BREAKING NEWS: Death Wish Coffee Presents: ODINFORCE Comic
By Jeff Ayers
We here at Fanboysinc are incredibly happy to be sponsored by Death Wish Coffee Company, and we are honored to call some of them friends. The pairing of coffee and the comic book community always seemed to be a great match, and now Death Wish Coffee is taking it even further. DEATH WISH COFFEE PRESENTS #1: ODINFORCE is a brand new comic that the company is spearheading. The completely original story follows a ragtag crew of vikings, led by Halfdan the Left-Handed, as they search for the fabled ODINFORCE in the fantasy realm of Valhalla. A stunning adventure story, filled with danger, suspense, action, and mystery that will excite readers of any age, and will be cherished by comic collectors and coffee drinkers alike.
But, this isn’t a glorified ad to sell coffee, it is a genuine comic with an epic Viking adventure, written by Ron Marz (Green Lantern, Witchblade) and drawn by Rick Leonardi (Uncanny X-Men). Colors are done by Nanjan Jamberi(John Carter), and a fully painted cover will be provided by Joe Jusko(Marvel Masterpieces). So how did this all come to pass?
About a year ago, Death Wish Coffee Company expressed an interest in getting their product in front of other markets, not just cafe patrons and coffee connoisseurs. The comic book industry is fueled by late night/early morning deadlines and caffeine consumption, so it was an obvious choice to try and tap that market. I have known a few of the employees at Death Wish Coffee for many years, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get to work together, thus the sponsorship was born.
Cut to fall of 2015, and Death Wish Coffee was in the final contention for the Intuit Quickbooks Small Business Big Game contest, the winner receiving a commercial in Super Bowl 50. (SPOILER: they totally won, and you can view the commercial here.) In late summer, I interviewed comic book writer Amy Chu(Poison Ivy) and hooked her up with some Death Wish. She was instantly hooked, being an avid coffee drinker already, and approached Death Wish to sponsor her Comic Creators Consuming Coffee panel at the 2015 New York Comic Con. Death Wish jumped at the chance to further immerse themselves in the comic culture, and we did a dry run of the panel at the 2015 Baltimore Comic Con. (Read the recap of that panel here).
“I’m not sure any company has really done anything quite like this where they sponsor a comic book without their product being in the story.” said Mike Brown, owner of Death Wish Coffee Company. “I am very excited to do something really special for our fans and really open up our relationship with the comic book community.”
In October, DW and I played host to Mike Brown and Kane Grogan, the Death Wish Coffee event coordinator and customer service manager, in New York City for the comic convention. Amy Chu’s panel was a great success (read about the NYCC panel here) and the guys from Death Wish got to see the comic book industry up close and meet creators and fans alike. This sparked a conversation between Mike, DW and I about the possibility of creating a comic book, presented by Death Wish Coffee. We contacted Ron Marz who had added insight into such an interesting premise, and the plan began to take shape from there, as Ron assembled the creative team to create this comic.
With the success of the Super Bowl commercial, and the Valhalla Java blend of coffee that guitarist Zakk Wylde(Ozzy Osborne, Black Label Society) produces through Death Wish Coffee, the imagery of Vikings had become intrinsically associated with Death Wish Coffee, and both are larger than life.
“The best thing about the whole project has been Death Wish’s complete commitment to just telling a cool story.” Marz said. “Once we settled upon the Viking theme, the only real direction has been to do what’s best for the story. This isn’t an advertisement, it’s a comic book, and one I’m really proud of.”
So, the comic book Death Wish Coffee Presents #1: ODINFORCE will be available in a limited physical copy run, starting on Free Comic Book Day, May 7, at The Comic Depot in Saratoga Springs, NY, as well as at The 190 Grille in Glens Falls, NY. Physical copies will then be made available through the Death Wish Coffee website (www.deathwishcoffee.com), along with a digital comic release. Keep checking back here at FANBOYSINC.com for more news about this special project, and coverage of Free Comic Book Day.