Watch out comics old guard, there’s a hot new (independent) upstart in town and it’s bringing a fresh take to the comic book issue: the comic book magazine. AHOY Comics, founded by Hart Seely (a journalist for the Syracuse Post-Standard and humorist for places as prestigious as the New Yorker) will have a few familiar faces helming its grand experiment.
The company launches in September with two series, a superhero story and an afterlife tale. Light fare for a couple 40-page debuts. The first, The Wrong Earth by Tom Peter and Jamal Igle, will run six issues and feature a Trading Places-style story involving a no-holds-barred vigilante and a sidekicked hero best suited for cereal box covers.
The second, Tom Peyer and Greg Scott’s satirical High Heaven, focuses on a dead curmudgeon in a heaven that he hates and hates him right back.
Peyer, also AHOY’s editor-in-chief, is a writer and editor who’s worked extensively at Marvel and DC/Vertigo (and who worked with Seely on a baseball poetry collection). Joining him as the ops manager is Stuart Moore, the Eisner-winning founding editor of Vertigo, and chief creative officer Frank Cammuso, one of Seely’s collaborators on fiction and satire and an Eisner nominee in his own right. That’s an impressive masthead of friends with long working relationships, who’re bringing in plenty of talent to stock their new comic offerings to the brim.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the team explained what exactly fans can expect from the new comic book magazine. When bringing in a full-length lead comic each release that’s complemented by smaller works of prose (Grant Morrison will be writing additional stories for both launch comics), poetry, and other creative tidbits, you have to think that you’re changing the game a little — or at least offering a premium experience for comic fans.
"I believe we can take the best of literature and the best of comics, put them in a blender and come up with something new, exciting and — most of all — true," Seely said.
These blended ideas — some of which include a drinky Edgar Allan Poe series and space cats (space cats!) — have plenty of additional creative talent tagging along however they can. But that’s not just for novelty’s sake.
“I prefer an eclectic group of talented contributors over a rigid house style,” Peyer told THR. “I’ve always loved a generous page count, and I think the addition of fiction, poetry, humorous prose, single-panel cartoons — and maybe someday even a crossword! — make every AHOY Comic a more filling meal than we’re all used to getting. And a much funnier one.” Crossword nerds unite — something bizarre and exciting is happening here and fans of the evolving comic industry should pay attention.
For quick reference to the company’s core values, look no further than the name: AHOY stands (or could stand — the website seems hazy on whether the name is an acronym or a backronym) for Abundance, Humor, Originality, and Yes.
You’ll have some time to think on what exactly “Yes” refers to, because AHOY’s first comic (The Wrong Earth) won’t be out until Sept. 12, 2018, with High Heaven following on Sept. 26.