“Webcomics Worth Reading”
The excellent “Comics Worth Reading” dug up some “webcomics worth reading” at the 2011 Baltimore Comic-Con. Here’s what comic book journalist extraordinaire Joanna Draper Carlson says:
“The Hero Business by Bill Walko. My favorite, because it gives me the feeling of watching The Middleman. Parker is a receptionist at the Hero Business, whose motto is “with great power comes great marketability.” They’re an advertising agency with superheroes as clients, and I liked what I saw so much I bought the print version. (It helped that instead of being asked to commit $20, it was only $5 (in color) but doubles up strips so it still feels substantial.) “
“That was an easy choice once I saw the two demo strips Bill had printed out and visible. They made me laugh, and they were well-drawn — what more did I need? (It was only at home that I realized I’d previously praised Bill’s work at Project Rooftop.) Launched March 2010 and updates weekly.”
“Business of Revamps”
I sat down to talk about revamps and reboots with Comic Bloc’s Bob Francis. Here’s how he describes The Hero Business:
“Bill Walko is having fun [...] branching out into webcomics with the hilarious, satirical love-letter to superhero comics: The Hero Business.”
“Cool Independent Comics”
Atomic Popcorn lists The Hero Business as a “cool independent comic”… “because it’s hilarious.”
Check out their full Baltimore Comic-Con report here.
“A Month of Webcomics: The Hero Business”
The Hero Business was chosen during Webcomics Month at “Comics Should Be Good.” Here’s what blog editor Brian Cronin says:
“Today we look at Bill Walko’s The Hero Business, a nifty strip about a company that specializes in supporting superheroes, from marketing, to publicity, to costume design to tech support – pretty much everything! As Bill terms it in his description – “with great power comes great marketability!” And so far in this strip, it also goes hand in hand with great fun!
As Walko describes on the Hero Business website, the idea behind this series comes from the curiosity that peeks out from behind the general suspension of disbelief for stuff like, “how do these superheroes afford all of their technology? Heck, how do some of these heroes afford to live period?”
Hero Business is an all-purposes management firm for superheroes. They supply technology, costume design, publicity and, perhaps most importantly, they handle endorsements and the like (how everything gets paid for).
Naturally, they are kept quite busy by the plentiful amount of superheroes out there. The lovable cast of characters who populate Hero Business include a former supervillain who now is head of research and development, an old school superhero who now works as a consultant for the company (and as a sort of liaison between the company and the hero population) plus a bunch of other “normal” workers. One of these workers is Parker Jameson, the receptionist for the company.
Fun stuff, right? So go check out the site here. Walko does a wonderful job designing the site.
“Webcomic Wednesday: Supersized Seal Monsters and Stepping into the Hero Biz”
Fuelyourillustration.com shined a spotlight on The Hero Business in their Webcomic Wednesday feature. Here’s what reviewer Rondall Scott III had to say:
“The Hero Business, much as it sounds, centers around a sort of “image consultant” agency that caters specifically to superheroes. As such a specialized agency, you can only imagine the hijinks that ensue when you mix The Office with Heroes. With such a character-driven concept much of the storyline relies on the strength of its cast and creator Bill Walko definitely delivers. Walko has assembled a cast that is as diverse in their motivations for being in The Hero Business as the situations they find themselves in.
The regular webcomic walks you through an orientation of sorts that acts as a proper introduction the how The Hero Business works as well as providing our perspective character in the form of new recruit Parker Jameson. The best way to dive right in, however, is with Walko’s series of Coffee Break short gags which feature various cast members in a one-off sort of strip that pokes fun at superhero stereotypes with humorous results.”
“Hey Kids, Comics!”
Another nice shout-out for The Hero Business, from the Myriad Worlds of Chris Roberson (writer of SUPERMAN, co-creator/writer of iZOMBIE, and a bunch of other cool stuff):
“Last year I raved about Bill Walko’s fantastic Wonder Twins fan art, but at the time I wasn’t aware of his ongoing webcomic, “The Hero Business.” Set in a PR firm that handles superhero clients, the strip has alternated between longer story arcs and done-in-one gags, but along the way Walko is gradually mapping out the boundaries of his world and how it works, and using some clever twists on the conventions of the superhero genre along the way. Well worth checking out.”
“Start reading now: The Hero Business”
Comic Book Resources’ Robot 6 Blog cited The Hero Business as a comic to start reading:
“The Hero Business, by Bill Walko, is a fun take on the superheroes-as-business genre. The Hero Business is a full-service agency providing advising, costume design, and other services to superheroes, told from the point of view of Parker Jameson, the new receptionist. The comic mixes up familiar characters and some fresh jokes, and the clean, easy to follow art style makes it work nicely as a gag strip as well as a continuing story. The first story arc has just wrapped up, so it’s a good time to jump in and start reading.”
“Five Webcomisc To Read”
Alt1040 lists “The Hero Business” as the #1 webcomic to check out (translated from Spanish):
“With great power comes great marketability,” says The Hero Business. The plot revolves around the adventures of a public relations department, in charge of looking after the image of superheroes and supervillains of Metro City. Of course, a hero can have stunning powers, but it’s nothing if you choose his name wrong, the colors do not match his suit or not have a phrase feature that makes pale the forces of evil.”
“Five Fabulous Webcomics You Shouldn’t Miss”
The “History of Things To Come” Blog had this to say:
“Bill Walko’s new Web Comic The Hero Business is an incredibly funny and scathing look at the cynical world of superheroic comicdom now. [...] This strip is sort of like WKRP in Cincinnati meets the Modern Age of comic books, with the revolving door of death a sharp little sub-theme alongside a celebutante hero wannabe, who oozes millennial entitlement in the first issue. There are also some cool plot twists in among the jokes.
But what really sets this strip apart? It’s an original mix of three things: Postmodern office satire with a Fourth Wall comics Bullpen parody set inside a superheroic narrative. – Ever wondered what would happen if all those editors and creators that comics fans love to complain about suddenly lived in a superheroic universe, possibly had superpowers themselves, and were subjected to the mad turns of their own decision-making? Find out in The Hero Business.”
“A Long Overdue Review Of The Hero Business”
Comics Writer Bob Francis had some nice things to say about the Hero Business on his blog:
“Bill Walko’s THE HERO BUSINESS is a grand satirical romp happily skewering standard tropes of superhero comics. His art work is clean, appealing, and personable. Most importantly, the art complements the writing and vice versa.
Walko uses a cartoony approach to his world: bright, vibrant colors, highly stylized figures and minimal backgrounds. But this choice makes the satire all the more evident. The reader is instantly immersed in the world of style consultants to the spandex set with a wink, a nod, and a tongue firmly planted in cheek.
The first arc admirably establishes the characters through the eyes of the newly hired receptionist, Parker (who has a few secrets of her own), working with a Paris Hilton-esque character with newly procured fire powers. Procured? Yes. Bought. Hilarity, naturally, ensues.
After the appropriately named ORIENTATION storyline, Walko treats his readers to a series of “One and Done” pages rounding out some characters while providing commentary on the goings on of the actions and antics of the print comics industry. Keeping with the theme, he calls his interludes “Coffee Breaks”.
THE HERO BUSINESS has everything you need for good comics: good art, good writing and good characters. THE HERO BUSINESS updates on Thursdays.”
“New finds: Webcomics”
Another nice blog review of the Hero Business, from Dark Matters:
“I want to thank my good friend Bob Voros for introducing me to two great webcomics.
Comiccritics.com is follows a group of comic geeks who work in a bookstore. It also takes a funny look at the business and insider news of the comic book world. It’s pretty cool.
The Hero Business is my personal favourite. It’s about the people who work in a marketing firm for superheroes. It combines office humour with standard superhero tropes. It’s very smart and very funny. Check it out.
It takes me back to one of the first webcomics I discovered in 2009. Snafu comics used an anime-inspired style to combine characters and from some of my favourite Cartoon Network cartoons such as Dexter’s Laboratory, Powerpuff Girls and Samurai Jack and create what I still think are some of the coolest art on the web. Sadly, the site hasn’t been updated in nearly a year. You can still see them here.”
“The Hero Biz – A Web Comic Review”
Another nice review, from “Looking To The Stars” livejournal:
“Just stumbled across a new web-comic called The Hero Biz. Rather funny, fairly new weekly strip about a company that handles costume-design, name-selection, continuing education and technical support for superheroes.
Of course the idea of a comic deconstructing the tropes of superhero comic books from the perspective of a real-world profession is hardly a new one. John Kovalic’s Dr. Blink: Superhero Shrink covered much the same territory as did the classic mini-series Common Grounds. And yet, The Hero Biz managed to put a fresh new spin on the concept.
Told through the eyes of a rookie receptionist, the first storyline details her walking a prospective new superhero (a vapid Paris Hilton expy) through the process of picking a name, choosing a costume, testing her powers and setting up a class schedule for basic training. Through this, we are introduced to the rest of the staff.
You’ve seen any office comedy show, you’ve seen most of these characters – the slacker artist in charge of costume design, the sleazy douchebag in charge of marketing. The most interesting and unique of these is Dr. Malefactor – a former super-villain who is in charge of R&D, barely reformed and just itching for an excuse to break out the ray gun.
Recently, the strip seems to have changed from the longer story-driven strips to a series of one-strip gags based around specific comic book characters. Some of these are amusing but require some knowledge of the character being parodied, such as a heroine named Amerigirl who keeps having her background rewritten and her costume changed every time there’s any sort of crisis. (Am I Greek now? I feel vaugely Greek.)
Still, it amused me and it might amuse you too.”
“Classic Teen Heroes Boogie Down in the Art of Bill Walko”
Comics Alliance did a nice feature on my artwork, where Brian Warmoth describes it:
“If all superheroes lived out their lives in ways that mirrored the social activities of Archie Comics and Flintstones character spinoff series, the world would look a lot like the works of artist of Bill Walko. Walko has composed some lively sequences involving well-known faces from the Teen Titans, X-Men and Wonder Twins that would fit nicely into their own animated Hanna-Barbera teen bands.”
“Walko’s comic art, which resembles what you might expect superhero Archie comics drawn by Josh Howard to look like, can be checked out over on his deviantART page. Whether you love Hawk and Dove or have always wondered what Booster Gold would say if he found himself hitting on Fred Flintstone’s daughter Pebbles and what Skeets would say over his shoulder, you should check his work out.”
“A not-too-terribly-focused post about Bill Walko, Titans and some Super Friends sidekicks”
A rather awesome look at my art at “Every Day Is Like Wednesday,” where J. Caleb Mozzocco explains:
“The art boasts a sense of style, of youth, of energy and, well, coolness that was lacking in covers like that of the sole New Titans Annual featuring these characters. Certainly, the art was produced in two different eras, but even in the ’90s, covers like that one were things I had to look past in order to read New Titans; artwork like Walko’s makes me want to read…whatever he’s drawing.”
“Now here’s hoping the good people at DC have seen the same Project: Rooftop and Comics Alliance posts I have, come to conclusions similar to my own—This Walko fellow is awesome, Jim Lee should declare to Dan DiDio, We should pay him lots of money to do comics for us, preferably ones where we let him design his own characters, since his designs are vastly superior to our own versions of the same characters!—and we get to see more Walko art with much greater frequency…”
You can read the whole article here.