ALL TIME COMICS is a throwback to a simpler time. So many parts of the American experience have disappeared in my lifetime: the excitement I felt when I rushed to the record store to pick up a new rock album, sneaking into the drive in movies back in the 70s. That’s the feeling I want fans of superhero comics to get when they pick up an issue our series. – Samuel Bayer
Samuel Bayer’s trailer you can view below, which was featured in a prior ALL THINGS GEEK was timed to the eagerly anticipated release of ALL TIME COMICS: CRIME DESTROYER issue 1, the first of the retro-cool ALL TIME COMICS superhero comics which recently debuted from Fantagraphics, the publisher of the world’s greatest cartoonists, including Gilbert and Jamie Hernandez (LOVE & ROCKETS) and Tony Millionaire (DRINKY CROW).
I got to interview the creative powerhouse duo about this amazing project which brought together comic legends. ALL TIME COMICS issues feature the work of current indie comics creators like Josh Bayer, Ben Marra (TERROR ASSAULTER: O.M.W.O.T.) and Noah Van Sciver (DISQUIET), alongside the work of established artists like Al Milgrom (co-creator of Firestorm) and the last art by legendary artist Herb Trimpe, who co-created Wolverine.
Alex Yarde (AY) : I LOVED Crime Destroyer #1! It really took me back to 70’s era Power man and Black Panther comics that in turn were cribbing the style of popular black films like Slaughter, The Klansmen. What were some of the comics and films that interested you as kids?
Josh Bayer (JB): As a kid, I loved Universal Horror movies and whatever else you could see in the pre cable era of the seventies. We made the heroes we want to read about: Crime Destroyer, Bullwhip, Atlas, and Blind Justice. When I moved to LA to live with Sam in my early 20s, he insisted that I watch this movie called AMERICAN HEART with Jeff Bridges as a recently paroled con raising his son in Seattle, while working as a window washer. It has a lot of parallels with our relationship as siblings, I think. It was a relatively new movie at the time and is largely forgotten now but it has remained something that still influences me a lot. It’s a great tragedy and depicts a type of heroism implicit in people’s everyday struggles. It’s pretty great.
Samuel Bayer (SB): There is a raw sensibility in Crime Destroyer that I dig…lotta words describe it: timeless, grindhouse, raw… it’s an aesthetic I love, and one that certainly shapes all my work. When I was a kid, I loved the grindhouse vibe, like old Ghost Rider comics and Power Man, etc. Two of my favorite films from the 70s are BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA by Sam Peckinpah and VANISHING POINT. I liked them so much I developed remakes — Benicio Del Toro was attached to the reimagined version of Peckinpah’s ALFREDO GARCIA and my friend, the late, great Tony Scott was gonna produce the remake of VANISHING POINT.
AY: ALL TIME COMICS, Is billed as a shared superhero universe featuring the world’s most fanta*stic heroes. Atlas, Blind Justice, Bullwhip, & Crime Destroyer. Will there be other Fantagraphics characters or properties doing crossovers?
JB: Oh, haha like Daniel Clowes or Charles Burns characters in our comic? I think all those creators would not be too into that and I’d respect that. We do have alternative covers by Tim Lane, Gilbert Hernandez, and Johnny Ryan so the feel of it being a Fanta book is intact, but we’re sort of on an island doing our own thing.
AY: I read a quote “I am so excited by the combination of writers and artists that we have working on ALL TIME COMICS,” says Sam Bayer. “We’re bridging generations of creators — veterans from the 70’s with contemporary creators — to make comics that are retro cool.” What were if any, challenges getting such a diverse pool of talent collaborating on this project? How did you come to consensus on the story etc.?
JB: Challenges were just the normal logistical problems with an organizationally challenged person like me, but the creators were approachable and all the industry veterans have years of professional discipline to burn. It’s the industry that has fallen a bit away from them, not the other way around. If you have a project that is decent, and a budget to pay a respectable rate, you should not hesitate to reach out to some of these creators you loved from back in the day.
How did you get Al Milgrom to ink BULLWHIP and BLIND JUSTICE?
JB: I think I reached out to a website where he does commissions and he was very approachable. He’s been an incredible guy to work with, I learned a lot from him.
AY: I had written about Rocket Raccoon, Rom Space knight and Micronauts creator Bill Mantlo’s struggle post TBI and his family’s financial difficulties. I really like the tribute Optic City Center for Cranial trauma Victims as a base of operations for Blind Justice. Is it any easier for creators to get recognized or compensated for their work from big comic publishers?
JB: I haven’t heard a lot of details about that. If there’s baby steps being taken towards starting to reimburse these people, then that’s positive. I think there’s a lot further they need to go. If you work on a comic for six months of a year shaping it and sculpting the ideas behind it, providing stories characters and contributing to the mythos, I think you are certainly deserving of residuals. It’s just the most basic thing a strong union would make sure that people have. But comics has never had a strong union.
I’ve heard that Marvel has given creators payoffs behind the scenes more and more. They’ve also publicly crushed people who have opposed them. It’s the same stuff I see every day with powerful landlords and big corporate entities.
AY: What is the take away you’d like fans to get when they finish All Time Comics? Is there an overarching message?
JB: No over arcing message, here. It’s more like when Dylan and the Band got together and did The Basement Tapes — it’s a celebration of older styles of music. Though no one here is a Bob Dylan, I mean he is a verifiable genius, this is a fun side project for now, people can take from it what they will.
SB: ALL TIME COMICS is a throwback to a simpler time. So many parts of the American experience have disappeared in my lifetime: the excitement I felt when I rushed to the record store to pick up a new rock album, sneaking into the drive in movies back in the 70s. That’s the feeling I want fans of superhero comics to get when they pick up an issue our series. ALL TIME COMICS is stripped down pulp but even in this complex, disturbing age, stripped of subtext, stripped of the slick aesthetic of some modern titles,there is universal theme all our heroes are fighting for. It’s timeless, it’s important in a divisive time in American politics and history that Crime Destroyer, Bullwhip, Justice, and Atlas will fight for justice or die trying.
Interview With LaMonica Garrett (Crime Destroyer)
Q: You star as Crime Destroyer in the film. What attracted you to the role?
A: What attracted me to the Crime Destroyer role I loved the idea of creating an alternate universe with throwback, retro superheroes. I’m an avid comic book reader/ collector, so Crime Destroyer is right up my alley….
Q: What’s your next project? Do you see this film perhaps becoming a series?
A: My next project is the project I’m currently working on ‘Designated Survivor on ABC, where I play U.S. Secret Service Agent Mike Ritter. Wednesday nights 10/9c. I can see Crime Destroyer becoming a feature film. The nostalgia of old school superheroes I think would bring people to the theater.
Thanks to Josh, Samuel & La Monica for taking the time to answer my questions! I’ll have continuing coverage on this old school comics / grindhouse film event in all its glory as ALL TIME COMICS continues!
The oversized first issue of ALL TIME COMICS: CRIME DESTROYER issue 1 is available NOW for $4.99, and subsequent standard size issues will retail for $3.99.
Keep up with the newest Crime Destroyer, Atlas, Blind Justice, and Bullwhip at http://www.fantagraphics.com/alltime1/ Follow ATC via Twitter at @alltimecomics and via Facebook @ALLTIMECOMICS. Don’t miss the most talked about superhero event not published by a corporate conglomerate with the adventures of the world’s most fanta*stic heroes! Check the release calendar below!
ALL TIME COMICS: CRIME DESTROYER #1
Josh Bayer (story); Herb Trimpe (pencils); Ben Marra (inks); Jim Rugg (cover) + Johnny Ryan (cover); MARCH 2017
ALL TIME COMICS: BULLWHIP #1
Josh Bayer (story); Ben Marra (pencils); Al Milgrom (inks); Das Pastoras (cover) + Tony Millionaire (cover); APRIL 2017
ALL TIME COMICS: ATLAS #1
Josh Bayer (story); Ben Marra (story, pencils, inks); Das Pastoras (cover); MAY 2017
ALL TIME COMICS: BLIND JUSTICE #1
Josh Bayer (story and pencils); Rick Buckler (pencils); Al Milgrom (inks); Victor Martinez (cover); JUNE 2017
ALL TIME COMICS: CRIME DESTROYER #2
Josh Bayer (story); Ben Marra (story, pencils, inks); Das Pastoras (cover); JULY 2017
ALL TIME COMICS: BLIND JUSTICE #2
Josh Bayer (story); Ben Marra (story); Noah Van Sciver (pencils); Al Milgrom (inks); Das Pastoras (cover); AUGUST 2017
The role of men is changing in the 21st century. Want to keep up? Get the best stories from The Good Men Project delivered straight to your inbox, here.
All Art – ALL TIME COMICS