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DF Interview: Mike Marts helps usher in new comics brand with AfterShock
By Byron Brewer
Mike Marts, former executive editor for Marvel Comics, left the company a while back to help launch a new publisher called AfterShock Comics. Marts is partnering with comics veteran Joe Pruett in the venture, and is now serving as AfterShock's editor-in-chief.
In celebration of a new brand coming to the industry, Dynamic Forces spent some time with the former DC editor inquiring about AfterShock and Other Things Marts. This is what Mike told us.
Dynamic Forces: Mike, I think the name of your new brand is right-on, because it was shocking for the fans to read you had left Marvel after a year’s return to start a new brand. Can you tell us about the decision and how this all came about for you?
Mike Marts: Well, it may have seemed shocking to some, but for me it was the next natural phase for my career. After working at both Marvel and DC for over two decades, it was time for me to take that next step. Both mainstream companies had treated me extremely well over the years, and without the guidance, tutelage and experience that I accumulated at both companies -- not to mention the amazing opportunities that were awarded to me there -- I would have never been able to make this leap into building a new company.
DF: I know it has been in the press, but remind us of some of the other comics veterans who will be a part of this new company.
Mike Marts: Well, to start we have Caliber and Desperado veteran Joe Pruett as our Chief Creative Officer––who is not only an amazing editor and creative force, but a fantastic writer as well. In addition to Joe we have a writers stable that includes Brian Azzarello, Garth Ennis, Paul Jenkins, Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Marguerite Bennett, John Layman, Ray Fawkes, David Hine, Adam Glass and Ryan Parrott. Artists include the likes of Simon Colby, Andy Clarke, Rafael De Latorre, Ariela Kristantina, Szymon Kudranksi, Alberto Ponticelli, Sam Keith and more that will be soon announced.
DF: As AfterShock editor-in-chief, what are your goals for the brand? What sets AfterShock apart from other comic book companies?
Mike Marts: AfterShock’s goals are simple. We are focusing on story first––it needs to be an amazing story for AfterShock to tell it. We are focusing on quality––attracting the best and brightest creators to tell their stories at AfterShock. And we are focusing on intelligent risk-taking …taking chances with the product that we produce.
DF: A few titles from AfterShock have already been announced. Tell us about these particular books, WHY those titles and about the talent selection. I am sure the selection of these comics is key to the launch.
Mike Marts: AfterShock is intentionally being diverse in its initial offerings. In our December launch month, we have projects ranging from a wartime family drama in Garth Ennis’ DREAMING EAGLES ... INSEXTS, a Victorian erotic horror tale spun from the mind of Marguerite Bennett ... a bouncy superhero parody saga called SUPERZERO from Palmiotti and Connor, and to round things out a tongue-in-cheek sci-fi story named REPLICA created by Paul Jenkins. Each comic series is extremely different from the other, and each brilliant creator brings something unique to the table. We couldn't be more excited about our inaugural launches.
DF: It is early in the AfterShock story, but is there a character that you see as your Superman, as your Spider-Man in your own mind?
Mike Marts: Too early to tell which character or concept will rise to the top, but that will certainly be one of the most exciting things to witness over the next several years.
DF: Finally, Mike, where do you as E-I-C see AfterShock a year from now, and 10 years from now?
Mike Marts: Our goal one year from now is to have the brand of AfterShock be synonymous with quality storytelling, to be a place that readers and retailers can depend on for top-notch, excellent and reliable storytelling. Our goal ten years now will be world domination––I mean come on, what else could it be?
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Mike Marts for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions and to wish him success with AfterShock Comics. AfterShock begins launching its first titles in December!
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