Growing up in Kansas, the hate-mongering picket practices of Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church were an almost omnipresent source of annoyance, so I was happy to discover that Oni Press had taken note of the group's noted interest in comic book culture by sending them an envelope full of reading material. What kind of reading material, you ask? Try half a dozen copies of The Auteur #1 by writer Rick Spears, artist James Callahan and colorist Luigi Anderson. They're going to love it!
James Callahan, who operates under the rather appropriate moniker Barf Comics, likes his puke. He also likes his blood, his exploded bits of brains and flesh, and zombie-like creatures. But his gory, neon-bright illustrations have a wicked sense of humor that makes them perfect for skateboard decks.
Today at San Diego Comic-Con, Oni Press announced its latest ongoing creator-owned book, The Auteur, which is slated to make Hollywood start feeling a burning sensation in the spring of 2014. So what's it all about? Having had the opportunity to check out an advance copy of the first issue by Rick Spears (Black Metal), artist James Callahan (Barf Comics) and colorist Luigi Anderson, I can say that at first it seemed to be about an unhinged movie producer desperate to bounce back from the biggest box office flop of all time. By the end of the issue, however, the better question seemed to be "What isn't this comic about?" For answers -- along with a first look at six intense preview pages from The Auteur #1 -- we may or may not have interrogated Spears.