tumblr_nla53oaJYN1tbpid9o1_1280The PopCult Bookshelf

This week we’re going to take a quick look at, and highly recommend, Justin Cornell’s graphic novel-turned-webcomic, Willpower. Justin has been working on Willpower for more than three years now, and I’ll let him describe it…

William was a regular, 7 year old kid. Until he wasn’t.
Inheriting his powers by facing down oblivion and emerging unscathed, but inheriting his morality from Saturday morning super hero cartoons, he has trouble adjusting and coping with the reality of the world.

92b2afb5aa36d297dd1a6571111215381754380753Willpower is basically a superhero book, with a kid protaganist. But it’s not your typical superhero book. Justin is drawing Willpower in a style that isn’t in the traditional superhero mold.

The book is in black-and-white, with heavy tones, and Justin’s style is more along the lines of an independent book, looking almost like Manga at times, and showing the influence of Rick Geary at others. It is a refreshing change from mainstream comics with ‘roided-up heroes and coloring that buries the art under every possible color that the computer can spit out.


Having spent three years working on the book with no feedback because the sotry has not yet been published, Justin decided to post one page a week, every Thursday, at his website, for free. Justin explains his reasons for doing this thusly…

I’m going to start releasing this as a webcomic. A lot of things lead to this, and it seems like they all weighed equally into the final decision. I took a while to find a management service; I wanted something simple (uncomplicated, but mildly customizable), that I could set and forget, with simple functions on both ends (me uploading it, anyone else looking at it).
I’m sitting on a pretty large stack of finished pages that aren’t going to see print for a while. (less and less I liked the idea of being on page , say, 150 without anyone really seeing the first page. I guess I sort of want to be able to prove I’m doing something.)
Nothing else has changed, the plan is still to print it as a single volume when it’s finished.

d5f026c3c783efa2cc7f2b7db5b8c677756604936This is a very smart idea. Fourteen pages in, I’m hooked. I can’t wait to see the entire story, and to have it in a format where I can read it all at once. For now, you can sample Willpower HERE. Check out Justin’s website HERE and visit his store, where he has the odd print or two for sale HERE.

When Willpower is released, PopCult will let you know how to get a copy. This is a fun story, with interesting implications and the art is a delightful departure from mundane genre fare.