Valhalla Entertainment CEO and producer Gale Anne Hurd is teaming up with comic book writer Peter Calloway, artist Brian Stelfreeze and 12 Gauge Comics to bring readers a brand new, four-issue comic book miniseries titled “Anti.”
“In ‘Anti,’ Peter has created a unique, character-driven thrill ride, following Zachary and Jordan who grapple with a truly surprising revelation: Zachary is destined to become the savior of the world,” Hurd said, describing the series. “I am very excited to work with Peter and 12 Gauge Comics to bring this fantastic world to life.”
With Diamond Distributors announcing today that readers will be able to take their first look at “Anti” on May 5 when 12 Gauge releases a preview as their Free Comic Book Day offering, writer Peter Calloway spoke exclusively with CBR about the miniseries, sharing some details about the upcoming comic.
“It’s told from the point of view of two characters, although Zachary is sort of the lead. [Zachary’s] a faithless guy, the kind of guy who lives off the grid because bad stuff has happened in his past — and then he discovers that he’s the Second Coming of Christ,” Calloway told CBR. As for the second half of the title’s starring duo, Calloway explained that shortly after discovering his true purpose in life, Zachary is quickly placed under the protection of a girl named Jordan, “Anti’s” second protagonist. “[Jordan’s] backstory is that she’s a demon hunter and she’s come to protect him. So, in four issues, it’s the story of them trying to figure it all out while they try not to fall in love with each other.”
Calloway told CBR that while “Anti” is not a religious comic, it does use various aspects of religion to explore the idea of what happens to people when extraordinary powers and responsibilities are thrust upon them.
“I try to think about — not to get too religious — what it was like to be in the shoes of the prophets of the Bible. What was that like for them on a personal level?”
To that end, Calloway says Jordan and Zachary are feeling “pretty jaded.”
“Life has not been good to either of them: Jordan spent the past few years of her life narrowly escaping death all the time,” Calloway said. “Zachary felt an absence of, I hesitate to use the word ‘God,’ but I guess that’s the best way to describe it. Nothing has gone his way”.
Describing the miniseries as an “action-adventure that peppers in [romance],” Calloway was full of praise for Hurd, with whom he developed the project before taking it to 12 Gauge.
“Gale is the producer and co-writer of one of my favorite movies of all time, ‘Terminator!'” laughed Calloway when asked about working with the longtime film and television producer. The writer continued, telling CBR he and Hurd had a lot in common when it came to their approach to crafting an entertaining tale. “We and [12 Gauge Comics President] Kevin Gardner come from the same school of storytelling, which is really fast-moving action plots that are, at their core, about something completely besides the action.”
Calloway and Hurd crossed paths years ago, when his first television pilot script landed on her desk. “I had met with her company and a couple of the executives at her company, We had both declared we wanted to get into business with each other because we both had similar sensibilities. We searched around to find something that we both liked, and we came across [‘Anti’],” said Calloway.
In fact, the pilot that landed Calloway his original meeting also led to the initial idea for “Anti.”
“The pilot I had written a long time ago was a story that was set in this [type of] world. It wasn’t exactly this, and actuall,y these four issues — in my head, when I wrote the pilot and wrote the origin of all this stuff — this was always going to be the very endgame,” Calloway said. “So we skipped ahead through all of it as if it had gotten on air. Seven seasons later, you were going to get this event.”
Calloway emphasized his enthusiasm about working with “Anti’s” artist, Brian Stelfreeze, 12 Gauge’s art director whose credits include an impressive number of comic book covers and an acclaimed run on “Batman: Shadow Of The Bat.”
“As it sort of stands right now, [Brian has created] the cover and he’s done a bunch of the character designs. That’s fun, because it’s something new for me. The stuff that I had done before in comics has been on things with established characters,” Calloway said, citing his work on “Gotham City Sirens.”
Speaking about the challenges of creating a comic book from scratch, Calloway added, “It was really great to have Gale in that circumstance, because not only does she know comics, but with her vast production experience, she really knows what works and what doesn’t.”
Though there is no official release date for the miniseries, the Free Comic Book Day preview is comprised of the first twelve pages of “Anti’s” first issue, something Calloway feels is the perfect way to set up the story’s initial premise and get people interested in the greater series.
“If they like it, hopefully they’ll buy the comic when it comes out, and if it’s not for them, they’ll move on. That’s the beauty of Free Comic Book Day, which is why I’ve always loved it!”
12 Gauge Comics’ “Anti” preview will be available May 5 as part of Free Comic Book Day 2012.