Welcome to Self-Published Spotlight, a regular interview column where I will be highlighting self-published comics and the creators and small print publishers who make them.
Michael Fitzgerald Troy: Big Bang Comics is one of the longest-running independent comic book publishers founded by Gary Carlson and Chris Ecker with a pure desire to make the kinds of comics they grew up loving. And you can really see the inspiration that went into the creation of the largely Golden And Silver-Aged flavored homage style characters. But they are much more than knockoffs and shouldn’t be dismissed as such. These characters have stood the test of time and were thoughtfully and lovingly created by Gary and Chris. Big Bang started as Megaton that would through no fault of its own turn into a roughly 64-page annual anthology. Coming out basically when they could through grassroots publishing mechanisms. Megaton is especially noteworthy because it arguably had a hand in helping launch the careers of Erik Larsen and Rob Liefeld. Early versions of Savage Dragon and Youngblood make their first appearances in Megaton comics-promoting Rob Liefeld to coin Gary Carlson “The Grandfather of Image Comics.” Eventually, Gary and Chris wanted to focus the shift to the more Silver and Golden age characters they loved so much and Big Bang was born! After varying publishing deals and a stint at Image Comics Big Bang has continued publication mostly through Indyplanet where you can find an extensive backlog of Big Bang Comics.
MFT: Yes. For the Golden Age fans, we have an amazing “chase” variant cover by the ever-amazing Kerry Callen. That was another satisfying moment in the endless list of mounting satisfying moments from working on this project. Apparently, Gary Carlson has been wanting to work with Kerry for years and it’s been a dream come true for him to see Kerry’s depiction of the characters he created. I was beyond the moon to be able to facilitate that. I actually have another Big BBC contributor Sam J. Royale to thank for the suggestion.
MFT: Another major score for the book is Nick Cagnetti who has supplied the jaw-dropping Berzerker centerfold you’ll see associated with the campaign. I recently fell in love with Pink Lemonade and also interviewed him for my channel! See kids- if you want to work with the top talent in the Biz you need a YouTube channel or shameless tenacity. Fortunately for this project, I have both. Luckily Nick said yes. I gave him the tiniest thumbnail and he gave me this epic sweeping two-page spread that would make Erik Larsen jealous! And low-key- I hope it does! Rounding out the power players is Mahdi Khene. One of the most unique voices in indie comics right now. I was aware of Mahdi before Bootleg Spider-Man made him indie famous and I’m so happy we have him in the book. Another example of how perfectly this project came together. I told Mahdi I wanted him, period. And I held my breath. And he gave me the most amazing dead-on pitch-perfect Big Bang pin-up. It really speaks to his voice as an auteur to be able to mail the character so concisely. And so horribly really. He did rip off Ultiman’s face after all. To his credit Gary loved and man was I relieved!