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AWA Studios launching 'Lesser Evils' universe through comics, short film, and webtoons
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AWA Studios launching ‘Lesser Evils’ universe through comics, short film, and webtoons

‘Lesser Evils’ explores what intimacy, spite, selflessness, and friendship mean today.

Press Release

AWA Studios has revealed a new endeavor called Lesser Evils. It’s a new endeavor in part because it spans comics, film, and webtoons too. The Lesser Evils universe kicks off with the new series Emmett, Ginn, Thrifter, and Tails. The Brooklyn-based adventures debut today with the digital release of Emmett #1: A Lesser Evils Story. The pop culture-filled universe created by Ian Grody (writer) and Justin Fair (director), along with artist Yishan Li (illustrator), explores what intimacy, spite, selflessness, and friendship mean today.

“My aspiration from the jump has been to create a comic through the lens of contemporary culture. And reflect it back to readers through relevant, relatable stories filled with references to their favorite music, movies, and memes,” said Ian Grody, co-creator and writer of Lesser Evils. “Brooklyn was the perfect backdrop because it’s not only a cultural hub, it’s a place of becoming. Where people actively go to transform and reinvent themselves. Any place where there’s that much hope and desperation and frustration is already full of magic. No better venue for our eerie and eerily familiar tales.”

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Justin Fair added, “As a seminal rocker and voice of a generation, Gavin Rossdale (Bush, Institute), sang: ‘It’s the little things that kill.’ Lesser Evils are the less obvious, often self-inflicted, more insidious evils that threaten our well-being. They are the pitfalls we all must avoid and the obstacles we all must navigate within ourselves to achieve a successful place in our social circles, in our neighborhoods and in the world. Our hope is that through the drama, the humor, and the thrills and chills, Lesser Evils is a guided tour for the reader through some of the lesser-known exotic microcosms of Brooklyn and the frighteningly familiar exotic microcosms of themselves.”

“It’s kind of slightly chilling, slightly funny, but more of a mystery, everyday life kind of thing,” said Yishan Li, artist of Lesser Evils. “That’s definitely something I like to draw.”

Check out a map of the fictional Brooklyn below.

AWA Studios launching 'Lesser Evils' universe through comics, short film, and webtoons

Here’s a rundown of each of the titles:

These include:

  • EMMETT: Just another supernatural, stoner, self-love story

Meet Lydia Loew, an artisan potter, who goes on a bender after a bad breakup. Then, in anguish and anger, she accidentally conjures up a golem from clay in her Bushwick studio. Enter Emmett, a golem with benefits. He mixes a mean cocktail, is handy around the house, and will help Lydia exact her revenge, with a vengeance.

AWA Studios launching 'Lesser Evils' universe through comics, short film, and webtoons

  • GINN: Just another supernatural, quarter-eon crisis story

After his master sets him free, a hard-drinking, foul-mouthed genie spirals into an existential crisis, until he falls for a human who works for the Make a Wish Foundation – and for once in eons – finds meaning. However, when his former master has a change of heart and threatens to put the hurt on Ginn’s girl unless Ginn recommits to serving him, our troubled genie must make an impossible choice.

AWA Studios launching 'Lesser Evils' universe through comics, short film, and webtoons

  • THRIFTR: Just another supernatural, entrepreneurial, start-up story

What happens when two NYU grads – one with an eye for design, the other with a brain for business – team up to take on the world of decor? The answer: Thriftr, a hoity-toity Greenpoint boutique with a carefully curated collection of secondhand treasures that’s sure to make Brooklynites drop dead. When an antique wooden sculpture appears in their inventory that no one recalls ordering, it begins to feed on their unreconciled co-owner animosity – and must be destroyed before it destroys them.

AWA Studios launching 'Lesser Evils' universe through comics, short film, and webtoons

  • TAILS: Just another supernatural, under the sea, take back your power story

Maude is a talented line cook with a lecherous, Batali-esque boss, whose advances and threats make her life hell. But when she befriends a mermaid living in the canal beside her BK seafood restaurant and is offered a chance to live under the sea forever, Maude must choose between this tempting escape or facing her tormentor head on.

AWA Studios launching 'Lesser Evils' universe through comics, short film, and webtoons

For more on this news, read the official press release below.

AWA Studios, the independent developer of bold and relevant stories from the world’s most outstanding artists, writers, and artisans, announced today the introduction of Lesser Evils, an all-new original shared universe set in and starring Brooklyn. The universe is kicking off with a slate of series, EMMETT, GINN, THRIFTR and TAILS – stories created by and for people on creative culture’s cutting edge. From comic books to short films and webtoons, the Brooklyn-based adventures debut today with the digital release of EMMETT #1: A LESSER EVILS STORY.

Lesser Evils invites readers to “Brooklyn Through the Looking Glass,” where a golem with benefits, a spiraling genie, a demon who feeds on bad vibes, and a promising young mermaid collide with heartbroken, hard-living, and hype-obsessed humans. Set in the booming and action-packed city of Brooklyn, NY, Lesser Evils is a hilarious, pop culture-filled universe created by Ian Grody (writer) and Justin Fair (director), along with artist Yishan Li (illustrator), that explores what intimacy, spite, selflessness, and friendship mean today.

“My aspiration from the jump has been to create a comic through the lens of contemporary culture. And reflect it back to readers through relevant, relatable stories filled with references to their favorite music, movies, and memes,” said Ian Grody, co-creator and writer of Lesser Evils. “Brooklyn was the perfect backdrop because it’s not only a cultural hub, it’s a place of becoming. Where people actively go to transform and reinvent themselves. Any place where there’s that much hope and desperation and frustration is already full of magic. No better venue for our eerie and eerily familiar tales.”

Justin Fair, co-creator and director/producer of Lesser Evils, added, “As a seminal rocker and voice of a generation, Gavin Rossdale (Bush, Institute), sang: ‘It’s the little things that kill.’ Lesser Evils are the less obvious, often self-inflicted, more insidious evils that threaten our well-being. They are the pitfalls we all must avoid and the obstacles we all must navigate within ourselves to achieve a successful place in our social circles, in our neighborhoods and in the world. Our hope is that through the drama, the humor, and the thrills and chills, Lesser Evils is a guided tour for the reader through some of the lesser-known exotic microcosms of Brooklyn and the frighteningly familiar exotic microcosms of themselves.”

“It’s kind of slightly chilling, slightly funny, but more of a mystery, everyday life kind of thing,” said Yishan Li, artist of Lesser Evils. “That’s definitely something I like to draw.”

“Working with this team to create an entirely original comic universe with several intricate layers has been an incredible experience,” said Will Graves, Managing Editor at AWA Studios. “We first met Ian and Justin at AWA’s session on the crossover between graphic fiction with film and TV at Tribeca 2021. We knew they had a creative style that synced perfectly with modern storytelling capable of inspiring a new generation of readers. The Lesser Evils universe is an imaginative take on real life. It perfectly blends pop culture, a little bit of horror and relatable characters that give you a view of Brooklyn behind a supernatural veil. The fact that a year later this connection has led to the collaboration and creation of four new series and a short film is a wonderful full-circle moment.”

Lesser Evils Comic Universe + Webtoons

Lesser Evils will encompass a slate of new series within its shared universe by writer and creative ad executive Ian Grody and illustrated by Yishan Li (HELLBOY, BATWOMAN). The collection is currently made up of four main stories that will include multiple issues within each, beginning with EMMETT #1: A LESSER EVILS STORY which will be available digitally in 6 languages (English, French, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese and Hindi) on GlobalComix on May 25.

“We think that what AWA is trying to do with building a universe of storytelling that spans comics, film and webtoons from the get-go, combined with launching digitally first day and date in multi-language, is one of the coolest and strongest initiatives we’ve seen for building worldwide fandom around a new franchise”, said Christopher Carter, CEO of GlobalComix. “They represent a new breed of comic publishers that are living at the forefront of publishing and innovation in the digital era”.

Additional stories will be available both in print and digitally throughout the year, with plans to release three webtoon episodes a week over the course of nine weeks from May 25-July 22. The Lesser Evils Universe will then launch in comic shops with Emmett #1 on August 24, followed by Ginn, Thriftr and Tails.

These include:

  • EMMETT: Just another supernatural, stoner, self-love story

Meet Lydia Loew, an artisan potter, who goes on a bender after a bad breakup. Then, in anguish and anger, she accidentally conjures up a golem from clay in her Bushwick studio. Enter Emmett, a golem with benefits. He mixes a mean cocktail, is handy around the house, and will help Lydia exact her revenge, with a vengeance.

  • GINN: Just another supernatural, quarter-eon crisis story

After his master sets him free, a hard-drinking, foul-mouthed genie spirals into an existential crisis, until he falls for a human who works for the Make a Wish Foundation – and for once in eons – finds meaning. However, when his former master has a change of heart and threatens to put the hurt on Ginn’s girl unless Ginn recommits to serving him, our troubled genie must make an impossible choice.

  • THRIFTR: Just another supernatural, entrepreneurial, start-up story

What happens when two NYU grads – one with an eye for design, the other with a brain for business – team up to take on the world of decor? The answer: Thriftr, a hoity-toity Greenpoint boutique with a carefully curated collection of secondhand treasures that’s sure to make Brooklynites drop dead. When an antique wooden sculpture appears in their inventory that no one recalls ordering, it begins to feed on their unreconciled co-owner animosity – and must be destroyed before it destroys them.

  • TAILS: Just another supernatural, under the sea, take back your power story

Maude is a talented line cook with a lecherous, Batali-esque boss, whose advances and threats make her life hell. But when she befriends a mermaid living in the canal beside her BK seafood restaurant and is offered a chance to live under the sea forever, Maude must choose between this tempting escape or facing her tormentor head on.

Lesser Evils Short Films

As an expansion of the overall universe, AWA Studios will also release a promotional short film, Emmett, the first live-action story from the lineup which may expand to encompass other titles as well. Directed by Justin Fair (Sloan Hearts Neckface) and written by Ian Grody, the film stars Meredith Alloway (Deep Tissue) as Lydia, Jake Cannavale (The Mandalorian) as Stephen, Sabel Englert (singer/guitarist of Kid Sistr) as Courtney, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. (The Wire, Da 5 Bloods) as the voice of Emmett.

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