Child Number Four Cover Do you remember as a kid how life could be so much fun? You'd prance your day away with one thing or another, until dear old Mum would tell you to come inside for your afternoon meal. Well, get ready to remember again, dear reader. When you outstretch your finger and click on the following interview I did with my pal Trevor, who created a very compelling comic book about children, adventure, and a dead body. Go on. Read on. 

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Child Number Four Art Autumn 1) What are your own origins, Trevor? Plus what path did you take in life prior to getting to where you are today?   Well, I graduated from Central College in Pella, Iowa, in 2010 with a social sciences degree. I always wanted to write a movie script and in high school and college I’d read books that taught “HOW TO WRITE A SCRIPT”, but I never had a story that was compelling enough for me to want to make the attempt. At Central I took a few creative writing courses and that really forced me to start writing, regardless of inspiration because when you have a deadline to meet you just have to sit down and write something that’s as good as you can make it.

When I first came up with the idea for my first comic, 'Eclipse', I contemplated writing it as a screenplay to prove to myself that I could do it. But once I started giving the story some thought I didn’t want to produce something that’d never see the light of day, so I focused on making it into a comic! That’s easily become one of the best decisions of my life.

2) What inspired you to create the ‘Child Number Four’ comic book?   My brother, sister and I grew up playing in the woods behind my grandparents’ house. We’d spend hours exploring, riding our bikes through the trails, building forts, staging wars, and tracking deer during the winters.

Child Number Four SquirrelOur favorite movies growing up all centered on a bunch of adventurous kids like in The Sandlot, The Goonies, Stand By Me, and The Mighty Ducks. So, in a way, Child Number Four is a love letter to my childhood and the movies we watched as kids.

3) In your own words how would you describe this tale?   James Cameron sold the studio on his idea for 'Alien' by describing it as 'JAWS IN SPACE'. In a similar fashion I’d describe my book as 'The Goonies solving the murder of Chunk'. You take this close group of kids and take away the most beloved character out of the bunch and it creates a very compelling story!

4) What song would you say best represents this project and why?   I have no idea but when I write I tend to listen to various movie soundtracks to help set the mood. I’d say the 'Mystic River' theme is a good one. If the story had a soundtrack it’d definitely have to have parts with beautiful strings and piano but a hint of creepiness to it!

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5) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your wares, who would you choose, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   This is also a good question. I think my response would definitely change any given day, but today I’d say either Quentin Tarantino or Ben Affleck. I know, they’re both very opposite of one another but they’re terrific storytellers! I’d mostly want to pick their brains regarding their creative processes around scripts and directing. 

6) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavour? And were their any unforeseen obstacles you had to contend with along the way?   I think the biggest obstacle there is for any indie comic or kickstarter campaign is spreading awareness. I want to get as many eyes on the project as possible but you don’t want to cross that line where you’ve only become an annoyance to anyone you try reaching out to -- whether that’s reaching out directly to someone -- posting information on twitter / facebook -- etc. etc. etc. 

One thing I’ve learned about myself is just how much I love putting together stories and watching them grow from one small idea into something a lot bigger. Child Number Four started out as just a random thought of a story opening up on a squirrel with this beautiful backdrop of orange and red trees. We start following the squirrel throughout the forest and it stumbles upon this dead body and the imagery is shocking because this body is just there. You don’t know how it got there or why and it creates this mystery behind it and it’s such a simple opening. That’s literally what started Child Number Four and that’s exactly how the book opens up. 

Child Number Four Dead Boy
7) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   I would say my family and friends. They’re encouragement and support really is a driving force behind continuing to do something that as a writer of comics you don’t really get to see the finished product for a year or so -- if at all. 

I also received some very kind words on my first comic 'Eclipse', and those words definitely keep me motivated and let me know that I’m doing something right to evoke such emotions within them as readers. 

My favorite stories are ones that move me emotionally and in the comics there’s not a whole lot of that. Scott Snyder’s Batman has some scenes here and there that are genuine along with Peter Tomasi’s Batman and Robin series. But other than those most of the stories try to be so fantastical and bombastic -- which I get -- considering someone has to draw this stuff and it’d be boring to draw just two people sitting there talking for 10 pages.

8) If ‘Number Four’ had a motto, what would it be?   Children are resilient. Children are honest. And in today's world, children aren't naive about the horrors around them.

And on that note, dear reader, all I have left to say is please check out Child Number Four by clicking on Trevor's facebook and twitter pages plus his kickstarter campaign. So go on. Give it a click or ten. As you never know. You may be a part of the next big thing. 

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