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April 3, 2010

Web Comic of the Month: Across the Multiverse

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Written by: Eli
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This month we’re looking at a comic that doesn’t have super heroes and costumes, but does have its share of heroes nonetheless. In fact, its even got time traveling. Yes, time travel! Across the Multiverse by Mike Hall, updated weekly, is our web comic for the month of April 2010.

This comic follows teenage friends Riley and Brevard, as well as Brevard’s sister Ellie. Brevard and Ellie moved here from Japan a few years ago, and are a couple of geniuses. They all attend the same high school, and it’s here that the adventures begin.

Everything is normal enough to begin with. Brevard is thinking about girls, he being a self-proclaimed ladies man. Riley’s working up the courage to ask a girl to the school dance. Ellie, well, she’s busy turning an iPod into a time traveling device (I told you she was smart). Possibly unbalancing the space time continuum while she’s at it. You know, normal high school stuff.

Now things start to get interesting. Does Riley’s invitation to the school dance get accepted by the girl of his dreams? Does the time traveling iPod actually work? You’ll have to read for yourself to find out.

Normally, I wouldn’t read a comic like this one. Which isn’t to say that it’s lacking anything at all, just that its style is one that I have often stayed away from. It features a few things I don’t usually go for in a comic: kids, a lack of super powers or keen fighting ability, nobody taking it to a bad guy on a weekly basis, etc. However, after the first few strips of Across the Multiverse (also known as ATM), I really liked it! It’s now in my rotation of web comics to come back to at every update.

One thing I enjoy about this strip is the art. Its got some color and some black and white, and I must say that the pencil work of the black and white is really appealing. I’ll take that over the color stuff if it’s all the same to Across the Multiverse creator, Mike Hall.

The man behind the Multiverse

Mike was very courteous in agreeing to sit down with me, at our computers over email, to discuss his comic, and plenty of other super serious things. OK, maybe just comics in general.

Comic Attack: Do you remember the first comic you ever read?
Mike Hall: I believe it was TMNT Adventures #1. I was about 7 at the time and really loved those Turtles. So, my dad showed me an issue at the local convenience store (yes, they used to sell comics there) and I was hooked. 21 years & countless comic boxes later I can easily say those TMNT were my intro drug to comics.

CA: What was the first comic that you created? When?
MH: I created a character named Marvelboy (No relation to Marvel Comics) and made short comics about his adventures. Your basic saving the girl and fighting the bad guy kind of stuff. I was probably 11 at the time.

CA: How did Across The Multiverse come about?
MH: Ever since the days of watching “Back to the Future” and “Sliders”, I have wanted to do a time-space adventure. However, the story popped into my head around 2005. I just started letting the idea simmer until around 2007, when I finally started sketching out the characters and putting the story on paper. A lot of people have asked me if I was influenced by Dr. Who, and some say it looks like I’m ripping it off, but I promise you that can’t be true, seeing as how I have never seen one episode of Dr. Who.

CA: What do you do when not creating the next Across The Multiverse strip?
MH: I think the real question is “What are you doing when you should be working on the next ATM strip?” Usually I’m either hanging out with my beautiful wife or in front of the warm glow of the computer or Xbox.

CA: What do you use to make your strip? Hardware, Software, gadgets? Why?
MH: I’m still a simple pencil and paper sort of guy. I have tried a tablet and it doesn’t seem to like me, but I imagine if I had one of those nifty “Cintiq” tablets I would probably change my tune. Otherwise, I do a blue pencil sketch, followed by a pencil sketch, and then if I’m feeling saucy I do a simple inking. After the pencils and what not it’s off to the scanner, then to Photoshop for colors and text…That’s about it!

CA: What is your creative environment like? Noise, silence, day, night, what??
MH: I usually need something going on in the background like music or the TV. Silence usually doesn’t work well for me.

CA: What goals have you set for yourself in the comic business? For Darkstar Studios?
MH: Putting out a book has been a long time goal of mine. Every year I think I will finally do it, and I don’t. So putting out a book would be one of the first things, but as far as Darkstar goes…I would really love to bring on a couple more talented artists and writers and to round out the studio and start hitting some conventions on the west coast, but that is probably still a couple of years off, but it’s a nice thought. California knows how to party…At least that’s what I heard somewhere.

CA: Person you’d love to get the chance to work with on a comic?
MH: I would love to work with Adam Warren…Hell, I would just like to sit in on his process. The guy is one of my idols and I’m pretty sure that if I heard I had a chance to work with him I would go into a coma or something.

CA: Who is your favorite character from comics? Why?
MH: I have to go with “The Flash”. I’m not going to get into back stories or whether I prefer Bart or Wally (Wally of course), but I can say that there is something about being able to vibrate through solid matter that impresses the hell out of me!

CA: What’s your favorite comic book right now?
MH: Right now I would have to go with the “Blackest Night” books. Geoff Johns & Ivan Reis have done a fantastic job with this series. However, they have done a lot of pumping up for this ending and I just hope they can live up to their own hype. I have all the power rings by the way…Man, I’m such a nerd.

CA: Favorite comic book movie?
MH: Oh man…This is a tough one. I am going with Iron ManBatman Begins was really chasing for that title, but RDJ just really sold it as Tony Stark while Bale has done an ok part as Bruce Wayne/Batman.

CA: Comic book movie that needs to be made, but hasn’t yet?
MH: Aside from it probably being super cheesy, I would love to see a “Battle Chasers” movie. I’m sure they would turn Gully’s Gauntlets into mittens or something equally bad. Either-way it would be a good way for us to get an ending…Maybe.

CA: Cast yourself in the Green Lantern movie. Where would you fit in?
MH: Guy Gardner of course…I don’t really have his look, but I’m sure Hollywood magic could do something about that.

CA: Best all-time hero supporter, as in Rick Jones, Alfred Pennyworth, etc?
MH: I was just going to go with Jimmy Olsen, but you had to go off and mention Rick “A-Bomb” Jones. It’s hard to argue Rick Jones not being the all-time supporter…The dude is an honorary Avenger, not to mention he has went to hell and back over his long career in the super hero world.

CA: Who’s tougher, Deadpool or Hal Jordan? Why?
MH: Well, Deadpool is probably the toughest, thanks to his healing factor…I mean, how many times has he been decapitated now? However, ultimately I would assume a brawl between the two would go the way of Hal since he does in fact wield what was deemed “the most powerful weapon in the universe.”

CA: Who’d win in a battle to the death between Riley & Brevard vs. Foggy Nelson & Happy Hogan (Tony Stark’s chauffeur/personal assistant)?
MH: Well…I guess that all depends on whether Jon Favreau is Foggy and Happy. If he were then I could say without a doubt Foggy and Happy would lay waste to those poor boys.

CA: What’s the first thing you’d do if you could travel through time?
MH: I have 3 words for you: Gray’s Sports Almanac.

CA: Who’s the greatest villain of all time?
MH: The greatest title would have to go to someone like Lex Luthor or Magneto, but they are rivaled in my mind by one moment given to us by Oracle when she ejected that girl to her death at the hands of Killer Croc in “Battle for the Cowl”. I know she didn’t mean for that to happen, but she could have at least let Damian give the girl a ride back to town…Cold Blooded.

CA: Comic/story arc/graphic novel you’ve read more than any other?
MH: Maximum Carnage. I guess it was my Spidey phase, but I re-read that arc a dozen times easy.

CA: Do you have any tips for aspiring web comic creators in our audience?
MH: One of the things I always tell people when I am asked this question is to go ahead and spend the few bucks to get yourself your own site and domain name. I know it’s tempting to use the free sites like Smackjeeves and the such, but having your own site and domain set you apart from those mass webcomic databases. Yeah, you might need to find someone who knows some HTML and CSS to give you a hand in creation or you could just use WordPress + Comicpress for a quick success. It’s really easy to install, not to mention even if you have no HTML or CSS knowledge you can still probably muster up a simple design and work from there.

CA: What’s the first thing a web comic artist should do to develop their fan base (beyond publishing an awesome web comic, that is)?
MH: UPDATE ON TIME!!! I know nothing of this mystical tradition, but I have heard that if you do it you will possibly be able to maintain a fanbase.

I’d like to thank Mike Hall for sharing his thoughts with us on the ever important subject of comics. Oh, and I too would travel back in time with my trusty sports almanac in hand, a great choice indeed. Check out Across The Multiverse for yourself, with the links below.

Resources

The beginning |  ATM Archives |  ATM Forums |  Twitter |  Mike @ Deviant Art

Eli Anthony
eli@comicattack.net

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6 Comments



  1. […] One of our lovely writers at ComicAttack.net has interviewed Mike to highlight the Across the Multiverse comic as his Web Comic of the Month.  Eli talks to Mike about ATM, and about his love for the comic book medium.  So please, go check it out! […]



  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kristin Bomba. Kristin Bomba said: ComicAttack.net highlights Across the Multiverse as web comic of the month! http://comicattack.net/2010/04/wcotmatm/ […]



  3. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by girlg33k_Kris: ComicAttack.net highlights Across the Multiverse as web comic of the month! http://comicattack.net/2010/04/wcotmatm/



  4. It’s so cool that Mike’s first comic was one of the TMNT Adventures series from Archie. That was one of the first series’ I started reading too!! Nerd high five for that one!!

    And yes- California does know how to party!!

    Thanks for sharing this Eli!!


  5. Billy

    Great interview/article Eli! I really can’t personally get into reading comics on my computer for some reason but I applaud anybody that does their own thing(web comic, or any comic/book for that matter) like this. 🙂


  6. Kristin

    There’s another comic on Mike’s website that is quite a lot of fun as well.
    Sometimes I help out too, though it’s usually just to yell at people for spelling errors. Er, I mean, to politely point them out and suggest a change.



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