Published on November 21st, 2014 | by JCDoyle0
Thought Bubble – Sam Read Interview
There were a number of comic and book launches at last weekends Thought Bubble Convention but one that I was particularly excited about was Exit Generation #4, the final issue in the series. Not only did I manage to get a copy of the comic itself but I was lucky enough to get ten minutes with the writer, Sam Read.
NTC: Because we’re here at Thought Bubble, I thought we’d start with how has your weekend been so far?
SR: It’s been fantastic, I mean it’s now, it’s not even midday on the Sunday and if you’re talking in terms of just raw numbers it’s been our, myself and Harry French, we table together at cons, it’s been our best. At the same time it’s just been great for meeting people and some really, really fun times, nights out. It’s been great. We came last year, launched the first book last year and it’s been fantastic
NTC: I was going to mention last year, you launched the first issue of Exit Generation last year and the last one this year. Has there been a big change between the first and second events?
SR: The big change, well, I’d always planned on doing it in one year because a lot of the Indie books, which are great books with great, devoted people, tend to have a kind of slow release schedule. I’ve always wanted it to be fast.
In terms of what has changed, I wrote it from issue to issue but working with Caio Oliveira, our interior artist, he’s really kind of shaped the way I write. By the forth issue we were really bouncing off each other for ideas and what’s going. Where as in the first issue we were getting to know each others styles for a bit. I think by the fourth issue things had heated up and we’re reaching a conclusion. You can see there’s more of a synergy in our idea’s and the way he draws is really great and really kinetic and action packed and in a way I’m trying to write around that. Trying to make him make me look good.
NTC: The final issue is the ‘ass kicking’ issue of the story but it works well because you still have the humour of the first issue. Do you consciously try and make it funny or is that the natural way you write?
SR: Yeah. A big thing for me is sincerity. The comics I really vibe with, and comics that I like and comics that I want to produce, I don’t want them to be cynical really. I don’t want them to be like too thought out. So a lot of the character stuff, with Jack and Mo and the family stuff, just comes from me and how I feel they would re-act, I’m trying to give it that Human touch which is ironic when it’s a comic thing with big Aliens. With the action stuff it was kind of easy because Caio, his art was so explosive. With the Human stuff I try to make it as close to how I feel about things. As in, like, how honest I can be about it. The story is about someone’s journey from one state to another. I hope that’s come through and it possibly has but that was the objective.
NTC: Obviously, been here at Thought Bubble, pushing the comic and looking at the way today’s market is, how much of your sales come from pre-orders?
SR: We do pretty well in our conventions. We’ve done London Super Con, from last year through to now, we’ve done Dice Ireland, this, the London one …..I’m feel I’m missing one, maybe.
I work in retail as well, I work at OK Comics in Leeds so we sell a lot through the store, people are quite into it there and at the same time having a bunch of retailers who support me, it is a big factor and it’s because everyone is in one place. It’s good but these events are important both for sales but also for connecting with people, getting people, not even buying it but letting them know it’s there and following it up.
NTC: You’ve got you next venture with a new publisher
SR: Yeah, ComixTribe have been around, ComicxTribe are a small, no small sounds rude, they’re a growing publisher in the US and they’ve put out books like The Standard, John Lees is the writer with Jonathan Rector, And Then Emily Was Gone which is reaching it’s conclusion now which John also wrote.
They’ve been really, really good to me in terms of putting out this one shot in January called Find. It’s Spielberg-ian, I’d say it’s like those films you used to get off the TV at Christmas on VHS and watch all year until it wore out. Like E.T and stuff. So it’s trying to pitch something in that area, do something different and it’s aimed at younger readers as well. Again it’s trying to mine that sincerity vibe and do something genuine and about how comic books can affect people and help people define themselves a bit. I guess there’s a bit of me in there. That will be January it’s coming out. Pre-order from your retailers now.
I’m excited to see people read that.
NTC: Is that a new idea then or something you’ve been kicking around for a while?
SR: We’ve been putting it together over the course of Exit Generation. It’s taken a bit longer than all of Exit Generation mainly because that was all planned out before, so we’ve been doing it since last year. For me it’s a big deal, it’s the first time in the Direct Market and it’ll be the first time I could ring someone in America and say “You can read my book”. That’s exciting for me and I was hoping to follow it up with something in the New Year. I have something bubbling away which will be in the same Direct Market way, some new ideas, maybe moving off to less family friendly stuff, more edgy things but I’ll keep schtum on that but some interesting stuff in the New Year.
NTC: Last Question (Need To Consume’s House question) Who is your favourite Turtle and Why?
SR: Are we limited to those of the ninja variety?
NTC: I think that’s what it’s going for but I’ve worded it badly, to be honest, any turtle will do for me.
SR: Any Turtle? I can’t remember it’s name, but if you were going to give me any turtle in the world, ‘in the world’ beyond that, in the world of fiction, I would say the turtle you get in the Pratchett stories.
NTC: Great A’Tuin?
SR: Yeah, I think you’ve got it. If I did have to go with a ninja, I was a massive teenage mutant ninja fan, like stupendous, I was always for Donatello though. I can’t tell you why but I know because all the stuff in my parents loft was Donatello stuff. I’m sure there was a good reason, I’m sure therapy at some point will discover why. Donatello but, come on, lets go with that big guy, when you find out what his name is.
NTC: Thank you very much for your time today, Sam.
SR: No, thanks for letting me prattle on.
If you’re interested in any of the work that Sam Read is producing, check out his page here. And don’t forget to check out FIND in the New Year.
Note: The giant turtle from the Discworld novels is called Great A’Tuin. I checked.