Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Voices from Artists Alley: ALAN HEBERT, JR.

Today's guest in our weeklong series of interviews with independent comics publishers is Alan Hebert, Jr. Alan is the head writer for HB Comics, which is a bit different from many of the self-published works we've been talking about in that they are ambitiously planning not just one title, but a whole shared universe. But why should I try to explain it when we have the man himself right here to spill the details? Take it away, Alan!

Scott Harris: Thanks for agreeing to chat with us, Alan. What can you tell our readers about yourself and the projects you have here?

Alan Hebert, Jr.: Well, I’m the comic book writer; my brother [Chris Hebert] is the artist for Lazerman and I’m the writer of it. We’ve been doing this about a year now, we’ve got the first four issues out of Lazerman. It’s the story of a hardcore comic geek who ends up actually getting superpowers. So it’s kind of a semi-spoof on superheroes, but also very much a thorwback to the classic Silver Age superheroes. We’ve got a lot of very classic themes going on, some very intentional, some played for comedy, some not. We think we really have a unique bok here.

In addition to that, we also have our second title of this universe, Vindication, which is more of a straightforward team book. They’re in a shared universe; Vindication premiered it at the Chicago Comic-Con last month.

You mentioned the Silver Age influence. Maybe this is a bit to technical, but is it more in the style of the Marvel Silver Age stuff, or more like DC Silver Age material.

It’s kind of both. It definitely has elements of both Marvel and DC. The influence I would say is more of the classic characters. The characters, you have your Supermans, your Wonder Womans, Batmans, your Spider-mans, your Captain Americas, all of them sort of play into that. In some ways its also a tribute to all of them. Because when I say spoof, there’s two ways to spoof. You can do a spoof that’s sort of insulting and a spoof that is more honoring. And we do definitely the more honoring. We’re laughing along with it. And saying, look at how great this is, even if sometimes it’s [silly].

And you’re self-publishing this?

Yes, we self-publish. We’re situated right here in Boston. Like I said, we’ve been doing it for about a year now, and Lazerman 1-4 make up the first full story, the first complete story, and we just came out with 4 a few months ago so we’re really proud to get that done.

Do you have any plans to collect this first Lazerman arc in a trade?

We are, we’re looking at publishers right now, so hopefully we’ll have some quotes back and decide which way we want to go with that. But we’re definitely going to put it in a trade. And then we’ve got issue 5 planned for probably the end of November. Vindication #2 is supposed to come out at the end of October.

Besides Lazerman and Vindication, do you have any other series that are going to take place in this shared universe?

We have two more definite titles planned that will be coming out in the next year or two. And we’d like to keep four in rotation, and maybe some new series here or there. But definitely there will be four.

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