Category Archives: Comics

Interview with Barry Reese: Pulp Prolific

Crossroads favorite Barry Reese is a writer’s writer. Not only is he the dedicated author of pulp favorites The Rook Chronicles, Lazarus Gray and Rabbit Heart (the latter of which earned him the 2011 Pulp Ark Award for Best Author), but he also spends his days as a librarian. And did we mention, he has written for Marvel Comics, Moonstone, West End Games, Pro Se Press and others? He’s also a co-creator on the “Pulped!” podcast and the Ubergeeks podcast.

Writer Rachel Helie caught up with Barry to give us a little insight to what he’ll be telling writers at this year’s Crossroads. He will be discussing his stories and craft at “Making The Most Out of Murder and Mayhem,” taking place on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

Learn more about Barry Reese at his website, barryreese.net, and follow Barry’s thoughts and progress on Twitter, @BarryReesePulp.

 

2013-07-17 13.15.14Q: How do you do it? The sheer volume of work that you produce is amazing! Does it help to operate on an assigned character, knowing that character’s back-story and building on the pulp’s oeuvre? Share your secrets, Reese!

BR: Classic pulp authors wrote thousands of words a month because they had to – they were paid pennies for each word so in order to live, you had to produce. I take a lot of inspiration from that. I believe that what you produce under a strict schedule may be less polished but it’s a lot more intense and true. It’s a pure vision that hasn’t been meticulously scrubbed by revision. I write. Then I write some more. I never stop. I never worry about the last story because I have another one to focus on. You read my stuff, you get that frenetic pace and enthusiasm.

People who talk too much about writing rarely have time to produce. They need to sit their butts down and type. You have the ideas in your head, just cut it open and let it bleed out on the page. Continue reading

Writer Nathan Edmondson stands with his next project: Iron Man

Wanderlust: Catching Nathan Edmondson

 

Rachel: You’ve been a busy man this last year! From the travel itinerary that takes you to conferences across the country to the sheer output of work you have managed, I seem to find you everywhere! What are you busy on these days?

Writer Nathan Edmondson stands with his next project: Iron Man

Nathan: I’m doing a lot of scriptwriting I can’t legally talk about yet because it’s still in production. I’m developing ideas for producers and it takes up a lot of time. I hope to see that bear fruit sometime next year. I’m in the process of working on “Ultimate Iron Man,” which is due out October. There are going to be six of those and I just finished writing a novel. I like to tell stories about a lot of different things and fortunately my work in comics gives me a chance to move the work along fairly quickly. It’s impossible to get bored.

R: You did work with both DC and Marvel comics, the twin giants of the comic industry. What were the experiences like compared to the work you do with on your original concepts?

Nathan: Each experience is different of course but what you find is that, just like in any working relationship, you have to adapt to the unique culture of the company, and the unique editorial styles of your bosses. In the ideal working relationship they want you to write the way you already write and foster that inbuilt creative instinct. That helps you focus on developing the character while still keeping true to a distinct style that you bring to the table.

R: Your collaboration with artists seems really natural, particularly with your original work, “Who is Jake Ellis?” and “The Activity.” What drives successful collaboration and what are some key points for a writer to consider when communicating his or her vision to an artist?

Nathan: It boils down to finding good, raw talent. A good artist knows where to take the work. The better you know the artist, the more effectively you can establish a chemistry and cooperation. Over time, you get to know each other’s style so well that it’s almost like you don’t have to communicate. It’s an organic process and sort of grows from that chemistry.

R: You have an almost obsessive preoccupation with details, it seems. When a reader picks up a copy of “The Activity” or “Jake Ellis,” the accuracy is quite striking and it drives the excitement of your plots. A lot of the material you cover is centered around espionage and special ops which are noted for their secrecy and for many writers, that research can be daunting. What should a writer expect from the process of cooperating with the U.S. military and other official channels for research purposes?

Nathan’s building on the intrigue of “Who Is Jake Ellis?” with its follow-up, “Where Is Jake Ellis?”

Nathan: Well, we initially contacted the U.S. Army Entertainment liason but the really interesting stories come from the people who lived it; people who have been to Iraq and Afghanistan and have served time in the trenches, so to speak. A lot of people, when they find out that you are looking for stories, want to tell their own stories. Soldiers read the comics and comment on the accuracy and offer to share their own perspectives. It’s cumulative and the stories and research is addictive. Fortunately I am limited to a certain number of pages so I am never allowed to get bogged down by it.

R: You do a LOT of travel promoting your work. Would you say that you are driven by a similar restlessness of spirit as some of your characters?

Nathan: I don’t know. I guess I never really thought about it that way, but maybe. It’s a lot of fun, going to the conventions and meeting fans of the work. It’s encouraging. I’m going to twelve this year. At the San Diego Comic Con for instance, I met television actors who are fans and everyone from academics to hard core comic enthusiasts. The cross section of people who read some of my work is amazing! I do hope to travel less as time goes on. Eventually, as the work anchors itself into the culture, you find that you have to do less promoting and I can already see that happening a little bit.

R: What is one of your favorite cons?

Nathan: Well, each one has its highs, but I really love the one in Charlotte, North Carolina HeroesCon. I was there this year and it seems to have a really good atmosphere for comics. It’s less about gimmicks and more about the love of the work. It’s a great experience.