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The Savages Return By Brian Jacks
Nearly three years have passed since the Hopeless-Savage family had their debut in the original Oni Press Color Special, so it appears only fitting that Oni Press celebrates this anniversary with the first issue of the third series in the popular franchise.
Debuting in June, Too Much Hopeless Savages! reunites the Eisner-nominated creative team of Jen Van Meter and Christine Norrie. And to make things extra special, Oni says the action is moving off the North American continent as the entire family takes a trip to Hong Kong.
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"Ground Zero was very much based around the family home," Van Meter explained. "Though the comics have been about showing the Hopeless-Savages as a normal, loving family, we shouldn't forget that the initial concept was they are a very special family that just happens to form a cohesive unit. As we saw in the first series, all of the children are involved in various exceptional endeavors. That includes Arsenal."
The initial impetus for Arsenal's trip is a karate match in Hong Kong, rematching her against a brutal rival from her days of early competition. She is accompanied by her boyfriend Claude and his brother Henry, who happens to be the boyfriend of Arsenal's brother Twitch (how is that for complicated romance?). Claude and Henry are going to be introducing their significant others to their grandmother for the very first time-and that includes the question of how she'll react to Henry bringing a boy home.
"I am looking at balancing a lot in this story line," Van Meter continued. "The title is both a play on how much is going on and a riff on the Hitchcock film The Man Who Knew Too much. As if the fight and the themes of love and acceptance weren't enough, I am throwing in a bit of international intrigue with Arsenal unwittingly coming into possession of something that both the British Secret Service and the bad guys want back. And on top of that, the rest of the family come along after them to escape pressures that are making their homelife a bit rough. It all comes together in one explosive traffic jam of action. Trust me."
"I've missed drawing this book," Norrie said. "Originally, after Cheat, I was going to do a longer romance project, but I wanted to tackle something more familiar and a lot less serious. Jen told me what she was thinking for this arc, and I knew I had to draw it. I love China, I love Hong Kong. I want to depict scenes as beautiful as in Shanghai Triad, and I want to draw action that would make the Hong Kong masters proud."
Joining Van Meter and Norrie this time around is newcomer Ross Campbell. "We 're continuing our tradition of giving new artists a shot on Hopeless Savages," Rich said. "I think our track record with Christine and Bryan O' Malley is pretty impressive, and Ross is the perfect guy to pick up the baton. In fact, we had originally considered not doing flashbacks this time around, but his art seemed so well-suited for a young Arsenal, we decided we had to give him a place to lay down some ink."
A student of Skinwalker cover artist Durwin Talon's from the Savannah College of Art, Ross has an extensive digital portfolio available online at http://www.greenoblivion.com.
"For me, every Hopeless Savages series is a wonderful reunion," Rich concluded. "It's like our own holiday, where we get back together with our loved ones and have a massive story banquet. It's yummy for my tummy!"
Too Much Hopeless Savages! is a four-issue miniseries, with the first issue hitting comic stores on June 4, 2003. Containing 32 pages of black-and-white story and art, the book will retail for $2.99. Color covers will be by series artist Christine Norrie, who will also contribute a short Kung-Fu Space Girls back-up story to the debut issue.
Readers looking to sample HOPELESS SAVAGES, and who missed out on it as a selection for the inaugural Free Comic Book Day, should stay tuned to http://www.onipress.com, as a downloadable PDF of the original first issue will be the main selection in the Free Comic section for the month of March.