Last month, comics publisher Unlikely Heroes Studios — run by Atlantic City artist Zack Dolan — announced a new project called “The Surgeon.”
The four-issue miniseries centers on a physician forced to kill to survive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, which naturally goes against the whole “first do no harm” thing.
Dolan describes it as “part ‘Mad Max,’ part ‘Yojimbo,’ part ‘High Plains Drifter.’”
Dolan is drawing the comic with Athens, Georgia-based writer John Pence, along with Dolan’s inking, coloring and lettering team from his ongoing series “Super!” which follows a group of also-ran heroes in a world where everyone has powers.
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Art from the Western- and samurai-influenced “Surgeon” is up on the comic’s Facebook page. Dolan says scripts for the miniseries are nearly complete, and there will eventually be a Kickstarter campaign to help fund printing of the book.
Meanwhile, Unlikely Heroes maintains a Patreon page for subscription-based crowdfunding, and you’ll no doubt see Dolan promoting his work on the local con circuit this year.
Dolan says Pence reached out to him online while looking for someone to do some design work for him.
“It was just meant to be a few concept images, but he liked them so much, and we got on so well, he just kind of kept me on throughout the rest of the process and slowly phased out the other people he was going to bring in and ended up just gelling with the ‘Super!’ team,” Dolan said.
By now, Dolan, like most comics creators, is well used to collaborating across state lines. Inker Laurie Foster and her husband, letterer Erek Foster, live in Montana, and colorist Everardo Orozco lives in Mexico.
“The worst problem we have these days is people being in different time zones and having to wait for the answer to a question,” he said.
Dolan is just one of the people making comics in South Jersey.
Tanya Fields-Arana says the gang at Atlantic City-based Redonkulous Entertainment has sold 100 copies of the first issue of its sci-fi/law-enforcement comic, “Maven Bloodmoon,” after meeting people at last year’s Atlantic City Boardwalk Con and the New Jersey Comic Expo in Edison, Middlesex County, and by promoting their work on Facebook.
Fields-Arana says the group, which includes writers Lavar Queen, Kevin Martin, Ryan Ross, Tyrell Newmones and James Brown; artists Nigel Frasier and Efrain Arana III; and business/marketing team Courtney Jackson and Fields-Arana, all Atlantic City High School alumni, is working on issue #2, in addition to prepping a second series, “Charge,” which they hope to have ready by spring. They hope to have a website for their endeavor set up by the end of the month.
Dipping his foot into the process of making comics is Matt Piskun, of Egg Harbor Township, who is writing a four-issue miniseries called “Legacy,” working with a Brooklyn, New York, artist named M.J. Steele.
Piskun describes “Legacy” as “a character-driven horror story with supernatural elements, about a juvenile delinquent coming to terms with his father’s criminal past.”
“Legacy” is his first comics project, and a departure from Piskun’s day job as director of pharmacy at Shore Medical Center in Somers Point, although he’s been writing since he was young. He recently signed a contract to be featured in a science-fiction anthology called “Broken Bones & Ten Dollar Bills.”
Piskun says he’d like to pitch publishers for “Legacy” later this year.
Finally, Dawn Brown, of Egg Harbor Township, sent us a link to a self-published comic from 2013 called “Crowd Control,” about a security team at a fictional Atlantic City casino, which she says is based on stories from her daughter and nephew, both of whom work at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. The comic can be downloaded for 99 cents on Amazon.