Welcome To The Party!


If you’re joining us from having heard about us on Comedy Bang! Bang! then hello! You can read a preview of Public Relations #1 here. Then you can call your local comic shop and see if they’ve got it in stock. If they don’t have it, ask them why not? Make it awkward. Let them know they can still order it.

You can also order it from some online retailers, like this one.

Can you download it digitally? No. Because we are not allowed to participate in the future. We apologize.

Issue two comes out this week, with a quote on the cover from a very nice person, Scott Aukerman. Check it out on the Previews site, and you can read a PDF preview of #2.

If you just liked our plug bag theme, you can find it here.


It’s Today!

far from overIt’s finally happening — Public Relations #1 is being released today!

Or maybe not. I mean, there’s still a few hours before the shops open. Anything could happen between now and then. There could be a system of tornadoes that selectively destroys all comic book shops. We could all be taken over by psychic weevils and turned into a worldwide weevil hive mind. That super-volcano under Yellowstone Park could erupt.

If you’re in Austin, come to the signing at Austin Books today, from 6 to 10! There will be booze, and comic books, and a chance to win a signed, limited-edition print by cover artist Annie Wu! This is all assuming, of course, we are not murdered by assassins or trampled by dinosaurs before the event begins!

But hey — if we’re all still alive and not being controlled by weevils, enjoy the book!

Just When You Thought It Was Safe Not To Go Back To The Comic Store…

its-comingPublic Relations #1 will be available at your local comic shop on September 23.  Assuming your local comic shop ordered it. Which we assume they did. Why wouldn’t we? We’re optimists!

Look at it this way — the good news is that now you only have to wait a couple of weeks for issue 2. Unless something goes wrong with that one, too. And why wouldn’t it? We’re optimists!



Not Late As In “Dead,” Just Late As In “Nearly Dead”


It’s every creator’s worst nightmare. Your book, your brand new debut #1 comic, shows up from the printer… and there’s a defect. A big ’un. The kind that makes the whole thing unsellable. Like that anti-Semitic issue of Wolverine (true!) or the school shooting issue of DV8 (also true!) or that one issue of Darkwing Duck where every page was just a photo of Hitler’s butt crack (possibly not true). Or something much more innocuous, which was what this was. Still, this thing can’t represent you on store shelves. With a heavy heart, you realize that the whole print run is going to be pulped. Still, you caught the problem immediately, and you’re told there’s still a chance you can make the original ship date of September 2nd. Maybe things aren’t going to be so bad!

Of course things are going to be so bad. This is comics. Things are always so bad. Inexplicably, the book’s ship date gets moved a week earlier in the computer system. Retailers get invoiced for it. Retailers are confused. They look and look in the cardboard boxes that UPS brought them, but to no avail. They look again. They ask Walt to stop alphabetizing Funko Pops for a second and come double-check them. Walt comes up empty-handed too. This is happening everywhere. This may have happened in your town. To your retailer. Please hug your retailer the next time you see them. They need reassurance that the universe is not just a vast, meaningless, empty cardboard box for which they are being invoiced.

September 2nd edges ever closer, and it becomes clear that, no, the book won’t be ready by then. It might be ready a couple weeks after that. Who knows? This is comics. You despair. You make apologies to retailers, to fans, to anyone who will listen. You fall asleep every night to the sound of your own teeth grinding as you worry that your comic, your life’s work, this thing you’re so proud of and that you want the world to see, might wither and die on the vine, torpedoed in dry dock as the next new and exciting thing takes its place on the comic shop shelves and in retailers’ and readers’ hearts.

You wonder — as you will wonder for the rest of your brief and miserable life — “Should I maybe not have run over that old Gypsy woman?”

Further updates on the book’s status will show up on this site, as soon as we know them. In the meantime, we can offer nothing but apologies. Thank you for sticking with us. Keep reaching for the stars… they must be somewhere in that cardboard box.


Dave Justus & Matt Sturges

Advance review on Newsarama

Newsarama has some nice things to say about the first issue of Public Relations, like how it’s “flat out hilarious” and how “Matthew Sturges and Dave Justus take a fantastic hook and develop it within the confines of a witty and self-aware debut issue that is sure to make waves once the public is finally subjected to its charms.” If you like that kind of thing, I guess.

Introducing Public Relations by Matthew Sturges and Dave Justus

On Saturday afternoon at a packed New York Comic Con panel room, First Comics director of publishing Ken Levin announced a new ongoing series entitled Public Relations, a sitcom in comic book form about work, love, magic, failure, and sex with monsters. And failure to have sex with monsters. Written by Matthew Sturges (Jack of Fables, House of Mystery, JSA) and novelist/comics newcomer Dave Justus, the series will feature art by David Hahn (Bite Club, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane), Steve Rolston (Ghost Projekt, Emiko Superstar), and José Marzán, Jr. (Y: The Last Man, House of Mystery, Superman), with covers by Annie Wu (House of Mystery).  Angela Rufino is series editor.  “We are so knocked out by Public Relations,” Levin revealed, “that we have two separate story arcs in production simultaneously with David Hahn doing the pencils on the first, and Steve Rolston penciling the second.  And their art is simply drop dead sensational.”

“To get a sense of what Public Relations is,” said Justus, “imagine Arrested Devlopment meets The Princess Bride at a party, and then slips something into her drink. It’s a workplace comedy where the workplace has parapets.” Sturges added, “Think in terms of It’s Always Sunny in Westeros, and you’re on the right track. Feudal, funny, and filthy are just three of the many ‘F’ words we’re throwing around.”

The series follows Dan Clover, an account executive at a prominent Dallas public relations firm, who visits the little-known European country of Sardonia for the fiftieth birthday party of his estranged father, the king. Hopelessly stuck somewhere between the 14th century and 1987, Sardonia is the only place on earth where magic actually works. One tiny little typo on the party invitations leads to the king swearing bloody vengeance on all of his confused guests, and once the mistake is discovered, the king begs Dan and his co-worker (and, with any luck, love interest) Threnody Dark to stay in Sardonia to try to undo the damage caused by his tirade. To that end, Dan creates 4Leaf, Inc., Sardonia’s first and only public relations firm.

Over the course of the series’ first story arcs, 4Leaf’s missions will include: saving an impoverished kingdom from a child-snatching monster; untangling the mess that is Sardonia’s state-run television station; and planning a funeral/dog show in their own backyard. Dan will find himself torn between the mysterious yet adorable Threnody and the sexually aggressive journalist Cadence. Threnody will find herself torn between Dan and his half-brother Kade, who promises to teach her magic in the rare moments that he’s not sulking and listening to Joy Division. There’s a lecherous knight named Rhett who finds himself torn between defending the realm and perfecting his standup comedy act. And there’s Violet, Kade’s caustic girlfriend, who has a thing for giant monsters. Like, a sex thing. It’s probably not polite to tell you where she’s torn between.

“There aren’t enough superlatives for the artwork that’s been arriving,” said Sturges. “In the first arc, David Hahn illustrates a fantasy kingdom that feels utterly grounded and then fills it with characters so charming that it almost breaks your heart when they start making all the poop jokes.” In the pages of the second arc, said Justus, “Steve Rolston gets the chance to show you just how much he can cram in, while still keeping things tight and clean. It’s up there with the best work Steve has ever done, and that’s really saying something.” And every issue is wrapped in a gorgeous cover by Annie Wu, making the book look far classier than it has any right to do.

“Above all else, we think of Public Relations as a sitcom,” Sturges said. “It’s a continuing story with an endgame, not just a series of gags. The longer you spend getting to know Dan and the 4Leaf crew, the more it’ll mean to you when they make poop jokes.” Added Justus, “This is a ‘fantasy’ book for people who might not even give a crap about fantasy. It’s a comic book that’s both comic and bookish. And it’s a love story for all the haters.”

“As befits the First Comics legacy, we’re once again going to give you a comic book experience you just can’t get from anyone else,” said Levin. “We’re going to show you things you’ve never seen, things you never knew you wanted to see, in a comic.  Public Relations goes for low comedy and high quality all at once, and I think you guys are really going to like how that turns out.”

Public Relations debuts Spring 2013.

Please feel free to use the images below for press purposes. All images copyright 2012 Dave Justus and Matthew Sturges.

promo image, cover of issue 1, illustrated by Annie Wu


cover for issue #4, by Annie Wu

issue 1, page 3, art by David Hahn, color by Hi-Fi

issue 2, page 7, pencils by David Hahn, inks by José Marzán, Jr., colors by Hi-Fi

issue 6, page 8, pencils by Steve Rolston, inks by José Marzán, Jr.