Gothicblend’s Weblog

January 2, 2009

Graphic Tales from the Road, Interview with Bobby Nash and his Evil Ways

Filed under: comic books — gothicblend @ 3:41 pm
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When and how did you get started writing?

I had this dream growing up to be a comic book artist. I began writing stories that I could illustrate. As I got older I met others with similar interests and began writing stories for them to illustrate as well. However, I never really considered the writing part as my main job until a good friend of mine pointed out to me that I was a far better writer than an artist. Begrudgingly, I have to admit that he was right. At that point I focused more on the writing, but I still dabble in the art. Then one day I got this wild notion to write a novel. The rest, as they say, is history.

How did you break into this industry?

With comics, I worked on a few fanzines and had a few stories published in small press titles. Like most other writers, I submit to publishers and answer ads looking for writers. My big break came in late 2000 when I landed the scripting duties on Marat Mychaels’ Demonslayer comic series. The title had two mini series at Image Comics. My first issue (Demonslayer: Vengeance #1) came out in 2001 when the title moved to Avatar Press. It was my first color book and actually sold fairly well as I remember. I worked on the title, which was a series of mini series, until 2004 when the book ended.

With novels it was a little different. I wrote a sci fi novel that I admit was not very good, but I got the “I want to write a novel” bug out of my system. Eventually, I had the urge to try again. This time I joined a writing class at the University of Georgia Continuing Education Center and began working on the novel that eventually became Evil Ways, my first published novel. This time I never lost the urge to write more prose and have stuck with it.You’ve worked on a lot of different projects with a lot of different artists. Who are your favorite artists to work with?

I love the collaboration process that you get working in comics. There’s nothing like seeing the artwork coming in. It’s a beautiful thing. I’ve worked with some talented artists like Al Rio, Jeff Austin, Marat Mychaels, Cory Hamscher, Allan Otero, Stephen Toth, Blake Wilkie, Daniele Sera, and Luis Ruben Rivera Nunez (look for us on the Yin Yang graphic novel from Arcana Comics in 2008) and I look forward to working with more great artists in the future. As for dream artists, I’d have to say that the biggies would be George Perez, John Byrne, Frank Cho, Steve Epting, Adam Hughes… I should stop here as this could become a long list.

 

Do you pick the artists or are they assigned by the publisher?It depends. Most of my writing work to date has been work for hire so the publisher hires everyone. I have some artist friends I will sometimes pitch something to and see if they are interested in working on it, but for the most part I have not picked the artists I have worked with.

I see you write both comics and novels. Is there a particular genre or style that you like writing for the most?

I like to dabble in multiple genres. In comics, the sky is the limit. It’s just a matter of finding the right publisher for certain types of stories. In novels, I think I do very well with the suspenseful thrillers and the adventure stories. Writing the pulp style stories over at Wild Cat Books and Airship 27 is a fairly new thing for me that I’m enjoying, but I tend to gravitate to the thrillers. That said, were I to get a horror novel idea I would certainly give it a shot.

When we met at the convention, I have to admit the first thing that caught my eye was your “Fuzzy Bunnies from Hell” comic. Please tell me, where did that idea come from?I would love to take the credit for this because it is such a wonderful concept, but Fuzzy Bunnies From Hell is the brainchild of Jason Shane Powell over at FYI Comics. The title and basic premise was already in place when I was hired on as writer. I was given a paragraph or two synopsis and I took it from there. At the time I did not have many opportunities to write comedy so I really punched up the comedy to accentuate this horror story.

I see there are four issues, correct? Do you have any plans to add more?
Four issues are out. I’m not sure if they are still available for reorder or not at this time. There is still more to go to finish the story, but it’s currently on hold. I do hope to see the rest of the story out one day. You can check out the story so far for free at www.drunkduck.com/FUZZY_BUNNIES_FROM_HELL/index.php?p=117638. And if you really want to know the end of the story, there is a script book available featuring the entire script for Fuzzy Bunnies From Hell available at http://www.lulu.com/content/1103151. Okay, enough plugs. Back to the interview.

 

In reading the description of your Fantastix: Code Red novel, and I was struck by how similar it’s plot line is to a very popular TV Show “Heroes”. When was your novel published?
I’ve been waiting for this question since Heroes started. The novel, Fantastix: Code Red was published in March 2006. The story was originally written in comic form in 2003, before Heroes ever aired. At the publisher’s request, I turned the comic script into novel for in late 2005 for publication in 2006.

 

In what ways is it similar to Heroes?

Well, it’s a super hero story for one thing. There aren’t a lot of costumes either, but there are some. When I took on the project, which, like Fuzzy Bunnies From Hell was also work for hire with the characters and a basic plot in place, I was intrigued by the thought of super powered people living in a more realistic world. It’s certainly a concept that has been done before, but for Fantastix, I felt it was important to ground the story in reality. There are some flashbacks to the days of capes and cowls though, just for good measure.

What sets it apart from Heroes?

It’s written with a different style and tone. I like to think it’s my unique take on a classic type of comic book story. Plus, it’s a different medium.

Living in the South, I totally can appreciate your Life in the Faster Lane. Where do you get your material?

If there is one project I’ve worked on that is closest to my heart, Life In The Faster Lane is it. In 1992 I took a comic course and created the characters that would eventually become the cast of Life In The Faster Lane. I was only required to do one strip for the class, but I just dove in and drew stacks of them. The main cast of characters include R.O. Nudell, his wife Honey, and his son, Mel. These three are based on my Dad, Mom, and younger brother, respectively. Most of the strips are either based on something that really happened or something one of them has said. My Dad is such a loveable character in his own right that the strips started out primarily about him, but eventually everyone got in on the act.In 1994, the strip, called simply R.O. at the time, was picked up by a local North Georgia family magazine called Keeping Up With Kids. The magazine, and the strip, ran for 12 years. These days I have been rereleasing the older strips along with some commentary and assorted bits of trivia at http://fasterlane.blogspot.com. I even do new strips on occasion and post them as well. It’s a free site and I hope everyone who reads this will stop by. On a side note, I am planning a book collection of these strips for release sometime in 2008.

Is this an ongoing project?

Oh yeah. If for no other reason than that my family seem to enjoy them as much as I do. Plus, I like to joke to them how I own them since the characters are owned by me. Ha. Ha.

What inspired your “Evil Ways” book?
I have a friend who was interested in making a low budget movie. He asked me to write something for him to film. I wrote up an idea that he wasn’t overly crazy about. When the urge to write a novel hit again, I pulled that plot out and reworked it, keeping just a few of the main elements and started writing. Then I joined a writing class at the University of Georgia Continuing Education Center taught by Harriette Austin. Eventually that novel became Evil Ways. Evil Ways was my first published novel.How long did it take you to write this novel?

Six months. Then it took me five and a half years to sell it. [laughs] Granted, I did go back and tweak things in that time while I was pitching it to publishers, but the main bulk of the novel was written in six months.

Of all the things you’ve written do you have a favorite and why?

Evil Ways because it was my first “big” accomplishment with writing prose. When my comp copies arrived you could not wipe the grin from my face. Plus, Evil ways opened doors for me. I was hired to write other prose work based on what editors saw in Evil Ways. On a more personal level, I would say Life In The Faster Lane because of the family aspect.

 

I see you have a pulp anthology “Domino Lady” coming out in April of 2008. I was so excited to Renderosity Artist Uwe Jarling did the cover art! What a small world. How did Uwe get involved in this project?
He was hired by the publisher, Moonstone Books. And let me tell you, I was floored when I saw that cover. WOW!As a pulp anthology who else is included in this project?

Oh, we’ve got some great talent on this. Chuck Dixon, Nancy Holder, Martin Powell, Ron Fortier, Gail Mcabee, CJ Henderson, James Chambers, Lisa Bandemer, Ver Curtiss, Jeff Butler, Uwe Jarling, Anthony Schiavino, and our editor Lori G. I should also mention that The Domino Lady anthology comes out in April 2008.

What can we expect from Domino Lady?

Pure pulp fun. Domino Lady used everything at her disposal to take down the bad guys. She was smart and sexy. A lethal combination if you get on her bad side. The Domino Lady has that something special I like to call “Pulp Sauce.”

Can you share a little teaser with us?

My story is called

Target: Domino Lady.

The Domino Lady is framed for murder and her alter ego, Ellen Patrick’s current beau Inspector McCarty has been tapped to bring her in: dead or alive.

Here’s a taste.

“I’m afraid she’s stepped over the line, Miss Ellen.”
“How’s that?”

“She’s killed a man.”

“What?” Ellen shouted, alarmed. Her practiced detachment wavered. A lump caught in her throat threatened to choke her.

“It’s true.”

“It can’t be,” Ellen croaked, her world suddenly turned upside down.

“I’m afraid so, Ellen,” McCarty said sadly.

“The Domino Lady is wanted for murder.”

Thank you so much for taking the time to let us get to know you better and for joining us in “Graphic Tales from the Road”. We look forward to seeing what you write next!

Thanks, Lillian. I appreciate it.

To see more of Bobby Nash’s work, check out the following sites:

 

Lillian Hawkins
Gothic Blend

Mistress of Creative Mischief
Get Your Goth On!

 

Graphic Tales from the Road

“The Evil Expression of the Creative Mind”

featuring Bobby Nash

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January 4, 2008

Graphic Tales from the Road: Interview with Sean Taylor

Graphic Tales from the Road: Interview with Sean Taylor
Lillian Hawkins [LilyHawk]The “Graphic Tales from the Road” resurfaces with an interview with Sean Taylor, comic book writer, creator, editor and letterer. After meeting Sean at the Nashville Comic Book and Horror Festival I just had to know more about the interesting writer behind the Gene Simmons Dominatrix comics.

Hi Sean,     Thank you for your willingness to do an interview. I see that you are a very busy, and well rounded kind which includes being a husband, father, friend, writer, comic book creator/editor/letterer, coffee nut/barista, cat fanatic, musician/songwriter, web designer, self-professed postmodern existentialist Christian mystic, to name a few things.

I’m also told that I’m really full of crap, so take anything you read on my website with the proverbial grain of salt. I’ve been called several other things as well, but therapy is helping me live with the pain. But barista is completely true — I make a hell of a cappucino. Like drinking whipped up coffee air.I like to live in the dichotomies of life as much as possible. I’m probably too religious a person to write the comics I’m writing, but I’m also probably too big an irreverent jackass to write conservative religious curriculum, but somehow I manage to walk the line between the sacred and the profane well enough to enjoy doing both. It’s a fun life, I tell you.

After reviewing your website I have to say I am very impressed with all the different activities you have going on![Sean’s current projects include:

  • the Gene Simmons Dominatrix comic book series with IDW Publishing
  • Shan: Be My Hero a graphic novel with VLE Comics
  • The Veil comic book series with Rogue Wolf Entertainment
  • Last Chance School for Girls with artist Jesus Antonio for Arcana Comics
  • Show Me a Hero a prose short story collection being shopped to agents
  • Kasume No Josei a short Japanese horror comic story with Scott McCullar
  • Co-Plotting a tie-in project with fellow Shooting Star alum Erik Burnham to Arcana Studio’s War of the Independents which will feature Cyberfrog, Fishnet Angel, Nick Landime, and Phantom Jack
  • Sweetly Felt the Dream an iHero-based short for Terminus Media, with penciller Dustin Griffen, inker Luis Alonso, and colorist Luis Antonio Delgado
  • Pitches to Heavy Metal (with several fine artists, including Esteve Polls, Ricardo Sanchez, and Martheus Wade) and Tales from the Crypt]
  • Unless you have mastered cloning, or time bending, how in the world DO you keep up with all of these different projects?!
    I try not to sleep more than 16 hours a day for starters… I don’t know. I just work on the main gigs for the bulk of my time, and in between scripts, I’ll hammer out a few pages for some of the side projects. It’s more about keeping busy to avoid vegging in front of countless DVDs than it is about trying to manage my time. I figure I could either waste time in front of the TV or actually get off my butt and attempt to make myself rich and famous. Or at least regularly employed.
    How long have you been working as a comic book creator/editor/letterer?  How did you get started in this industry?
    I got my start in the pages of Shooting Star Comics Anthology. Some friends and I started our own company and took the bull by the balls to show this industry we meant business. I had previously been a magazine editor, so I became the editor-in-chief of the company and helped us to develop publishing plans and publication schedules. As for the lettering, I was too broke to hire a letterer, so I learned how to do it myself in the stories I had written, and thankfully, there was helpful information all over the Internet. We had a blast putting out our books and eventually branching out to do other people’s work too, such as the critically acclaimed Children of the Grave and one of the graphic novels in the Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa series, and I was able to publish my Fishnet Angel: Jane Doe miniseries as well, but when it came time to close up the shop and move on, we instinctively knew it, and we all moved on to find our new places in the comics world. Fortunately several of us have landed in various spots from AC to IDW and beyond.
    What is the one comic that you are most proud of and why?
    You know, I’m really proud of all my work, but I think Gene Simmons Dominatrix is the one I’m most proud of right now. It’s tough work to take an idea that people enter into with so many assumptions about and leave your mark on it enough to make those same people come out on the other end saying things like it was not what I expected or it surprised me. And let’s be honest, the idea of a practicing dominatrix could easily be derailed into either camp or porn. And neither Gene, IDW nor I wanted this book to become Stripperella, back shelf leather porn, masturbatory bondage fiction or worse, the campy scenes from Mel Brooks’ Hi Anxiety. To be able to keep the book sexy and cheesecake-esqe but still manage to tell a story about a woman trying to find her life and reclaim it from the forces trying to dismantle it, well, that makes me very, very proud.Do you have favorite artists and cowriters that you like to work with?
    Absolutely. I’m absolutely in love with working with Esteve Polls, the new artist on Gene Simmons Dominatrix. He draws beautifully detailed backgrounds, and I’m swooning for any artist who devotes time to backgrounds and faces. Any lugnut with a set of pencils can draw big muscled people in underwear beating the crap out of each other nowadays it seems, but it’s the rare artiste who provides the context of faces that speak volumes and backgrounds the give the illusion of a real place and time in a comic.And I’m working with an artist named Martheus Wade who is one of the best martials artists I’ve seen in years. His fight scenes are some of the few in comics that actually make sense. You could just about map them out panel by panel and verify the follow-through on the punches and kicks. If you’re not reading his book Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa, you really should be.
    How did you get hooked up with Gene Simmons and IDW?
    I’ll give it to you straight and honest. It’s a case of being in the right place at the right time. It’s as simple as that. I really believe that’s what this business is about. Back when I was editor-in-chief at Shooting Star Comics, I edited a book called Children of the Grave by Tom Waltz and Casey Maloney. When that book was later picked up by IDW as a trade paperback, some things fell into place for Tom and he ended up as the editor of the Simmons line of books at IDW. And he contacted me about writing what he described as a book with a strong female lead and some potentially disturbing subject matter. And well, how could I say no to an invitation like that?I see from the Simmons Comics Group website that Gene was the creator the Dominatrix concept. What’s it been like working with Gene on this comic and on the Gene Simmons House of Horrors?
    These are all Gene’s babies. He has the ideas and he trusts his writers to run with them and build on them. Gene’s been great to work with because he does have that level of trust in us to basically turn over the keys to his kingdom and move in right after he builds the framework of the castle. And to be honest, my dealings have been more with my editors at IDW than directly with Gene, but he has certainly added or changed things from time to time to ensure that the books stay in line with his vision. But he doesn’t do that in a didactic or heavy-handed way. I really appreciate the trust he has put in me to let me play with his toys, so to speak.
         Are there a set number of issues planned for the Dominatrix series?
      The first arc, Daylight’s End, will run for six issues. After that, well, just like anything nowadays, that’s up to the fans to tell us how badly they yearn for more. That said, I’ve got Dominique’s adventures plotted out well into multiple years of stories, and I hope to stay with her and her friends and enemies for an awfully long time.     I‘m a big fan of Heavy Metal and Tales from the Crypt. Do you have any pitches you would like to tease us with?  I’m actually working up stories to pitch to both of those books. Unfortunately I can’t tease you too much except to tell you that space cowgirls can be sexy and dangerous and that grandma’s house can be much scarier than a cemetary, especially if you have the right grandma.

    In addition to your busy convention schedule, what are your plans for the future?
    I’m always working about six projects out, and I have a list of the way too many projects I’m in various stages of involvement with on my website at www.taylorverse.com. Some folks might think it’s a little too premature to mention things as early as the concept and pitch development stage, but I like the idea of being an open page, and I’ve really never have been one for doing things the way I’m supposed to. The beauty part of having so many things in development is that I’m never hurting for something to write. There are a few things I do want to mention specifically though.
    Shan: Be My Hero is a romantic high fantasy graphic novel I’m writing for VLE Comics based on a short story by Stephen Antczak. It tells the story of a woman warrior named Shan who has become the local hero and the village that loves her. It simultaneously tells the story of a man no one would have ever expected to do anything heroic. And there are also lots of fantastic creatures and a multi-armed giant. I really like that it’ll be released by VLE directly as an original graphic novel since that gives me the freedom to pace it more like a novel and not have to think of it in terms of 22 pages and then a cliffhanger. I can really let the character breathe in the OGN format, and let the story unfold at the best speed for the the book instead of in a format that is dependent on a monthly publishing schedule.
    The Veil is a new series I’m writing for Rogue Wolf Entertainment, and if you are a fan of supernatural intrique and secret government agencies, you’ll dig this book. At it’s core, it’s a lot like Alice in Wonderland, but with the twist that Wonderland is a sinister, evil place, and it’s trying to creep over into our world. Only a select few agents are able to protect our world and keep the public blissfully unaware of the real danger all around us every second.Last Chance School for Girls is a miniseries I’m working on for Arcana Comics. Jesus Antonio is drawing that one, and it features young adult characters in the lead roles. I cut my teeth reading books like Titans and classic X-Men and Legion of Super-Heroes, but I didn’t want to give this one such an innocent teenage quality, so instead I darkened the hell out of it and gave it a very Suicide Squad edge. It’s been a lot of fun to write so far, and I can’t wait to show off Jesus’ art. It’s going to blow people away.I’m also working on a dream project for a short story that reunites me with my fellow Shooting Star alum, Scott McCullar, called Kasume No Josei. It’s a traditional Japanese ghost story created by two western storytellers who have had their heads in Eastern culture for a long time.

    Beyond those, I’ve got several things in the early stages, such as a book featuring Jesse James and Mayan mythology that I’m working on with artist Kurt Belcher from the Alterna Comics book Sleepers and a book called Quinn: The Reckoning that I’m working on with Jetta artist Martheus Wade. That’s one that’ll be sure to get me in hot water again, but you’ll have to wait to learn more about it as it gets closer to being published. Another in-development book I’d love to plug early on is one Richard Kohlrus and I are working on called Victor’s Parrish. It’s the most unique take on the story of the Frankenstein monster I’ve ever seen, and Richard’s love for the monster really shows in his artwork. I can’t wait to share that one with people.

    I bet you’re sorry now that you asked this question. Aren’t you?

    Sean, it has been a pleasure getting to know you better and sharing your work with other people. We wish you continued success and lots of fun with all your projects and look forward to seeing what you will come up with next! You can meet Sean in person at the following events:

    Sean Taylor will be appearing at the following conventions:

    Other projects in various stages of development (to be on the lookout  for in the days ahead):

    • Quinn, with artist Martheus Wade
    • Jesse James in the Mayan Underworld, with artist Kurt Belcher
    • The Holmes Brothers vs. Dracula, with co-writer Erik Burnham
    • Dumper, with artist Taki Soma
    • Skull & Crosshairs, with artist Rick Winward
    • Ace Robinson, Monster Killer for Hire: Turf War, with co-creator/artist George Pitcher III
    • American Lore, with artist Joe Thompson
    • Sheriff Hyland Lowe (a western re-envisioning of Akira Kurosawa’s High and Low), with artist Brent Giles
    • Victor’s Parish, with co-creator/artist Richard Kohlrus
    • The Cross and the Curse, with artist Orlando Baez
    • Cowgirl Dreamboat Revelator, with artist Bryan Golden 
    • Kung Fu Nightmare Showdown, with artist Fabricio Bohrer
    • Luftenworld, with artist Jessie Nelson
    • Saru Samurai, with artist Jeff Cross
    • RIP, with artist and creator Dave Cook
    • Jesus Manson, Agnostic at Large, with artist Oliver Tria
    • Alt.World, with artist Paul Harrison-Davies
    • Helen and Troy
    • H.P. Lovecraft’s Innsmouth Tales

     

  • Sean Taylor Offical Website: www.taylorverse.com
  • Sean Taylor on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/seanhtaylor
  • Sean Taylor on ComicSpace: http://www.comicspace.com/seanhtaylor

  • Lillian Hawkins
    Gothic Blend  Mistress of Creative Mischief  “Get Your Goth On!
    Graphic Tales from the Road  “The Comic Expression of the Creative Mind”  featuring Sean Taylor

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