John Orlando’s Visage Studios Anthology From Outpouring Comics
John Orlando’s Visage Studios Anthology
John Orlando’s Visage Studios Anthology
It is really pretty clear to any observers on the (independent) comicbook industry that John Orlando really likes comics. Not only has he told us that he has been reading them for as long as he can remember, he even been producing some of his own since the late ‘90s; first for CFD comics —alongside folks like Roy Thomas (who has pretty much done everything, really), and Joe Martino (The Mighty Titan, Shadowflame: JGM, Cry For Dawn, and Red Anvil Comics) and others. Back in those days, Orlando was writing and illustrating comics with names like Journey into Madness (’96), Cybergen (’96), The Intruder (’97), and Behemuth — with Roy, Rich Bucker, and others). The thing about these comics, is that when he was producing them in the late ‘90s they pretty much mirrored the kinds of comics that were being published in the industry a decade earlier by a legion of underground artists, but — for reasons that pass understanding — seemed to have all but vanished from the scene.
John Orlando self Portrait
A Blast from the Past
Well, if you long for these types of eclectic gems to be published once again, you are in luck, because Orlando has teamed up with a new Indy publisher (Outpouring Comics), and Jon Miller, Outpouring’s publisher couldn’t be happier. First, he (re)issued single issues of the four aforementioned Orlando classics, then he issued a three-issue compilation of Journey into Madness, The Intruder, and Behemuth, and now he has issued a massive 138-page, square-bound edition that not only collects the four comics, but also several text features (including an interview with Buckler, Sr.) as well as some previously unpublished material (photos of Orlando as well as a letter from no less than Dick Ayers). This new volume — dubbed John Orlando’s Visage Studio Anthology and retails for $15.99 from StorEnvy.com. This edition collects the complete works of Orlando that he produced for Buckler’s Visage Studios from the 1990s including additional and new pin ups and content.
John Orlando with his comics
A Brief Capsule of the Stories
For those of you who might be unfamiliar with either these comics — or Orlando himself —here is a (very) brief rundown of each issue’s story:
Journey into Madness
Dick Ayers Quote
"Your stories are so well written, I could visualize illustrating them as I read."
—Dick Ayers, concerning John Orlando's Journey into Madness title
Contents of Visage Studios Anthology
- The Intruder:
An aging crook runs afoul of a shape-changing alien who is on the lam from an intergalactic cop. The Intruder’s plan is to seize power, acquire wealth, and ultimately sow the seeds of destruction on the Earth’s population. His reason is only to revel in his success then head off to another planet to repeat the process. Now it is the task of the two cops from two worlds to stop the evil of the Intruder.
A team of adventurers travel beneath New York City to explore a volcanic eruption that has occurred, only to have their leader, discover the massive body of a giant alien creature and have his intellect transfer to the beast and run rampant throughout the city.
Doctor Warlock, Slither, and Cyberagent join forces as the dysfunctional group Cybergen to battle the mutated Simon Kilgore and his synthorg Mutoids. Are there greater evils afoot for our daring heroes then the mighty Simon Kilgore? Find out in Cybergen.
- Journey into Madness:
This is a collection of short horror stories created and written by John Orlando. The horror story collection in these books pays tribute to the Atlas pre-code horror comics of the early 1950s.
A quartet of Orlando Comics
Orlando through the ages
As for Orlando himself, his impressive resume, stretches back to the early ‘90s and his proven record in comics clearly shows that he is a man of many talents. In 1994, he began his career as a penciling assistant to Rich Buckler, Sr., working for Buckler’s Visage Studios, assisting on Syphons the Sygate Strategem (published by Now Comics), eventually becoming Production Manager for Buckler in ’95. Over the years between then and now, he has worked as a penciler, inker, colorist, painter, and letterer producing covers, page work, and portfolio sets for numerous publishers, including Cry for Dawn (Agony in Black, Black Lace Fantasies, others), Mainstream (Zaanan), Tekno Comics (Gene Roddenberry’s The Lost Universe), Hippy Comix (Dan Fogel's Hippy Comix and Stories), JGM Comics (Shadowflame, Ripperman, FHA-Q), and (believe it or not) both Marvel and Fleer (various trading cards).
John Orlando is watching you!
A word from Outpouring Comics' Publisher
For his part, Jon Miller, publisher of Outpouring Comics — which has been operating since 2014 — is very excited to have Orlando on board with his company, and is eager to continue (re)releasing the works of Orlando for a new generation of fans to discover. To this end, he told us “John Orlando tells the kind of stories that we all desire to create. Timeless blends of humor, satire, monsters, and suspense. His Visage Studios Anthology shows him doing what he does best. These classic titles remind us of a great era in comics and have us all looking forward to what Orlando can deliver in the future. It is a pleasure to work alongside someone who brings such excellence to his craft.”
Looking towards 2017
True to his word, Miller is releasing several more compilations of Orlando’s works over the coming months, including a new issue of FHA-Q, John Orlando’s Real Life Funnies, Meanwhile Back in the Life of the Mind, John Orlando’s Humans, and others, all set to hit the shelves in 2017 from Outpouring Comics.
Upcoming from John Orlando & Outpouring Comics
© 2016 Robert J Sodaro