Fearless Steve Mannion

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Steve Mannion is the creator of the madcap Fearless Dawn series from Asylum Press. He chats with BF about the saucy all-action gal.

Asylum Press is an indie publisher founded by Frank Forte a decade ago. With titles like Warlash and The Asylum of Horrors the publisher leaves no doubt about its view on what comics should be. If you see the Asylum Press logo on the cover you know that the contents contained therein will be mature, violent and none-too-subtle. With dark humour and a tongue in cheek attitude that most 2000AD fans will recognize, Steve Mannion’s work fits right in, but with a little extra cheesecake thrown in for good measure. The Bomb was collected as a TPB by Asylum Press last year and bought Mannion’s cheeky (and barely clothed) heroine Fearless Dawn to life. With elements of Tank Girl, The Goon and a heaping help of titillation the pages are a guilty pleasure. Now Mannion has unleashed a new series, simply titled Fearless Dawn upon an unsuspecting public.

BROKEN FRONTIER: Bad girl/good girl comics seem to have gone out of fashion after the glory days of the ‘90s. Do you think readers are hungry for the ladies to take centre stage again?

STEVE MANNION: Um..I don't know. Never gave that much thought. I figure people will always enjoy a fun character whatever sex it is! 

BF: Both The Bomb and Fearless Dawn are rollicking adventures that don’t take themselves too seriously. Where there certain elements that inspired you as you created them or where you trying to recreate the zany fun of your favorite comics from the past?

SM: Probably a little bit of both. Sometimes I'll look back at a story and it'll be kind of a metaphor of what I was going through at the time. Spooky! Other influences...movies, stuff like that.  It's weird how inspiration works. It just seems to pop in there. Pops into the ol' brain you know?...and stays thank God!

BF: Fearless Dawn seems to be The Rocketeer if made by EC, but are there other influences inside or outside of comics?

SM: Yeah, I was nuts about Mad Magazine as a kid, and World War 2...so...yeah! Other stuff just seems to be a conglomerate, life experiences, TV...Dave Stevens of course got in there! Thinking back, I remember a cover he did with these two space chicks riding a little motorcycle type rocket over a crowd of monster hands and I remember loving that image. Of course I wanted to see a whole comic full of that type of stuff. Now we kinda got one I guess!

BF: What do readers new to Fearless Dawn need to know?

SM: Not that much really. The stories are pretty self-contained. I would hope the reader would see the covers, jump in, get hooked and seek out more Steve Mannion art and comics!

BF: Do you censor your work when writing or pencilling, or is no idea too “out there”?

SM: I try not to censor. The ideas for stories usually come in pretty strong. I don't know if they're really out there. For me they're not. But my idea of out there and someone else's idea of out there could be totally different. There's some stuff that just doesn't stick to the wall for me. Just can't get into it. I do hope my stories contain some level of humanity. But again it's not something I'll consciously strive for.

BF: You’ve dabbled with DC before. Are superheroes something you’d like to tackle more often?

SM: Absolutely!

BF: Eric Powell’s The Goon appears to be in the same adult horror as your work. Are you a fan of his, or any other creators at the moment?

SM: Oh yeah. His comic got me seriously drawing sequentials again. I said "Man! Comics can be cool and stupid and fun!!! Great stuff.” Although I got bummed when Goon was mean to that old lady with the corn. I LOVED Lagarto Hombre though. That's like a low-brow masterpiece. Other creators I'm enjoying...Jason Pearson's got a great look, Adam Hughes... I'm always keeping an eye on Adam Hughes! He did this auction piece for Super-Con in San Jose that just gleamed with some special kind of magic. You had to see it. Frank Cho's always great. Good clean dirty fun! I love to swipe his color schemes too! Jordi Bernet always blows my mind. Paul Pope-I'm dying to see Battling Boy!...ummm...James Jean!!! C'mon! Look at that stuff!

BF: You have two different styles;  a more simple approach and the more time consuming and elegantly rendered approach. Why do you incorporate both?

SM: I have no idea. Probably time constraints...mood? There was a time I think my stuff was straddling a comic art collector's market and a print market. The collectors dug the detail but my comic pages didn't color up as nice with all the razamatazz. The sequentials seemed to call for a thick, readable outline that held color. I was relating to CC Beck's ideas about the medium. Now I don't know. I just kind of do it.

BF: How has Asylum Press helped your vision?

SM: Diamond had that "Minimum Threshold" thing when we first solicited. We didn't make it and I was sorta real bummed. But Frank convinced me to keep on it and printed it anyway. And then he sent Diamond the printed book. Jim Kuhoric up at Diamond became a fan and a believer! We got back in Diamond. That was big. That was a lot of Frank's hustle there.

BF: What’s next for you?

SM: Well on the short term, we're inking the 3rd issue right now (1/2 done!) and gearing up for a Fearless Dawn Free Comic Book Day issue! I'm proud of that. And there's plenty of Fearless Dawn stories cooking after this arc. Believe you me!

Fearless Dawn #1 is available now, while #2 will be released this month from Asylum Press.

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  • Richard Boom

    Richard Boom Dec 18, 2009 at 8:40am

    awesome!! Wish I was a ziilionaire! I would buy this on the spot!!

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