Not A Hoax: Talking "Josh Howard Presents: Sasquatch"

Thu, February 8th, 2007 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Jeffrey Renaud, Staff Writer

target="PopUp">This is no hoax.

Jane Goodall is a believer. And Tenacious D wrote a tribute to the big-footed bipedal.

So isn't time for an anthology of stories, created by some of top indie talent in the world, to leave a super-sized footprint in comic book stores across America?

You bet your Yeti, says Josh Howard, brainchild of the forthcoming collection, "Josh Howard Presents: Sasquatch."

With over 30 contributors, 250 pages and 20 stories, Sasquatch lives up to its namesake's legendary proportions.

And one look at the preview pages shows this ain't no "Harry and the Hendersons," either.

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Pages 1 and 2 of David Hartman's contribution to "Sasquatch"
Howard, the creator/writer/artist of best selling indie title " Dead @ 17 ," told CBR News that Sasquatch was long overdue for his story to be told in not one voice, but many of varying styles and depictions - be it horror, humor or simply hair-raising.

"It seemed like the best way to give the monster his due. Rather than try myself to distill all the aura and mystery of Sasquatch into one story, to me, getting multiple perspectives was the most fitting tribute," explained Howard.

The 30-year old Texan says the idea for the anthology has been gestating inside him for as far back as he can remember.

"It started with my fascination with Sasquatch, which goes all the way back to when I was five years old. A Sasquatch book is something I've thought about doing ever since I got into comics, but I never had what I thought was the perfect idea. I would joke about it with friends, and we would all talk about how cool it would be to all do our own take on it. One of those conversations got overheard by Jessie Garza and the rest is history," said Howard.

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David Hartman, pages 3 and 4
Jessie Garza, president of Viper Comics, is on the record as stating that the graphic novel was a massive undertaking for the Dallas, Texas based publisher.

But Howard and his team of co-conspirators, many who previously contributed to his " Dead @ 17: Rough Cut" anthologies, have delivered the goods as Sasquatch is on schedule to ship in mid-April. And Howard expected nothing less from his peers.

"I've come to really know and trust their work," said Howard. "Others are people whose work I'm just a big fan of and believe they deserve wider recognition. Originally we tried to get a couple of big names aboard as well, but no one was interested. I don't think they really got what we were doing. So we just went all out with indie talent - and some of the best in my opinion.

Page 1 of Josh Howard's story
"I actually started to get pages in before I had started on my story, and some were so good I wanted to back out of my own book! Believe me, there's some amazing stuff in there," said Howard, who beyond editing duties contributed a 10-page story, as well as a couple of pin-ups.

Howard, like Goodall - a world renowned primatologist - admits he too is a wannabe believer in Bigfoot.

"I believe in the idea that there may be an undiscovered species of large primate living in North America. Definitely more than one or even just a family," says Howard.

And his thoughts on the infamous 1967 Patterson-Gimlin film?

"I think it's fairly convincing. If it's a fake, at the very least, it's a pretty darn good costume. I mean, the thing has breasts! It's hard to imagine your average hoaxer going that extra mile," quipped Howard.

Josh Howard, page 4
His ribbing continued to that other documented Bigfoot, he of " Alpha Flight" fame: "Isn't he Canadian? Sorry, my love of Sasquatch stops at the border."

Outside of the drawing gigantic cryptids covered in matted hair, Howard said he would love to get his hands on a few other legends of the pop culture persuasion.

"I've already got a story written for Supergirl. And Batgirl would be cool, too. Other than that, I wouldn't mind a shot at Star Wars or an animated style Star Trek," said Howard.

The rapidly rising star is also currently working on a graphic novel for DC entitled, " Clubbing."

"It's written by Andi Watson and it's about a goth girl who's busted for using a fake ID. She's sent to live at her grandparents' country club where she solves a murder mystery. It will be out in July."

"Josh Howard Presents: Sasquatch" actually has a Volume 1 attached to its solicitations, but Howard says Wendigo, the Abominable Snowman and the Loch Ness Monster will have to wait and see how Sasquatch fares before any more crypto-anthologies are produced.

"We'll have to wait and see how this one does first. But I do have a short list of other themes I want to do. Probably no Loch Ness, but something in that neighborhood," said Howard.

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Tom Kurzanski's contribution, pages 1-3

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