“It explores themes such as the fruitlessness of revenge, remorse about our past, and the redemption we seek for our sins.” – Six Swords creative team
“If flying heads and f-bombs are also up your alley, you won’t want to miss this.” – Matthew Peter Murphy
Comics Experience alum Chris Massari and collaborators have partnered to create Six Swords: an action comic series set in a post-apocalyptic United States. Combining Tarantino-style pulp, spaghetti westerns, and social satire, the story follows the titular group as they face conflict and adventure in search of fresh starts and redemption.
Chris and his creative teammates are running a Kickstarter to help print the first volume of the story, which collects issues #1 through #3. You can order the book by supporting the campaign here!
Chris spoke with us about the project’s creative team, the story’s origins, and his development as a comic creator.
Chris credits his collaborators for the project’s success so far. He co-wrote the story with Melchor (Mel) Sapiandante and Matthew Perez. The team also includes Ryan Cody on art, Elaina Unger on color, and Renato Guerra on lettering. The cover features line art by Eoin Marron, and color by Michael Doig.
“Ryan‘s style was distinct and set him apart from all of the other submissions we got,” Chris says of the artist. “We wanted our series to be unique and not cookie cutter in any fashion, and we felt Ryan’s art would do just that.”
“The same for our letterer Renato Quiroga,” he adds. “We were very specifically looking to have the book available in different languages. So, Renato being a native Spanish speaker with a solid lettering resume, it was an instant match.”
On colorist Elaina Unger, he says, “She was from the same hometown as us and went to the same college as us too, and on top of that, she is a fantastic artist. Mel reached out and she’s been working with us since, as well as killing it on Archie comics and Sonic prior. She’s really good and awesome to work with.”
Another Comics Experience alum, Plaid Klaus, will be joining the team as penciler and inker on the forthcoming Volume 2. “The violence and action is coming for you to draw, Klaus,” Chris says. “Hang on!”
Talking about the project’s origins, Chris explains, “Mel had come up with this idea of saving our friend, who worked on the West Coast, while we were on the East Coast during [an] apocalypse with a bunch of machetes.” What started as a joking storytelling session between friends eventually morphed into a piece of Facebook fiction, then evolved into a full-fledged comic project.
“I was, at the time, writing for Ain’t It Cool News and trying to figure out this landscape of comics, because I wanted to do it professionally and it was just perfect timing,” Chris says. When the job took him to New York Comic Con, he seized the opportunity to find panels and other resources to help him bring the story to life.
The concept launched before Chris took any Comics Experience courses, but he credits the knowledge he gained as a community member for helping his work progress. Since starting with CE, Chris says, “I’ve completely changed my approach on drafting, editing, writing out panels and thinking about how it would work with the rest of the creative, specifically letters (thanks Dave Sharpe)! It’s just made my approach more professional and experienced; I understand the moving parts and the architectural structure stuff a lot more.”
Work on the second volume is already under way, with preview pages available in the Volume 1 edition for a taste of what’s to come. “We have a lot of really colorful characters on the horizon we want to introduce. Celia Pol, the unofficial ‘7th sword’ of the series, and basically a ‘queen of pirates,’ will play a huge role,” Chris teases.
If you want to make comics, write, draw, letter, and color comics, or improve as a comics creator, you’ll find like-minded friends and colleagues in our online workshops and courses. We hope to see you there!
Posted by Nicole Boose