We recently sat down with the creator of one of Last Call Comics’ upcoming launch titles, Catharsis, and talked a little about what we can expect from the book, it’s characters and what he wants readers to take away from the first issue. Interview conducted by Tony Cartwright
[CARTWRIGHT] So right off the bat, this isn’t like your previous creations, right?
[GRANT] No, no not at all, in that no one who has any “super powers” still has f**ked up traits, quirks and habits. The main character is clearly disturbed in some way, so he does a lot of seemingly weird things that I guess could hearken back to some of my other comic book creations.
[CARTWRIGHT] So with no super powers, no super natural elements where does this book, or at least the inspiration for this title come from I’ve glanced through it and this does not seem like your typical Varian Grant book.
[GRANT] Good! That was the intention, I suppose I was going through some personal issues, just exorcising a lot of demons and I allowed my mind to kinda roam freely outside of the parameters I usually set for myself so all of a sudden I’m jotting down ideas and themes that usually would have been totally out of the question and taboo, and uncomfortable for me and the freakiest part is that it’s all coming out of my head.
[CARTWRIGHT] Is that because you didn’t traditionally script this book, there’s no pre-written script for you to work off of, what is that?
[GRANT] I didn’t want that, what I did write down were themes, idea’s and a line or two of dialog I don’t know if I ever planned for this book to get released is the thing, it started as a exercise in clearly my head, even the title is a nod to that, I wanted to just really draw whatever came out, out of these kinda dark and twisted thoughts and ideas. For me, when I’m writing a script I sometimes feel kind of confined as to what I can and can’t write, I’m always watching pages…looking back to see if something earlier or later jives with the rest and with this story I just threw all those safe guards out.
[CARTWRIGHT] Tell us a little about the characters?
[GRANT] The main character is named Conner James, he’s a twenty something guy, but he’s troubled mentally due to some traumatic experiences back from when he was a kid and it’s lead to certain choices in his adult life that haven’t been for the best, he’s in state or court appointed therapy and his therapist begins a new experimental type of treatment on him that has better results than any medication or whatever ever did.
This isn’t like my previous creations, in that no one who has any “super powers” still has f**ked up traits, quirks and habits. The main character is clearly disturbed in some way, so he does a lot of seemingly weird things that I guess could hearken back to some of my other comic book creations.
[CARTWRIGHT] Sounds like the start of a porno!
[GRANT] Yeah! Yeah, maybe one day someone will make a XXX parody of it, but until then we can only dream, unless someone pays me to draw it…in which I will…get one of those kick-starter campaigns started (laughs).
[CARTWRIGHT] Well I gotta tell you, I read the promo and I’ve read your other creations and I think that with this book, as a writer, as a creator and as a artist you’ve really turned a corner.
[GRANT] (laughs) Thanks, now I’m a bit nervous…truth is I don’t know how to take a compliment (laughs).
[CARTWRIGHT] No, No.. I’m serious, you do this really masterful job of handling the humor and the darkness and the gore and violence… it’s balanced so well.
[GRANT] I was reading a lot of a lot of books from another artist I know and his style is such that even the violence isn’t offensive and it began to influence me to where I tonally adapted to that approach, the gore and violence can be done in such a way where you are shocked and amazed but at the same time the thing that you are the least offended or put off by it.
[CARTWRIGHT]”The tone of the story, is humorously dark there are things in it I suppose that you really shouldn’t laugh at but you do anyway, at least I did but when you talk about personal issues that you went through while developing this book, could you elaborate.
[GRANT] I just, I had a lot things going on and then I got sick, I was pretty much confined to a bed for 4 and a half months during that time, hell maybe the first two weeks or so you start thinking about what you wish you could do, and I wasn’t drawing I wasn’t creating and I wasn’t happy at all, I think it may have been about a week before I begged my fiancé to bring me a few sheets of paper, my art supplies and let me sit up, I started designing characters and just transitioned into drawing out a story on art boards.
[CARTWRIGHT] So you did a majority of this book while sick?
[GRANT] Yeah, about 75% of it, the rest I just forced myself out of bed and went into my office, to my art desk and started penciling, still sick but I think that the book kinda helped me through that and put that out of my mind.
[CARTWRIGHT] So the premise of this book is that, Conner who’s mentally disturbed is instructed by his very attractive therapist to kill those who have wronged him in his past.
[GRANT] Yeah, yeah, he’s instructed to kill anyone who’s wronged him actually even if that’s past or present and it very naturally progresses into killing anyone who isn’t….reputable and upstanding. At the same time, it’s actually helping Conner mentally.
[CARTWRIGHT] Any there are other characters? Do you have a conclusion for the story yet?
[GRANT] Yes, EVERY character in this story has a purpose and a impact on the story and you’ll see that take shape as the series progresses, of course I hope that the series goes on for a while but if it doesn’t, I already have a ending, a fitting ending for it… you should always have a exit strategy!
Be sure to pick up your copy of Catharsis August 8th 2012!