With regards to "Herobear and the Kid," fans won't have to wait too much longer to read the finale of the first story arc. "Issue five is being steam driven," Kunkel told CBR News. "I feel like John Henry trying to finish this before [Comic-Con International: San Diego]. I want everybody to have it in their hands before the convention gets here. It will wrap up the first chapter. It will give you lots of good, fun stuff and then that will lead into the hard bound trade."
|The cover to the first "Herobear" Collection|
"The first one is by a woman named Sarah Parr. She is a 3D sculpture artist from England. She sculpted a papier-mâché Herobear and digitally put it in the computer, created a background and everything. That's our first image."
The second in the series will feature artwork by Humberto Ramos. Kunkel has received potential commitments from artists J. Scott Campbell and Tim Sale for future posters and he has a number of other animation artists waiting in the wings. There will be only one printing of each poster and each will be released as quickly as he can get the artwork from the participating artists. The price should be around $10 per poster according to Kunkel.
Available in time for Comic-Con International will be a maquette coming from Electric Tiki Designs that features Herobear with Tyler on his shoulders. The cape swirls down and around the two of them, making the stand for the sculpture. Kunkel also tells us that he may have trading cards available for San Diego and is looking into PVC toys.
|"Herobear & Decoy: Field Trip."|
"The first issue is a lot about mysteries," said Kunkel. "What sparked the whole idea was in any neighborhood that any of us grew up in, there was always one house that was a mystery house. The weeds overgrew it, you never saw people coming in-and-out of it, but you knew someone lived there. It was the kind of house that if you lost a ball in their backyard, you'd never see it again. That's what sparked us. I tried to keep it close to the feeling of 'Herobear' in the sense that there's always a nostalgic point to the story.
"Essentially ['Field Trip'] is about Tyler going on a field trip. He visits this police station where Officer Luck works. The unfortunate thing is Officer Luck is a rookie who is constantly being hassled by the other cops, so he gets pegged to be the school teacher for the day. As they go on their field trip they come upon this house that Luck grew up by and it's for sale. In the midst of all this, different crimes are happening around town and we're leading up to see if there's a connection to this house."
|Herobear and Tyler colored by Netherlands artist H Reimes|
All kidding aside, the lack of a consistent schedule weighs heavily on him. "You know what, I have no set schedule. It's horrible to say that, I know," said Kunkel. He went on to explain the reason for the delay is related to the amount of time and effort he puts into each book. "I try and treat each book as a little more than just a comic book. I treat them more like children's books in the sense that I do spend more time refining them. It's almost like I need to feel good about it before it goes out. I think because I have the freedom of self-publishing -- I don't want to abuse that -- but they're more important to me. I want to make sure that when it goes out it's as good as I can make it at that moment. So, they take longer.
"I have to honestly thank the fans. They've all been tremendously supportive and understanding. I couldn't ask for better fans."
Kunkel's Astonish Comics has also published other books in addition to his own, such as Jason Lethcoe's "Zoom's Academy" and Scott Sava's "The Lab." Kunkel mentioned he may be publishing some new books shortly, both comics and children's books, and to expect an announcement at or around CCI in August.
|Mike Kunkel completists will want to pick up this pin-up he did for the Scott Morse's 'Magic Pickle' collection coming this July from Oni Press.|
Charles Gordon and Adrian Askarieh are producing for Universal. Gordon was a producer on "Field of Dreams" and "October Sky" as well as another comic-to-film property, "The Rocketeer." "What I liked about [Charles] is he has a real nostalgic feel to the movies that he's worked on. Jeph and I are good friends and we have a natural click to the way we tell stories."
Kunkel says he's very close to diving pretty deep into the production and getting a start on the script.
"It will be a traditionally animated movie. There are so many talented animators and artists out there now that know traditional animation, it will feel good to pull all them on."
Kunkel is also contributing to Marvel Comics "X-Men Unlimited #37," due out next month. Visit CBR Wednesday for more on that with Kunkel and editor C.B. Cebulski.