A.C. Medina talks Elasticator
Meet Mikey Mazzagatti, better known as Elasticator. The new comic, published by Scout, tells the story of Mikey Mazzagatti, young vigilante in Brooklyn. The story is a fun but vicious take on the superhero genre, and I got to chat with writer and creator A.C. Medina about what readers can expect from Elasticator.
Graphic Policy: First of all, thanks for taking the time to talk to me! Can you tell us a little about yourself and about your new comic, Elasticator?
A.C. Medina: Thank you for having me! Hmm, a little about myself, well I live in Manhattan with a menace of a French bulldog named Rocco, I have some of the best friends and family a guy can ask for and I like to tell stories. One of those stories is Elasticator, a story that reflects on life, change, and the American dream through the eyes of a vigilante.
GP: Elasticator is a pretty fun and a different concept than a run-of-the-mill hero story. For readers who are expecting just another superhero comic, can you tell us what makes it so unique?
AM: What I think makes Elasticator unique is the fact that we never set out to be different or special, we just wanted to tell a story we cared about. That sense of not romanticizing our story follows us throughout, especially with our characters; each character in our story can be a hero or a villain depending on the situation. As a story Elasticator doesn’t know what it is, at times its fun and at other times its cruel and we want to keep it that way.
GP: One of the things I noticed while reading was the attention to breaking the sort of idyllic-ly hipster image that people seem to have of Brooklyn these days. Can you tell us a little about the influence of place on the story?
AM: For starters Brooklyn is not only our setting but also one of the main character of our story. As a kid I grew up commuting back and forth between New Jersey and New York, spending the weekends in my parent’s grocery stores. I was able to see all walks of life and I wanted to bring that influence to the story. I want our readers to see what Brooklyn used to be and everything it lost for it to become the place it is today.
GP: Who is Mikey Mazzagatti to you? How did you come up with the idea for the character?
AM: Mikey to me is everything I love and hate about my generation–in a sense Mikey is one big reflection. I came up with the character back when I was a rookie nerd in my parent’s basement playing mmorpgs. He was one of the characters I played as and as I grew older so did Mikey, who back then was called Joey. The more of myself I added to the character the more he came to life and when the time came to make my first comic, I knew who’d be the star.
GP: What is the most exciting aspect of writing the series for you, and what are you most excited for readers to discover or read about?
AM: The most exciting part for me as a writer is also my biggest challenge, making a ‘hero’ comic in today’s world where superhero stories are a dime a dozen. That challenge excites me because for me we’ve only scratched the surface of superheroes, it’s a genre so vast that the possibilities are endless. I’m excited for our readers to see how much our world changes throughout the course of the story and the impact the character’s actions have over our world, it’s a wild ride that we hope will affect our readers in meaningful and everlasting ways.
GP: Did you grow up reading comics? If so, who are some writers that influenced your work?
AM: Very much so, I’ve read comics my whole life. Like most I started with heroes but by the time I was a teenager and thought I was a badass I began reading the harder stuff, mainly Vertigo. The more I explored the medium the more I fell in love and wanted to be a part it, I read everything I could get my hands on. That’s when I read the works of Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman, Garth Ennis, Grant Morrison, and of course Alan Moore. With them I was able to see the true potential of comic book story telling, but I find myself learning more and more each day, especially from some of today’s heavy hitters like Jason Aaron, Mark Millar, and Brian K. Vaughn. For me artists also have a huge influence over my work, especially those such as Sean Murphy or Skottie Young, without artists this form of storytelling would never exist.
GP: Kevin Shah’s art really complements the story–he has a great style. For you, what does he bring to the project?
AM: What Kevin brings most to the project is willpower, no matter the odds Kevin never gives up. For him we’re never at our best and that’s good thing, art is meant to be constantly challenge and worked on. Each new page is our best page, he’s constantly setting the bar, and for me as a writer that’s the best form of motivation.
GP: You’re not only a writer, but a filmmaker as well. Are there things that comics allow you to explore that filmmaking doesn’t?
AM: For me it’s not so much what I can or cannot do with both but more how the two are different when it comes to the craft. For instance, comics, especially indie comics, are much more personal than films. In film it takes an army but with comics it takes an elite unit, for me that makes them both special in their own ways. On set I meet a bunch of new people every time but in a comic book team, it’s just me and a few others who are stuck with me.
GP: Can we expect other comics from you?
AM: Where there’s a will there’s way, right? I don’t expect to leave anytime soon and god willing I’ll continue to tell stories, Elasticator is just the first of many!
Anything you’d like to talk about that I didn’t ask you?
AM: There is one thing, a bit of a public service announcement. Fans, readers, creators, and everyone in between, support new comics! Even if it’s not Elasticator, support the new guys because they need it most. We’ve seen what Spider-man has to offer and we’ve seen what Batman has had to offer; now lets see what the new guys can do.
GP: Thanks again for your time! It’s been great talking to you!
AM: Again thank you! It’s not often that people want to hear me blab on about comics, and for that I can’t thank you enough.