PHILADELPHIA — Offset is more than just comics, it's a laboratory.
That, says boss Ivan Brandon, is why he sees the endeavor as more a "giant, amorphous experiment" that tackles storytelling from a "100 percent creative declination" and discards the traditional and logistical rules of entertainment.
"As children we have an enormous scope of talent and ambition that we allow the world to talk us out of," the creator of "Viking" and writer of comics said this week ahead of the start of New York Comic Con. "We become less and less ambitious."
But thanks to the proliferation of digital comics as a medium, people — whether readers, creators, comics fans or others — no longer have to worry about rules like 22 pages in a comic or a certain number of colors or even the size of a page on which to draw.
"People don't have all those weird hang-ups, they don't have all those rules," Brandon said. "That's our inspiration. We want to get outside of all the old habits and old rules."
That's why Brandon, who's written for Marvel and DC and himself, created Offset Comics earlier this year. Instead of publishing stories based on paper size and publishing costs, Offset is making decisions based less on "how it's always been done, but rather how we'd like to do it."
The imprint made its official debut Thursday at the annual convention, touting three offerings — "Destroy," ''Doublecross" and "Deathface" — with more on the horizon.
"It's our first official show as a publisher, it's our hometown show ... whereas up until now it's been me with an iPad and having conversations with people privately," Brandon said.
"Destroyer" explores what happens after the end of the world and is drawn by Eric Canete. "Doublecross," written and drawn by Daniel Krall, focuses on characters who kept the shadows at bay until, that is, the shadows made a better offer. "Deathface" is an homage to the cinematic action heroes of the 1980s but with a twist.
"In 1987 his enemies dropped him on island. He did not die and he did not change," Brandon said. "In 2012 he has escaped. It's our excuse to do a story in the vein of 'Commando' or 'Predator' or 'Rambo' or any of those glorious stories we loved when we were kids."
Follow Matt Moore at www.twitter.com/mattmooreap.