Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Interview: Adam Beechen!

Animation and comic scribe Adam Beechen has worked on such franchises as Batman, Justice League, Teen Titans, Rugrats and Ben 10. Renaldo had a chat with him about Batman Beyond and more!

Batman Beyond #1

CBNAH: I watched the cartoon religiously so I must ask - how challenging was it to take this cult-favorite, Batman Beyond, and its revered world and scribe it? What was the pressure like knowing fanboys like me never wanted it off the air?

AB: There's pressure taking over any existing character.  After all, every character is someone's favorite.  But in this case, the pressure was extra high because I'm such a fan of Batman Beyond as well, and the animated series was done so brilliantly, I really wanted to try and live up to the standard that had been set.  I know Batman Beyond's passionate fans wouldn't accept anything less, so I can only hope that, for the most part, we've been successful so far.

You touched not only on the evolving relationship with Bruce and Terry but also with key factors of the Bat-Family such as Dick, and even romantic I difficult is it arranging and plotting air time for such a unique cast?

It's tough.  There's so much to explore, and relatively few pages in which to do it all.  So we try and find storylines when possible within which many of characters can interact.  In 10,000 Clowns, for example, it's logical that the story would affect almost everyone in our cast.

Did the animated RETURN OF THE JOKER influence your arcs?

Sure, absolutely.  A lot of what we're doing is exploring whether or not Terry really wants this path for his life.  ROJ showed him one of the things that can happen to someone who's traveled his path, and it affects his thinking.   

The epilogue episode where Terry's genetics are revealed to be that of Bruce' instrumental has that been as you charted the title?

Extremely.  We know that's a point in Terry's future.  So we create our stories, which take place before that, with "Epilogue" in mind.  We know things lead there, so we steer our ship toward it, however far ahead it may be. 

What was it like writing the JLA in this world?

Great fun!  There's a lot about those characters we still don't know, so any chance to develop them further is exciting. I think Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen have been doing a terrific job with those characters in their Justice League Beyond segments.

I love Teen Titans, the Batman and how you make the transition from books to tv and vice versa? i.e. your creative process

I find it pretty different.  Comics scripts for me tend to be a lot more detailed, as you're describing every panel for the artist.  In animation, you do some "directing on the page," but it's looser, more of a framework for the artists to work in.  That doesn't mean comics scripts aren't flexible, but to start with, you want a pretty detailed description of what you're seeing in your head down in the document. 

From Batgirl to Animal Man to has it been writing at DC? What's your favorite title you worked on?

I've loved every minute of writing for DC.  What lifelong fanboy wouldn't feel the same?  DC's been very supportive of me, and let me work with a lot of their characters.  I'm more personally invested in Batman Beyond than I have been in any other book so far, because DC's given me so much rein to explore the world, but probably the most pure fun I've had at DC was writing Justice League Unlimited, in which I could spotlight one hero, or a couple heroes, each month that wouldn't normally get a lot of exposure.  And because it was outside the DCU continuity, there were fewer restrictions on the stories I could tell. 


How did you break into writing comics?

I'd been writing animation for some time, including shows about DC characters, so I was kind of on DC's radar.  My good friend Larry Young offered me the chance to write a graphic novel for his imprint, AiT/PlanetLar, so I did (That was called HENCH, and it's available now HERE).  On a visit to New York, I connected with an old college friend, Ivan Cohen, who was an editor at DC at the time, and he gave me a tour and introduced me around.  From that, and with my animation work and graphic novel as calling cards, I got the chance to pitch to the Teen Titans Go comic, and everything rolled from there!

Dream book and artist?

I would love to have written an Aquaman comic drawn by the late, great, Jim Aparo. 

What are you doing with your journalism degree? :) I ask this as I love journalism!

I use my degree every day, as journalism taught me a lot about how to communicate ideas clearly and directly, how to strip away unnecessary detail and information and get right to the heart of what's important in a story. 

Advice to aspiring writers?

ABW:  Always Be Writing.  The more you do it, the better you get.  Find people whose opinions you trust, and show them your work.  Take criticism gracefully and not personally.  If you don't agree with a note, fine, but at least try to understand why your reader tripped when they did, and think objectively if you can't make that moment or story point better. 

Lastly, finish this - 'Comic book nerds are hot because...'

Because they're passionate and creative! 

Monday, November 26, 2012

CBNAH Interview: Terry Moore

Terry Moore is a champion amongst self publishers. His long running series, Strangers in Paradise, won just about every comic award that matters, and his current book, Rachel Rising, is a critical success. Tim caught up with him to discuss Rachel Rising, next years' Strangers in Paradise anniversary and more!


Rachel Rising Vol. 1
CBNAH: You’re one of the most hardworking guys in the industry, writing, drawing, inking and lettering your work while maintaining a five week turnaround. Can you share with us a little of your process and how you spend your time making a comic?

TM: I just work on the comic every day. I work at home so it is easy to keep drawing all the time and into the night. i usually write the comic or at least the first few scenes, then start drawing. I change the story if I get a better idea while drawing. 

CBNAH: Who were some of your influences as a young Cartoonist?

TM: Charles Schulz, Herge, Curt Swan, Frazetta, Manara. I can see their details in my art. 

CBNAH: Rachel Rising has far more horror elements to it than your previous work. How is writing horror different to writing sci-fi or drama?

TM: I would have to say it's more liberating. I am free to let the worst happen. In fact, I am expected to let the worst happen. Isn't that odd?

CBNAH: You’ve said Rachel Rising is going to be around the 24-30 issue mark, which means we’re past halfway. Can you tease us with any tasty morsels from upcoming issues? What can we expect?

TM: Nope. No spoilers!

CBNAH: Your talent for creating strong, interesting characters is well documented – currently I’m loving Aunt Johnny! Do you draw inspiration for your characters from your own life, or do they come from somewhere else?

TM: I think my characters are composites of people I've known or read about. I never make a character directly from one person, that would be dangerous!

CBNAH: I’ve noticed you tend to write women in pairs – Katchoo and Francine, Julie and Ivy, Rachel and Jet – Is that a conscious decision, or am I seeing something that’s not there?!

TM: I tend to work the yin yang of everything, including people and relationships. For every push there is a pull.

Francine and Katchoo, the main characters of SiP.
CBNAH: You spent the better part of 14 years working on SiP. What’s it like to have that hard work recognized, both through awards and sales?

TM: It's wonderful that Strangers In Paradise has not been forgotten and left behind by the world. I hoped it would outlive me. So far, so good.

CBNAH: Can you give us anything juicy on the new SiP story for next year?

TM: It is about the girls today, in the present. And they are every bit as cool now as they were then.

CBNAH: As someone who is somewhat detached from the mainstream comics industry, what do you make of the state the industry is in? Are comics a dying art form?

TM: I think comics are changing. But they won't die. They are will remain a valid art form, like classical music and oil painting. Those disciplines were once very high profile in society, but have fallen to quieter levels. So it may be with comics, but the art form will survive. Comics have been around since the the cave men, I don't think the computer will kill them.

CBNAH: You’ve expressed your take on digital comics elsewhere, but I’m curious to know what the results of making your work available digitally have been? Have you seen a decrease in print sales?

TM: I have seen a slow steady decrease in print sales but it is not because of digital... it is because that's the way comic retailers order books. They order less and less and less and less and less until a book dies. It's a nightmare for indy books, and the reason why mainstream stories are mostly short arcs that last no more than a year. No matter what people say, it's all about the new in the American direct market. Meanwhile, my digital sales have been good, helping me to survive the shrinking print market.

CBNAH: What comics have you been reading lately?

The last comics I read faithfully was Power Girl by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. I tend to read novels and but art books. I read good titles like Chew and The Goon when I can find them.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Comic Book Nerds Are...Shopping.?! Black Friday Special...

Comic Book Nerds Are Hot TShirt Shop..! Click Here...

In honor of Black Friday, we have a couple of shirts on sale ONE DAY ONLY! Follow the link, pick your shirt and wear it with CBNAH pride..! (and take some goddamn pics, as usual, pants are optional)

Sidenote: These shirts are priced AT COST, that means CBNAH makes no money from the sales, just

Comic Book Nerds Are Hot TShirt Shop..! Click Here...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

CBNAH Interview: Joe Harris

Joe Harris has many strings attached to his bow - Comic scribe, screen writer, director. His new creator owned comic, Great Pacific, has just debuted at Image Comics, so Renaldo sat down with him to discuss it.

Great Pacific #1
Can you shed some insight into the plot of GREAT PACIFIC?
Sure, it's a sci-fi, survival adventure story set out on this hyper-realized version of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  It follows one young oil heir who throws his cushy life of privilege and inheritance away when he decides to settle this growing continent of ocean trash, plant a flag and declare it his own, sovereign nation.
What inspired you to helm such an 'unconventional' concept for a book?
At least partly, the fact that it is such an unconventional concept.  And, honestly, the reality of the environmental disaster motivated most of my thinking.  While the Great Pacific Garbage Patch isn't, in reality, the contiguous island of refuse as depicted in our book, the fact that it exists and neither appears to be shrinking, nor getting cleaned up, makes me believe anything is possible.
Did the BP Oil Spill play any part in orchestrating this story?
At least somewhat, sure.  The feckless arrogance of big oil and the gross juxtaposition of these massive, multinational mega corporations against the damage they often do has inspired a few ideas of mine.  Consider that alongside the enormous profits they enjoy providing energy to a world that is being damaged by its use as much as it is benefiting from the service, it can't help but take things for granted and you've got some rich material to dig into.

The BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico happened while we were getting ready to begin making the first issue of this series and it did sharpen our focus a bit.  Seeing the different upper management figures become the face of this company on television and watching them walk this tightrope between displays of contrition and desire to limit their liability wasn't lost on us.

What would you say sets this book apart from the average comic?
Well, it's got a political message, as well as more than one about humans and the shit we do which we probably shouldn't.  And it's got a mutant octopus swimming around and causing problems.

The real Great Pacific Garbage Patch
As a writer, you penned DARKNESS FALLS. What's the difference when approaching and scripting a screenplay from a comic script?
When working in Hollywood?  The interference, honestly.  Working on creator-owned comics like GREAT PACIFIC has allowed me more freedom than any movie or big publisher comic book I've ever written.

Would you ever be interested in doing a DARKNESS FALLS comic series? I ask this as I know you penned an origins title on Matilda for Dark Horse.
At this point?  I'd have to say no.  There was a window for the studio to make sequels, but I think that has passed too.  Though I was happy with how the Dark Horse prequel, drawn by a fantastic but yet-to-be-a-superstar Charlie Adlard, came out.

You've also written for DC so I your career, what's your most favourite work you produced?

GREAT PACIFIC, without question.  I'm fond of it all or, at least, most of what I've been able to do.  From SLINGERS for Marvel to at least most of FIRESTORM at DC.  But the creator-owned books of mine, from GHOST PROJEKT through the upcoming GREAT PACIFIC, are my faves.

Ghost Projekt Vol. 1
 What comics or film material are you going to be working on once GREAT PACIFIC comes out?
I've got a lot of new projects in the works.  Stay tuned!

I read the Firestorm run recently and enjoyed it. Sad to say, fans of that run are missing your take on Ronnie and Jason so I ask, what's your current future with DC?
Well, I'm writing an upcoming three-parter for DC Digital's BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT series.  It's called "Arkham's Ghost" and concerns a haunting that's plaguing the inmates in Arkham Asylum, and what happens when this poltergeist starts enlisting the aid of the criminally insane to right some past wrongs.

Any words of advice for upcoming writers?

Read a lot, and not just comics.  Watch a lot of movies and understand how cinematic storytelling works.  And write, all the time, every day, even when you don't want to.

Biggest challenge you ever faced in the industry?
It's continual, man.  Staying employed and earning money.

Finish this sentence, 'Comic book nerds are hot because....'
...the brain is an erogenous zone, and comic book nerds have beautiful brains.

New Episode of School of Better Comics!

In a special episode, I show a time lapse video of my process when drawing with charcoal. watch it here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Oz' 2-Cent Reviews for the first half of November (1 of 2)

Thor: God of Thunder #1:  A book that finally lives up to the name.  Aaron is on fire currently in the Marvel U and this book keeps adding the coals!  Issue 1:  deicide!

Avengers Academy #39:  I'm really sad to see this book go, especially at this point.  The new characters have finally started to get their footing but alas, Marvel Comics is a business and as such, are always moving forward.  There's no room for blossoming weed's in this industry of high profile movie characters and that sucks for this book.  Fans of the characters will have no choice but to follow an entirely new creative team in the next chapter of this series, AVENGERS ARENA.

Wolverine & The X-Men #20:  This is usually the first book I read in my pile.  It's exciting x-adventure that fills the nostalgia-fix and features sane x-storylines (yes, they do exist) not convoluted with years of banal, unnecessary backwash.  Jason Aaron bitch, recognize!

Two more issues and this series wraps up for its third incarnation.

Uncanny X-Force #33:  AoA Nightcrawler both scared and aroused me in this issue.  I won't say too much but....fuck balls!  "Sir...the calls.  The calls are coming from inside your....stomach!!!"

X-Factor #246:  Series issue of the YEAR!!!  We finally get insights on Pip's own day to day activities in the offices of X-Factor Investigations and...the little guy goes a long way.  The last page left me with boxer stains.

Worlds' Finest #6:  You would think that a book written by Levits, (partly) penciled by George "The God" Perez and features Damian Wayne would leave me with a pleasant feeling...and it does!  BUT!  I'm just sooo tired of the introspection.  We GET IT, you're lost souls on a world you don't recognize but your womanly strength will help you persevere.  I've understood this msg for the OTHER 6 issues.  Can we stop wasting panel and caption space with all this and do something?  Robin (IV) was a treat and the art is great, but man, let's get something solid going here.

Batman & Robin #14:  I enjoyed this book mainly because it kept making me laugh.  It depicted how fucked up and dangerous the streets of Gotham can be, without even the use of a villain.  Gleason/Tomasi still have my trust on this book.

Green Lantern #14:  I really felt like I was reading the Justice League book with this one.  Obviously it features them, as the newest GL makes his getaway.  Some really cool scenes where Baz leaves Flash in the dust and earns the admiration of Superman himself.  Rise of the third army has been a bit boring, but the characters in the GL world keep me coming back.

Green Lantern Corps #14:  I have to be honest and say that I was very close to dropping this book.  This, however, is the issue that saves it.  Nothing much new or shocking goes down, it's just that there is more focus on the characters and the plot is finally advancing.  I'd usually expect more from one of my fav scribes Tomasi, but I think he's finally found the directions to "THIS is how you write a good GLC" road.

Dial H #6:  The break or as I like to call it, the "happy hour" issue.  This is the type where a comic book is in between story arcs and plots so the characters enjoy some down-time.  A good writer always knows to give his characters a breather, while at the same time keep things interesting and moving for the audience.  Shit is going down for our resident tubster and the title can move on to it's next thing.  Issue 6 has got itself one satisfied customer (pssst!  it's me!).

Earth 2 #6:  YAWN!  Great art, great character re-imaginings but ffs how long does Robinson need for this story arc??  It takes place in the same exact SETTING for 6 straight issues with the same statements spewing forth from characters in a forever-loop.  This is called BAD decompression.  I'm not sure what DC is thinking here, I'm only sticking around because of my love for the characters and creator (no s required, it's just Nicola Scott).  But what about newer readers?  This would be a complete turn off to them and it instils the stigma of comic books being a never-ending slow drudge of captions and speech bubbles.  Wake the fuck up DC.

This is the infamous issue where Lemire takes shots at Liefeld's failed DCnU titles in retaliation for  all the negative tweets Rob wrote about his good friend Scott Snyder.

Animal Man #14:  Rotworld - The Red Kingdom part 2!  Not since Blackest Night has there been a crossover in DC that has had me this saturated with satisfaction.  I'm busting, Jerry, I'm BUSTING!  I won't even say a single thing about this because I want you to go out and buy Animal Man.  What issue?  ALL OF THEM!  Go...I said go!!!

Swamp Thing #14:  Rotworld - The Green Kingdom part 2!  What the hell are you still doing here reading this review??  It goes for Swamp Thing as well!  Stop crying about buying crappy comics and go get a good one!  These two!  GO!!!!

End of Part 1

CBNAH Interview: Alina Urusov

Birds of Prey #6
27 year-old, Alina Urusov, embodies the strong-willed and crafty female presence in the comic industry today. Fans are familiar with the ‘male’ aspect of ‘geek and nerd’ culture but this Russian native’s expansive resume consists of deft interior and elegant covers for many top companies. Urusov has cut her teeth on books such as ‘NYX’, ‘X-Force’ and ‘Young Avengers’ at Marvel while sculpting further magic on DC’s ‘Birds of Prey’. Now residing in Canada, she has also etched her name into Top Cow’s ‘Witchblade’.

“I was always encouraged to draw because my parents dabbled in art. I also had many well-illustrated children’s books from the masters of the past as well as from Russia and I attended an art-specialized high school where I practiced oil painting. But for post-secondary studies, I chose animation. I’m mostly self-taught in illustration, which is much less complicated to learn than 3-D animation” she stated. Urusov varies her sketches from oils to Photoshop to keep her outreach as diverse as possible. Regarding the presence of female creators in the business today, she elaborated, The artists at conventions are mostly guys. I think if female creators work hard and are dedicated, there should be no problem getting into the comic industry. I know there are a lot of talented women out there and I think that they should be encouraged to show it.” Urusov admitted that there were more females doing independent work than working at bigger entities such as Marvel and DC but she expressed optimism for upcoming talent.  Urusov added that it was a renaissance with women in art thriving globally and the gender barriers broken down with the Internet’s advent.

The talented penciller admitted that her fascination with supernatural elements in the real-world helped her refine her skill. She also lauded the guile needed in juxtaposing unmarried or unconventional concepts into stories for comics. She expressed immense passion for this medium but conferred, I'd really just love to see more of a movie industry develop in comics - where any kind of story can be told. That's already the case with indie comics but I would like for more things to be explored. I personally like the combination of real elements of life with the supernatural, or any juxtaposition of previously unmarried concepts really. I think I want more surrealism too, please.”

NYX: NoWay Home #1
She revealed that drawing covers proved most enjoyable as they allowed her to hone her versatility as well as explore new methodologies in art. This also helped conserve time spent sketching. On breaking into the industry, the virtuoso artist revealed it was not difficult due to her affiliations. “I just got introduced to people in the industry (easily) and got jobs. Before that, I spent two years making art for myself but not for a portfolio. I think portfolios shouldn’t be the goal, the goal should be to enjoy the art you make and the process, and maybe then others will enjoy it too. Art is for enjoyment and shouldn’t be thought of seriously. That’s sometimes hard to remember when you work so hard,” she divulged.

She confessed that editors usually gave her free rein in creating covers so that she submits more portraits than required before the team decides on the final one.  Urusov also expounded on her creative process – “I have to become an expert in my drawings. I appreciate the aesthetic of real functionality so I gather my references and then for sequentials, I do quick thumbnails and layout in Photoshop. I draw the inks on paper and colour here. I won’t necessarily stick with this format for every case. It’s nice to have a familiar format but it’s also interesting to experiment with styles and mediums.” She stated that challenging and tight deadlines were tedious but they helped her make confident and decisive artistic decisions – “I think most of the time the editors already have an idea of what they want for covers but it's up to me to give it flesh. So I send a bunch of preliminary sketch ideas, usually far too many, and they pick one and I craft that one out the way I do sequentials.”

Sequential comic art tallies hectic schedules for Urusov and placed more duress on her during her DC and Marvel stints. I do the best job I can and if the editors are okay with my pace, that’s great, and if not then I am sure some really fast artists will get a great job. But most editors are gracious and they understand I am trying to raise it up a notch if I can. For me it's gratifying to know I didn't spend all this time on something that is just 'ok' and that people enjoy the art. For covers there is enough time (unless you are working two jobs or are a student simultaneously), but for sequentials it's pretty tight, especially because I like to do things properly and I work better under less stress,” she professed.

She heaped plaudits on technology and the digital age with reference made to cameras. She believes such devices allowed capturing pivotal moments and essences of Life. However, she remains wary that such tools can hinder the mind’s ability to cultivate scenes and elements from scratch. She is focused on commission work at present after finishing ‘Blue Bloods’, which is a 110-page graphic novel.  “I just finished work on "Blue Bloods”. So now I can focus on commissions for a while,” she said.
Topcow Holiday Special, 2010
“Some people say, ‘I wish I could be an artist’ but they don’t know that they can! Anybody can do it if you care enough and just try it. Don’t worry about getting into the industry so much as doing a good job that you are satisfied with. If you’re already in there, do your best and have a critical eye about your own work, be optimistic about your ability to improve,” she also offered. Expanding on her influences, Urusov commented, “Well I mentioned my parents could paint back in the day, and my mom has a very critical eye which helped me learn to look at things objectively, and I really like art that has a strong line, or a witty combination of any elements. Claire Wendling and Joshua Middleton were my main influences when I first started comic drawing.”

As for the digital era, she relayed sage insight to aspiring artists. “I can record anything I see for later use with my camera- that's fantastic- but I also think it sort of made the development of drawing skills not as necessary. But when you record things with a pencil, it creates a strange kind of peace with the world and your circumstance so it shouldn't be neglected,” she stated. Urusov shared rare information as to her favorite and daunting aspect of the business also – “Covers are definitely more enjoyable because they don't take as much time to make, and you can move on and hop onto a different style wagon and try something new. I liked the last NYX cover because I got to try oils instead of photoshop. I also like drawing characters in action like the first Birds of Prey cover. The most challenging thing is the deadlines, but they push you to make quick decisions with confidence. Without them not a whole lot would get done I suppose.”

In ending I asked…why are comic book nerds hot? Her response – They wear spandex and don't care what other people think. Those people who dress up as supers to fight crime for real are especially intriguing!”

Monday, November 19, 2012

New Original Art Galleries!

We've added two new art galleries in the Original art section! See Vanishing Ashes' gallery here, and Christopher Masson's gallery here!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

CBNAH Interview: Yildiray Cinar

Turkish artist Yildiray Cinar is one of the flagship pencillers at DC Comics today. Cinar is set for a stint on Earth-2 from January 2013, which features alternate versions of Green Lantern and Flash as they connect to the rest of the DC Universe. The book has garnered much attention as it boasts a gay Green Lantern, Alan Scott, as writer James Robinson, famed for his Superman titles, utilizes Cinar to bring his visions to life.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

CBNAH: 'Kid Havoc': Kicks Back...

Renaldo continues his interview with Eric Pfeiffer-

1. Elaborate more on the fashion and comics mash-up? - 
The fashion side of the project is meant to be as vital to the story as the comic itself. The story is told in its entirety through the issues so you could read through all of the trade-backs and not feel like you were missing anything. However, since the issues are released every other month we are releasing limited runs of clothes in between those months that actually foreshadow what is to happen in the next issue. These moments of foreshadowing are seen through the artwork featured on the clothes as well as the actual design of the clothes. For instance the jacket you may be wearing could play a vital part in a characters design that has yet to be introduced.
2. Influences? w.r.t. art, music, family etc -
I have so many influences it’s hard to name them off. I acquire at least a few new ones every day. I’m in to all the classics, Otomo, Crepax, Moebius, Toppi and the more contemporary artists like Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba, Paul Pope, Guy Davis, Asaf and Tomer Hanuka, Becky Cloonan, Mike Mignola. Just met Ron Wimberly the other day, the creator of Prince of Cats, and I have to say that guy is quickly climbing to the top of my inspiration list. Plus he’s cool as shit, which is always refreshing. There’s no room for ego in comics. Besides comic influences music plays a huge role as well. I make a playlist for each character I’m creating to play through whenever I’m drawing their scenes. I try not to spend too much time on each panel to force out a fair amount of confidence behind my marks and I find that the right music for the scene really helps project that confidence onto the page.
3. How's the backing of your friends and family on your art career and what do you draw/paint apart from comics? - 
Like I said before my friends have been an incredible and an essential part of everything that I do. My family has been especially supportive. I owe them everything. Both of my parents are artists and extremely hard working. So if my little brother actually. Growing up surrounded by that pressure to succeed and creative energy is vital to being a successful artist.

4. Do you think you can innovate and penetrate markets outside US such as Caribbean and Europe etc and how would you plan on doing this? -
I definitely hope so. I think websites like Kickstarter have already opened those doors a great deal. We’ve been receiving a quite a few pledges from people all over the world with our Kid Havoc Kickstarter campaign and I really hope that they keep reading. It’s really an incredible feeling to know that you’re reaching people all over the world. These social avenues have opened up so much opportunity in the world and we share so much of a common interest. It’s really fascinating to me.
5. Finally, what's the end-game that you guys envision for Kid Havoc? -
I want to tell the story of Kid Havoc as long as I can, or as long as I see fit. The great thing about Kid Havoc is that the business structure we’ve set up with the clothing line allows us the luxury of taking our time with telling the story. I really want to be able to dive into some deep secrets with Kid Havoc and offer readers something vast and deep to dive into. I would also love to be able to have a studio that Fern and I could work in and be able to collaborate in person. Right now she works out of LA and I’m based in Richmond. We work really well together with the distance, maybe the space helps, but I’m really curious to see what would come out if we could operate Kid Havoc from the same space. Maybe we could even have a small storefront/gallery in another room with a cool receptionist like the one from Ghostbusters. Time will tell.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

CBNAH: We Kick It With Kickstarter and 'Kid Havoc'...

'Kid Havoc' on Kickstarter

Kid Havoc tells of a boy trapped in a world torn by social hierarchy as he's forced to live underground with the rest of his people - deemed unworthy by the Monarchy to live on the surface. In this tale of caste, the boy, Isaac, finds himself torn between youthful curiosities of chasing fireflies through streets and tunnels, and between the social war that keeps his people oppressed and underground. As the war continues, a secret press develops under the name Kid Havoc to spill propaganda to overthrow the Monarchy. While it is up to Isaac to find his way to the top layer to spread their propaganda in this political yet emotional tale, he battles with his child-like sense of curiosity and follows these fireflies deep beneath their city...only to uncover an ancient horror that will change the course of the war!

Yeah…that blew my mind away. Throw that concept in with the amazing art of indie-artist, Eric Scott Pfeiffer, and a novel ideal called 'fashion'...And there you have it...KID HAVOC! It's a comic series and clothing company created by Eric, a freelance illustrator based in Richmond, VA and Fernanda Chavez, a freelance fashion designer based in Los Angeles, CA. They tell an immersive story intricately spun through a series of comics and limited clothing lines. All items are designed and inspired from elements within the story and all artwork is pulled from the next issue so that the apparel will act as a teaser, or sneak peak, into what will happen next in Kid Havoc. Since the characters progress through the story, the clothing will progress alongside them, changing and adapting to the character's new surroundings. Issues will be released bi-monthly with small runs of clothing released in-between giving insight into what will happen next in the storyline.

Here’s my interview with Eric, the talented –
1. Can you explain more about Kid Havoc? - 

Kid Havoc is an industries mash-up of comics and fashion. It’s a way for us to merge the storytelling abilities of each unique medium.

2. Why use Kickstarter? As an indie freelancer in the US, is funding that hard to get for projects? - 

I don’t think Kickstarter is just about funding. The fact is we could get funding from other avenues i.e. investors etc, but Kickstarter allows us to build a fan base while simultaneously gathering funds to start our project. With this system you know before you launch that you have a solid customer base to start with. Plus, what you owe them in return is a good, honest product and not just money with interest tied to it.

3. What inspired you and your team to go on a comic line and a fashion route? - 

Right now the team is just Fernanda Chavez and I. We freelanced together in the past for a defunct clothing company. Through the years Fern gathered the skills and connections necessary to start her own line. When she asked me to produce artwork for her line I pitched her idea of what is now Kid Havoc. At the time it was a little different. I think we wanted to produce two sides of the same story told through a men’s line and women’s line, each with their own comics.

4. Could you elaborate on the fashion part of this? – 

The fashion side of the project is meant to be as vital to the story as the comic itself. The story is told in its entirety through the issues so you could read through all of the trade-backs and not feel like you were missing anything. However, since the issues are released every other month we are releasing limited runs of clothes in between those months that actually foreshadow what is to happen in the next issue. These moments of foreshadowing are seen through the artwork featured on the clothes as well as the actual design of the clothes. For instance the jacket you may be wearing could play a vital part in a characters design that has yet to be introduced.

5. How's the art scene in Richmond? -

Incredible. There’s really something fundamentally different about having so many talented and professional artists in such a small city. You can walk into one of the best comic shops on the east coast and see one of the greatest working illustrators and one of the best indie publishers browsing comics and not think twice about it. There’s a community surrounding these tight-knit groups in such a small atmosphere that creates a healthy competition as well as a strong support system. With Kid Havoc I’ve benefited from this first hand. I’m not lying when I say I seriously could not have done any of this without my friends in Richmond.

-Interviewer, Renaldo Matadeen