13 diciembre 2016

Interview with... David Baillie!

Hello from other siideeeeeee! Nope, I'm not Adele (I guess.) How have you been guys? I've been working as a slave these days, and the master's is demanding more than what I frist thought; this time, I'm seriously considering to drop out, for personal reasons that don't come to the case today.
What we really care about today is about an interview I had with David Baillie, the author of Red Thorn, one of the comics I've been following this year, and which final issue comes out TOMORROW.
Luck was with me When I wrote Mr. Baillie, as he answered and, as kindly as any other human would, accepted to answer my questions, and that can be translated as "OMG I'm the happiest fanboy ever right now, envy me!" I already did, but want to say a big thank you to the great Mr. David Baillie for taking some of his time to write this.
Along with the answers, you'll find some of the preview pages of the final issue. So, here we wo!


1. Why did you decided to work in comic books?
Comics light up my brain – they always have. I love coming across a good drawing, but as soon as a word balloon is added, it opens up a whole new world.
I was talking to a novelist at last year's NYCC and she told me that while she loved writing comics, prose is, of course, the purest storytelling hit for a writer. It wasn't until that conversation that I realised how strongly I disagree with that (widely accepted) sentiment – for me comics is the primary method of conveying a narrative. The first choice!

2. Are there any comics that you consider your principal inspirations?
My initiation into the medium was British B&W reprints of Stan and Jack Marvel stuff when I was three or four. I discovered Simon Furman et al's Transformers a few years later, and then about a decade's worth of 2000AD before, at some point in my mid-teens, hitting Vertigo. That chunks of comics, that journey, is my canon – without which I'd be lost.
Also: Everyone should read Hewligans' haircut, Pulpatoon Pilgrimage and Box Office Poison.

3. How did it came to you the main idea for Red Thorn? How was it born?
Shelly Bond asked me to pitch her THE story that kept me up at night. So I wrote down all the things which literally keep my up at night, wrapped it up in a plot, set it in Scotland and then sent an enormous .doc to Vertigo HQ. The incredible Meghan Hetrick and I were supposed to be working on another project, which through no fault of our own ran aground, and so I think it was the obvious option to put us together on this. And I'm so glad that happened since without Meghan Red Thorn would be nothing but that pile of words in an ASCII file!

4. Why Scottish mythology? Any favorite myth you wanted to explore on this comic?
I think it was largely an attempt to recapture the sense of wonder I experienced as a child hearing weird and wonderful myths and stories while growing up in Scotland. I wanted to use those half-remembered, corrupted, legends rather than cherry-pick sanitised and approved versions from a compendium.
And rather than have favourite myths I wanted to explore it was more that I wanted to avoid using anything with a root in faerie or Arthurian legend. Although the more I dug, the more tempting it was to throw out that rule. (There are some great Scottish faery stories).
And of course I wanted to have the Loch Ness Monster feature, but to introduce her in such a way that the reader wasn't immediately sure who she was. I'm contrary by nature.

5. Would you say there’s something of you in the characters?
I think there has to be, or at least there does the way I write. I always try to write away from myself, deliberately using characteristics and traits that I don't posses, but sooner or later I usually become aware of putting my own feet into the characters' shoes.

6. How has been your experience working in Red Thorn? Was it all as you dreamed it will be?
Absolutely – bumps in the road, and all. As creative experiences go I couldn't have asked for better.
I got to work with Meghan, Choon, Todd Klein, Stev Oliff, Nick Filardi, Steve Pugh and Ryan Kelly. I mean, what a team – as well as being edited by Shelly Bond, Rowena Yow, Ellie Pye and Jamie S. Rich.
Someone asked me last week if I was sad that we're finishing on issue thirteen – and I'm honestly not. This is the end of the story. I did have other ideas, and stuff I wanted to do – but the more I think about it the more I believe that it's better the way it is. Self-contained and done.
It's best to leave the party before everyone gets bored.

7. You used the topic of different planes and realities in the comic, do you believe this is a real fact of our universe?
I'm intrigued by the idea of multiple universes, branching at the quantum level, but I'm actually probably more fond of the story of how the theory gained acceptance in the scientific community. Do you know it was largely the father of E from the Eels who we have to thank?
As a storytelling tool other realities, parallel worlds etc. is enormously fun and exciting.
But I reserve the right to revisit this question if we ever find a way to hop between universes!

8. I saw a couple of issues ago, a panel with Thorn surrounded by many lovers, male and female. Does this mean that he is a LGBT character?​ ​​Are we going to see something like this in future comics?
Absolutely! One of the few things I would have done differently is be more obviously about Thorn's pansexuality from the very beginning. The plan was to have him take both male and female lovers as the story progressed, but we just ran out of time!
And yeah – writing straight white males gets very dull, very quickly, so I'd say it's a safe bet that I'll be writing more LGBT characters.

9. Do you believe in the supernatural? For example, the Swamp Thing we saw on the beginning of the story. Would you say there are some​ ​strange things in this world?
There are definitely some strange things in this world, but I fear that they're mostly depressingly explainable by science. My trick to preserve magic in life is to just not look too closely. If it seems like magic, leave it be!

10. Is issue #13 going to be the end of Red Thorn or there’s something else coming soon?
The end, I think. Someone recently suggested a short story collection, to use up all some of ideas I have left over but I haven't even broached the subject with Vertigo. I think they've only done that once – and that was with Sandman. So...

11. What are your plans now? Is there a new story you’re already working in?
The curse of the freelance writer is that there are always more stories. I have a miniseries / GN coming out early next year from Dark Horse with superstar artist Conor Boyle (of Hookjaw! fame), and a bunch of shorter comics over here in the UK. After that – who knows?

​​12. Which one will be you advice for aspiring comic writers?
Don't give up. Ever!

13. Thank you so much for your time! Hope to read that final issue soon!
I really hope you enjoy it. Thanks, Alan!

David Baillie Facebook
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Red Thorn Facebook
Red Thorn Twitter

I really hope to see you reading that final issue tomorrow! This has been an amazing story so far, and of course I'll be keeping an eye for new projects this man may have in mind, either reated with Red Thorn or not. You need to do the same!

¡Un saludo y un abrazo!
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