Long story, short. Mike Marts, formerly an editor for 10 years each at both Marvel and DC, decided to branch out and start his own publishing company. Alongside fellow publisher Joe Pruett, they founded AfterShock Comics. The mentality is simple, there is no need to keep up with the ‘Big 2’ because staying ‘small’ allows for intuitive creator-owned comics to shine, similar to Image and other Indie publishers.
The publisher launched in April of 2015 and just signed a contract this year with Diamond Direct as part of an exclusive worldwide distribution deal thanks in part to two of its biggest titles, ‘Animosity’ and ‘American Monster’. AfterShock is unique in that it allows for so many different genres to be represented, outside of the superhero phenomenon, like sci-fi, horror and action-adventure titles. There is something for any kind of comic fan and reader.
Besides ‘Animosity’ and ‘American Monster’, some of our other favorite titles include: ‘World Reader’, ‘Rough Riders’, ‘Shipwreck’, ‘Backways’, ‘InSEXts’, ‘Second Sight’, ‘Alters’ and ‘Dreaming Eagles’.
- Animosity: One day, the animals woke up and started talking, thinking and taking revenge. The story follows a dog and his girl as they try to flee NYC, bound for San Fran, in search of protection.
- World Reader: Sarah is an astronaut traveling to various dead planets, talking to ghosts and trying to discover the secret as to what is killing the universe. She’s also hunted during her quest, by Death.
- Rough Riders: Theodore Roosevelt guides his motley crew of soon-to-be American legends as they solve mysteries and fight life-threatening entities.
- American Monster: A man with a horribly scarred face takes on a small-town, corrupt sheriff and a rural crew of racist arms dealers. He’s tabbed as a hero, but he really seeks to take the town over.
- Shipwreck: Jonathan Shipwright is the sole survivor of an unusual shipwreck and doesn’t know where he is. Navigating an endless road, he pursues a saboteur who holds the key to his salvation … or doom.
- Backways: There is a hidden nation of both magic and madness, that exists in all forgotten spaces, like your basement, attic, haunted houses, etc., and Anna Merrick is in search of someone she lost in the ‘Backways’.
- InSEXts: A pair of vengeful Victorian vixens discover a horrifying power that transforms them into rich and strange creatures. Armed with their dark, they descend into the occult, with intentions of forging a life for themselves and the child of their love.
- Second Sight: Ray Pilgrim, 20 years ago, became a celebrity when he discovered he had the ability to see through the eyes of psychotic killers terrorizing London. His world falls around him when he is accused of the same crimes and is hunted.
- Alters: In a world where a war between heroes and villains is being fought, humanity is becoming the collateral damage in the equation. The ‘Alters’ are mutants and might ultimately be the end of our genetic road map.
- Dreaming Eagles: This title tells the story, inspired by true events, of the first African-American fighter pilots in the U.S. Army Air Force in WWII, from their humble beginnings in Tuskegee, Ala., to the deadly skies above Hitler’s Germany.
Having already locked in such talents like the duo of Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, Brian Azzarello, Jeff Loveness, Francesco Francavilla and Leila Leiz, just to name a few, the publisher will keep attracting both upcoming and established creators, as it continues to grow and, for the first time, in 2018, will participate in Free Comic Book Day.