John Siuntres' excellent "comics' conversation site" features an interview with me
on the site this month. Based in Chicago, you can tell John's an old radio pro. I had an absolute blast talking with him, as he'd really done some research on our company and asked some questions and made some observations no one's articulated to me before. The lead-in: "When fans get tired of the mainstream comic fare, there are a number of publishers who consistently publish stories with fresh ideas, genres, and themes. Since 1999, AiT/Planet Lar publisher Larry Young has been churning out his own line of miniseries and graphic novels that stretch the medium to its widest story and art possibilities." certainly was quite flattering.
Puts all the political intrigue that can occur when one publishes comics into perspective: that with all the ego-assuaging and hand-holding and crying that happens behind the scenes is mostly transparent to the audience who just perceives high-quality entertainment.
One of the things John got me to say was how I'm like Cameron Daltrey in Joe Casey and Charlie Adlard's Codeflesh:
"He has his regular job during the day as a bail bondsman and then goes out and beats up super-villains at night. He's never
asleep. That's the part I responded to personally, because, I mean, running your own business... if you go to sleep, that's time you're not working on your business." So that's why I never sleep... just a guy with gloved fists hitting things to make things right.
Lots of love for Smoke and Guns, Demo,
and Last of the Independents,
too, and secrets revealed.
Kirsten Baldock lets slip her next book for fans of her work:"KB: My next book is called Satisfaction Guaranteed. It's basically Jimmy Stewart meets Blade Runner. I love that kind of stuff!
The main character, John, is a Jimmy Stewart kind of guy living in a 'city of the future' (circa 1950) kind of suburb. A predicament with his wife forces him to go into the "big city," which has evolved into a William Gibson-envisioned futurescape. As you can imagine, John's in for a hell of an adventure from the moment he pulls his tail-finned monstrosity of a car into hovercraft traffic headed into the city. This book has got everything you could want; it's got robots, sexy housewives, flying cars, Harold Lloyd-esque antics, atomic kitchens, adventure, romance, timesaving gadgets, and an attractive yet befuddled leading man who just can't seem to get things right."
knows a good comic when he reads one: "On the inside front cover of Smoke and Guns,
the new graphic novel from AiT/Planet Lar, there is the following quote from the series: "That's it. Nobody
shoots my shoes." That quote was an excellent choice to place there, as it sums up the spirit and style of this comic perfectly... Baldock writes the characters to all fit the archetypal cartoon-esque roles as well, and she gives Moon some very creative scenes to draw. Of particular impressiveness is the finale... the writer and artist work together to create a note-perfect mood that neither of which could achieve by their lonesome."
That right there is my definition of an excellent use of the form.
Our pals over at Wizard Magazine
feature Smoke and Guns
in the "Secret Stash." Click the small page to read the big page:Smoke and Guns
is in all the cool comic shops, today.
Smoke and Guns
is reviewed over at Buzzscope:
"This is not a book that you can ride the fence on... C
" Irony, thy name is Tim O'Neil!Randy Lander,
on the other hand, gets the book exactly: "Baldock could give a lesson on pacing and story to a lot of the top writers in comics right now, because Smoke and Guns
grabs you from the first page and never lets up... strong pacing and an interesting plot, but it's got flash to go with the substance... Given how much the action genre is a guy's realm, it's kind of funny to note that the guys in Smoke and Guns
are more or less window dressing, or at best brief romantic interests or professional dalliances. The primary motivators, the primary antagonists, everyone who's actually out there doing stuff, those are the women...Smoke and Guns
is probably some of the best escapist entertainment comics will offer up this year." And those are just the high
of the Nashville City Paper,
writes: "If comics is going to make it as a medium and not just a genre, it'll need more books like this - not aiming for the literary heights of alt comics or the dominating glamour of superheroes, just a piece of straightforward entertainment. And on that, Smoke and Guns
delivers with guns a-blazin'."
I could not agree more. Straightforward entertainment.
You may have seen this link
on Newsarama today wherein I talk with Chris Arrant about marketing and promotions. I gotta give Chris a lot of credit; he got me to talk about stuff no one has yet.