Amber Love 10-MAY-2012 This week’s episode of VODKA O’CLOCK features one of my Comics Experience cohorts of crime.. I mean, of COMICS, of course, PAUL ALLOR, writer and editor! It’s not just an hour-long infomercial about Comics Experience, I promise. You’ll get to know Paul and what makes him driven to creating comics full of deep characters and new worlds.
- Download on iTunes or listen here.
Paul tells me all about a deathrow inmate whose story he covered as a journalist and its incredible impact on the people of that inmate’s life. This story later inspired one of Paul’s comics in CLOCKWORK. The story X-ROW was illustrated by Aaron Houston. It’s one of the stories that shows how Paul tried to think outside the box and in comics that means outside the panel. He wrote panels that are not linear in a form typically structured around sequence. I wanted to get Paul’s insight about how to use a sympathetic villain.
“This is kind of a cliché but it’s really true that no one sees themselves as the villain of their own story. You always have to keep that in mind as well.”
We compared Superman the Boy Scout to Batman, since ARKHAM ASYLUM by Grant Morrison was the first comic Paul read at the inappropriate age of 10. Superman brings something to table regarding our allegiances to parents or governments to which we feel we are obligated – how a character is burdened with that power between doing the right thing and making someone else proud.
“I think a hero can be interesting without being gritty and tortured.”
Paul’s modern favorites include Scott Snyder’s BATMAN yet he’s found his love of comics rooted deeply in the indie comics scene or “big” indie such as Dark Horse, Oni, and Image.
CLOCKWORK is Paul’s first volume of five-page stories with 12 different artists which he cleverly used as a writer’s portfolio. When visiting with editors and publishers at comic conventions, artists have the convenience of showing a portfolio either with actual folios and paper or even with novelties like iPads; but writers end up handing over a business card with nothing memorable to show for their work. Paul invested a lot of his own money into printing many copies of CLOCKWORK to hand to editors. Anything mailed out received a personalized cover letter targeted to that publisher.
Paul is writing a short story in OXYMORON for Comixtribe and is paired with one of his CLOCKWORK artists, Aaron Houston. There’s also a second volume of CLOCKWORK in the pipeline.
“I should have had something longer ready to put out right after CLOCKWORK came out. That’s the biggest mistake I have made is that I put all my effort into these five-page stories and I got that out there. And then I started working on something longer and as a result those efforts are just starting to come to fruition.”
Writing a five-page story can in many ways, be harder to accomplish than a typically sized one-shot of 22 pages. He learned an important lesson about not stopping. He achieved something important to his career with his first graphic novel and focused on the networking so much that creating anything new took a backseat.
Another important lesson learned is accepting your limitations. Paul wrote CLOCKWORK and despite having taken some necessary courses in art, design and lettering, Paul brought three other people on board just for the cover. As it turns out, he learned that he really enjoys lettering comics.
“I didn’t have the proper respect for what letterers do until I took that class,” Paul said about the Comics Experience Lettering course.
You can learn all about the artists of CLOCKWORK at the official site. You’ll be impressed by all of them. Some familiar names to bigger indie fans are JM Ken Niimura (I KILL GIANTS), Brett Weldele (THE SURROGATES), and Matthew Wilson (WONDER WOMAN). I gush ridiculously over Silvio dB who I predict will be a huge name in comics with the sci-fi and noir genre indie books.
Paul is the editor of Robert Anderson’s REX, ZOMBIE KILLER from Big Dog Ink. It’s a heartfelt comic with some violence but seems appropriate for younger audiences. Art is by Dafu Yu. Paul also edited DELUGE by JD Oliva and Richard Clark about a riveting crime story set just in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Also in the pipeline is GUTTER MAGIC by Rich Douek and Brett Barkley and colors by Donna Gregory (see video trailer below).
* CLOCKWORK can be found online for free or you can purchase a printed version.
* Paul’s blog that he swears he updates once every five years at least.
* Paul’s Twitter where he’s more susceptible to razzing.
* Comics Experience, the place where love happens, I mean comics.. where comics happen. Paul is the moderator of the CE book club. You would be amazed the sort of guests that we get.
GUTTER MAGIC TRAILER: