Monkey Wrench Press, a just-launched publisher, has lined up Thanos and Infinity Gauntlet creator Jim Starlin as its first big-name creator. Monkey Wrench’s first project is the original graphic novel Dreadstar vs. the Inevitable, continuing Jim Starlin’s acclaimed and long-running Dreadstar science-fiction saga. The legendary Starlin is writing and drawing the graphic novel. A Kickstarter campaign for the Dreadstar vs. the Inevitable hardcover will launch this month, but it is basically a pre-order campaign. The complete graphic novel has already been written and drawn. According to a press release, Monkey Wrench plans to partner with established creators as well as new talent to present bold, original content in a range of formats.
Monkey Wrench Publisher Chris Scioli has experience in both comics retail and publishing, as well as being Co-Founder/Director of the successful Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival. Scioli has also worked in customer experience, operations management, sales, and digital marketing, including Hearst Media. Joining Scioli as advisors to Monkey Wrench are industry veterans Ron Marz and Keith Champagne, who have more than 50 years of combined experience in the comic industry.
“Monkey Wrench Press was founded on two goals,” Scioli said. “First, we want to build a brand that produces world-class comics, graphic novels, and other media across a range of genres for diverse audiences. Second, we’re going to work with creators in transparent and collaborative partnerships.”
Marz is an acclaimed writer with credits ranging from his acclaimed Green Lantern and Silver Surfer runs to the landmark Marvel vs. DC crossover, Star Wars, Witchblade, and many others. Marz also has years of editorial experience for both U.S. and international publishers. Champagne has been an artist, writer and editor on titles including Superman, JSA, and Green Lantern, as well as his creator-owned superhero epic The Mighty. Both Marz and Champagne have also led numerous successful crowdfunding campaigns.
Dreadstar is a Star Wars-inspired comic with deep lore and a long history on and off the page. Originally published by Marvel’s Epic Comics and still ostensibly part of the Marvel multiverse, Starlin owns the comics and took it to First Comics to finish out its initial run in the 1980s. In the 90s, he brought it back with Malibu for a miniseries, and then it disappeared until 2020, when he released the graphic novel Dreadstar Returns through Ominous Press (which published a number of crowdfunded books and was overseen by Marz).
The comic centers on a hero named Vanth Dreadstar, identified as the sole survivor of the Milky Way galaxy, and an ensemble cast of alien companions. Moving through space, the crewmates fight to end an ancient war between two empires.