Ahoy Comics ‘My Bad’

When it comes to humor, no one embraces it as much as the good folks at Ahoy Comics. From EIC Tom Peyer to his vast collection of talented creators, Ahoy always finds a way to insert a bit of levity in every series. Even with ones that you might not expect. This is especially true when the team of Mark Russell and Bryce Ingman are involved. As they are with Ahoy’s upcoming series, My Bad along with artist Peter Krause. This series embraces the long established and beloved superhero tropes and the comic books of old by introducing a new universe of heroes and villains. But don’t be concerned that you are not familiar with their new collection of “faces and heels’ (to borrow from our wrestling fans), they will include some bio’s to introduce you to their pantheon of new comic legends.

After reading the first issue, which comes to us on November 3rd, we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to talk to the Ahoy’s “Dynamic Duo” in advance of the release of their newest project. So let’s welcome Bryce Ingman and Mark Russell to GVN’s Talking Comics.

GVN: Thanks for giving us some time guys. So let me start with Bryce since this is my first time having an opportunity to talk with him.

Bryce Ingman, Beginnings

GVN: When did you first take an interest in writing and were comic books always your focus or did you see yourself writing novels, (or perhaps fortune cookie fortunes?)

BI: I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember, but the first kind of writing I pursued seriously, beginning about fifteen years ago, was screenwriting. Tragically, I never sold a script during that period. But, through writing screenplays and getting feedback, I put in my 10,000 hours and learned how to tell a good story. In recent years, I’ve been enjoying putting those skills to use in a medium I’ve been kind of obsessed with since I was four years old – comic books.

Working with Mark

GVN: When did you first collaborate with Mark and how has your writing partnership evolved as you have worked on different projects?

BI: Mark and I first collaborated a few years ago on a couple of spin-offs from his then-current (and now classic) Red Sonja arc. On those projects, I would propose plots to Mark and then, if he liked them, I’d draft a script. Then Mark would rewrite the script. Then I would rewrite his rewrite and give it back to him to rewrite again. We kept at it this way until we were both satisfied. It produced good material, but often took forever. With My Bad, we’re trying different methods.

For instance, issue five’s story was discussed over cocktails until we were able to agree on the basic plot. After the police left and things calmed down, we wrote a page by page outline and divided the pages up. I would write until I reached a page assigned to Mark and then I would send the script to him. He would continue writing until he reached one of my pages, and so on. After we had a draft, we each rewrote our own pages to sharpen things up and make it feel like one voice. It was a hell of a lot of fun trading back and forth, and I think it brought out the best in both of us. My Bad has been a true joy to work on from beginning to end.

So Many Heroes and Villains

GVN: Having read through the first issue of My Bad, I can honestly say I LOVED it! Even in the first issue, you have covered so many of the elements of Superheroes that have made fans think WTH? How did you and Mark decide which heroes and villains would make the cut and how many at this point have you created for this series? (You may consult an abacus or slide rule if needed)

BI: Excellent! I’m glad you’re enjoying the book so far, and I think what we have coming up in future issues should delight you as well. Our goal with My Bad is to deliver maximum fun to the readers. If you’re reading My Bad in public, we want strangers to ask you what the heck is making you laugh so much.

As for the “hero and villain” count, Mark and I have, admittedly, come up with way too many characters for one season of My Bad. (I’ve even resorted to introducing a new character through a fake fruit pie ad in an upcoming issue.) I don’t know the exact number of heroes and villains who appear over the course of the series, but you can be assured we’ll be introducing new ones each and every issue. Ultimately, our “Important New Superhero Universe” has at least as many heroes and villains as the Marvel Universe. Probably more. (Mark and I really, really like coming up with weirdo super-types.) And if readers respond to My Bad like we hope they will, we’ll happily keep the party going.

GVN: Thanks, Bryce for sharing a bit of your time. I have plenty more to ask but I promised to play nice and give Mr. Russell a chance to shine.

Mark Russell – Inspirations

GVN: I really need for you to slow down and not create so much fun content. It seems like I just talked to you about the Monster Serials. But since you haven’t done so at this point…What was the inspiration for My Bad and the great idea of adding the spoof Toy ads that I remember so clearly as a kid. (X-Ray Glasses, gambling a stamp and getting Joe Weider’s book so I would stop getting sand kicked in my face, exploding gum, etc)

MR: Can’t stop. Won’t Stop. “My Bad” started as a back-up feature that Bryce was writing for Second Coming, starring Emperor King and Rush Hour as an unlikely friendship between villain and hero. But we thought it would be a good hub around which to build a small universe of underwhelming superheroes and also-ran villains. So I created a storyline for another hero (the Chandelier, a vigilante hero and heir to a vast lamp fortune) to build on it. The fake toy ads in My Bad #1 are just kind of an extension of that idea. That this is a comic book universe born in Purgatory.

Working with Peter Krause

GVN: You are working with artist extraordinaire Peter Krause on My Bad. Was Peter the first and only choice for bringing My Bad to the page or did at any time consider that talented guy who did the Toy Ad art?

MR: Peter was the natural choice, not only because he’s an excellent artist, but also because he’d already done a bunch of the artwork on Bryce’s half of the story back when we were conceiving of it as a backup to “Second Coming.” And, as proud as I am about my own middling efforts on the toy ads, I would never want to put my art on display next to Peter’s. I always try to limit my opportunities for humiliation.

Divvying up the Writing Pie

GVN: I try to do that myself but I keep finding ways to step into it. You and Bryce did a great job of balancing the writing between the two of you. How did you decide who would write what pieces and was a Magic 8 Ball at all involved?

MR: Bryce had already started writing the Emperor King/Rush Hour story, so it made sense for him to have sole control over that arc, while I centered my contribution on the Chandelier and his assorted friends and villains, who I’d created. Issue 5, the grand finale, we wrote together, just splitting the issue up by page numbers, because (spoiler alert) it’s where all the storylines collide so it was no longer possible to split up writing duties by character.

GVN: Thanks once again for sharing your time with us Mark and Bryce. We will be following My Bad with great interest. It looks to be a super fun time, especially for those of us who have been reading comics for a long time. Keep up the great work.

MR/BI: Thanks. I hope you have as good a time reading it as we had working on it.

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