Sebastien Rubino / [email protected]
A Battle Ground High School graduate has released his latest comic, Shuffle.
JD Boucher is a professional comics writer. He launched pre-order sales for his new book on March 7.
Boucher has focused his new book on his love for music.
“Shuffle is a superhero comic for all ages,” Boucher said.
Boucher said the book focuses on the character of David, who walks around holding his older brother’s MP3 player at the start of his summer vacation before entering high school.
“He gets sucked into cosmic nonsense and he gets a great suit,” Boucher said. “But this costume gives him a super power based on the song being played. However, his costume is stuck on shuffle and he doesn’t know what power he will get, and the power only lasts for the time of the song, which makes it a bit more complicated for him.
Boucher said the idea for the story came to him while he was in high school. He graduated from Battle Ground High School in 2012.
Boucher has always had a love for many genres of music like heavy metal and electronica, so he felt compelled to incorporate that as an element in the comic.
“Being able to fit them into a superhero had never been done before, and I was surprised no one had done that, so I thought ‘this is my shot. This is my chance to make a superhero that no one has seen before,” Boucher explained.
Around the start of the pandemic, Boucher met George Kambadais, who is the illustrator for Shuffle.
“George was open to orders and was looking for collaborators. I contacted him and pitched him and he liked it, so we took it to our publisher, Arledge Comics, and they liked it a lot too, so we did a worldwide search for musicians at put on the book,” Boucher said. “Once we were done, I used the musicians to write the script based on the songs we had access to. It’s been a long journey, but it’s really cool to see him there now.
Boucher greatly admires Kambadais’ art style, calling him “one of the best superhero artists around.” He felt that Shuffle would perfectly complement his art as well. Kambadais is located in Greece, so the duo collaborate remotely.
Despite the amount of logistics involved, getting each artist to include their song in the book wasn’t difficult, according to Boucher.
“They knew what they were getting into when they submitted their songs,” he said.
The artists featured are independent musicians, as it would have been difficult to include bigger artists. Boucher’s publisher told him that bigger artists weren’t achievable due to the process of contracting and obtaining permissions for each artist, but Boucher said everyone he featured was eager to expand the reach of their music. Some examples include “Go Go 2021”, which has a surf rock influence, by Stephan Alexander. This is the main theme song for Shuffle. Another example is Sealife’s “Nightflower”, which has more of a pop feel.
Although this is Boucher’s first full-length graphic novel, he said he made small comics as part of anthologies, such as “Cthulu Is Hard to Spell”. He also co-created the “Moonlighters” comic, which is about werewolves trying to pay rent. It is still currently in development.
Shuffle can be pre-ordered online at zoop.gg/c/shuffle. An official release date will be announced later.