Official Press Release
ORANGE, CA — May 31, 2002 — Image Publisher & VP Jim Valentino announced
Friday at the Comics 2002 Festival in Bristol, England, that Paul Grist’s
black-and-white independent series JACK STAFF is moving to Image. According
to Valentino, the title will be relaunched in January 2003 as a new ongoing
series — in full color.
Originally published by Grist’s own Dancing Elephant Press, JACK STAFF
utilizes a loose anthology format to tell the tales of a unique group of
characters comprised of Tom Tom the Robot Man, an enigmatic group of secret
agents called Q, and Becky Burdock, Vampire Reporter. Linking all these
stories together is the ongoing mystery created by the return of Jack Staff
– Britain’s greatest hero. The end result is a series not too far removed
from Kurt Busiek’s ASTRO CITY, wherein Grist allows his imagination to run
wild as he offers his own unique takes on a variety of archetypes from
comics and popular fiction alike.
“We’re absolutely delighted that Paul Grist has chosen to make JACK STAFF
part of the Image line,” said Valentino. “This is one of the freshest takes
on superheroes I’ve seen in some time — witty, intelligently written and
overflowing with so much enthusiasm that it’s downright contagious.”
Image cofounder and SAVAGE DRAGON creator Erik Larsen added, “I’m thrilled
that JACK STAFF is coming to Image. Image started off as the premiere
publishing house for new and innovative superhero comics. It’s a pleasure to
welcome aboard a creator who’s as committed to his craft as Paul Grist! This
is a big step toward restoring the grandeur to the Image Comics superhero
JACK STAFF debuted in April, 2000, but while Grist’s imagination and
distinctive art style won rave reviews, the book has frequently been
overlooked by fans and retailers alike.
“It’s been my experience that many readers don’t even know JACK STAFF
exists,” said Image Director of Marketing Eric Stephenson. “I started
picking up JACK STAFF myself because I was already following Paul’s other
series, KANE, but most readers haven’t been exposed to Paul or his work.
“So many comics come out every month that even gems like JACK STAFF and KANE
can get lost in the shuffle, but it’s our hope that bringing the book to
Image will raise readers’ awareness of this genuinely gifted creator.”
With issue eight and a recent trade paperback collection, YESTERDAY’S HEROES
(collecting JACK STAFF #1-4), available in shops now, Grist plans to wrap up
the current series with JACK STAFF #12.
“Over the next four issues, I’m going to be telling the story of Charlie
Raven, the greatest escapologist of the Victorian Age,” he explained. “We’ll
also be looking at the rather murky past of Q agent Ben Kulmer, and
revealing that Jack Staff is a little older than people have realised!
“This all sets the scene for (tah dah!) the all-new all colour series, which
will kick off with a bang as I’m bringing back probably the single most
popular character in the series, Tom Tom the Robot Man!”
Recent issues of the current JACK STAFF series remain available through
Diamond Comic Distributors. These include: JACK STAFF #5 (OCT002011), #6
(APR012107), #7 (JUL012000), and #8 (OCT012394). These issues should be
available for immediate reorder, along with the JACK STAFF: YESTERDAY’S
HEROES TPB (NOV012304). JACK STAFF #9 (DEC012316) and #10 (FEB022374) are
also available for advance reorders. Issue #9 is due out in June.
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