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FCBD24 Interview: CursedVerse Interview Part 2!


It is the dawn of the CursedVerse! Bombshell & TommTomm and Witch Hammer debuted in 2023 to excited fans looking for something new! Now with the magic of FCBD we deliver an awesome collectible issue that introduces everyone to the wider world of the CursedVerse with an exclusive story, select reprints of the debut issues, and a look ahead at the next wave of comics!

We caught up with one of the series writers Mark Sparacio to learn more about what inspired the extraordinary characters, what we can expect from their upcoming titles, AND to rifle through some really fun rapid fire questions! 

Check out the full interview below and be sure to head to your local comic shop on Saturday, May 6 to celebrate FCBD in all it’s glory! To find a participating comic shop near you, use our FCBD Store Locator. 


Free Comic Book Day (FCBD): Set up your title for those that might be new to your comic book: What will new readers need to know before diving into your Free Comic Book Day issue? 

Mark Sparacio: First Ashton, I just want to say “Thank you!”  to Diamond, you and the all the readers for giving us this opportunity to reach out to many more readers and collectors for Free Comic Book Day 2024! The CursedVerse is a brand New Universe created by Publisher and all around nice guy, James Kuhoric, fantastic writer Scott Check, myself and a bunch of other very talented writers and artists. The CursedVerse takes place before the “Big Bang” of Comic Books, the time before there were Superheroes. Our heroes are just like us, ordinary folks thrown into extra-ordinary situations. They don't have superpowers, although there will be elements of the Occult , Sci-Fi and Fantasy running throughout the different titles of The CursedVerse. I will be handling the writing, interior sequential art and cover art chores for two of those books: Bombshell and TommTomm and Witch Hammer. James and I actually created these characters quite a while back (James came up with the conceptual ideas and I did some concept art), but unfortunately for a bunch of unforeseen circumstances, we didn't have the chance to publish them at that time. Fortunately, the timing was right now. Scott Check will be writing The Cemetorian and James will be writing The Night Terror, both Comic Books set to see release later this year.


FCBD: What are some of the core themes present in your book? What do you hope readers take away from your title?

Mark: Some of the core themes in our Comic Books, like most Comic Books are Action, Adventure and FUN! James, Scott and I felt lately some Comic Books have gotten away from that, so we created The CursedVerse to have the sensibilities of those great Comic Books that we read when we were kids, no pandering, no politics, no problems, just good action-packed excitement and fun! I've been doing a tremendous amount of research about the time period for both Comic Books and I have added a lot of actual people and factual events from this time period into the storylines. Bombshell and TommTomm will have a Sci-Fi/Fantasy and more humorous element to it's storyline, while Witch Hammer will have an Occult and darker element to it's storyline. Honestly, I have had a TON of fun writing, drawing and painting covers for both books and I hope that the readers will see that and enjoy reading Bombshell and TommTomm and Witch Hammer as much as I have had creating them.


FCBD: What part of the book was most fun to write?

Mark: That's a great question Ashton and I know this is going to sound corny, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the entire process for both books. Thanks to the opportunity and faith in my skills as both a writer and an artist that James has given me, I am living my dream from when I was a kid. I was incredibly lucky to have studied under the Legendary Will Eisner at the School of Visual Arts for three years and learn how to write, draw and tell a story from the unequivocal master of story-telling, and now I am able to do so myself. So for both books beginning with the research, the concept ideas, the character studies, the plot, the script, the rough layouts, the finished pencils and finally the cover paintings and variant cover paintings and drawings, I have had an absolute blast!


FCBD: Can you share some of the inspiration behind certain characters, settings, etc.?

Mark: So as I said earlier, James had approached me a while back with outlines for both Bombshell and TommTomm and Witch Hammer, so the main protagonists were basically created by James. I then took what James had crafted and modified the characters a bit to better fit The CursedVerse's framework and time period. Using my research, I took into consideration the time period, the mid 1930's and further developed James' original characters. I placed our daring aviator/barnstormer Bombshell in pre-WorldWar II England, which was rife with Nazi-Spys and other possibly nefarious “things”. As for TommTomm, the automaton, you'll have to read further issues to see what he's all about...  I placed Witch Hammer in pre-WorldWar II Greenwich Village, New York, which as most people know, has a lot of very cool “elements” to it. I then created a whole lot of antagonists for both books, again based on the locals and circumstances of the time period. Again, I don't want to go into too much detail yet, because that's wherein lies the fun, the reading and discovery.


FCBD: If you could meet your characters, what would you say to them?

Mark: I would ask Bombshell, “ What's it like to hang around with an 8 foot tall Automaton?” I would ask TommTomm, “Where exactly are you from?” and I would ask Witch Hammer, “Is there really a Hell?”


FCBD:Looking to the future, is there anything you can tease about what’s coming up for the title and its characters?

Mark: I can let you all know that we have a LOT of Action-Packed Adventures planned for both Bombshell and TommTomm and Witch Hammer! We have some heavy doses of Sci-Fi/Fantasy lined up for Bombshell and TommTomm in Amesbury, England and for Witch Hammer we have some insanely-crazy Occult happenings going on in Greenwich Village, New York. We also have plans for some very special guest appearances by a few heroes who have not been forgotten. And finally there is a HUGE Cross-over event planned between Bombshell and TommTomm and Witch Hammer that will blow everybody's socks off!

FCBD: Many newcomers will pick up comics for the first time on FCBD – what was the first comic you remember reading?

Mark: The very first Comic Book I remember reading was given to me by my Grandfather (with a whole stack of other Comics), was King Size Hulk #1 (1968). I'll never forget it because it had a Jim Steranko Cover (with alterations by Marie Severin), was written by Gary Friedrich with pencils by Marie Severin. It was 68 pages of the Hulk fighting the Inhumans! How could you go wrong?!

FCBD: What is your favorite part about working in the comic book industry?

Mark: My favorite part about working in the Comic Book Industry is meeting the fans who like my work. It is both flattering and humbling and I GREATLY appreciate it. My second favorite part about working in the Comic Book Industry is meeting the other creators, especially the ones I grew up admiring their work when I was younger.  I try to let them know how much they influenced my career and how much I appreciate their work.


FCBD: Tell us why everyone should read comic books!

Mark: Everyone should read Comic Books because Comic Books are the absolute best form of entertainment you can find anywhere at anytime. And once you've purchased them, you can go back and re-read them again and again. And don't get me started about the inherent collectability and value of Comic Books..


FCBD: Now, we have a series of rapid-fire questions for you! They’re, ya know, mostly related to comics... Answer as quickly as you can and try not to over think it!


Do you listen to music while you’re creating?

Mark:Yes! From '50's rock and roll to today's music.



What’s your favorite comic book genre?

Mark: Superheroes. And now Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Occult.



Are you more productive in the morning or at night?

Mark: Creating two Comic Books, I have to be productive all day long .



What do you and 10-year old you still have in common? 

Mark: Our absolute love of Comic Books and the thrill of creating them.



If you were a comic book character, would you rather be the hero or the villain?  

Mark: The Hero



Everyone in the world gets to choose a power, but the more people that choose the same power, the weaker that power will be. What do you choose? 

Mark: Super speed because I need to be faster at finishing my artwork.


If there was one fictional item you could have in real life, what would it be?  

Mark: A Time Travel Machine, so I could fix all my mistakes.



If you were sucked into a game like “Jumanji,” which game would you at least want to be put into?  

Mark: Off the top of my head none, because I don't have the time to game. LOL. Thanks again to everyone!




Find a participating comic shop near you to celebrate Free Comic Book Day 2024!



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