"Ant" Invades Image's Picnic this August, Mario Gully Talks

Tue, May 17th, 2005 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
George A. Tramountanas, Staff Writer

"Ant" #1
Hanna is a young girl with an extremely difficult childhood. To escape her feelings of helplessness, she created an imaginary superhero alter-ego for herself who goes by the name of Ant. She then wrote about her pretend adventures in a journal, which helped bring a bit of peace and order to her life. This is the story told by creator Mario Gully in the "Ant: Days Like These" TPB from Arcana Studios.

What would happen though, if Hanna woke up one day to discover that she is the adult superhero she's been writing about? And what if, on top of that, she has no memory of even being Ant? This is where Hannah's adventures begin in the newest "Ant" series which hits shelves on August 3rd. However, the character's identity isn't the only change taking place. This time around, "Ant" is an ongoing series published through Image Comics. CBR News contacted Mario Gully to find out more about all the latest developments with "Ant."

For those unfamiliar with this character, Gully explained the first series and how it relates to the upcoming release. "In the first series, Hanna Washington was an eight-year-old girl who wanted to be a superhero when she grew up. Her life was in constant turmoil. Her father was being accused of murder, and her mother was never around. She wrote fantastic stories in her journal as Ant (her imaginary alter-ego) to escape the pain of her reality and ultimately solve her problems. At the end of the arc, Hanna wakes up in a mental institution as a young lady and realizes that what she thought was the 'real world' was in fact the fantasy.

"The new arc [at Image] takes place a year after Hanna wakes up in the real world. She finds out quickly that she really is Ant, and that something tragic happened to her that almost cost her her life and sanity. Now she decides to be Ant once again to try to answer the haunting questions in her mind. In addition to all that, she has no memory of being Ant and she quickly finds out being 'the greatest hero this world has ever known' is a hard act to live up to."

When asked about the move to Image, Gully responded, "I wanted to go to Image because I always wanted to be at Image Comics. That's about as real as it gets. I'm one of those guys who always had a very specific goal for myself and anything less was unsatisfying. Image Comics was always my final destination in comic books. Honestly, in my opinion, that question is like asking LeBron James why he wanted to go to the NBA?

"Ant" #1, Page 1
"To be the best you need to run with the best. That's just the natural order of things. I want to be one of the best. That's a goal I have. Image Comics produces and has produced the best talent in comics. That's the place I want to be. Will I ever be one of the best guys that jumped onto the comic scene? Hell, I don't know. But I'd rather at least try than sit on the bench and wonder what I could have had."

Gully indicated that being at Image brought new challenges with it as well. He elaborated, "I'm playing in a huge playground now and everything had to get to the 'primetime' level, as Erik Larsen puts it. The look and feel of the book is much different. My art is leap years better than my old stuff, in my opinion. We, as a team, had to look back at the old series and wanted to learn from all the mistakes we made. Ant's costume is different. The logo is different. Different measures had to be made for this series to be transformed from 'a book with great potential' to a book that is in the starting lineup."

Also among the changes in this ongoing series are some new members to the book's team. "I have a new creative team. First, I would to like to introduce Marc Hammond," Gully said. "Marc will co-write the new series with me. This guy is bursting with talent and I know for a fact comic fans will be speechless when they find out what's in store for them. Marc is an aspiring writer that simply loves to write. He's always pushing the envelope. I really need to lock him up in my closet before he goes exclusive somewhere.

"I got the amazing Dan Kemp on the colors on the covers. This guy needs no introduction. Dan is one of the most well-known colorists in this biz. He's colored everything from Spider-Man to Spawn.

"Ant" #1, Pages 2 & 3
"Stefanni Rennee is back on color for the interiors. I kind of nurtured this guy to greatness. He seems to literally grow overnight. He's fairly new to coloring and he got nominated for a Harvey Award for his work on the 'Ant' series. His new stuff on this book is ahead of its time. He's a keeper.

"Another new and ambitious talent we discovered goes by the name of Dino. He's on the letters. Dino is another force that wants to improve with every page. He literally told me that nobody can letter 'Ant' the way he can. He is truly gifted in what he does.

"Last, but not least, the series will be edited by Michael Sullivan. Mike is an award-winning editor and writer. Hell, he even writes for ComicBookResources.com. I know you will like him."

The creator has high hopes for the book at Image, and can't wait for readers to check out the new series. He told CBR News, "I want to believe that I learned from the first series, and now we have the best team possible to make the best comic book possible that we can. All of us have one goal: to make a great comic book that the comic fans would have fun reading."

 
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