WILD BULLETS - SHOOT FIRST. QUESTIONS ARE STUPID

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Wild BulletsAre you laughing? Because I won't like it if you're laughing. So go on, look me square in the eyes and tell me what's so God damn funny. Go on. Do it if you got the guts. And if you don't have the guts, well, how about playing nice with the other pilgrims in this burg. That'll be nice. Nice, if not, coff-coff, deadly. Boom-Boom-Boom!


SuperHeroStuff-Shop Now


1) What are your own origins, Greg?   I've been teaching in higher education since 2000, and I earned my Ph.D. in Contemporary American Literature and Film in 2007 from Michigan State University. So, in some respects, I outrank even a lot of super-nerds. (You have to earn a Ph.D. in Bullying Studies to have the right to beat me up and stick my head in the toilet).

Wild BulletsMy comic book writing has just recently taken off, which delights me to no end. The comic book I want to talk about most right now is my most recent comic, Wild Bullets, from the Michigan Comics Collective. Wild Bullets tells the story of the Bullet siblings, who all grew up to become different types of pulp adventurers. They each take turns telling a story at their Thanksgiving dinner, held in Bullet Manor, and as they swap out narrators, a different artist takes over in a different style and genre. So the story changes from crime to adventure to science fiction to horror, all while following the same plot thread. It's so much fun you might just slap a stranger on the street!

But wait! There's more! In addition to Wild Bullets, I have a new comic coming out soon from Source Point Press called Monstrous (click here to support it's campaign). I co-created Monstrous with artist Ken Lamug, and he does a phenomenal job on creating this entire world of robots and monsters. The basic idea behind Monstrous is that it's a series of one-and-done stories set in Frankenstein's Europe, where monsters and robots battle like it's the Wild West. The good guys aren't all good, and the bad guys aren't all bad. Everybody's a little bit monstrous. Those comics will arrive early in 2016. 

I have to also give a shout-out as part of my origins to all the people who helped to make Wild Bullets possible: Travis McIntire as the editor, Sean Seal, Steve Sharar, Jason Jimenez, and Joe Freyre as the artists, and Sara Sowles as the letterer and colorist. They all helped make this book a great experience, and I owe them all some sort of crazy blood-debt or something.




2) What inspired you to create, ‘Wild Bullets’?   Wild Bullets was born out of my deep and abiding love for crackerjack pulp stories. There is something so pure about a story designed to keep moving, keep you reading, keep you guessing with twists and turns. I thought: Wouldn't it be great if these pulp genres could mix to make the experience even more fun? 

From there, I figured different characters could each embody a separate pulp genre and its ethos. But why would these different characters hang out if they have such different approaches, concerns, and outlooks? They'd have to be a dysfunctional family! It's fun because the story has a built-in "channel-changing" mentality that keeps everything zippy and fresh. 

Also, I wanted to create Wild Bullets so I could have an excuse to use the phrase "embody a separate pulp genre and its ethos".  I'm super pretentious.

 Wild Bullets3) In your own words how would you describe this story?   This story is set during the Bullet family's Thanksgiving dinner, as I feel that's the ultimate in awkward, dysfunctional family holidays. There's a murder (as happens at awkward, dysfunctional family holidays). And the Bullet family has to solve the murder, figure out who's out to kill all of them, and find a way to work together to survive the night. 

Because you have a detective, an archaeologist, a mad scientist, and a monster hunter all gathered at the dinner table, you also have a section devoted to each: a crime section, an adventure section, a science fiction section, and a horror section to wrap it all up. 

There are aliens, monsters, bandits, and even a ninja who randomly pops out only to get shot in the face. If your family holidays don't feature these things, you owe it to yourself (and your family, really) to buy this comic book IMMEDIATELY

4) What song would you say best represents this comic and why?   I'm going to completely cheat on this answer, just because I can. At first, I thought I'd suggest some mash-up song to highlight how this story changes gears rapidly while still having a common beat in telling a complete story all together. But then I figured I'd just give each of the character-sections its own song. To suggest some of the possible pulp traditions, I am going to go with movie scores, in all their wordless glory. TRY AND STOP ME! 

Steve Bullet: The detective with the crime section, would be best suited by Danny Elfman's Batman theme, as it's both brooding and exciting, while also being somehow timeless.

Kelly Bullet: The archaeologist who has her own adventure section in the jungle and a live volcano, get's the John Williams score for Raiders of the Lost Ark, as her story is very much in the vein of Indiana Jones and the pulp traditions that inspired the character. (This choice might seem like a cop-out, but I'm cheating, remember?)
 
Archie Bullet: The brainy mad scientist of the Bullet family, could have any number of science fiction medleys to inspire him, but I'm going to throw out Danny Elfman's main theme for Mars Attacks! That type of science fiction is exactly what Archie is about: ray guns blasting, wild retrofuturistic style, and a really, really high body count.
 
Minerva Bullet: The Bullet family's paranormal investigator, could also rock out to a wide variety of horror theme songs, but I'm going to choose Goblin's Dawn of the Dead theme, also known as "The Gonk". I think that fits her section because it's spooky and goofy at the same time, and her style is not really frightening so much as it's being sarcastic in the face of supernatural terrors. 

There, now I'll never cheat again on anything for the rest of my life.




Bruce Campbell in Evil Dead
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?   No contest! I'd pick Bruce Campbell to talk this project up. This whole book has that same kind of loving, goofy, action-packed enthusiasm that he brings to the Evil Dead movies and all of his practically perfect midnight movie roles. 

Plus, there's a panel of Archie Bullet blasting zombies with a shotgun in one hand and a chainsaw in the other. It's like Bruce Campbell is in the comic book already! 

6) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavour?   Oh, man, I feel like such an ugly American to switch "learnt through this endeavour" to "learned through this endeavor"! I can already hear the boos and hisses and cries of "Yankee, go home!" 

Seriously though, I have written comic book scripts in the past, but this experience has really helped me develop my skills pitching, revising, giving and receiving feedback, and trying to promote this book. I always knew that the writing was the easiest and quickest part of “writing,” but this experience really cemented that particular lesson. 

7) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   The only goal for any creative endeavor is perseverance. The only success is to keep doing it. The focus can’t be on money or fame or exposure or anything like that, because those goals will never feel like enough, even when you achieve them. 

So, in a sense, with creative work, you keep doing it or you stop doing it. And I really don’t want to stop. 

8) If ‘WB’ had a motto, what would it be?   “Shoot first. Questions are stupid.”


And on that bold note, I'd like to thank Greg for telling us about his comic book, Wild Bullets, before directing you towards his blogspot or twitter pages. And while you're at it, please feel free to pick yourself up a copy at Comixology.