Comics are a labor of love, there is no doubt about it. You can have a killer book, great art with a solid fun plot and people just don’t see it. Then sometimes you get a second chance. Super Human Resources came out originally 2009 from Ape Entertainment, and it’s first (admittedly small) run of the mini series sold out which I’m sure was in no small part a factor in Action Lab not only picking up the sequel but also reprinting volume 1 in trade.
But what’s Super Human Resources about you ask? Really? Did you just ask that? Man, good timing, I was just about to explain. Really. I was.
Guess I should get on with it huh? Okay, here goes…
Tim, a temp, is sent to fill a position in the Super Human Resources department on the world’s greatest super hero team, Super Crises International. A dream job to some Tim finds the situation to be disturbing to say the least, super heroes are a crazy bunch and the things going on around the office are pretty wild. But Tim has an affinity for the job and immediately becomes an asset. Such an asset it seems he may have inadvertently made himself a target of the world’s greatest super hero team’s nemesis.
In the first issue of the sequel, Super Human Resources II #1, Tim has settled in at work and he’s about to find out just how valuable an asset he’s considered, by all the wrong people.
A fun parody of the super hero community we know and love Super Human Resources has some really solid writing, the plot as well as the jokes flow smoothly along, and the art, though cartoony, is well done. This is one of those books that you hope local shops take a chance on because if someone picks it up they’re probably going to buy it.
While I was preparing to write this one up I thought I’d reach out and ask series creator and writer Ken Marcus a few questions about the series and its journey to Action Lab.
I see we’re getting a reprint of Volume One just before Volume Two comes out. How does it feel to have Action Lab jump in and reprint the first volume?
Yep, our first trade in the May Previews now. (Order Code: MAR16 0995) Which I’m excited to be getting back out into print through Action Lab Entertainment. We sold out our first run, which was fairly small. So I’m happy that retailers have another shot to get our first “season” back in front of their readers. It’s a great starting point to launch our new volume. While our second volume is a sequel, it’s not really required that you read the first volume. We’re not that plot focused. (Or at all!) But it’s a nice option for folks to have.
I know Kevin (Freeman) was a big part of your original publisher (Ape Entertainment) has he been heavily involved this time around?
He was always really supportive. A big cheerleader for our little, indie book. Kevin basically helped get Super Human Resources into Action Lab. He recently just stepped down as President of ALE to focus on more personal projects. Dave Dwonch, who we’ve also been dealing with week-to-week as Creative Director, just stepped in as the new Prez. So it’s been a pretty seamless transition. Creatively speaking, Action Lab is pretty hands-off as far as content is concerned. As long as your book is at a certain level of quality, they basically let creators create. Which is awesome. Pretty similar to how Image operates, I imagine.
You took a “life gets in the way break” between volumes 1 and 2. Has your approach to the story or characters changed at all? Are you still telling the same story or has it evolved?
I was working slowly but surely on SHR II. But yeah, some months went by without any work at all. I had a new job and kids. Sometimes, the inspiration just wasn’t there. This isn’t a job for me. Just something I love doing. So there’s really no pressure or deadlines. Which is both good and bad for a creative person. But I’m happy to be back in the indie comics saddle.
As for approach, I think I learned a lot after our first volume. I like to say I learned on the job a bit. I feel like we have a much better plot in our second series. The story propels more. Verses a backbone to hang jokes off of. I still pride myself that our story has a core of having “heart.” Our story is not just mean-spirited or cynical just to be funny. While it seems like we’re a parody of super heroes (which I guess we are) I like to think we’re not putting the super hero genre down. We’re still celebrating them by contrasting them in our real world. Comics are just the backdrop. I’m fascinated what it would be like to be an ordinary person having to work with all these costumed weirdos.
Is this the final volume? What’s next for our temp turned hostage turned (hopefully) hero?
I would like to take our HR department into space more. You know, explore all our co-workers cosmically. Which we do a little in our current volume There’s so much to pull from there, with the comics we all know and love. So much material we can draw from. Hopefully we get a good response for this volume.
That said, with all the Civil War II and DC rebirth titles barreling towards us in June, you really have to tell your store if you want to see something different. Please tell your store to order Super Human Resources from Action Lab, in Previews now. Justin Bleep Cover: APR16 1132 Gabriel Hardman Variant: APR16 1132
Thanks so much Chuck and Whatcha Reading for having us!
Thank you Ken! And we wish you much success with volume 2 and beyond!
I know after all that you’re itching to find out how to pick up volume 1 in trade as well as the first issue of volume 2. Well here are the details!
Super Human Resources II #1 is in Preview now. Due in stores June 22.
(Justin Bleep Cover) Order Code: APR16 1132
(Gabriel Hardman Cover) Order Code: APR16 1133
Story: Ken Marcus
Art: Armando Zanker
Cover: Justin Bleep (Series Co-Creator)
Variant: Gabriel Hardman (Hulk, Agents of Atlas, Invisible Republic.)
The volume one reprint is in Previews now and due in stores May 5th. Order Code: MAR16 0995 http://www.previewsworld.com/Catalog/mar160995