The following is an interview with Tom Peyer regarding the debut of publishing company AHOY Comics and their comic book releases, The Wrong Earth and High Heaven. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Peyer about the inspiration behind the the comic book series, his creative process in balancing the writing and editorial duties, what he hopes that readers will take away from the stories, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of AHOY Comics’ publishing debut, The Wrong Earth! What inspired you to craft this superhero satire series, and what makes AHOY the perfect home for the series?
Tom Peyer: Thank you! This idea had been percolating in my head for some time. It’s about two versions of the same hero–one a campy, law-abiding Silver Age type, the other an ultra-violent modern vigilante–trapped on each other’s worlds. I like all kinds of comics, old and new, and I think a lot about how they relate to each other. And it struck me that a person of a certain age might view their favorite superhero as an exemplar of, say, civic responsibility and courage, while a reader from a younger generation might see the same hero as a symbol of bloody revenge. Times change, characters change, readers change, but the trademarks and chest symbols stay the same. That’s kind of nuts.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in working with Jamal Igle, Juan Castro, and Andy Troy?
TP: I’m the editor of The Wrong Earth, as well as the writer, so I get to see every stage as it’s happening and meddle when necessary. It hasn’t been necessary. Jamal brings so much energy and invention to this book; it’s as much his as it is mine. Juan was Jamal’s first choice to ink this book, and it’s immediately apparent why. Their work meshes extremely well. Andy is one of my favorite colorists. We switch back and forth between earths a lot, and you can tell where we are by the colors. Always.
BD: The first issue of The Wrong Earth will release on September 12th with incredible extra features, including work from Grant Morrison and Shannon Wheeler. What can readers anticipate from the first issue of the series and subsequent releases?
TP: We’ll always have extra features to keep you reading after the main story is done. In future issues of The Wrong Earth, you’ll see short stories and text features by The Flintstones‘ Mark Russell; Matt Brady, formerly of Newsarama.com and now running TheScienceOf.org; 2000 AD writer Kek-w; cartoonist Carol Lay; and many more. And we’ll have solo Dragonfly, Dragonflyman, and sidekick Stinger comics by Paul Constant, Frank Cammuso, Gary Erskine, and Tom Feister.
BD: In addition to The Wrong Earth, AHOY Comics will be debuting your comic, High Heaven, in late September. What can you share with us about this satiric comic and your shared process in working with the creative team?
TP: High Heaven is about a youngish guy who dies accidentally and goes to Heaven, where everything is dull and disappointing, and everybody hates him. Greg Scott is killing the art on this book. And we have Andy Troy again on colors, doing an excellent job. Our regular backup feature is Hashtag: Danger about a trio of scientific adventurers who encounter dinosaurs, aliens, mole people, and the like, but always find time to treat each other terribly. It has hilarious art by Chris Giarrusso. Our first issue has another Grant Morrison prose story, illustrated by Rick Geary. And Richard Williams contributes our covers; he’s a fine arts painter who did a whole lot of MAD covers.
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from the two series?
TP: That we do comics that are very different from each other, but each is funny and entertaining in its own way.
BD: Do you foresee The Wrong Earth or High Heaven expanding into other mediums in the future, and, if so, which medium do you feel would offer an ideal format for the story?
TP: The ideal format is comics. We love them, and we’d never use them merely as a stepping stone to TV or movies. Having said that, if you want to pay us a lot of money to make a TV series, I’m listening.
BD: Are there any other upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
TP: We have two fine series launching in October. Captain Giner, by Stuart Moore, June Brigman, and Roy Richardson, is about a starship with a crew of cats. Has there ever been a higher concept? Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Terror is an anthology of irreverent adaptations of the works of one of history’s drunkest writers. The first issue has stories and art by Mark Russell, Peter Snejbjerg, Fred Harper, Richard Williams, Hunt Emerson, and more.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about The Wrong Earth and High Heaven?
TP: We have a nice website, comicsahoy.com, and a busy Twitter feed, @AhoyComicMags.