Jon Adams' City Cyclops


Written by Marlon Dolcy
21 Friday 21st January 2011

Truth Serum tells the tragic lives of suburban superheroes, in all their ageing, overweight glory. A comic world where super powers are rarer than kryptonite, and the 'forever alone' lifestyle rules supreme.

City Cyclops has been running for roughly 10 years, incorporating the various aspects of Jon Adams talents which include the online comic Truth Serum, illustrations and his design work. The Truth Serum series in particular is a neurotically humorous take on the superhero genre, showing such pathetic and inept superheroes such as Captain Force, Flying Man and Don Sequitur in a suburban environment. Don’t Panic spoke to the creator.

Where do the ideas come from for the characters in your comics?
A combination of real life observations and like most writers, my own neuroses. There are a couple of characters that are very much people I've known. At least the very worst parts of those people.
How long have you been involved in doing comics and what made you decide to do it?
Like most kids I wanted to do it since it occurred to me it was a job. My dad is an artist so I think I knew early on it was a semi-plausible career path. I started working at a comic company on my home town when I was 17, still in high school. That lasted about a year and a half, until they suddenly closed up shop one night, disappearing with a bunch of my art and still owing me a couple of thousand dollars. At the time it was pretty upsetting, and I still want that art, but it was such a hilarious experience overall. That place was a disaster full of unbelievable characters.
Could you tell us about City Cyclops and the Truth Serum series?
City Cyclops is the umbrella name for all my comics, illustration, and design work. And it's a much easier-to-remember name than The University of Myopia, which was a URL no one could ever get right. Since I changed it, my website traffic has gone up by literally dozens of people.
As for Truth Serum, I'm always at a loss to describe it. It's essentially superheroes in suburbia, but doesn't focus too much on the hero aspect. I started it in 2001 I think. It was a limited series Slave Labor published, then a web comic on Dark Horse's site for around seven years. It's had various incarnations: three books, the first of which was nominated for two Eisner Awards. Its current incarnation is as a weekly web comic.
You have said that you would like your comics turned into a movie. Are there any particular actors you would like in the movie and what parts would you like them to play?
The only actor I'd be willing to accept is Martin Lawrence, and only if he played every character in a fat suit. The more fat suits the better.
Were there any particular comics you read as a child?
Yeah, mostly Marvel comics. I was big into Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Power Pack. In my teen years I read all the horrible Image stuff. It was pretty to look at, but that was about it. These days there's nothing I read regularly. The stuff I like comes out too infrequently.
(And) which ones do you have a particular affection for?
Spider-Man. At least until the embarrassing clone saga. That's when I stopped reading him. I wonder what he's up to now.

What do you think Phoenix Jones and the rest of the RLSH? The whole story reminds me of Saturation Point series, or am I being wide off the mark?
I only just saw him on the news the other day because he had his nose broken. They interviewed him and he really sounded like an idiot. I guess the idea of stopping crime is a nice one, but realistically who has that kind of time on their hands? I can't imagine that guy has too much else going on in his life.
From the Truth Serum series do you have any particular favourite hero (I’m fond of Don Sequitur and Flying man) and why?
Yeah, I like both of those guys, too. Captain Force I like, but it may be out of pity more than anything else. He's a sad guy.
What other comics are you involved with?
I just finished my second story for Mome. It's due out pretty soon.
Catch the latest instalments in the Truth Serum series at You can also buy comics and illustrations courtesy of Jon Adams

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