One of the building blocks of American comics has been the anthology. Detective Comics, Action Comics and the pre-Marvel Timely books were all essentially anthologies. But nowadays it’s becoming a bit of a lost art, with anthologies becoming more of the exception rather than the rule. But for creators, crafting a good story with a limited amount of space is a great tool to hone your skills — not everyone can do it, and even less can do it well. But this week’s iFanboy Upstart is someone who’s fallen in to becoming a bit of a short story specialist.
Right now, Greek artist Michael Dialynas is prepping for biggest book yet as he and writer Steve Horton prep for their first creator-owned miniseries with Amala’s Blade at Dark Horse. But that only came after doing Amala’s Blade shorts earlier this year for the publisher’s anthology, Dark Horse Presents. That experience as one-part tryout and one-part testing ground for the creators and the reception the series had with fans, and it looks like they proved it was worth it. Dialynas has done a number of comic shorts over the years, doing stories in both the third and forth volumes of Image’s PopGun anthology, as well as shorts in various places like IDW’s Ghostbusters: Displaced Aggression, Archaia’s Spera, a pin-up in Transmetropolitan: All Around The World and various European publications.
In addition to doing work for the American market, Dialynas does workshops in his native Greece teaching children about the language of comics, and even illustrated a book about it called Grafontas Me Eikones (Drawing With Pictures). Dialynas has a number of small projects he did in Greece that have yet to make it to America, from self-published comics about two thieves named Snitch and Snatch to a two-issue horror series called Swan Songs. As Dialynas’ popularity in America begins to take off the growing use of digital comics, this fan hopes some of that early Greek work makes its way online for us English-speakers sooner rather than later.
Dialynas is making his full-fledged American full-issue debut early next year when Amala’s Blade #1 hits stadns on February 27th. Amala’s Blade is one part steampunk and one part sea-pirate, creating a new kind of sea-faring, swordswinging hero for the same publisher who does Conan. Here’s samples of that work, along with some unpublished and early work by the Athens artist.