Indie Comics Spotlight: Hero Tomorrow

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Apama 1

If you're like a lot of other places in the country, you're probably "sheltered in place," either working from home or just stuck at home without work.

If you're a comics fan, you've also been hit by Diamond Distributors closing down operations for the duration, leaving your local comics store without new merchandise, meaning even the stores that were remaining open during the coronovirus outbreak will hurt. (For more about that, check out our conversation with two retailers on how they plan to cope with the situation.)

However, while the Diamond shutdown definitely impacts Marvel and DC shipments, there are a lot of independent comics creators out there who sell directly to the consumer outside of Diamond, with product that may have been crowded out by the larger lines of titles from the Big Two, and this is a good opportunity to check them out.

One of these publishers is HERO TOMORROW. They have a very small, very focused line of comics in a shared universe, and spinning off from the core line: APAMA, THE UNDISCOVERED ANIMAL.

APAMA gets its roots from classic Silver Age comics, while operating in a completely contemporary setting. It exudes the same gestalt as the Stan Lee / Steve Ditko AMAZING SPIDER-MAN titles did. The lead character, Ilyia Zjarsky, has a low-paying and under-appreciated job as an ice cream truck driver. His personal life is just as full of angst and problems as young Peter Parker's. The difference is that Ilyia isn't a genius. He's not even smart. But when he goes on one of his regular walks in the woods, he finds himself in an area he's never been before, and gets led by a mysterious figure to a cave where he finds a parchment and an outfit. The parchment clues him in on how he can tap into a mystic animal spirit force of the Apama -- an animal that has remained hidden from the eyes of man (and there's a story as to how they've pulled that off). But coming into the power isn't an instant thing -- there's no radioactive spider bite, no magic acronym to shout; he has to work at it, day after day, night after night, to get it right. And when he does...

...well, he's still a loser. But now he's a superhero, too -- a superhero who doesn't always know what he's doing when he sets out to right wrongs. And it doesn't take him very long to start running into threats that need a super-person to confront them, threats like a man who can rust meta;, a man who can set metal blades spinning at hypersonic speeds through the air; a hippy goddess with mystic psychedelic powers; and a woman who has become HERO TOMORROW's latest publication sensation, the TAP DANCE KILLER.

TAP DANCE KILLER is the story of Nikki St. Clair, an actress who takes a role in a local theater's production of a musical horror. But when a mysterious person arrives and drugs the cast, they become permanently embedded in their roles -- not just believing they are the characters they portrayed, but with their knowledge and abilities as well. The Vaudevillains -- Sir Terror, Fletcher the Embalmer, and Tap Dance Killer -- soon grow their ranks to include the killer clown enforcer Punchline and his gun toting partner Uzi Clown; and Fletcher creates yet another member, the emotionally charged Lizzie, who's straightjacket sleeves and blades are used with deadly accuracy. Together, they go to war against a mob family, a battle that comes at great personal cost to the troupe.

Featuring consistenly good storytelling and artwork, the lineup from HERO TOMORROW comics is well worth the trouble of checking out, and have already been compiled into trade collections. To see more about them, and to get their books delivered to your door, check out their website,

For a more in-depth look at the company, check out our interview below with writer/publisher Ted Sikora.