If you grew up reading comics in the 20th century, chances are you have a strange nostalgia for ads. The printed advertisements that appear in comics developed their own language over the history of the medium, which probably peaked in the Bronze Age. Ads for candy and snacks, for merchandise based on the comic's characters, and of course for video games (once those were invented) became a part of the fabric of comics. Now that so many of us are reading digitally or in trades, that's less true.
But Fantagraphics' new superhero line, All Time Comics, is paying tribute to classic comics ads with mock ads by some of the best indie artists around.
Who is Bullwhip? We don't really know yet. According to the official synopsis of All Time Comics: Bullwhip #1, she's "the mysterious crimefighter sworn to keep Metro City's streets safe from villainy and violence." Which could be just about any superhero. But she's not part of just any superhero line. All Time Comics is the new superhero imprint from OG indie press Fantagraphics Books, spearheaded by brothers Josh and Samuel Bayer. Josh Bayer is writing Bullwhip, with Ben Marra penciling and comics veteran Al Milgrom inking.
If you listed every comics publisher based on how much you associate them with superhero comics, Fantagraphics would be somewhere near the bottom. The prestigious indie publisher has been around since 1976, publishing underground comics as well as beautiful collections of classic comic strips. But in spring 2017, Fantagraphics is getting in the superhero game with All Time Comics, a line of shared-universe books spearheaded by brothers Josh and Samuel Bayer.
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