Tom Akel Goes "Anywhere"

Fri, October 16th, 2009 at 1:58pm PDT | Updated: October 16th, 2009 at 2:05pm

Comic Books
Shaun Manning, Staff Writer
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Cover art for "Anywhere"

If blessed with the ability to instantly transport to anywhere on Earth, it would be nice to think that one might use that power for something more substantial than simply popping over to India for a curry. But then again, real adventuring might cut into video game time. Such are the challenges facing Dust and Wormhole, the heroes of Comedy Central producer Tom Akel's "Anywhere," a six-issue miniseries debuting in November from Arcana. Akel co-wrote the book with Eric Mahoney, and Alan Quah provides the art. CBR News caught up with Akel for a quick chat about the series.

Akel described "Anywhere" as "the equivalent of a sitcom centered around 3 protagonists in a world of superbeings, and what happens to the ones who aren't motivated to do much more than anyone else their age. It's for readers of comics like 'Howard the Duck' and 'Hero Squared,' or who watch shows like 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force' and 'Squidbillies.' The humor is a bit sophomoric, and all in good fun."

Or, more succinctly: "It's like a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a pancake and smothered with Jack Daniels. No, wait, sorry, that's what I had for breakfast."

Dust and Wormhole, the two main characters, describe themselves as superheroes, but spend most of their time playing video games and getting drunk. They do, Akel told CBR, have some hero cred, though readers may not be eager to see these guys come to their rescue. "As you'll see at the end of the first issue, they're going on missions for…someone. Who that is exactly will just have to wait," the writer said. "I'm not sure you'd necessarily define them as 'heroes' as an outsider to their day to day, since they only seem to fight when they have to. But there are conflicts within the book with super-baddies.

Pages from "Anywhere"

"Though, doesn't that present a larger question of who exactly gets to define who is or is not a 'superhero?'" Akel continued, at least half jokingly. "I mean, in any universe of super-beings, are there not many who straddle a line between hero and villain? And though they're not the 'bad guy,' are they really a 'superhero?' So who are we to judge?"

The rest of Akel's cast of characters should resolve any remaining doubts as to the tone of "Anywhere." "Other regulars in the series include What's Up, a gay hero with stretching powers who works across the street from Dust and Wormhole's apartment at a chain coffee shop; Mary, their bi-polar actress/model roommate; Hans, their German roommate who gets possessed by an alien head lice symbiote; and a handful of baddies," Akel told CBR. "The best place to keep up with the activities of all the characters in Anywhere is the Hell's Kitchen Gazette, http://hkgazette.com, the online newspaper for everything happening in their world, which will be live by the time the first issue hits stands.

"The villains they'll face are generally ex-roommates, ex-lovers, and ex-drinking buddies. It's amazing how many friends of theirs have both a tendency towards evil and a super ability," he added. "Though the tendency towards evil may in fact be caused by knowing these two. Clearly, the greatest threat they'll face is that they have a complete hack writing the series."


Pages from "Anywhere"

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TAGS:  arcana, anywhere, tom akel, eric mahoney, alan quah

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