“Viral Hit Geek Zodiac To Sneak First Comic Free Comic Book Day”
In the realm of the comic book cosmos, James Wright and Josh Eckert are newbies but they are off to a running start. “I was raised on comics, primarily The New Mutants,” thanks to his dad, a comic book fan,” says Wright, a self-admitted ubergeek who recently penned his very first issue of a comic book series called Geek Zodiac: Infinity Core. Wright works in sports television by day, but by night he and Josh Eckert, artist extraordinaire for the comic book, work online into the wee hours of the night to develop their unique cadre of characters.
The story about how they met is a testimony to living life in cyberspace. Both Wright and Eckert met online chatting as fans of the hugely popular 100 Bullets comics. Wright mentioned the idea of the Geek Zodiac and Eckert put his artist’s pen to paper. “Josh is a guy who has so much talent that you can pitch a concept and he immediately spits out a fully developed illustration,” says Wright who has extensive knowledge about everything from astrophysics, to sports, to Greek mythology to the X Men. As a team, they combined their talents to create—surprise, surprise—The Geek Zodiac, a multi-layered epic infographic that mixes his extraordinary knowledge with peoples’ secret addiction—horoscopes. “I simply thought of my geeky friends and their interests in robots, ninjas, pirates and zombies, mixed in the old Chinese horoscope, and voila the Geek Zodiac was born!”
The Geek Zodiac chart went viral garnering thousands of hits on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr by people of all ages who were instantly enamored by their own contemporary astrological sign. “Hey! I am a Time Traveler, what sign are you?” flooded social networking sites. IT World’s Kevin Fogarty with 1,000,000 Unique Visitors, 2,000,000 Page Views wrote of the chart, “Comic book imagery and the creativity of geeks rides to the rescue in the form of Geek Zodiac, a well established mythos based on both new and traditional superhero memes that define the infinitely subtle character of the human heart.” Geek Dad on Wired.com also posted the image and immediately sent more fans to online sites to comment.
As fans continued to comment, Wright and Eckert decided to add depth to the 12 characters of the Geek Zodiac through the creation of a comic book. Having spent some time in Japan, Wright developed a keen sense of appreciation for manga. “Manga is an extremely popular form of entertainment in Japan. I would often buy 3-4 issues a week to not only brush up on my Japanese, but also to admire the great artwork. I knew comic books were my passion and what I wanted to write.” For Eckert, who is currently a student in Media Arts & Sciences at Indiana University, Indianapolis, he says “It was a massive undertaking. Sounds a little crazy, doesn’t it? But we did it anyway, because these characters are rich and vibrant and we’d be doing them a disservice if we didn’t give them the proper stage.”
In addition to the comic book, the team is working to develop a daily Geek Zodiac horoscope, a Geek Zodiac TV series, and line of Geek Zodiac products. “It seemed to take on a life of its own,” says Eckert. “I’m in it for the long haul, no doubt. This thing is just too much of a blast.”
- Josh Eckert and James Wright