Sunday, March 2, 2014

Cameron Laird Interview

In the last leg of it's funding campaign on Kickstarter the Crayfish is an adventure comic set in Australia created by writer Cameron R. D. Laird and artist Adam Rose.

From The Crayfish synopsis,

"The year is 1950. The place, King Island, Australia. Norman Williams -- a hearing-impaired, WWII veteran -- lives with his technologically and mechanically savvy younger brother Gerald on the failing family farm. Over the years King Island has become increasingly targeted for its abundance of natural resources, array of possibly bountiful shipwrecks and other such riches. Norman will do anything to stop those that wish to destroy the island, and its inhabitants' way of life. An aim which can only be achieved, by becoming The Crayfish."

The Crayfish on Kickstarter.

Via email I asked Cameron R. D. Laird a few questions about The Crayfish.

What inspired you to use a period setting for The Crayfish?

I’ve always loved the 30s, 40s and 50s eras, the fashion the music and the grittiness of technology amongst other things. The great thing about writing is that you can create anything you want and set your story at any time or place that you want. So I did. Also The Crayfish was always going to be set in a post-war era, so the 50s were a perfect fit.

Exploitation of natural resources is very relevant to modern Australia, what brought this element to your story?

I always wanted there to conflict on the Island, stories need conflict, but I didn’t want to necessarily have a “supervillian” or anything like that. Essentially, King Island is a place that has a lot of varied natural resources and I wanted to use that as a key reason for bad things to happen. It wasn’t until I had written the first issue and thought up a few more stories that I noticed how someone might think they were a commentary for current world events. I don’t mind that at all though.

Can you talk a bit about how your collaborating with artist Adam Rose?

I have actually never met Adam in person. Every contact we have had has been thanks to the internet. I’m talking hundreds of emails and thousands of Facebook messages. Our collaboration started when Adam sent me a couple of drawings of The Crayfish. I had posted a few times online desperately seeking an artist and he answered the call. We quickly got into our relationship of back and forth. He would send me sketches of characters and locations and ask what I thought, I would tell him what I thought and he’d go away and refine and refine. Before long we had a style and character designs that we were both happy with. He’s a really easy artist to work with. And his art is freakin’ good too!

Was kickstarter always a factor in getting the Crayfish made?

We decided quite early on that the plan was to crowd-fund the comic. We saw that a lot of other comics were having success with it and I thought, “Why not The Crayfish?” We eventually settled on Kickstarter and we couldn’t be happier with the support we’ve received.

How are will The Crayfish be distributed?

A good portion of the first print run will go straight to pledgers and then we hope to distribute through comic book stores throughout Australia and New Zealand. We already have a few stores that are keen to stock the book. We will also set-up an online store which people will be able to order the book through, so no matter where you are, you’re going to be able to grab a copy.

You've hinted at a second issue of The Crayfish on your Kickstarter, can you talk a bit about future plans for the comic? is there an end point or complete arc planned?

At the moment I’m working on Issue 2 and we’re looking to start production on that as soon as possible. Short answer: there is no clear end in sight for The Crayfish. Each issue will have a self-contained story but with an overall arc woven through. I want people to be able to enjoy every issue whether they’ve read the previous ones or not and I think the self-contained nature of the books will allow that. That’s the plan anyway!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

John Dixon Gallery

Gallery of John Dixon Comics in celebration of his 85th birthday today.

 (Keith Chatto cover for Air Hawk.)

(Keith Chatto cover for Air Hawk.)
 Images © 2014 John Dixon