At this year’s C2E2, PopcultHQ had the great opportunity to chat and chill with the Devil’s Due Publishing team! The comic book publishing house that brings you Mercy Sparx and Solitary is bringing a whole slew of groundbreaking new diverse comic books to their already strong lineup. One of the DDP series that is on my MUST BUY list now is the deeply rich crafted epic Squarriors, brought to you by writer Ash Maczko and artist phenom Ashley Witter. At a time when superhero comics are not as flattering to me anymore, the independent comics is where I find myself leaning toward now-a-days with such great talents doing their own creations and coming up with awesomeness like Squarriors!
Squarriors is the take of a world where man is no longer the ruler of the Earth and the animals of the woodland forest have a newly found intelligence. What do these animals do after forming tribes and trying to build a society where not every creature wants to leave its savage animal instincts behind?
Here is Popculthq’s exclusive interview with the writer and creator of the Squarriors series Ash Maczko!
Manny – Hello Ash Maczko. Ok, so you’re the man behind the mad creation of Squarriors?
Ash – “Yup…I’m the creator and writer of The Squarriors”
Manny – What made you come up with this crazy concept that I totally love on concept alone?
Ash – “Well….we get asked that a lot. ‘How did you come up with that?’ and really there is no quick answer to that. For starters, I wanted to do a project with animals. I was already working with Ashley and we really wanted to do our own project with just me and her. She would draw some stuff and I would write-up some stuff and Squarriors just came to me out of nowhere. I wanted to do animals, I wanted to do woodland creatures….we didn’t know if it was going to be something fun or something funny or cartoony and cute. After about two years of formulating and putting stuff together….Squarriors came out.”
Manny – So were you and Ashley a team from beforehand? (Me trying to hint if there was a love connection)
Ash – “Not exactly, this is the first real project that we ever worked together on. I have done stuff with her and helped her out with career stuff in the past. That’s how we were already connected.”
Manny – Do you think the savagery of the storytelling is what’s bringing in the people or is it the characters themselves?
Ash – “I think the artwork is certainly the thing that people are first blown away by. Just the name Squarriors, you sit here at the table you see and hear about a dozen people walk by and say ‘SQUARRIORS!? What the heck is that?!” So there’s a few things that draw people into the idea and the table.”
Manny – So How many people come by and yell out ‘Squarriorrrrssssss come out and Playyyyyyyyyyy’?
Ash – “We get a ton of that! I was just at another booth on the other side of the floor and I actually had a Squarriors comic book with me. There was some other people there with me at the booth and they see the comic and they’re like ‘Squarriors come out and play.’ That was, I’m not kidding, like 10 minutes ago.”
Manny – That’s awesome (laughing). So clearly you have really been enjoying this run?
Ash – “Oh yeah, it’s been awesome! We are only two issues deep right now but we got a lot of things in the works. Issue three is about to hit stores”
Manny – Wait a second….you guys are only TWO issues deep? I feel like this had been around for a while now with a lot of fan and critic hype over this book! I felt like I had missed the boat!
Ash – “Issue one came out in December which subsequently sold out almost immediately. We did a second printing that is out now and I think that sold out. And then Issue #2 is on back order, not sure if they have completely sold out but they are on back order. Issue #3 will be coming out in June.”
Manny – Well I’ve really been enjoying seeing the success for you guys and this series.
Ash – “It’s coming together little by little, I don’t think anybody saw this coming with the Squarrior comic except maybe Josh.”
Manny – No definitely no one saw this coming, that’s for sure! So how has it been working with Josh Blaylock and the whole Devil’s Due crew?
Ash – “Actually it’s good, we’re just a bunch of buddies really with everyone hanging out and everybody have their own little projects. The cool thing with Devil’s Due is they have a lot of diversity in their comics. There is nothing that is anything like Squarriors, there is nothing like Mercy Sparx or like the mystery comics. Everyone has their own unique spot in the company and that helps. Nobody is ever stepping on each others toes, so to say.”
Manny – What other work have you done in the comic book industry?
Ash – “I have done absolutely nothing else”
Manny – REALLY?!
Ash – “This is my very first project, first testing the waters. Putting my toe in the pool right now”
Manny – Well what a splash to make with your first foray into the business.
Ash – “Kinda. It’s been nice, I mean I was very worried. I was paired up with this amazing artist so it puts a lot of pressure on me to make sure I’m putting out a great book, It’s her work, it’s her name on there. So far we’ve heard nothing but amazing things from everybody that reviews it; we almost get 100% positive reviews. Everybody loves the writing, everybody of course loves the artwork, so we just have to keep up with it.”
Manny – I know it’s so early in the series but is there any hints or surprises for the future of Squarriors you can give our readers at PopcultHQ?
Ash – “Oh yeah, I can’t give any spoilers, but yeah, there are some surprises. I can tell you this… in issue #3 that comes out in June, and it’s a very deep story issue, it’s not a gory issue with lots of blood and guts but there is A LOT of things to take in. Then when issue #4 hits, there will be a BIG payoff in that issue. Issue #4 will then lead into the next set of stories #5, #6, #7 and #8 and so on.”
Manny – So you have it all penned out and planned on what’s to come in the Squarriors future. How many issues do you think you got penned out?
Ash – “Right now I have about 16 issues that are kind of written out in synopsis and stuff like that. We are only as far as issue #3 in work that has actually been done. We’re kinda working with Devil’s Due right now and we’re scheduled to work with them for two more years. So bare minimum two more years of material at least.”
Manny – Well I have to say I am really excited about this series and very happy to see the success you two (Ash and Ashley) have enjoyed on this run, also your very first introduction into the comic book work Ash! That is really cool man, I love that story.
Anything you would like to get out to the fans Ash?
Ash – “Yeah..I just hope people go and at least take a look at Squarriors. There are digital downloads out there. My thing is if people who are interested in Squarriors go check it out and the people who do check it out and enjoy it, let somebody else know that you enjoyed it….that’s all I ask. I don’t expect you to go out and buy 20 copies but if you enjoyed it…tell somebody else you enjoyed it.”
Manny – Awesome man! Thanks so much for the interview Ash and can’t wait to get more Squarrior action on!!
Ash – “Thanks for having me on PopcultHQ man!”