Believe it or not, comic books can mean many different things to many different people. To some: they are a form of jovial entertainment. To others: they can be fun and educational. And to my creative pals, Dale, Tracy, and Courtney: they're a good excuse to expunge the 'inner-Yoda' from inside themselves. Yeah. Kid you not I won't. Check out this interview I had with them just the other day, whilst applying moisturizer to a Sith Lords face.
1) What are your own origins, Dale? Plus how did you meet up with your collaborators, Tracy and Courtney? DALE: My origin is a pretty standard comic-world one. Sent to earth from a dying planet to fight for truth, justice, and free pie for everyone -- wait -- I've said too much. Seriously, I come from a more print and graphic design background and kinda drifted into writing... and then drifted further winding-up in comics.
Luci Phurrs Imps’? COURTNEY: Luci Phurr’s Imps is based on an idea that I toyed around with in my head for some time. But I didn't feel I had the writing skills to make it nearly as good as what I envisioned in my head. Luckily, I knew someone who could. I approached Dale with the basic idea of Luci Phurr’s Imps, and in turn he wrote an awesome short prose story for it that I did spot illustrations for.
DALE: For me, it was the usual things, fame, fortune and the adulation of women in bikinis. Actually, Courtney pretty much nailed it. The only thing he missed was that I was VERY unsure about whether I wanted to do the gag-a-day format... or rather I was unsure whether I COULD do it. But once I thought about it, I realized I could always do safe stuff, but the fun was when you jump off a cliff, not knowing how you will make the landing.
DALE: My wife gets a right kick out of the times a reader comments that they've had to go away and read-up on something that was in one of the strips because it was new to them. I love that I've been given the freedom to do what I wanted in terms of writing. We have broad gags, ones that you have to ponder, and a couple that I suspect not everyone got -- but it’s cool for me to have the room to do that.
COURTNEY: I tend to naturally draw in a cartoonish style. Luckily for me, the story and Dale’s writing cater to my strength.
DALE: I think the art feeds off of the scripts, and the scripts feed off of the art. I know both Courtney and Tracy have taken notes I have sent them, and made specific changes to things. But I have also taken details they have worked in and made those into character and plot elements. When you work in comics it is VERY collaborative endeavor -- which for me, is one of the great joys.
DALE: Well, like Tracy suggests, I think we’d be looking at animated, so it’d be voices. I’d also pick John DiMaggio, but I’d cast him as Pain. For Alisdair, I’d go with Terry Thomas (which granted, would require the aid of a Medium. For Tears, it would the stand-up comedian Stephen Wright. If you look at the characters and listen to the voices, you’ll know why.
6) If your style of storytelling was a piece of music, what would it be and why? DALE: The Blues. I know what you’re thinking -- it’s another flippant or funny answer. But actually I’m serious. The Blues can be very simple and often layered. There is often a simple core and then a musician will just improvise, and I often do that -- I know where I’m starting -- I know where I’m finishing -- but I don’t always know how I’m gonna get there. There is also a great sense of humor in the Blues, and I hope that humor comes through in Luci Phurr’s Imps.
COURTNEY: The first comic I remember reading as a kid was “Peter Parker the Spectacular Spiderman”. I actually collected the first 100 or so. And that eventually lead to collecting several long boxes of comics over many years. These days though, I read only trade paperbacks of certain titles like the 'Walking Dead', 'Chew', 'Oz', and a few others.
DALE: Since I’m from England, I grew up initially with UK comics, like 'The Dandy' and 'The Beano'. They were basically collections of -- what in the states -- are more like the 'Sunday Funnies' in the newspapers. At some point Marvel UK started putting out black and white reprints of 'Spiderman', so I got exposed to early Ditko-era stuff. 'Spiderman' blew me away.
8) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote ‘LPI’, who would you nab, and why would you want to nab this particular person? DALE: Gandhi. Because that would be hilarious.
9) What piece of advice would you give to someone else trying to produce a similar project? TRACY: If you have an idea, draw it. Write it down. Record it. However you want to express it, just do it. I know too many people who talk about the things they want to make, but they never seem to get around to actually sitting down and making those things happen -- it’s heartbreaking. You have to start first. You can do it!
COURTNEY: Don’t talk about it. Be about it.
DALE: Do, or do not. There is no try.