that wasn't enough, there's a another one with a big comic company that I can't talk about just yet. It's good to be busy!

 

Dynamic Forces would like to thank Tony Fleecs for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Local Man #10 from Image Comics is slated to be on sale May 22!

  



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