Sean Maher's Quality Control

Friday, September 02, 2005

Promotions Week, day five: Interviews

Before I get into today's post: I meant to mention yesterday the blog that Brian Wood has set up for his upcoming Oni series, Local. It's a neat way to sell the book, the angle they're taking being very personal and more about what the concept of the book means to the creators in their own lives, and thus making the reader go through the same process. Plus, there's a story about a drunken mistake, a man and a woman fighting, and a sock full of quarters.

Now this is a step that requires some connections and a little moxie, but if you can do a really strong interview and get me to read it, it'll often sell me a book right then and there.

You're facing a lot of the same trouble as the preview material, sort of a bootstraps situation - I'm not gonna read a big, expansive interview with someone I've never heard of, right? Leastwise, not unless you open with a wicked hook. So consider that, going in.

But once you've got me on the page, there's a lot of ways to get me interested enough that I'll be looking for your book at the local comics shop.

You might tell a personal story that lends some interesting background to your comic, like Kirsten Baldock did in this Sequential Tart interview to promote Smoke and Guns, recalling her time as a cigarette girl in San Francisco:
"The company was run like a covert operation. Every week the girls had to call a voicemail to get their assignments. I tended to work Wednesday through Saturday nights.

On those nights, I'd show up at the office around 8:30 pm and knock on the door for about 15 minutes before anyone would answer. And by answer I mean someone would yell through the door 'who is it?' If I got lucky it was someone who I'd worked with before and they'd let me in. Otherwise it was back to knocking."

Perhaps you're working on a Marvel or DC book and you've got a lot of expectations bearing down on you about the time-honored characters you'll be caring for. If you're Dan Slott, with an upcoming series about the ever-lovin' blue-eyed Thing, you're more than prepared to rise to the occaision, and charm the hell out of your readers with an interview style that suits the character:
"This isn’t going to be dark like Arkham Asylum: Living Hell or GLA - or feature the meta-concepts of She-Hulk. This is going to be a book about two-fisted adventures - starring Aunt Petunia’s Favorite Nephew, and a few of his super-powered poker buddies!
Benjamin J. Grimm has come into a rather sizeable fortune. The idol of millions is now worth billions! He’s gone from a rocky fella to a Rockefeller!"

Or maybe you're a big fuckin' deal already, and you just want to get people talking. I gotta say, this interview with Garth Ennis had me flipping out when he wrote about his upcoming projects
"Another 'Kev' series from Wildstorm, featuring Carlos Ezquerra's best art in years; a third Punisher special, 'The Tyger,' drawn by John Severin; 'Nick Fury in World War Two,' six issues by Darick Robertson; a four-issue 'JLA Classified' arc featuring Tommy Monaghan, effectively the lost Hitman story; a new book from Avatar called 'Wormwood,' starring the Antichrist (he gets a bad rap); 'Back to Brooklyn,' a crime book with Jimmy Palmiotti; a new creator-owned ongoing book with Darick Robertson, 'The Boys'; a western called 'Trail of Tears'-- a much darker, more brutal book than the one about to come out; and just started writing a new limited series for Axel [Alonso] at Marvel. Very pleased with it so far. Finally, of course, there's the regular 'Punisher' book, which is just about to start a new storyline, 'The Slavers.'"

(What, no City Lights?)

All very different styles, all well-suited to the specific needs I have as a potential consumer of their work. Excellent.

That's all for this week, ladies and gentlemen. Thanks for tuning in, enjoy the holy hell out of your weekends, and I'll catch up with you on Monday.
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