APE SPECIAL 2013


Dylan & Nicole break the silence with their recap of San Francisco's Alternative Press Expo!

Spoiler Alert: Babies.

Head over to the blog and check out a handful of the creators that were showing off their work.
Comics really aren't all capes and tights.

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Creator Interview: Michael Colbert

Chris, Derek & Dylan talk with comic book writer Michael Colbert about his recent Crazy Mary graphic novel. Along the way, we talk about his influences, Public Access guilty pleasures, and his upcoming projects World War Kaiju & Shambling Heat.

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Episode 18 Part II: Kabuki Metamorphosis


This episode: Chris, Derek, Dylan and Nicole continue their discussion of David Mack's series Kabuki by talking about Volume 5: Metamorphosis. It's been a while since our last Kabuki episode, and a lot has changed for us personally. We ask if a comic can go for Baroque and still be readable, when is swiping okay, and when is it a crime, and what the heck is a wheelhouse anyway?
Also, since David Mack's art has to be seen to be believed, here are a few pages to give you an idea of what we are talking about.





P.S. Thor & babies


NEXT EPISODE: 01 PUBLISHING


This episode has been graciously sponsored by the wonderful people at 01 Publishing.
Be sure and check out their titles Crazy Mary and Utopiates because we will be talking to their creators in our next episode.



And another big thank you to The Wednesday Warriors for their donation to our show. Check out their Fight For Comics Podcast and get another perspective on the comic book battlefield.







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Episode 21: Doctor Muscles

Chris, Derek, Dylan and Keith are back! This time they descend into madness to bring you a tale of fist-punching exploitation in the depths of Hell! This is "Doctor Muscles: Journal One" by Austin Tinius, Adam Salinas and VARIOUS artists. Seriously, there's five issues in this book and at least six artists are in here. There might be more. We can't be sure. Every time we turned a page it seemed like there was another artist displaying their European artistic chops.

We had a lot of fun discussing this one. If you enjoy Heavy Metal magazine and wish there were more books like it in the United Sates, then look no further! It's a great place to see some very talented European artists flex their artistic muscles... Couldn't help myself.

Pick up a copy of Journal One and see the madness that we speak of. Also, Journal Two is now available from Bogus Publishing at BogusBooks.com


This episode has been graciously sponsored by the wonderful people at 01 Publishing. Be sure and check out their titles Crazy Mary and Utopiates because we will be talking to their creators in next month's episode.

If you order your copy of Utopiates from Discount Comic Book Service this month, you will receive a limited edition art poster. And if you are one of the first twenty, you will receive an original Utopiates page! But you have to hurry and get your order in by the end of May.


And another big thank you to The Wednesday Warriors for their donation to our show. Check out their Fight For Comics Podcast and get another perspective on the comic book battlefield.

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Creator Interview: Jeremy Whitley & Emily C. Martin

Dylan talks with Emily C. Martin & a very under the weather Jeremy Whitley about the first issue of Princeless Volume 2. We talk about Jeremy's time at the Eisner's, the joys of working on such a collaborative book, and Emily's art school.

You can pre-order a copy of Princeless volume 2 #1  from DCBService.com, or ask your local comic book retailer to order a copy and they will have it waiting for you when it is released on February 27th next year!

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Episode 20: Hereville Book 2

Chris, Dylan, and Vicky discuss the second book in Barry Deutsch's Hereville saga. Does it live up to the first book? Will Chris and Dylan shut up about their tablets? Listen and find out!

If you haven't read the first book in this series, and you are a fan of Princeless, you really should grab a copy. Makes a great gift this holiday season.


Speaking of Princeless, Jeremy Whitley & Action Lab Entertainment were kind enough to share the first 5 pages of volume 2 with us. It's in this month's Previews, so badger your local comic book shop and demand they order a copy for you!

Watch for our interview with Jeremy and Emily C. Martin in the next few weeks!

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Episode 19: Batman, Long Halloween

WARNING!: The audio recording quality of this episode does NOT reflect the quality of a typical episode (past or future) due to circumstances beyond our control, it is quite garbled and crackly. We understand if you do not listen to it in its entirety, but hope you will go back and enjoy some of our older episodes. The discussion was excellent, and we had a lot of fun recording it, so we thought we would still post it.

Thank you for listening. We appreciate your support.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Listen to what Boba Fett, Hipster Captain America and The Masked Keith have to say about Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's modern retelling of Bruce's second year as Batman.

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Alternative Press Expo 2012 Special

Go to the blog for the GIANT list of creators we met at APE this year. http://comicbookofthemonth.blogspot.com/2012/10/ape-special-2012.html

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Episode 18: Kabuki, Circle of Blood

Chris, Derek, Dylan and Nicole talk about David Mack's psychological revenge story of an assassin's quest to take revenge against the people who killed her mother. This book brought on discussions of the excess of rape in comics, who we would want to direct a Kabuki film, and David Mack's polite convention manners.

This series needs to be read to be believed. David Mack is an artist that creates visual motifs only achievable in comics. Its themes run deep both in imagery and language. We did our best to point out just a couple of the many personal interpretations one can read into this seemingly simple story.

Theme music by Kyle Hilmoe of How to Make Swords.

Again, we would like to thank Josh Finney and Kat Rocha of 01 Publishing for sponsoring this episode.

Their new book Utopiates has been selling out continually on Amazon. We aren't going to take all the credit, but we will take some of it.

And last but not least, don't forget to check out our Kickstarter! It's been up for two weeks and we have just a little over $600 left to raise. We still have plenty of excellent incentives left and we will be rolling out more as the weeks go by.

If you have a cover photo on Facebook that isn't doing anything right now, we would love it if you would show your support and let people know about us.

Thank you all for your continued support.

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Indie Spotlight #5: Ape Entertainment

Chris, Dylan, Nicole and Vicky review five titles sent to us by Ape Entertainment.

  1. Pocket God: Gem of Life #3
  2. Penguins of Madagascar: Operation Wonder From Down Under 2
  3. Shrek 4 Prequel
  4. Little Grean Men by Jay Fosgitt
  5. Kung Fu Panda: It's Elemental & Other Stories.
We talk about the good, the bad and the awesome! And while we didn't like all of them, each one of us had a book we really enjoyed. Kudos to this company for making strong and varied comics for kids of all ages. Each book also has a backup story that lets very talented artists and writers strut their stuff with these characters. Do yourself a favor and visit their website.
Theme music by Kyle Hilmoe of How to Make Swords.

Again, we would like to thank Josh Finney and Kat Rocha of 01 Publishing for sponsoring this episode.

Their new book Utopiates has been selling out continually on Amazon. We aren't going to take all the credit, but we will take some of it.

And last but not least, don't forget to check out our Kickstarter! It's been up for nine days and we have already raised over $300. We still have plenty of excellent incentives left and we will be rolling out more as the weeks go by.

If you have a cover photo on Facebook that isn't doing anything right now, we would love it if you would show your support and let people know about us.

Thank you all for your continued support, we will see you back here in a few weeks time when we set about the possibly impossible task of comparing David Mack's Kabuki: Circle of Blood with Kabuki: Metamorphosis.

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Episode 17: Blacksad

Chris, Dylan, Keith and Nicole talk for just a little less than an hour about Blacksad. This pulpy noir series with an anthropamorphic twist is written by Juan Diaz Canales and masterfully painted by Juanjo Guarnido. With nothing but good things to say, it left us a little at a loss for words. Since it's a European production, they are aloud to take their time and produce a real work of art. Even if you have to wait two to five years for the next volume, we guarantee it's worth the wait.

This book sparked conversation about plenty of 1950s social issues. The crew discussed race relations, the Red Scare and even the Hayes Code which sanitized many of the films this book was inspired by. It is a truly incredible series, and you really should be reading it.

The intro song is, "I'm Just a Lucky So and So" by Ella Fitzgerald.


A Word from Our Sponsors

A big thank you goes out to Josh Finney & Kat Rocha at 01 Publishing for sponsoring this episode! They just recently published their webcomic Utopiates as a graphic novel and it is definitely worth your time.

In the near future……science is able to distill human personalities into a drug-form. Called utopiates these drugs allow users to swap personalities with the “mental imprints” of other people. Every user has their own reasons for seeking chemical escape, but all soon learn the cost of soul swapping is extremely high. Follow the interconnected lives of four individuals addicted to injecting the “souls” of others in the sci-fi series the Huffington Post calls “...riveting”. and Newsarama says “ mixes the swirling abyss of addiction with the cyberpunk leanings of drug-obsessed futurist writers.” At its core, UTOPIATES Vol.1 is an unflinching portrayal of human behavior at its most extreme.Utopiates: Now available on Amazon.comiVerse/Comicspl.us and on 01Publishing.com


Tune in next month when we will be spotlighting Ape Entertainment, and comparing David Mack's Kabuki: Circle of Blood to Kabuki: Metamorphosis (find a used copy if you can, or try your local library).
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Creator Interview: Joko Budiono

Thank you to everyone for your patience. This episode took a little longer than expected, but it is well worth it.
Chris, Dylan, Keith, and Nicole do an in-person interview with Joko Budiono about his new wordless graphic novel: Teddy-1. He talks about world building, his lengthy drawing process, and the very unusual way he got into drawing comics. This episode is worth it just to hear his story about crowd funding through Kickstarter.
Joko is an amazingly humble artist and even though this is his first graphic novel, this is the work of a truly seasoned artist.
And we can't stress this enough, BUY THIS BOOK!
The intro song is "Mayan Pilot" by Splashdown.
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Episode 16: Dark Knight Returns

Aurora, Chris, Dylan, Keith, Nicole & Swan discuss possibly the most controversial Batman story: The Dark Knight Returns

by Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, and Lynn Varley. This text brought out some interesting sides of us all. We discuss gun control, class warfare, vigilante justice, & if Frank Miller's work really should be canonized?

The song is "Bulletproof Cupid" by Placebo.

Our next episode will be an interview with Joko Budiono discussing his new wordless graphic novel Teddy-1.

And our next Book of the Month will be Blacksad written by Juan Diaz Canales, Illustrated by Juanjo Guarnido

Thank you all for enjoying the show. As always, there is only more news and exciting announcements to come.


Image Designed by Mark Rantal

Christian Bale Visiting the survivors in Aurora Colorado, photo courtesy of Carey Rottman

As stated in the podcast, if you would like to help out the people of Aurora Colorado, you can do some or all of the following.

Hans Zimmer has produced a song dedicated to the victims of Aurora.

You can make a donation to GivingFirst.org, which will go to the Aurora Victim Relief Fund.

And there is an excellent article at the Huffington post which gives even more ideas about how you can help the community of Aurora.

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Creator Interview: Jeremy Whitley (now with 100% more audio!)

Aurora, Dylan, Nicole and Vicky conduct this oddly Whovian interview with Jeremy Whitley months in advance, and everyone does their best Timelord impressions trying to imagine ourselves to be in July of 2012.
We talked to Jeremy about two series he has available for pre-order at your local comic book shop, and in this month's Previews. The new Princeless "Short Stories for Warrior Women" mini-series, as well as the first Action Lab Entertainment printing of The Order of Dagonet are both books you don't want to miss!
Jeremy talks about saying goodbye to M. Goodwin as the artist on Princeless, working with Jules Rivera the creator of Valkyrie Squadron, and Princeless' new regular artist Emily C. MartinHe also talks about his Eisner nominations, how Princeless has given him recognition in some unlikely ways, and the pangs of working in comics while juggling a day job.
And for those of you who have been enjoying the Firetower Studios/Comic Book of the Month Podcast feud, things reach their epic climax. And trust us, you do NOT want to miss this episode!

The intro music is "Sparklegirl" by Letters to Cleo

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Episode 15: Rodent Wars!

Chris, Derek, Dylan, Keith, & Nicole talk for an hour and forty minutes, discussing two current comic series that focus on chivalrous rodents, and why that's really not a bad thing.
Mice TemplarBryan J. L. Glass & Michael Avon Oeming's sprawling mouse knight epic is going up against Mouse Guard, David Petersen's beautifully rendered tale of mice defending their realm. We promise, there's a larger distinction between them than a semantic minefield. Hear the crew battle it out over which book about chivalrous tiny mammals deserves to capture the hearts and minds of the comic community!

"One Brown Mouse" by Jethro Tull


EARLY JULY

Next we have an interview with Jeremy Whitley the author of Princeless, and The Order of Dagonet. He has the first issue of Dagonet and a Princeless one-shot coming out in July, plus he's got a couple Glyph awards and Eisner Nominations under his belt. We can't wait to talk to him about where he got the inspiration for this critically acclaimed series!

LATE JULY

Our next featured book will be Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson. Just in time for Christopher Nolan's final Batman film, we will be taking an in-depth look at the story that re-invented the Batman. It's another controversial book for the crew, so be sure to hear the raucous battle that is sure to ensue.
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Indie Spotlight #4: Cinebooks Et Bande Dessinées

Remember that "mini-episode" we promised to tide everyone over until Rodent Wars?

Dylan, & Nicole decided to do an epsiode devoted to Cinebook, a UK publisher that brings French language graphic albums to the US.  We focused on the first chapters of two very different series. Queen Margot, the story of a princess growing up in France during the time of the Huguenots. And Orbital, a series (at this point) about two intergalactic space cops trying to keep the peace in a society where strife and distrust between species is the norm. This is just a sampling of all of the amazing stories in this publisher's catalog. Do yourself a favor and check out some 9th art bande dessinée.

Also, Dylan wants to apologize to Sylvain Runberg for butchering the pronunciation of his last name.

The intro music is "Pegase" by Thomas Fersen


LAST WEEK IN JUNE

Our next episode will be Rodent Wars: Mice Templar V. Mouse GuardBryan J. L. Glass & Michael Avon Oeming's sprawling mouse knight epic is going up against David Petersen's beautifully rendered tale of mice defending the realm. We promise, there's a larger distinction between them than a semantic minefield. Hear the largest assemblage of the crew battle it out over which book about chivalrous tiny mammals deserves to capture the hearts and minds of the comic community!


EARLY JULY

Next we have an interview with Jeremy Whitley the author of Princeless, and The Order of Dagonet. He has the first issue of Dagonet and a Princeless one-shot coming out in July, plus he's got a couple Glyph awards and Eisner Nominations under his belt. We can't wait to talk to him about where he got the inspiration for this critically acclaimed series!


LATE JULY

Our next featured book will be Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson. Just in time for Christopher Nolan's final Batman film, we will be taking an in-depth look at the story that re-invented the Batman. It's another controversial book for the crew, so be sure to hear the raucous battle that is sure to ensue.

Thank you all for your continued support. We appreciate your patience, and we have quite a few episodes lined up over the next few months so expect more creator interviews and indie spotlights.

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Episode 14: Titanium Rain

Chris, Dylan, Keith & Vicky spent an hour talking with Josh Finney and Kat Rocha about their book Titanium Rain. They talked a little bit about the extensive delay for Volume 2, the audio adaptation by Audio Comics Company. Josh discusses how his political activist history influenced this book and gives a few personal stories that really inform the deeper essence of his work. We are quite proud of this interview and we hope you are able to suffer through the submarine audio on their end.

"Bullet the Blue Sky" performed by U2.


Next Episode: RODENT WARS!

We did not mention the next book in this episode because we have something big planned, and it's going to take a while for the whole crew to read it. There are two ongoing book series about rodents as knights, and it's an unspoken rule that they don't actually exist simultaneously on book shelves today. But here at CBotMP we have decided to tackle it head on! Episode 15 will feature the two full-length graphic novels Mice Templar Vol 1: Prophecy, and Mouse Guard: Fall 1152. We are calling it Rodent Wars!

The band is getting back together for this one, because we want to get as many people to weigh in as varied opinions on these two books.


Again, we mention our raffle in this episode. We are keeping track of everyone that donates at least $5 to us. Their names will be entered into a drawing that will happen around our two year anniversary.  We have a complete run of Brian K Vaughan's Swamp Thing, a few graphic novels, and some grab-bags of comics to give away as well. We include any merch purchases from our store as donations, so be sure to donate early and donate often. And now, thanks to Josh & Kat we have a 01 Publishing care package to raffle off as well!

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Indie Spotlight #3: Sci-Fi-Ish…

Chris, Dylan, & Keith talk about a few Sci-Fi-ish comics. Both of the 2nd issues from Bogus Publishing, Kranburn from Down Under, and Brian K Vaughan's Saga! These books brought out a lot of discussion about Heavy Metal, and comics of yore. Keith returns to his position as the comics historian on this episode, although Dylan manages to list off pretty much all of the books Brian K Vaughan ever wrote. :cough: supernerd :cough:

"Stranger In a Strange Land" written & performed by Iron Maiden

This will be the last Indie Spotlight for a bit until some more books fall into our laps, so feel free to speed up the process and let us know about anything amazing you're reading.

Also, we mentioned our raffle in this episode. We are keeping track of everyone that donates at least $5 to us. Their names will be entered into a drawing that will happen around our two year anniversary. We have a complete run of Brian K Vaughan's Swamp Thing, a few graphic novels and some grab-bags of comics to give away as well. We include any merch purchases from our store as donations, so be sure to donate early and donate often.

The next featured book is Titanium Rain by Josh Finney and Kat Rocha, which we should be recording in the next couple weeks.

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Episode 13: Very Near Mint!

Chris, Dylan, Keith, Nicole and our special guest Derek gather around the laptop for an interview session with Justin Peterson, the creator of Very Near Mint! We ask him about his experience as an animator, experiences with antiquated video technology, and convention hygiene.

Then after he went back to his drawing table to finish up Very Near Mint vol 2, the crew talked for another hour about how much we loved this book and how it could easily make an amazing TV show.

Music: "All the Kids Are Right" by Local H, and "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" by Iron Butterfly

This episode was certainly worth the wait for us. Justin Peterson's Very Near Mint is something really special that transcends the generic Scott Pilgrim comparisons. (though that doesn't stop us from making them) Head on over to VeryNearMint.com and buy yourself a copy of vol 1 and pre-order vol 2. We know you will love it.

The next indie-spotlight is going to be awesome! We are going to have reviews of Holli Hoxxx and Dr Muscles #2 from Bogus Publishing, and a few other surprises as well.

Our next featured book is going to be Titanium Rain by Josh Finney and Kat Rocha, published through 01 PublishingArchaia. Keith and Chris have been excited to talk about this book for quite some time as well. Should be a great episode as always.

Keep coming back here for more spontaneous updates throughout the month. And thank you all for your continued support. This has been a really good month for the Crew, and they just keep getting better and better.

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Artist Interview: Rich Lombardi, Co-Creator of Werewolf D.A.

Here is part 3 of our Firetower Studios interviews series. This time, we talked with Rich Lombardi, the artist on Werewolf DA. We discuss his influences, his love for character design, and how he almost quit being a comic artist before he'd even begun.

CBotMP: What is your comics origin story?

RL: Well, I'd feel pretty confident in saying that I've been into comics my whole life. My siblings and I, all grew up drawing. Each of us focused on different things though. For me, if a pencil was in my hand, I was drawing superheroes. We had a decent sized comic shop one town over from my childhood home. 'The Upper-Deck' in Peekskill, NY. We used to buy all our books, figures, and trading cards there.

The place was like a walk-up dungeon. A poorly lit, dusty secret. They didn't advertise or anything like that. You either knew about it, or you didn't. To a middle schooler, it felt exclusive. The shop owner fit the classic NY small business owner archetype, old & unapproachable. He had a bulldog face and was always wearing some kind of military hat. To a child, it was like Mecca. If I saw it today, I'd probably feel same way. I'll never forget that place.

CBotMP: How did you connect with Firetower Studios?

RL: Every year in Raleigh, they do this big downtown festival called SparkCON. It's a few summer days of art & entertainment featuring local businesses and vendors. Two years ago, my wife & I are wandering around down there, looking at chalk drawings.

CBotMP: Looking at chalk drawings?

RL: Yes! Since the event takes place outdoors in the middle of our city, they section off a couple of blocks for chalk drawing. I guess the way it works is you buy a square of street space & go crazy. Everyone's on their hands and knees like kids in a driveway, toiling away with huge hunks of chalk. You inevitably see some fantastic stuff.

Anyway, That's what we were doing when we stumbled across the Firetower Studios table. That's where I met Jeremy & Jason. We got to talking about comics, drawing, and childhood dreams. They had this group that met on Mondays to draw, write, & drink coffee. I thought to myself "I like all of those things, I should meet up with these cats". And by the next SparkCON, I was at the table with them.

CBotMP: Did you always plan on having a career in comics, or was it a kind of "hell, if these guys can do it, SO CAN I!" kind of moment?

RL: Actually, drawing comics has always been a lifelong dream of mine, but I had given up on it at an early age and I'll never forget why. My mother was taking us to the comic shop a few towns over, because there was going to be a REAL, LIVE comic artist signing books there! I was so young and wanted to pick his brain about my undoubted future profession. Anyhow, upon getting this guys autograph, I asked him if he had any advice for a young aspiring illustrator. He told me to find something else to do. Now, I never gave up on drawing, but a dream died that day. Or so I thought.

CBotMP: Who would you say are your biggest influences as an illustrator?

RL: Mark Texeira, specifically Wolverine 61 - 68. I just thought it was the most visceral thing I'd ever seen. I went back to those issues the other day and still can't believe my eyes. I got to see a bunch of his original pages at one of the last conventions we did. Super intense. His uncommonly aggressive line work is something I'll poorly imitate for the rest of my life.

CBotMP: I can see that Texeira influence now that you mention it.

RL: I think It's important to strike a balance between what comes natural & what you've been influenced by. I think, if done right, you end up with something pretty original.

CBotMP: I can also see that Wolverine has left a mark on your psyche.

RL: Back then there weren't a lot of characters like that! He was a short, ugly shade of grey. A bad guy doing bad things to people that just happen to be ethically worse than him. He may be overexposed and a bit toned down now, but he was the end-all-be-all of my childhood.

CBotMP: What is your favorite part of the comic creation process?

RL: Character design, hands down. When I was a kid I'd build these stacks of computer paper as thick as phone books, all full of original characters With elaborate outfits. (organized by team affiliation of course) Even if I was drawing a pre-existing character, I'd revise their duds or re-design them completely. It's still my favorite thing to do.

CBotMP: Character design seems like a lost art in comics. More often than not, the characters seem incredibly generic or rip-offs of things that have come before. Very happy to hear that it's a major focus for you.

RL: Oh absolutely. I've always felt that unless I can capture a complete visual representation of a character, I can't do anything else with him or her.

CBotMP: Your art has a strong sense of eye-flow. It’s next to impossible to look at the wrong part of a page. The anatomy is often odd, but as with Kirby, it seems to control the reader’s focus. Does this discipline come naturally, or did it take you a while to develop?

RL: Wow, what a huge compliment! Thank you. The reality is that Werewolf DA has been my first foray into sequential art. So as far as eye-flow and controlling the readers focus, it's natural for me. As far as my sense of anatomy goes, I'd say its a result of nature and nurture working in collusion. I think that there was a certain anatomical recklessness that existed in comics when I was a child. Impossible proportions & muscles that don't exist. As someone that draws completely from there head, that's always been appealing to me. The less true to life it looks, the more it makes sense to me.

CBotMP: You render the hell out of facial hair, and just hair in general, it’s a bit of a stretch, but have you given any thought about drawing a medieval Viking comic?

RL: I'd love to do that! I've always had a fascination with history and warfare.

CBOTMP: On average, how long does it take you to draw each strip?

RL: If I don't take any breaks I can do a whole strip in 3 or 4 hours.

CBOTMP: Is there anyone’s work that you are reading right now that you really enjoy?

RL: Right now I'm reading a book called "Oil!", by Upton Sinclair. It's the book that inspired "There Will Be Blood". As for comics, I'm all about The Walking Dead.

CBOTMP: The Walking Dead is definitely on everyone's must-read list these days.

RL: For me, it's all about dangerous storytelling. I don't want to feel safe as I turn the page. That's what The Walking Dead has. So many characters you love, and none of them are guaranteed to make it out alive. The show works on that level too.

CBotMP: Especially the last couple episodes! Thank you for your time, Rich. And we can't wait to see all the twists and turns, and kinetic pencil work on Werewolf DA as it continues.

Be sure to check out new pages of Werewolf DA every Wednesday at firetowerstudios.com. We have two more interviews lined up in this series, we are just waiting on their responses. The Very Near Mint episode is in the can, and being edited as we speak. Should be up a little later than anticipated, but it is worth the wait!

Thank you to everyone for all your continued support. If you have the time, check out the store, and click on our sponsors. We hope you're having as much fun reading these books as we are!