As we exclusively shared with you first last week, NextChapter will drop its first creative-inspired collectible today at 5:00 PM Pacific/8:00 PM Eastern, collaborating with veteran comic book artist Sean Chen. That collectible is Chen’s book Wingman: Compendium of an Artist’s First Writing Experience, giving fans a window into Sean’s work and process. The book will only be available for purchase for 24 hours, exclusively at NextChapterPost.com.
Mr. Chen was kind enough to speak with me about his involvement with NextChapter, Wingman: Compendium of an Artist’s First Writing Experience, and where you can find his work beyond NextChapter.
FreakSugar: How did you become involved with NextChapter?
Sean Chen: Carl Choi, the publisher, was a friend and avid reader of comics. He approached me about publishing my comic Wingman that previously was only available to read on my Instagram. It’s an honor to be the inaugural book for his new publishing venture. I also loved his mission statement to increase exposure to the comics medium and educate people on the process of comic creation.
FS: What can you tell us about Wingman: Compendium of an Artist’s First Writing Experience?
SC: It’s a 64 page graphic novel that I wrote and drew that tells the compelling story of a man who seeks answers to some of life’s biggest questions when he suddenly comes upon the Grim Reaper. He uses every trick to buy time in a desperate attempt to find necessary closure before its time to go. Even though the subject matter may seem bleak, it is also uproariously funny and ultimately uplifting. I consider Wingman to be a culmination of a couple decades of comics experience and work that I am most proud of.
FS: What should fans expect to see in your collaboration with NextChapter?
SC: NextChapter has a two-prong approach to releasing their comics. Firstly, the entire comic story unfolds on their Instagram in episodes. Then upon completion, a deluxe coffee table print edition is made available for sale. This includes creator commentary on nearly every page which fulfills the educational component. Carl calls it “the story behind the story”. It also functions to guide prospective comics creators through the writing, drawing, and assembly process to encourage readers to express themselves using comics as a medium.
FS: What was it that drew you to NextChapter?
SC: Aside from Carl being a friend I trust, it was his commitment to educating and community building through projects such as Wingman. One of the goals is to connect readers and creators as a way of growing the industry and medium.
FS: Has this collaboration with NextChapter impacted how you view creating comic book stories and storytelling as a whole?
SC: In general, I love the idea of having a story to tell and getting it to the people without the multiple barriers that exist in the direct market system. Granted those barriers do keep out low quality work, but If I had a good story with good art, I like being able to get that to the comics fans, and even involve their feedback in the creation. I do need to be cognizant of the fact that initially the comics will likely be viewed on mobile so that changes the format and style of art a bit, as well as lettering size.
FS: Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to talk about?
SC: My primary book is Batman Beyond for DC Comics. I’m coming up to the landmark 50th issue soon. We’ll see what I get involved in after that, but for sure, some of it will be telling stories that I do about writing and drawing.
Sean Chen’s storybook Wingman: Compendium of an Artist’s First Writing Experience is available at 5:00 PM Pacific/8:00 PM Eastern at NextChapterPost.com.