Monday, January 31, 2011

Stand alone productions: "City of walls"

 SP: What made you start "City of walls" as a mini-series?
 AL: A few key things factored into the creation of city of walls.
 For one, I wanted to create my own story and not be dependent
on someone else telling me whether or not it was good or not,
based on any number of things that have nothing to do with
the actual quality of the story and how it's told.
Also I was very disillusioned with what is 
essentially the bread and butter 
of  mainstream American comic's.
Namely god type characters unable to logically handle
comparatively mundane problems. 
All the restrictions that keep those stories and
characters in the same place.
I wanted to create a story that revolved around
more regular people in extraordinary situations, 
as oppose to doing a story about extraordinary people
in ordinary situations. I also wanted the journey
to be powerful, engrossing and definitive. 
Mini series seemed best designed for that.  

SP: How long have you been drawing and involved with, 
and a fan of comic's ?

AL: I have been drawing for as long as I can remember, 
which stretches back to 3 or 4 years old. 
When I was still a very young kid, 
probably 8, my grandmother got me
a Spider-man comic-book from a news stand
at the Jay st train station.
I read that comic to fucking death! 
I drew my favorite panels and everything
till at some point the whole thing fell apart.
It was so thoroughly destroyed
that I have no memory of what happened to it. 
But the damage was done
and I was officially addicted.

SP: After S.V.A(School of visual Art) were thinking about
working with or for one of the mainstream 
companies(Marvel, DC)?

AL: When I got out of  S.V.A(School of visual Art) 
I just wanted to work anywhere,
mainstream, up stream, downstream. 
I really didn't give a shit, 
so long as it was a job.

SP: What do you think about mainstream 
domination of the market?

AL: I think the mainstream domination 
of the market is more or less normal.
I think the situation is comparatively status-quo 
when juxtaposed to most any other
industry. I do think that mainstream American comics
have a real dilemma in that
they are not growing or expanding. I work in the industry,
I have worked in schools
and I read comics, so I get to see a pretty 
broad area of comic book culture.
And sad to say, the kids aren't buying. 
A lot of the time when I bring this up
industry cats have a knee-jerk reaction. 
To say that its a general problem which applies
to comics in general as a genre;
but that is not what I've observed.
The kids I worked with when I was
working in schools did read comics.
They just weren't reading mainstream American comics.
Many times it was really shocking. 
They wouldn't know the origins for any
number of big time mainstream characters
unless they had seen the movie.
Shit, that would make me gasp because 
when I was growing up of course,
you knew these Characters origins, 
it was akin to your abc's.
Not so with these kids. On the other hand 
they knew any number of
Manga characters and stories, and were
into to it  as I was into my comics
when I was their age. The big Question is why?
I'm not so arrogant as to say I know the answer. 
One thing I do know
is those stories are generally
more consequential/edgy. Characters grow, change,
and die, things end;
and not pretend dead where this guy/girl is back 
4 issues later but for real,
they're dead and aside from the occasional flash back
they're never coming back!!, end!! 
And the thing is the kids love it.
They don't go "oh they killed my 
favorite character I'm not buying
this shit anymore!"  They go "dam
they killed my favorite character that
freaking what happens?" 
I think that creates a much healthier
environment to tell and sell stories in. 
American comic's seem stuck in
selling to the same generation that's been 
funding them for the last 30/40
and that's a bad model in my opinion. 
To me its a vicious cycle of folks
who are scared to really change things and
move forward,  people 
who want to continuously relive the stories
they loved when they were 12.
I also find it sad that the focus of
the American mainstream markets is so
seemingly narrow. When I hear about some of the Asian
and European markets and how there are 
these places in the world, 
where comic's are made about all manner 
of subjects and
that there are audiences for them
ranging all ages and demographics.
It's sounds like a fairytale because here
that's so perpetually far from reality.
Its a very complex issue.

SP: Whats your top three comic movie adaptations?

AL: Hmmm, hard question, no right or wrong answer.
In no particular order, Dark Knight, American splendor 
and Sin-city. That list is really easily changeable. 
We are at a point where we actually
have a lot of comic book movies that are really good, 
some even great. This was unimaginable when I was a kid. 
Gotta love progress. But those are pretty straight up adaptations
(the dark knight withstanding)which made pretty compelling
and powerful cinematic experiences for me.                                                          
Thanks for the interview Lovelace.    K.K.W
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