Mack the Knife

Posted inThe Daily Heller
Thumbnail for Mack the Knife

Stan Mack of Real Life Funnies fame has produced a lighthearted look at cyber crime, “Max & The Black Bots,” with enough tech to give it oomph. It’ll run in Mediapost for 15 segments. I asked Mack to talk a little about this crazy cyber rabbit hole. It is indeed fantastical.

part 1 hacked

Where are you getting your cyber facts?At a cyber conference where he was a speaker, I met Alan W. Silberberg, the owner of Digijaks, a cyber security firm. I worked with him on a “Real Mad” comic based on his experiences, and he said the times are ripe for a cyber superhero comic strip. Aha, I thought, Flash Gordon meets Richard Feynman. So with Alan as guru and expert, and turning to other tech hotshots, scientists, the black hole of Google and my Mediapost contacts, I birthed “Max and the Black Bots.”


How many installments will you do?I’ve planned 15 segments (each with its own mini-cliffhanger), which are the first adventure and the origin of the superhero team: Annie, a smart-ass techie, and Max, a cyber detective.

Do you have a sense of what the conclusion will be?This first adventure ends with justice meted out and my new super cyber sleuth duo assembled. In the 15th segment, a drone carrying a message crashes through a window (a 21st century brick with a note tied to it) and sets up a cliffhanger for the next adventure, which will see our heroes caught in a web of international intrigue.

What happens if you’re hacked and someone steals your comic identity?Once, back in The Village Voice days, a friend told me he was at a bar doodling on a napkin when a good-looking woman came on to him by asking if he was Stan Mack (never happened to me). He said, with an anticipatory smile, “yes.” Anyone tries to breach my firewall today, I’ll hit ‘em in the face with an algorithmic malpie.


The 2017 PRINT RDA: Extended Deadline. Enter Now!

Enter the most respected competition in graphic design—now open to both pros and students—for a chance to have your work published, win a pass to HOW Design Live, and more. 2017 Judges: Aaron Draplin / Jessica Hische / Pum Lefebure / Ellen Lupton / Eddie Opara / Paula Scher. Student work judges: PRINT editorial & creative director Debbie Millman and PRINT editor-in-chief Zachary Petit.

Draplin image: Leah Nash. Hische: Helena Price. Lupton: Michelle Qureshi. Scher: Ian Roberts.