Jim Zub has written the action-comedy fantasy series 'Skullkickers' for Image Comics since 2010. And now nearly 20 issues into the series it's getting a re-boot.
A re-boot the head.
We contacted Zub to talk about The Uncanny Skullkickers #1 (DEC120515) and how he'll keep the cranium-smashing adventure chugging along.
PREVIEWSworld: Talk about adding an adjective to the title of your comic. That was quite an uncanny idea?
Jim Zub: I prefer the term “horrific bandwagon jumping”, if you please. :)
To be totally honest, the whole “Uncanny” thing is a small elbow jab to the mighty House of Ideas, but it’s meant as a loving poke not a malicious attack. I’ve been a lifelong Marvel fan and their use of exciting adjectives always brought a smile to my face.
PREVIEWSworld: If you've read Skullkickers for 18 issues, should you expect a big change with The Uncanny Skullkickers #1 or will the continuity continue?
Jim Zub: Our core story is continuing, but the dynamic has changed with our main characters, so it really is a good time to get on board the adventure tale we’re spinning. As we enter the second half of the big story I’ve planned out it’s time to really dig into the larger fantasy concepts that fuel Skullkickers and I think new readers may be surprised at how many layers there are to our ridiculous and violent little series.
For long time fans who are worried about breaking up the numbering of their Skullkickers comic set, we have a special #19 B cover variant to continue the regular numbering. Everybody's taken care of.
PREVIEWSworld: The series has followed the adventures of two hard-headed mercenaries named Baldy and Shorty, but Shorty met his ultimate demise, so Kusia takes over as Baldy's sidekick. What will it be like having her as a main character?
Jim Zub: The shared IQ of the group has now shot up by at least 120 points, but that doesn’t mean things will get any easier for the Skullkickers. Rex (Baldy) and Kusia have to survive on an island of mystery that’s crammed with danger: man-eating turtles, platoons of apes, ancient traps, forgotten temples and a mystic pool that calls upon the darkness in your soul. Good times ahead.
PREVIEWSworld: Talk about your use of sound effects and narration throughout each issue? The running commentary really adds to the humor.
Jim Zub: I love directly interacting with the reader through narration or overly descriptive sound effects. Comics are such a fun medium and I think acknowledging the reader adds a lot of joy to the reading process. Rather than trying to come up with onomatopoeia to match the visuals in the panel, using a sound effect like “bully shove” tells you exactly what’s happening and its intent: it’s a quick little irritated shove by someone who thinks they’re in charge and is too good for this stuff. It sets the tone of the panel and it makes the reader a part of the process as they imagine what that sounds/feels like.
PREVIEWSworld: If somebody tweets a sound effect idea to you @JimZub would you consider using it in a future issue?
Jim Zub: If it was a good fit for what I had planned, sure. I don’t think people can copyright sound effects so that would be okay. I’d give them a Special Thanks in the front and rock it out.
There are quite a few times where I go back and cut down on the number of descriptive sound effects in the comic once I see the lettering proof. I can go a bit overboard at times and it loses its impact if it’s overdone. Humor is all about contrast and the unexpected.
PREVIEWSworld: Finally, tell us why we should be reading The Uncanny Skullkickers?
Jim Zub: Skullkickers is a new reader friendly action-adventure comic about camaraderie and kicking ass. It’s The Hobbit meets The Hangover. The entire creative team puts their all into every issue and it shows, from the front cover right through to the back.
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