Not content with its Upshot line of comic books, Artists, Writers and Artisans — the new publisher set up by former Marvel executives Bill Jemas and Axel Alonso — has launched a second imprint intended to offer a disruptive alternative to the comics mainstream. Introducing iPOP!, home for AWA’s self-described “I-opening stories.”
The new line is available on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook in animated form, as well as on Webtoons and Tapas in comic form.
“iPOP! is different,” CEO Jemas told The Hollywood Reporter via email. “We are not cowering in the face of COVID-19 and the 2020 crash, we are mobilizing to put more creators to work scripting and drawing more and more stories to publish to a vast, diverse and growing market of people who read stories on their smart phones. We don’t define our craft as print book publishing [because that] would be like defining the art and craft of making music as the vinyl record industry or the phonograph cylinder industry.”
iPOP! will eventually include material in different genres, including nonfiction journalism. It launches with something a little more fun, but still pointed: Be Wawa, by Yoshida, Stan Chou and Maxflan Araujo. (If that title is reminiscent of a particular ESPN documentary, that’s not an accident.)
“Be Wawa is the first in a line of stories starring Very Bad Babies; it depicts the kind of violence we all love in film, on TV, in games, but perpetrated by babies, on babies,” Jemas explained. “Our hope is to draw attention to the effect on violent media on all of us. It’s making us stupid. You know the H. L. Mencken observation: ‘There is always an easy solution to every problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.’ As a nation, this would be a very good time for more of us to start seeing that.”
Jemas is aware of the potential hypocrisy in his calling out of media violence. “Yes, AWA is part of the violent media parade and yes, pretty much all of my Marvel stories portrayed the effectiveness of simple violent solutions to complex problems,” he admitted, “so yes, our Babies call bull poo on me too.”
Watch the first chapter of Be Wawa below.