Megaton’s BIG Big Bang! A Cosmic Lion Production Kickstarter tribute to Gary Carlson’s great creations!

Every Kickstarter has a story behind it. Michael Fitzgerald Troy has a story that goes back 40 years during an important point in the careers of a group of comic creators that went on to great comic book fame. That point was the creation of Megaton Comics by Gary Carlson. Megaton continued for a few years and released 8 issues of the company’s main title Megaton Comics. Those 8 issues with a lot of really cool extras were recently released as Megaton Archives.

Michael and Cosmic Lion have a Kickstarter ( ) celebrating Megaton’s anniversary with all new stories by very interesting talents new to doing Megaton stories!

Gary’s reprint of the original 8 issues of Megaton with great back story and extras recently released.

Joeseph Simon
Michael, let’s hear about your discovery of Megaton Comics.

Michael Fitzgerald Troy
I guess I’ve been aware of Megaton/Big Bang peripherally for quite some time. I’m a big fan of Erik Larsen and picked up The Vanguard mini-series he did with Gary Carlson. And I was certainly aware of Big Bang Comics when they were being published through Image. Savage Dragon and Youngblood both had early appearances in Megaton Comics prompting Rob Liefeld to coin Gary Carlson “The Grandfather of Image Comics.” So, as a huge fan of early Image Comics, I was at least aware of that connection.


Personally, it would be an honor to be able to work with any of those characters. Congratulations on doing so. How did this come to happen? What was your pitch to Gary and Chris? How did you interest them?

Ultiman and Knight Watchman in Cosmic Lion’s BIG Big Bang!


I had worked on some projects with another cartoonist who was actually on this project, Brian Payne and he knew I was looking for something to work on. He suggested I contact Gary Carlson, the head of Big Bang because he knew he was always looking for artists. I contacted Gary and we got to the script stage and for whatever reason it didn’t work out. It kept nagging at my brain though. I had a reverence for what Gary has accomplished in the comics industry and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to work with him.

Cut to some time later and I ask Gary if he’d let me interview him for my YouTube channel (MichaelFitzTroyTv) and he agrees. During the interview, Gary tells me that he’s still publishing through Indyplanet that he is just doing it for fun, and that it’s more cost-effective that way. He also mentions they’ve never done a Kickstarter.

As a comic creator with a background in PR, my wheels started turning. I had worked on a few fan projects with some talented artists who have no business wasting their time on fan projects. I thought it would be fun to get them all together to work on a big beautiful anthology that pays tribute to Big Bang Comics. I thought it would be a good opportunity to do a Kickstarter pay all the artists for their contributions and create a physical book for Big Bang that wasn’t printed on demand. I asked my buddy Eli Schwab at Cosmic Lion Productions. He said, “Heck yeah!” I pitched it to Gary- who pitched it to Chris Ecker (his equal in BBC) and luckily they thought it sounded like a good idea! So here we are.

Cosmic Lion and Michael’s BIG Big Bang Kickstarter cover.


Gary introduced the world to great comic creators through Megaton. Your introducing Gary’s characters to new creators and assuming new readers through your publisher, Cosmic Lion Productions? What was your pitch to Cosmic Lion?

I have known Eli Schwab at Cosmic Lion for a while now and have been impressed with his trajectory. He’s had several successful campaigns with his Ghost Agents title and I knew he could help me pull it off. So I told him my idea, what I wanted exactly and he enthusiastically agreed to get on board. Eli is the nicest guy and has helped publish a lot of great up-and-coming cartoonists. Many of them are featured in BIG Big Bang Comics (The official title of our anthology.)


Which Megaton characters are going to be a part of BIG Big Bang!?

Ultiman in Cosmic Lions BIG Big Bang!

There are as many characters as I could pack in. I wanted to treat long-time Big Bang fans by including a wide array of characters as possible. It was important to me to have Megaton and Berzerker included in a meaningful way. They were the OG Megaton characters and they are so cool! Of course, the obvious draws had to be there like Ultiman, Knight Watchman, and Venus- but I want the hardcore fan to be like, “I can’t believe Mike Merlin is in here! Or Robo-Hood!” (2 excellent characters I might add!) But I think people will be thrilled to see how far-reaching the scope of the book is. The aforementioned Brian Payne does a wonderful hat trick with three loosely connected tales featuring The Spook, Teen Rex, and Ancient Mariner. I colored his contribution and I’m especially proud of it. I think there’s something for everybody here. Old fans, new fans, red fans, blue fans.


For new readers, what is your take on these characters? Why do they matter to you and the readers?

Gary’s Megaton and Don Simpson’s Megaton Man!

That’s a good question. They matter to me now for a completely different reason than when I first started working on the project. Big Bang is a bright, beautiful world of costumed superheroes that thrill and excite! They were conceived as silver and golden age analogs, pastiches, and homages to the glorious superheroes that inspired Gary Carlson and Chris Ecker to make comics in the first place. But they’re so much more than that! They’re not just knock-offs and shouldn’t be dismissed as such. Gary is an excellent writer. He understands how to tell a good comic
book story. The books are so fun and instantly accessible that anyone can lock them up. They’re so well-written with such great art-they’re a real treasure trove of comic book history for the past 40-plus years. After working on these characters I’ve developed a real fondness for them and they live in my heart. I feel like it’s the best-kept secret- and with projects like this and the recently released Megaton Archives from Image Comics. I think it’s time to remind people how great Big Bang Comics is.


Who are the creators involved in your KS?

We have a tremendous wealth of talent involved with the project. Jim Rugg has supplied a gorgeous “baseball card” style collage cover that will be turned into a set of trading cards as a Kickstarter Incentive. Which fits perfectly with Big Bang’s Nostalgia angle. Then we have an equally amazing chase cover by the incredible Kerry Callen-widely known for his Mad Magazine work and Golden Age Comics Satire Farces. Plus an amazing Berzerker centerfold by indie darling Nick Cagnetti of Pink Lemonade fame. A cool pin-up from the incomparable Mahdi Khene who caught on fire with his Spider-Man Bootleg comic. Plus a bunch of pin-ups and stories from some incredibly talented artists like Sam J. Royale, Milo Trent, Kasey BOUCHARD, Brian Payne, Barry Tan, Christian Meesey, Evan Quiring, Kasey Bouchard, Mike Madrid, The Q Method, Jason Quinones, and more. Plus Chris Ecker has written a new Knight Watchman story being illustrated by Steven A. Wilcox. It’s a visual feast for sure.


How did you pitch this to the creators? How did you decide who to ask to be part of this? How was it decided who would be on what characters? What were the creator’s reactions to the Megaton characters?

I was following Eli’s Ghost Agents campaign of using the funds to pay the artists for their contributions (Imagine that!) I’m audacious- but offering talented cartoonists a chance to do free work to be part of “something special” or for the “exposure” didn’t sit well with me. Granted it’s not a lot of money at all. I had to make the gesture and try not to be that guy.

I approached up-and-coming artists and fiends that I was a fan of their art. I knew I wanted it to be art-focused and treasury-sized sized and that in itself is a draw to artists.

I knew it had to be big and special. I had become a fan of Jim Rugg’s work and became somewhat friendly with him interviewing him for my YouTube channel and given his position in the industry, I thought he was a good choice for the cover. He’s an excellent cover artist and kind of a good bridge between indie and mainstream plus I think with his Cartoonist Kayfabe following he fits into the world of Big Bang in a way. Then I just got greedy and asked my favorite artists. Most of them said yes. And the ones who didn’t will wish they had. It’s that special.


What can you reveal about what the Megaton heroes will be going through in their BIG Big Bang? stories?

Since I had a limited amount of time to put it together and didn’t want to be beholden to 40-plus years of continuity- I set it up in a “Tales of the Big Bang Universe..” kind of fashion. The stories take place at different times in the history of the Big Bang. Gary trusted my vision but didn’t want anything too radical or for us to change anything. And I felt the same way. I worked very closely with Gary to ensure he approved of everything we put in the book. And he was so generous and thoughtful with his time and critiques. And what a learning experience. If I couldn’t make something work Gary instantly knew how to fix it in the best way possible. I think Gary is vastly underrated as a writer. And his editing chops are apparent.


What are readers going to get 100+ color pages of new stories with cool creators? It’s a Kickstarter…. what’s going other exciting things are happening with this book and pledge levels?

There are a lot of cool incentives! Like having a Chase cover by Kerry Callen. It gives us a “Silver Age” era by Jim Rugg and a “Golden Age” era by Kerry Callen. The Jim Rugg cover is a “trading card” montage that will be turned into actual trading cards as a really fun incentive.
Both covers and Nick CAGNETTI’s amazing Berzerker centerfold are all being offered as posters. Since the book is so art-focused 90% of the content is worthy of their posters to be honest!
We have a cool incentive by Chris Ecker, the creator of Knight Watchman. He’s supplied 25 unique Knight Watchman comic strip prints that come from the website. He’s signed and remarked with individual sketches! Plus Gary has signed some rare Big Bang Comics! We might throw in some add-one. Hell, I’ll come to mow your lawn if it helps succeed the Kickstarter!

Berzerker from Cosmic Lion’s BIG Big Bang


What else should readers know about Gary, Megaton, and Big Bang? How was it working with Gary and Chris on this project?

Gary, Chris, and Big Bang have been around for quite some time and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

They continue to publish Big Bang Comics- all of which are available through Indyplanet

Gary and Chris have been a dream to work with. Both were extremely pleasant and humble fellows with the same wide-eyed enthusiasm for comics that got them into this in the first place. If this campaign is successful we may do another project together. I’m more than happy to keep the Big Bang Love going. I feel like while my project is massive in scope barely scratched the Big Bang surface.


You’re the one who created the project, pitched it, and made it happen.
What do you want readers to know about you?

That I love comics and that’s why I did this. I’m an artist and contributed to the project. It’s my first big project like this and I’m very excited and proud to be a part of this. I’m a fan at heart and you can see all my love and enthusiasm for comics on my YouTube channel which features, news, reviews, and interviews on all things comics! MichaelFitzTroytv on YouTube

Finally, what should readers know about the other creators and your publisher?

The talent involved in this is beyond! Everyone brought their A-game. If they weren’t a fan of Big Bang Comics they are now! And luckily, a lot of the talent involved already were Big Bang fans and their love and respect for the characters shines through. I think this is a comic book that all comic book fans will love. It’s the sleeper hit of the summer. You don’t want to miss out on this one.

BIG Big Bang! Kickstarter launched on July 17th

You can find out more about Megaton, Big Bang, and Gary at

You can find out more about Cosmic Lion Productions at

You can find out more about Michael Fitzgerald Troy at

Berzerker from Cosmic Lion’s BIG Big Bang in full color!

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