Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad talks about CRESTAR & THE KNIGHT STALLION

Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad

First Comics News: How did “Crestar and the Knight Stallion” come into being?

Ajmal Zaheer: We were looking for a project to make during the Corona lockdown and pitched a few ideas amongst each other. The idea of a duo of superheroes that got together and discussed their day caught everyone’s attention. Kind of like Seinfeld meets superheroes. When we started to develop the idea and saw how funny it could be with an authentic cultural twist, we then expanded it to have an equally authentic epic side as well. The mixture of comedy and grounded reality seemed to take flight and we began production.

1st: What is the storyline of “Crestar and the Knight Stallion”?

Ajmal: The first few issues are about a seasoned vigilante named Crestar that finds a young man that displays some form of superhuman abilities. Crestar is simultaneously trying to save a Detroit that’s teetering on the edge of destruction while unraveling a mystery about this young man named Ali. Ali is dealing with a very strong Arab mom that’s trying to get him married and settled while this new “super” twist in his life occurs. At the core of it all, the story is really about family, friendship, and the hero that lives in us all.

1st: Is this comic comedic in nature?

Ajmal: The comic is equal parts comedic and epic. Think of how Ghostbusters rides the line between real-world comedy, action, and horror, and you’ve kind of got the idea of what we’re trying to create.

1st: How has Darick Robertson “The Boys” Co-Creator helped you and Abdallah Jasim?

Ajmal: Darick Robertson is helping us craft the book. We’ve given him some large “data dumps” of the vision of the project, the storyline and some incredible villains, and where we see it going in the future. He took that all in and said, “You guys have got something great here, I can help make it perfect.” And that’s exactly what he’s doing. He truly lives and breathes the language of comic books and has become a great friend and an Obi Wan Kenobi like figure to us.

1st: How would you describe the artwork of Gerrie Gastonny and Ferry Verdyal?

Ajmal: Garrie and Ferry have done a great job in rendering out the first part of this story. Garrie has created depth and detail in all of his panels and Ferry has accentuated that with his colors. Garrie has also succeeded in matching my production designs for the characters which I was worried about at the onset of this project. He did a great job and I think it’s been a wonderful team. We can’t wait for everyone to see the cover Garrie has done! With Ferry coloring it, I’m sure everyone will be pleased

1st: What superpowers does Knight Stallion have?

Ajmal: Knight Stallion has the power to “Quantum Lock”. You’ll have to read the book to see how his amazing abilities develop and how it all works! Like Crestar would say, “It’s not fantasy…it’s science!”

1st: You directed the video trailer is this a preview of a movie to come?

Ajmal: I directed the trailer as a way to generate excitement for the whole idea. We’re developing the project to exist simultaneously in live-action, comics, and social media. If you liked the live-action trailer, you’ll love the comics. If you liked the comics, you’ll soon be able to interact with your heroes on social media. And you never know, you just might see these guys on the big screen one day as well.

1st: You also starred as one of the superheroes what personality does he have?

Ajmal: Crestar is a grown-up kid at heart who loves toys, gadgets, and cars. He believes that good people need to be protected and bad ones eliminated. He’s very black-and-white about things but at the same time is just a loveable guy who takes pleasure in the simplest of things. Unlike me though, he’s a lonely guy…never had a family and has no idea how to talk to girls. I think his greatest achievement one day will be to have one. Let’s see if it ever happens.

1st: Are the comic book characters of Crestar and the Knight Stallion at all like you and Abdallah Jasim?

Ajmal: VERY much so. They have a good amount of our DNA in them…that’s how we make them feel more real and well-rounded. I also think they represent the best parts of us and the type of men we’d like to be as well.

1st: How is Paul Allor the Co-Writer to work with?

Ajmal: Paul is amazing and has done a tremendous job at putting this whole idea together in comic book form. Paul is also incredibly nice and has a great little dog named Short Round. That alone should tell you all you need to know!

1st: Would you like to see “Crestar and the Knight Stallion” reach the one hundred issue?

Ajmal: Absolutely!

1st: Besides “Crestar and the Knight Stallion” what else are you working on or have planned?

Ajmal: Right now, we are developing quite a few ideas. Some sci-fi and some fantasy. I’m excited about all of those but I see Crestar and the Knight Stallion taking up most of our time for the next year or so.

1st: How do you feel about cats?

Ajmal: I. Love. Cats. I have a new kitty named “Crestar” and he’s a Bengal. He looks like a leopard and has an amazing dog-like personality. He even wears a custom-made suit of armor I made for him and calls himself “Battle Kitty”. Wanna see a pic?

1st: What do you have to say to anyone who picks up “Crestar and the Knight Stallion”?

Ajmal: Please take the time to read and pour over the book. We put a lot of love into it every last panel and hope that you’ll be on for the whole ride with us. Trust me, it’s going to be a fun one!

You can purchase issue 1 at goldenapplecomics.com

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