EI8HT Did you know that the martial art's legend, Bruce Lee, was a very proficient artist? In fact, his illustrations were so good, that he inspired his American half-brother, Stan, to create some red and blue spider-hero. Now what was this characters name again? Something-man? Bat-man maybe? Wait a minute! I best ask my pal, Laurence. because he's quite proficient in the world of comic-book's / martial-arts. Well, that is what he told me only the other say, whilst elaborating about his smashing new kung-fu comic.

New logo with all kinds of size

1) What are your own origins Lawrence? And when did you know that you wanted to be a writer?   Prior to taking up writing, I was a Financial Analyst for just over 10 years.

I know, Zzzzzzzzzzzzz. 

I have been a fan of Hong Kong action cinema for many years, in particular modern action films like SPL, Flash Point, Invisible Target etc and one day thought it would be fun to write an action film of my own. I began writing a screenplay and this spawned a trilogy and also gave me ideas for other screenplays, so I have been writing pretty much non-stop for that last 5 years.

EI8HT 2) What inspired you to create the comic ‘EI8HT’?   I finished a screenplay called ‘The Hong Kong Connection’ which featured a female Assassin known only as ‘8’, and found that her character really interested me as she was a bit wild, crazy and pretty hot too, so it would be fun to write some more about her.

Thus EI8HT was born.

3) In your own words, how would you describe this comic book? Plus what formats does it come in?   EI8HT will be available as an eBook originally and also as a ‘proper’ book at a later date. I would describe EI8HT as an homage to the HK action genre, with a bit of East End banter thrown in for good measure. If John Woo and Guy Ritchie got together to make a film, I would like to think the outcome would be similar to the style of EI8HT. So you can expect lots of guns, explosions, car chases, fights and more one liners than a night out with James Bond (that would be the Connery one, not Craig.)

4) If ‘8’ was a movie, a piece of music, or an object, what would it be and why?   Hopefully one day we will get to see EI8HT on the big screen, so I won’t compare it to another film. If i was to compare EI8HT to an object it would be a dishwasher, its not something you sepcifically need, but once you have it you will wonder how you ever managed before. (yes -- my tongue was firmly in my cheek when I wrote that).

5) If you could cast a movie based on your creation, who would you cast and why?   Faye Wong was my original inspiration for how ‘8’ should look, so I would have to stick with her. Male action heroes are always big and muscly, but I think there is something much more interesting and entertaining about a petite, feminine, sexy woman who prefers to carry a gun rather than a Louis Vuitton and she can bat your balls right out the park.

Faye Wong
6) How did you meet up with Sendol Arts Studio, and what have you learnt about each other during this collaboration?   I found Sendol via LinkedIn. William replied to a post of mine when I was looking for artists to work on EI8HT and upon seeing the work they had done before, I knew that they would be perfect. Even though they are based in China, I have had no problem communicating ideas and discussing the story and style with them. William has even sent me some stills from films to represent some ideas he has had and they are usually HK films I own and love, so we are definitely on the same page.

7) What was the first comic book you have ever read? And do you still read mainstream comics?   I am pretty new to the world of comic books. The first one I read was Mark Millar’s ‘Nemesis’, a couple of years ago. Since then I have started to get into Batman and have recently finished ‘Court of Owls’ and have just started on ‘Batman RIP’.

8) Per chance, what is your favorite martial arts movie?   I think the first Martial Arts film that stands out so much for me was SPL (AKA Saat Po Long), starring Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung. I was used to seeing period / artistic martial arts films like 'Hero' and 'House of Flying Daggers' as they became very popular and were available to see at most cinemas in the UK. But SPL stands out so much for me because the Martial Arts sequences are just shown in such a raw and untampered way.

Mark Millar’s ‘Nemesis’
There are no real camera tricks, over editing, or wire work. You know you are watching highly trained martial artists pretty much do for real everything you are seeing them do on screen (minus a couple of obvious exceptions). The pace and brutality of it was way more impressive for me than watching people fly around in slo-mo, performing gravity defying moves because you could actually see how hard these guys must train to be able to do these fight sequences so realistically. I never really was a fan of some of the older 'classic' martial arts films people know and love. I may upset a few people here, but give me a good fast paced modern action film any day.

9) If your lead character was a singleton looking for a date, who would this date be, and why would he want to date this person?   I think the ideal date for ‘8’ would be Heath Ledgers Joker, in ‘The Dark Knight’. They both are pretty crazy with no real agenda other than to do what they do just to see if they can, and to see what the outcome would be. Neither have any interest in personal gain, and love to play games with the people pursuing them. I think they would get on like a house -- or more like a forest -- on fire.

Heath Ledgers Joker10) During your time as an writer, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   Enjoying what I do has been my main drive really. I think whatever happens I will always be writing in some way shape or form, even if its just for fun. Its great when you have that original idea then start to build on it and introduce the characters and their own little quirks, and then you get that defining moment when you come up with that one part of the plot that no one will see coming and brings the whole thing together. I love it.

11) When can we expect to see ‘EI8HT’ published?   I am working on uploading the first eBook volume of EI8HT now, so that will be available before the end of the year. I will be posting updates on the website shortly when I have a specific date, formats and where it will be available. Then the plan is to release the printed book next year....and then the film in 2013, ha-ha!

Ha! Fingers crossed, Laurence. I wish you all the best with www.8ssassin.com my friend, and I'm sure that my dear readers will think the same when they visit your website and do the tweet-tweet / face-face thing. God bless.