Allen: Tell us something about yourself.
William: As far as School, I went to the University of Maine at Presque Isle for my undergraduate work and got a B.A. in English and a self-designed B.L.S. in Cultural Studies. I studied Orientation and Mobility in Graduate School, and now work as an instructor for the Division of the Blind and Visually Impaired. My wife works as a Teacher for Children with Visual Impairments and we both live in central Maine.
Allen: What was the first comic book you ever read?
William: I am not sure the first comic I ever read, but the first one that I distinctly remember reading was Wolverine #50. This was the first Wolverine #50 and it was around 1992. I was just entering High School and a remember the artwork really captured my attention—I am pretty sure it was Marc Silvestri—and it just seemed like the perfect match for the character.
Allen: How did you get involved in the comic book industry?
William: I spent about a year reading boards and taking part in practice script writing on sites like Penciljack and Digital Webbing after I decided that I might want to try writing a comic book. I had recently renewed my interest in creative writing after graduating from college and had been writing some short stories at the time. To my amazement I was able to find artists to work with, and started publishing short stories.
Allen: Give us a little back history of your other small press contributions.
William: I have contributed to the Eagle Award Nominated Futurequake, and its manga offshoot Mangaquake, as well as Fiendish Fables which was in Previews earlier this year. My first completed story was actually just printed in Mysterious Visions #3 from Dimestore Productions, which was interesting since it came out after comics I had done much later.
Allen: Please tell us about the Fablewood Anthology.
William: Fablewood is a Fantasy Anthology that collects thirteen complete fantasy stories, from sword-and-sorcery to slice-of-life, and can be pre-ordered at your local retailer with the magical code: NOV07 3306
Fablewood includes up-and-comers like Ryan Ottley (Invincible, Superman/Batman Annual #1), Manny Trembley (Panda Xpress, Sam Noir: Samurai Detective), Joe Infunari (Oni Talent Search, Borrowed Time), J.P. Ahonen and Sarah Mensinga (Flight 4) with talented newcomers like Chris Studabaker (Howard E. Day Prize Nominee), Kevin Crossley (Event Horizon), Axel Machain (Metal Hurlant), Joe Suitor (Popgun Anthology) and more.
Allen: Brief us about your upcoming comic book story ‘Blessings’ in Fablewood anthology.
William: Blessings is a vignette based on the character Achilles. After reading about when he was dressed as a girl and went into in his early life, I latched onto the idea of Achilles as a reluctant warrior who perhaps never wished to be a “Hero”. Blessings looks at Achilles with this idea in mind.
Allen: Who is your artist for story?
William: Still to my utter amazement, Ryan Ottley on Invincible fame! And as if it was not too much on my poor heart already having an artist of his caliber willing to draw a story I wrote, Manny Trembley (Sam Noir and Panda Xpress) served up the amazing colors on the story.
Allen: When can we find this comic book on the stands?
William: Fablewood can be found on page 208 of Previews, it order code is NOV07 3306. You can order it at your local retailer, page 16 of the order form catalogue. Fablewood will be in stores January 2008.
Allen: How did the idea of putting together anthology come about?
William: Fablewood started as a very small project that I intended on self-publishing as stand alone comic book. Through the process of recruiting it appeared again and again that people were looking for something firmly set in the Fantasy genre, so along the way we adjusted our goal to trying to get picked up by a publisher. As we plugged along the book kept growing, and eventually we ended up with a slew of talented new, but not inexperienced creators.
Allen: How can someone contact you?
William: Stop by the Ape Entertainment Boards and send me a message, or try me at comicanthology [fill in the blank] hotmail.com. http://www.fablewoodcomic.com/ . You can also find us at the Ape Entertainment message boards on their website: http://www.ape-entertainment.com/ .
Allen: What are your hobbies and recreational activities?
William: Reading is my main recreation, and you can usually find me reading some sort of Fantasy or Detective Novel. I am very hooked on Graphic Novels as well, and have enjoyed the huge collections being put out lately. I also enjoy photography and film, in addition to making comics of course.
Allen: What TV shows, movies, cartoons do you like?
William: Seven Samurai, House of Flying Daggers, Unforgiven, Night of the Living Dead, Sunset Boulevard, Pan's Labyrinth, Memento, Batman Begins, Schindler's List, The Twilight Samurai, The Hidden Blade, Doctor Who, Deadwood, Alien, Secret of NIMH, Lady in the Water, Hero, The Professional (Leon), Searching for Bobby Fischer, Blade Runner, White Noise, Star Wars (The Original Trilogy), Cube, Princess Mononoke, Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead, Batman: The Animated Series, American History X, Serenity, The Last Mimzy, The Matrix, MI 5 (Spooks), Rome, Sopranos, House, West Wing (Season 1-4), The Shield.
Allen: What books do you enjoy?
William: Maus, The Iliad, On Writing by Steven King, The Missing Piece, The Dark Knight Returns, The Three Musketeers, Blankets, Lankhmar (Fritz Leiber Series), Ender's Game, Phantom Lady, Where the Wild Things Are, Questions about Angels (Billy Collins Poetry), Hellboy: The Chained Coffin and Other Stories, The Soulforge, People's History of the United States.
Allen: What comic books do you read now?
William: I really read quite a bit; lately I have enjoyed Walking Dead, BPRD, Hellboy, Mouse Guard, Artesia, Flight, Conan, Monster, and Sam Noir for the second time.
Allen: What gives you your creative energy?
William: Reading other people’s work really inspires me to create my own. I enjoy knowing that someone out there may be reading something I wrote and enjoying it as well.
Allen: What up next after publication of Fablewood Anthology?
William: I have a few short stories finished and ready to send out, and recently I was offered a work-for-hire deal on a mini-series. Can’t announce yet, but needless to say I was pretty happy.
Allen: This ends the interview, any encouraging words of wisdom?
William: Wisdom—that is a hard question! I suppose as someone just starting out I can just say, keep creating! I feel I have learned more from making the short stories and books I have made than I ever learned from any other sources. There are great books out there, but it really seems to ring true for me that practice is the only way to really get better.
Oh, and buy my book. Order code is NOV07 3306.