Mike Bullock talks about Savage Beauty

From the Mind of Mike Bullock and the people who brought you Captain Action comes and all new comic Savage Beauty. Savage Beauty promises “Torn from today’s headlines, engages readers with thrilling stories and gorgeous art!” Series writer Mike Bullock of Lions, Tigers and Bears frame, stopped by First Comics News to chat about his new series.

First Comics News: Who is Savage Beauty?

Mike Bullock: Savage Beauty isn’t necessarily a person, but rather the title of the book starring the Goddess Anaya. In Africa, thousands of languages are spoken each day, yet only a handful of legends and mythologies are common through all these dialects. One such mythology is that of the Goddess Anaya, who descends from the heavens as a golden-haired beauty to bless the innocent or rises from the earth as an ebon skinned bringer of vengeance to punish the guilty.

1st: Given the name and the genre, is it safe to assume there will be more “good girl” art than the average series?

Mike: Savage Beauty is anything but “average”. On the surface this may seem like just another jungle book with pretty girls going on adventures in the Dark Continent, but readers will find that’s far from the reality once they hold the book in their hands.

1st: Who is the artist on this project with you?

Mike: Jose Masseroli, a studio partner of Silvestre “The Phantom” Szilagyi is providing the interior pencils and inks. For those unfamiliar with Jose’s work, he’s been creating comics for the Marvel licensor in Argentina for decades, working on everything from Punisher to Spider-Man and back again. Bob Pedroza and Josh Aitken from Phantom are coloring and lettering the series. Paul Gulacy, Dave Hoover, Thomas Yeates and a host of others are providing some amazingly beautiful covers for the book as well.

It’s really quite surprising to see how many cover artists have offered to provide covers for this series already. Something about drawing scantily clad, beautiful women really appeals to comic artists.

1st: Where do the stories take place?

Mike: Initially, they begin in Kenya and Uganda, but the future issues will travel to the Congo, Rwanda, Mali and even London, Sydney and Los Angeles.

1st: The tag line is “Torn from today’s headlines, engages readers with thrilling stories and gorgeous art!” What type of stories?

Mike: Anyone who pays any attention at all to the current socio-political climate in Africa knows the continent has a desperate need for heroes right now. From Somali pirates to child soldiers to fanatical warlords, drug smuggling, diamond smuggling, terrorists and beyond, the current African landscape is very similar to the wild west days of the United States where law and justice seldom went hand in hand and often the powerful made their own laws and enforced them with guns, torture and rape.

I think a place like that needs a hero. Maybe two.

1st: Do these stories take place in the Captain Action universe?

Mike: No. While the property is co-owned by myself and the two wonderful owners of Captain Action, Ed Catto and Joe Ahearn, it has as much to do with Captain Action as it does Lions, Tigers and Bears, which is basically nothing.

1st: As the stories progress, we will see any crossovers with either Captain Action or Zeroids?

Mike: While I can’t predict the future, I don’t foresee anything of that nature coming up any time soon. But, that’s the fun of starting something brand new, anything is possible in the future, if it makes sense from a story standpoint.

1st: What type of direction were you given; what can you do, and what can’t you do in the stories?

Mike: When we started this, we simply wanted to continue the type of story themes I was creating in the pages of Phantom: Ghost Who Walks. While the characters, methods and environments won’t be the same, these stories will still touch on real world events and scenarios that anyone who reads the international news can learn about right this very moment; from the mutilation of women in the Congo to the collapse of government in Darfur. The real joy for me is my storytelling hands aren’t tied by edicts from a licensor and since I created the mythos, I don’t need to spend weeks reading old stories for precedents. Granted, I have spent hour after hour pouring through African mythology to craft the mythos of Anaya, however, once that’s set in place, the sky is the limit on the where I can go with the stories, including things that are a little more risqué such as sex slavery, and other non “politically correct” issues.

1st: What makes Savage Beauty so cool that everyone should add it to their pull list the next time they go to their local comic shop?

Mike: Two beautiful, bikini clad women dishing up justice in exotic locales, brought to life by incredible artists with stories that have true meaning to our modern globalized world. What more could a modern, intelligent fiction reader want?

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