One of the most talked about indie comics of recent years is Joe Casey and Tom Scioli's 's "GDLAND." The story follows the adventures of Adam Archer, a human astronaut who returns to earth with incredible powers and, as it is called in the series, universal enlightenment. The Image Comics series fuses the aesthetics of Jim Starlin and Jack Kirby's classic "cosmic" comics with Joe Casey's trademark anti-authority, tough-question-tackling "twist," creating a compelling synthesis of influences and styles. While Archer fights to defend Earth, he is locked constantly in political tension with the government and the public. He recently saved the world from an alien invasion, only to be served with a number of lawsuits for his trouble.
Two collections of the universe-shaping title are available now, but Casey, Scioli and Image have come up with perhaps a more enticing way to attract new readers to "GDLAND": issue #16 comes specially priced at 60-cents!
CBR news caught up with writer Joe Casey to talk about this daring move, and why now is the right time to get on board the space-train to "GDLAND."
"Between myself, the mighty Tom Scioli and the folks at Image, we'll try anything to get more readers on this book," Casey told CBR News. "On top of which, a lot of series don't make it this far - even books from Marvel and DC. We're still going strong. So, we thought we'd give the faithful 'GDLAND' audience a little gift for sticking with us this far along."
The $0.60 issue begins a new storyline that recaps the events that have taken place in "GDLAND" so far, making issue #16 the perfect jumping-on point. But when a major publisher offers up a discounted issue, the cost is covered by deep corporate pockets. In the case of "Gdland," which is an independent, creator-owned comic, those costs are coming out of Casey and Scioli's considerably shallower pockets. One can't help but wonder what costs, if any, $0.60 might cover for a book of this nature.
"I really have no idea," Casey confessed. "I guess I should, since I co-own the book. But I guess Tom and I are so psyched about what we're doing that, on occasion, we throw common sense out the window and just try something new, regardless of the cost.
"We didn't start doing 'GDLAND' to get rich. Hell, I didn't get into comic books to get rich. We love the book, we love creating it every month. If we don't make one cent this issue, it was still worth doing for the creative experience alone."
Not that a few new readers wouldn't hurt. Image Comics are firmly behind " GDLAND," and while Casey & Co. would certainly like the series to double or triple its sales, the entire operation is immensely proud of the audience they do have.
"Being a cult favorite ain't so bad," Casey said. "Anything beyond that is gravy."
As for expectations for issue #16 and its cheap price point, Casey explained, "I tend to avoid expectations, both good and bad. I'm more concerned about the Art of it all. I guess my personal expectation is that it'll be a cool, fun comic book."
Look for "GDLAND" #16 in stores January, 2007.
CBR Executive Producer Jonah Weiland contributed to this story.