Official Press Release
Baltimore - At a meeting held today at Insight Studios headquarters,publisher Mark Wheatley announced the launch of a new comic bookmini-series by his long-time partner, Marc Hempel. The new series willbegin in July and run three issues going by the title MARC HEMPEL'SNAKED BRAIN.
MARC HEMPEL'S NAKED BRAIN is a many-faceted collection of comic strips.Wheatley was enthusiastic in his description: "I believe that comics isa language as distinct as English, French, Chinese or ancientBabylonian. And I also believe that there have been only a selecthandful of creative individuals who have used the language of comics asa native tongue. Just a few from that group are Will Eisner, HarveyKurtzman, Bernard Krigstein, George Herriman, Alex Toth and MarcHempel." Including Hempel in that group is high acclaim indeed, butWheatley asserts that MARC HEMPEL'S NAKED BRAIN will offer the proof ofhis statement. "Marc is a master of the concise comic strip. Each issue ofNAKED BRAIN is full of one page strips and gag cartoons - many that willmake you laugh until you hurt. And if you know the language of comicsyou'll also be amazed at just how much this language is capable ofcommunicating. Marc understands comics better than anyone I know - andhere he pushes it way beyond any notion of 'limits'."
Hempel's own thoughts were less bombastic. "Everything I create is anhonest expression of who I am - hence the title of this series! Fortunately, my own personal take on popular culture, eccentricpersonalities and other quirky aspects of modern life seems to resonatewith my readers," he stated. Evidently, this statement has substance,since an Internet comic strip version of NAKED BRAIN has been appearingon the www.SunnyFundays.com web page for about a year, attracting wellover a million hits a month. But Hempel is quick to point out that,"Even though the comic book series has the same title as the on-linestrip, there is much more to the comic book." The comic book will alsopresent a series of gag cartoons by Hempel. "I've been developing thesecartoons for several years with the plan that I'll start submitting themto mass market magazines. I've been showing them to the guys around thestudios, and Mark Wheatley insisted on including them." Wheatleyconfirmed this and added, "Marc's gag cartoons are as funny andsophisticated as anything you'll ever see in The New Yorker. They offerinstant access to anyone flipping through MARC HEMPEL'S NAKED BRAIN, andmake it one of those rare comic books that can be sold to the generalpublic with no explanation." MARC HEMPEL'S NAKED BRAIN will alsoinclude the much anticipated return of one of Hempel's most popularcreations, TUG & BUSTER. Each issue of MARC HEMPEL'S NAKED BRAIN willinclude a short story or two about these endearingly maladjustedmisfits. TUG & BUSTER originally appeared in a series of seven comicbooks self-published by Hempel in the late 1990's. One issue and acollected edition of the early TUG & BUSTER material eventually appearedthrough Image Comics. Currently the series is being translated forpublication overseas.
In addition to TUG & BUSTER, Hempel's credits in the comic book industryinclude work for Heavy Metal, Clive Barker's Hellraiser, Gregory, Mars,Jonny Quest, Breathtaker, Blood of the Innocent, Swamp Thing, TheDreaming and The Sandman: The Kindly Ones. Marc Hempel's Naked Brainwill serve as a welcome addition to this highly regarded list.
Another book, IS ART: the Art of Insight Studios collects Hempel's farranging illustration work. It is also available from Insight StudiosGroup.