AfterShock Announces “The Last Ride of Pillar & Pryde” – Multiversity Comics

AfterShock Announces “The Last Ride of Pillar & Pryde” – Multiversity Comics


Cover by Joe Mulvey

AfterShock Comics have announced “The Last Ride of Pillar & Pryde,” a comedy mystery series by writer John Lees (“Hotell”), artist Joe Mulvey (“Happy Hill”), colorist Doug Garbark (“Backtrack”), and letterer Shawn Lee (“The After Realm”). The book follows Ben Pillar and Eli Pryde, two YA novelists who “saved a young girl’s life and stopped a madman” when they were children. Their declining fortunes, and the possible end of their friendship, leads the two to embark on a road trip to their hometown in New Jersey, where they discover a new evil, possibly connected to the one they faced as kids, has arisen…

Lees admits in the press release the book has “some Stephen King influences in there, for sure,” but “in developing the pitch, I was drawing from two divergent sources: old-school, doom-laden ‘70s horror like Messiah of EvilBut then there’s also comedy that is friendship-themed, such as Hot Fuzz, PaddletonOr Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. And in the process of making the comic, I can definitely see that it’s adopted much of the ‘cozy murder’ aesthetic seen in recent stuff like Knives Out, The Kid DetectiveAnd Only Murders are allowed in the Building.”

He promises, “This book is going to surprise you. You’ll go through an emotional rollercoaster following this journey, and I believe I can confidently say you’ll never guess what you’ll be feeling by issue #3 when you’re reading issue #1, or what you’ll be feeling by issue #5 when reading issue #3.” He also says, “The comic looks amazing. Joe Mulvey is an incredible artist who I can’t wait for more readers to discover and fall in love with. And seeing his line-work paired with Doug Garbark’s colors has resulted in some of his finest art yet. It’s just a gorgeous looking book that’s going to be one of the most visually appealing items in your weekly pull.”

For more from Lees and Mulvey, head to the official Q&A below the unlettered preview (depicting the aforementioned incident Pillar and Pryde went through as children.) “The Last Ride of Pillar & Pryde” #1 will be released on November 9, and retail at 32 pages for $4.99. It will have a regular cover by Mulvey, and an incentive cover by Alex Cormack (“The Crimson Cage”).

JOHN LEES – WHAT IS THE BOOK ABOUT? AND WHY IS HE EXCITED TO GET IT OUT?

“The Last Ride of Pillar & Pryde is about two friends – Ben Pillar and Eli Pryde – who formed this intense bond as kids, when together they became unlikely heroes in their hometown of Tarragon Falls, New Jersey. As they grew older, their mild fame turned into mild success as young adult novelists. They wrote books featuring fictionalized versions of themselves as child detective adventurers. But in recent years, their writing success has declined, and they’ve found themselves drawn on separate life paths: Ben wanting to move on with his life with a new job and a fiancé, while Eli wants to keep plugging away at the dream. So, they go off on a road trip back to Tarragon Falls, in Eli’s mind to draw fresh inspiration and rekindle the spark in their friendship, but in Ben’s mind as a farewell. Unbeknownst to them there may be new sinister happenings in their old home that could have links to their formative years.

I’m excited for this book to come out for a number of reasons. One, because I think it’s a really fun story, one I had a blast writing, up there with some of the best work I’ve done. I’m so pumped to be working with AfterShock, something which I’ve wanted to do for years. I’ve got to pair up with colorist Doug Garbark and letterer Shawn Lee again; I always love working with those guys. And I get to team up for the first time with Joe Mulvey, one of my favorite people in comics, after spending so long thinking that getting to make a comic with him was on my comics bucket list.”

JOHN LEES – INSPIRATIONS FOR CREATING THE BUNDLE:

“Back in the height of the pandemic in 2020, I got heavily into reading Naoki Urasawa manga, and 20th Century Boys became perhaps my all-time favorite comic. Although this story is quite different, I see a lot more thematic resonance in it. It juxtaposes adult protagonists with young ones, and jumps back and forth between them to explore what has changed and what has not. Although it is hard to say what stories, there are definitely Stephen King influences. In developing the pitch, I was drawing from two divergent sources: old-school, doom-laden ‘70s horror like Messiah of Evil, but then also friendship-themed comedy stuff like Hot Fuzz, Paddleton or Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. And in the process of making the comic, I can definitely see that it’s adopted much of the “cozy murder” aesthetic seen in recent stuff like Knives Out, The Kid Detective and Only Murders in the Building.”

JOHN LEES ON (3) RAISONS COMIC READERS SHOULD TAKE DOWN THIS TITLE.

“1. This book will surprise you. You’ll go through an emotional rollercoaster following this journey, and I believe I can confidently say you’ll never guess what you’ll be feeling by issue #3 when you’re reading issue #1, or what you’ll be feeling by issue #5 when reading issue #3.

2. This comic is amazing. Joe Mulvey is an incredible artist who I can’t wait for more readers to discover and fall in love with. And seeing his line-work paired with Doug Garbark’s colors has resulted in some of his finest art yet. It’s just a gorgeous looking book that’s going to be one of the most visually appealing items in your weekly pull.

3. Ben Pillar and Eli Pryde are two of my favorite characters I’ve ever created. I fell in love with them a little while writing them, and I hope you’ll fall in love with them too while reading.”

JOHN LEES TAKING ACTION ON THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE OF WRITING A NEW COMIC BLOG AND THE BIGGEST REWARD.

“When I’m writing a series I’m familiar with, like Sink or Hotell, that feels a little like slipping back into a pair of comfy slippers. Because I am familiar with these worlds, I have the vibe and tone in my head. But when I’m sitting down to write something new, I have no template, no grounding to build from. I must start again. And that can be exhilarating and liberating, but it’s also daunting. There are many things to do, but the most difficult for me was nailing my characters voices. When you’re writing that first draft of the first issue, often at first everyone is talking just like me, plot delivery machine saying what the reader needs to know about what’s happening. It’s a process to dig into them, and think about who they are, and how that informs how they speak. But in doing that, that’s when the character comes alive, and once I know how a character talks, they start to write themselves a little bit and writing them gets easier.

As far as the biggest reward in writing, it’s something of a bittersweet one, but I love writing the end of a story. I love getting to pay off the various things I’ve set up, or getting to do big callbacks to things from earlier issues, create that sense of coming full circle, of the reader having been on a journey. And there’s something of a sadness to writing a last issue, where it’s like, “This is the last time I’ll write this character, this is the last time I’ll write that character.” But there’s a real satisfaction in that, too, it’s like you’ve brought them to the destination where they needed to go, and your work is done.”

JOE MULVEY SPEAKS ON HIS APPROACH ABOUT THE ARTWORK

“My approach to the artwork is to *hopefully* make the story and characters as fun and engaging as I possibly can. My style is cartoony and expressive. I want to ensure that the characters are well-rounded so readers will enjoy the story. The old saying is every comic is somebody’s first. At the end of the day, I want someone to put down THE LAST RIDE OF PILLAR & PRYDE #1 and say that was one of the best comics they’ve read so that they can’t wait to read more.”

JOE MULVEY ON DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PANEL IN THE FIRST ISSUE? AND, IF SO WHY?

“I don’t think I can pick a favorite panel, honestly. John gave me so many fun and suspenseful moments to draw throughout that entire first issue that it’s hard to pick just one. But there are certainly a LOT to choose from.”

JOE MULVEY Speaks Out on WHAT HE LIKES MOST about CREATING ART and WHAT HE FINDS IS THE DIFFICULTEST:

“What I like most about creating art is dynamic storytelling. Each panel and page should have as much impact as possible to connect with the reader. Layouts are the key to this. If I get those just right, I’m super excited to then draw the page and hopefully that excitement is passed on to the readers. For me, I think the hardest part of creating art is more about getting people to give the work you’ve created the chance to entertain them. At the end of the day, that’s all I want to do. My art and the books that I create should be an exciting ride that leaves people cheering, smiling, or screaming. As long as they feel something, I’ve done my job.”

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