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‘Men in Black’ creator returns with ‘Jack Ooze’

by Matthew Price Published: July 10, 2012

The creator of the comic-book property “Men in Black,” which inspired three hit movies, has returned to comics with a new project, “Jack Ooze.” “Men in Black,” originally published by Aircel Comics, inspired the three films starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, including this summer’s “Men in Black 3.”

Writer Lowell Cunningham’s new project is available for sale at www.indyplanet.com. “Jack Ooze” is available as a digital download or a physical comic book, and the first issue serves as an introduction to the title character.

“He’s a crusading district attorney who runs afoul of a notorious crime boss and survives an attempt on his life,” Cunningham said in an email interview. “Due to the process which resuscitates him, Jack is in a constant semiliquid state but also gains special abilities. There’s a less-than-serious tone, which fits the bizarre situations that result from Jack’s new talents. Fans of early superheroes will surely recognize and appreciate the influences which lead to the creation of ‘Jack Ooze.’”

The artist for “Jack Ooze” is Ralph Miranda.

“Ralph Miranda is a relative newcomer to the comics industry, and he did a fine job of translating my script into art,” Cunningham said. “He shows a great deal of talent and I expect he will get many opportunities to display that talent in the near future.”

Cunningham says “Jack Ooze” is his tribute to comics from the “Golden Age” era, roughly the late 1930s to late 1940s.

“I’ve always been a fan of Golden Age comics; they have a freshness and vitality that’s very exciting,” Cunningham said. “When the name ‘Jack Ooze’ popped into my head, I wanted to fashion a character which would capture the feel of early superhero comics and also be a tribute to creators such as Will Eisner and Jack Cole. I deliberately fashioned story elements which echo my favorite comics from the Golden Age.”

Eisner is known for creating the detective character “The Spirit,” while Cole is probably best-known for creating the “Plastic Man” character.

In addition to Eisner, Cunningham considers comic book writers Marv Wolfman, Alan Moore, Frank Miller and Len Wein to be among his greatest influences.

“I’ve also been inspired by friends, especially in the creation of ‘Men in Black,’” Cunningham said. “It was my friend Dennis Matheson who first told me the urban legends of the MIB, and that led directly to the creation of the comics and the movie series.”

Speaking of “Men in Black” in comics, Cunningham says the agents could return to the comics page, though seeing their original adventures in anything other than hard-to-find back issues isn’t a priority.

“More MIB comics are a possibility, though an archival reprint is less likely,” Cunningham said. “Believe it or not, ‘Men in Black’ was my first professional sale and I learned quite a bit while writing the first series. I would much rather people see my current work!”

That current work could include more comics or other media stories of “Jack Ooze,” Cunningham said.

“If enough readers want more Jack Ooze comics, then the series will continue,” Cunningham said. “There’s also the possibility that the character could appear in other media. I recently had the opportunity to present Jack Ooze to several studios in Hollywood, though there’s no word on the project as of yet.”

For more information, visit www.aboutcomics.com/JackOoze.html.

- By Matthew Price
WORD BALLOONS
From Friday’s The Oklahoman

Click past the cut for more images.

by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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