Tony Kittrell has been very active in the comic book industry for thirteen solid years, as a comic book company owner, publisher, editor, and writer of numerous titles under his Advent Comics company umbrella, writing numerous comic book titles. Tony kindly took the time to speak to me about his company, for First Comics News.
First Comics News: Perhaps you could tell me when you got started, how long ago was that and how you market and sell your comics?
Tony Kittrell: I started creating comics professionally in 2009, and I am now going on fourteen years in the industry as an Owner, Publisher, Editor, and Writer. When I first started, Advent Comics could be found on our website AdventComics.com, Barnes and Noble, Comixology/Comixology Unlimited, DriveThruComics, IndyPlanet, and Kindle. As time went by, we expanded to individual comic shops, and other outlets as well. Earlier this year, we were picked up by the Diamond/-Previews monthly comics catalog, and our comics are now available in all comic shops, globally. If you don’t see our books in your shop, simply add us to your pull list, and ask them to order us.
Tony: We have over twenty-five ongoing titles, and just shy of one hundred artists, inkers, colorists, and letterers working on our books. I affectionately refer to the Advent Comics Creators as “The Untouchables.” Some of the artists that I have collaborated with on Advent Comics titles reads like a who’s who of comic book talent, which includes Paul Gulacy, the late Rich Buckler, Bart Sears, Andy Smith, Ace Continuado, Jimbo Salgado, Netho Diaz, Paris Cullins, Allan Goldman, Greg LaRocque, Chris Cross, and many more.
1st: Some of these names I am familiar with. Let’s see: Paul Gulacy, of course, Rich Buckler, Bart Sears, Andy Smith, Paris Cullins, who, by the way, if memory serves, used to live in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, right across the harbor from where I live; Greg LaRocque, and possibly Chris Cross. Because the cover of the Cosmos issue that I DID see, intrigues me, although the others look VERY interesting, as well — Tony, can you tell me what the title COSMOS is about?
Tony: COSMOS is a multi-layered, twelve-issue maxi-series that, on the surface, tells a sprawling story that brings together the cosmic characters within the Advent Universe. But on the other hand, it functions as an Indie Comics Crossover that brings together over eighty-five Indie Comics Creators and Publishers. Characters big and small have shown up, like Punt Press’s Celtic Clan/The Globalists, Fist of Justice, Mike Baron’s Nexus from Dark Horse Comics, and many more.
1st: I am, of course, very familiar with Mike Baron’s Nexus, and also Fist of Justice.
Tony: We have reached the halfway point, as COSMOS #6 is finishing, with colors and letters. It will be released on Kickstarter in 2022, as a special edition, before a regular edition hits comic shops later in the year. There will also be two bookend books, COSMOS: Omni, and two COSMOS Handbooks that are each 70-page editions that introduce some of the characters in the series.
1st: Wow! Tony, are you the owner of the company that publishes all of these numerous comic titles? And if so, perhaps we could always talk about many of them. How did you get started with this huge endeavor? Are you an artist or a writer?
Tony: Yes, I am the Owner/-EIC of Advent Comics. All IPs except for those on the Creator-Owned UNBOUND REALMS Imprint are mine.
1st: How long has Advent Comics been around?
Tony: Advent Comics was started in 2009, and is headed towards its’ fourteenth year.
1st: What is the most recent title?
Tony: Advent Comics produces comics covering nearly every genre, such as Black Characters & Creators in BLACK STAR LINE, Crime Fiction/Action Thriller SOUTHSIDE, Horror in CHAMBER OF TERROR, Martial Arts Mayhem in FIST OF THE DRAGON, Sci-Fi/Fantasy in DARK MATTER: RISE OF THE LEXICONS, Religious/Spiritual aspects in SAVIOR, and of course superheroes, in TITAN THE ULTRA MAN. These titles are just a few of the offerings that Advent Comics has. My most recent completed titles are ACE ONE-SHOT, OLD GLORY #1, SINISTER INC. ONE-SHOT, and one that I can’t talk about, just yet. None of these have gone on sale yet, but they will drop in 2022. Also, over on the UNBOUND REALMS Imprint, we will have more of InVision Comics GENECY, comic industry veteran Michael A. Baron’s BUDDY MCGILL title, plus new additions such as Travis Hill & Mark Pate’s THORN, Mike Shea’s MISKATONIC HIGH, and titles from France’s Chris Malgrain’s Oniric Comics Group, including THE FORMIDABLES.
1st: Perhaps you could give me a blow-by-blow synopsis of each title? Or, do you instead want to focus on one title?
Tony: ACE features our mysterious vigilante as he seeks to stamp out crime on the West Coast, by bringing down Crime Kingpin Vincent Neptune. OLD GLORY sees the return of America’s Greatest Heroes…for the first time! SINISTER INC. revolves around a group of extremely demented and evil individuals, who come together in response to the growing threat of superheroes.
1st: Sinister Inc. sounds neat, to me, because the concept of it reminds me, somewhat, of the way that you described it, above, of DC Comics’ 1970’s title, the Secret Society of Super-Villains, a title in which the battles, etc., between superheroes and supervillains, are told from the point of view of the villains, instead of the point of view of the heroes. I remember buying the Secret Society of Super-Villains title, way back then, from DC Comics, when they were on the newsstands, brand new. Marvel also had a title like that, around then, entitled Super-Villain Team-Up, which also, like DC’s Secret Society of Super-Villains, had a healthy run… There were also two extra ‘Giant Size’ issues of Super-Villain Team-Up. And then, there was a nine-issue run of The Joker, Batman’s main nemesis, all of these, in the 1970s. But ideas like this are rarely done, and are always welcomed, by readers!
Tony: I have had a 40 plus year love affair with comics, but I professionally entered the industry in 2009. I built Advent Comics from the ground up, going from nothing to having consistent sales on six continents and in 53 countries, before securing distribution with Diamond. You can find Advent Comics titles everywhere, including on our website (adventcomics.com), Amazon, Barnes, and Noble, Comixology/Comixology Unlimited, DriveThruComics, IndyPlanet, Kindle, and in comic shops, globally.
1st: Who writes them, who draws them, and so on?
Tony: I am the primary writer of most of the Advent Comics titles, at the moment. Across the twenty-plus titles currently in the Advent Universe, there is a core story that has been developing over the last decade, which comes to a head in the twelve-issue COSMOS Maxi-Series. I have started to hire additional writers to craft the titles that I cannot do, right now. There are about 100 people who are working on the various projects, within the Advent Universe. In 2022, you can not only expect more great comics from Advent Comics, but also a few Kickstarter campaigns, such as the Advent Universe Trading Cards Series 3 campaign, and other products & merchandise.
1st: Tony, Can you name which titles that you created and write, which titles are written and/or created by others, and what artists are on each title?
Tony: Not on almost thirty titles LOL.
1st: I see what you mean! LOL
1st: Tony, can you tell us which titles are creator-owned? I ask this, as you indicated that some of them are if I have that correct?
1st: Of the particular titles which go to comics brick and mortar shops, what is the print run of each title –assuming that question isn’t too personal — (or), is each copy printed based on orders from the Diamond/’Previews’ monthly phone book-sized comics, etc. order catalog? Because that would make a lot of sense.
Tony: When I submitted to Diamond, they approved pretty much our entire line! lol.
1st: Is every comic title under the Advent Comics umbrella all set in one big comics ‘house’ universe, with the possibility that some (or all) of these characters might cross over with each other’s titles? And, if so, has this happened? And, if that is true, where and when? Also, Tony, if you want to talk, either shortly, or at great length, about any aspects of all of this, that I haven’t asked questions about it as yet, please feel free to do so.
Tony: Every title under the Advent Universe banner takes place in the Advent Universe (pretty much all the titles that I write.) The Creator-Owned UNBOUND REALMS books take place within their own unique universes, that their creators have created.
1st: I’d be interested in knowing who the artists of each title are, and what other titles (outside your company), if any, that they have worked on. You’ve mentioned you’ve been into comics for four decades. That is impressive!
Tony: No, I have been a “Comics Fan” for over four decades. I have only been working in the industry for 13 years.
1st: Oh, I see! It is not a contest, but I suspect I am older than you, because I, myself have been into comics, for well over five decades.
1st: Tony, thank you very much for taking the time to chat with me, today! I’m looking very forward to exploring the comics universe of Advent Comics! Have a super day!