Chicago's Unshaven Comics brings SAMURNAUTS to life

Indie creators bring Saturday morning nostalgia to comic books

August 07, 2012|Elliott Serrano, For RedEye

When I last spoke with the guys of Chicago-based Unshaven Comics, it was in the summer of 2010. That would be when the trio of Marc Alan Fishman, Matt Wright and Kyle Gnepper were busy promoting their anthology series Disposable Razors. A lot has happened to them since then, and prior to their appearance at the Wizard World Chicago Comic-Con this weekend, Marc Fishman took some time to get me caught up:

Geek To Me: So, what's been going on since we last spoke?

Marc Fishman: I'll be honest with you Elliot... We're not even sure when we spoke last.

G2M: What? We did an interview about 2 years ago. Just Google it...

MF: We tried googling it, but it always redirected us to your homepage. And then it called us stupid. It was very traumatic.

G2M: You guys really need to work on your 'google fu.'

MF: But our best guess is we spoke to you shortly after finishing Disposable Razors 1 and or 2... So, since then: We finished Disposable Razors #3, and have since launched into our next long-format project (spinning out of DR 3), The Samurnauts. We did a Kickstarter for it. Oh, and we've also launched a weekly podcast too. It's over a year old now!

G2M: Oh yeah, I've heard your podcast! One of you guys called me a narcissist, I don't know if it was Matt or Kyle, one of those two. Yeah. Good stuff...anyhoo...what kind of changes has Unshaven Comics gone through?

MF: Well, since last we spoke? Matt and myself both bought houses, and had sons. Literally born 6 hours apart. Can't even make that up. And Kyle? He moved from one south suburb to a different south suburb. Aside from that? Nuffin'. We're still the same three life-long friends that make comics in every ounce of our spare time.

G2M: Congrats to you guys on the kids and new homes! About the Samurnauts Kickstarter campaign, what was it for exactly? Was it to pay for printing of the book?

MF: We raised money to fund the creation of a high quality cosplay suit of armor for one of the Samurnauts.

G2M: Dude, seriously, ARMOR?

MF: Dude, seriously. We know a lot of other indie guys use kickstarter to raise funds for printing/publishing... but we thought it'd be better to do something we knew we couldn't do on our own. The costumers, Malmey Studios (http://malmey-studios.com/) we'd met at Mid-Ohio Con last year - LOVED their stuff - and wanted a way to work together with them on a project. Our fans supported the idea, and ever since Raif - the Blue Samurnaut -will be wielding his Naginata of Justice at our table at every show we go to.

G2M: It sounds like something we would have watched on Saturday morning television! Where did the idea for Samurnauts come from?

MF: An overdose of pie, and nostalgia, to the best of our recollection. To be completely honest? We'd had an extra page in the back of one of our old comics. We thought it'd be hilarious to make a mock ad for an idea we'd NEVER do. Something so over-the-top, it could never work. We'd been tossing around this idea about Samurai-Astronauts, led by an immortal Kung Fu Monkey Master, fighting demon dinosaurs, and zombie cyborg pirates in space. So we made an "ad" that said "debuting the summer of 2020". And after Disposable Razors 1 and 2? We looked at each other and said "this idea is so crazy, why aren't we doing it?!" And the rest they say... is history.

G2M: Okay, be honest, Samurnauts versus Ninja Turtles, who wins?

MF: Samurnauts. In a heartbeat. First off? They outnumber the turtles. Second? Master Albert V is a hyper-intelligent Monkey who learned kung fu from the original masters. He'd take Splinter out in no time. Combine this with the fact that the Samurnauts have weapons with glowly photoshop effects? The Turtles don't stand a chance. Not that we've thought this through mind you...
G2M: Of course. Okay, Samurnauts versus Power Rangers, who has the best hair?
MF: Hmm. Well, again, we gotta go Samurnauts. The power rangers hair always was so... "Fantastic Sams".

G2M: Ha-ha!

MF: The Samurnauts are more laid back. Well, Grove (Green), Raif (Blue), and Sora (Purple) at least. Also? The Samurnauts can grow facial hair. I'm almost certain Tommy couldn't grow half a perverts mustache if Zordon himself upgraded him to Hyper Mega Mode.

G2M: You just turned into a Power Rangers nerd right there, you know that? Okay, are you guys gonna be at Wizard World Chicago Comic Con?

MF: Yes. Yes we will. Table 3113. Look for the Smiley Faces and Samurnauts.

G2M: Okay, last question: WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO GET YOU GUYS TO SHAVE?

MF: Well, beards are in our logo. Frankly I don't think we're legally allowed to shave. That being said? We're not about sticking our collective foot into our mouths. We've proclaimed if we don't sell 400 books at Wizard World Chicago... We. Will. Shave. Our. Beards.

G2M: Oy. I don't know if I should root for you guys to succeed or fail. What else do you want readers to know?

MF: Like we said: We do a podcast every week, we just launched a weekly webcomic as well. We're on Facebook. We're lonely. We don't want to lose our beards. We want to see everyone at Wizard World Chicago... And last but not least: Summer Beards: They are always en vogue.

G2M: Yeah, but they are soooooo itchy. Good luck at Wizard World, Marc!

VISIT WITH THE CREW OF UNSHAVEN COMICS AT THE WIZARD WORLD CHICAGO COMIC-CON AUG. 9-12.

VISIT THE UNSHAVEN COMICS WEBSITE

"LIKE" THE UNSHAVEN COMICS FACEBOOK PAGE

FOLLOW MARC FISHMAN ON TWITTER

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