Official Press Release
“Its unfortunate that events occurred the way they did, but I think it will ultimately prove beneficial to the book,” Joines reported early Thursday morning. “Almost since it’s inception, 7 Guys has been plagued with chronic lateness, due in no small part to a very sloppy work ethic. The hiatus came as a result of the proverbial straw breaking the camel’s back and forced me, as the property’s owner and creator, to take a hard look at what was happening and to find some way to make it better. ”
The end result of this search will be seen in July’s Giant-Sized 7 Guys of Justice # 1, a 96-page one shot featuring the debut of the new art team, penciller Brian Komm and inker Curtis Square-Briggs. “I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to have Brian and Curtis on board as the regular art team,” Joines said with a grin. “The number one complaint I’ve received from retailers, the number one reason I’ve heard from readers as to why they dropped the book, was the artwork. Well, it’s time to tell all those folks to come back into the fold. Brian’s doing an incredible job with the artwork, maintaining the same basic style that was established with the first thirteen issues but infusing it with a depth and detail that hasn’t been seen before in this book. And Curtis…well, let’s just say that having a real inker on the book makes all the difference in the world. His abilities completely lend themselves to Brian’s artwork and really help to bring the various characters and settings to life. Listening to these two squabble about getting the artwork just right fills me with an enthusiasm for the project that, frankly, I haven’t felt for quite some time. Between Brian, Curtis and letterer Michael Thomas, I think we could finally have the makings of a great comic book here, provided my writing doesn’t suck too much. And I’ve been practicing.”
A new artistic team will not be the only change to the title, according to Joines. Starting with Giant-Sized 7 Guys of Justice # 1, the book will be published under Joines’ new company, Criminal Genius Entertainment. False Idol Studios, a company co-owned by Joines and original 7 Guys artist Joshua Rowe, had been the previous publisher. “When Josh left the book to pursue other interests, it was made clear he was leaving False Idol Studios entirely, effectively dissolving our partnership and leaving me to play clean-up with a lot of things,” Joines offered. “Criminal Genius Entertainment will be my baby and my baby alone. I’ll be looking at what we did with False Idol as a template of how not to run a business and treat every misstep we made as the ultimate learning experience. With that hindsight, I’m hoping our success rate will be much greater than False Idol’s ever was. Regardless, succeed or fail, it’ll be on my shoulders alone.”
And the changes don’t end there. As of the Giant-Sized issue in July, the idea of The 7 Guys of Justice as a monthly, on-going series will be a thing of the past. “We’re taking a page from Jay Faerber’s fantastic Noble Causes book and will start publishing 7 Guys as a series of one-shots and mini-series,” Joines announced. “These one-shots or minis will feature self-contained stories that won’t rely too heavily on what’s come before, with only the occasional character bit jumping over from one series to the next. This way, sales will dictate whether we continue or not, rather than a dire need to wrap up 47 unresolved subplots for the readers. If a series does well, we’ll put another one out. If sales don’t warrant the time and the expense of putting the book together, then the readers will at least have some sense of closure with the characters.” Joines then added, ” Personally, I’d love to be able to commit to an ongoing monthly or bi-monthly series for the 7 Guys, but unfortunately that’s not always the nature of the independent comic book market. At least this way, the reader will get a complete story with no left-over questions.” At the time of this writing, there are two 7 Guys projects in the works: the Giant-Sized issue, which will finally publish the conclusion to the crossover started in Comics Conspiracy’s Generic Comics # 8 last summer, as well as wrap up the hero killer storyline started in 7 Guys # 4. The second, a four issue mini-series called The 7 Guys of Justice: The Secret Society of Something Something, will complete the second unresolved storyline from the original series and finds the 7 Guys tangling with a team made up of their toughest foes. “This should essentially wrap up the first chapter of the team’s existence,” Joines suggested. “We know the characters, we know the rules of the world they operate in, all that good stuff. If there’s a project beyond the mini, we’ll start tearing it all down, really making them squirm. I truly hope we get to that point.”
In conclusion, Joines reiterated his desire to learn from past mistakes. “As far as I’m concerned, our main purpose is to entertain, pure and simple. To provide ten, twenty, sixty minutes of escapism to the person who spent their hard-earned money to read our product. When you make a commitment to your reader and then renege on it or provide them with sub-standard dreck, you’re failing in your job at its most basic level. Keeping that in mind, our commitment to our reader is to produce entertaining escapism in a timely manner. Because if we can’t even manage to do that…what’s the point of doing this at all?”
Criminal Genius Entertainment is based out of Beaverton, Oregon. Founded by Joines in 2002, the company publishes The 7 Guys of Justice, a book that takes a satirical look at the super-hero genre. The book, written by Joines, features the exploits of such heroes as Lord Talon, Ugly Monkey, Nightie Knight, Johnny Explode and Moray Earl set against the fictitious backdrop of Big City.