Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: With Free Comic Book Day just around the corner, our readers would love to know what Humanoids has in store for the big day! As the Director of Creative Development, what are you looking forward to sharing with both new and seasoned comic book readers?
Mark Waid: Not just great stories and dynamic art, but perhaps - most importantly - new, contemporary voices. Mags Visaggio, Darcie Little-Badger, Hellen Mulane, and Kwanza Osajyefo are only a few of the diverse movers and shakers contributing to the line and really making the books theirs in collaboration with established talents like Jock, Devin Grayson, Dennis Calero, and more.
BD: Last October, Humanoids announced the very exciting release of H1, its first-ever creator-infused imprint, featuring three ongoing monthly series and original graphic novels. What can you tell us about this shared creative universe and the upcoming titles?
MW: The three titles that comprise our “universe” are Ignited, Strangelands, and Omni. Something’s happening in the world as it approaches a breaking point of stress both geographically and as regards the population, and people are beginning to be gifted with superpowers, seemingly randomly.
Ignited is about the survivors of a terrorist attack on a school who have been granted enough power to push back forcefully against the voices that seek to drown theirs out. Strangelands is about two people with powers that are under control only so long as they maintain a very limited distance from one another, and the relationship they forge while they’re being hunted by the authories. And Omni is about a doctor gifted with an insane new level of intelligence that causes her to see the world in a radically different way than you and I.
But wait! There’s more! The standalones in our line, both graphic novels and series, are just as exciting. Meyer is a springboarding-off-true-events story about the famous gangster Meyer Lansky. The Big Country is a Texas noir series of murder and intrigue--if you liked Justified, have we got a book for you. And Nicneven and the Bloody Queen is set in modern-day England and tells a story about a young woman whose family is well-versed in black magic, mixing sorcery and horror
BD: As a co-writer of one of the H1 titles (Ignited), would you mind sharing your creative process in working with the team to bring this story to life?
MW: The basic premise was handed to me, and I jumped on it--it deals with political subjects near to my heart. Essentially, Kwanza and I get on the phone and knock the plots around for each issue. From there, I do a first-draft script that Kwanza takes a pass on.
BD: Free Comic Book Day is an exciting annual event for individuals in all avenues of the comic book industry. Why do you feel that the geeky holiday continues to be a staple in the industry, and what do you most value about the event each year?
MW: Most of all? Seeing kids and new and young readers visiting comics stores for the first, but not last, time.
BD: From stories of superheroes to stories of average individuals faced with extraordinary individuals, what have you found to be most impactful and resonant with readers in Humanoids catalog of titles?
MW: Stories about people, powers or not. The Humanoids books reach a worldwide audience, don’t forget. For over forty years, the name “Humanoids” has stood for some of the greatest writers and artists working in Europe and beyond on as wide a range of publications as you could imagine, from biographies to science fiction to westerns to horror to young-readers books and more. And yet, protagonists we care about and can invest in regardless of their settings must always be at the heart of all our projects.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find out more about Humanoids’ Free Comic Book Day titles, as well as its full catalog of books?
MW: Visit us at Humanoids.com!