Resize text+=

Fanbase Press Interviews Derek Charm on the Upcoming Release of the Comic Book Series, ‘Toxic Summer,’ with Oni Press

The following is an interview with Eisner Award-winning cartoonist Derek Charm regarding the upcoming release of the comic book series, Toxic Summer, through Oni Press. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Charm about his creative process in bringing the nightmarish beach adventure to life on the page, how the comics of his youth influenced the series, and more!

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of Toxic Summer! For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about the series’ premise?

Derek Charm: Thanks! Toxic Summer is about two best friends named Ben and Leo who come up with an intricate plan to spend the summer working as lifeguards in a beach party town, only to find the beach shut down due to a toxic spill, they’re on dead fish clean-up duty, and there may be mutant monsters lurking in the shadows.

BD: The series deftly weaves the camp of summer beach movies with gross-out teen horror slashers, keeping readers on the edge of their seat from start to finish. How would you describe your creative process in bringing this epic world and characters to life on the page?

DC: The basic idea came really quickly, and I was having fun just loading all the worst things I could think of up against Ben and Leo to really ruin their summer. Summer beach movies were definitely an influence as a starting point, but then mashing that up with elements from the horror/sci-fi side of things.


BD: Looking back at the comics collection of your youth, what were some of the comics that paved the way for Toxic Summer?

DC: The closest I can think of are early MAD or EC comics by artists like Will Elder, Jack Davis, or Wally Wood. Things that were more humor driven with weird situations and wild drawings. There’s a little bit of classic Archie in here, too, specifically a series called Archie’s Madhouse, which was about the gang in spookier humor situations.

BD: What makes Oni Press the perfect home for this story?

DC: When I think of cool or offbeat comics, I think of Oni. They also had a really cool idea of how to present the series as a double-sized first issue with regular-length issues to follow that I really liked and have been amazing collaborators along the way.

BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?

DC: Toxic Summer is my last big comics project for a while. I’m working full time in animation for the foreseeable future on an amazing project that I’m super excited about.

BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Toxic Summer and your other work?

DC: The best place to learn more about Toxic Summer is through Oni’s website (, or picking up the first issue when it drops on May 1! I have a lot of my past work on, or am on Instagram @derekcharm.

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief




Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top