Many years ago, somewhere around the early 1990s, DC Comics launched a non-superhero, non-science fiction, and non-fantasy imprint called Paradox Press, which produced such popular titles as Road to Perdition and A History of Violence, both of which were eventually adapted into Hollywood movies. And while not all titles from Paradox Press experienced the mainstream success as the aforementioned books, the imprint -brilliantly run by editor Andy Helfer and others- produced an incredible amount of smart, entertaining stories, before DC decided to shut down the imprint because of…oh, who knows why big powerful publishers do what they do.
One of the titles published by Paradox Press that apparently flew under everyone’s radar was an almost 300 page graphic novel (originally published as a three issue mini-series), entitled FAMILY MAN by Jerome Charyn and Joe Staton. If you’ve ever read any of Charyn’s classic graphic novel collaborations with French artist Francois Boucq, such as The Magician’s Wife, Billy Budd KGB, or the more recently released Little Tulip, you are starting to get an idea what you will find within the pages of FAMILY MAN. And if your reading habits spread beyond comics, and you have been lucky enough to stumble upon Charyn’s Isaac Sidel detective novels, you definitely know what’s waiting for you within the pages of FAMILY MAN. Joe Staton, of course, needs no introduction to any serious comic book fan. Originally hired by Paul Levitz to help revive the Justice Society of America, he later went on to work on a ton of incredible titles at DC, including his legendary two and half year run on Green Lantern with writer Marv Wolfman in the 1970s, where he co-created Omega Men. He is also well known as the artist on one of comics’ earliest Indy superhero sensations, E-Man! Most recently, in 2011, Staton and writer Mike Curtis became the new creative team of the Dick Tracy comic strip.
For anyone curious as to exactly what FAMILY MAN is all about, Atomic Avenue gave us this excellent description, “It’s set in the near future, when New York is a ruined city, the police are out of control and the Mafia families have all been wiped out. THE FAMILY MAN is Alonzo, haunted by the murder of his wife and children. His brother Charles is the leader of the police force and is coming ever closer to total power in the city. When Charles orders a round-up of all “criminal” elements into a makeshift prison camp, the various plots start to come apart and only Alonzo can save the city. Charyn is a good writer and this is some of Staton’s best work.”
With the help of Eisner Award winning editor and designer Jon B. Cooke, It’s Alive! will take what was originally published in three digest-sized square bound comic books, and transform it all into a 300+ page, black and white, 8.25″ x 11″, hard cover graphic novel, with well researched historical essays about the creators, the imprint the comics originally came from, and the story itself. A Kickstarter to help them raise the funds to publish this epic tale will be announced very soon! Along with the ability to pick up a copy of the book itself, fans will have a shot at obtaining a page of FAMILY MAN original art, from the small handful of pages that Joe Staton will be making available. There will also be more original artwork and sketch rewards, donated by several incredible artists, including: Larry Hama, Paul Gulacy, Jamal Igle, Mark Wheatley, Timothy Truman, Batton Lash, Alex Saviuk, Scott Kolins, Rick Burchett, Ron Frenz, and many more! Anyone hoping to get first shot at picking up some of these incredible original art rewards, not to mention a bunch of excellent Early Bird Specials, can send an e-mail to: [email protected]