Here's my roundtable responses:
Q: What do you guys feel are the unifying concepts/themes/elements to Flight?
(& what gives it a distinct flavor from other anthologies?)
A: It all boils down to story...and there’s an honesty in the tales I’ve seen my fellow Flight crew create. I wish I could nail down a definitive answer, but there’s just an air of genuine honesty.
We just want to tell you a story. Hahaha….that’s my take, anyway.
Q: On the other end of the scale, Flight has a very diverse pool of creators,
coming from different sensibilities and different parts of the world, even.
What allows it to be so ‘inclusionary’?
A: We all seem to share so many common artistic and creative heroes...It’s as if we all were all brought together by a singular dream magnet.
Jokingly, we’ve mentioned that Flight was always there and was going to happen, and we just fell together to complete it.
And we have the internet to thank for it.
Q: What for you are some of the notable experiences have come out of Flight?
(Be it as a creator, in regards to reception of your work, with respect to the
communal aspects of Flight [going to cons, etc.])
A: I’m kind of a sideliner, of sorts. I’m just kind of skating across the surface of the comics world.
Being at San Diego last year for the release of Volume 1 was just crazy…It’s so nice to see everyone come out and support us.
I was also present at the Alternative Press Expo, where Volume 2 hit. I’m so glad and happy that the readers get what we’re doing.
Don’t even get me started about all the incredible friends I’ve made along the journey!
Q: What do you think made Flight a venture that Ballantine is willing to pick
up and put in book stores? (What gives the anthology an appeal outside of the
standard comics audience?)
A: Even back when we were considering self publishing, we’ve always had our eye on the book store, and our work on their racks.
Not that we’ve turned our backs on the direct market by any means….but if you just look at a typical city, it might have one or two comic stores (which may or may not carry the Flight books).
That same city will have several book stores with an ever increasing selection of original graphic novels. I think that Flight has a high standard of art and storytelling…not to mention the accessibility of the material within.
Q: In what directions will you be bringing your contributions to Flight as it
continues to grow? (ie: Now that Flight will be released every six months from
the third volume on, would any of you consider doing “continuing stories” or
using recurring characters? And, of course, why or why not?)
A: I “may” be doing a continuing storyline with fellow Flight contributor Nicolas Seigneret (AKA Bannister) http://www.bannister.fr/
. We’re teaming up for a story in Volume 3, and we’ve left it open ended….we’ll see where we go from there…
Q: Ultimately, what are your creative goals both in and out of Flight?
A: My goals are fairly simple: I just want to be a better artist and storyteller. And being in the Flight school, I know it’ll be a fun ride!
And here's my set of standalone questions:
Joel Carroll interview questions for silverbulletcomics.com Flight Week
Q: How did you get mixed up in all of this Flight business?
A: I had just happened to write an email to Kazu praising his work the same week he was putting the groundwork together for an anthology featuring his close friends. It’s been told that I was the first “outsider” invited in…hahaha.
The contributor list exploded rather quickly….we all kind of knew each other’s work form various web-boards and what not. The anthology was just a needless excuse for us to virtually hang out with each other.
Q: What were your guidelines in coming up with a piece for the book?
A: Moebius’ Arzach stories were definitely a main ingredient in my “story stew”. Whenever I think of flight and comics, Arzach came to mind. I wanted to try and capture that strange dreamlike sense of exploration that those stories captured perfectly.
Q: Your story in Flight Vol. 1, "Wing," was a wordless tale. Did you go into it initially wanting the pictures to tell the story, or was it something that evolved while doing it? It did add a layer of mystery to the whole thing.
A: Again, the Arzach stories were a direct influence. “Wing” is actually a much edited version of a longer story called “The Last Leg”. That original story was going to have dialog, but in an alien language between multiple characters.
In a lot of ways, I don’t think I was ready to create the whole story as I saw it in my head, but “Wing” forms the guts of the former story and just gets to the meat of what I was trying to convey.
Q: Was the "Wing" story your first foray into comics?
A: I’ve been dabbling from time to time, semi-professionally. I did the artwork for a mini-comic called “Jet Pack Jenny and the Threat of the Cyber-Girl” for my good friend, Jerry Stanford (http://www.carpaltunnelpress.com/
). But Flight is my first foray into the Direct Market, as it were, past some pin-ups here and there.
Q: The visuals, both line work and color in Wing, are striking. Did you have an idea in mind, then develop the visual style for it? Or were there designs that you created a story for?
A: I did a fair amount of concept work for “The Last Leg”, and those designs carried over to “Wing”.
I knew that I wanted the wing vehicle to be a nice homage to both Arzach’s mount, and Nausicaa’s Moeve glider ( from Miyazaki’s Nausicaa and the Valley of Wind ).
Q: After all the acclaim Flight Vol. 1 got, Vol. 2 seemed almost inevitable. How do you like the second volume compared to the first? As both a reader and a creator on the first volume.
A: I’m still amazed at the size of Vol.2! I saw a good portion of the stories when they were being put together, and I’m still finding NEW things in Vol.2 each time I look at it.
Little nuances and cameos here and there….it’s great! Right when you think you know everything that’s supposed to be going on, you peel another layer of this strange living thing…
Q: What do you have in store for the third volume of Flight? Is it related in any way to the "Wing" story from Vol. 1?
A: I’m teaming up with fellow contributor Nicolas Seigneret (AKA Bannister) http://www.bannister.fr/
for a cool little sci-fi story. I don’t want to say anything more at this point…
Q: Are there going to be even more stories crammed into Vol. 3? These are some hefty books...
A: Last I checked, Vol.3 is going to be pretty sizable….
Q: As far as future volumes go, do you plan to continue contributing to "Flight" as much as possible? Or just pop in once in while?
A: I really regret not being able to contribute to Vol.2, so I’m going to be contributing to as many volumes of Flight as I can from now on.
Q: How long to you see a concept like this lasting?
A: As long as people like reading cool stories, I hope. I think most Flight crew are of the same mindset, that being that we’re going to do this for as long as it’s fun, and for as long as we’ve got stories to tell!
Q: On the bio page of your site, we can see you've been a video game player for a while. How'd you get involved in making them?
A: I’d had a growing interest in video games during college, and we had several recruiters from the big development houses visit. After teaching grade school art, I dipped into the industry for about six years.
I now teach game design at a private college called Full Sail www.fullsail.com
Q: Have you always been a comics fan? Any particular favorites growing up?
A: Oh, since the beginning. Since before I can even remember. I was a fan of certain artists and I’d follow those people through their careers.
Out of all the books I’d read, collected, ect., one standout would have to be Howard Chaykin and Jose Luis Garcia Lopez’ Twilight (a series which re-wrote the old DC sci-fi characters from the silver age).
Twilight was the big book that hit all my creative buttons all at once!
Q: Would you rather fly with wings, Hawkman style, or through some inexplicable thrust like Superman? Where to jetpacks fit in to all of this?
A: Yeah, I’m thinking just pushing through air like a jet would....no messy wings. I’d have to buy a ton of weird shaped shirts.
Q: Who are some of your artistic influences? (Not just comics)
A: Man, I could go on for days....and some of my biggest influences are my fellow Flight guys.
You know who you are...
I've always followed the work of Masamune Shirow, Mike Mignola, Steve Purcell, Peter DeSeve, Shane Glines.....the list would just keep going....
Q: The theme of "flight" isn't as literal or even existent at all in many of the stories, especially in the second volume. Is that a trend that will continue in the third? If so, what does the title "Flight" mean to you?
A: With the exception of the team-up story I'm doing with Bann, ALL of my stories will have flight in them....whether it's a main component or not.
I really like having the theme of "flight", and I'm sticking to it.
Q: If you could only choose one superpower would it be... flight? If not, what? And, of course, why?
A: It’d probably have to be invisibility. Or any type of astral projection thing….and no, it wouldn’t be to spy on girls.
Okay, yes…I COULD spy on girls...but I'm a gentleman.
A wannabe invisible gentleman.
Q: Aside from "Flight," do you read other comics? Any particular favorites?
A: Well, nowadays, it seems like all the comics I read are from people I know. I’m mr. popular.
I could write out a list, but it’d go on for days…
Q: Do video games influence your comic work and vice versa?
A: Everything you see is an influence. It’s all in moderation….
Q: Do you have any plans for publishing comics outside of "Flight"? Any stories or series on the horizon?
A: Yeah, I have waaay too many projects that I’m waaay too far behind on. I’ll have some stuff ready to unveil at APE 2006.
Q: On the art section of your site, there are some very cool renditions of some familiar superhero/comics characters (particular favorites are Hellboy and Catwoman). Would you be interested in drawing for more mainstream, superhero kind of book? Or are you more interested in working on your own creations?
A: I just have no many of my own projects to tackle. I guess I could do a “mainstream” book…..it’d really have to depend on the character or property….like Power Pack….I could do a Power Pack story…hahahah.
Q: Could we see a brother to this anthology, like, say, "Strength" with stories about internal and external strengths? Or maybe "Sassy"? With... I don't know... smart alecky, sassy stories? If either of these happen, I demand a cut...
A: Aw, there’s room for strong and sassy stories in Flight….can’t create too many offshoots….we’d weaken the brand!
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions (especially the nonsensical ones)! Loved "Wing" and can't wait to see what you have in store for Flight Vol. 3!