Written by Nate Streeper
Drawn by Terrence Burks and Ubachukwu Ibeh
Lettered by Marshall Sriboonrung
Fang Hunters: The Comic Book Series
Fang Hunters is a fun sci-fi series about seven vampire hunters who hop planets by way of their sentient spaceship and get paid by the fang. The team includes a space cowboy, a knight Templar, an ape marine, an Atlantean mage, a cavewoman, a petite android, and a gargoyle berserker. It’s full of heart, humor, and hijinks!
If you're a fan of Cowboy Bebop, Guardians of the Galaxy, Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or 80s cartoons, this book's for you! The entire series will consist of fourteen issues (each character has two spotlight issues) in addition to two half-issues (a sourcebook and a mid-season story). Written and conceived by Nate Streeper, Hot Damn! Comics will release two issues a year, with Terrence Burks providing art for the odd-numbered issues and Ubachukwu Ibeh providing art for the even-numbered issues.
Stay tuned for our Kickstarter campaign, coming soon. And check out the cover and first three pages of Issue #1 below!
Art by Terrence Burks
Meet the Characters
Art by Terrence Burks
Bart is an ex-marine who no longer has a space fleet or a planet to call home. With little beyond his power armor and his platoon’s dropship to his name, he gave new purpose to his life by deciding to hunt vampires. Answering his first distress call led to gaining his first partner, Arkane, and thus, the Fang Hunters were born. Gruff yet thoughtful, Bart is more than the team’s field leader and ship’s captain; he’s their foundation stone and their father figure. Without Bart and his ship, there would be no Fang Hunters, plain and simple.
Bart’s armor protects him from vampire bites, and his attached UUV (ultra-ultraviolet) cannon emits “sunbeams” capable of punching unhealable holes through vamps. He’s a trained soldier in both hand-to-hand combat and heavy artillery. His simian genetics endow him with great strength and agility, both of which are even further enhanced by his power armor. His modified cannon can be switched back to standard ordinance in case he needs to take down something other than fanged abominations. The only reason he has the lowest-ranking for fangs claimed is because... I mean, I don’t know why, really. It’s not like he’s slacking. It’s just that, well, SOMEBODY has to be last, right? His cannon takes time to recharge, okay? And the competition on this team is stiff! You’ll see.
Art by Ubachukwu Ibeh
Delva is the result of her people’s attempt to genetically transmute their own kind into half-vampire super-soldiers. As a “Gargoyle Girl,” she shares many of the same attributes as vampires—she is super strong, she regenerates quickly, and she craves blood. The cruel irony, however, is that upon drinking blood, she wretches it back up as though it were a vile poison. This chronic craving for something she cannot have has forced her to seek satisfaction through alternative outlets. Confident, seductive, sarcastic, and brazen, she is a force to be reckoned with on any level. What Delva wants, Delva gets.
Delva relishes close combat with the undead. Prior to becoming a gargoyle, she was already a kickboxer of admirable skill. Since then, her enhanced strength, focus, and agility have unleashed a visceral martial artist into the field. Her blood’s demon antigen prevents her from turning into a vampire if bitten, as well as granting her a hyper-accelerated healing ability. She often mounts grappling hooks on her forearms, allowing her to swing from rooftops, scale walls, and stab vampires in order to reel them into her malicious embrace. Her stiletto claws are capable of rending vampires to shreds, although she still needs wooden stakes to finish the job. Her kill record would probably be higher if she didn’t play with her food so much.
Art by Ubachukwu Ibeh
Sharpe grew up on an outer frontier world. He doesn’t talk about his past much, though it’s safe to say he landed his mug on more than one wanted poster due to unruly shenanigans. As such, he often found himself wandering the desert between ramshackle towns, seeking the next saloon or whorehouse to occupy his time. Sharpe always excelled in a gunfight, and “there weren’t never no bottle he couldn’t shoot off a damn fence from any range.” It wasn’t until Bart and company offered him a place on their team that he learned his marksmanship was of supernatural origin. When offered an outlet for his skill set and a regular bed to sleep in, joining Fang Hunters was a no-brainer. Cocky and aloof, Sharpe coasts through life on raw talent and tosses yesterday’s baggage into the ravine.
Sharpe is one of the team’s two divinely bestowed hunters, meaning he has an uncanny ability to target the heart of a vampire with any weapon. Being a space cowboy, his weapon of choice is a pair of old-fashioned six-shooters. What makes his guns special is that they have been modified to hurl wooden bullets! When Sharpe is in the zone, he can take down a dozen vamps in half as many seconds. While blindfolded! On horseback!! When it’s cold out!!! How Erich and Trinity have managed to garner more fangs than Sharpe is merely a matter of them getting a head start on the team. And also because Sharpe’s what some might call a “slacker.” But when the dude actually gives a damn? Nobody’s better at slaughtering vampires than Sharpe. Nobody.
Art by Ubachukwu Ibeh
Thumba’s homeworld of Joonin was a technological marvel—thousands of years ago. Something happened along the way, natural or unnatural, that hurled its civilization back into the stone age. Thumba was living a simple, lonely life in a hillside jungle cave when a giant spaceship landed just beyond it and changed everything. She still hunts and kills things, but her prey has shifted from dinosaurs to vampires. Don’t let the way Thumba talks fool you—she’s smarter than she sounds and more observant than you realize. Affable in nature and resolute in will, there’s no better person to have at your side than Thumba, whether in a battle or in a bar.
Thumba is the team’s other divinely bestowed hunter, able to bullseye any vamp’s heart within hurling distance of her throwing arm. Harkening from a neolithic culture, her weapons of choice are wooden stakes, wooden spears, and wooden arrows—perfect for killing the undead! Thumba’s body is extraordinarily dense and strong due to a process known as molecular densification. Originally intended as a means for her people to live on planets with extreme gravity, densification has the side benefit of making her skin invulnerable to vampire bites. She can perform acrobatic backflips as well as wrestle beasts to the ground. All that, combined with superhuman sight, smell, and hearing, means Thumba truly puts the “hunt” in “hunter.”
Art by Ubachukwu Ibeh
As a young disciple of an Atlantean mystic, Arkane learned the tenets of humility,
knowledge, and thoughtfulness—not to mention the disciplines of vampyre lore and
magic wielding. Yet magic on his techno-natural homeworld of New Atlantis is shunned by many and forgotten by most, an ancient tradition only practiced by outcasts and outliers. Despite his calm demeanor, his own kind would consider him a rebel. While Bart may be the team’s foundation stone, Arkane is their touchstone, an ever-present reminder of their drive and purpose: to vanquish evil incarnate. (Well, okay. And also, to make money!) Humble, gentle, and stoic, Arkane follows by choice and leads by example.
Arkane fights the “vampyre” with an arsenal of dark matter incantations and skin-grafted ether channels—or what most people would call magic. His tattoos light up in sync with the spells he casts—blue for psychic, yellow for warding, orange for ass-kicking. Igniting a vamp with a fireball is about as orange as orange can get, and he knows how to hurl them. More cautious and tactical than his fellow hunters, Arkane’s kill rating falls on the lower end. But when it comes to the long game, Arkane will beat you every time.
Art by Ubachukwu Ibeh
Bart found Trinity sitting on a sack of decomposed potatoes in a barn. She’d been sitting there for about a hundred and eighty-six years, seven months,
thirteen days, for hours, three minutes, thirty-seven seconds, and five-hundred-and-eight milliseconds. Very boring! So she joined the Fang Hunters. Trinity’s quiet on the outside, busy on the inside—her positronic brain allows for both wonder and imagination. As Bart would say, she has a “rich inner life.” When she’s not killing vampires with her adopted family, she’s writing bad poetry, posing interrogatives, or recharging in her egg chair. She has to charge a lot! But compared to how long she sat on the potato sack, that’s perfectly fine with her.
It would be impossible to pack more potential vampire kills into a smaller frame than Trinity. This little “blood-infused” android looks like a petite 14-year-old girl until six impossibly oversized UUV-cannons pop out of her over-stuffed body and turn her into a bristling weapon of hell death. And that’s the whole point: To act as both lure and trap. Beyond playing bait and switch, Trin’s hyper reflexes, robotic strength, super speed, and bullet-time combat processor—not to mention the rocket pack that pops out from between her shoulder blades and the silver blades that pop out of her forearms—means she can dance with the best of them in hand-to-hand combat. Trinity’s a fucking badass machine, okay? Oh, also? She wears roller skates.
Art by Ubachukwu Ibeh
Erich is a Templar Knight of old, fashioning the mantle of a bygone era. Or so the Templars would like most to believe. Their sect has always existed in some shape or form, their warriors a recurring theme of legend, their bloodline unextinguished, their timeline eternal. Odysseus. Gilgamesh. Arthur. Van Helsing. Obama. They are the True Warriors. They are the Hero With A Thousand Faces. They are one, and they are many. Suffice it to say, Erich’s about as heroic as a hero can get. He’s honorable, loyal, and brave. And because of this, he also gets laid a lot.
Erich’s magically imbued sword is capable of killing the undead no matter where he stabs them (the heart’s overkill!), turning the vile half-demons into little more than fodder for his blade. As far as hand-held melee weapons go, there is nothing more efficient, and although his shield and armor are not imbued like his sword, or as modern as Bart’s power armor, they still act as ample fang deterrents. Not to mention, Erich is the best there is at martial combat. Throw him in a boxing ring with any other Fang Hunter, and guess who would come out on top? Well, okay, Delva’s a kickboxer, so maybe Delva. And Thumba’s nigh invulnerable, so yeah, maybe Thumba. But wait, Bart’s really fuckin’ huge, so sure, maybe Bart. Okay, probably Bart. I mean, he’s a gorilla! And I suppose Trinity’s got her hyper reflexes and reacts in bullet-time, and Arkane could probably just ward himself until Erich tired himself out, so... Oh! Sharpe! Yeah, Erich would totally kick his ass.
Art by Ubachukwu Ibeh
The Story Behind the Story
Like many stories, Fang Hunters had a few iterations before morphing into its present form. I originally wrote something resembling “Paid By the Fang” (Issue #1) about ten years ago. I had come up with these seven vampire hunters (I’m generally a “character first” kind of writer), but I wasn’t sure what to do with them. Then it occurred to me: Seven Fang Hunters, Seven Samurai! So, as with The Magnificent Seven, Battle Beyond the Stars, A Bug’s Life, Samurai 7, and countless other adaptations based on that premise, I set out to tell my version in the form of a novel. Paid By the Fang was the first part of that story, and I planned to tell it entirely from the perspective of my space cowboy character, Sharpe. But it didn’t take long for me to get bored with the idea. Seven Samurai is a fantastic story, but the ground I was treading was too familiar. So I decided to do something a little different.
Rather than writing about all seven characters in one novel, told entirely from the space cowboy’s point of view, I decided to write seven short stories, each from a different character’s point of view. One story idea per character turned into two story ideas per character, with the possibility of plenty more to come. Before I knew it, I had more than a small collection of tales. I had the potential for an ongoing series!
Enter NaNoWriMo 2020, during which participating writers challenge themselves to write a 50,000-word novel in a month. I took the challenge as an opportunity to write as many short Fang Hunters stories as possible. When the dust settled, I had fully written 12 of the stories I had in mind. The short stories were fun to write. My favorite aspect was attempting to narrate each story in that character’s unique voice since they were each told in the first person. Every time I submerged myself into a particular character’s point of view, that character became my favorite. “No wait, I think Bart’s my favorite character.” “No wait, it’s Delva!” “Hold on, Arkane’s character runs way deeper than I thought. He’s definitely the best character of the bunch!” Not being able to choose a favorite character is a writer’s dream problem. I thank the muse that bestowed me with these misfits.
Even so, something was still missing. It took me a while to grok the problem, but it was this: Fang Hunters was not meant to be a collection of short stories. These were larger-than-life characters in larger-than-life situations. They were begging to be more than read. They were begging to be seen! Spaceships? Vampires? Superpowers?
Fang Hunters was meant to be a comic book.
Enter diamond in the rough Terrence Burks, soon-to-be diamond in demand. Who says Deviant Art is dead if he still lives there? Terrence literally dipped into my brain (there is no other explanation) and began artistically rendering these seven whack jobs, panel after panel, page after page, for Issue #1. He has given life to my story.
Not to mention... I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge my original concept artist, Jack Bordon, whose black and white sketches can be seen on each character’s profile pages in the Zero Issue Sourcebook. Or Ubachuckwu Ibeh, whose full-color drawings of each character (see above) further enhance the metaverse we’re concocting — he’ll be the artist for Issue #2! And how about the fantastic lettering by my childhood friend, Marshall Sriboonrung? Or the Sourcebook layouts by my close friend, Daphne Garlick? I can tell you first-hand, it’s true what they say about the best of collaborations: our sum is greater than our parts.
Speaking of people who I couldn't do this without... If you're reading this, you're one of them! If you like what you see, please back my forthcoming Kickstarter campaign. I promise you'll be in for a wild ride.