Photo Credit http://septagonstudios.tumblr.com/
– Originally published by wolfsheep.com in Januray 2012.
It’s not all capes and chaos. It is not all testosterone and chauvinism. We neglect comic books as an art form in favour of the misconception that it is all about fulfillment of boyhood fantasy and male stereotypes.
“We wanted to create a publishing company that did not focus on superheroes but rather put emphasis on the art, story and originality of the project,” says Philip Defina, Vice President and Art Director of Toronto, Ontario, based Septagon Studios.
Septagon Studios was founded in 2003 by brothers Philip and Domenic Defina and their cousin Nicola. The Definas grew up as comic book fans. It was the art that drew them in, illustrating their own comics and covers to pass the time. Many dream of making it big in comic books, however, the industry is notorious for the difficulty of new artists getting started.
“In the late 1990s to early 2000s we spent some time hanging around different comic creator forums and websites. There were a lot of artists and writers out there that just wanted to be seen and heard,” says Defina.
Mainstream comics puts their focus on super-heroics, cancelling titles that sell under the 20,000 issue range and often letting art fall to the wayside. Septagon reached out to the indies. They looked for creators that shared their vision of comics as an art form. They decided to become an independent publisher in order to give those creators exposure.
“We are a small company and we do what we do out of our love for comics and helping comic creators. We are always keeping our eye out for the opportunity to collaborate with creators who have unique comics with strong original art connected to a great story. We really believe in publishing quality as opposed to quantity,” says Defina.
The Definas even chose an oft overlooked symbol to represent their vision of comics, “a septagon is a polygon with seven sides and seven angles. It is a unique shape that you don’t really see or hear about often. There is also a lot of spiritual symbolism related to the number 7 and creation. We thought the shape and name would make a unique comic imprint and it connects well with how we are trying to represent ourselves as an indie publishing company,” says Defina.
Current Septagon projects include digital and print medium versions of Masks and Archaeologists of Shadows. Each title bears its own artistic style which is uniquely individual.
“The artwork in Masks combines photography with digital painting and photo-manipulation. The artist and writer of Masks, Aaron Rintoul, did all the photography for the book and he weaved together a story that takes place inside the psyche of a girl named Sara. Masks is a non-linear story where the reader draws their own interpretation. We actually offer the whole first issue free digitally and we have a hardcover graphic novel edition for anyone that would like to have the book in their hands,” says Defina.
“Archeologists of Shadows is a graphic novel that has been in development for more than five years. A.O.S. has allowed us the opportunity to collaborate with writer Lara Fuentes and artist Patricio Clarey all the way from Spain, with editing and adaptation by Preston Park Cooper. It contains over 100 pages of immersive story and art that goes beyond the typical superhero vs. villain comic. It is more of a Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Steampunk adventure that makes you think about reality, society, technology and the search for purpose. The art combines drawing, sculpture, photography, photo manipulation, and digital painting to create a real 3D feel. If you’re a fan of Lord Of The Rings or The Matrix, we think you’ll like A.O.S.,” says Defina.
Septagon seeks to strike out its own artistic niche in a world progressing towards a digital revolution within a traditionally printed medium, “the first digital comics were published in the mid 1980’s and some people have been saying that printed comics are doomed since then. I think there is a strong future for both print comics and digital comics. I believe there will always be comic fans that will want to have the experience of feeling and reading a printed book in their hands,” says Defina.
“We also continue to provide creator resources and help through the Septagon Studios Comic Blog and the Work In Comics Facebook Page. This usually keeps us pretty busy and out of trouble,” says Defina.
Check out Septagon’s various websites and social network feeds to keep up with the latest:
Septagon Studios http://www.septagonstudios.com
Work In Comics http://www.facebook.com/WorkInComics
Archaeologists of Shadows http://www.aoscomic.com