10Questions with comic creator Kurtis J WiebeBy Andrew Leslie
Posted on January 12, 2012
Kurtis Wiebe is the writer behind comics like Green Wake, Intrepids and the upcoming Peter Panzerfaust. Kurtis was also named sexiest comic creator of 2011, so the Freakin’ Awesome Network is stoked to have Kurtis indulge us in a little Q&A about comics, stories from the road and his favorite era in history….okay, the Q&A was much less dorky than I made it sound – check it out and share it amongst your social media:
1. Before we get too deep into Panzerfaust, I had a quick question about your other Image Comics title Green Wake. I think of it as a Lovecraftian detective noir kind of story that has great ambiance. If you had to suggest an album or a handful of songs that would be a great “soundtrack” for reading Green Wake – what would they be?
KW: Considering I wrote the second arc entirely to one soundtrack, I’ll have to go with the Carnivale soundtrack. It’s amazing in how mournful it is and then can quickly switch to a lighter, slightly country twang. It helps me get lost in the world, pushes reality away for awhile.
2. The Shadowline imprint of Image Comics is the home of Green Wake and the future home of Peter Panzerfaust once it is released. What drew you to the Shadowline imprint and what’s it been like working with them on these titles?
KW: Riley had worked with Jim Valentino (head honcho of Shadowline) on Cowboy Ninja Viking and they enjoyed a friendly working relationship. Jim was looking for something new and we had just put the finishing touches on the Green Wake pitch, so it became of a matter of perfect timing.
My experience with Jim has been fantastic. He’s accessible, which is more important than most people probably realize. It’s very easy to feel like a small cog in a giant machine with indie comics, but I’ve never felt that way with Jim. If there’s minor issues, I hear back right away via email. If there’s larger or more pressing concerns, he calls me.
It adds a real sense of security to the project and you also feel like your series matters.
3. From the preview, it looks like the narrators for Panzerfaust will be the Lost Boys. Each Lost Boy will likely have their own perspective of Peter and his antics. Will you have some “Rashomon effect” moments where the Lost Boys stories overlap with different viewpoints or can we count on a fairly reliable narrator?
KW: You’re spot on with your assumption. The series unfold in a chronological way with each Lost Boy bringing their unique perspective to the table. There won’t be much overlap, and this isn’t a case of seeing the same scenario through 5 different pairs of eyes. It’s more the narrative will unfold as any normal one would, but with each Lost Boy we get a very specific filter.
Some believe Peter was supernatural who could pull off feats of superhuman ability, others think he was a kamikaze with a horse shoe up his ass.
4. Aside from just being a book that deals with the themes common to the Peter Pan story (hope, believing in the impossible) and since the story is told from the point of view of the Lost Boys after they’re all grown up – is this also a look at the affect nostalgia has on us and its ability to aggrandize things from our past?
KW: I’ll make one stipulation before I answer that. These aren’t really the Lost Boys from the actual Peter Pan story, but I am using Peter Pan as a touchstone and influence on the narrative. What I mean to say is, they wouldn’t have experienced the events of the J.M. Barrie’s novel, nor is it the same Peter.
That said, this is a high action, fun adventure series. When a reader gets to the end of an issue, I want them to have been entertained. There’s also a certain aspect to the story about youth and the invincibility complex that is carried with young age. Even in the novel, Peter Pan and the Lost Boys routinely fight the pirates and treat it like a game, not realizing that what they’re engaged in could have deadly consequences.
I find that very compelling to talk about.
5. With the flood of comic book films in recent years – is there a title (not already made into a film) that you would like to see a film version of?
KW: Skullkickers by my buddy Jim Zubkavich. It would make for a really hilarious Pixar or traditional animated film.
6. As an independent comic book writer, you must be on the road often – traveling to different conventions and signings. Is that difficult for you? Do you have any interesting or embarrassing stories from being on the road?
KW: I attend 3 or 4 conventions a year, so it doesn’t take up a lot of my time, but being a smaller indie creator I have to cover the costs myself, so it gets expensive. I think the most interesting story I have is related to Green Wake and Emerald City Comicon 2011. I was lucky to spend an evening with a friend I hadn’t seen in 10 years the night before the convention started. Her and her husband lived in Fall City, just outside Seattle, this gorgeous natural setting outside the sprawling city.
She picked me up from downtown at night and so on the way out there, I didn’t get much of a chance to see the small town, but the funny part was the next morning when she drove me to Seattle. I started recognizing the area and I totally zoned out. I kept thinking, “I’ve been here before,” until my friend finally asked what was on my mind. (as clearly I wore an expression of… wtf?) She quickly responded to my déjà vu by asking if I’d seen Twin Peaks, because this was the town it was filmed in.
7. You’ve stated in other interviews that you’re a history buff, if you could have personally witnessed any event in human history, what would it have been?
KW: Wow, that’s a very large question. I just had a similar conversation with my girlfriend the other day, though it wasn’t a specific event, more an era. I chose Chicago in the 1920’s, I’m in love with that era of American history. The rise of early jazz music, the fashion and technology. Though, not sure how I could survive without the internet.
8. In November you released your novel, Between Worlds through Bundoran Press. You also host “The Process” a writing podcast and write for video games and some screen plays. That sounds like a full time job on top of writing comics – in your very sparse down time, what do you do to unwind?
KW: I’ve been lamenting my addiction to a PC game called Mount and Blade. It’s so addicting I’m thinking about it right now. I get together with friends routinely for board game days and when I’m creatively stuck I smash on my drum kit for awhile.
I read when I can, too, and watch a ton of movies. All hail Netflix.
9. You’ve worked with the likes of Scott Kowalchuk, Riley Rossmo and now Tyler Jenkins – who are some artists you’d like to work with on future projects?
KW: Fiona Staples, Ben Templesmith, J.H. Williams. I’m also working with new artists who I’m very excited to be teamed up with, so I’ll add them to this list as well. Aluisio Santos, Andrew MacLean, Jordyn Bochon.
10. Finally – how has being voted the sexiest comic creator of 2011 changed your life?
KW: In ways you couldn’t imagine. I was recently asked to pose for Playgirl.
That’s not true at all.
Thanks to Kurtis for answering our 10 questions and be sure to use our social media thingies to spread the word about Kurts and his new comic PETER PANZERFAUST which will be out in February. You can pre-order it at you local comic shop right now!
As always you can follow me on Twitter @dethfilm or find me on our message boards (I’m Numero99 there). Thanks for reading and tell your friends all about the Freakin’ Awesome Network by using those handy little social media thingamabobs down there. Also tell them about the DORK FOREST Podcast (of which I was recently a guest). It’s an awesome podcast hosted by stand-up comic Jackie Kashian.