Hey everyone, Merry Christmas and welcome to the final installment of this year’s Arcana Comics’ newsletter. Keeping with last month’s newsletter I picked another Arcana creator interview to kick things off. This month’s guest is Jay Busbee.
Jay Busbee Interview
MP: Arcana fans will know Jay Busbee from the old west vampires in Sundown: Arizona. What they might not know, however, is Jay has two new books coming out through Arcana (Ripped and The Network). Let’s talk Ripped first. What can fans expect from this time traveling story?
JB: Global, big-budget action! Conspiracy! Secrets and lies! Sex and violence! It’s all going to be there in RIPPED, a story that encompasses literally all of human history. It begins when a teenager named Adam Fitzpatrick awakens in Dallas, and everything around him seems strangely out of date. He sees a crowd gathered along an avenue, and walks up in time to see a very familiar motorcade proceeding past. From there, Adam finds himself embroiled in the greatest conspiracy in human history. As Adam learns, a select few people have the ability to “rip” through time. Some use it to help humanity; some use it to help themselves. It’s Adam’s challenge to figure out who’s who. And probably buy a little stock in Coca-Cola circa 1930 while he’s at it.
MP: Now, the Network is about a television station devouted 24/7 to superheroes. Where did this idea come from?
JB: In my non-comics life, I’m a sportswriter. (Check out www.sportsgonesouth.com and www.rightdownpeachtree.com for my work! Cheap plug!) So I imagined THE NETWORK as “ESPN for superheroes.” What would such a station look like? How would the people who work there view superheroes? And how would superheroes react to having their every move scrutinized 24-7?
MP: How many issues are each series and is there a tentative release date?
JB: Both are actually going to be OGNs. RIPPED will be approximately 100 pages, and NETWORK about 64, give or take. Both are scheduled for release in the springtime!
MP: I hear you are working on a Kade project with Sean O’Reilly. Is there anything you can tell us about the project?
JB: Yep…it’s the latest story in the saga of Arcana’s favorite demon hunter who cannot feel pain, but always hurts! In this installment, Kade’s in twelfth-century feudal Japan, fighting samurai and invading hordes of Mongols and even a demon or two. We’ll also delve deep into Kade’s character here…does a thousand-year-old immortal get surprised by anything anymore? It won’t be just swordplay, it’ll be a character study as well. But mostly swordplay.
MP: Besides Ripped, The Network and Kade from Arcana, you have Incursion coming out through Platinum Studios. Clearly, you’re a busy guy. What’s your day like for writing?
JB: Pretty much nonstop. I’m a fulltime writer outside of my comics work, so I’ve always got several projects and books going on at once. I try to do my toughest work in the mornings, but that’s not always possible. A lot of times, I’ll do my comics writing while I’m watching my kids at a playground. I keep the laptop screen away from nearby moms when I do that.
MP: With so many projects coming out and in the works, your career really seems to be in overdrive. What advice would you have to aspiring comic book writers?
JB: Develop your own voice. I’ve heard it said that you need to write a million words before you find your own voice, and there’s a lot to that. Develop your own voice, your own perspective of looking at the world. That’ll inform every story you write with a unique flavor. You’ll be able to take the most clichéd comic story on earth—zombies! Ninjas! Paramilitary black ops!—and make it your own.
From there, start making comics. Always keep an idea file handy. Do whatever you’ve got to do to sell artists on your vision. Pitch, pitch, pitch. Comics are harder to break into than any other publishing market I’ve ever seen—I’ve had easier times breaking into magazines that millions read than comics that ten thousand read—but it can be done. It takes time, it takes sustained effort, but it can be done.
MP: And one last thing before I let you go. What are the possibilities of a sequel to Sundown: Arizona?
JB: I would LOVE to do a sequel. I left the door wide open and the lights on for a sequel at the end of the first series. (Spoiler alert.) For those of you coming in late, Sundown: Arizona was the story of a small Arizona town overrun by vampires. And the only way that the townsmen could defeat the vampires was to turn half-vampire themselves….all save the New York newspaper reporter who was trying to get to the bottom of the story. So what might happen when all these half-vampires decide to come after the reporter who avoided the curse that dooms them? There’s a reason the sequel would be called Sundown: Manhattan. So hey, who knows? Like those vampires, maybe Sundown ain’t dead yet!
Thanks for the interview!
In Stores This Week!
Be on the lookout for the first installment of Eve: Vampire Diva! Buzz is growing around this book so you’re sure not to miss it. Eve tells the tale of about a young woman who has to balance the life of being a popstar diva and vampire warrior while starring in a 24/7 reality series!
EVE VAMPIRE DIVA #1 (OF 4)
Diamond Code: OCT073255
Hawaii’s hottest detective, Koni Waves, has battled giant tiki monsters, vampire surfers, and zombies, but how will she fare against a fallen angel? Find out soon as Rob Liefeld’s Avengelyne battles Arcana’s Koni Waves. Created by Rob Liefeld in 1995 and originally released through Maximum Press, Avengelyne is the story of an angel who is tricked into questioning God’s love for humans. Sent to Earth to live among humans as her punishment, Avengelyne battles demons and monsters as she prepares herself for Armageddon. The creators responsible for bringing Rob Liefeld’s fallen angel into the Koni-verse are Koni creator’s writer Mark Poulton and artists Stephen Sistilli and Dexter Weeks. “Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge Liefeld fan. It’s an honor to get to play with one of his creations. I collected Avengelyne during the Maximum Press days and have a great love for the character. Liefeld fans can rest assured, the character is in good hands,” said Poulton.
Well, that’s all for this month. From everyone at Arcana Comics I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas! And come back next month, when I have details of what is in store for Arcana in ’08!