Once upon a time back in the days when I used to work at Nostalgia & Comics in Birmingham, I worked with one young Ben McCool; manic, effervescent, incredibly personable, an amazing drinker and a spectacular character who could instantly control a room with the sheer force of his personality. When Ben flows into anecdote mode, the room listens and then laughs so hard that it hurts. He'd long had dreams of turning his talent for entertaining storytelling to writing comics and eventually set about the slow and steady process of making it in the business.
Years passed and Ben eventually made the huge step of leaving to seek fame and fortune in the US. He's been very busy over there, making a name for himself as one of the nicest guys so many people will have met. And also one of the greatest drinkers they'll ever have supped with.
Well now Ben has his first major series scheduled. Couldn't happen to a nicer bloke.
Choker: by Ben McCool and Ben Templesmith.
6 issues from Image Comics starting early 2010.
There's a nice interview with both Bens at CBR here. From which this basic series description comes from Mr McCool:
In a nutshell, it's a hard boiled noir fable set on an unconventional backdrop: Johnny "Choker" Jackson, an ex-Shotgun City police detective who lives in his own rendition of hell. His case of Alien Hand Syndrome has manifested into the most psychotic entity on the planet, he's stuck working at a deadbeat detective agency, and he's engaged in a squalid and involuntary amour with an otherworldly creature that dwells beneath his bathtub. That, believe it or not, is just for starters.
But there's prospective light at the end of the tunnel: a high-profile con Johnny once put behind bars is at large, and not even the city's elite has been able to track the sleazebag down. The police department has offered Johnny a deal: put the rogue back in his below regulation-sized cell and he's got a job for life. However, it comes at a price, and it's one nobody will see coming. But if you want something, and want it real bad, what would you be willing to do to get it?
Ben McCool. Not just a good friend, not just a genuinely nice guy, teller of great stories and hard-core drinking machine. I've always thought he had the potential to make some really excellent comics and Choker looks like being a fine start to a long, inglorious career.