1. Captain Kirk or Spock?
Spock! Even when the writers tried to harp on Spock’s lack of emotion as a negative in the original series, the character still came out the other end lookin’ good.
Spock also ends up being the most consistently moral as the franchise rolled on, but not in a boring way. He was always pushing the characters around him to make better decisions.
I uh… I could write much more than is probably socially acceptable about this topic, so I’ll stop here.
2. Do you ever drink and draw?(..this is Comics Tavern) If not, are there any other vices(food/drink/drugs/sex/other) you partake in while making art??
I don’t drink and draw… my vices are pretty boring. Mostly I watch a lot of TV while drawing. Often terrible TV. Have you ever seen Scandal? It’s truly awful. That didn’t stop me from watching like 50 hours of it.
3. You just released Ritual 3: Vile Decay. I really like the way you’ve changed the format of the comic with each issue. To me, each issue feels like a separate dream that may or may not be connected. Is that a fair assessment of the story, or am I just nuts? What future plans do you have for the series?
You nailed it. Each issue is a stand alone story. Usually there’s some kind of science fiction or horror element. Often there is a very dream-like quality. I was thinking ‘Twilight Zone’ when I started the series.
4. What was the last good movie you’ve seen?
The last good movie I saw was Under The Skin. It’s one of the very few (I’m talking five or six maybe) movies that have ever realized the potential of what a science fiction film can be. It might be a little too long, and it certainly isn’t for everyone, but it explores human nature in a way only science fiction can.
5. What does your family think of your chosen profession? Are they proud, or more perplexed by your work?
My family has always been supportive of artistic endeavors. Neither my mom or dad were ever into comics specifically, but they, like a lot of parents, seem to be pretty proud of all my work. Even if it has curse words.
6. Do you collect comics? I assume that you read them…what do you like reading? Old stuff? New stuff? Or both..??
I’m actually not much of a collector, even though I have a bunch of comics. I read from all spheres of the comics universe. 70’s and 80’s european comics are a big influence on the work I do with Matt Sheean, but I also read superhero comics, both old and current. And I certainly keep up with all the great “alternative” comics. My one kind of blind spot is still manga. I’ve read some of the classics, but haven’t jumped into the deep end with that entire world of work.
7. Describe your worst dating experience.
Ugh, dating. One of the many reasons I’m glad to be married. Fortunately my social cowardice lent itself to me only going on dates with girls where an attraction/friendship had already been firmly established. I guess I can’t complain. There were never any real date disasters. Not that I wasn’t a terrible boyfriend when I was a teenager though. Don’t get me wrong.
8. It’s great to hear that you and Matt Sheean are working on the upcoming Prophet: Strikefile series from Image. How did that come about, and what has it been like working on such a critically acclaimed, high profile book? Is the process any different from your other work?
We had been doing pages here and there for the regular Prophet series, which started when Brandon read a comic Matt and I did called Expansion. So it was nice to do a longer bit in an issue of Strikefile. Hopefully Matt and I will get to do some more work with Brandon and Simon Roy in the near future. It’s been a lot of fun working with them! There are always a ton of ideas flying around with those guys, and it’s cool that Prophet is a good way for them to cram in as many of those ideas as possible. Aside from either Brandon or Simon doing the writing, Matt and I have the same process for Prophet as with the projects we write.
9. So, you mentioned before that this is your first time exhibiting your work at SPX. Do you ever get nervous about big events like that? Can you share any “convention nightmares” you’ve had(real or imagined..)?
The first couple conventions I did, in 2009, made me nervous. It was always hard for me to sleep the night before the show. Fortunately I haven’t had any real or unreal convention nightmares, but that might be because I only do a few each year. I’m going to be getting out there more later this year and next year, so maybe I’ll accumulate some horror stories.
10. What else do you have coming up in 2014, and beyond?
Like you mentioned, I’ll be at SPX with Alternative Comics in September. I’ll also be at the San Francisco Zine Fest over Labor Day weekend, APE in October, Cartoon Arts Brooklyn in November (with Revival House Press) and hopefully I’ll be at Cartoon Arts Los Angeles in December.
As for new comics, the Prophet Strikefile issue (#2) with our story comes out September 3rd. I’m working on the next issue of Ritual, and I’ll have some other cool announcements in the next month or so!
Thank you, Malachi!
Interview date: Aug. 2014 – A. Yates