Joy Buzzards: The Hits Collection

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Who doesn’t love The Amazing Joy Buzzards? It’s only once in a generation that a supernatural stomping rock and roll adventure band of this caliber comes around. This June, thanks to Image Comics, writer Mark Smith and artist Dan Hipp, fans all around the world can relive the magic of Biff, Gabe & Stevo with the definitive collection of The Amazing Joy Buzzards’ Volume 2 with the appropriately titled The Amazing Joy Buzzards Volume 2 Trade Paperback. 

And if that weren’t enough, the boys are back with a brand new project – the long awaited new issue - #5, featuring guest artist Doug Holgate.

Here to tell you about these projects is Broken Frontier’s own Fletch Adams and one of the men behind TAJB – Mark Smith.

Broken Frontier -  Last time we talked, we touched on the ugly truth that some people may not be following The Amazing Joy Buzzards. For those that are ready to change their ways with the release of The Amazing Joy Buzzards Volume 2 trade paperback, could you fill them in on what the lads have been up to?

Mark Smith - What? Sorry, I was just thrashing this hotel room.

Um, yeah there's been lots and lots of adventure going on that you're probably missing out on. There's been Devil Mummy Hipsters, Tesla's Death Ray, big larger than life car races, super sexy supernatural women, an alien plot to steal kittens, a Stevo and Smoke Dog team-up, Midget Lucha Wrestlers, and hot hot sexy Yeti love.

BF - Everybody has his or her own favorite Amazing Joy Buzzards "greatest hits." What are some of your favorite moments from the series so far?

MS - Probably by far my favorite moment was the origin of Stevo Vargas and the introduction for the Spiders.

BF - Who are the Spiders?

MS - The Spiders are a quirky group of Supernatural Mod Hipsters that are bent on world domination, apple martinis, and looking Fabulous! They're influenced by the counter revolution of the '60s and the Puppeteer wants to take over the world to save it from itself. 

BF - Doesn't that name sound a little pretentious?

MS - Hmmmm it kind of does, but hey it does have a nice ring to it me thinks. 

BF - June also sees the release of the newest Amazing Joy Buzzards project, issue #5 - the origin of El Campeon. Who is this mysterious champion of justice? 

MS - El Campeon is a Mythical Mexican Wrestling Genie who's the band’s protector. He lives in a magical amulet and can be summoned by shouting the magic words GO EL
CAMPEON GO!!! He loves, donuts, long naps, and will eat almost anything you put in front of him. 

El Campeon's origin story was probably the second or third Amazing Joy Buzzards story that I ever wrote. It takes place about a 100 or so years ago and it's more of a bedtime story about the first El Campeon ever. He's such an interesting character and readers can expect to find out more and more about him over time.    

BF - Issue #5 also features guest artist, Doug Holgate. What made Holgate a good fit with The Amazing Joy Buzzards?

MS - I first saw Doug Holgate's work back in 2003 on the Drawing Board, and I was blown away with his talent. After getting the Amazing Joy Buzzards with Image I knew he was the best person to tell the origin story of El Campeon, I asked him he dug the story and he accepted. Holgate's work is quirky and original and it speaks to me so I knew he was THE perfect person to tell the origin story of El Campeon. I think Holgate is going to be pretty big in a year and definitely a name to follow. 

BF - And issue #5 is also available in the trade paperback collection?

MS - Issue #5 is a stand alone from this TPB. There are a ton of extras in the Vol. 2 TP such as an original 32-page story drawn by Jim Pezzetti that is the story of the very first meeting between El Campeon and the Amazing Joy Buzzards. There’s also the 8 page story from the Image Holiday special, a new 3 page story from LOFI Comics Magazine that’s included, and much much more.

BF - If the calm before the storm is over, where are the lads off to next?

MS - Egypt. Calm before the storm?.... Hey have you been reading my notes!??? I'm onto you Fletch! Actually this next part is like the part in the middle of the symphony where the cymbals come out and are clanging together, and then waves start breaking on cliffs and stuff, not too unlike a storm you might say, to use a metaphor, that's a writer thing in case some of you readers didn't get it.   

BF – And this story coming up - “Monster Love?" This isn’t like when Aerosmith went all “power ballady” is it? You and Hipp aren’t going soft, doing the mushy stories?

MS - Monster Love is the first story in AJB Vol. 3 and it's a BIG BIG one. You'll be really surprised for what's in store for you. It's so epic.  

BF – Very important question - Who would win a fight between the Amazing Joy Buzzards and the Beatles?

MS - AJB hands down, and look I'm not saying that we're better or greater, or comparing us with The Beatles as people or as a band or whatever they are.

BF - How do you respond to allegations that the Amazing Joy Buzzards don't actually play their own instruments, rather that it's you and Mr. Hipp?

MS - LIES!!!!! ALL LIES!!!! Bemannen Sie die Schloßwände! Krieg ist nach uns Männer!

BF - Seriously, for a moment, The Amazing Joy Buzzards has such an incredible energy and sense of motion to it. What are you guys on? 

MS - I've got no vices man. I'm not really high energy all the time, but it really comes out when I start writing AJB and the energy comes out in the pages. 

Hipp I think is all energy. 

BF - Is there something you have to do to put your head in the right space to write The Amazing Joy Buzzards?

MS - Not really but I do get really pumped up and amped when I write and channel a lot of energy and inspiration. The Amazing Joy Buzzards is a dream project and I think the characters really have a life all of their own and are literally a joy to work on.

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