Battle Quest Comics has published young-adult comic books for over a decade. However, they recently signed a deal with Diamond Comics that will take their publications to a whole new level. Friend of the blog and newly minted Media Director, Justin Zimmerman, provided an exclusive interview with the minds behind the comics.
Justin Zimmerman: So, what is Battle Quest Comics? Let’s jump right in…
Andrew Kafoury: Battle Quest Comics is an all-ages / YA publisher of quality action-adventure & sci-fi work built around our flagship titles, NO’MADD, THE TRIDENT OF AURELIA & STEEL SIEGE. NO’MADD #1 is in the PREVIEWS catalog 4/27, and hits stores in July. As for our comics? They’re awesome. They focus on the primal, the fight or flight. They instill universal life lessons, and they’re fun. I guess I’d say: Battle Quest Comics makes fun adventure stories… for everyone!
Lee Moyer: It’s incredibly exciting to see young talent in the same place, and in the company of, established creators like Tom and me. The growth and excitement at Battle Quest Comics – and I’ve been in this business for 40 years – it’s just fertile ground for making new and great things.
Tom Orzechowski: Battle Quest Comics publishes emotionally driven stories that don’t look like other people’s books. They feel different: they have a unique energy, they’re visceral… and they’re unmistakable.
I was going to ask what makes BQC work special, but you’re already on it.
LM: Our books are personal in ways that are constantly surprising. These are stories about family, friendship and connection… that we don’t see enough of elsewhere in comics!
TO: I think personal is a perfect way to put it.
LM: When it came to my book, TRIDENT OF AURELIA, I wanted to create something that no one had ever seen before, I wanted to interrogate patriarchal tropes and knew I had a collaborator in Melissa [Spandri] who was absolutely going to knock it out of the park.
Art and design are a big part of the Battle Quest Comic experience, correct?
LM: Absolutely. And that’s why we work with an assortment of talent across the world.
AK: We’re committed to partnering with incredible storytellers from every background, because we want our stories to be for everyone. One of our goals is to help inspire. We want our readers to be problem solvers, so that they can heroically tackle the inevitable challenges that await… and build an even better tomorrow.
So, if you had to sum up Battle Quest Comics for a new reader…?
TO: I’d define the experience of reading one of our books as sparkling, magical and new.
Andrew Kafoury writes and creates successful independent comics and has for over a decade, even before creating Battle Quest Comics and signing with Diamond Comics Distributors.
Tom Orzechowski has lettered a whole lot of comics over a great many years. He was born in Detroit, and began reading comics at age 5. He learned pen and ink lettering while creating zines, leading to work in the Marvel bullpen in 1973. Other clients have included Last Gasp, Viz, DC, Dark Horse, Image, and Archie. He’s been recognized by The Guinness Book of Records for lettering the most issues of a single series (Spawn, 301 issues and counting). Tom is married to Lois Buhalis, an artist. They keep cats.
Lee Moyer’s award-winning work has been exhibited in NY, LA, London and Helsinki – as well as in China’s Top Artist magazine. He was a docent at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, Art Director for EA, Lead Artist for Dungeons & Dragons, and co-creator of games 13th Age and Cursed Court. Lee illustrated book covers for Seanan McGuire, Kim Newman, and Iain Banks, as well as world-premiere posters for Stephens Sondheim and King, Tori Amos, six Laurel & Hardy films and many more.
Justin Zimmerman, MFA in Film, is a nationally recognized comic writer, director and professor. His narrative and documentary work has appeared in almost 200 film festivals across the globe and has been broadcast on national public television, where he won two international television awards. He’s also been the recipient of multiple grants and fellowships, he contributed a story to the Eisner Award-winning graphic novel Love Is Love, and his script and comic work has been optioned on multiple occasions.