The Shinku creative team of writer Ron Marz and artist Lee Moder will launch a new webcomic this weekend based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic rough ‘n tumble man of action, The Mucker. The character, taking center stage for the first time in a century, will his digital debut on Saturday, January 18, 2014.
The new strip will be available exclusively online at EdgarRiceBurroughs.com/comics, representatives of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. (the company founded by the author himself to protect and maintain his work for generations) announced yesterday.
“I grew up on the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs and, to a large extent, I'm the kind of writer I am because of Edgar Rice Burroughs,” said Marz, who does a regular commentary track-style interview at ComicBook.com in support of his Top Cow series Witchblade. “I'm following not only in his footsteps, but in those of so many other creators who have left their mark on these concepts and characters. My job is to make these stories worthy for existing fans and completely accessible for new fans.”
From the creator of Tarzan of the Apes and John Carter of Mars, The Mucker is a story about the exploits of Burroughs’ only anti-hero – Billy Byrne, a brash and brawling street tough from Chicago’s West Side – grounded in the harsh realities of life in the slums of the early 1900’s. Decades before Indiana Jones uncovered the Lost Ark and Rambo fought his personal guerrilla wars, the ruthless Mucker would find himself on whatever side of the law suited his savage nature, taking on crooked fight promoters, brutal gangsters, sinister kidnappers, ferocious headhunters and a femme fatale or two.
“Lee has filled sketchbooks with designs and research for The Mucker, getting a feel for the characters and the settings,” said Marz. “It really shows in the finished strips.”
Based on the original novels, the first four strips will be available online for free beginning on Saturday. Upcoming episodes and many others can be purchased, along with other comics, as part of a $1.99 per month subscription to the official Edgar Rice Burroughs Digital Comic Strips service. The service currently features numerous all-new adventure strips based on classic Burroughs stories including Tarzan, Pellucidar, The Eternal Savage, The Land that Time Forgot and Carson of Venus.
“Hardcore Burroughs fans consider The Mucker one of his best works,” said Marz. “Adapting these novels gives me a chance to expose a great story to an audience who might not be familiar with it.”