‘Stealth Hammer’ returns: Strongsville comic book creator nailing down sequel – cleveland.com

“Stealth Hammer” creator Ryan Drost poses with the banner he will display at various comic book conventions in 2022. (Photo Courtesy of Jami Drost)
STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — Following the success of the first issue of the comic book “Stealth Hammer,” creator Ryan Drost, a Strongsville resident, is hard at work on a second offering.
The debut work sold out quickly and the comic soon developed a loyal fan base.
Sales for major DC and Marvel Comics releases — which rely on name recognition and large promotional budgets — are undoubtedly higher globally, though Drost’s comic outperformed many such editions at Carol and John’s Comic Book Shop, the Cleveland outlet for “Stealth Hammer.”
“For a small-time, self-published first work, the numbers were actually pretty impressive,” said Drost.
Drost helped drum up interest through “Star Joes” — a podcast about comic books, as well as television, film and toys — that he has hosted for more than a decade. cleveland.com helped bring further attention to the work with a pair of articles, and a minor media frenzy ensued.
As with the first issue, vivid illustrations bring the superhero and her friends and foes to life in the second installment of “Stealth Hammer.” (Artwork by Joel Jackson; coloring by Chris Sotomayor)
WEWS, News 5 Cleveland, broadcast a feature story. Drost was interviewed at length by Cleveland radio station Q104-FM. Cleveland Magazine provided further coverage. A Columbus morning television show even jumped on the bandwagon.
“I did not expect it, but I was very appreciative of it,” noted Drost. “It was a lot of fun.”
As with the first issue, the sequel will be funded in large part through a Kickstarter campaign. Thanks to an established fan base, the second installment is already one-third of the way to its $9,000 overall goal.
Nonetheless, costs for printing, shipping and employing a team of artists are significant. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated.
Drost’s wife, Jami, provided the inspiration for the title character. After commissioning an artist to create an image of Stealth Hammer for his wife’s birthday, Drost realized a full comic book was eminently possible.
Although the protagonist is a strong, young female, “Stealth Hammer” holds appeal for readers of all ages and genders. Drost works to create characters that readers can relate to, and Stealth Hammer’s never-give-up attitude — neatly encapsulated in her catchphrase, “That’s not how this story ends” — provides some much-needed inspiration after a year-plus in which we all wanted to throw in the towel at various times.
Perhaps more than anything, Drost’s creativity makes the comic book series both fun and fairly addictive.
“It’s a superhero story, but it’s a superhero in a world of high-tech gadgetry and supernatural mythology,” explained Drost.
In Issue one, Stealth Hammer first discovered her powers, though she lacked a full understanding of the new capabilities. Issue two introduces a host of new allies and villains as the heroine works to master skills and discovers she comes from a long line of protectors of the planet.
As with the first issue, illustrator Joel Jackson will help bring the story to life. Colorist Chris Sotomayor has previously worked on big-name releases, including X-Men, Spider-man, Captain America and Deadpool. Letterer Dave Sharpe, a veteran of DC and Marvel Comics, will create word balloons and “sound effects.” Finally, well-known artist Chrissie Zullo has been hired to create an alternate cover.
The comic will again be sold at Carol and John’s Comic Book Shop. The projected release date is around June 2022.
You can follow the new comic book’s progress on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stealthhammer/, Twitter: https://twitter.com/StealthHammer and Instagram: @Stealth Hammer.
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