Last January, Oni Press began its relationship with Mike Allred's AAA Pop with its first reprint of MADMAN: THE ODDITY ODYSSEY. They quickly followed with two full-color comics of brand new material, teaming Allred with fresh comic book talent on stories about Mike's ATOMICS characters-namely, IT GIRL with Chynna Clugston-Major and this month's SPACEMAN, with Lawrence Marvit.
Now Oni is pleased to announce the release of the third comic book in the series, coming in March 2003 in the form of MR. GUM, written by Mike Allred, drawn by J. Bone, and colored by Team Allred.
"Bone is a versatile cartoonist who can do just about anything," Oni publisher Joe Nozemack said. "Each project is such a tremendous leap forward in terms of making his style more dynamic. ALISON DARE, GOTHAM GIRLS, JINGLE BELLE: THE MIGHTY ELVES, SPIDER-MAN'S TANGLED WEB, and MUTANT, TEXAS have all been distinctive, yet uniquely Bone. There's a reason that this guy has been nominated for an Eisner two years in a row."
"It's exactly that versatility that made me think of J. when casting about for ideas for the last book," added Oni editor in chief Jamie S. Rich. "I started to think about Mr. Gum and what kind of artist could really take his stretching powers to its most fantastic extreme. Who could live-up to that Jack Cole tradition of rubbery men. It took about two seconds to come up with the guy."
"I remember being in Excalibur Comics in Portland with Jamie and seeing SOLAR STELLA on the rack," Allred said. "I loved the look of it-the pin-up girl in outer space-and snagged it immediately. When Jamie told me he knew J., I asked him to tell him that I was a fan. He did a pin-up for the MADMAN PICTURE EXHIBITION that blew me away with its adventurous spirit. J. Bone has since climbed my list of faves so you gotta know that no one had to twist my arm to launch MR. GUM. Can't wait to see what J. does with it!"
Finally, Bone himself chimed in…
"I keep telling Oni I am ready to do my own comic again," he explained, "but they keep tossing these wonderful collaborators at me. First it was Paul Dini, and now Mike Allred. They make it really hard on a guy to turn them down. Mike Allred is an artistic hero to anyone with an ink brush doing indie comics today. And Mr. Gum is my chance to do some classic Kirby-style superheroes. To say I can't wait would be to severely undersell the situation."
"As with all the Oni/Allred books, fun is the operative word," Nozemack concluded. "If you don't want to have a good time, it's best you stay at home and not harsh our party. MR. GUM is good comics the way they're supposed to be-stretched out and wacky!"
MR. GUM is a 24 page, full color comic book. It retails for $2.95 and will ship to comic book stores in March, 2003.