Official Press Release
ORANGE, CA -- May 31, 2002 -- Image Publisher & VP Jim Valentino announcedFriday at the Comics 2002 Festival in Bristol, England, that Paul Grist'sblack-and-white independent series JACK STAFF is moving to Image. Accordingto Valentino, the title will be relaunched in January 2003 as a new ongoingseries -- in full color.
Originally published by Grist's own Dancing Elephant Press, JACK STAFFutilizes a loose anthology format to tell the tales of a unique group ofcharacters comprised of Tom Tom the Robot Man, an enigmatic group of secretagents called Q, and Becky Burdock, Vampire Reporter. Linking all thesestories 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 removedfrom Kurt Busiek's ASTRO CITY, wherein Grist allows his imagination to runwild as he offers his own unique takes on a variety of archetypes fromcomics and popular fiction alike.
"We're absolutely delighted that Paul Grist has chosen to make JACK STAFFpart of the Image line," said Valentino. "This is one of the freshest takeson superheroes I've seen in some time -- witty, intelligently written andoverflowing with so much enthusiasm that it's downright contagious."
Image cofounder and SAVAGE DRAGON creator Erik Larsen added, "I'm thrilledthat JACK STAFF is coming to Image. Image started off as the premierepublishing house for new and innovative superhero comics. It's a pleasure towelcome aboard a creator who's as committed to his craft as Paul Grist! Thisis a big step toward restoring the grandeur to the Image Comics superheroline."
JACK STAFF debuted in April, 2000, but while Grist's imagination anddistinctive art style won rave reviews, the book has frequently beenoverlooked by fans and retailers alike.
"It's been my experience that many readers don't even know JACK STAFFexists," said Image Director of Marketing Eric Stephenson. "I startedpicking up JACK STAFF myself because I was already following Paul's otherseries, 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 KANEcan get lost in the shuffle, but it's our hope that bringing the book toImage 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 upthe current series with JACK STAFF #12.
"Over the next four issues, I'm going to be telling the story of CharlieRaven, the greatest escapologist of the Victorian Age," he explained. "We'llalso be looking at the rather murky past of Q agent Ben Kulmer, andrevealing 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, whichwill kick off with a bang as I'm bringing back probably the single mostpopular character in the series, Tom Tom the Robot Man!"
Recent issues of the current JACK STAFF series remain available throughDiamond Comic Distributors. These include: JACK STAFF #5 (OCT002011), #6(APR012107), #7 (JUL012000), and #8 (OCT012394). These issues should beavailable for immediate reorder, along with the JACK STAFF: YESTERDAY'SHEROES TPB (NOV012304). JACK STAFF #9 (DEC012316) and #10 (FEB022374) arealso available for advance reorders. Issue #9 is due out in June.