When Mitch and Keith met in Osaka, Japan over a decade ago, they had no idea they would be building a lasting creative partnership. Sure they dabbled in some ideas for a comic book, but nothing really clicked in terms of a solid story. Flash forward to 2010. Mitch uncovered a story while working in television news in Seattle, Washington. He had always appreciated the Orson Welles Mercury Theater radio show broadcast of “The War of the Worlds.” He wanted to tell that story someday but it was just too broad and far-reaching to tell in a comic book. There was no story, in the simplest terms, that could be condensed into a comic. But a local history museum had put together a broadcasting exhibit that included a story about a local town that lost power during the infamous broadcast. Concrete, Washington, a mountain town a few hours away from Seattle lost power half way through the broadcast. Several residents panicked and a few choice anecdotes were written in the Concrete Herald newspaper a couple days later. Mitch read those stories and realized he had found his comic book. Now the events of that night could be told from the point of view of a small town in an easy to understand narrative using real life examples of what some of the folks did after the power went out.
This was a story Mitch and Keith could tell.
After two successful fundraising campaigns and a lot of long distance phone calls (Keith lives in the Toronto, Canada area) the creative team produced and self published their first series. Concrete Martians parts One and Two have sold nearly 2000 copies without ANY distribution.
With the success of Concrete Martians under their belts the “Mars Guys” wanted to take advantage of their momentum. They created their own brand KikaMika Comics and set off to create another series of books.
Next up, a long form series about a Colony on Mars who, after 50 years of terraforming, are about to discover why they could no longer communicate with Earth. Saltwater issues one through three are complete. (Issue #1 was nominated for a Joe Shuster, Gene Day Award) Told from the point of view of a pair of 1950’s science fiction writers, Saltwater will have a look and feel of vintage sci fi from the 1960’s but set in the year 2005. Why did they lose contact with Earth just ten years after they arrived on Mars? The reason is astounding and will have long lasting physical and emotional impact on the colonists. ALIENS INVADED!
Mitch and Keith are developing other projects for the future, some concerning Mars and some, well, not concerning Mars. As they hit their creative stride and continue to build a solid fan base, readers can follow their exploits and progress here at KikaMikaComics.com.
Mitch Cook is an independent writer/producer in Seattle, Washington who also works in the Wine Industry as an Educator and Media Manager. Follow his work here and at Adventures of a Middle Aged Geek. Instagram @middleagedgeek
Keith Grachow is a freelance artist living near Toronto, Canada. Find more of his work at his web site, Keith Grachow Illustrations. kgrachow.com