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Atomic Comic

By REBECCA KONYA

November 2012

The webcomic, Atomic Fist Punch, is a hit with kids and their parents.

When Drew Maxwell first debuted his webcomic, Atomic Fist Punch, last spring, the Whitefish Bay resident was blown away by the response. "Within a few hours of launching, we had an animation studio contact us about turning the webcomic into a TV show," Maxwell says.

But more importantly, Maxwell says, is how readers have embraced the series. The webcomic, designed to appeal to children and adults alike, has received accolades from both generations. "Itís definitely striking a chord with kids," says Maxwell. "And parents have gotten behind it because itís safe for kids to read, but the content isnít dumbed down either."

An avid comic book reader as a child, Maxwell turned his children onto the genre at a young age. "I basically forced them to read it," he quips. But his son and daughter truly enjoyed the comics Maxwell fed them and it wasnít long before they became the inspiration for Atomic Fist Punch.

The Comic guy.

"The characters in Atomic Fist Punch are based around their personalities," Maxwell says.

The webcomic centers around brother and sister duo Xander and Zoe, whose eccentric inventor father has been kidnapped by evil robots bent on taking over the world. The siblings team up to rescue their father and combat the indestructible robots (led by their fatherís own creation Zero-1) using their own invention ó atomic fists, which amplify Xanderís punching power by 500 percent. "Itís really an old-school adventure comic," Maxwell explains.

The comic series is serialized with new pages posted to the Atomic Fist Punch website each week. Maxwell, who sees webcomics as the next generation in graphic storytelling, likes the format because itís easily accessible. "Anyone can read it as long as they have a computer and Internet access," he says.

Since its launch, Atomic Fist Punch has gained a loyal following through word of mouth and social media. Once the first story arc is completed, Maxwell says there are plans to add interactive features to the webcomic. An iPad game based on the series also is in development.

For Maxwell, who has worked professionally as a film maker and freelance illustrator for the last 15 years, Atomic Fist Punch is the realization of a childhood dream. "My family has been incredibly supportive," he says. His wife, Amy, serves as editor and media coordinator, and children, Xander and Zoe, have the final say on storylines.

"They get the final veto and tell me whether itís cool or not," says Maxwell.


This story ran in the November2012 issue of: