Posted on January 9, 2010 by Flames
I recently spoke with A.P. Fuchs of Coscom Entertainment about the mix of comics and fiction available for fans of zombies, super-heroes and other dark, twisted tales.
How did Coscom Entertainment get started?
Well…long story short, the company originally began as a “goal” I had in high school. I wanted to have my own comic book company, publish a few monthly titles with some friends, that sort of thing. Obviously, things didn’t pan out that way. I switched to writing when the art school I was attending after graduation didn’t deliver on the promised curriculum. So, after a few years of writing, I self-published my book via a vanity press called 1st Books, which now goes by the name of AuthorHouse. The whole thing was a nightmare start to finish.
Ironically, I did fall in love with the book publishing process throughout the ordeal so officially formed Coscom Entertainment in 2004 to publish my own work. It became a traditional press almost immediately after that when author/editor Keith Gouveia asked me if I would publish a benefit anthology for the late Charles Grant. I did. It was called Small Bites and featured loads of flash fiction by authors both well known and up-and-coming.
Call you tell us a little about Axiom-Man?
Again, this will have to be another “long story short.” Axiom-man–the concept, anyway–was a superhero I invented while delivering newspapers as a kid, something to keep my mind busy while I went door to door. I’d daydream adventures, create story arcs, etc. Then, I created the version you know in high school. In 2005, I was inspired by the surge of independent superhero fiction being published and in January of 2006 began work on the first installment in the series. Here we are, three years later and the character has four books and one comic to his credit with more to come.
The story follows a young guy named Gabriel Garrison who one night was given power by a nameless messenger. The problem is the messenger doesn’t tell him what this power is, he just simply gives it to him. Gabriel has to discover on his own what his new abilities are. After that, he decides to become a superhero, namely as a way to deal with his own self-esteem issues and actually feel like someone of value. Turns out the messenger was but one player in a cosmic war and another being is out there, who ends up bestowing a set of superpowers on an another individual, who eventually goes by the name Redsaw.
That’s the main arc.
I started the series as a “what if this happened tomorrow?” kind of thing, something folks have either loved or hated. A lot of people just want a wham-bam action novel, something similar to the superhero movies coming out nowadays. I’m more of the mind that if a superhero showed up tomorrow, there suddenly wouldn’t be a supervillain out to get them. Instead, that superhero would do more mundane things first, like stopping robberies or helping old ladies across the street. Then, if a supervillain did emerge, the villain wouldn’t just go after the hero because that’s the thing to do. If anything, he/she would leave the hero alone and go about their business of stealing or whatever. Things would only get messy if the hero and villain crossed paths. Maybe then and only then a vendetta would start. So, yeah, it takes till the second full-length novel, Doorway of Darkness, for things to kick into high gear, with Axiom-man and First Night Out being more origin-oriented.
What challenges do you face when writing a comic vs. a novel?
Keeping it brief. I’m a long-winded writer. You got a short amount of pages to portray a lot of information. In a novel, there’s no set page count or word count, really. In a comic, 22 pages is standard for a self-contained story, more if you’re doing a one-shot.
I don’t usually work with outlines but for comics I almost always do as I need to know where I’m going so I can pace how I’m going to get there.
What can you tell us about The War of the Worlds Plus Blood, Guts and Zombies?
But seriously, I thought–what with all the hoopla about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies–why not take the undead and have them added to the father of science fiction stories?
I’m all for classic monster scenarios and to me martians and zombies together was just too cool an idea to pass up.
I asked Eric S. Brown if he was interested in writing it. He was. He did, and delivered it in spades. Like I’ve said before, zombie bits aside, unless you know Wells’ original off by heart, you won’t know where Wells ends and Eric begins.
Were you and Eric fans of H.G. Wells before working on this book?
Oh yeah. Speaking for myself, what impressed me the most about Wells was how he was insistent on making his stories scientifically possible/realistic. Though writers try to do that now, Wells was doing it waaaaay before anyone else.
We got so much undead stuff happening over here it’s like a cemetery.
So far, there have been two anthologies. Bits of the Dead, which was an amazing collection of flash fiction from such notable authors like Piers Anthony, Nancy Kilpatrick, Michael Laimo and others. Then there was Dead Science, which was very unique in that its focus was “science gone wrong that resulted in zombies.” Very cool. Coming up is Vicious Verses and Reanimated Rhymes: Zany Zombie Poetry for the Undead Head, which, so far as I know, is the first of its kind, that is, a zombie poetry anthology.
There’s another one that’s in the works as well. Something very, and I mean very, cool. You’ll just have to wait and see about that, however.
What is next for Coscom Entertainment?
We just released the third book in The Wraith series called Cult of the Damned by Frank Dirscherl. We also just put out our first full-color graphic novel–one about zombies–entitled Zombifrieze by the brilliant W. Bill Czolgosz and drawn by underground favorite Sean Simmans.
Coming up real soon are two new zombie releases: World War of the Dead by Eric S. Brown, an awesome World War II zombie yarn. Likewise, there’s Don of the Dead by Nick Cato. Think Godfather meets zombies.
Plus a whole bunch of other stuff including some more work from myself, Gina Ranalli and Zed Zefram.
Readers can keep up to date with us at www.coscomentertainment.com.
Stop by the Coscom Entertainment Publisher Page at DriveThruComics.com to download these great titles today.
Editor’s Note: This interview originally appeared in the DriveThruComics.com Newsletter and is re-posted here for folks who may have missed it.