RETURNING TO THE MEADOWS: FRANK CHO ON LIBERTY MEADOWS
by Benjamin Ong Pang Kean
Frankly, Cho, it's about time!
Liberty Meadows creator Frank Cho has confirmed for Newsarama.com that the long-awaited issue #37 of the fan favorite series will finally see the light of day on May 24th.
The Marvel exclusive creator's been kept extremely busy by the House of Ideas where he wrote and drew the Shanna the She-Devil limited series, and took on other penciling gigs such as Marvel Knights Spider-Man (with writer Mark Millar), New Avengers (with Brian Bendis). He also provided the covers for Ms. Marvel, 4, Black Panther, Uncanny X-Men and Trouble.
There was also the sold-out Zombie King #0 (written and drawn by Cho) from Image. And the one and only Witchblade cover for Top Cow that he did as well.
However, even with all these projects, he's never forgotten his first love.
"Liberty Meadows is still alive," Cho said in October last year when he told us that he's renewed his exclusive contract with Marvel thru March 2008. "I'm craving it more than the fans. It's so frustrating. I literally have 17 more strips to do for Liberty Meadows #37. I have my Liberty Meadows art board just sitting next to my drawing table. I stare at them every day. But every time I think I have some free time, Marvel deadline or family matter pops up."
Liberty Meadows is a toned-down remake of University2, a cartoon strip that Cho wrote and drew for The Diamondback when he was studying at the University of Maryland, College Park. It had previously been syndicated and appeared in newspapers while also being published as a comic book. Image Comics took over publication with issue #27, although after #36, the comic has been on hiatus for close to two years now.
When issue #37 finally hits next month, Cho is hopeful that fans will be delighted with "everything" that he has in store for them. "Jen and Ralph race for speed dominance. Various movie parodies. Frank meets the Grim Reaper again. And Brandy gets naked - it's a sweeps week," he told Newsarama.
For those who're new to Cho's creation, the creator provided the 411 on Liberty Meadows. "Liberty Meadows is the name of the animal sanctuary that houses the unwanted, insane and homeless animals," he explained. "Some of the main animal characters are: Dean, a male chauvinistic pig who's in for detox. Ralph, former circus bear and mad inventor. Leslie, hypochondriac bullfrog. Truman, a baby duck rescued from an oil spill. Oscar, an abandoned wiener dog. Liberty Meadows is a place where anything and everything happens. Brandy Carter is the primary care-taker and Frank Mellish is the resident animal doctor. It's basically a love story between Frank and Brandy.
"Now when we last left off, Frank finally got the courage to reveal his love for Brandy. Unfortunately, it came too late. Brandy has decided to marry Roger and things go downhill from here for Frank."