1. The Addams Family or The Munsters?
That’s really unfair- straight out of the gate, too! I prefer the Addams family for savage wit and gloom, the Munsters for family camaraderie, and values, if that makes sense.
2. Do you ever drink and draw? If not, are there any other vices(food/drink/drugs/other) you partake in while making art??
I don’t drink very much, to be honest, though I do enjoy a nice cold unfiltered sake or bottle of Kirin with sushi. Not into recreational or self -medicating drugs, have never found them to be of any use. To quote my peer Thomas Perkins, “Drawing is my drug of choice”. I even avoid caffeine these days, and struggle with sugar. I graze and paint. Nuts, apples with peanut butter smeared on them, mostly. I’m big on avocados. One vice is probably Snyder’s Honey Mustard Pretzels.
3. The KickStarter campaign for your new graphic novel Nocturnals: The Sinister Path is doing quite well with 17 days left(as I type this). You’re currently just shy of 50,000 bucks, well over your initial goal of 30,000. I see that some stretch goals have been unlocked with additional pages being added to the book. Are there more stretch goals planned beyond the 50k mark?
Yes, the story has now gone from 64 pages to 80, and as we’ve passed the 55k mark, we will be giving every pledge over $10 a free PDF of the first Nocturnals graphic novel Black Planet. Every backer who wasn’t in on the ground floor of the books and characters from over 20 years ago will be caught up! We should be announcing a 60k stretch goal very soon.
4. What was the last good movie you’ve seen?
I’ve seen a slew of good films in the last month or two, the one that sticks in my mind the most is probably NIGHTCRAWLER. It was a great neo-noir, black humor, and devoid of any presence of Hollywood moralizing, which makes its statement even stronger. Another puzzler I can’t shake also stars Jake Gyllenhaal, ENEMY. You have to see either one cold, no preamble… more impactful that way.
5. So, you’re introducing some new characters in The Sinister Path, as well as bringing back most of the fan-favorites(Evening AKA Halloween Girl, Gunwitch and Doc Horror, etc.). Can you tell us more about these new characters, and how they’ll get along with the original cast?
It’s hard because teasing is not my strong point… But I’ll try. There is a clan of night creatures, half-human, spawned decades ago. These children have been locked away, hunted down, and largely forgotten. With the death of their powerful father, a local judge, the man’s secret begins to leak out… Our heroes will be dealing directly with the result of trying to keep the lid on these secret feral children, as well as connections to them they had no idea existed. I’m very excited to open up this new chapter in the Nocturnals saga.
6. Do you have any favorite comics you enjoy reading by other creators? Who were your favorite comics artists growing up?
A bit late, I just finished reading all six volumes of LOCKE & KEY. Excellent series. I’m reading the entire BONE series with my kids. I’m a huge Jordi Bernet fan. I don’t get into comics shops a lot, and tend to read for entertainment and edification outside of the medium, which I think is better for me as a writer of comics to bring in influences from outside. Growing up my holy trinity of comics artists was Jack Kirby, Gene Colan, and John Buscema. In illustration its Frank Frazetta, Dean Cornwell, and NC Wyeth, but that’s just scratching the surface- there are so many more- Gil Elvgren, Mead Schaeffer, Bill Peet, Peter Hawley, Charles Dana Gibson, James Montgomery Flagg, Mitchell Hooks, Wallace Tripp, John R Neill, JC Leyendecker, the Hildebrand Brothers, Bernie Wrightson, Walter Simonson, Jorge Zaffino. The list is as long as the shelves of books in my home.
7. Besides The Nocturnals, which comics project are you most proud of?
Probably those I was given the opportunity to write and illustrate: GIANTKILLER being one of them. It’s less about being proud of something I did, and more about feeling like you did right by the material, the idea. To look back and say,”OK, that still passes muster.”
8. Describe your worst dating experience.
What? No segue way whatsoever? Probably the time I drove 150 miles to meet a girl who wouldn’t even come outside to tell me she’d changed her mind. The funny thing about this experience is, earlier the same day- completely by happenstance and in another city – I met the woman with whom I would one day end up spending my life, raising children, and remain madly in love with.
9. Since your work often dabbles in the horror genre, could you share any real life horror stories that you’ve experienced?
As suburban kids in the early 70’s, people would stop us on the street in their cars and ask us to show them where the freeway was – when we’d try to give them directions, they would say “can you just hop in the car and take us- show us, and will bring you back. C’mon, it’ll be fine, we’re safe!” We never got in anyone’s car, but it would happen all the time!
1974, 4th Grade- on foot, lost on a country back road with two friends at dusk. One friend frantically leaps in front of a semi, thinking it will stop- it doesn’t and I pull my friend back by his arm as the truck barrels past, blasting its horn at us. A man picks us up in an old Ford Fairlane. We are driving down Old Ranch Road, when I recognize my mom’s car traveling ahead of us we make the man honk at her until she pulls over. Later she says I can’t believe you got in the strange man’s car where did you think he was taking you? Despite all we knew about avoiding strangers, in all our fear, it never occurred to us that he could be dangerous.
10. Nocturnals: The Sinister Path is projected to be ready by Fall 2015. Do you have more Nocturnals graphic novels planned for after that? Any chance we could see the denizens of Pacific City on the big screen, or T.V.?
It’s occurred to me that “The Sinister Path” could be the first of a trilogy of Nocturnals graphic novels. It’s anyone’s guess what the future holds for them outside the comics medium- I’ve had so many bites and tugs on the line from movie types over the years! I tend not to get too worked-up. I think it’s healthy to focus on telling stories in the medium I’m in now, and feel comfortable with.
Thanks, Mr. Brereton!
Interview date: January 2015 – A. Yates