Starting next year, Fantagraphics will begin publishing their very own shared superhero universe with All Time Comics.
All Time Comics will feature the world’s fanta*stic heroes including Atlas, Blind Justice, Bullwhip, and Crime Destroyer.
It is the brain child of the Bayer Brothers. Josh Bayer is an underground comics artist and teacher and his brother Samuel is an acclaimed mainstream director who launched his career with Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video.
“Sam came to me with the foundation of the characters already laid out,” says Josh Bayer. “I was able to start coming up with details like Atlas’ origin and backstory, Bullwhip’s villains and supporting cast, and a lot of Blind Justice’s story, which I’m maybe the proudest of. I was inspired by details of Bill Mantlo’s life after I read that that he lived in a head trauma center for years after his comics career was ended by a hit and run driver in 1992, I made up the Optic City Center for Cranial trauma Victims as a base of operations for Blind Justice. I also brought in a lot of stuff that fascinated me about the 1980s into some of the stories, basing supporting characters The Misogynist and Candy Chryssalium on figures from 1980s culture, since the whole concept of ATC is about folding time back on itself, trying to go back to right some wrongs, and do things over the way I think comics should be done.”
“ALL TIME COMICS is both an expression of affection for the books that shaped our lives, and a link to a pre-internet time when comic book culture was more precious and rarefied. It originates from a lifetime of research and our devotion to the comics medium,” says Josh Bayer. “This project is a chance to work with not only acclaimed independent figures like Noah Van Sciver and Ben Marra, but to spotlight superstars of the field like Al Milgrom and Herb Trimpe. I see ALL TIME COMICS like an Obelisk: something that can be admired but with a greater significance beyond itself. It stands for all comics.”
“There’s an alchemy to the Bayers’ editorial vision that is undeniably exciting, and I’ve gotten a genuine charge out of their enthusiasm for ALL TIME COMICS,” said Fantagraphics Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds. “In a market flooded with crass attempts to cash in on Hollywood’s interest in superheroes, ALL TIME COMIC is that rare project motivated by a sincere appreciation and affection for the creators behind the creations.”
Each issue will feature a mash up of new cartoonists and classic comic book creators working with writer Josh Bayer to unleash their own brand of superhero stories.
All Time Comics will launch with six series featuring startling stand alone, interconnected adventures chock full of retro crime fighting. It will launch with All Time Comics: Crime Destroyer #1, which will be a 36 page oversized spectacular with writing from Josh Bayer as well as art from Ben Marra and last art of the legendary co-creator of Wolverine, Herb Trimpe. The first issue will feature covers by Jim Rug and Ryan. Other artists such as Rick Buckler, Ben Marra, Al Milgrom, Noah Van Sciver, and more will contribute to the series.
All Time Comics will also see the return of veteran artist and industry legend Al Milgrom since 2014.
“It’s exciting to be a part of this new publishing venture, All Time Comics,” says Milgrom, “Independent comics have a raw energy and enthusiasm that pushes the comics envelope. I’ve really enjoyed inking BULLWHIP and BLIND JUSTICE and I’m looking forward to this old dog learning some new tricks!”
Following the release of All Time Comics: Crime Destroyer #1 in March 2017, All Time Comics will roll out Bullwhip #1 in April, Atlas #1 in May, Blind Justice #1 in June, Crime Destroyer #2 in July and then Blind Justice #2 in August.
“I am so excited by the combination of writers and artists that we have working on ALL TIME COMICS,” says Sam Bayer. “We’re bridging generations of creators — veterans from the 70’s with contemporary creators — to make comics that are retro cool.”
“Working with Sam and Josh on ATC was about as close to a dream comic-book project as I could ever hope to be a part,” says artist Ben Marra. “Since I was young I’ve been a fan of superhero comics. I’ve always wanted to draw superhero comics. Working on the character designs from the ground up, then being able to collaborate with comic book legends, artists I’ve looked up to since I was a kid, Herb Trimpe and Al Milgrom, was an incredible experience.”
All Time Comics: Crime Destroyer #1 will retail at $4.99 with subsequent issues retailing at $3.99.