Scott Braden said he has a fascination with Superman, especially his secret identity, Clark Kent. It’s where he found the inspiration behind his own comic book character, Kent Menace, but he didn’t want to create a character just like Superman.
Kent Menace is the subject of the comic book Braden and artist Mike Malbrough have produced, “Kent Menace #0: The Director’s Cut,” courtesy of American Mythology Productions.
The fictional Kent Menace has a back story that encourages readers to think of watery depths, infernal fighting techniques, a pirate king father, and a Tritonblade imbued with the power of time travel, all leading up to an epic battle on which the fate of the world depends, according to an American Mythology Productions news release.
“Kent is a harpooner, but his father is a pirate,” Braden said. “He’s kind of destined to die at the hands of his father, but will he? … Will he be able to live another day? Will he be able to have new adventures, or will this be the end of his chapter?”
Braden, 51, was born and raised in Westminster and said he knew he wanted to be a writer when he was 5 years old. He freelanced for the Carroll County Times in 1992 prior to landing a number of newspaper and magazine roles in the years that followed.
Braden started working in the marketing and communications department at Diamond Comic Distributors in 1999 and did so for about 10 years, compiling stories about comics and interviewing writers. He conceived the character of Kent Menace and his back story while working for the comic distributor as well.
Readers can expect to see Kent Menace face mythological foes and struggle with making an ultimate sacrifice, according to the news release. They will also be introduced to other characters that were brought to life by Malbrough.
“Kent is a character that captured my imagination when Scott first told me the idea back when we were much younger men,” said Malbrough. “As we bring him to life and explore his world after all of these years, I feel the kid in me coming back to life. I get to draw a hero battling epic monsters. What could be better than that?”
The duo first collaborated on a Battlestar Galactica comic called “Favorite Son” for “Galactica: The New Millennium #1” in the late 1990s and Braden said he was amazed by Malbrough’s artistic talent.
Book designer Belinda Thrift Miller created the logo for Kent Menace and Hollywood concept artist Mark Wheatley contributed to the comic’s artwork as well.
“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel,” Braden said. “We’re just trying to make a funny comic that people can look at and go ‘That’s a fun read.’ "
The comic will be published by American Mythology Productions, the product of more than two decades of hard-earned experience in marketing, development, printing, distributing, and creating best-selling editorial in the comic book field, according to the news release.
Braden said the original 16-page comic was limited to 200 copies and the Director’s Cut will be 32 pages long, and have a significantly larger print run. Kent Menace will be available in stores on May 12 and can be purchased at Gotham Comics in Westminster or at Cards, Comics and Collectibles in Reisterstown.
People can also order the comic from Page 227 of the March edition of the Previews catalog, which should be available in stores in about a week.
Braden said his son Connor, a student at Westminster High School, is his biggest critic and his feedback has helped Braden broaden his creative reach for future work.
“If we didn’t have any more stories to tell, that would be the end,” Braden said. “We will not continue this just to continue it. I would love to get an animated cartoon out of it because I think it would be a lot of fun to see my style presented in cartoon form.
“When we have that last story, it will end and you’ll have the books to look back at, hopefully.”