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Get Graphic: 'Until My Knuckles Bleed' Brings Back The '90s Superhero

Art by Victor Santos

Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen


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The 1990s era of superhero comics is a great point of contention in the nerd community. Depending on what side of the argument you fall on, you either feel like it is responsible for the downfall of an industry or it comprises some of your most cherished young adult memories. 

Artist Victor Santos (PolarFilthy Rich) definitely thinks of that period fondly. So much so that his new series Until My Knuckles Bleed asks, "Whatever happened to the prototypical 1990s superhero?" 

In the following interview, Victor takes us inside his creative process, talks about his favorite characters from that divisive era, and tells us all about his new series.   

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Tell us the story of UNTIL MY KNUCKLES BLEED. What’s it about?

The story is about Gabin Hart, a formerly '90s superhero called Damager. He is older now and has a lot of medical issues due to his past life as a hero. He works as a bouncer in a strip club managed by the Russian mob and basically feels miserable.  He is questioning if his life choices when he [gets involved with] his former comrades, human trafficking, plasma weapon smuggling, and more. It’s a story that mixes noir and superhero genres, in the line of modern classics like Powers or Gotham Central.

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TJA: How did you get the idea behind UNTIL MY KNUCKLES BLEED?

Victor Santos: I have a special predilection for characters "out of their time." My main character from the Polar graphic novels, Black Kaiser, is a spy from the days of the Cold war [but] in a modern context. And thinking about my own superhero readings, I remember that my real contact with the genre was with the Image and Dark Horse comics from the '90s. I was a manga reader then, and when I tried to read Marvel or DC books, they were too obscure, too many references to a past I didn't know. So comics like Spawn, Ghost, Savage Dragon, X, or Wildcats were easier to understand and enjoy. So I began to think about this "grim and gritty" era and how these characters could age, what problems they will have -- like those elite athletes who have a lot of medical problems after retiring. That’s the origin of the story.

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TJA: How did you get into comic books as a fan?

Victor Santos: My youngest uncle was a comic collector, and I used to enter his room when I was a child visiting my grandma. He was reading all kinds of books, from European albums to comic books. Thanks to him I discovered artists like Jack Kirby, Hergé, Moebius, and John Buscema.

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TJA: How did you get into comic books as a professional?

Victor Santos: I began as an independent author in Spain. First self-publishing my books and later working for European publishers until I had the chance to work with Brian Azzarello on the graphic novel Filthy Rich. I have been working in the US market and combining it with publications in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, and recently Japan and China, since then.

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TJA: What tools do you use to create?

Victor Santos: I recently made my transition to digital, so right now my main tool is the Cintiq and the programs Clip Studio and Photoshop. But I continue sketching the pages using traditional pencil and paper. But later I scan the sheets and make adjusts.

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TJA: What’s next for you?

Victor Santos: I have some different projects waiting for publication. I have a secret project with my friend Michael Oeming, a graphic novel I finished recently, and I am working on another graphic novel for a European publisher. And I made a digital series titled Paranoia Killer for the platform panelsyndicate.com. You can find it easily.

I have also been working on the development of projects for TV and cinema. One of them, Ezequiel Himes, adapts my own book published in the USA by Amigo Comics. 

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If you want to discover more of Victor's work, be sure to follow him through on social media.

UNTIL MY KNUCKLES BLEED (NOV211197) hits comic shops on January 26, 2022. It will be released monthly from Behemoth Comics/Happy Tank.

Keep an eye on PREVIEWSworld.com's TwitterFacebook, or Instagram for more artist spotlights! 

IDW PUBLISHING
ROCKETEER THE GREAT RACE #1 (OF 4) CVR A GABRIEL RODRIGUEZ
(W) Stephen Mooney (A) Stephen Mooney (CA) Gabriel Rodriguez
CELEBRATING THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE VERY FIRST APPEARANCE OF THE ROCKETEER!

Ace stunt pilot Cliff Secord has returned from his New York Adventure to a West Coast steeped
in paranoia over the looming war in Europe. Having finally had enough of his near-death scrapes as the high-flying Rocketeer, the only thing in Cliff's crosshairs is The Great Race: a prestigious, winner-take-all air race that runs from California to France! Maybe it's finally time to smarten up and fly straight . . . by taking his best girl Betty to Paris! But other parties want to win the race for their own nefarious ends, and Cliff will need to decide which prize is truly the most valuable of all.
  
BONUS FEATURE: Each issue will contain an oral history-featuring Dave Stevens's friends, family and fellow artists-all culled together by Kelvin Mao, longtime friend of Stevens's and the director of the forthcoming documentary on the beloved artist!
In Shops: Apr 06, 2022
SRP: $4.99
PREVIEWS Page #122

IDW PUBLISHING
ROCKETEER THE GREAT RACE #1 (OF 4) CVR B STEPHEN MOONEY
(W) Stephen Mooney (A/CA) Stephen Mooney
CELEBRATING THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE VERY FIRST APPEARANCE OF THE ROCKETEER!

Ace stunt pilot Cliff Secord has returned from his New York Adventure to a West Coast steeped
in paranoia over the looming war in Europe. Having finally had enough of his near-death scrapes as the high-flying Rocketeer, the only thing in Cliff's crosshairs is The Great Race: a prestigious, winner-take-all air race that runs from California to France! Maybe it's finally time to smarten up and fly straight . . . by taking his best girl Betty to Paris! But other parties want to win the race for their own nefarious ends, and Cliff will need to decide which prize is truly the most valuable of all.
  
BONUS FEATURE: Each issue will contain an oral history-featuring Dave Stevens's friends, family and fellow artists-all culled together by Kelvin Mao, longtime friend of Stevens's and the director of the forthcoming documentary on the beloved artist!
In Shops: Apr 06, 2022
SRP: $4.99
PREVIEWS Page #122

DIAMOND SELECT TOYS LLC
DISNEY SELECT CLASSIC ROCKETEER AF
In Shops: Mar 04, 2020
SRP: $29.99

IDW PUBLISHING
ROCKETEER ADVENTURES HC VOL 01
(W) Mike Allred, John Arcudi, Kurt Busiek, John Cassaday, Dave Gibbons, Joe R. Lansdale, Joe Pruett, Jonathan Ross, Mark Waid, Ryan Sook, Lowell Francis, Darwyn Cooke (A) John Cassaday, Mike Allred, Darwyn Cooke, Tommy Lee Edwards, Gene Ha, Scott Hampton, Tony Harris, Michael William Kaluta, Brendan McCarthy, Ryan Sook, Bruce Timm, Chris Weston (CA) Alex Ross
Dave Stevens' The Rocketeer was an instant hit the moment it hit the spinner racks in the early 1980s. After the untimely passing of Stevens several years ago, many thought there would never be another Rocketeer story. But, with the full cooperation of the Stevens family, IDW has produced an anthology book that utilizes the talents of many of comics' top creators, a veritable Who's Who of writers and artists, and each one a labor of love to Dave and his greatest creation!
In Shops: Dec 14, 2011
SRP: $24.99

IDW PUBLISHING
ROCKETEER ADVENTURES HC VOL 02
(W) Marc Guggenheim, Peter David, Stan Sakai, Paul Dini, Walter Simonson, Tom Taylor, David Lapham, Louise Simonson, Michael Golden, David Mandel, Matt Wagner (A) Various, Sandy Plunkett, Bill Sienkiewicz, Stan Sakai, John Paul Leon, Bill Morrison, Colin Wilson, Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, Walter Simonson, J. Bone, Eric Canete, Michael Golden (CA) Darwyn Cooke
The second all-new, all-great Rocketeer Adventures anthology is crammed with over 15 great creators doing terrific Rocketeer stories!
In Shops: Dec 12, 2012
SRP: $24.99

IDW PUBLISHING
ROCKETEER AT WAR TP
(W) Marc Guggenheim, Dave Bullock (A) J. Bone (A/CA) Dave Bullock
Europe, 1942-the world is at war! As the Allies battle against the Axis, able bodied men everywhere enlist in the war effort, including Cliff Secord. Secord, also known as The Rocketeer, has been thrust full throttle into the heat of battle, and-with or without his jet pack-he will depend on his wits and daring if he is to survive! Collects issues #1-4.
In Shops: Aug 17, 2016
SRP: $19.99
PREVIEWS Page #115

IDW PUBLISHING
ROCKETEER CARGO OF DOOM HC
(W) Mark Waid (A/CA) Chris Samnee
Cliff Secord and the Rocketeer take to the skies once again as Mark Waid and Chris Samnee spin a yarn in the best tradition of Dave Stevens, bringing us a tale of great adventure, suspense, and humor! A ship docks in Los Angeles harbor from a far-off and exotic locale-with a big, mysterious... and living... cargo! Danger and mayhem abound as our hero leaps into the fray! Plus, the emergence of a lovely new character who will be vying against Betty for Cliff's affections!
In Shops: Mar 06, 2013
SRP: $24.99
PREVIEWS Page #159

IDW PUBLISHING
ROCKETEER HIGH FLYING ADVENTURES HC
(W) John Cassaday, Michael Allred, Kurt Busiek, Mark Waid, Darwyn Cooke, Lowell Francis, Ryan Sook, Joe R. Lansdale, Jonathan Ross, Dave Gibbons, Joe Pruett, John Arcudi, Marc Guggenheim, Peter David, Stan Sakai, Tom Taylor, Paul Dini, Walter Simonson, David Lapham, Kyle Baker, Matt Wagner, Louise Simonson, David Mandel, John Byrne (A) John Cassaday, Michael Allred, Kurt Busiek, Mark Waid, Darwyn Cooke, Lowell Francis, Ryan Sook, Joe R. Lansdale, Jonathan Ross, Dave Gibbons, Joe Pruett, John Arcudi, Marc Guggenheim, Peter David, Stan Sakai, Tom Taylor, Paul Dini, Walter Simonson, David Lapham, Kyle Baker, Matt Wagner, Louise Simonson, David Mandel, John Byrne (CA) Alex Ross
The Rocketeer Adventures continued where Dave Stevens' original masterpiece left off, creating for the first time new stories involving the ace stunt pilot Cliff Secord. This oversized deluxe edition collects all 24 stories by some of the most talented creators in comics.
In Shops: Jun 21, 2017
SRP: $39.99
PREVIEWS Page #181

IDW PUBLISHING
ROCKETEER HOLLYWOOD HORROR HC
(W) Roger Langridge (A) J. Bone (CA) Walter Simonson
Missing scientists! Plucky girl reporters! Betty and Cliff on the rocks! The mysterious Church of Cosmicism! And who is the sinister Otto Rune? Pulp thrills the way you like them as the Rocketeer comes up against a brand-new adversary in... "The Hollywood Horror!"
In Shops: Jul 17, 2013
SRP: $21.99
PREVIEWS Page #162

IDW PUBLISHING
ROCKETEER SPIRIT PULP FRICTION HC
(W) Mark Waid (A) J. Bone, Loston Wallace (A/CA) Paul Smith
Will Eisner's The Spirit and Dave Stevens' The Rocketeer are two of the most beloved characters ever to grace comics-and now these two great pulp-inspired heroes meet for the very first time!
After a Central City Alderman disappears and is found dead in Los Angeles, commissioner Dolan, along with Denny Colt (AKA The Spirit), and Dolan's daughter Ellen, trek out to the City of Angels to investigate. Meanwhile, Cliff Secord (The Rocketeer) consoles his sweetheart Betty... who is traumatized after accidentally discovering the politician's body. As the unlikely duo dive into the mystery, a deeper one unfolds-one that is masterminded by two of our heroes' arch-villains! Hold on tight for a rocket-propelled double-dose of danger!
In Shops: Apr 23, 2014
SRP: $21.99
PREVIEWS Page #196

BEHEMOTH COMICS
UNTIL MY KNUCKLES BLEED #3 CVR B SANTOS (MR)
(W) Victor Santos (A/CA) Victor Santos
The new series from the creator of the bestselling comic Polar, now a NETFLIX HIT MOVIE continues. Gabin is back in action. The bouncer maybe should have minded his own business. The hero is back into his old nightmare facing his old nemesis. Near death experiences are always the closest we can get to our true self. The hero, Damager is back.  
In Shops: Mar 23, 2022
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #266

BEHEMOTH COMICS
UNTIL MY KNUCKLES BLEED #3 CVR C SANTOS (MR)
(W) Victor Santos (A/CA) Victor Santos
The new series from the creator of the bestselling comic Polar, now a NETFLIX HIT MOVIE continues. Gabin is back in action. The bouncer maybe should have minded his own business. The hero is back into his old nightmare facing his old nemesis. Near death experiences are always the closest we can get to our true self. The hero, Damager is back.  
In Shops: Mar 23, 2022
SRP: $3.99
PREVIEWS Page #266

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Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. He is also the Consumer Marketing Manager for Geppi Family Enterprises. Troy's comics work includes MF DOOM: All Caps, Public Enemy's Apocalpyse '91, the Glyph Award-nominated Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Award-nominated Magic Bullet.


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