As a craft beer pub operator and third-generation restaurant industry professional, Brandon Bitros has spent the last two decades in Philadelphia, writing creatively in his spare time. Recently, Brandon decided to pursue his dream and has hit the ground running, emerging as the founder and brains behind the brand new label, Blackstone Comics.
The new label currently has two titles and Brandon, working primarily with artist Fernando Jimenez, serves as the sole writer for them both: The Fist and James vs The New World Order. These two new series sit in different genres and time frames, but are both are rooted in interesting concepts from local and popular culture, including a local vigilante hero story set in the early 20th century and a post-apocalyptic ‘action comedy’.
Geekadelphia: Tell us about Blackstone Comics.
Bitros: I never really thought about the label’s identity until now, but if I’d have to describe it I’d say we specialize in transgressive fiction for mature audiences. I’m not the kind of writer who sets out to be provocative and shocking for the sake of it, but I also don’t censor myself, either. This sometimes leads to some dark, interesting and sometimes uncomfortable places.
Geekadelphia: Tell us about your two new comic series, The Fist and James vs The New World Order…
The Fist was born out of my desire for Philly to have it’s own iconic superhero. NYC has the majority of the Marvel Universe and Philly has almost nothing. I think that’s bullshit and needs to change, so I started with the simple premise of “Philadelphia Superhero” and went from there. It was when I was listening to a podcast on the Anarchist uprisings in the United States in the mid-1900s that I decided on a time period… Did you know anarchists set off a bomb in Philadelphia in 1919? Turns out this time period in Philadelphia was full of social strife and colorful insanity, and I really can’t think of a more fascinating background for a gritty vigilante story.
James vs The New World Order is a post-apocalyptic action comedy set in an ambiguous, not-so-distant future. The story is about James Contrell who is a naive-but-lovable gun toting country boy who has a profound connection to his hometown of Charity. When Charity is invaded by a bizarre occult army called ‘The Trust’, James takes in upon himself to run the invaders out.
Unlike The Fist, James vs The New World Order has a definitive beginning and end. It’s going to be 24 issues total, and issue #1 and #2 are available now.
Geekadelphia: Any other new projects on the horizon?
The first two issues of James vs The New World Order are currently available. Brandon plans to shoot for national distribution in the future.