In December, the creative crew behind Corrosive Comics put up a calendar in Shawn Cruz’s home studio and hammered out a plan for writing, drawing and printing three comic books by March.
“We decided we wanted to have all three books done by January,” said Cruz, artist and writer of Psycho Guitar Killers. “We said, ‘That’s totally doable, look at all the time we have.’”
A week into February, Cruz, Micah Baker, Tim McHatton and Sean Hollenhors were still burning the midnight oil to meet their deadlines. The foursome plan on releasing the second issue of “Psycho Guitar Killers” and the first issues of “Cherry City Derby Girls” and “P.U.N.K.E.” this month.
“The books will probably squeak by the deadline. They’ll probably shriek a little bit, too, but they’ll get done,” Baker said.
The studio is hoping to make waves with its showing at Emerald City ComiCon in Seattle on March 12-13 and follow that up with an appearance at San Francisco’s WonderCon on April 2-4.
“Cherry City Derby Girls: The Comic Book” – slated to debut at the CCDG bout on March 6 – takes post-apocalyptic cues from the Derby Girls’ first match last year.
“Basically, I’m inverting downtown so all the back alleys became the forefront, said Baker, writer and artist of the Cherry City Derby Girls comic. “Those are the coolest parts anyway – with random iron bugs staring at you with soulless eyes.”
The cast of characters is taken from the stage names of the CCDG women and a failure to recover from the Great Depression is his “way-overthought” reasoning for an apocalyptic Salem.
“Psycho Guitar Killers” issue 2 is the second in an ongoing Corrosive Comics series sponsored by Salem’s own Normandy Guitars. The comic serves as both promo material for the guitar shop and a featured band. It has been almost a year since the last issue featuring Salem-based Potatoe Famine, but hold-ups kept arising from a variety of of sources.
“We had to get approvals through [Eagles of Death Metal's] representatives for likenesses, script – basically everything the characters were going to be saying and doing,” Cruz said.
Cruz wrote and drew the comic under the guidance of Jim Normandy, owner of Normandy Guitars; Baker is coloring it.
Of the three projects, “P.U.N.K.E.” is the milestone for the Corrosive Comics. It’s the studio’s first wholly original, non-licensed work.
“Tim banged out the script and we read it and we were like ‘Jesus Christ, my pants,’” said Cruz.
Hollenhors is supplying the book’s artwork. They plan to have a black and white version of the book ready for Emerald City and a full-color version will follow. It’s currently scheduled to be a five-issue book.
“Basically, in the near future, the earth is experiencing increased tectonic activity and there is a group of psychics whose suits suck up the energy and redirect it. Of course, some go rogue and that’s where the first issue picks up,” McHatton said.
P.U.N.K.E. (pronounced punk, not punk-e) stands for Psychics Using Nano Kinetic Equipment.
“There’s lots of big fights and punches,” Hollenhors said.
“Epic fights,” corrected McHatton.
“There’s lots of fighting wrapped around a good sci-fi story,” Hollenhors quickly finished.
In a roundabout way, “P.U.N.K.E.” is the fulfillment of a dream for all four of the creator.
“We’ve all had the idea to work for a comic book company, but that’s like playing in someone else’s sandbox. P.U.N.K.E. and even the other books are mostly what we want them to be,” said Cruz.