NEWS: Pete Hernandez Talks To ICN About His New Company Man Spin Off Book From Lightning Strike

Following the media event that was hosted by Lightning Strike at the weekend was an announcement that Pete Hernandez’ Company Man which saw print in the inaugral issue of the well recieved anthology will be getting a spin off comic that will be published by Lightning Strike. With that nugget of news, ICN contacted the American based Hernandez to get all the info on that move.
I began by asking Hernandez was the book going to be all new material. “It will be an all new maxi issue telling the origin of Nick Reyes, the main character in the Company Man series. When I first started the series it was in web format. The core story will be intact but I was never fully satisfied with the art. I bust my ass to maintain a weekly schedule with the web comic and as such sacrificed quality. It bugged me for years until I finally decided to re-write the entire origin story and re-illustrate it in comic format.” He continued, ” I’m very happy with the end result and there will be a few new bits in there for readers who read the original version. Same story beats only written better, less exposition whenever possible and more action as well as earlier intros of character you will meet in series two of which issues one to four are available online now at www.companyman.goofeesnax.com After which, the first issue of series two will go on sale followed soon after by the issues that are online now. While those are selling I’ll be moving ahead with issues five and six.”
The announcement that a spin off book would be forthcoming was great news but I wondered who first broached the idea. “All theirs. I would have never dared to ask.” Hernandez said. “Eoin, the president of Lightening Strike, asked if I’d be up for Company Man coming out under their title and I jumped at the offer. Company Man has been so well received out in Ireland that it seemed like a no brainer. The pages I submitted for Lightening Strikes first mega issue were well liked and the buzz has been growing steadily I’m proud to say.”
Hernandez will be the sole creator on the book but is open to the idea of letting someone come on board to help with some processes for the title which he expects to hit shelves sometime in early 2013.
Being the focal point of this move I asked Pete his thoughts on the matter so far. “I couldn’t be more excited. It gives me something big to look forward to. I’ve been wanted to make a mark in Europe and it looks like the boys at LS are gonna make it happen. I look forward to growing alongside them as they take the comic scene out there by storm and eventually make their way stateside to show American audiences what they’ve got.”
The spin off book of course comes on the back of his Company Man book making its European debut in the pages of the Lightning Strike anthology which was launched this summer. I asked Pete his thoughts on how it was received. “Man it was amazing to see such high praise from people who didn’t know me personally and just vibed on the work itself. It calmed my fears about finding an audience out there or in general and gave me a lot of confidence back. Almost every time the Lightening Strike issue was reviewed, Company Man was brought up positively in the article. I’ve been told fans at the conventions the guys have done, in Dublin and England, complimented the work as well.” Hernandez continued, “When you work alone it’s like working in a vacuum, you feel lost half the time and want to quit because you start wondering if you’re wasting your time. And there are so many bitter, jaded ex-comic pros out there all too ready to “warn you” about the business based on their own experiences it makes you wanna quit. But I’ve always been incredibly stubborn when it comes to my work. If I feel a story is worth telling no one will shake me off the path. The reader reaction re-fueled my engine. I have plenty of stories to tell.”
As Lightning Strike will be working closely with Hernandez for the forseeable future, I asked him about his working relationship with Lightning Strike so far. “Smooth as silk. Robert Carey and Eoin are the easiest dudes to work with and I’ve no complaints whatsoever. Though Robert’s tiny hands scare me. They just ask if I want to be a part of this or that and I’m all for it. No one gets in my way creatively and if they like an idea I’ve pitched to them they jump on it and find someone who can handle the art. I can write much faster than I can illustrate an entire page so I’m always ready to blast out more stories. I’m pretty sure they’ll ruin me for any other client in the future. I look forward to working with LS and blowing up as a team. I think we can kick ass straight across Europe and make some real noise in the US when the time is right.”
My thanks to Pete for his time today and as the PR engine gets up and running this winter in anticipation of the release, keep your eyes on ICN for any developments.