The Atomic Victory is a comic like no other. That’s a big statement considering the many great books that live in long boxes across the world over. Rarely are you going to come across a series that successfully melds all creative aspects into one outstanding comic book, The Atomic Victory Squad is that book. I got the awesome opportunity to interview creator Lowell Dean and take a trip not only into his word but the world of The Atomic Victory Squad. It’s a trip that I was super excited to take and after reading this interview I hope you will buy a ticket for this wild ride. Enjoy!
Comic Watch: Lowell, thank you for taking the time to talk with us. For those who may not know Lowell Dean or the Atomic Victory Squad can you give us an introduction to the world of Lowell Dean?
Lowell Dean: Wow, tough question right off the top! In a nutshell, my “world” is primarily focused on storytelling. Most of my time I’m writing and developing high concept projects for film and TV. Lately, I’ve broadened my focus to include comic books. I love that comics have no limitation beyond your story, your artist, and your shared imagination.
CW: Can you talk about how the concept of Atomic Victory Squad came about? In the back of the books there’s great concept art of early ideas of AVS has this been in the making for a while?
LD: I actually created these characters in childhood! As an adult, I stumbled on my old childhood drawings and suddenly saw the team in a whole new light.
I imagined how people would react if Invincibull, a male cow with a giant udder, showed up to rescue them. Would they embrace him like Superman, or would he face persecution or ridicule for being different? Also, starting a story as a little boy and finishing it as a more jaded, mature human sounded like a fun experiment – so the team was (re) born!
CW: Did you pitch AVS to any companies like Image or BOOM Studios or was the plan to go the crowdfunding route?
LD: I “soft pitched” the project to Dynamite, since they had released our WolfCop comic, but they weren’t looking for superhero projects at the time. Honestly, since it was my first foray into comics, I was more than happy to produce it independently. Baby steps! We had great support. Crowdfunding financed our first 3 issues outright.
CW: Each of the characters has their own struggles and how they deal with them. When creating them were you grabbing inspiration from current events and past experiences?
LD: A healthy mix of both. There’s a little bit of me in every character – hopes, dreams, fears – for better and for worse. Also, each hero serves as a metaphor for very real issues like racial discrimination, gender identity, addiction issues, and mental health. This story is as much about their personal struggles and relationships as it is about crime-fighting.
CW: Invincibull and Gary are my favorite characters in the series, do you have a favorite?
LD: I love them equally and for different reasons. I enjoy drawing Invincibull since I’m not the best artist and his face is easy to draw. Same goes for Triangle Master. Personality-wise, I love Zoozanna’s emotional rawness Gary’s quiet creativity. But I love them all!
CW: Issue 5 is available on Indiegogo. Without giving away too much can you give us a teaser on what to expect with the final issue of the series?
LD: Firstly, it’s supersized! We added a few extra pages to let it breathe and end organically without feeling rushed. This last chapter is truly epic. There’s action, humor, high stakes, and even a death. Each of the six heroes gets their moment to shine.
Lastly, Javier is doing something really unique with his style in this last issue. I can’t really describe it without spoiling anything. But it’s going to be really unique!
CW: I’m going to fanboy a little bit on the entire creative team, from your writing to Javier’s art, to Micah’s lettering, everything fits together so effortlessly. How did you all come together to work on AVS?
LD: Thank you very much. I got really lucky with this crew. The first step was finding an artist with the right style for this unique story. Since I was a comics rookie, experience was also important.
I first saw Javier’s work in the comic “Blood Brothers”. I LOVED his style. I emailed him cold and asked him to do it. I was overjoyed to discover that not only is he talented, but he’s also equally hardworking and personable. Javier highly recommended Micah, so we brought him onboard to letter. Thank God we did – his words jump off the page and have such personality.
We also have the amazing Andrea Martin helping on colors and flats. Super savvy Maurice Roy is on art direction, assembling the issues. Mike Anderson did our epic cover for issue 1 and Joel Hustak created the amazing, painterly covers for issues 2 through 5.
Lastly, artist Emersen Ziffle helps behind the scenes every step of the way. He created an Invincibull collector maquette, limited edition AVS badges, and more crazy stuff to come!
CW: With your background in film, is it at all possible to see an animated version of the Atomic Victory Squad? Wolfcop meets the Atomic Victory Squad perhaps?
LD: It’s my dream to turn AVS into an animated series. It feels like a perfect fit. I’ve been so focused on getting the comic saga complete, but now that the end is in sight, I can turn my attention toward pushing an animated series. As for WolfCop, well they do both live in a shared universe… my brain! It would be fun to see them cross paths one day.
CW: Is this the last we’ve seen of the Atomic Victory Squad? Could we possibly see an Invincibull stand-alone series?
LD: Never say never! Producing indie comics is hard. It took us over 2 years to get these five issues done. Once issue 5 is out, I can think about what to tackle next. I do agree that stand-alone character adventures could be fun. I’d love to see Invinicbull return to his home planet of Cowtopia and grapple with a society of cow-people that milk and enslave humans. Would he be cool with it? Or would he try to liberate the humans, “Planet of the Apes” style? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it.
CW: Lowell, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us. What’s on the horizon for Lowell Dean?
LD: If I’m lucky, directing more movies, writing new scripts, and making more comic books. Thanks for the chat, Mike. And BIG thank you for your ongoing support of AVS!
Catch up with the first four issues on ComiXology: