The coronavirus pandemic, and subsequent stay-at-home orders imposed across the United States, has altered the comic book industry. Whether it’s conventions being cancelled or postponed, the distribution of comic books halted with Diamond Comic Distributors temporarily closing their doors, or local comic shops being forced to close their doors (either temporarily or permanently), the industry as a whole has had to alter its way of thinking with regards to how business is done.
This has also made us here at PopCultHQ need to re-evaluate the way in which we provide coverage with our comic book coverage. Typically, here has always been plenty of news & announcements coming from publishers, the weekly New Comic Book Day (NCBD) previews and review copies, and convention/signing appearances by creators that would keep me busy with content to provide on our site. Like, ridiculously busy. But that’s changed. I don’t see any comic cons in the near future in which I will be attending on-site to cover for PopCultHQ. That means interviews with creators at the events have been suspended indefinitely. But just as many creators and publishers seek new, different, and/or innovative ways to reach and connect with fans, so, too, have we sought new methods for providing fresh content and continuing to deliver forms of entertainment with which to satisfy your craving for comic books.
“Pants Optional” is a new Zoom video interview feature where we connect with individuals within the comic book community. It’s a way to see/hear what creators have been doing during a quarantine, projects which may be in motion during this downtime, and noteworthy events and happenings taking place in lieu of conventions, appearances, and the weekly NCBD grind.
For Episode II, I spoke with Kenny Aitken, a northern Californian writer/artist and creator of APEX: Cybernetic Samurai Owl. Originally intended to be a webcomic, Kenny’s IP just successfully funded the first issue on Kickstarter with issues two & three in the works. If you missed the campaign, here’s a look at issue one:
APEX: Cybernetic Samurai Owl #1
After years of failed attempts, a shadowy corporate organization in Japan, Project Doombird has had a breakthrough. Scientists for the project have developed the A.P.E.X. Module, (Adaptive, Parallel, Energy, Xenium.) A one of a kind Module that gives the user the ability to “learn” combat proficiency from technological and organic beings. The full potential of this technology has yet to be realized…
Without further ado, listen to the creator himself as we chat about this exciting new title making its way into homes in 2020!
Special thanks to Kenny Aitken for taking the time to speak with us. We’re happy to be making a $20 donation to A-1 Comics in Sacramento, CA in Kenny’s name. Be sure to follow Kenny online (links below) and keep an eye out for more APEX: Cybernetic Samurai Owl. With the debut issue a resounding success on Kickstarter and issues two and three in the works this year, this wildy fun property is a can’t miss!
If you are an industry professional and are interested in being featured in our “Pants Optional” segment, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s see what we can put together!
Writer – Kenny Aitken
In 2017, Kenny set to create his first comic strip Apex: Cybernetic Samurai Owl for an online format. After drawing the first 3 pages, he was convinced by fellow creator Garrett Gunn to write and produce a full-fledged comic book. A few bumps in the road later, here we are! Kenny serves as the creator, writer and colorist on Apex: Cybernetic Samurai Owl.