Filed under: Interviews | Tags: Gary Chudleigh, Glasgow League of Writers, Graeme Kennedy, Obscure Reference Comics, Villainous
Following the review of Villainous from Obscure Reference Comics – the Comics Anonymous team thought we’d freak the creative team out further by bombarding them with questions. Queue lamp in ze face and we’ll get the answers we want……read on…..
What are you both working on just now?
We’re really focusing more on shorter material so we can get out content much faster than we did with Villainous. We’re producing one shots, contributing to a few anthologies and focusing more on our web strips such as the Collabatory. We’re also looking to expand our creative collaboration; we’ll be bringing on board some more artists for shorts to add a new flavour to the mix.
I particularly like the cover for issue #1 – where did the idea for that come?
We can’t remember who first pitched the idea of the cover. The thought of it was the black and white representing the duality of good and evil in these characters, Victor is the murderer yet he is the one trying to save the day, while Bryson is going after blood vengeance. We used the scarred eye as a logo not just to tie in with Victor’s injuries but on the symbolism of what an eye can bring. It’s the window to the soul, and all the experiences of the past trauma have been witnessed by these characters and define who they are to this day.
What was the inspiration for Villainous?
The pitch-like punchline we always use – “what if the joker had a change of heart?”. It was heavily influenced around the time The Dark Knight was out; I ended up in a complete Bat-mode for a good few months. It was then I decided I wanted to write something hopefully as thrilling only minus the superhero element. The dark atmosphere of films like Seven also had an influence, I listened to the score while writing it.
How is work on issue #3 going and when is it out?
Work on issue 3 is going great, 6 pages of art is done and we’re launching it at Thought Bubble. It’s an action packed issue, issue #2 was all build up, this one is just chaos. Fun to write, and the art looks amazing, Graeme gets better each issue.
How many issues are you aiming for with Villainous?
We originally had 5 scripted! Yes, you’d see the end in 2014. We learned our lesson on writing long material and decided to cut it down to 3. It’s actually a really good thing for the comic, looking back there was a lot of fat that need trimmed. We cut down a subplot and removed stuff that wasn’t needed. Issue 3 is going to be an extra long finale, coming in it around 30 odd pages. It’s a lot tighter and tenser than the previous 5 issue arc.
What’s next for Obscure Reference?
The next step is to completely put everything we have into our material. It’s a really exciting time, Villainous will see its finale, and we’ve got so many projects waiting for the starting pistol to shoot. We’re also involved in a huge anthology project, and we have potentially two huge collaborations in the works just now, I can’t say just what they all are yet but we’ll be announcing it soon.
How have you found trying to create/produce your own comic?
Amazing and educating. I’ve learned so much from the entire process from storytelling to design to promotion and met the most kind and interesting people.
What comic titles are you reading right now?
I’m a retrospective guy, I’m constantly trying to catch up. I’ve just hammered the first 90 Walking Dead’s and it’s truly the best series I’ve read. I’m also going through Stan Lee’s original run on Spider-Man. The only current title I’m following is Detective comics for my Batman fix. I’ve got a bunch on the to read pile, its just getting there.
Are there any particular writers you follow?
My number one inspiration is Joss Whedon. But I don’t actually like his comics work ironically. I really dig Bendis from his work on Powers and Kirkman, but I float between writers and have yet to read more than just one body of work from them. I’m like a kid overusing the free samples at an ice cream parlor.
Are there any particular artists you follow?
I’m partial to a bit of Michael Oeming, Ashley Wood and Kelley Jones.
It’s a pretty good time for the Glasgow indie/small press scene just now – how do you feel being part of that?
Amazing, the people I’ve met within the scene are now close friends and have helped me improve so much. There’s a buzz and a rumbling around Glasgow and comics, it feels like a volcano waiting to explode. It reminds me of the indy wrestling scene in Glasgow, a small promotion is now prime time on Sky TV. I truly believe we will be heading in a similar successful direction.
Does being involved with a group like GLoW help the development of a script/comic?
100% yes, I think anyone writing comics should find a peer group like this. I have improved drastically and been given once in a life time opportunities through this group. I shudder to think if I never went to that first meeting. The honest feedback is the best part, it’s constructive and honest, and when you get compliments you know it’s the real deal, not just because you’re a friend.
A big thank-you to Gary and Graeme for answering our questions – we have freed them now and they are back home with their families…safe and sound.
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