Lions, Tigers, Bears, and Bullock

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The feline adventurers are back in a new OGN from creator Mike BullockIn 2005, Image Comics published the first Lions, Tigers and Bears story as a four-issue miniseries. Written by Bullock and with art by Jack Lawrence, it was a huge success and rode the resurgence of new all-ages titles at the time.

The tale follows young Joey Price as he discovers that a gift from his grandmother, four stuffed animals called the Night Pride, comes to life to protect Joey from the evil Beasties in the Stuffed Animal Kingdom. The year 2006 saw volume by the same creative team and after a long wait, the third is on its way from creator Bullock and a new artist, Michael Metcalf.  Publisher Hermes Press is using the title to launch its new line of all-ages original graphic novels and there’s no better book to lead the way.

BROKEN FRONTIER: Is it always fun to return to the world of LTB?

MIKE BULLOCK: Absolutely. I wish I had the ability to spend far more time in the Stuffed Animal Kingdom, but for now, I’ll take what I can get.

BF: Who is your creative team on volume three?

BULLOCK: Michael Metcalf, artist on Timothy and the Transgalactic Towel, performs the heavy lifting art-wise, and Josh Aitken does the lettering work.

BF: Will this third volume be the conclusion, or do you still have many more stories to tell?

BULLOCK: Oh, this is just the beginning. I’m already hammering out the plot for the fourth volume and I have ideas for about 10 more beyond that.

BF: How was the panel at NYCC? Were there any surprising questions?

BULLOCK: The panel was fun. I had my iPad on hand and was able to take it down into the audience and show attendees preview pages from volume three and share the experience directly with them, which was a lot of fun. I don’t think there were any surprise questions, but it was fun to see the zeal in their eyes face-to-face in that setting.

BF: What can you reveal about the film adaptation and how involved are you with the process?

BULLOCK: Right now it’s still in pre-production, so I can’t say much about it other than it’s a very exciting process. Paramount and Lorenzo Di Bonaventura are dedicated to making a great film and I can’t wait to sit in the theater and watch it.

BF: Why the delay between volumes two and three of LTB ?

BULLOCK: Most of it was business related, the details of which I won’t bore you with. Honestly, the less I deal with the business stuff, the happier I am…

BF: Is there any chance you could return to The Phantom, even though he’s no longer with Moonstone?

BULLOCK: There’s always a chance. I’d love to do so, and who knows what the future will hold.

BF: Have you been following Dynamite's new Phantom series?

BULLOCK: Not really. I’ve heard some fan reaction to it, but haven’t read it myself. I don’t have much time to actually read comics anymore, unless it’s for research purposes for something I’m working on, which kind of stinks, but it is what it is.

BF: What are you working on for Moonstone now that Phantom is no longer in the mix?

BULLOCK: We’ve replaced Phantom with a brand new property called Savage Beauty, created by myself, Ed Catto, and Joe Ahearn (of Captain Action fame). The story revolves around two half-sisters who find themselves in Uganda taking on the role of the ancient goddess Anaya. The themes and situations in the book are essentially a continuation of what I was doing in the pages of Phantom and, so far, appeals to those who were following my Phantom run.

BF: Back to Lions, Tigers and Bears. Why the switch from miniseries to OGN for volume three?

BULLOCK: LTB fans have waited long enough for volume three, so making them wait even longer as we put out a monthly miniseries just didn’t make much sense. Since the stories are always done with a set beginning, middle and end, it just makes sense to skip the floppies and go straight to OGN format.

BF: What should new readers know before leaping into LTB?

BULLOCK: WARNING: This book contains fun. Side effects include smiling, giggles, brief sadness, moments of fear, outright laughter, and the occasional warm and fuzzy feeling.

The third volume of Lions, Tigers and Bears is due to be released as a 128-page, full-color OGN from Hermes Press in March. Savage Beauty, also from Bullock, premieres from Moonstone in February.

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