Category Archives: Interviews

Chris Hunt Discusses Carver: A Paris Story

Carver #1 Paul Pope Cover

Carver #1 Paul Pope Cover

After an absence of five years, globe trotting and notorious gentleman of fortune Francis Carver returns to Paris in 1923. He has come back to aid Catherine Ayers, the wife of a wealthy Parisian socialite and the only woman he has ever loved. Her daughter has been kidnapped by the leader of a crazed anarchist gang, a man named Stacker Lee. In order to bring the girl home, Francis will have to crawl through the underbelly of the city while confronting the demons of his past, before being faced with a final choice: succumb to the man he has become, or take that mask off and be the hero he always wanted to be.

I got a chance to talk to creator Chris Hunt about Carver: A Paris Story including it’s influences and Hunt’s time working with Paul Pope.

Graphic Policy: So to you, how would you describe the series Carver?

Chris Hunt: It’s a love letter to Corto Maltese, Indiana Jones and Hemingway amongst other things. At times it appears to be a straightforward adventure story but as the series progresses I think readers will come to realize there’s more at play within the characters than the two dimensional archetypes I introduced them as. My goal with Carver was to bring back familiar tropes that are no longer at the forefront of the cultural zeitgeist, but are still very much tied to our identity especially in the West, and try to peel back the onion on them a bit.

For instance as a fan of Ernest Hemingway’s writing, it’s sometimes hard to distinguish where his writing blurred into the “legend” of Hemingway. I have always been more interested in the self reflection of The Green Hills of Africa, and especially A Moveable Feast. In the latter you have an author who is more or less inextricably associated with machoness and misogyny, and here he is talking about this amazing period in his life, when he was with his first wife whom he never stopped loving, surrounded by surrealist artists, poets and filmmakers. I love the dichotomy of what he was versus what he let himself come to be seen as. That’s more or less the theme of Carver.

GP: Where did the idea for the series come from?

Ccarver_4H: Well I had a character I created for a short comic that was just this anonymous hunter. I went out of my way to draw him as a cliche because it was just a fun exercise. The more I looked at him though, I kept wondering what his backstory would be, and I thought it would be kind of funny if this broad chested, mustachioed badass had this really unexpected backstory. Furthermore I thought it would be interesting to imply that he never went out of his way to project this persona, but it was more or less just a result of one decision that led to a series of events that crafted this terrifyingly effective man from a gentle hearted, empathetic boy. From there I started building his backstory, and that led in an organic way to Carver: A Paris Story. I wanted to introduce the character “in media res” so to speak; already broken and yet reforged into a weapon of sorts, so that the audience can see how that blade will be honed from man he has become, against the wet stone of who he once was. To me that seemed interesting.

GP: How did you get into creating comics? You got this fascinating life taking you from Idaho to New York City.

CH: I got into making comics the way a lot of people do, which is I became a fan. Very few people I’ve met who love comics haven’t at least entertained the idea of wanting to create them. There’s something very special about comics from an outsider’s perspective still. I think there is still an aura of mystery about it because so little is known about the inner workings of the industry from a layperson’s perspective. But specifically, I knew I wanted to make comics when I read my first one, which was THB which Paul Pope was self publishing back in Ohio when I was a kid before I moved to Idaho with my mom at age 9.

I love Idaho. I miss it terribly. I learned so much in the 20 years growing up there. Coming to New York City was more about putting my money where my mouth was because I had really grown as much as I was going to be able to living in Boise. The internet is a powerful tool for many industries but there still is no replacement for having boots on the ground somewhere, and plugging into a community directly. Not to mention it’s almost impossible not to grow from the experience of leaving a small place like Boise, and learning to survive in a (at times) hostile environment like New York.

GP: What was it like to work with Paul Pope? How did you come to be mentored by him?

carver_5CH: Working with Paul over the past five years in various capacities has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. As I said, it was Paul’s book THB  that originally inspired the desire to make comics in me as a small boy. There really wasn’t ever a time after that I don’t recall pouring over those books incessantly, or trying to order his new books at the one shop in my town. I knew someday I’d be making comics and I wanted them to extend from that place he had planted his flag where he’d found this balance of European, Japanese and Silver Age American comics, with philosophical undertones. So when I got serious about it finally a couple years after I graduated from High School, I reached out to him online. From there we built a friendship that eventually became something I was able to learn from. No matter the person or the industry, typically you can’t just knock on someone’s door and demand they give you their knowledge. For one it doesn’t work that way, and two it’s incredibly self serving if you come at it from that angle. With someone like Paul, once they get to know you it’s almost impossible not to be learning from them because the knowledge just spills out. You have to do the work though. A LOT of work and you aren’t going to have your ego stroked while doing it if you really want to get good.

GP: When it comes to being mentored, what’s the type of things you learned working with him?

CH: Honestly, the most important thing I’ve taken away from working with Paul is the sense of lineage that can still exist in comics. I don’t think it is as common as it use to be in the creative trades, but there use to very much be this sense that “you were taught by so and so, they were taught by so and so, etc, etc”. It’s almost like my experience as a sleight of hand magician. There are things you can read about it in a book, but the real knowledge is passed down orally. It really feels like we are keeping a tradition alive. A tradition mired in storytelling which I think is very powerful. I hope at some point if my career can sustain itself and I get better, that I’ll have a chance to pass my knowledge on to someone and keep that torch burning. Along with that, the need to reinforce in one’s self, the importance of experimentation and self learning, and not least of all the absolute need to keep the integrity of your imagination alive.

GP: I hear your own real life romance inspired the book’s love story?

CH: “Write what you know”, right? I was in France when I came up with the character that eventually became Carver. I was visiting an ex-girlfriend, who really wasn’t an ex, but no longer my girlfriend either. Early 20’s kind of stuff. Which didn’t really bother me too much at the time because it was just incredible to be in France with this beautiful and intelligent person I cared so much for. We were in Aix-En-Provence most of the time so I was wandering around narrow cobblestone alleys, and drinking too much coffee and smoking WAY too many Gauloises cigarettes on sidewalk cafes while drawing in my Moleskin. I was really trying to hit all of my French cliches on my bucket list hahaha. Before I left though, we spent a weekend in Paris which is where it went sideways really fast. That was when we both learned that you don’t go have a romantic weekend in Paris with someone you aren’t sure you’re in love with, either direction on that scale. That being said, it was incredibly romantic despite the tenseness we were feeling and it gave a lasting impression to both of us. It was the inability to communicate that uncertainty though that really seeped into A Paris Story.

GP: I’ve just read the first issue, but it takes place in Paris. Why’d you set the comic there as opposed to a city like New York or Chicago? Both are two I think of when it comes to the noir-ish story the first issue feels like.

carver_6CH: Well firstly, I don’t know if I should admit this but my goal wasn’t to create a noir comic per se. There definitely were elements from noir I wanted to work in, but so too were there elements from adventure stories and romantic literature among others. If I had set out to create a strictly noir comic I sincerely doubt I would have been able to hit the mark without it seeming like pastiche. I’m very happy that’s the way the book has been coming across to people though.

As I mentioned above, a lot of the relationship between Carver and his ex, Catherine is informed by my experience in Paris with the real Catherine and how are relationship existed for a number of years after. Paris for me worked for the story beyond that though in a lot of ways. I wanted to juxtapose Carver’s crassness, and unrefined qualities against a glittering city known for being a mecca of culture, especially at the time the story takes place in the early 20’s. Plus, I’ve seen Chicago and New York so many times already. I don’t think I have anything to add to them that hasn’t already been done with this type of story. Plus, there was this incredible upheaval in Europe post WW1, in conjunction with the optimism of having fought what many thought was the last great war, and you’re seeing this explosion of art and writing coming out of the Left Bank in Paris with all these expats. It’s just an incredibly rich and dynamic moment in history I’m surprised more people don’t exploit.

GP: How long did it take for the series come from your first idea for it to print?

CH: By the time the book comes out this month, it will have almost been five years to the day. I had the idea for the first draft in November of 2010. I had visited Catie in France that March and gone to a month long residency with Paul in October. My plan was to start drawing it in March of 2011 but that plan, and the rest of the year basically became a wash when I learned that my good friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer early in the month. Then, my best friend who was also a mutual friend of the one dying, died while riding a freight train home to say goodbye to him. I talk about this a bit in the coda at the end of the first issue, but it was just a hellish year and it was a long time before I had it in me to do much of anything. From there my road back to myself started to become the overarching narrative thread in how Carver came to be what it is now. Along the way I produced it as a radio drama, a short film and applied to some Sundance labs, each step helping me to hone the story as I got my sea legs back.

GP: You’re self-taught, and also had Pope as a mentor, what advice would you give to individuals getting started in comics?

carver_7CH: I’d say know exactly why you want to make comics. It shouldn’t be for glory, or money, it should be because of an overwhelming need, or a sense that you’d regret not going after it if it truly is a dream you have.

If you decide you are going for it, the most important thing you need to understand at the beginning is that there is no clear path into the industry. There is no secret door, or amount of money or clout that just lets you in. Even if you think there is, trust me there isn’t. You have to put the work in. If you’re a writer, write. If you’re a penciler, pencil. I wanted to be everything so I had my work cut out for me. With regards to just say penciling and inking though, something that Paul told me early on I think perfectly encapsulates the scope of what you’re entering into. He told me I would hate my first thousand inked drawings. And not just sketches, I mean the ones that you’re putting your blood sweat and tears into. You’re going to hate the because they aren’t as good as you see them in your head. Don’t let it discourage you though. Just start chipping away. Focus on the numbers because you won’t know it but you are getting better every time you draw. I actually kept track of mine on Flickr. It’s pretty cool to be able to look back on hundreds of drawings from the past 8 years and not only see the progression, but see what I was interested in, the ideas I had and how I attempted to put them into play. Do that for yourself as well, whether you’re strictly a writer or an artist or whatever. Set the impossible goal and start getting to it, and don’t even start thinking about money or glory. If you become good enough that you can’t be ignored, you will bring that to you.

GP: Any other projects we should keep our eyes open for from you?

CH: Well I have a giant robot story called “01-AD GO!” I’ve had waiting in the wings for a few years. I’m waiting until I’m done with A Paris Story before I really start digging into that and pitching it around. In the meantime, Paul and I are planning on doing some more collaborations after our Vertigo short for Strange Sports Stories. I can’t really say who or what they’re about because they haven’t been announced yet but they’re for some pretty cool properties that I’m excited to work on with him. If all goes well with this first arc of Carver though, I’d like to dive back into the world after I take a short break and go wander a bit.

Rhode Island Comic Con 2015: Interview with Will Friedle


What’s better than meeting one Batman? How about two? At Rhode Island Comic Con I did just that when I met the voice of Terry McGinnis from Batman Beyond himself: Will Friedle. Will was kind enough to take the time and answer a few brief questions on what the Batman mythos means to him.

Graphic Policy: Hi Will, thank you for your time and I just wanted to get your thoughts on a few quick questions.

Will Friedle: Hey no problem, absolutely.

Graphic Policy: So what does the Batman legacy mean to you?

Will Friedle: The Batman legacy means a ton to me, first and foremost because it was the first animated show I ever did. So it means a lot to me just from the voice over realm, but also Batman’s always been my favorite superhero because I love how he doesn’t have any superpowers. He’s just a man and his will. That’s what I love.

Graphic Policy: Same here. Were you and Kevin (Conroy) ever in the booth together when recording?

Will Friedle: Kevin and I recorded almost every single, if not every single episode together and the movie together. Yes, always together.

Graphic Policy: You told me your favorite episode earlier, but do you have a favorite voice over performance, Batman Beyond or otherwise?

Will Friedle: No, you know I think Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker is definitely up there as my favorite performance I’ve ever done.

Graphic Policy: It was definitely a most memorable one for me to be sure. Stellar job by everyone.

Will Friedle: Couldn’t agree more.

Graphic Policy: So last question. How did you make the transition from Boy Meets World to voice over acting?

Will Friedle: Well you know, I got very lucky. Bruce Timm who created Batman Beyond, his wife was a big Boy Meets World fan. So she said oh you’re doing this new young Batman, so you should call Will in. They did and the rest is history.

Graphic Policy: Awesome stuff, thank you for your time.

Will Friedle: Well thank you.


*I just wanted to take the time to point out that the reason the interview is so brief, Will is a super cool guy and he had insane lines all weekend long. He took the time to make each and every single person’s experience with him as memorable as possible. Very nice person. 


Red Thorn’s Artist Meghan Hetrick Answers A Few Questions

redthornMeghan Hetrick is an Atlanta, GA based artist who, although a relative newcomer to comics, has been drawing longer than she can remember and her talent is not only evident in the penciled pages within this interview, but on her website, too. She has joined with writer David Baille for the Vertigo produced Red Thorn that is set in and around the Scottish city of Glasgow and is steeped in the county’s mythology.

Recently I had the opportunity to talk with Meghan Hetrick about Red Thorn ahead of it’s November 18th release.

Graphic Policy: Tell us a bit about yourself; how did you get started in the comic book industry?

Meghan Hetrick: I’ve been *reading* comics since I was a kid, and have been wanting to draw them since about age 13 or so.  How ​I got *into* comics is sort of amusing, as I guess i got found twice? Once by Bill Willingham, who forwarded my work to Shelly Bond (of Vertigo fame), and the second by Katie Kubert (then an editor at DC).  Both instances happened through Twitter, of all places. With Bill, I responded in a typically smartass manner to something he said, which led to him heading to my website, and it went from there. With Katie, I did a “How to Draw Boobies” tutorial that went pretty much everywhere on Earth, and she contacted me from that.

redthorn1_pencilspg1GP: Aside from the eight issues of Bodies, this is the first ongoing series you’ve tackled. How do the deadlines affect the way you typically work?

MH: It really doesn’t, since no matter what, I’m typically drawing for about 12-16 hour a day or so, whether it be on a book or commission pieces. I rarely take much of a break, unless my body deems it absolutely necessary to do so (which has happened, heh).

GP: How did you come on board with the project?

MH: Red Thorn spun out of another project, and we just kept the same creative team when we swapped over.

GP: How much research did you have to do when drawing the city of Glasgow for the series?  Did you get a chance to go over to Scotland? Try any haggis?

MH: A lot. A lot of lot. I haven’t really traveled (yet. That’ll be rectified soon enough), so the old cities and architecture of places like that is mostly foreign. I did luck out in that I lived in the northeast US for most of my life, so I’m familiar with what Americans consider “old” buildings and such, but it’s a completely different story when tackling a country that has thousands of years worth of history.

As for haggis… that’s my boyfriend’s dogs name, so I’d probably rather not.

redthorn1_pencilspg162GP: With Red Thorn being a comic based around Scottish mythology, were you familiar with that mythology prior to taking up the art duties for Red Thorn?

MH: Actually, yes. I’ve been a mythology buff longer than I’ve been drawing, and have mountains of books on the subjects. I eat that stuff up.

GP: Without giving too much away for readers, what can we expect to find when we open Red Thorn in November?

MH: Dark, sexy, classic Vertigo style. There’s love, laughter, murder, snark, and guys in tight leather pants. It’s a very sexy book, without being outlandish (and definitely not for kids).

GP: Once Glasgow Kiss is over, do you know where you want to take the characters next?

MH: I’m leaving that one up to a certain Mr Baillie, who’s in charge of all the writing duties. Knowing me, I’d have them just parked on a couch playing a video game and eating Thai or something.

This is why ​I​ draw, not write.

redthorn1_pencilsspreadpgs4-5GP: Where can we expect to see you next? Are you heading out on the Convention circuit any time soon?

MH: I don’t tend to do a lot of conventions, but the first one I’ll be at next year is Cap’s Comic Expo, at the end of February. Not really sure what’s coming up after that :)

GP: Before we go one last question: aliens, cowboys, pirates or ninjas, and why?

MH: My first instinct is to say “all of them,” but for the sake of not being a brat I’ll go with ninjas… and that’s because I have a black belt, so I’d feel bad choosing anything else, hehe.

Red Thorn is available November 18th.

Rhode Island Comic Con 2015: Interview with Kevin Conroy


Last weekend at Rhode Island Comic Con I got to live a personal dream and meet the man who shaped mine and many people’s childhoods. The voice of the Dark Knight himself: Kevin Conroy!

Graphic Policy: Thank you so much for taking this time, I know you’re very busy. it’s an honor.

Kevin Conroy: Sure. It’s my pleasure.

Graphic Policy: Lets dive right into it. What does the Batman legacy mean to you?

Kevin Conroy: Being part of the Batman legacy has been an incredible privilege. He’s such an iconic character and he’s such a cultural icon for just about everybody and to be associated with that is a real honor. More than that, he’s such a noble character and he embodies such goodness for so many people. You know when I come to these Comic Cons it’s interesting, I meet a lot of autistic kids and a lot of kids who had trouble growing up, and they so relate to Batman. He seems to reach something in them that other characters don’t. So to be associated with that is such an honor.

Graphic Policy: I couldn’t agree more. By far and away Batman is my favorite character.

Kevin Conroy: He reaches so many people. It’s amazing.

Graphic Policy: Well this is my first time meeting you and from what I’ve seen, you take the time and give so much back to each fan, what does Comic Con mean to you?

Kevin Conroy: Well I view comics as sort of our cultures mythology. Like the ancient cultures had Achilles and Agamemnon, we have Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. They’re our iconic myths. They are how we teach young people the difference between good and evil, and justice and injustice. It’s just how our culture does it, and I think they become that important, especially to young people. Batman in particular, since I’ve been involved for 23 years, I meet the children of the kids who grew up with me who are now in their thirties and forties.


Graphic Policy: That’s me!

Kevin Conroy: (laughing) Which is amazing! So there’s this sort of cross generational thing going on. I love coming to these Cons because there is such a cultural resonance. You meet people from all sections of society here. You meet the incredible wealthy hedgefunder who just comes loaded with stuff for his kids, and then you meet someone who can barely afford the entrance fee, just because they want to shake your hand. So it’s amazing and cross cultural. These are real interesting places these Comic Cons.

Graphic Policy: They sure are. Just a few questions left. One, do you have a favorite voice over performance or episode?

Kevin Conroy: I really liked Perchance to Dream. That one they got into the real psychology of the Batman character, which is what I think makes him so interesting. Plus it’s what makes fans love him so much. He’s such a complicated character and his mind is complicated and people relate to that. So it’s fun as an actor especially to have those different colors to play with. He’s not just a stock superhero with a square jaw, those characters are dull. He’s a really complicated guy with as he says, a lot of issues. (laughs)

Graphic Policy: Haha yeah, I think that’s putting it fairly. You know though, I always watch that episode (Perchance to Dream) and wonder about that bit where they say reading comes from the right side of the brain while dreams come from the left, so it’s impossible to read something in a dream. I always wonder, is that a fact or is are you guys just messing with us?

Kevin Conroy: (slyly) Possibly.

Graphic Policy: Last thing and I thank you for your time so much..

Kevin Conroy: Sure.

Graphic Policy: What can we expect from you going forward. I know the “Arkham” games have wrapped, is there anything else.

Kevin Conroy: Yes. There’s a lot actually, that’s coming out by the end I think of 2016. I can’t say anything because of the non disclosure agreements that I’ve signed and they haven’t been announced yet but I’m leaving on Wednesday to go back to Warner Bros. There’s a lot going on.

Graphic Policy: That’s awesome to hear. Before I go can you say “I am Batman”.

Kevin Conroy: (Batman voice) I.. am.. Batman.

Graphic Policy: Wow. Amazing. This was terrific.

Kevin Conroy: Great. It was great meeting you.


*Sidenote: To hear him do the Batman voice in person was incredible. I will never delete that audio from my phone. List of childhood dreams, you are now not as long. What a great guy and class act. I hope all of you get a chance to meet him yourselves someday.



Rhode Island Comic Con 2015: Interview with Enrique Savory Jr.


While covering the 2015 Rhode Island Comic Con I was privileged to meet some very talented people. I am pleased to say that one of these people was Mr. Enrique Savory Jr. an independant comic book artist who was kind enough to let me take a few minutes of his time to pick his brain on his work and just the genre of comic books in general.

Graphic Policy: So how long have you been drawing professionally?

Enrique Savory Jr: As far as comic books go, my first published work was back in 2007.

Graphic Policy: What press or imprint was that with?

Enrique Savory Jr: I was working for Big City Comics at the time and I did some penciling and inking for a title called Totem.

Graphic Policy: Ok, is the title still being published today?

Enrique Savory Jr: Um, well it’s still going on in trade format but if they decide to use the character it’s totally up to them. I’m really not sure if they are still using the character.

Graphic Policy: I see. Well I love your work from what I’ve seen personally and it pops out at me a lot. Especially these rendition pieces, what gives you the inspiration for them?

Enrique Savory Jr: Actually for me it’s about turning a negative into a positive. As a kid I didn’t have that kind of a talent to conjure the official image out of my head, so I decided that I would just start making stuff up and it kind of caught on a little bit. The more I did it the more I got sucked in. So I keep using it and it’s worked out pretty good so far.

Graphic Policy: Now what do you currently have published? Any ongoing titles?

Enrique Savory Jr: Not quite yet. I am currently working on something that is co-written, inked, penciled and colored by me. It’s going to take some time to do, because I’m pretty much doing it all by myself. I’m hoping the first issue will be out either the middle or late next year.


Graphic Policy: Well I will definitely have to look and keep an eye out for that. Now, how long does it take you to do a normal 22 page book and for the people out there how detailed a process is this?

Enrique Savory Jr: Well because of the detailed nature of the book it doesn’t take 22 or 23 days for 22 pages it takes quite a bit of time, it can range for penciling and inking anywhere from 30 days to 40 days to really nail down a finished product. It all depends on how the piece itself is constructed from cover to cover. So that takes some time. Doing it yourself rather than being assisted can take say three to four months. Once I nail down my process and get into my groove. I hope to put out about 3 issues a year. It’s all about efficiency.

Graphic Policy: Wow that’s quite involved. Switching gears who is your favorite comic book character?

Enrique Savory Jr: For me, it’s Batman for DC Comics and Spider-Man for Marvel. Grendel is my favorite Independent character.

Graphic Policy: Grendel by Matt Wagner, nice.

Enrique Savory Jr: Yes.

Graphic Policy: What comic books do you currently follow today, and do you have a favorite artist?

Enrique Savory Jr: Well if I follow a certain book it is only because of a certain artist. Like if I’m going to follow Batman, at this point I’m getting the title because Greg Capullo is on it. I truly admire his work. For me I jump on when the artist jumps on, so I don’t necessarily follow the title as much as I follow the artist. So I will flip-flop back and forth and hunt their titles down at times. Chris Bachalo, he did a long run on X-Men that I enjoyed, and Dale Keown if he does anything I’m aboard. I will get him on anything.

Graphic Policy: He was great, I loved him on the Hulk and Pitt.

Enrique Savory Jr: Yes indeed. It’s like pick a run and I will get it. As far as he goes. I will hunt him down and collect it. His artwork is superb.

Graphic Policy: Sure.

Enrique Savory Jr: Of course you can’t go wrong with Jim Lee and Mark Silvestri either. I also keep an eye on people who I was fans of when I was younger to see if there styles have changed or evolved and if it was for the better or the worse. It if it’s for the worse I’ll leave it alone if it’s for the better I’ll pick it up.

Graphic Policy: Absolutely. So for anyone who’s looking to get in to this trade, as someone with experience, what advice do you have?

Enrique Savory Jr: Don’t think its as complicated as you think. It has it’s stresses, but the you decide to start, is the day you become a comic book artist. Not the day you have the idea, but the day you decide to start because getting hired is harder. Not getting published. So if you have material and a means to do it, there are outlets that will allow you to do that, day one. You have on demand printing now. You have digital comics, hard copy etc. The outlets are there you just have to find them.


Graphic Policy: To that point, how do you think that websites like Comixology or those digital imprints effect you the artist personally, or does it?

Enrique Savory Jr: It hasn’t effected me, because I haven’t really put anything out in the digital format. So only time will tell, right now I can’t really answer that particular question.

Graphic Policy: Do you ever go a day without drawing?

Enrique Savory Jr: I try not to. I like to stay loose. I get quite cranky if I don’t. If I go a day without drawing or two, by day three I get very hard to deal with. That’s the honest truth.

Graphic Policy: By the flip side of that, don’t you get burned out?

Enrique Savory Jr: Oh yeah. You get burned out but that’s usually when the work you’re doing isn’t really cooperating. It can get quite frustrating. Another way you can get burned out is when you are doing the work for someone and not for yourself because of the demands. It’s harder to get burned out when you are doing your own work, rather than for someone else. Once you put an issue out, the process starts all over again with no down time at all. So working for someone you can burn out pretty quick.

Graphic Policy: Understood. Last question.

Enrique Savory Jr: Shoot.

Graphic Policy: Besides comic books, what’s the one thing you are passionate about?

Enrique Savory Jr: Easy. Football. For me, football is my life. I’ve liked football since I was four years old. I am a big, big Dallas Cowboys fan. However I am a homer, because I’m from New England I have a little bit of a homer streak in me. So I am a fan of my local teams but when I was four years old, I said that is my team and I haven’t looked back since. Good or bad.

Graphic Policy: Well this was fantastic and I hope you get the exposure you deserve. I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

Enrique Savory Jr: Thank you.

Graphic Policy: Here’s to hoping my Pats can still meet your Cowboys in the Superbowl.

Enrique Savory Jr: Haha thanks.






Henry Rollins Talks Welcome to Showside

Modern Prometheus has released a video interview with icon Henry Rollins about his role in the company’s debut animated short film Welcome to Showside from Ian McGinty. Rollins plays Frank, a lesser Nexus demon in the short film, which takes viewers along on the adventures of Kit, a lovable kid with a monstrous secret: his dad is the Great Shadow King — and Frank’s boss — and he wants Kit to take over the family business of destroying the world. The animated short is based on McGinty’s creator owned comic book series by Z2 Comics.

Rhode Island Comic Con 2015 : Interview with Ethan Van Sciver


Having attended the Rhode Island Comic Con this past weekend on November 6th-8th held at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to speak with some high-profile guests. (Power of the Press prevails) I was very lucky to get a few minutes with the most prolific Green Lantern artist and good guy: Mr. Ethan Van Sciver.

Graphic Policy: Well it’s very nice to meet you, I appreciate it and I just had a few questions for you that I’m sure would interest your fans.

Ethan Van Sciver: Sure, go ahead.

Graphic Policy: Have you ever been asked to do a commission piece that you’ve flat out refused and if so why?

Ethan Van Sciver: Well, I’m sure that I have, but not because it was dirty or anything. It would have been because I just didn’t want to draw it. People will ask me and come by to draw Star Trek things and that’s not something I really want to do. So I will go, well you know. No thank you.

Graphic Policy: So do you basically try to stick within the vein of comic book books. DC and Marvel characters, because I know you do a lot of cool original pieces like Luke Skywalker Lantern and so forth..

Ethan Van Sciver: I will do Star Wars every now and then, but I prefer to stick to just superheroes. I love drawing superheroes.

Graphic Policy: Absolutely you are fantastic at it.

Ethan Van Sciver: Thank you.

Graphic Policy: Do you have a favorite run?

Ethan Van Sciver: Of somebody elses? Or my own?

Graphic Policy: Yours.

Ethan Van Sciver: Of my own, yeah I really liked everything from Green Lantern Rebirth to Sinestro Corps. I thought that was a really good moment.

Graphic Policy: I think that was your best run ever. I have a personal favorite issue. Green Lantern: Rebirth #6.

Ethan Van Sciver: That issue was really a lot of fun.


Graphic Policy: I loved when Bruce (Batman) punches Hal back because the series opened with Hal punching Bruce so it was cool to see it come back around in the end *

Ethan Van Sciver: Yeah that was cool.

Graphic Policy: My good buddy, you’re one of his favorite artists of all time.

Ethan Van Sciver: Oh wow.

Graphic Policy: Do you have a favorite comic book character and is it Green Lantern?

Ethan Van Sciver: My favorite comic character is Plastic Man.

Graphic Policy: Really?

Ethan Van Sciver: Yeah I love Plastic Man, I’m still waiting for a chance to draw him. I know in the past sales have not been particularly good for that character so they are very hesitant to do it again. I would do it as a gangster book and make it a little more irish mafia and little bit more like Black Mass, you know with just a little bit of superhero in it.

Graphic Policy: That would be really cool. Speaking of, you saw that movie Black Mass?

Ethan Van Sciver: Loved it, and that is my Eel O’ Brien story. Is he using his superhero identity to rise himself in the mob, or is he using the mob to make him a better asset to the FBI? So like, who is this guy for real? It was amazing, you know and the Whitey Bulger story was a lot like that. It was very interesting.

Graphic Policy: It was, and well definitely me being from the Boston area, you can’t help but grow up with stories from that.

Ethan Van Sciver: Yeah.

Graphic Policy: So what advice to you have for anyone looking to be a comic book artist today?

Ethan Van Sciver: Yeah, just do it. Don’t let anyone stop you, just start drawing your own comic book and let it happen. Let it be a gradual process. Breaking in, is a misnomer, there’s no such thing as breaking in. You just do it and advance in the industry.

Graphic Policy: Perfect, and what can we expect from you next? What’s your next project.

Ethan Van Sciver: Next project is called Green Lantern: Edge of Oblivion and it’s a six issue mini series with Tom Taylor writing it and me doing all the art. Basically it’s the story that bridges the gap between Lost Army. The Green Lantern Corps are lost in a universe that’s dying, are are trying to get back to our reality. Our universe. So everyone is in it, except for Hal Jordan.

Graphic Policy: Haha. The main Green Lantern.

Ethan Van Sciver: You know that’s cool. I get to draw all the Lanterns. Guy Gardener. Simon Baz and John Stewart..

Graphic Policy: Larfleeze?

Ethan Van Sciver: Well Larfleeze is not a Green Lantern. It would be cool if he was in it though.

Graphic Policy: Yeah I know, it’s just so great when you draw him.

Ethan Van Sciver: Thank you.

Graphic Policy: Well I appreciate your time for the interview and hope you catch your flight.

Ethan Van Sciver: Thank you and sure thing.

*I also want to point out that Ethan was kind enough not to call me out on my mistake saying Batman punches Hal in Green Lantern: Rebirth #6 when really it occurred in Green Lantern #9. (Have to do my nerd diligence)

Phillip Kennedy Johnson Discusses the Last Sons of America, plus a Preview!

Last_Sons_of_America_001_A_MainWhen a biological terrorist attack makes it impossible for anyone in America to conceive children, adoption of kids from other countries explodes. Brothers Jackie and Julian are adoption agents based in Nicaragua. They usually do all their options through legal means, but they’re facing increasing competition from straight-up kidnappers. One desperate move from Jackie could put them in the cross-hairs of some very dangerous people.

Last Sons of America is a new four issue series out November 11th from writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson, artist Matthew Dow Smith, and BOOM! Studios.

Before the comic hits shelves this Wednesday, we got a chance to talk to Johnson about the comic series, and have a preview of what you can expect.

Graphic Policy: Where did the idea for Last Sons of America come from?

Phillip Kennedy Johnson: When I was just starting to take writing pretty seriously, I heard a story on NPR about the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, about missionaries who were trying to take Haitian kids out of the country. They said they were trying to save orphans, but these kids weren’t orphans. I did some research into what was going on in Haiti, and uncovered some pretty disturbing stuff about the adoption industry down there, and all around the world. Parents sell their children into adoption all the time, every day… Orphanages do, too. Often, the parents are trying to get their kids out of extreme poverty, but it’s not always that altruistic, and certainly not on the part of the buyers. It’s a complicated issue. Anyway, that concept of selling kids for profit stuck in my mind—hard. When something grabs you like that, as a writer it would have been a waste not to write about it. I dressed it up in a sci-fi high concept, figured out who the characters were, how they fit into this world, what they wanted, and Last Sons of America grew out of all that.

GP: How long have you been working on the concept from idea to BOOM! publishing it?

PKJ: I had the idea for Last Sons in late 2010, but I didn’t start scripting it until a few years later, when [artist] Matthew [Dow Smith] and I decided to make the book together. We made a few pages, put together a pitch, and I took it to San Diego in 2013, where I met [BOOM! Studios President of Publishing & Marketing] Filip Sablik.

GP: The idea is an attack called Agent Pink has rendered Americans unable to have kids. Will we learn more about that attack, or is it more background for the story?

PKJ: Last Sons of America takes place a generation after the Agent Pink attacks; it’s this world’s 9/11, a moment that shaped the world forever. Everything we see in the story is happening because of Agent Pink, but the story’s not about the attacks… it’s more like The Walking Dead, in that it focuses on our characters, and through them we see all the ways the world has changed. That being said, if we come back to this world for future story arcs, I do have an idea to tie it back into Agent Pink in more detail.

GP: When reading this I can’t help but think of some of the adoption agencies, especially the not reputable ones, and slave trading that occurs in our world. Did you do research into any of that while putting the series together?

PKJ: Human trafficking is something I care deeply about. I’ve done a lot of research, a lot of volunteer work with anti-HT organizations in Baltimore, given training seminars… it’s on my mind a lot. The dark side of the adoption industry is not something I knew much about before hearing that piece on the radio, but by the time I was ready to write the story, I felt like I knew enough to tell the story I wanted to tell. A lot of what you’ll see in this story is real.

GP: Have you had thoughts about exploring (or will we see) America in this new paradigm? Maybe in a follow up series?

PKJ: We don’t see the United States in this arc, but if readers want to see more of this world, I would love to show them what the U.S. looks like now. Every issue of this four-issue arc makes the world bigger, shows more of it, and how things have changed. But there’s still PLENTY of world to show people, in Central America and back home. I would love to show more.

GP: How did Matthew Dow Smith come on to the series? His art is fantastic and fits the mood perfectly.

PKJ: Matthew and I met at Baltimore Comic-Con a few years ago through Ron Marz, a mutual friend. The two of them had just put out a book together for Amazon Studios. Matthew and I became friends, his work was terrific, and later that year I dropped him a line to see if he wanted to do a book together. Of the stories I was working on, Last Sons of America is the one that spoke to him the loudest, and thank God for that, because like you said, he’s a perfect fit for this story: photo-realism with angular, Mignola-esque linework and shadows.

GP: When it came to the character design, how much input did he have?

PKJ: Oh, a ton. I had ideas what I wanted everyone to look like, and I gave him starting points for the main characters, but Matthew’s great; I didn’t want to micromanage him at all. This art form is all about trusting your colleagues. My initial vision for Julian was for him to be even smaller and more physically limited than he ended up in the final design, but I love the way he looks now. Matthew did an amazing job with him.

GP: The one character that really stood out is Julian who looks to have dwarfism. Where’d that come from? For as much as people talk about diversity, that’s not a character we see often in comics.

PKJ: I’ve noticed that, too. The comics industry is taking some amazing strides in diversity right now, and it’s time for the little people community to get more comic book characters they can identify with and admire. This is a story about two brothers, and it was important to me that Julian, the more “heroic” of the two, have some physical limitations. (It goes further than just dwarfism; he has some pretty severe birth defects, and we learn why that is in issue 2.) Jackie and Julian’s strengths and weaknesses complement each other—they’re completely interdependent. They make a whole person between them, which is part of why they’re so close. Jackie’s the tall, good-looking “leading man” of the two, the one people talk to, but Julian’s the more capable brother in a lot of ways. Julian’s easily one of my favorite characters I’ve written, and not because of the way he looks; it’s because of his heart, the decisions he makes, and his relationship with his brother.

GP: There’s a scene where Jackie is bonding with someone about Star Wars (I’m trying not to spoil things). I thought that scene was really interesting in that we see America is exporting something not substantive like entertainment yet we’re importing something vital. Was there thought to that when writing the scene?

PKJ: That’s an interesting take on that, and I love it when people take things from my stories I didn’t see myself. I admit, I wasn’t thinking about luxury vs. necessity when I wrote that scene; it was a reference to pre-Agent Pink America when things were happier, a reprieve from the gravity of the situation. And more importantly, it was a fun way to give those two characters a way to communicate.

The subject matter of Last Sons of America is obviously a serious one, and that was at the front of my mind throughout the entire writing process. I’ve had enough conversations about human trafficking to know it’s easy to “dark out” while you’re talking about it. You see people shut down, they don’t want to hear any more because it’s just so damn depressing.

I did NOT want that to happen with this story. I never want our readers to “dark out” or make them feel preached to. Last Sons is a fun, exciting crime story, and the Star Wars thing (which continues throughout the entire series) was a fun way to lighten the tone. People who look for them throughout the series will see lots of cool little parallels and references to the original trilogy, kind of an “easter egg” for people who are looking forward to the movies starting up again.

GP: You also write a webcomic called The Lost Boys of the U-Boat Bremen. Have you noticed a difference in writing a webcomic like that and a four issue series?

PKJ: Yeah, they’re two completely different experiences. The biggest difference is in the tone of the books themselves; Bremen is a period horror story, a love letter to Warren Publishing’s old Creepy and Eerie anthologies, with beautiful, ink-spattered pages of scary, gory awfulness. Last Sons of America is more of a cool-looking, smooth-talking, Elmore Leonard-esque crime story, with colorful characters who are fun to read getting themselves into serious trouble, trying to do the right thing, or at least not get killed. It’s been a total blast to write, and the writing and art styles couldn’t be more different from Bremen.

Writing a weekly webcomic that will eventually be printed is tricky, because you need to serve the 22-page format, with long scenes that drive forward, page-turn reveals, and a big jaw-dropping moment at the end of every issue, but you ALSO need a little mini-ending or cliffhanger at the end of every single page. Each page needs a clear purpose, something specific that pushes the story forward; you can’t be as patient as you can in a four-page scene, in a comic that’s bought and read all at once.

Another big difference is working with editors. Bremen is just me, artist Steve Beach, and letterer Ken Bruzenak. We’re the whole crew. On Last Sons, I’m working closely with editors Eric Harburn and Cameron Chittock, whose input is without question making this book better than it would have been without them. BOOM! has been terrific to work with, it’s exactly where I wanted this book to be.

GP: Any other upcoming comic projects you can announce?

PKJ: Not that I can announce, unfortunately, but there ARE more stories coming, swear to God! For people who don’t want to wait for The Lost Boys of the U-Boat Bremen to come out in print, they can read the first three issues for free at, new pages every week. And pick up Last Sons of America #1 on November 11th! Veteran’s Day! ‘Merica!

GP: Thanks Phillip! You can check out a preview of the series, which comes to shelves this Wednesday, below.

Interview with Lou Ferrigno: The Incredible Hulk

H2In the lead up to Rhode Island Comic Con, which takes place November 6-8, I got a chance to talk to the original Hulk himself, Lou Ferrigno!

Graphic Policy: Thank you for taking time out do this interview Lou. It is greatly appreciated.

Lou Ferrigno: Sure, my pleasure.

Graphic Policy: So I know growing up as a kid in Brooklyn, you had a tough time because of your disability and I think it’s really empowering how you’ve overcome all the adversity that includes. I identify with the Hulk also because I wasn’t the biggest or strongest kid growing up and being picked on. So I’m actually a big fan of the show with you and Bill Bixby, I grew up on it and my dad did too.

Lou Ferrigno: Is that so?

Graphic Policy: Oh yes. I’ve always been intrigued by the Hulk in general because at his core he’s a man who’s very smart and not physically imposing but has this massive power lurking inside him waiting to come out. So what I wanted to do here is ask you a few questions about yourself and the Hulk as well as the comic book genre in general if you don’t mind?

Lou Ferrigno: Yeah, go ahead.

Graphic Policy: Great, so to start off, how did you decide to make the transition from body building and fitness to acting?

Lou Ferrigno: So I was training in the 1977 Mr. Olympia competition in California. So maybe about 6:54 in the morning I received a phone call there was a casting call for the Hulk. They were using this other actor named Richard Kiel, had been cast as the Hulk but he did not fit the role at all, so they had to re shoot the pilot as they had a problem. I went down and shot a screen test, and they wanted to re shoot the pilot quickly so it could be successful, and that’s how quick it happened. Less than 24 hours.

I was looking in the mirror the next day, having been on the set for five or six hours, and I’m looking in the mirror thinking to myself “What am I doing?” I see the Hulk character all finished and I’m like “Wow, I can’t believe I’m doing a movie for television.” It was like a dream come true.

slide_335270_3371327_freeGraphic Policy: I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be in those shoes, so cool. So do you think that because you won the previous body building titles and also the documentary you did called “Pumping Iron” gave you an in, for the Hulk or was it just like you were on equal footing with everybody?

Lou Ferrigno: No, it gave me an in because when “Pumping Iron” came out it gave me a lot of recognition, so I was ahead of a lot of the actors in the physical department.

Graphic Policy: Now speaking of that, to my knowledge you are the only one to ever portray the role of the Hulk physically on-screen. You also do the voice over acting for the character in the current Marvel films.

Lou Ferrigno: Correct.

Graphic Policy: So my question to you is, what is it like preparing for the role and is it just the same or is it more relaxed like you go in your sweatpants and just able to lay back?

Lou Ferrigno: Well it’s still good, but it’s a challenge. When I go in and do the voice over, I can’t read the script. So they tell me with those movies, I have to improvise. They have my voice in a library that they can transfer scene to scene when needed. I definitely wanted to do the voice because, even though it’s shot in CGI, I still know how the Hulk looks and feels. It’s just as much to the character as before.

Graphic Policy: Yeah I mean, it comes out great on film. The voices that emanate from him, are so real for the CGI part. It’s great. You also played a security guard in the Incredible Hulk alongside Edward Norton, that was awesome too.

Lou Ferrigno: Thanks.

Graphic Policy: Now I’ve read that two of your favorite comics growing up were Spider-Man and The Hulk, with The Hulk edging it out. Do you still read any comics today?

Lou Ferrigno: Not like I used to. No, because they changed it with the Red Hulk and the stories are off the trend. If I happen across an older Hulk comic book though, of course I will look through it as it brings back those childhood memories. I like the old comics compared to the newer ones.

Graphic Policy: I do too. They were genius back then.

Lou Ferrigno: Yup.

Graphic Policy: Tell me, do you have a personal favorite episode of The Incredible Hulk TV show?

Lou Ferrigno: Yes. It’s called “King of the Beach”. It was my first real acting role where you get to see me and The Hulk together. It was the highest rated show over its five years. That is my favorite because it was my first acting role.

Graphic Policy: That’s got to be pretty cool.

Just a few more questions here. So as a kid growing up reading comics did you ever think that a character you are now so closely tied to would have, pardon the pun such incredible success?

Lou Ferrigno: I had no idea. There was no way to know that it would have such a uge impact with every country in the world. So because of the success of the television series I’ve had a chance to travel the world. I’ve been to Egypt, South America, and one time I went into a stadium of like 60,000 people and everyone immediately recognized me. Right there I realized there was something there with this character being so beloved, especially being green, it’s really something.

Graphic Policy: To that point if I may say so, I think that it’s your portrayal that sticks in everyone’s minds as the Hulk. Now you can read the comics but it’s that on-screen portrayal that really stays with them. I mean everywhere you go now there’s comics. It’s a great time.

Lou Ferrigno: Well they changed The Hulk’s design because of my physicality. Even 40 years later people still come to comic conventions and even little children who are say 5 or 6 years old, immediately identify me as The Hulk even though they weren’t around for the TV show but it’s such a beloved character.

Graphic Policy: Sure is. Switching gears here, I have a personal question for you. What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into acting or another profession that may have to overcome a disability of their own?

Lou Ferrigno: I believe that as long as you are passionate about something, whether it’s a toothbrush or a doorknob or something, as long you feel good about yourself that will connect to your mind and connect to the body, just realize that you have it. Don’t listen to other people. Pursue it.

Graphic Policy: Ok, to wrap it up You’ve done so much in your career. From fitness and body building to acting in TV and movies, owning your own fitness company even becoming a deputy sheriff..

Lou Ferrigno: 12 years.

Graphic Policy: With that being said, what does the future hold for Lou Ferrigno?

Lou Ferrigno: Well I filmed a great movie in England over the summer called “Instant Death.” It’s about a guy who was in special forces and readjusts back into society. He attempts to repair a relationship with his daughter and granddaughter as he had a British wife. Then this drug gang they go after my daughter and granddaughter so I seek revenge, it’s action, fast paced. Go see it. It’s a lot of fun.

Graphic Policy: I will absolutely see it. Sounds great. This was fantastic and I appreciate your time.

Lou Ferrigno: Thank you. No problem.

Graphic Policy: Have a great day and I will see you at the con.

Jeff Marsick and Scott Barnett take us to a Dead Man’s Party

DeadMansParty TPB Vol 1 Cover

A hitman’s world gets turned upside down and takes a contract out on himself. That’s the concept behind Dead Man’s Party from creators Scott Barnett and Jeff Marsick and published by Darby Pop Publishing and Magnetic Press.

Before it sees publish in January, I got a chance to talk to Scott and Jeff about the series, where the idea came from, and their interesting careers.

Graphic Policy: For those who don’t know the series, how would you describe it?

Scott Barnett: There are people who don’t know about Dead Man’s Party? Shame on them!

Jeff Marsick: And here I thought we were critically acclaimed.

Scott: Not yet. But soon. Dead Man’s Party is about a hitman, known only as Ghost, who is the top guy in the assassination game. When his world gets turned upside down, he’s forced to take a contract out on himself. He orders a Dead Man’s Party, which, in the assassin trade, is part Viking funeral and part Irish wake – a twisted way for your assassin peers to either honor you or finally get even.

Jeff: The problem is, when the “invites” go out to five lucky players, they’re irrevocable. No take-backsies or “Oops, changed my mind.” And that there’s the crux of Ghost’s problem. It’s a neo-noir action thriller.

GP: Where did the idea come from?

Jeff: What’s funny is we both kind of came to it simultaneously.

Scott: Yeah, I was vegging out in front of the TV one night, and this idea of a hitman voluntarily putting himself in the crosshairs popped into my head. Jeff and I were looking to collaborate on a comic project, so when I e-mailed him my idea—

Jeff: I was like, “Holy crap! I’ve had a similar idea for YEARS!” My muse wasn’t television, though. It was Oingo Boingo and their song of the same name. The broad strokes of the story roll in my head like a movie trailer every time I hear that song. Seriously, it was in my head for decades.

Scott: If this ever goes beyond being a comic, you want that song as the main theme, don’t you?


GP: Yeah, I think of the Oingo Boingo song too. How did you two come together to work on the project?

Scott: We’ve known each other for years and had been lobbing ideas back and forth for a bit, but nothing stuck.

Jeff: We’d bump into each other at the comic shop we frequented—Heroes Cards and Comics in Norwalk, Connecticut—and kind of dance around “Y’know, you and I should probably do something together.” We both had ideas for projects we could run with, but they weren’t fully fleshed out and nothing really grabbed us.

Scott: But the moment we started discussing this one, the ideas and possibilities just took off.

GP: Jeff, you have an interesting background in the military and working on Wall Street, how did you come to writing comics?

Jeff: The writing thing I’ve been doing since college. A fantasy novel, a screenplay, short stories, and magazine articles. I love writing. And like so many others who work in comics, I have always been a comic book reader and a collector. But I always figured that I needed to know someone who knew someone in order to get into the industry. While I was working in New York, I learned about (former Marvel editor) Andy Schmidt’s Comics Experience courses and figured I’d take an “Introduction to Writing” course—I like to brag that I had Marvel’s Nick Spencer in my class, too. But, while I learned a ton from the class, the biggest takeaway was the confidence to go out and create my own books. So I started with a unique take on the zombie genre with Z-Girl and the 4 Tigers with my friend, Kirk Manley, and then launched Dead Man’s Party with Scott.

GP: Scott, you have an interesting career as a designer, storyboard artist, 3D modeler/animator, and more. How does having such a varied art background help you when it comes to creating comics?

Scott: It’s made me realize I can do it all by myself, if need be. Up until collecting the series together as a trade paperback with Darby Pop and Magnetic Press, I was the entire art department for the series, which meant not only creating the art, but designing the layout of the book and its logo, designing the website, generating e-mail blasts, formatting the comic for both print and digital outlets, and designing signage for conventions.

Jeff: Wow. All that. Only thing I did was write the scripts.

Scott: Hey, you’re the one who says comics are a visual medium and are more about the art. And you introduced us to Darby Pop, don’t forget.

Jeff: True. Okay, I feel better now.

GP: I read the first issue and it has a very European sense about it in the setting, characters, and even the pacing somewhat. Was that something you did on purpose as opposed to just setting it all in the US and an American vibe about it?

Jeff: Protagonist assassins and hitmen in movies and literature have an exotic quality about them, and allowing Ghost to have the world as his playground just feeds that vibe. We first meet Ghost on a train in France, his vacation place is on the island of Madeira, and he’s conversant throughout the series in several different languages. Odd as it is to say—since he’s an assassin—but all of that lends itself to a certain sexiness surrounding the character. James Bond with some Jason Bourne and a sprinkling of Leon. We did discuss keeping it all in the United States, but it just seemed too claustrophobic for our story, especially since Ghost has proven himself to be a global threat.

GP: I can see some various influences in the first issue as far as the storytelling, are there any that stick out to you?

Jeff: From a writing standpoint, this is a tough question to answer because I think I’m influenced by so many writers I’ve read and so many action movies that I’ve seen. When it comes to writing comics, it’s primarily Peter David, Brian Michael Bendis, and Ed Brubaker. I revere those guys and don’t read their comics so much as study their craft. Outside of the industry, it’s Stephen King, Cormac McCarthy, Robert Crais, Elmore Leonard, Dashiell Hammett…man, this list could go on and on. But I also get a lot of influence from screenwriters: Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Paul Haggis, the Coen brothers, and David Mamet, especially.

Scott: Well, in the beginning, I described the art style as, “Alex Ross meets Sin City,” but it’s taken on a life of its own. I love John Byrne’s page layouts, and if you look at his Next Men series, you can probably see some similarities. I’d be in heaven in anyone – other than me — ever actually pointed that out.

Jeff: It’s funny you mention people noticing similarities because Ghost uses aliases in the series that no one has caught on to and commented about. Those names aren’t just random, they’re actually nods to classic noir novels and movies.

Scott: And there are a couple of Easter eggs in the artwork, too.

Jeff: Maybe we’re too clever for our own good.

Scott: That might be the first time anyone’s EVER said that about us.

GP: How long have you been working on the series?

Scott: We’ve had to juggle the production of the book around our busy work schedules and family lives, so up until now, it’s taken a lot longer than we’d originally anticipated.

Jeff: It’s been, what, five years now?

Scott: Yeah, from conception to the final issue.

Jeff: Like Scott said, it should not have taken so long to get to where we are, which I profusely apologize to our fans for. But, life and the Day Job often complicate a production schedule.

GP: The comic is listed as a four issue limited series, do you have ideas to tell more stories in this world?

Jeff: Ah, the four-issue-limited series claim. Listen, before Scott even put pencil to paper for that first panel of the first issue, we had the series fully outlined. Honest. It was supposed to be three issues and an oversized fourth. But when I started on issue four, I realized that it wasn’t just going to be oversized, it was going to basically be a double-sized issue. And since we were financing this on our own dime, it would probably be in our best interest—and hopefully our fans’ enjoyment—to just make an extra issue.

Scott: Besides, the precedent for the four-issue/five-issue change-up was established back on Marvel’s The Punisher limited series back in 1986, so we’re hiding behind that as our defense.

Jeff: As for more stories, yes, we’ve got several in this particular universe that we want to expand upon, including a spotlight on one of the characters that appears in Dead Man’s Party.

Scott: We’re already talking about the sequel and probably six—

Jeff: Seven. Maybe eight.

Scott: –other spin-offs and series utilizing this universe of characters. Hopefully, we’ll get the opportunity to pursue them.

GP: Anything else folks should keep an eye out for from you two?

Jeff: Right now, Kirk Manley is at work on the art for the new story arc for Z-Girl and the 4 Tigers, and people can order the issues for the first arc off our website: I’m hoping next year—fingers crossed—will see an Indestructible: Stingray limited series launch with Darby Pop as a follow-up to the one-shot I wrote for them earlier this year. Scott and I have an all-ages concept we want to develop in addition to sequels to Dead Man’s Party.

Scott: We’d like to expand our comic storytelling into new directions beyond the action-noir genre, and hopefully we can get something off the ground in 2016.

Dead Man’s Party will be available in January from Darby Pop Publishing and Magnetic Press. The 128-page full color graphic novel is now available for pre-order from Diamond Comics Distributors using order code: NOV151520.

« Older Entries