Allen: Curtis lets start the interview with telling readers something about yourself.
Curtis Lawson: I'm a 27 year old self publishing writer from Boston and I've lived here most of my life, on and off. Up until recently I was working as a plumber. Before I started doing comics I played in some metal and punk bands, and went to college for a little while as a bio major but dropped out.
Allen: What was the first comic book you ever read?
Curtis: An issue of Amazing Spider-man from the 80's, I don't remember what number, but it had Ned Leed's grave on the cover. My most memorable child hood comic was X-force #1. I'm still a huge fan of all the X-force characters.
Allen: How did you get involved in the comic book industry?
Curtis: After the last band I was in broke up, I decided to try my hand at comics. Basically I just bought a bunch of books about the industry, hired a couple of artists and put out my own book. I also did some writing for paperbackreader.com
Allen: What was the name of your band? What type of music did you play?
Curtis: I played in metal band called Cruelty Divine for about 4 years. Interestingly Joe Dobbins, who now does a comic called Voodude, played live bass for us at Milwaukee metal fest on year. This was years before either of us were doing comics.
My last band was kind of a punk/metal project called The Vengeful & Godless. That only lasted a little over a year but I had a lot of fun with it. Unfortunately when we broke up it led to the end of one of the closest friendships I've ever had.
Allen: Brief us about your upcoming comic book called Kincaid.
Curtis: Kincaid is an ongoing comic that I publish quarterly. This is published my own company, Broken Soul Press. The story follows a heroin addicted musician named Elvis Kincaid, who finds himself being hunted down by a mysterious organization after he discovers that he has the super human ability to control sound and inhuman healing powers. It's a tale of survival, power and global conspiracy. I'm mainly going for a more realistic and adult oriented take on the idea of evolutionary struggle.
Allen: Who are some of the characters in Kincaid?
Curtis: The main characters are as follows... Elvis Kincaid - Elvis is a heroin addicted punk rock musician who has super human healing abilities and the power to control sonic vibrations. To his dismay, these new found healing powers don't allow Elvis to get high, so he is forced to deal with the mental aspects of his addiction while being hunted by The Mysterious League of Nine Angels and trying to keep himself and his girlfriend alive. Lee Anne Michiyo- This is Elvis' fetish model girlfriend. She's the only real friend that he has in the world.
Zakiel White- This is actually my favorite character in the book. Zakiel is a professional killer in the employ of the League of Nine Angels. He specializes in hunting down people with super human abilities and either bringing them into the League or killing them. In many ways he is the polar opposite of Elvis.
Michael Crescent- Michael is Zakiel's protégé and a minor psychic. He is cold and heartless, caring only about proving himself to Zakiel and the League.
Allen: When can we find this comic book on the stands?
Curtis: It's all ready in some stores around Massachusetts and available online at www.brokensoulpress.com As well as www.comixpress.com. I'm currently trying to work out some distribution deals, so hopefully the comic will be available in stores nationally within 6 months, but I can make no promises.
Allen: Who are the writer and artist of Kincaid?
Curtis: I'm the writer and creator. Mariano Laclaustra and Pedro Sancho did all the pencils and inks for issues 1 & 2, but Pedro will most likely be taking full control of the book's interior for issue 3. The colors on the cover of issue 1 were done by the very talented J. Brown of Thunderbolts fame.
Allen: How did the concept of Kincaid come about?
Curtis: I was listening to the song "California Sun" by Rancid and I just got an image in my head of a man completely lost in the world. I started thinking about what kind of circumstances would force, not just allow but actually force, this man to get himself together and become something better than he was. I wanted to have this character turn into a figure of personal overcoming. I also wanted to do something a bit allegorical with Nietzsche's ideas of constant becoming.
Allen: What conventions will you be attending or have attended?
Curtis: I was at the Boston Comic con a few months ago and a small show in NYC a few months before that. I'll be at the next Boston Comic con in October and I plan on attending the SPX this year.
Allen: How can someone contact you?
Curtis: they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on my space (www.myspace.com/broken_soul_press) or at comic space (www.comicspace.com/broken_soul_press)
Allen: What is your web address?
Allen: What are your hobbies and recreational activities?
Curtis: I love to surf, and yes there is surf on the east coast! I also really like to read, play guitar and I'm a closet D&D player.
Allen: If you can have 6 dinner guests, 3 fictional and 3 real-life from any time period, who would those 6 people be and why?
Curtis: Wow, that's a great question. Um..Ok, Fictional first. Kitty Pryde, because I've been in love with her since I was 10. Milton's Lucifer because of his amazing monologue abilities. Wednesday from American Gods because I'm obsessed with the concept of Odin, plus he seemed very personable in that book.
As for real people...Friedrich Nietzsche, because he is my favorite philosopher. Bruce Lee, more for his writings than for his physical prowess. In my opinion he was one of the greatest thinkers of the last century and one of the most complete human beings in history. And of course Tuesday Weld, for the same exact reason as Kitty Pryde.
Allen: If you could go into any time machine, what year would you stop at and tell us why?
Curtis: Probably around 1935. That whole Pre-WWII era really intrigues me. It was really not that long ago, but it was a completely different world.
Allen: Would you ever consider writing WWII stories for comic book themes?
Curtis: Actually I have considered it. I have an idea I've been kicking around in my head about a German soldier from the Hitler youth Werewolf division after the war ends. it would focus on how he copes with life after the Third Reich. I think it's a really intriguing idea, since everything those kids were brought up to believe in burned to ashes in front of their eyes. A lot of people view any one from that era in Germany as some cartoon villain, but these were real life children who literally had their entire world turned upside down. I mean imagine being raised as a devout follower and warrior to a god-emperor, then one day your god kills himself and you are now told the he was actually the devil. I think there is a lot of potential drama to explore there.
Allen: What TV shows, movies, cartoons do you like?
Curtis: I don't watch a whole lot of TV, but I do watch Heroes religiously and I'm a big fan of that 70's show. As for cartoons - The old Batman animated series, Evangelion, the Brak show, Aqua teen, Homestar Runner.
Allen: What books do you enjoy?
Curtis: I love Neil Gaiman. American Gods is one of my favorites I was also really into Smoke and Mirrors. I don't read a whole lot of contemporary fiction though. I love Sherlock Holmes stories. I also enjoy anything by H. P. Lovecraft. I mainly like reading philosophy. I also enjoy epic poetry, and historical non- fiction.
Allen: What comic books do you read now?
Curtis: Too many to list here really. I'm a total fan boy. Some of my favorites right now are The Walking Dead, Cable & Deadpool, Powers, The Irredeemable Ant-Man, Adjectivless X-men and Ultimate Spider-man
Allen: What gives you your creative energy?
Curtis: I just have a need to create. Creative energy is an overwhelming part of my inner personality.
Allen: If your comic book became a movie, who would play the character parts and why?
Curtis: I honestly have no idea for Elvis. Lee Anne would be played by this model named LeeAnn D'Alexandry. She looks a lot like her and I think she could pull it off. Christopher Walken would definitely be my choice for the part of Zakiel. Half the time that I write Zakiel's dialogue I have Christopher Walken's voice in my head. Michael would probably be an unknown actor or perhaps a c grade wrestler.
Allen: This ends the interview, any encouraging words of wisdom?
Curtis: Well I don't know how much wisdom I have to offer. I'm pretty new to the funny book game. I guess all I can say is that if you love this art form and you really want to do it, then just stick with it. There are a million things to derail you, but if you stick to your guns and focus on creating quality work there is definitely a place for you.