Q&A With David Brown

David Brown is a comic book writer whose upcoming collaborative project The Wisdom of Fools: A Graphic Novel Horror Anthology is currently being Kickstarted, you can check it out here. David wrote the short comic The Magician, which I reviewed recently. The Magician will feature in The Wisdom of Fools alongside 9 other stories and can be read on the Kickstarter page.

How long have you been making comics?

I’ve been making comics since I was about eight years old or so. Granted, they weren’t very good but I was making them! I continued making them through high school and it’s just something that has never left me. No matter what’s going on in my life, I’m either thinking about story ideas or actually writing…I’m addicted!

What do you enjoy most about making comics?

I’d say what I enjoy most about making comics is bringing things to life that otherwise would have never existed. The comics medium is so unique in that you can literally do anything without fear constraints. If you can dream it, you can put it in a comic book. I love the endless possibilities.

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What is the hardest part of making comics?

The hardest part of making comics for me is knowing when a script is finished. I’m constantly going over scripts and re-writing, editing, moving stuff around, playing with dialogue, etc. At some point you have to just put it down and convince yourself that it is complete. Then you hand it to an artist and they move stuff around anyway so really it’s futile. So yes, I’d saying being satisfied with a script is the hardest part for me.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

My inspiration is sporadic. Sometimes I’m void of inspiration for weeks and then i’ll see something out in the world that will inspire me in the strangest ways. I’ll give you an example. I was in the grocery store shopping for cereal (because that’s the most important food) and this little old frail man comes roaring down the aisle, hunched over his cart. He’s grabbing items from the shelves with surgical precision without slowing down. And the best part, he’s muttering to himself the whole time. I went straight home and wrote ‘The Magician’! Just taking that situation and running it through my brain’s filter provided one of my favorite stories.

Is there anyone that you admire in the comic book industry?

Yes, there are several people in the business that I admire the hell out of. Alan Moore for his Swamp Thing work, Greg Capullo for his attitude and Batman of course, Terry Moore for his flawless story telling, Matt Kindt for his willingness to step well outside mainstream style to deliver the stories he wants to tell and George Perez because he’s George Perez! There are lots more creators I look up to but those guys I mentioned are tops on my list.

What is your favourite story in ‘The Wisdom of Fools’?

I get asked this a lot and the answer changes regularly. Right now it’s a tie between ‘The Magician’ and ‘Sweat’. ‘The Magician’ is special to me because it’s the first tale I wrote under the 5d Comics banner. ‘Sweat’ is a really cool tale that actually occurred to me in a nightmare. I was having a very lucid, horrible dream and I kept telling myself to write about this when I wake up. Basically I kept waking up from one nightmare into another nightmare and the idea of being caught inside a world made of nightmares stuck with me for weeks afterwards!

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How long did it take to put this project together?

Well, the seed of the idea has been with me for years but specifically, it’s been a solid couple years in the making. The art and production part of it has been happening for the last year or so. It’s really satisfying to see something you’ve worked on for so long finally come to fruition! I feel like I’ve watched my child grow into a man!

Why did you choose to Kickstart this project?

A couple reasons for Kickstarter. Firstly, we simply could not afford to publish the book on our own. Off set printing is very expensive and crowd funding was really the only option. Secondly, there seems to be a lot of comics fans hungry for independent work right now, mostly due to the big two becoming a little stale. Kickstarter is the place most people think off to find some quality indie projects so that’s where we wanted to be!

What can readers expect from ‘The Wisdom of Fools’? 

Readers can expect ten quality stories, incredible art, and a book that is completely packed from cover to cover with professional level content. We poured our hearts and souls into this book and I know you guys will love it! Thank you so much!

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The Black Beetle “Night Shift” Part 1 of 3

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Written & Directed by Francesco Francavilla

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “does this broad ever shut up about The Black Beetle?” “Francavilla this, Francavilla that”. You’re right to think that because ever since reading The Black Beetle “No Way Out” #1 I’ve been hooked. I’m an extremely impatient person, “Night Shift” will be collected in the Hard Cover release of “No Way Out” but I simply cannot wait, and since I can’t get my hands on The Black Beetle #0, I’m doing it the hard way. Issues #11, #12 and #13 of Dark Horse Presents hold parts 1,2 and 3 of “Night Shift” and #11, I believe is the first in print appearance of The Black Beetle (correct me if I’m wrong). Each part is only 8 pages long so the reviews will be short and sweet. My reason for doing separate reviews for each part is simple, I only have parts 1 and 2 so far and I like to be consistent.

Having already read the first 3 issues of The Black Beetle “No Way Out” I was already a little familiar with the story of “Night Shift”. As ever with Francavilla the artwork is impeccable, he really knows how to create mood with his work. One thing that attracts me to Francavilla’s work is his colour palette. At a first glance it can seem very limited, he uses a lot of oranges and yellows and a great deal of black. Looking through his work on The Black Beetle in particular, this is true but it also works brilliantly. I must note that in The Black Beetle #3 he uses a much larger palette, including soft pinks and blues, he integrates these colours wonderfully into the existing palette. Francavilla truly is a master at what he does and this can be seen in all of his work. Francavilla knows his readership, he knows what they want from a comic book, he gives them everything they want and more.

As with “No Way Out”, “Night Shift” is remarkably well written. In his writing, as with his artwork, Francavilla creates tension and mystery in a way I’ve never seen before. He manages to incorporate fun and excitement into his work. All of this can be seen in the the first 8 pages of “Night Shift”. This book encompasses the 1940s, it has Nazi bad guys and a badass detective. It’s gritty and cool, it’s everything a comic book should be. The 1940s is the perfect setting for this character, it allows Francavilla to play with genres like mystery, noir and pulp all of which he does perfectly. This marks the beginning of something incredible. The Black Beetle is here to stay.

Follow me on Twitter @olivia217

The Black Beetle #3

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Written & Directed by Francesco Francavilla

Francavilla has done it again. He has created a comic that literally makes me swoon. If you read my review of the first two issues, this is just more of the same. As if issues #1 & #2 weren’t exciting enough, this issue takes the excitement level through the roof. I can’t fault this book. It has no flaws. Francavilla continues to come up with clever ways to intrigue and consume the reader. The man is a genius, the first page with the sheet music, it’s like nothing I’ve seen before. I’m still in awe at the sheer quality of this book. Both the writing and the artwork surpass everything else on the market. The genius doesn’t stop on the first page either, it flows through the book and is evident in both the writing and art.

If you haven’t been reading this four-parter then I highly recommend that you change that ASAP. It’s just such a fun and exciting book, with a likeable and often relatable protagonist in an utterly thrilling tale. How could you say no? Francavilla has solidified himself as my favourite comic creator right now. You can see his passion for what he does in all he does. It’s rare for me to fall so completely in love with a comic book but that’s exactly what has happened here.

Please pick this book up, you won’t regret it.

10/10

Francavilla and The Black Beetle are nominated for a few Stumptown Comic Arts Awards too which you can vote for here: http://www.stumptowncomics.com/awards.php (I also suggest voting for Ibrahim Moustafa for High Crimes)

Follow me on Twitter @olivia217