AWA Kills Bill Jemas' Lesser Evils Imprint, Cancels Emmett & Ginn

Back in May, Bleeding Cool broke the news that Bill Jemas was launching a new imprint at the comic book company AWA of which he was publisher, Lesser Evils which was to launch with a first issue. Emmett #1 for August and Ginn #1, both by Ian Grody, Justin Fair and Yishan Li for September. Here are those solicitations.

EMMETT #1 CVR A FUENMAYOR
(W) Ian Grody (A) Li Yishan (CA) Carolina Rodriguez Fuenmayor
Welcome to Brooklyn Through the Looking Glass, where a golem with benefits, a spiraling genie, a demon who feeds on bad vibes, and a mischievous mermaid collide with heartbroken, hard-living, and hype-obsessed humans. Lesser Evils is a hilarious, pop culture-filled universe that explore what intimacy, spite, selflessness, and friendship mean today.
Episode 1: Emmett
Meet Lydia Loew, an artisan potter, who goes on a bender after a bad breakup. Then, in anguish and anger, she accidentally conjures up a golem from clay in her BUSHWICK studio. Enter EMMETT, a golem with benefits. He mixes a mean cocktail, is handy around the house, and will help Lydia exact revenge, with a vengeance. In Shops: Aug 24, 2022 SRP: 3.99

 

GINN (LESSER EVIL) #1
(W) Ian Grody, Justin Fair (A) Yishan Li (CA) Jonathon Bartlett
After his master sets him free, a hard-drinking, foul mouthed genie spirals into an existential crisis, until he falls for a human who works for the Make a Wish Foundation-and for once in eons-finds meaning. However, when his former master has a change of heart, and threatens to put the hurt on Ginn's girl, unless Ginn recommits to serving him-our troubled genie has to make an impossible choice In Shops: Sep 28, 2022 SRP: 3.99

However, in June we learned that Bill Jemas was stepping down from AWA – or was he pushed? – and setting up a new company Be Good Studios. And now we learn that all orders for Emmett #1 and Ginn #1 have been cancelled. Presumably, that will be the case for all the other Lesser Evils titles that were promised. The AWA publisher page for the Lesser Evils line has also been removed.. Might they appear from Be Good Studios? Or not? This is how the publishing line was pushed at Bleeding Cool back in May, along with plans for NFTs that the company immediately regretted and asked us to remove.

The universe kicks off with a slate of series, EMMETT, GINN, THRIFTR and TAILS – stories created by and for people on creative culture's cutting edge. The Brooklyn-based adventures will include comics, webtoons and short films, starting with the digital release of EMMETT #1: A LESSER EVILS STORY.

Lesser Evils Universe: AWA Launching Comics, Short Films, NFTs
"Lesser Evils" map key art courtesy of AWA Studios

Lesser Evils invites readers to "Brooklyn Through the Looking Glass," where a golem with benefits, a spiraling genie, a demon who feeds on bad vibes, and a promising young mermaid collide with heartbroken, hard-living, and hype-obsessed humans. Set in the booming and action-packed city of Brooklyn, NY, Lesser Evils is a hilarious, pop culture-filled universe created by Ian Grody (writer) and Justin Fair (director), along with artist Yishan Li (illustrator), that explores what intimacy, spite, selflessness, and friendship mean today.

Lesser Evils Universe: AWA Launching Comics, Short Films, NFTs
"Emmet" interior art, AWA Studios

"My aspiration from the jump has been to create a comic through the lens of contemporary culture. And reflect it back to readers through relevant, relatable stories filled with references to their favorite music, movies, and memes," said Ian Grody, co-creator and writer of Lesser Evils. "Brooklyn was the perfect backdrop because it's not only a cultural hub, it's a place of becoming. Where people actively go to transform and reinvent themselves. Any place where there's that much hope and desperation and frustration is already full of magic. No better venue for our eerie and eerily familiar tales."

Lesser Evils Universe: AWA Launching Comics, Short Films, NFTs
"Emmet" interior art, AWA Studios

Justin Fair, co-creator and director/producer of Lesser Evils, added, "As a seminal rocker and voice of a generation, Gavin Rossdale (Bush, Institute), sang: 'It's the little things that kill.' Lesser Evils are the less obvious, often self-inflicted, more insidious evils that threaten our well-being. They are the pitfalls we all must avoid and the obstacles we all must navigate within ourselves to achieve a successful place in our social circles, in our neighborhoods and in the world. Our hope is that through the drama, the humor, and the thrills and chills, Lesser Evils is a guided tour for the reader through some of the lesser-known exotic microcosms of Brooklyn and the frighteningly familiar exotic microcosms of themselves."

Lesser Evils Universe: AWA Launching Comics, Short Films, NFTs
"Emmet" interior art, AWA Studios

"It's kind of slightly chilling, slightly funny, but more of a mystery, everyday life kind of thing," said Yishan Li, artist of Lesser Evils. "That's definitely something I like to draw." 

"Working with this team to create an entirely original comic universe with several intricate layers has been an incredible experience," said Will Graves, Managing Editor at AWA Studios. "We first met Ian and Justin at AWA's session on the crossover between graphic fiction with film and TV at Tribeca 2021. We knew they had a creative style that synced perfectly with modern storytelling capable of inspiring a new generation of readers. The Lesser Evils universe is an imaginative take on real life. It perfectly blends pop culture, a little bit of horror and relatable characters that give you a view of Brooklyn behind a supernatural veil. The fact that a year later this connection has led to the collaboration and creation of four new series and a short film is a wonderful full-circle moment." 

Lesser Evils Comic Universe + Webtoons

Lesser Evils will encompass a slate of new series within its shared universe by writer and creative ad executive Ian Grody and illustrated by Yishan Li (HELLBOY, BATWOMAN). The collection is currently made up of four main stories that will include multiple issues within each, beginning with EMMETT #1: A LESSER EVILS STORY which will be available digitally in 6 languages (EnglishFrenchSpanishItalianBrazilian Portuguese and Hindi) on GlobalComix on May 25.

"We think that what AWA is trying to do with building a universe of storytelling that spans comics, film and tv from the get-go, combined with launching digitally first day and date in multi-language, is one of the coolest and strongest initiatives we've seen for building worldwide fandom around a new franchise", said Christopher Carter, CEO of GlobalComix. "They represent a new breed of comic publishers that are living at the forefront of publishing and innovation in the digital era".

Additional stories will be available both in print and digitally throughout the year, with plans to release three webtoon episodes a week over the course of nine weeks from May 25-July 22. The Lesser Evils Universe will then launch in comic shops with Emmett #1 on August 24, followed by Ginn, Thriftr and Tails.

Lesser Evils Universe: AWA Launching Comics, Short Films, NFTs
"Emmett #1" cover art, AWA Studios

EMMETT: Just another supernatural, stoner, self-love story

Meet Lydia Loew, an artisan potter, who goes on a bender after a bad breakup. Then, in anguish and anger, she accidentally conjures up a golem from clay in her Bushwick studio. Enter Emmett, a golem with benefits. He mixes a mean cocktail, is handy around the house, and will help Lydia exact her revenge, with a vengeance.

Lesser Evils Universe: AWA Launching Comics, Short Films, NFTs
"Ginn #1" cover art, AWA Studios

GINN: Just another supernatural, quarter-eon crisis story

After his master sets him free, a hard-drinking, foul-mouthed genie spirals into an existential crisis, until he falls for a human who works for the Make a Wish Foundation – and for once in eons – finds meaning. However, when his former master has a change of heart and threatens to put the hurt on Ginn's girl unless Ginn recommits to serving him, our troubled genie must make an impossible choice.

Lesser Evils Universe: AWA Launching Comics, Short Films, NFTs
"Thriftr #1" cover art, AWA Studios

THRIFTR: Just another supernatural, entrepreneurial, start-up story 

What happens when two NYU grads – one with an eye for design, the other with a brain for business – team up to take on the world of decor? The answer: Thriftr, a hoity-toity Greenpoint boutique with a carefully curated collection of secondhand treasures that's sure to make Brooklynites drop dead. When an antique wooden sculpture appears in their inventory that no one recalls ordering, it begins to feed on their unreconciled co-owner animosity – and must be destroyed before it destroys them.

Lesser Evils Universe: AWA Launching Comics, Short Films, NFTs
"Tails #1" cover art, AWA Studios

TAILS: Just another supernatural, under the sea, take back your power story 

Maude is a talented line cook with a lecherous, Batali-esque boss, whose advances and threats make her life hell. But when she befriends a mermaid living in the canal beside her BK seafood restaurant and is offered a chance to live under the sea forever, Maude must choose between this tempting escape or facing her tormentor head on.

Lesser Evils Short Films 

As an expansion of the overall universe, AWA Studios will also release a promotional short film, Emmett, the first live-action story from the lineup which may expand to encompass other titles as well. Directed by Justin Fair (Sloan Hearts Neckface) and written by Ian Grody, the film stars Meredith Alloway (Deep Tissue) as Lydia, Jake Cannavale (The Mandalorian) as Stephen, Sabel Englert (singer/guitarist of Kid Sistr) as Courtney, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. (The WireDa 5 Bloods) as the voice of Emmett.

UPDATE: an earlier version of this post listed plans to release NFTs related to Lesser Evils, but we were asked by AWA Studios to remove that item because they said their plans were changing due to the web3 world were changing fast.

 

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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