Interview with Mike Marts talking about AfterShock Comics

Interview with Mike Marts talking about AfterShock Comics

Pedro Monje: At a personal level, how did the opportunity of working in AfterShock come up and what was your reaction? Were you looking for a change at this point? How was your last run in Marvel (killing Wolverine et al)?

Mike Marts: The AfterShock opportunity came about on New Years’ morning through a random Facebook message from Joe Pruett, who had been a friend of mine within the comic book industry for almost twenty years. W’ed worked on some X-Men projects together as writer/editor and we’d always kept in touch over the years. I certainly wasn’t looking for anything new at the time, and I was very happy with what I was producing at Marvel Comics, but Joe’s description of the new company and the people that worked there was extremely intriguing to me. As I got to learn more about the company and what they were looking to accomplish, tier long-term vision, I began to realize this was the next evolutionary stage of my comics career. It was a touch bittersweet leaving Marvel after only having been back for a little over a year, but I look at that time fondly, having produced great projects like Guardians of the Galaxy, Bendis’ X-Men titles and Death of Wolverine.

Replica Paul Jenkins portada Dreaming Eagles Portada Garth Ennis

P.M: What are your functions in AfterShock? After so many years working at the Big Two, what do you think are the main differences between working them and in AfterShock (no crossovers, I guess… hehe)?

M.M: Ha ha certainly no crossovers at this point. My job functions as editor-in-chief at AfterShock are extremely similar to what I was doing at both Marvel and DC–just now on a larger scale. At the other companies I was responsible for managing a specific line of titles, be it Batman or X-Men. Now, at AfterShock, I’m responsible for running an entire publishing line of comics–acting as story editor, talent recruiter, talent liaison, art director, company spokesperson, and on and on and on. It’s a bit much for one person, but I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else with my life. This is where I thrive, this is where I am most comfortable.

P.M: I know this question may be a little bit “un-original” but… Among a always growing market, what points would you say that are going to be the key selling point?

M.M: One of the primary foundations of the AfterShock entity is quality… our goal is that reader and retailers and the comics industry at large equates the brand of AfterShock with quality–both in the type of storytelling that we provide and the creators that we bring to the table. Our belief is that the quality of our brand and our product will be the key selling point in making a difference in this ever-expanding market.

Insexts Marguerite Bennet Portada American Monster Portada Brian Azzarelo

P.M: You have worked with so many authors during your years in Marvel andDC… and according to the first series, big names are granted in AfterShock. How has been the process of convincing all the authors to work in AfterShock? Had you keep in touch with them all those years? Who was the first one? Who was the hardest one?

M.M: It’s been fantastic to work with the amazing lineup of craters we have at AfterShock over the past year. Some of the creators we recruited ourselves, others came on the recommendation of friends, and still others sought us out on their own. One of the first partners to join our fold was Paul Jenkins, a creator who has worked with both Joe Pruett and I quite a bit over the last two decades. Paul is like a brother to us and is an instrumental part in creating this new AfterShock family.

P.M: Will we see less-known authors working in AfterShock?

M.M: Anything is possible, but for now most of the writers working with AfterShock are household names in the comic book industry. One of our main goals is gathering the best possible stories for our publishing line, and so far that’s meant that most of these great ideas have come from experienced, popular and well-established writers.

Superzero portada amanda Conner Strayer Portada Justin Jordan

P.M: In many of the independent comics nowadays, big names may be usual writers-wise. Not so much artist wise. Talking to the writers, many of them said that the selection of the artists was your input. How was the decision of hiring one artists or another to the titles?

M.M: The great thing about artists is that every time you turn around, there’s some new player on the field, some new creator that has suddenly catapulted to the level of being a fantastic comic book artist. Building up the artistic arsenal of the AfterShock Army has been a fun process…some artists like Andy Clarke were experienced people that I’d worked with for years…others like Ariela Kristantina and Rafael de Latorre are brights young stars at the beginning of their careers. The diversity of our creative lineup–both in background and experience–is yet one more reason why our company stands out. It’s all about the quality of craftsmanship.

P.M: You have just started but… how do you see yourselves (AfterShock) in the next December? How many ongoing series do you want to be publishing in one year?

M.M: AfterShock isn’t overly concerned about title count or market share at this point, we’re more concerned about finding that sweet spot with readers and retailers… having enough quality product on the stands to satisfy the readers’ appetites while the same time making a statement within this industry.

Second Sight Portada David Hine

P.M: Among the announced series… which one is going to surprise us?

M.M: Each of our titles will surprise different people in different ways. Readers of REPLICA may be surprised AT how much humor Paul Jenkins has sprinkled into this title. Fans of INSEXTS Will be blown away by the surprises, twists and turns on every page. People who try out DREAMING EAGLES we’ll be surprised that it’s far more than just another war title. And people will fall in love with Dru Dragowski in Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti’s SUPERZERO. And trust me, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With AMERICAN MONSTER, STRAYER, SECOND SIGHT and more we have top creators telling the stories they’ve been wanting to tell for years… we’re just fortunate that they chose to tell these stories with AfterShock.

Links of interest

 AfterShock Comics
 Interview with Brian Azzarello in Zona Negativa.
 Interview with Garth Ennis in Zona Negativa.
 Interview with David Hine in Zona Negativa.
 Interview with Justin Jordan in Zona Negativa.
 Interview with Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti in Zona Negativa.
 Interview with Mike Marts in Zona Negativa.

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