Interview with Beau Quijano

From The Lovers
From The Lovers

Nerdcenaries: Hello Beau Quijano, how is it going?
Beau Quijano: It’s going fine. Like this right?
Nerdcenaries: This works
Beau Quijano: Great
Nerdcenaries: So you’ve been posting comics on Tumblr for a while. Can you go over some of the comics you’ve done and what they’re about?
Beau Quijano: Uh, so makeoutpoint currently has a Luke Cage 2 pger I did for a Marvel Exhibition here in 2011, an unreleased manga project I took to SDCC with a group [and is the last time I do spec work LOL], the first chapter of my romcom spy-fi BS comic called The Lovers, and some fanart/etc for current/upcoming projects.

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Real Interviews: Mark Andrew Smith

Mark Andrew Smith has been all up in the comics scene for a while so when he announced a new project he’d big Kickstarting with James Stokoe of Orc Stain and Won Ton Soup fame, Nerdcenaries tossed Luke into the interview realm.

Your upcoming project with James Stokoe is called Sullivan’s Sluggers – what is the comic about?

Sullivan’s Sluggers is the story of a baseball team who get an invitation to play a game in a small town. Unknown to them, the town has a curse on it, and after the 7th inning streatch the townsfolk turn into flesh eating monsters. The Sluggers have to utilize all of their baseball skills to survive until morning.

You’ve done a few shorter stories in anthologies like Popgun along with continuing series such Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors and The New Brighton Archelogical Society – how is Sluggers going to be released?

Sullivan’s Sluggers will be a 200 page hardcover book.

A lot of your other work that I’ve read or heard about has been all ages – is there any age range for Sullivan because knowing Stokoe’s work he can do scary really well.

I think Sullivan’s is PG 13. It’s a jump going from all ages to Sullivan’s but I don’t think anyone will confuse Sullivan’s with an all ages book.

How did you end up coming up with the project – what was some of your inspirations as far as movies, comics, tv and all of that?

I’ve always been a baseball fan and a horror fan. In particular I’m a huge fan of ‘Evil Dead’ and ‘Dead Alive’ and just splatter horror as a genre.

You are going to be raising money for the project via Kickstarter – are there any specific reasons for starting the project this way?

I want to connect directly with readers, and set the foundation to do more books like that in the future. I see Kickstarter also as being a direct distribution chanel.

Are there any real cool incentives to look out for?

I always adhere to K.IS.S. or Keep it Simple Smitty. So we’re starting easy and to the point, but it would be great as the Kickstarter progresses to offer up other items.

Are there any artists who are currently out there that you would like to work with?

I would love to work with John Romita Jr.

What comics are you currently enjoying – either old or new?

I’ve read so much in the past year, that now I’m taking suggestions for new books to read 🙂

We’ll definitely be linking to the Kickstarter once it begins and readers, feel free to suggest books below! Personally I recommend the Rocketeer Adventures Vol 2 series.

You can follow Mark Andrew Smith on Tumblr and Twitter!
Edited to add Kickstarter!

Real Interviews: King Oblivion, PhD

Greetings Dr. King Oblivion of the International Society of Supervillains and the recently released Supervillain Handbook!
Salutations, whelp.
Now what do you have a Ph.D. in? Or your doctorate in?
Nefarious sciences. My thesis was on turning people into gelatin. I could demonstrate on you if you want. Or don’t.
Do you mean like horse gelatin or edible stuff?
It’s made of people, so people gelatin. You could eat it if you want, I guess. I never have. I’m not one of those Venom types.
Are you one of those Lecter types who would trick people into eating themselves or family members?
Cannibalism is not in my oeuvre. I just test and jellify. What happens after that is none of my business.
Now you came out with the second edition of the Supervillain Handbook – what is that about?
It’s the ultimate expert guide to professional super-evil. You could not find a better instructor for world domination than me. But be warned: Do not step on my toes. I will make you a statue.
But don’t you need to also deal with Tumblrs now? I mean there are a few out there on being villains – for free!
If you want to take advice for your villainy career from someone who’s giving it away for free on Tumblr, that is your call. But you can be pretty well assured you will be crushed.
Now are you a pro-snake-hybrid-henchmen or against them?
Snake hybrid henchmen are a reasonable selection, as long as they fit your gimmick. Are you yourself reptilian, or have geckos for feet, or a name like The Turtle (because you encase people in shells)? Then go for it.
But why go with the gimmick – it makes you easier to catch! If you are the Snake Lord and the rare anaconda goes missing, you are going to be the main suspect!
Supervillains have gimmicks. That is the way it is. Dare you question my authority, you little zit?
But what about Evil Superman, not Bizzaro, but one from some alternate world where he is evil! Where do you get a gimmick from that?
Ultraman, you mean? He’s an evil Superman. Where do you not see the gimmick in that?
But in his own reality – there is no Superman. How can your theme be entirely based on being the evil version of someone who is nonexistant? I mean you can’t have Good …Stalin unless there is an evil Stalin that is the norm.
But he is the norm, in the universe where things happen, the one we’re in. Who told you you could think of alternate universes as anything but places where gimmicks come from? You are running headlong into thinking that will get you tied up in a sawmill, peon.
Okay. I am reaching a touchy spot apparently.
There is an order. Some may have the power to upset it (what’s up, Beyonder) but you do not.
But what about an alternate version of me that is more powerful than you that is aware of this situation right now?
Mwahahahahahahahaha! How naive.
But the very idea of a multiverse points that reality has no standard order so in infinite numbers of universes, both you and I are meeting our doom!
Let me clue you in to something, fool: There isn’t an infinite number of universes. There are only the universes we need to enact our plans. We bend them to our whims, and forget about them when they don’t apply to us. You’re not thinking like a fictional character at all.
But… how does that make you feel?
I only have one emotion: Pain. Inflicting it. On you.
Well, thank you for taking the time to not crush me like the meaningless insect that I am. Is there anything else that you would like to promote?
You can follow me on Twitter, if you wish to be warned of your impending demise, @KingOblivionPhd.
Thank you very much Dr. King and have a wonderful evening!
Bad day to you, Paul. It’s Paul, right? It’s Paul.

Real Interviews – Chris Roberson

Greetings Chris Roberson of iZombie, Starborn, Elric, Fables: Cinderella, Superman, Superman/Batman and a load of other stories and comics. How are you doing?

I’m dandy, thanks!

For those people who are unfortunately unfamiliar with your work, is there any recurring theme through your work?

There are probably more recurring themes than I’m aware of, actually. I find that there are the things that the writer includes consciously, and then a whole lot of OTHER stuff that happens without the writer even noticing. My stories tend to deal with memories quite a bit, I find, either losing them or recovering them, or both. I also tend to take familiar character types or clichéd story tropes and try to do things interesting with them (I leave it to the reader to judge whether I’m successful at that or not). Also, talking animals.

Your new series Memorial which I haven’t been able to pick up yet has been getting a lot of buzz, you have a wonderful art team though. How would you pitch the series to someone so they pick it up?

Memorial the story of a young woman who arrives at a hospital one day with no memory of her previous life, and no clue to her identity other than a necklace she wears with the letter “M” engraved on it. A year later, she has managed to build something like a life for herself, with a job, an apartment, and friends, but she continued to search for clues to her previous identity. One day she notices a strange antique shop down an alleyway, one that she’s passed a million times and never noticed before. And it turns out to be one of those mysterious shops where you might buy a gremlin or a cursed monkey’s paw, and when you go to return the offending item, the store isn’t there anymore. Well, our heroine goes into the shop, and when she comes back out, she’s somewhere else. And that’s where the story starts. Tonally, it’s like Doctor Who meets Sandman by way of Miyazaki, with art by a supremely talented newcomer named Rich Ellis.
Also, there is a talking cat.

You ended up working on the last Superman arc taking it from a rather precarious position into what is honestly my favorite Superman story – it was those issues that got me to see Superman as an interesting character again. If you were the option to write for Superman again would you?

Thanks, I’m delighted to hear that you enjoyed it! The chance to write Superman for eight months was a childhood dream come true.
I knew when I took the job that it would only be for eight months, but I couldn’t help working out what I WOULD do with the book if I stayed on. I mapped out a couple of years’ worth of storylines, and actually started planting seeds in my eight issues of Superman that I could come back to, if given the chance. This was before I knew anything about the relaunch, of course, and as it happens very little of what I had in mind would work without the character’s past continuity to draw on. So I guess it just wasn’t meant to be!

From your Twitter and a few other sources, I’ve picked up that you are a big fan of cartoons and animated series. What are some of your all time favorites?

My list of favorites is a weird mix of stuff. I love Futurama, Cowboy Beebop, The Venture Bros., Secret Saturdays, Adventure Time, and Scooby Doo: Mystery Inc. And I’ll always have a soft-spot for old Hanna-Barbera adventure cartoons of the late 60s, anything Jay Ward did, the classic Looney Tunes, and so on. Basically, I like anything GOOD.

If you were given full creative control over a superhero or character and didn’t need to follow established conventions – i.e. you got to define the characters completely from scratch if you wanted, what series would you like to write?

My first instinct is actually a character that I don’t believe has appeared in comics before, but was created by a group of comic book legends: Thundarr The Barbarian. That could be a lot of fun to try!

With more and more mainstream artists starting up webcomics, have you considered trying your hand at the webcomics game?

I’m intrigued by the possibilities of digital comics in general, both webcomics and digital delivery through things like ComiXology’s Comics app. So yes, I have DEFINITELY considered the possibility. And there MAY just be an announcement coming in July…

Thanks for the interview!

Chris Roberson is on Twitter @chris_roberson and his website is Chris Roberson.Net

Real Interviews: Niles Gray/Tribe One

Greetings Niles Gray aka Tribe One aka Devil Rhymeosaur and of the websites DC Versus Marvel and Socialfist/Nerdcenaries. How is it going?
It’s going well, sir. how about yourself?
It’s going well enough.
On a scale of 1-10, how well is ‘well enough’?
7 or so.
Not bad.
Nope. Decent living levels.
I’m at 11. Always.
Haha. Now you just released a digital version of your tour album. What is up with that?

Yeah, that literally just happened. I was watching Community on Hulu on my Xbox with my lady friend and I just decided that it was the right time to birth that baby. And I also emailed a free download code to everybody who donated any amount for my single ‘Steve Irwin’ because I giveth, as well as taketh away. Giveth music and taketh away money, that is.

And you were also on the West Coast Avengers Mixtape and The War For Infinity (and a bunch more) by Adam WarRock. What is it like working with Euge?

Yes, I did those things. I said those things. Working with Euge aka Adam Warrock is literally the most excited i’ve been about rap music as well as the most ridiculously infuriating i’ve ever been at the same time.

If you had to give Euge the superpowers of any established character – who would you choose?
He would be the Flash mixed with Black Bolt. That’s why it’s so infuriating working with him, because he writes so gosh darn fast, and it’s all so hell of amazing. But the flipside of that is that it’s amazing to work with him and have music ready to give people in the fastest time i’ve ever done it.
Now you are a big comic fan and you’ve done reviews in the past. What series do you wish that you could see about any characters with any team?
That’s easy. Cloak And Dagger. Teamed Up. With Devil Dinosaur. In The Future. And Also With Machine Man.
Who would write and draw it?
The art would alternate ever story arc between Chris Samnee and Francesco Francavilla, covers by Mike Allred and it’d be written by… oh man. It’d be written by Brian K Vaughn. And it would be the best comic book ever.
It would be amazing and I would like to see that, not so sure about Vaughn – I’m sort of picturing more explosions and things.
There were some pretty decent ‘splosions in Ex Machina.
Ah, I’ve only read the first trade.
I would also accept the kid Malachai (I forget his last name (Nicholls)) from Axe Cop. He would write the living daylights out of a book with Devil Dinosaur.
Haha. It would be like a ramped up Nextwave. Now are you also into the webcomics scene?
There are a few that I follow pretty regularly. And several that i need to catch up on.
What are your favorites – like 3-5?
Hmm…in no particular order, I love Let’s Be Friends Again, Multiplex, Super Hero Girl, Awesome Hospital, Dinosaur Comics, Hark! A Vagrant, Wondermark… LBFA might be my favorite. and i’m not just saying that because i got to table with curt and chris at emerald city comic con last year! (ps, those guys are dreaaaaaamy)
I know. Hella Dreamy. Dreamy peanut butter.
Oh, and I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but there’s this webcomic called Changeling? it’s ok, too.
I heard Changeling is just a pretentious comic but some punk kids.
Yeah, pretty much it is exactly that. My little sister just texted me to say that her friends think my raps are ‘pretty good’.
I made it, you guys.
Sexy awesome man.
I am that.
strong>Now do you have any projects coming up soon?
I have four, lol.
Or more. I lost count. There’s my mixtape-type-thing ANAMANAGANGSTA, on which i’ll be rapping over beats made from Anamanaguchi songs. I’m kind of sloppily and haphazardly producing this project, too. I’m saying it’ll be out in january, mostly to light a fire under my behind because it’s already taken me way too long to finish. Then I’m also working on my official debut album, DIRTY SOUTH SWAMP THING with my good friend Joules, who produced me and Adam Warrock’s ep PAPER CUTTERS AND DANGLING HEADPHONES. That’ll be done in the spring, I believe. that’s what we’re aiming for at least. I’m also working on a new album with my longtime crew the remnant. There’s at least one other album in the works and some ep’s but I will keep those to myself for now. Hoarder’s style. Secrets.
Sounds like you have some crazy things going on now man.
Yeah, it’s a really busy time for me but I look at it as just about the best problem i could possibly have.
I know what that’s like.
OH NO! I HAVE TO MAKE ALL THESE RAP SONGS SO THAT PEOPLE WILL LISTEN TO THEM AND ENJOY THEM! THAT SUCKS! Well, hopefully enjoy them. We won’t know until people start to actually hear them. Basically my life is the worst life out of any life ever. All the lifes.
Well based on your past track record I don’t have any fears about being disappointed.
I appreciate the vote of confidence, sir.
Is there anything else that you want to plug?
Support your local library! Go to shows. Shake the hands of your heroes. Support their work. Be nice to people, too. And smile. I think that’s all I got.
Well thanks for doing the interview Niles.
Thank you for interviewing me, Luke. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about the business.

Real Interviews: Curt Franklin

This week Luke sat down with Curt Franklin to address the hate.

Greetings Curt Franklin, writer of the webcomic Let’s Be Friends Again and probably other things. Like you were in the Fugees and 500 Days of Summer weren’t you?

Most of my time was spent in the band Gorillaz, but, yeah, that other stuff happened too.

Now you do a webcomic called Let’s Be Friends Again with Chris Haley. How many pounds can you benchpress?

How much does Chris weigh?

He weighs the same as Imhotep who weighs 5 times less that Gladius who is 3 times heavier than Certep who weighs 10 apples.

Oh, so this is one of those kinds of interviews.

Now Curt, were you aware that Let’s Be Friends Again! was ranked the least favorite webcomic in the poll sent out to writers a few weeks ago? And that we pledged eternal enmity against you and your brother in arms for “war crimes”?

If you’re including yourself in that “writer’s poll” you’ve got a really loose definition of writer.
Heathen! You dare be invited into my house and then fire insults back at me?
Well we’re having this chat inside of a gmail chat box, which is I imagine the approximate size of your actual house, so, yes.

You …. have earned my respect Curt. We may now talk about comics. Wildcat or B’wana Beast?

Wildcat. He’s old, he drinks, he hangs around with Darwyn Cooke Catwoman and Slam Bradley, he’s not afraid to basically dress like a furry. Plus he’d probably be out punching people even if he didn’t have any kind of superpower.

I think Wildcat is honestly the best untapped resource that DC Comics has. They could use him as a stand in for the aging Frank Miller!

He’s an old dude who just says fuck it. I imagine he’d have a more informed opinion than Frank Miller.

He could be Wildcat’s grandfather though. Orrrrr or his son!

As much crap as we give Geoff Johns, his JSA reboot stuff was great because of the untapped guys like Wildcat et al.

Did Wildcat lose his extra lives that he got from a wizard for refusing to throw a fight? Because that is the best thing.

I don’t know. But I hope so. Because that’s a cool sentence.

Now who is this Geoff Johns?

A good writer who sometimes gets stretched too thin.

I think the issue with Johns is that no one man should have all that poooooower.

Yeah, that’s about right. It makes me wonder how much editorial influence there is in all his work, too.

What do you think DC would be like if Grant Morrison was in charge?

Probably not any better off. I obviously like Morrison, but who knows. It’s not like there’d be 52 All-Star Superman’s every month.

Oh no, but I think he might have more tact and intelligence picking creative teams and the whole new 52 thing would make more sense.

Yeah, it might be more thematically coherent. But, they were kind of fucked from the beginning on this new 52 since, from all accounts, it was a really quickly thrown together thing. So it was all bound to seem slap dashed and poorly planned, because, well, it was.

I’d have rather seen something like the Ultimates where there are new origins and new takes for everything. One of my biggest problems is the Green Lanterns not having any changes when the events that transpired recently make no sense.

It’s funny how only really now, over ten years since the launch of the Ultimate stuff, is any of it really trying something different. Spider-Man isn’t Peter Parker, Reed Richards is the bad guy, X-Mainstays like Wolverine and Cyclops are gone. It’s actually interesting now.

Do you think we need more permanent changes to the storyline to keep older readers?

It’s not like making changes is what makes something good. It’s coming up with new spins on stuff, new ideas on old things. Saying “Permanent changes” are necessary implies that anything that’s written or drawn is forever, permanent. That’s a terrible enough idea, because everything’s going to get rebooted, reimagined, changed at one time or another. When we’re all old we’ll probably see something like a Star Wars reboot, something that’d be laughable now, but time marches on and we’ll just be the old fucks complaining about ‘my star wars’ someday.

But allowing characters to change is more of what I mean. I don’t see the Ultimates bringing back those dead dead messed up X-men any time soon. I might say allowing characters to evolve instead of change.

Characters should always be changing. When something stops moving, it dies. LIKE A SHARK.

Or Eugene Ahn.

I can’t be mean to Eugene anymore, he’s officially more popular than us so I have to lick that boot.

Lol. Now you have a sexy line of Let’s Be Friends Again! t-shirts. How long till we get a Spam Ultron/Dick Pills Shirt? Or a Spam Ultron comic?

It could happen right now if you promise me you’ll buy 100 of them. Chris and I are all about money. It’s why we do webcomics.

Wait, so you are doing webcomics to make money? Isn’t that rather presumptuous?

I’m presuming that we’re gonna be millionaires, so, yeah, it is.

But isn’t doing a webcomic about print comics rather limiting to a degree considering that there only about 200,000 American comic readers in the States.

Yeah, I was joking about making lots of money. We’re pretty fucked.

Have you considered getting into the business of printing stories about your own characters and selling them through a major company which would be a two pronged business strategy bringing new readers to your site and giving your readers new media to follow?

Yes, actually. Chris and I have talked about that a lot. And I have a lot written in more of a traditional comic book style, but because of my anxiousness of trying to make it perfect, plus the demands of just doing our regular comic, we haven’t made it happen yet.

But you can’t tell how people will react until you’ve given others the look at it.

Right. Believe me, I know.

Oh Socialfist was the same way – originally it was Super Feudal Communist Russia Team Squad Now! and one of the main characters vomited from his butt. I had to try and do it that way to see that it wouldn’t work.

One of my favorite things about doing Let’s Be Friends Again is that I can go back and see how Chris and I have progressed, or, in some cases, not progressed. It’s literally us learning what to do and how to do it online. Neither of us have any kind of writing or artistic training. We just decided to do it, and it’s all there for everybody to see. All the shit that we probably should’ve thrown away. All the stuff that made us actually go, “hey, we’re not bad.” It’s there.

Would you sell Chris Haley’s freedom for the combined powers of everyone in Justice League Detroit?

No, because with Chris by my side we can create something that’s BETTER than the Justice League Detroit. We aim high.

But that is turning down a lot of people like Aquaman, Zatanna and Martian Manhunter!Well their powers at least.

Who am I selling Chris to?

A group of attractive female gods who were like “I want that and since Curt seems to the dominant male of the duo, we can offer him superpowers for Chris.”

Nahhh. I couldn’t do it.

Man, I’d sell both of you for the powers of Gypsy. Well, before we go is there anything you want to link?

Three things: our website, a link to our Dallas appearance’s site, and a link to Comics Alliance because without Laura Hudson we might not be alive.

Awesome! Well thank you for coming on while I sent people to rob your house.

Your people are dead.