Previously I explained why I think Young Animal is ripe for expansion. Now it’s time to talk about the direction in which the imprint should expand and who should be brought on in order to round out the talent pool.
I’d love to see Young Animal focus on the Quality Comics line. While some of the Quality characters have made their way into the main DC universe as supporting heroic characters and have also had short stints at Vertigo, I think a small and select group of titles should be brought to Young Animal in order to illustrate that the line can be more than just another imprint established by and populated with “British Invasion” devotees. I have said in the past that “Morrisons beget Ways.” What I am proposing here is a chance to prove that saying false. Here is a chance to show that the mainstream industry can provide imprints that include visions beyond the (admittedly fantastic) Brit-pop influence seen in so many organizations overwhelmingly dominated by UK creators and their protegés.
In my first Young Animal piece I stressed the importance of uniqueness. It is, quite frankly, something that many new companies lack. There is no effort to separate one from what has come before in terms of shared influences, talent, a particular point of view, or a preferred genre. And so readers will cling to the company that is the most familiar and the most convenient if all else is equal (creators, production quality, theme, etc.).
The characters? Quality. The theme? Bicoastal (New York/Los Angeles) adventures. The genre? Action-oriented humor and surrealism.
Crack Comics and Heart Throbs would be alternating bimonthly anthologies with a main ongoing story by the creators listed and additional shorts selected to showcase Quality characters and individuals working within the creative circles of the established teams. Kid Eternity and Plastic Man would be standard ongoings.
Not to toot my own horn, but I think I’ve done a pretty good job curating here! I’ve selected a group of artists and colorists who are imaginative and excellent storytellers, which ensures a true collaborative effort in regards to theme and direction. I also wanted writers who could happily tap into the absurdity of both New York and Los Angeles—past, present, and future. And I’ve thrown myself in with the murderers’ row assembled here because (1) I’m the armchair curator, (2) I love Sophie’s work, and (3) she’s the one of the few artists who would put up with the ridiculous nonsense I would immediately try to sneak inside a comic. But I would happily replace myself with Adam Warren should there be a “No Editors Allowed” policy.
It’s a good crew—one I think would work well at Young Animal specifically given how much music means to the majority of creators I’ve assembled. And I think that is what should link all of the Young Animal titles in some regard—a strong musical influence. Be it punk or hip hop, glam rock, r&b, or pop. Of course, all of the creators I’ve listed can and have worked well at different companies. And would work well in different crews. Where and with who? Well, that’s for a different post and another time!