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The Most Badass Graphic Novel Ever Created Has Been Published

Terror Assaulter: One Man War On Terror is a violent, sexual, and hilarious action-adventure.

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In Benjamin Marra's Twitter bio he calls himself as a "Comic book writer, artist, publisher, sonuvabitch, the Future of Comics History." With the release of his first Fantagraphics book, One Man War On Terror, those descriptions are all proven accurate.

Benjamin Marra / Via Fantagraphics

The full-length graphic novel spins a tale of explosive violence and even more explosive sex . It stars an anonymous government agent who literally destroys everything in his path to save America.

It can be read as a trenchant spoof of the jingoistic Bush years or of Z-grade 80's action films... or it can be read as the worrisome notebook doodles of a demented teenager. Whatever it is, you probably haven't read anything like it before.

Benjamin Marra

Let's talk about the hero. What was your inspiration for O.M.W.O.T.?

I saw this re-cut trailer for the movie "American Hunter" starring Robert Mitchum's son Christopher. When I saw it I thought, "I really want to make that trailer into a comic." But then it sort of became it's own thing.

Benjamin Marra

Sex and violence has always been a theme in your comics, but in O.M.W.O.T. you really cranked it up a few notches. What was your goal?

BM: I wanted the comic to have really graphic sex. I wanted it to really be an erotic action comic... but I don't think it's very sexy. Some people have told me that they think the sex is really hot, but I don't really see it that way. I just wanted to place the same amount of attention and purpose on the sex scenes as I did on the violence. One of the best things about Fantagraphics was that they said 'anything goes'.

O.M.W.O.T. is pansexual. He's a walking punching fist, a shooting gun, a fucking cock. He's just a machine who's always in control That's his superpower.

Benjamin Marra

All of your protagonists are invincible and fearless badasses. In what ways do you find that archetype to be so fascinating?

BM: I don't know if everybody shares this taste, but I like it when the heroes possess qualities that I myself aspire to have. One is a supreme confidence. I don't like it when I have to read about a hero who's wracked with guilt or self-doubt. That doesn't inspire me. That's stuff that people deal with on a daily basis. I don't want that to be in my entertainment. I don't want my superheroes to have the same faults as, say, Tony Soprano. I want them to be super heroic.

So I guess we won't be seeing any comics from you in the trendy autobiographical genre?

BM: I have too many stories to tell in my mind. The last one that I would want to tell is the one that I live. That is just not as narratively interesting as the ones my imagination comes up with. In my opinion, a comic about a cartoonist's day-to-day life is the most narcissistic comic you can make.

Benjamin Marra / Dan Meth

You've published dozens of books in less than a decade. Can you give some advice to those who want to be that prolific in making comics, or any other craft?

BM: You need to draw really fast but still be into the drawing. Forgive yourself for mistakes and imperfections. If I focused on all the things that my work wasn't, then I would never be able to finish anything.

It needs to come from a very pure place of creativity. That's more important than any success you might gain from it. You can't use the audience as a motivational element. It's about creating something for yourself. That emotional engagement will be in the DNA of whatever you make.

In the world of self-published comics, you aren't really doing it for any financial gain. You can use this to your advantage. If it's only for the pleasure of making it, you're not beholden to pleasing anybody. When book projects come my way, its usually for small publishers who give me freedom. Because comics is a very small industry, you don't have to compromise yourself creatively. That's why there's a lot of exciting things happening.

Benjamin Marra

Your art is appreciated for its unique style and part of that comes from a disregard for realistic accuracy. You've said that you try to avoid photo reference and anatomical perfection whenever possible. Why is that?

BM: I like the mess. I like the feeling when the drawing misses the mark. Things are more interesting to me when they're wrong. Like my cars: They all look like a Mercury Grand Marquis or Chevy Caprice from 1985.

My comics tend to be jokes about comics themselves. But they're not afraid of being comics either.

Superheroes are bigger than ever in mainstream pop culture. Do you have the desire to be part of the current comics-as-mass-entertainment boom?

BM: I wanna tell stories with comic books forever. And I don't care if that's all it ever is. If along the way those are translated into other media, that's totally fine. I hope it's done well. But that's not what I'm banking on. I just want to make as many books as I possibly can before I die.

Now check out the book trailer for O.M.W.O.T.

View this video on YouTube

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