Dan Nokes was an aspiring comic book artist in the late 90's. After sending various submissions to Marvel, DC, Crossgen and others he finally recieved his first rejection notice. While most folks would have been discouraged this bolstered Nokes to form his own small press publishing company. He attended various conventions and shows including SPX and Wizard World in order to get background information and tips to do just that. In the summer of 1998, Nokes dug up an 8 page story called THE REPTILE AND MISTER AMAZING.
He spent the next 4 years adding 59 more pages and fleshing out the story into a short graphic novel. He printed and published the aforementioned story on his own and in October of 2002 debuted both the company and the book at The Baltimore Comicon.
First Project: The Reptile & Mister Amazing
The Reptile and Mister Amazing was Nokes first project. It was a super hero adventure that centered on Roger Tyler: A golden age hero who was in his late 70's. His powers have allowed him to age slowly, but mentaly he feels out of touch in 1992 when the present story takes place. The tale opens in Syd's Bar and Pub where Roger is recounting his life story to the audience . As he leaves the bar a dimensional nexus opens up and out drops one Carter Talbot: Who lives on an alternate earth where Dinosaurs became the dominant species but otherwise mirrors our own Earth. They both learn that the rift that brought Carter to our reality also freed one of Mister Amazing's old foes: An onimpotent wisecracking imp named Tink-R-Toy.
Tink kidnaps two of Carter's old superhero teamates from THE ALLIANCE: A.R.S.E.N.A.L and The Argonaut and is holding them hostage on condition that Carter and Roger play a game and win. The two begrudgenly accept and meet Tink at The Jefferson Memorial. He then transports the two to a pocket dimension that is set up as some sort of carnival of death complete with giant toy soldiers, mirrorhouses, and a center ring filled with shadow demons. The two with help towards the end by A.R.S.E.N.A.L and The Argonaut defeat Tink-R-Toy and send him back to the limboworld where he was originally jailed. When they return to our reality Roger sugests to the others that they reform the alliance. A.R.S.E.N.A.L and The Argonaut decline, but Carter and Roger decide to form their own metahuman hired guns agency and set up shop in Georgetown.
Was the second project from Nokes first released as a 12 issue maxi-series that ran between April of 2003 and April 2008. Nokes wanted a change of theme from his first, super-hero themed book, and decided that he wanted to do something along the lines of such fantasy classics as Lord of the Rings and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
The story of the Paranormals revolves around 16 year old Tabitha Marche. Who learns in the fall of 2001 that she is not only a witch but decended from a long line of powerful mystic beings that makes her part and parcel with an UNCREATION SPELL, whose components are being sought by a dark elf wizard named Meng Lin.
Tabitha spends the course of a year with her newly found companions, including Garth ( A feeble minded Robot built by Leonardo DiVinci), Fang (A British chainsmoking vampire who has abstained blood and searching for his maker to undo his condition) Dingo (An Australian Aborigine werewolf with a penchant for binge eating and drinking) and Angus ( A Scottish dwarf who acts as the group's leader/father figure.), trying to elude and keep her safe. This takes her to places like New York to meet a Merlin the Magician who is African in origin, to Loch Ness to meet The legendary monster and Morgan LeFey, and The Never Isle where they meet a blood thirsty and murderous Peter Pan. The series were collected into two volumes in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
Was the third project from 21CSS released originally as a 3 issue series between September 2008 and May 2010. Nokes again wanted to change directions, as he "wanted to try and write a story that had nothing to do with magic, super science, or tales of the incredible". He decided on a western tale and began work on such a story told from the perspectives of the "Losing sides of Manifest Destiny".
The story focuses on Elijah Marcus: A former slave who was rescued by a rich merchant and raised alongside his family in Boston. In the summer of 1876, His natural son Chris and adopted son Elijah visit their father, who has moved to Paradise Arizona to run a small ranch. When they reach there they learn that Elijah's former slave owner is not only alive and well but up to some nefarious scheme. As they get to close they are rounded up by the villian's henchmen, the father killed, and the two sons left for dead. They are rescued by an Chiracua Apache (Nakki Chele) and befriend two a Irish Imigrant trickshot (Delores "Dee" O'Halahan) and Chineese Imigrant (Abraham Lincoln Kwong). They together unmask "Crazy" Charles LeFonte's and his various consortiums scheme and band together to try and bring them to justice.
The Book was collected in a trade paperback PISTOLEERS: MURDER, VENGENCE, AND FAMILY TIES in September of 2010.
ADAM AND EVE BIZARRE LOVE TRIANGLE IN THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE
Adam and eve is the upcoming fourth project from Dan Nokes. This time he has opted to make what he calls "A love letter/critque of post apocalyptic and distopian fiction. I loved movies and books like Terminator, Lord of the Flies, Dawn of the Dead and their likes. But I noticed re-occuring themes that I wanted to combine and put new twists on within one common narrative".
The story centers around Second Leutenut Adam Jenkins: Who has for the past seven years, lived in an underground bunker following the events of a zombie outbreak. He is the only survivor and has only a genetically enhanced Jindo dog (Schaffer) the compound's super computer (G.R.O.U.C.H.O.- Graphical Reciprocating Omnifunctional Uniform Cybernetic Hologenic Operator) and his zombified ex-girlfriend (Lilith). Adam spends most of his time engadging in a routine such as repairs, maintence, inventory, and a practice in the mundane that allows him to rose color his existence and maintain a minimal amount of sanity.
The book is slated to see print in Fall of 2011...An 8 page preview can be found here:http://issuu.com/21sandshark/docs/adam_and_eve