Since Comic Con is in full swing in San Diego, this seemed like the ideal time to revisit one of our favorite pages from SMASH 2: FEARLESS.
When Chris scripted this page, his direction was that readers should be able to stare at the image for "hours" and still find new, fun things to see. We hope you'll agree that Kyle's artwork delivered that—and then some!
If you're at SDCC, have a safe and exciting time! And we hope you don't wander into, uh, any big battles...
Kyle was thrilled beyond words to get this awesome SMASH art from a young fan we met at our reading at Inkling Books in Yakima, WA! Sterling's father wrote:
Just Saw y'all at inklings in Yakima, WA.
You were great, my son says you and your brother are his new favorite artists and comics...
He loves to read and at 7 can devour a book in 2 days.
Thank you very much, we had a great time.
Thanks, Trae, so did we! And HUGE thanks to Sterling—we can't wait to see more of your terrific work in the years to come! If you have some SMASH fan art, please email it to us at email@example.com.
The comics world recently lost a legend. Steve Ditko was the artist who co-created Spider-Man with Stan Lee. He drew the first-ever Spidey comic, Amazing Fantasy #15, and the historic first 38 issues of The Amazing Spider-Man. Along the way, he helped create some of Spidey's most iconic characters and villains, including J. Jonah Jameson, the Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus, and more!
SMASH writer Chris Bolton's first exposure to comics was a Pocket Books paperback reprinting some of those early Amazing Spider-Man issues by Lee and Ditko, which he read until the covers fell off. He would find clumps of pages around the house for many years afterward. SMASH has often been described as "Calvin & Hobbes meets Spider-Man," which is the precise balance Chris and Kyle were hoping to achieve when they created the series.
Without Ditko’s astounding work, Chris never would have developed his lifelong love for comics and dynamic storytelling. Rest In Peace.
The Yakima Herald has a wonderful review of both SMASH books. Some highlights:
Brothers Chris and Kyle Bolton, author and illustrator, respectively, of the “Smash” series of graphic novels, have created a wonderfully funny and action-packed new addition to the realm of middle-grade comics.
I absolutely love the wonderful combination of story and art in the “Smash” books....I particularly enjoy Kyle’s artwork; it combines the goofiness of cult classics like the Tick with the youthful vigor of Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes. Every panel is filled with the energy of a 10-year-old boy, with characters ready to bounce right off the page.
The text is challenging enough to engage a competent middle-grade reader but still accessible, hitting the perfect balance of being appealing and chortle-inducing while not raising too many parental eyebrows. And the warmth of the story, with its focus on familial relationships and the struggles that all kids face, gives it a universal appeal.
It’s a good time to be a young reader, with so many franchises aimed at the under-18 crowd. The “Smash” series is an exciting, compelling addition to the once-overlooked field of comics for kids, sure to appeal to everyone from fans of Iron Man to Wimpy Kid devotees.
The website 411mania.com interviewed SMASH writer Chris A. Bolton about the origin of the comic, how it went from webcomic to print, what the future holds for Smash, and more! Read the interview here.
We don't want to make judgements about the gaggle of bad guys you'll find in SMASH 2: FEARLESS (need we mention—on sale now!). We think they're all pretty nasty and great in their own way. But frankly, in terms of sheer size and strength, there's no comparison—BRUTE is the biggest and baddest!
First glimpsed in the background of Book One: TRIAL BY FIRE, Brute is the enormous assistant of the villainous scientist, DR. COBB, who specializes in crafting super-suits for crooks who want to move up in the criminal food chain. (He also, on occasion, builds giant machines that can absorb the powers of a superhero like Smash.)
Silent but deadly, Brute is fiercely loyal. When Dr. Cobb gives him an assignment, he moves mountains—or buildings, or streets, or entire cities—until the task is complete. Even with all his super-strength, Smash will definitely have his hands full with this one!
Today's the day when SMASH 2: FEARLESS comes crashing into the world—along with the paperback edition of our first book, SMASH: TRIAL BY FIRE!
We're so excited to share the second long-awaited adventure with the world and we hope you all enjoy it.