1) What are your own origins, Tzvi? Plus what path did you take in life prior to getting to where you are today? I grew up in England, then lived in the US for a few years, and then moved to Israel about a decade ago. So, I grew up reading Judge Dredd and 2000 AD, and then progressed onto Warrior -- the anthology magazine that Marvelman (now Miracleman) and V for Vendetta originally ran. I then started getting into American comics around the Swamp Thing / Watchmen / Dark Knight era, and today I read books like Powers, Vertigo books (I love their new series 'The Kitchen' for example) and the Charles Soule soon to be cancelled She-Hulk run.
Along the way in life I also found some small time away from comics to get married, have 4 kids (3 teenagers now. That's a head trip!) be a graphics and web designer (Note to anyone who is thinking about being a freelancer graphics / web guy. Almost all clients out there would benefit greatly by having their heads held under for 10 minutes, which is part of a set of realizations that bought me to the insane decision to try and forge a career in the funny books business).
2) What inspired you to create, ‘Biblical Comix’? Up there with my lifelong love of the funny books is my inverse hatred of pop culture recreations of the Bible. They normally have some heavy and obvious agenda, or betray the subject matter completely.
Also, there's a perception that the Bible is a bunch of children's stories in the western world. And while of course, it can be read as such, I never really bought into those simpler, two dimensional interpretations. The Old Testament is a fundamentally important document to our shared culture, and I just didn't buy that it was full of poor character development and plot holes. So much of the archetypes of story telling can be traced back to the Bible, and I just didn't believe it would be such a weak document -- as many perceive it to be.
So, I looked into it a bit deeper, using ancient Jewish and Muslim texts, and have been able to pull out exactly what I like in story telling. That is BIG ideas, told on a large canvas, about real, flawed, three dimensional characters -- and because the characters are three dimensional and flawed it makes these big stories very intimate as well. So it seemed to be good cannon fodder for a dramatic series.
Another thing I like in stories is upending one's expectations (which is what I think the last Bond movie, Skyfall, did so well -- like all the way through). So we have the Bible, and one expects all the protagonists to be saints, living saintly lives -- and the truth is simply not that at all. EVERYONE screws up and makes mistakes. In fact, if I wanted to give an overview of the Old Testament as a piece of literature, I would say there's a repeated theme of brotherly discord, and feuding families.
Finally, and maybe most importantly is that I wanted to put a book out there that was good, but also nothing like anything else you seen before -- which is what I hope this book is.
3) Can you briefly tell us what this comic is all about? Well, we open up with a 2 part arc about Nimrod, who was the chap who built the Tower of Babel, and tell the entire story from his perspective, giving some insight into what the hell was going on there. Which I feel was a theological war born out from the aftermath of the flood.
I'm going to take a moment to go off on a tangent here -- that I'm not telling anyone what to believe. I'm not dealing with the question of is the Bible historically accurate, but rather presenting it AS IF it were a historical chronicle. I leave it up to the reader to form their own opinions on the theology presented -- much in the same way that one doesn't have to be a devotee of Greek mythology to enjoy Greek Street (A Vertigo book from a few years ago that did Greek mythology based in modern London).
OK. That said we then have an extended issue about the Raven and the Dove in Noah's arc, which then unfolds into a 3 part arc about Jonah and the Whale.
All these six issues combine tells one story, and hopefully gives you something new to think about in life.
4) What song would you say best represents your story and why? Hmmmm. 'Tomorrow Never Knows' by the Beatles (last song on Revolver), because, for me, it represents an out of body psychological and spiritual journey, which mirrors what I'd like to be doing with Biblical Comix.
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? Uh... King David and Alexander the Great. I think those two could motivate a crowd to do anything, including buy my book.
6) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavour? And were their any unforeseen obstacles you had to contend with along the way? Resilience. Making a book and trying to break into the comics industry (or any creative industry) is AWFUL!!!!!! The work is VERY hard, and it's a non stop grind which seems NEVER to be done. So many technical details that you need to keep your eye on.
And then... and then... there's the marketing, which is truly horrible, as you try desperately to get anyone to read your darned book.
So, what have I learnt about myself? That I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY want to do this and succeed at it. Much more so than I every thought I wanted anything.
7) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead? People buying my books! And the almost universal positive reviews and feedback I've received.
And more than anything else it's the really strong feedback from my readers. Let me tell you, if you like a book, then take 2 minutes to send the creator a line that you did. It makes our day!