ACTION LAB - SMALL PRESS, BIG IDEAS

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Action Lab Comics
Believe it or not, not all comic book creators are perfect people. Jim Lee has some difficulty frowning. Dan Didio once sold his Grandmother to a haddock. And my mate Jeremy is just cr*p a maths. Yeah! Straight up! Jeremy told me thi fact only the other day, whilst doing long-division with his elbows.


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1) What are your own origins Jeremy? Plus what path did you take in life to get to where you are today?   I've always been a huge fan of comics, but for the longest time I lived in a town where we didn't have a comic shop, so I lost track of all this. However, I was working very hard to become a writer at the same time. I went to college for English and Creative Writing and that's also where I rediscovered comics. Eventually I put two and two together and discovered the writing comics was the way to go.

2) How did you find yourself developing ‘Action Lab Comics’?   A few years ago, several of us were struggling self publishing our own stuff and trying to represent ourselves at as many cons as possible. At a particularly rough con, some of us got together and decided to make a go at combining our efforts and letting each of us work at the part of business where we really excelled. For example, I'm great at getting in front of people and getting stuff noticed, but I'm far from gifted at the financial side of things. With 'Action Lab' I can jump up and down and get attention and leave things like determining price to someone who's good with numbers.

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3) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavour? And were their any unforeseen obstacles you had to contend with?   There are always unforeseen obstacles in comics. For instance, my first issue of 'Princeless' launched opposite a little promotional event DC Comics had a few years back that we didn't know about until after we had submitted it. Something called the "New 52". Our initial numbers came back poorly.

It's helped me in the long run though. I've learned endurance. I keep selling books after they come out and talking about things until they get noticed. I didn't get my first really big review until the third issue was coming out and we've just continued to build from there.

4) If ‘ALC’ was a song, what song would it be and why?   I like to think we're like 'Kashmir'. When you listen to Zeppelin for the first time it's the one that seems weird and you might not take to right away. Yet the more you listen the more you realize it's actually one of the best things they made top to bottom. Once you've discovered how good 'Kashmir' is, 'Stairway to Heaven' doesn't seem as deep as it used to.




Michelle Obama Caracature
5) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your site, what person would you get, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   Michelle Obama. Comics get such a bad rap that I think having someone like her encourage people to check our stuff out would get rid of some of this weird stigma. I think there are tons of people, especially younger ones, who would really love comics if they were really exposed to good comics.

6) Could you tell us about some of your up and coming comic book projects?   Sure. We have two really big projects coming from two superstar creators. Jamal Igle's book, "Molly Danger", is the story that he's been dying to tell for years. It's about a girl superhero who's a immortal ten year old who doesn't seem to age. I've been lucky enough to see some of the early pencils on this book and it's going to be absolutely gorgeous.

The other one is Jeremy Dale's, "Skyward". When he wasn't working on books like 'G.I. Joe', Jeremy has been planning this book for years. For anyone who used to get into the old JRPG's that were so big on the Playstation and PS2, this books has a similar kind of feel to it. It's about a young party of heroes that find themselves facing off against an army of deadly foes. I think people who've loved Jeremy's work on other books are going to see a whole new level of strength and detail in his work.

7) How do you find your creators? Or do your creators find you?   It's a little bit of both. A number of creators submit their project to us, but when we go to a convention we keep our eyes open for books that would work with the 'Action Lab' label. We thrive on the passion of creators for their creator owned work. Thankfully, that means we end up getting everybody's best work all the time, because we're helping them realize the projects they've been dreaming of making.

8) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   I keep to the simple rule of making comics that I would want to read. It means I enjoy writing what I'm writing, and also that in a lot of cases, it's the sort of book other people want to read as well. I think when you lose sight of that and start trying to make the book you think other people will want to read, that's when your work ends up suffering.

9) If your site had a motto, what would it be?   Well, technically speaking, it's "Better Comics Through Science". But I think it could just as easily be "Small Press, Big Ideas". We're nothing if not ambitious.

Ha! And a good job too, Jeremy. Don't you agree, dear readers? So when you have the time, please check out their great line of comics at www.actionlabcomics.com, plus don't forget to follow them on facebook, and twitter as well.