No Angel #4 is in stores today from Black Mask Studios. Written by Adrianne Palicki and Eric Palicki, with art by Ari Syahrazad, colors by Jean-Paul Csuka, and letters by Jim Campbell. But leading up to the book's release, Black Mask was keeping very quiet about what the final issue might contain.
@judeterror Looks like Gmail is clipping the message right after the No Angel credits cuz too much awesome to fit.
— pizzolO))) (@pizzolo) June 25, 2017
A likely story, Matt Pizzolo. Don't think for a second that we're going to fall for…
Still not buying it. Well, in any case, to get to the bottom of this, we spoke with Eric Palicki about the book, mixing business and family, what the future holds, the lost Palicki sibling, prospects of a sequel, a new Kickstarter, and how No Angel changes the comic book industry forever. Check out the interview below:
The final issue of No Angel is in stores today. What makes No Angel #4 the perfect jumping on point for new readers?
Well, by way of comparison, everyone loves Fury Road, but not everyone knows it's the fourth Mad Max movie. Or, even better comparison: it's like jumping straight into the pretty good fourth season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. without struggling through the first three. You can just skip the crap and head for the good stuff.
Too far? Probably too far.
The truth is, I'm extremely proud of how this whole series came together, all of it, but I think we do a reasonable job in issue #4 of catching a new reader up with the story thus far before kicking off the finale. That said, it's not like those first three issues are impossible to find or anything.
What's it like to co-write a comic book with your sister? I imagine a lot of kicking and punching each other, name calling, that sort of thing. Is that about right?
I studied martial arts as a child and Adrianne studies them now, so family gatherings usually end with us practicing judo throws on one another. I think Mom wishes we could have Thanksgiving at a neutral location.
As far as the collaboration goes, most of it was done over the phone –we'd plot, I'd write the scripts, we'd discuss revisions, repeat — so there was little opportunity for fisticuffs, but I can confirm plenty of name-calling. I've been telling people she's a poopy stinky dummy since I was seven years old, and that's no less true today.
No Angel deals with themes of angels and demons, and another book of yours, Red Angel Dragnet, also deals with demonic themes. Did the Palicki siblings go to Catholic school? Is that why you're obsessed with this topic?
What if, and I'm just throwing this out there, but what if NO ANGEL and R.A.D. existed in the same universe?
We weren't raised in an overtly religious household, so I approached Christianity with the same fascination as any other mythology – I'm a super nerd for myths in general –and a deep dive reveals some great storytelling opportunities, such as the Nephilim who play a central role in NO ANGEL.
Up until now, the world has been under the impression that there are only two Palicki siblings, but you recently revealed on Twitter that there's a secret third Palicki sibling. What can you tell us about him?
We recently discovered there's a third Palicki, named Gabriel, although he's been calling himself Vulcan. We'd all kind of forgotten he existed, but, well, it's a long story, and complicated.
Turns out, Gabriel's kind of a dick.
Years ago, we thought we'd uncovered another sibling, Adam, but he turned out to be too extreme, even for our family.
A lot of people don't know this, and it's rarely talked about in the comics press, but to make a comic book, in addition to writers, you need at least one artist, and maybe even a letterer. What was it like working with the rest of the team on No Angel?
I met Ari Syahrazad after I posted on a message board in search of an artist for this book. We clicked in a hurry, and Adrianne dug his stuff, which had a perfect look for the sort of rural noir fantasy story we were trying to tell. Of all the good things that can come from having this book in the world, I hope most of all that NO ANGEL brings Ari some wider recognition. There are at least two instances where Ari made suggestions that improved on what was in the script, so I can call this a true collaboration.
Jean-Paul Csuka was brought in by Black Mask, but I think his palette helped establish the mood of the book and complimented Ari's line work nicely.
Letterer Jim Campbell is one of the best half-dozen letterers in the business. He was also brought in by BMS, but I'm delighted that he came on to the book with us, and I'll be requesting his services for whatever comes next.
The run also had some great cover artists, including Sami Kivela, who's drawing Black Mask's new series BEAUTIFUL CANVAS, also out this week, and Sean Von Gorman, who covers issue #4 and previously illustrated TOE TAG RIOT.
We don't want to get into spoilers — that's not the Bleeding Cool way — but it appears that you're setting up for a sequel. Can you say anything about that yet?
I'd love to come back to this world in the near future. It wouldn't be the first sequel Black Mask has done, but we'll need to see how sales of this issue and the eventual collected edition do before we make any commitments. With any luck, NO ANGEL 2: WELL, OKAY, MAYBE ONE ANGEL will be on its way sooner than later.
We leave the story open ended but with enough of the loose ends tied up to give the readers a satisfying conclusion.
At least, I hope so.
You've got another Kickstarter in the works already, a horror anthology you're editing along with Matt Miner. Want to tell us a little bit about that?
Yes! Another Kickstarter, because who needs sleep or free time? Matt Miner, another Black Mask alum and current writer of GWAR for Dynamite, and I are running a campaign to publish THIS NIGHTMARE KILLS FASCISTS, a collection of black and white comics in the tradition of Creepy and Eerie, but giving our roster of creators a chance to explore today's political climate through horror.
The roster includes Tini Howard, Katy Rex, Justin Jordan, Ryan Ferrier, Ariela Kristantina, Eric Zawadzki, Ryan K. Lindsay, John Bivens, Christopher Sebela, Vita Ayala, Erica Schultz and others, and everyone is coming at that broad theme of "political horror" from a different direction. It's delightful to see everyone's story come together.
The campaign runs through July 14 and readers can find it at nightmarekickstarter.com.
How has No Angel changed the comic book industry forever?
As I said above, I hope Ari finds a wider audience for his work, and I hope people see that the Palickis are more than just pretty faces.
What I hope most of all, frankly, is that NO ANGEL gives a sizeable percentage of our readers nightmares about human-shaped sacks filled with spiders.
Wait, everyone doesn't already have that recurring nightmare? No Angel #4 is in stores right now, so be sure to pick it up when you visit your local comic shop today. Check out a preview of the issue below: