Comic books go beyond the major superhero characters we see on the big screen. It is an art form fueled by the passion of creators on all levels. Today we spotlight Stranger Comics, a local independent comic book publisher in our own Los Angeles backyard.

Stranger Comics was born in 2008 when a group of friends got together and decided to throw their heart and soul into an idea: character-driven cinematic tales set in Asunda, the dark fantasy world they collectively created. Founder and CEO Sebastian A. Jones started creating this vast and brutal universe as a teen growing up in England. As an avid geek, roleplayer, he was known to wear a bathrobe and wig and wield a foam weapon on a weekend. Moving to the City of Angels at 18, he took all of his creative dreams with him. But it would take years of world developing while he pursued his other passion. Sebastian ran a record label for a near decade, releasing jazz, funk, blues, and old soul. When the internet devoured the CD world, he made the shift from the music world back to the world of comic books. Connecting once again to his creative passion, Sebastian penned his fantasy masterpiece “The Untamed: A Sinner’s Prayer.”

The story of “The Untamed” is one of perseverance and persistence. Unlike larger comic book publishers that are fully staffed and fully funded, small independent publishers are usually made up of a small handful of dedicated people doing a dozen different jobs and making their dream happen on a shoestring budget. Although Stranger Comics has now found success releasing a line of children’s books with actress Garcelle Beauvais as well as other comic material, it was always “The Untamed” that made Stranger stand out from other indie publishers. In the great traditions of Tarantino, Sergio Leone, and Akira Kurosawa, it tells the tale of a man known only as The Stranger who is sent back to the world of the living and given seven days to reap seven souls to earn his release from hell. Written by Sebastian and beautifully illustrated by Peter Bergting, it has been dubbed a “Frazetta Western” by producer Andrew Cosby (2 GUNS, Eureka), co-founder of BOOM! Studios and no stranger to comics himself.

It’s been a long road for Stranger Comics since its inception back in 2008 and the perseverance of Sebastian and his crew has paid off. All seven issues of “The Untamed,” telling the complete finite story, are now available in print as single issues and digitally through Kindle and iBook. Also finding interest in “The Untamed” beyond the scope of comics is Lloyd Levin, who has produced movies that include Watchman and Hellboy. Now the project is in development as an epic animated franchise. As the final piece of this journey, Strange Comics has launched a Kickstarter campaign to share the opportunity of bringing an oversized deluxe 248-page hardcover of “The Untamed” to life containing all seven original issues along with lots of new and behind the scenes material.

Hi De Ho Comics is proud to host the Stranger Comics launch party for their Kickstarter campaign on Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. You can expect to meet the Stranger team as well as the producers of the upcoming animated series and voice actress Amandla Stenberg (Rue from The Hunger Games). The event, including food and drinks, is free! You’ll also get a limited signed copy of “The Untamed” #1 when you pledge just a buck to the Stranger Kickstarter campaign at the party.

For more information, contact Hi De Ho Comics at (310) 394-2820.

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