AllStar: Not AllStars Are Bright has stolen the heart of C506 for its amazing background and wonderful story, the creative team at AllStar took the time to speak to C506 and here is this great interview. Stay with us to discover all the details.
Broadly speaking, AllStar tells us about Jimmy Hand, a young aspiring comic artist who is being bullied at school by his peers and teachers alike. As an artist, Jimmy tries to cope with his trauma by creating a superhero and a comic about him.
It is presented as a 44-page graphic novel written by Milan Kovacs with art by Kubert School student Steve Fabian and colored by Tomi Varga of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Without further delay, here we leave you with the interview:
C506: First of all I want to send a greeting to everyone and well, my first question is for Milan Kovacs, I would like you to tell us a little more about how Allstar’s creative origin was.
Milan Kovacs: The AllStar story is partly autobiographical. I had the rough idea in my head for years but it seems like last year was the right time to evolve it and finish it in graphic novel form.
Honestly I really hated my primary school class and contrary to Jimmy, the hero in AllStar I was a really fast learner and the #1 in class. And I always felt my classmates hated me and most of the time were bullying me for being better than them. I never had problems with mathematics or anything really, it was a piece of cake for me. Sometimes I felt really alone and this is where Jimmy’s story comes into mind.
JImmy is a kid who thinks of himself as a loner, an introvert who’s content staying at home drawing his own comic characters. And he is nothing like that he just doesn’t know it, he never had any real friends and that’s his journey in the comic. He is trying to cope with his problems in school by mirroring classmates and especially teachers in his comic book as villains and heroes. What he often forgets is that sometimes you have to stop for a second and think about your life and the reality of it. Because who wants to get trapped in their own fictional world?
C506: This story has reached me on a personal level and well, as Milan told us, it is not easy to live this educational stage, I as a comics fan did not used to be very popular, I would like you to tell us, how has this impacted you this history?
Milan Kovacs: For me it is a very current story. When I was attending primary school in Hungary in the ’90s there were a lot of “bad guys” trying to show everyone else that the world is theirs. And I always wonder where they are in their lives and every time I think about them – mind you not that often – I think of myself and how lucky I am to follow my passion for comics and writing and publishing and all the things I am doing with my life. Jimmy, the main character of AllStar is a hero in a sense he shows an alternate way of dealing with your own problems and limitations. To me that is what the story is about.
Steve Fabian: We were all geeks (and probably still are) when growing up, so we used our own experiences to create the world of AllStar. I find it interesting that this comic is mostly about the fragile mental state of a geek kid – not unlike our mental states while growing up, dealing with problems like bullying, etc.
Tomi Varga: I also used to be one of the unpopular geeks, so that part definitely resonated with me. Comics have been my way to cope with that, too, I think it’s a really interesting aspect of the book that the protagonist is processing his real-life experiences by drifting off into his fantasies and then turning those into a comic. It doesn’t always lead to solutions, but at least it’s a way for him to get a win every once in a while, which I think is a positive message.
C506: It really is incredible to see what we must go through in order to overcome this important learning process. Well, now I would like you to tell me a little more about this creative team. How was the Allstar team born?
Milan Kovacs: I met Steve Fabian (Fabe) around 2011 at a local Hungarian comics festival in winter. It is difficult to say when exactly we evolved to real friends but I remember our first meeting very well. When I first saw his art even though I wasn’t writing comics yet I immediately knew I had to own a piece of art from him. And I’d say that’s where it started with us.
A few years ago I was reading a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic and I checked out the credits page and Tomi Varga was listed as cover colorist. My first reaction was my jaw dropping to the floor. When I finally pulled it together I started searching the internet for who he was and how long has he been working on TMNT. Not long after that I contacted him on his Facebook page and as they say: the rest… is history!
Steve Fabian: Milan already published some of my comics in the last few years via his Hungarian small-print publishing called ZSIGER.hu, so when he asked if I’d be interested in drawing AllStar, I said yes almost immediately.
Tomi Varga: Milan and I have been friends for a while, he reached out to me while I was working as a colorist for Kevin Eastman and IDW, then asked me to work on covers for some of his projects. That ended up including the cover for the black & white edition of AllStar, so I guess I was the obvious choice to color the interiors, too.
C506: This is incredible, this team really has a long and extremely interesting history. Now Steve, I loved your art in this comic, but … How difficult was it to capture Milan’s ideas?
Steve Fabian: Not very difficult at all. We basically had the same ideas regarding the character designs, story-telling, etc. I think I only had to re-draw a page one time, during the final few days of the project – and even that page was eventually used for the back-cover of the comic.
C506: Excellent, and to finish, would you like to give a final message to the Allstar fans?
Milan Kovacs: Of course, we are ever so grateful to each and every one of our backers, our future readers and all the press media who contacted us and offered publicity like C506. We wouldn’t have been able to do this and reach 150% funding in 2 weeks without you!
Steve Fabian: Thank you for your support. Maybe with this very successful Kickstarter campaign we will have the inspiration to start working on the graphic novel sequel to AllStar.
Tomi Varga: I’m certain Milan still has a lot to tell about this world that he’s hoping to tell in future volumes, and the best part is, the first one is already fully funded, with the campaign still going on for 2 weeks, so the more supporters we get the more pages we can add to this issue as a bonus. We hope you check it out.
As we mentioned from the start, AllStar: Not AllStars Are Bright really stole our hearts, we hope you are as excited about this project as we are, so we invite you to visit their kickstarter page AllStar: Not AllStars Are Bright – The Superhero Comic.
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