Hammer-ing It Out With Brandon Barrows
CosmicBookNews’ own reviewer, Brandon Barrows, has been busy putting the finishing touches on the third issue of his superhero detective series, “Jack Hammer.” But during our interview with him, we panned a lot of future gold about the creator’s many projects and where our
One thing is for sure: Brandon is by no means staying idle these days!
Cosmic Book News: Your series "Jack Hammer" certainly has managed to combine the gritty detective and superhero genres successfully. Where is the story headed from here? Any teasers?
Brandon Barrows: Well, if you've read the first and second issues, you're probably pretty curious who the shadowy guy is whom we've only seen in shadows and profile. The mystery will be revealed in issue #3, and I can't wait to hear people's reactions! The main villain of the series who's been pulling the strings all along shows up and, along with Jack of course, is the focus of the last two issues. We'll also see that while the villains of this series are bad people, they have very good reasons for the things they're doing.
Cosmic Book News: For those of us following Jack, are there any of those legendary genre twists and turns coming that may surprise us? Tell us what you can without spoiling the read.
Brandon Barrows: Hmm, well, there's a couple but I'm not sure I can tell you without giving the surprise away. I will say that if you're enjoying "Political Science," you'll be surprised at a few revelations revealed to Jack.
Cosmic Book News: How far away are we from seeing the day of a flashback with Jack in full super-dude costume? Have you even said what Jack's full powers were?
Brandon: I've been, and plan to continue, sprinkling bits and pieces of Jack's past throughout the series and upcoming issues. I'd rather they not be the focus, at least at the moment, but we see things as Jack might remember them; incidents and events spring to his mind unbidden, as we remember things, giving insight into Jack's past without coming out and saying "Hey, this is the way it was!" As far as Jack's costume, what you saw in the first issue is pretty much it. Jack wasn't necessarily the most famous or most successful hero, and he certainly didn't have a flashy costume. Even back then, he was sort of a no-nonsense kind of guy.
As far as his powers go – no, I haven't said explicitly. We see his powers as things go along; so far, we've seen he has some degree of superhuman strength and a degree of enhanced durability. I can tell you, though, that he can't fly or shoot lasers from his eyes or anything like that!
Cosmic Book News: Word at the
Brandon Barrows: This is absolutely correct.
In addition to the two remaining issues of "Jack Hammer: Political Science" (the third issue should hopefully be out in April), the first issue of Grim Crew Comics' new series "Extraordinary" is out in March and contains the first "Hound" story I wrote.
It's a spin-off of "Jack Hammer," set in the same continuity, about another superhuman called Hound. A lot of people have asked me when we can see more of Jack's world, and this is just the first little bit of it outside of what we see following Jack. Hound is sort of a professional smash and grab artist who'll find and, if necessary, obtain anything for the right price. He's an interesting guy and, like Jack, is well-known to police detective Charles Martin.
Speaking of anthologies, I've got two more stories coming out in separate books in the near future. The second issue of "Reasonably Priced Comics" is out in April and has the next installment of my sci-fi series "Voyaga." I got tremendous feedback about the first story, and I hope everyone looking forward to more of Dean Kirkland's adventure enjoys the new look of the series. Also, I did a story with Silvina Rinaldi for Fan-Atic Press' "Slam Bang" series which I believe is coming out this spring.
And, if all that wasn't enough, I'm finishing up work on the second "Jack Hammer" series for a summer release. It's called "Usurper's Kingdom" and delves a little bit more into Jack's powers and a lot more into his relationships with the people around him and how Jack deals when he's cut off from his support network.
Cosmic Book News: Which of these projects has your focus now, and what more can we learn about it?
Brandon Barrows: Well, most of the stuff I mentioned is done or, at least, my writing for it is done. Right now, though, I'm also working on a new series called "Western Addition" with artist Leandro Paganiban. The first story is scheduled to appear in "Reasonably Priced Comics #3," which is out this summer. I've actually written quite a bit of the series, though, so the rest of the story may end up published as a stand-alone.
Cosmic Book News: How can fans best access these projects? Any publication/online launch times available?
Brandon Barrows: Folks can always follow me on Twitter; I'm easy to find. It's just @BrandonBarrows. I do update my website whenever I have something worthwhile to say, too, so you can find me at www.brandonbarrowscomics.com. Reasonably Priced Comics' website is a good place to look for stuff, and not just from me, so make sure you check out www.reasonablypricedcomics.com.
As far publication dates, "Extraordinary" is out March 23rd, I believe, and "Reasonably Priced Comics #2" is out April 6th. The rest, I don't have firm dates for but I'll put them on my site as soon as I do.
Cosmic Book News: What does the future hold in store for comics creator Brandon Barrows?
Brandon Barrows: I'm headed to a bunch of conventions this spring and summer, and I'd love to meet fellow comics fans and creators. I'll be at Boston Comic Con at the Hynes Convention Center April 30th and May 1st, and I'll be at Granite Con in Manchester, New Hampshire (at the Radisson Center of NH) May 15th. I'm also planning on being at a few other conventions around the northeast, but I don't yet have confirmation so check my site for updates.
Cosmic Book News: Brandon, thanks for your time and good luck!