BIG Preview of "A1: Big Issue Zero"

Atomeka has provided CBR News with a full, 48 page preview of this week's "A1: Big Issue Zero." That's right, over today and tomorrow we'll be showing you every page of the book. This preview book contains stories by a who's who of the comics industry.

"A1" originally existed back in 1989 as a six-issue series, each issue an original graphic novel ranging in size from 64 to 128 pages. Then, in 1992, "A1" appeared under the Epic banner at Marvel. Now in 2004, the series makes a return with "Big Issue Zero" hitting stands this week and the first issue of the regular series coming out January, 2005. Atomeka's Dave Elliot spoke with CBR News about "A1" and their plans for the series.

"Garry Leach and myself had 48 pages to remind people what A1 was creatively about, what we stood for and the level of talent we had and were continuing to work with," Elliot told CBR News Sunday night. "We also wanted to show that we weren't going to just reprint material, but would continue to bring new work from all aspects of the creative community."

The contents of "Big Issue Zero" include:

  • "The Bojeffries Saga" by Alan Moore and Steve Parkhouse
  • "Kathleen's House" by Steve Dillon
  • "Shark-Man" by Ronald Shusett and Steve Pugh
  • "Flaming Carrot" by Bob Burden
  • "Survivor" by Dave Gibbons and Ted McKeever

Elliot continued, "The incredibly inventive and funny (humor in comics is good) strip by Alan and Steve is a great example of what we should be seeing more of in comics. Steve (Dillon) is actually a great writer with an all too human eye for story-telling and dialogue.

"After co-creating 'Alien,' Ronald created a futuristic superhero without even thinking about current day superheroes as we know them. His influences were more 'Zorro' and 'Count of Monte Cristo.'

"'Flaming Carrot' was king of the independents and has his 25th anniversary this year, you just gotta have Carrot and Bob Burden.

"Finally, If 'Shark-Man' was going to be our look at a new superhero of the future, then Dave Gibbons and Ted McKeever gave us a soul searching look at an iconic hero that we can all associate with. The fact that it was Dave's first comic script is all the more amazing."

You'll notice in the preview below that "A1: Big Issue Zero" comes with four variant covers, a controversial choice within the industry for sure.

"We ran variant covers. Crap, this was a difficult call," admitted Elliot. "Garry and myselfwent back and forth for days trying to decide who got the cover. Everyone deserved it, but who should have it or should we just go with a 'designer' cover with logos and names, with a little image of each strip. But there was no getting out of it, if we wanted to really reflect the range of styles and genres that 'A1' represented, variant covers were the way to go (and with the bloody $&##in' trouble and extra work they gave us, we aren't going to be doing these again in a hurry).

"We realized that each of these strips did deserve an image, and we also knew that our audience wasn't going to buy four different covers of a $5 dollar book, the back covers would have one of the other covers on it to prevent the desire to buy multiple copies.

"I hope you all feel like we do that investment in the future of comics should be more than who's drawing *insert hero here* this week (not that is in of its self a bad thing, just not the end all)."

"A1: Big Issue Zero" is 48 pages for $4.99 and available at comic shops this Wednesday. Click the images below to enlarge.

The following represents the first 22 pages of the book, covering "The Bojeffries Saga" and "Kathleen's House." The second preview, which will include "Shark-Man," "Flaming Carrot" and "Survivor" will run Tuesday afternoon here at CBR.

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