Hero Tomorrow Comics 2013
Written by Ted Sikora & Milo Miller
Illustrated by Benito Gallego
Coloured & Lettered by Ted Sikora
Apama - The Origin
A bat, a spider, a wolverine, sure, but an Apama? What the heck's an Apama? Hungarian ice cream truck driver Ilyia Zjarsky is about to crash into that answer when he goes hiking and discovers the legend of this ancient creature lost in the shrouded shadows of Myth. Can Ilyia recreate the impossible pose that will unlock this savage animal's spirit force within him? Perhaps the bigger question is, 'Should he?'
This was first done digitally in 2013 but has now been retooled and has additional pin-ups that the original didn’t have and is on Diamond’s list shipping physical copies this week. For me personally as I am always on the look out for something new, different and outside the norm I had wanted to check it out. My Shoppe wasn’t about to have it and an attempt to reach the company went unanswered yet it’s free on Comixology for those interested in reading this. Just so you know while this may be rooted in the “now” it feels very much an homage to the Bronze Age of comics and that is incredibly well done and appreciated.
As nicely done on the computer as this comes across I would love to get my hands on a physical copy just to see how the work translates to the page, which I am going to assume being as old school as I am it’s so much more impactful. The guys do a stellar job writing this one and how the book is structured is extremely well done and nice to see. While I am not always a fan of the origin story as an opening for the series in this case we’ll let that slide since no one, including me, had one iota of an idea what an Apama even was.
The first page spoke volumes to me it has this whole unique vibe and feel to it and you think who who is this dude with the dreads, dressed like Tarzan and trying to dance (?) and who looks way to thin for a grown ass man. One splash page is all it took to capture my interest and that’s about as old school as you can get folks. Then we start before the poses and we get a look at Ilyia as a man and as unremarkable as one as you can get to boot. The storytelling is amazing to see, the characterisation is wonderfully done and makes you want to know any number of things that you hope will be answered as the series continues.
I am overjoyed by the work done by Benito and Ted on the interiors here. The linework has that scratchy strong feel to it and there’s also some nice use of varying weights that give us the more subtle aspects which bring faces and facial features, not to mention muscles, to life. The utilisation of page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off a very solid and talented eye for storytelling. Then of course there are the backgrounds which are so extensively used and do such wonders in expanding the moment, scenes and scope of the story at hand.
So we are treated to something unique, fun and well beyond the sense of reason with this one. I mean a white male of Russian/Slavic descent with ear plugs and dreads finds himself in a position to become a superhero of sorts based off an animal no one has ever heard of. It doesn’t get more off the walls than this and the explanation of what an Apama is well you’ll have to read the book to find out but suffice it to say that my curiosity is more than piqued.
Another reason why you should be expanding your reading well beyond the most well known companies in the industry. Innovative, fresh and full of great writing and interior artwork this is why I do what I do.