Blog@: Dirk, now that you’re bringing TALES OF MR. RHEE to Blog@Newsarama how about you introduce yourself and give readers a short bio?
Dirk Manning: Well, most NEWSARAMA readers probably know me as the guy behind the long-running “Write or Wrong” column here at NEWSARAMA (which has NOT gone away – honest).
I’m also the writer and creator of NIGHTMARE WORLD, a comic I originally self-published online for several years before it was picked-up by Image Comics/Shadowline both online and then in print via a series of collected TPBs. (The third such collection, NIGHTMARE WORLD Volume Three: “Demon Days”, is being released this October by Shadowline, hence the slow-down in the “Write or Wrong” columns as of late, as it takes a lot of work to put the NIGHTMARE WORLD collections together.)
Well, right as NIGHTMARE WORLD came to an end online, Jim Valentino was preparing to revamp and relaunch a new, streamlined version of the Shadowline website. One of the things he wanted to do was showcase the great online comics he already hosted there as well as delve into some new material, and that lead to us bringing TALES OF MR. RHEE to the newly relaunched (or, as I like to say, RHEE-launched) www.ShadowlineOnline.com as well as here at Blog@Newsarama.
Blog@: Pardon me for asking this, but if TALES OF MR. RHEE (which we’ll delve into the details of in a moment) is already running at www.ShadowlineOnline.com, which is a very prominent website, why bring it here too? It’s not that we’re not happy to have you or the comic here as well… but why host the comic in two places?
Manning: That’s a fair question, and one that Jim Valentino [editor of Shadowline] and I discussed at length. After all, TALES OF MR. RHEE is not only a Shadowline title, but also a spin-off of the successful NIGHTMARE WORLD franchise that Shadowline has supported in both online and in-print for the last three years now. Heck, this October will mark the third year in a row that a NIGHTMARE WORLD collection has been Shadowline’s “Halloween” release, and that’s something I value and am honored by as well.
However, and this is exactly what I told Jim, the fact of the matter is that we’re giving TALES OF MR. RHEE away from free over at www.ShadowlineOnline.com twice a week for at least a year, and because of that we’d be silly to not host it other places – such as Blog@Newsarama – as well. It seems a bit counterintuitive, but, hey, why not, you know? All it’s going to do is bring a comic that we’re already giving away from free for at least a year to more people who love comics, you know?
Besides, let’s be blunt here: Each of us only has so much time in the day to surf the web, and as a result there are plenty of websites we all miss or simply run out of time to visit every day.
As for how this related to TALES OF MR. RHEE, this is a case where everyone involved in the comic from Valentino to myself to the rest of the creative want as many people as possible to see the comic. Considering this, and given my long-standing partnership with Newsarama, well, why wouldn’t I bring it here, you know? [laughs]
If people like it, I’d encourage them to also make it a point to add www.ShadowlineOnline.com to their surfing habits, since Shadowline’s new site will continue to offer visitors great content both online and in print (including some more stuff from me – hopefully in both categories)… but if that’s not possible, hey, at least you’ll get TALES OF MR. RHEE for free here as well.
Blog@: Tell us about TALES OF MR. RHEE, including what readers can expect and how often they can expect it.
Manning: Well, Jim Valentino recently enthusiastically called it my “best work yet”, which is very flattering since anyone who knows him knows he’s not one to mince words be them positive or critical. [laughs]
That aside, as I mentioned a minute ago, TALES OF MR. RHEE is a spin-off of NIGHTMARE WORLD that takes place in the same timeline, only several years after the end of that series. That being said, though, it doesn’t matter if you’ve ever read the former or not. If you have, though, you’ll certainly enjoy some of the Easter Eggs sprinkled throughout the series (starting as soon as the first chapter) as well as checking in on some of the characters from NIGHTMARE WORLD as they now are several years later.
As for the content of TALES OF MR. RHEE, it’s a horror/noir comic that follows the adventures of a paranormal troubleshooter known only as “Mr. Rhee” (get it?) as he tries to survive and thrive in a post-Armageddon/Rapture world.
We’ll be posting a page a day every here at Blog@ every Monday through Thursday for the first eight-page chapter or two, and after that we’ll drop to posting a new page every Tuesday and Thursday.
I’ll be watching the comment sections as closely as possible, too, so I encourage people to let me know what they think!