Allen: Jason, welcome back to Jazma. Tell us some new things about yourself.
Jason Berek-Lewis: Well, I become a Dad in October! I canít wait. I am very excited! (Which is why I keep typing so many exclamation marks!).
Allen: How has your wifeís pregnancy changed your life?
Jason: We have become very busy planning for the baby, buying all the necessary things, setting up the nursery, attending doctor appointments.
Allen: What are some of your favorite older comics from youth?
Jason: I didnít read many comics growing up, but I did love Jack Kirbyís Devil Dinosaur and The Fantastic Four. I came back to reading comics in the mid 90s and the first books I read were Star Wars comics from Dark Horse; Dark Empire was my favorite from those days. I also really loved Ben Reilly as the Scarlet Spider and Spider-Man.
Allen: Did you start writing from publishing letters in comic books? If so what was your first letter publication? Which comic was letter published?
Jason: I started creating ideas for comics in 1997, but my first letter was probably published in around 1995 in an issue of X from Dark Horse.
Allen: I suppose you have to keep busy with new member of family. Tell us about your new projects in works.
Jason: I just started working with my friend William Ward on a short story for Heavy Metal, a comic in the United Kingdom. We are hoping they will pick it up. William came up with the story and the plot, I am helping with the script; itís classic Sci-Fi, which is great because I love this genre. I am working on a creator-owned Faith-based comic with a friend. Very soon I will have a mini series published by a high profile Indy company.
Allen: Would you talk about some of stories in works at present time? Please also talk about characters.
Jason: My Faith-based comic is about a Christian guy and a Jewish guy who have to work together to end a war; itís superhero/ faith/ fantasy and action mixed together. I canít really talk about the other projects just yet.
Allen: When and in what form do you expect your stories to get published? Are you planning digital or comic book rack form?
Jason: The idea above will be a web comic. My other Indy projects (including Heavy Metal) will be published, printed comics available from your local comic shop!
Allen: What do you think makes your stories publishable?
Jason: I like to write stories that are similar to $100 million Hollywood blockbusters. I try to write stories that move quickly and have some pretty crazy characters. I hope this appeals to people. I also love pulling on the heartstrings, so in one scene I might blow up a medieval castle and in the next Iíll try to make you cry!
Allen: How do you find time to balance writing career and family life?
Jason: The simple answer is I donít, which is why I have had to resign from a few projects recently.
Allen: How many hours a day to actually spend writing? It must be difficult doing writing with another job.
Jason: I work in the Australian media, so I write all day at work and I am usually in the office from at least 9 am Ė 6 pm, sometimes later. I usually write scripts on the weekend, but it is hard to find more than one or two hours to get work done. With the baby on the way, my wife and I are pretty busy!
Allen: Do you have time to walk your dog? I noticed you mentioned pet in last interview.
Jason: My dogís name is Jedi; I love Star Wars! She is 2 1/2 years old. Sadly Jedi has a developmental problem with her legs and sometimes she has trouble walking; she will likely get very bad arthritis when she is older. I try to walk her every morning, but sometimes she ends up limping most of the way; it breaks my heart. She is a very affectionate dog, I really love her and hope she is OK.
Allen: What seems to come easier the plot or the conflict?
Jason: They go hand in hand; I canít create one without the other. I find the conflict more interesting because it drives the characters and gives them real motivation.
Allen: Tell us about your work at Broken Frontier on Industrial Evolution and The Story Factory. How did you get hired by Broken Frontier website to do columns?
Jason: Thanks to Mike Bullock who I have known since we used to work together for the Dabel Brothers a few years back. He introduced me to the siteís editor, Frederik Hautain.
Allen: What companies are you working for now?
Jason: Only Indy companies at the moment. I really donít dream of writing for Marvel or DC. I would love to write a comic for Rob Liefeld one day.
Allen: What caused you not to be working at present time with Dabel Brothers comics?
Jason: I am so proud of how far the Dabels have come in the last few years, they deserve all the success they are experiencing. I guess we went in different directionsÖ
Allen: How do you get word out about your stories? Are you active on many message boards? Do you have MySpace or blog to keep people informed on new projects?
Jason: My blog (jasonbereklewis.blogspot.com) is where I post all my news. I also know a lot of people at different comics news sites, so I hope they will help me! I work in the media in Australia, so I know how to create news when I need to. Once my projects start rolling, everyone will know about them.
Allen: What conventions will you be attending or have attended?
Jason: I live in Melbourne, Australia so I canít get to USA cons. I did have the chance to go to Wizard World LA in 2004 and I had the time of my life! I met Rob Liefeld, Marat Mychaels, Alex Ross, Michael Turner and many more creators. I loved it. I really hope I can go to a San Diego Comic Con one day. In a few weeks I am going to a small convention in Melbourne called Douijicon.
Allen: How can someone contact you? This is in case information changed since Richards 2006 interview.
Jason: Hit me at firstname.lastname@example.org or try my blog.
Allen: What is your blog URL address?
Jason: My blog isolated at: www.jasonbereklewis.blogspot.com
Allen: Do you have favorite sport team?
Jason: I donít really follow sports. I do have a New York Yankees cap!
Allen: If you could go into any time machine, what year would you stop at and tell us why.
Jason: 1992. I want to be there for the start of Image. Plus my favorite music is from around that period.
Allen: What TV shows, movies, cartoons do you like?
Jason: Battlestar Galactica, Desperate Housewives, The Rich List, all the Star Wars movies, Underworld and Underworld: Evolution, DaveÖ
Allen: What books do you enjoy?
Jason: I mostly read comics these days. Australian author Matthew Reilly is my current favorite; he writes awesome and very fast-paced action thrillers.
Allen: What comic books do you read now?
Jason: Comics are very expensive in Australia ($6.60 for most floppies, sometimes more) so I am cutting back on my reading list to save money. I buy a lot of trades now, mostly off the internet and I have fallen in love with hard covers. These days I read Cable/ Deadpool, Invincible, Godland, Y: The Last Man, VSS Ö Y: The Last Man is the most amazing comic known to Ö ah Ö man. There are others too. Oh, I canít wait to read the new Youngblood. I canít believe Rob Liefeld is back at Image!
Allen: What gives you your creative energy?
Jason: I just love to use my imagination. I have wanted to be a published writer since I was a kid, so that keeps pushing me. I love comics as a story telling medium, seeing my scripts turned into art gives me a HUGE buzz! I also have some original art from Marat Mychaels, one of my favorite artists; I get inspired by looking at these pieces.
Allen: Have any of your stories ever been nominated for any Australian awards?
Jason: Only the Jason Berek-Lewis Thinks This Is The Coolest Comic He Ever Wrote Award Ö
Allen: If you had a dream project Jason to write any ongoing series, what would it be and why?
Jason: I have an idea for a series called Youngblood: Allies. The book would bring together all of Rob Liefeldís coolest characters to take on a world-shattering threat. You can do crazy things with Liefeldís characters. Plus, I would write this like the $100 million blockbuster I was talking about before. I would level one city block or one planet in each issue.
Ouch! I would write the book to be an Adults Only version. Iíll leave the rest to your imaginations!
Allen: Do you have some news like to reveal as sort of bonus secret?
Jason: Well I am writing a very secret Indy book. I could tell you about it, but Ö Would you believe that my Cone Of Silence is out of order?!
Allen: Thanks again Jason for doing new interview with me for Jazma. This ends the interview, any encouraging words of wisdom?
Jason: To quote that wonderful piece of 21st century celluloid cannon Galaxy Quest: ďNever give up! Never surrender!Ē.
Thanks Allen, you are a great friend!
Allen: Your welcome, Jason. It was fun doing interview with you. I am honored to be one of your friends!