"This story is about taking a new approach on the famous, and not so famous, monsters that we've heard about in myths. A secret FBI division is assigned to handle these "Abnormals." If you think you know the true story behind their legends be prepared to be surprised! Do you love chills? Thrills? Are you aching for a series that plays like classic creature features? Then, 'Abnormal' by Martinez/Butler is for you!"
Joey Martinez is a long-time friend of mine. We went to school together, and the guy is a class act, and a very talented artist. He and his partner in crime, Justin Butler, are putting their talents into a full fledged horror comic book that sounds like it's going to be something any fans of old school horror and comics will like. The promo image (above) gives you a small teaser of what you can expect. Expect a lot of cool visuals, humor, and good storytelling.
I decided to ask Joey some quick questions about this series, to let everyone know exactly what they're in for, and why they should invest in reading what's bound to be a very good read of a comic series.
What's the story behind the making of Abnormal?
Martinez: Well, me and Justin came together to work on comic scripts because we both have the same kind of aspirations to get into writing comics and our brains definitely are on the same wavelengths taste-wise in what we're looking for out of a story. So we began with a story that was my concept called "Mr. H" and once we wrapped on the first issue of that book we started in on one of his concepts and that's where we started writing a book called "Totally" and mid-way through the book Justin came to me with another concept. The concept was based around the famous monsters, cryptozoological creatures, and this idea of a Native American Werewolf that lived for hundreds of years. THAT concept really intrigued me more than anything else we're working on and it evolved into what is now "Abnormal".
Butler: That’s actually kind of a funny story. Joey and I had been working on other scripts and trying to generate ideas; so I was in creative mode, and one day I was in the shower and the idea just came to me. I sat in there for a good half hour generating the outlines of the main characters and the basis of the story. As soon as I got out I shot Joey a text and then, boom! Within the next day or two he sent over the first couple of pages; and we’ve been cranking out more and pages and expanding our mythos every day.
Martinez: I think in using monsters that we've all seen in movies, tv, and other media we instantly have a connection to the audience that a completely new comic concept doesn't have. If you're like me, you grew up with Frankenstein, Dracula, Werewolves, Zombies, ect. So when you see them its like seeing old friends and you want to see what they're up to. In contrast to that, their are a lot of obscure and insane creatures that maybe people haven't heard of that we can draw from to bring something new to the table.
Butler: Being horror fans ourselves, I think we have a good grasp on the genre. I personally love everything from the old Universal Monsters (like Dracula, Wolfman, and Creature from the Black Lagoon) to modern horror (the Evil Dead remake being a recent favorite of mine) and we put a lot of love of the genre into the book. I’ve been writing short horror stories since I was a kid and the chance to combine my passion for comics with my admiration of classic monster movies and cryptozoology is something I’m very excited about; and hopefully that comes across in the book. For horror buffs, particularly of the more classic monster flicks, we have references sprinkled everywhere so be on the lookout.
As a fellow comic nerd, what is it that your comic has that you feel readers won't get anywhere else?
Marinez: That kind of goes back to the previous answer, in that you can have an instant connection to the classic monsters. We're kind of putting old ideas on their ear and bringing it to you in a different way you haven't seen before. I also think the fact that we're putting all of these ideas together in one place. Of course, I know that isn't re-inventing the wheel because it has been done before but I find it's been done to disastrous effect. I really want to do this idea where the true horror fans out there will sit back at the end of each issue and just go, "Someone finally got this right!" or a simple, "THAT was badass!" would make happy.
Butler: We are in an age today that anyone who wants to put a comic can do so, in one way or another. There’s the internet, self publishing, crowd funding, and the good ol’ traditional route; so there’s more and more people making comics now than there ever has been before. That’s all great, but the struggle is to make sure your work has its own unique voice and is engaging enough to not fall to the wayside. I like to believe that with as much care as we are putting into the book that our individual voices and style will allow us to stand out in the sea of wonderful content that is constantly being given to the public. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a story quite like ours and hopefully the readers feel the same way. We want our readers to feel genuinely excited every time they pick up a new issue. We aren’t setting out to be the next Walking Dead (as nice as that money would be) we are just trying to let people enjoy what’s spilling out of minds onto the pages and be as stoked to see it was we are to make it and that’s all we can ask.
What can we expect to get out of reading Abnormal?
Martinez: Their is a lot of "a-ha" moments and "I See what you're doing there" stuff. We're coming from a point-of-view that we're massive fans of classic horror movies and just that "Creature Feature" feel. We're trying to take you back to that old sense of wonder, the cheesy moments that make you laugh, mystery, and of course those cringing moments we all love if you're any kind of horror fan. I feel like if you read it and you don't find yourself as fulfilled as if you watched a Boris Karloff, Bella Lugosi, Vincent Price or an old school George A. Romero movie than we're not doing our job.
BUTLER- Fun! That’s the point of comics, right?! You’ll laugh, cringe, cry, and be on the edge of your seat. We just want to confuse your emotion as much as possible and leave you wanting more.
You can check out Martinez and Butler's Facebook page HERE. And while you're at it, check them out on Twitter too, HERE.