The seeds of Stranger Comics began with the dark fantasy revenge epic “The Untamed,” created and written by founder Sebastian A. Jones. From that first series grew the rich interconnected world of Asunda, which serves as the landscape for Strangers’ newest titles; “Niobe: She is Life,” “Dusu: The Path of the Ancient” and “Erathune.” I talked with Sebastian on the history of Stranger Comics and the exciting road ahead for the company.
Q: Stranger Comics has seen some well deserved success recently. However, loyal fans in the know have been following your work for some time. How long has Stranger been around?
A: Thank you! Stranger has been around since the latter part of 2008, but some of our team have been creating content in the lab for 15 years or more.
Q: Besides the quality of the work Stranger produces, you are a large part of the company’s success due to your unwavering hard work and persistence. How have you managed to keep your strong focus over the years?
A: I have a great support team around me. People that let me be myself, and most of all, my son. Whenever things are difficult, his love gives me strength. I think my ambition or my passion to make the world stop for a moment drives me to obsession. I believe it is my responsibility to put out the best of me, anything else is not fair to a kid who is going to spend his earned $ on my work, when there is so much out there. Coltrane helps too.
Q: A major turning point for Stranger was your writing collaboration with “Hunger Games” actress Amandla Stenberg on your series “Niobe: She is Life.” How did you meet Amandla and how did that turn into a working relationship?
A: I met Amandla at a multi-cultural festival called Mixed Remixed for our I AM MIXED kids book and I knew immediately that she was a rare spirit. She shares the same drive to challenge people’s perceptions of what a hero can be. At first, our “Niobe” comic started as a prose series of short stories, but due to schedules we dove into the comic medium. When brilliant illustrators Ashley A. Woods and Darrell May alongside cover artists Hyoung Taek Nam and Markus Prime joined forces it was a wrap.
Q: For those not familiar with the series, tell us what “Niobe” is about.
A: Niobe Ayutami is half-Galemren wild elf, half-human who inhabits the fantasy world called Asunda. She is born of not only two races of elven and human, but also mixed culturally in all sorts of ways. She’s the one that’s destined to go on and bind the nations of Asunda against the devil and save the world. She’s very much the Luke Skywalker character in this fantasy realm. Niobe was actually first introduced in a graphic novel I wrote called “The Untamed: The Sinner’s Prayer,” where she is a young girl. Then from there, her story spins off into her own series, “Niobe: She Is Life.”
Q: Speaking of Stranger Comics’ first comic series, “The Untamed: A Sinner’s Prayer,” I hear that the property has some big Hollywood names attached to it. When can we expect to see “The Untamed” come to the screen?
A: Hopefully yesterday. There are a lot of moving parts but I’m hoping to have some news to share soon!
You can meet Sebastian A. Jones of Stranger Comics at Hi De Ho Comic-Con on Free Comic Book Day, May 7, only at Hi De Ho Comics.