There is a lot to be said for an upstart indie publisher who takes chances on strange, oddball, out-of-place books, and 215 Ink is that and so much more. Based in Philadelphia, and run by Andrew DelQuadro, 215 Ink first came to my attention through Stephen (Jesus Hates Zombies) Lindsay, who I had befriend on Facebook, and was following his indie career fairly closely.
I had paired up with James Boulton and created Breakneck in September of 2010. By the beginning of October, we had the first issue done. I was really proud of it, but didn’t know what to do with it. And I saw more and more information online about this publisher called 215 Ink, so I took a chance and sent the first issue of. I remember getting an email back about an hour or so later saying that the first issue could be solicited in the January 2011 issue of Previews.
After clearing the shit out of my pants, I talked to James, and we were onboard. Now, for those that haven’t read Breakneck, it doesn’t really look like your regular, generic superhero book. It’s the look I specifically wanted for Breakneck, but I knew it would make publishing it a little tougher. And this is where that ‘taking a chance on a strange book’ thing comes in. But Andrew had faith in it, faith in both James and myself, and we were off and running.
There’s nothing quite like seeing your first comic solicited in Diamond’s Previews magazine. Diamond is a necessary evil in the comic industry, and sometimes has large barriers that are almost impossible for indie books to climb, but it’s still a thrill to see your book in there with all the other comics being published in North America that month.
And 215 Ink continues to impress with its wide range of comics, genres, and creators. Some of my favorite indie books are published by 215 Ink, and I’m proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with guys I’m a big fan of. Such as:
Vic Boone by Shawn Aldridge and Geoffo. A 50s-style PI in the middle of a futuristic pulp world. Boone was recently nominated as best indie series of 2011 by IGN.
Jesus Hates Zombies by Stephen Lindsay and a whole slew of top-notch indie artists. Lindsay is one of the main reasons I’m able to publish my comics, whether he realizes it or not, and his imagination is insane. Clearly, as there are a number of shitty ripoffs of JHZ hitting all over the place. But there’s nothing quite like the original.
31 by Andrew Anderson. Andrew and I shared James Boulton as artist. 31 is a crazy, non-linear spy book that has clearly been researched to the nth degree. Andrew asked me to write the intro to the 31 trade paperback, which I was more than happy to do.
The Price is a crazy-good one-shot by fellow Canucks Glenn Arseneau and Allen Byrns (who I work with on my miniseries Broken). Glenn’s crafted an eerie, creepy little tale here, the kind of story that stays with you long after you’ve finished reading it.
Footprints by Joey Esposito and Jonathan Moore is a fantastic mash-up of old-school detective noir and monsters, with Bigfoot on the hunt for his brother Yeti’s murderer. A concept so simple yet engaging that I wonder why I never thought of it. Great stuff.
Fall and Extinct by Fabian Rangel, Jr.. Fall is an original graphic novel beautifully illustrated by Juan Romera, and Extinct is a 1980s-based werewolf story illustrated by Jethro Morales. Fabian has a thousand new projects on the go this year, and has proven himself as a creator to watch.
Blue Moth is an insane sci-fi romp excavated from the mind of indie comics madman Rolf Lejdegård. One of the craziest first issues I’ve ever read, there is literally no way for me to describe this story here. Simply a must-read, unless you value your sanity.
There are a lot of other 215 Ink titles, like Kurt Belcher’s Winter War, Beware by the Perkins Brothers, Brian and Bobbi by Adam Wilson (who is also editor of the upcoming 215 Ink anthology), and Black River by Ed Brisson. So much good stuff! The easiest way to get to know the 215 Ink titles, all the first issues are free when you download the 215 iPad app, found here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/215-ink/id449585609?mt=8
And you can find info on all the 215 Ink titles at www.215ink.com
Also check out Liber Distro, the official 215 Ink distributor, at http://www.liberdistro.com/