At ECCC 2019 I had the pleasure of chatting with Max Bare and Melissa Sue Stanley about their beer themed superhero comic.
Tito W. James: So you’re creating comics to help promote a craft beer. Give me the elevator pitch.
Max Bare: Revolution Brewing makes Galaxy Hero which is the official beer of C2E2. So for the last four years Melissa and I and our writer Dave Snyder make a book for their flagship beer Galaxy Hero. Our comic is about a cosmic superhero with a beer hop for a head.
Melissa Sue Stanley: We do one issue a year and it releases at C2E2. We’ll have copies at the Revolution Booth and at our table in artists alley also. It’s super fun. They kind of give us total creative freedom with the brand which is super exciting.
We’ve been able to write a comic book about their heroes without it necessarily being a marketing heavy thing. I mean we don’t talk about beer at all in the comic book. So it’s a wacky space adventure but the characters just happen to have hops for heads.
TWJ: What are some of your artistic influences?
MB: Rob Schrab’s work on Scud The Disposable Assassin was a huge influence on both of us.
MSS: Yeah in the first Galaxy Hero issue a lot of the movements felt similar. I’d be yelling at Max “This is a Scud jump.”
MB: [Laughs] Yeah so we toned it down. But for the first issue of Galaxy Hero the brand hadn’t been established yet. So our writer Dave, came up with all these wack side characters like a walrus-man, a giant millipede, a huge shrimp. Yeah so there’s a lot of wackiness in those first couple of issues.
MSS: It’s very goofy. There’s a pistol shrimp who rides a wood duck around and he’s the main bad guy. It’s a little non-sequitur. It’s Zany!
TWJ: With all that insanity how do you keep it cohesive? If I had to describe your art-style, it looks like everyone has jelly pumping through their veins.
MB: Actually Melissa and I are both the pencilers on the book. So we’ll either be trading pages back and forth. I ink it so I can keep the linework consistent. Then Melissa does most of the coloring.
Melissa has a very realistic approach to her work– she does a lot of portraiture and watercolor paintings. So when we did the first book though I should do all the action-y stuff and Melissa would do all the closeups and exposition. I think our initial idea was to treat it like Ren and Stimpy where they do those really gross close-ups.
MSS: Yeah, so I draw all the disgusting close-ups. But now we’re both doing everything. We just found a way to have our styles meet in the middle. Now we have a strong sense of the characters and feel for the book.
I’d like to thank Max Bare and Melissa Sue Stanley for taking the time to do this interview. Look for Galaxy Hero at C2E2.