“When I was a kid, Star Wars came out and it flipped the entertainment world upside down. Suddenly, every studio and TV network wanted a sci-fi show. The other biggest culture craze on the planet was Disco, so the powers that were put them together and you got this super-strange blend of Disco sci-fi. That morphed into an early-80s leg-warmers-and-headbands sci-fi. I have a great affinity for that time period; a lot of those shows and movies are what shaped my creative mind,” says creator Jai Nitz of Astro Hustle which follows Chen Andalou, a cosmic criminal and the black sheep of one of the galaxy’s most prominent families. Chen wakes up sixty years after he was accidentally placed in cryo-stasis to find that his younger brother is now the president of the galaxy. Instead of reforming his dastardly ways, Chen gets back to what he does best: piracy and causing problems!
“Astro Hustle has a giltzy Liberace-big-hair-and-bling sci-fi veneer, but Tom Reilly has taken my idea to the next level. He’s bringing depth, mood, and sophisticated sequential storytelling to something that could’ve been very shallow,” says Nitz. “The themes we are touching on– being a black sheep, politics, legacy, expectations of family– are only possible because of Tom’s amazing line art. All of us, me, Tom, Ursula Decay (colorist), and Crank! (letterer) are owner-operators of this project. We all have a stake in the success or failure of the comic and the property. For Tom and Ursula it’s their first published comic work, so Crank and I are doing our best to put our best professional feet forward and lead by example. It’s made for one of the most satisfying books of my career.”