Radical Comics, publisher of series including "Hercules: Knives of Kush," Steve Niles's "City of Dust," and more genre comics featuring popular writers and videogame-style art, announced earlier this year that David Wohl would be coming on board as Editor-in-Chief. It's hoped the move will begin a new era for a company that has quickly established itself in the comic book industry. Wohl, who has previously served as Editor-in-Chief of Top Cow, where he co-created the long-running supernatural mafia series "The Darkness," will work with Publisher Barry Levine in Radical's offices in Los Angeles. CBR News caught up with Wohl for a brief discussion about his new editorial role.
"I had been sort of out of the editorial side of comics for a couple of years, working on videogames at John Woo's fledgling game production company, Tiger Hill Entertainment, and also in animation for a new 3-D animation production company called Blockade Productions," Wohl told CBR. "I've also stayed close to the comic world, of course, as that's where I've spent most of my life--pretty much since I was a senior in high school working as an intern at Marvel.
"In March, at the New York Comic-Con, I had an innocuous meeting with Edmund Shern, SVP of Operations for Radical and President of Storm Lion. I had met Edmund before and wanted to talk to him about what I was up to. Edmund spent a lot of the meeting telling me what Radical was up to, and had mentioned in passing that they were looking to boost their editorial staff. At first I didn't really think about how that related to me, but as I kept walking by the Radical booth, seeing all the excitement there and all of the cool creators, I suddenly got it in my head that I wanted to be a part of it.
"I set up a meeting with Barry [Levine], had a few more meetings with other staffers, and suddenly I was back in comics again in a BIG way! Basically, the more I spoke to them and the more I saw what they were in need of, I felt that it was a perfect fit for me. When I was in charge of editorial at Top Cow, my job was to work with Marc Silvestri to help create new concepts and to cultivate relationships with great creators who could help bring those concepts to life in a big way -- and that's pretty much what I do with Barry at Radical as well. We're working with many of the top creators in the comics industry, and it's my job to keep it all moving in the right direction."
Taking the editorial reins of a company that was named Diamond's Best New Publisher for 2008, Wohl enters into an already ambitious publishing program and indicated that building on that success will be down to its creative talent and to innovative platforms. "This is a very important time for Radical," Wohl explained. "Beginning with Nick Simmons's 'Incarnate' in August and continuing with David Hine's 'FVZA: Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency' in October, we will begin to release most of our series as 56-72-page comics, all for $4.99. This is a really big deal to me, because it really is an exceptional program. It kind of hearkens back to my days at Marvel when we'd do double-sized first issues so the reader could have an opportunity to really get into the new books and feel like they have a good understanding of where the story is going. In this case, it's often even more than a double-sized issue, and once the readers get acclimated to this, I doubt they'll want to go back to the conventional 22-page comic again.
"Beyond that, my goal is really to just help to create great, compelling stories. I feel like I have a good track record with that, as does Barry and the guys here at Radical. So together I really think the sky's the limit!"
Wohl also stated that his new role as Editor-in-Chief will allow him to bring together some interesting creative teams for upcoming titles. "There are a number of creators that I've always wanted to work with but just never had the opportunity. But because of all that Radical has done already and the great relationships they've already cultivated, I've found that a great many doors have opened for me, editorially," Wohl said. "It's very cool. Barry is very open to hearing about creators I'd like to work with, and he has a number of very high-profile relationships himself. So it makes for a very fun experience. Suffice it to say that I haven't been turned down much these days when I'm offering top creators positions on upcoming Radical books. And the fruits of these new labors will be on display very soon as the deals get finished!"
Wohl, who previously created "The Darkness" and "Aphrodite IX" at Top Cow, said he is also interested in developing and writing new series at Radical. "It was one of the things that drew me here in the first place," he told CBR. "But with so much going on editorially, I feel like I need to make sure the house is in order first. Once that happens, and I feel like I have the time to spend on creating and writing, I will definitely take the opportunity because that's one of my favorite parts of the job."
His most recent series, "Executive Assistant: Iris," which Wohl co-created with Michael Turner, is now appearing from Aspen Comics. Despite Wohl's new affiliation, though, he said that "Iris" will not be migrating to Radical. "I love 'Executive Assistant: Iris' and hopefully will continue to write spin-offs after this first series ends. But her home is will always be Aspen," Wohl confirmed. "Michael Turner was one of the creators of the series and to me it completely fits in with Aspen's sensibilities, so I wouldn't want it any other way."