EXCLUSIVE: Clowning Around with Victor Gischler
Victor Gischler has crafted many different types of comic book stories for a number of publishers. However, his most recent work with Dark Horse Comics certainly caught the attention of a number of us here at the Mighty All-Comic. We were lucky to get a chance to speak with this tremendously talented writer about some of these books and his work in the industry.
All-Comic.com: Mr. Gischler, thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us! First off, how did you get started in the comic book industry?
Victor Gischler: I sacrificed a goat to the scribe god. Well, okay not really. My agent the amazing David Hale Smith has some good contacts in the comic book industry and after writing a few novels I made it clear to him I’d love to try scripting comics. He said he’d hook me up. It didn’t happen overnight, but eventually he got me on Axel Alonso’s radar screen at Marvel. Axel was earning a reputation as an editor who looked outside the comic book industry for interesting writers. He thought my gritty, hardboiled style might be a good match for PUNISHER MAX so that was my first comic book work.
You’ve previously published a number of stories which include both novels and comic books. Do you have a preference for writing either? Is one medium better suited to certain types of stories?
Victor Gischler: If I’m having trouble with a novel, I wish I was working on a comic. If comic edits are not going well, I wish I was writing a novel. Writers are messed up people. Honestly, I just like any opportunity to tell a good story.
Victor Gischler: Thanks! I have what I’m thinking of as “maybe plans” which is to say I have some ideas of other cool stuff that can happen in the world I created … but we have to wait and see how the trade sells and what the demand might be.
This mini-series seems to draw on a few different genres. What inspired KMS?
Victor Gischler: I do like to mix genres. I dislike clearly defined boundaries. I’d rather blur them. Kiss Me, Satan is a little bit horror, a little bit dark fantasy, and a little bit crime.
We recently spoke with your partner in crime on KMS, Mr. Juan Ferreyra. What is it like working with this phenomenal artistic talent?
Victor Gischler: About the best situation imaginable. He would take my suggestions and directions certainly, but thank God he didn’t stop there. He would always take things to the next level, bringing his own interpretations. The guy is a genuine star on the rise. Much of the art in the final issue is some of the best stuff I’ve seen in comics.
Most of the creators we’ve spoken to describe the enhanced creative freedom associated with working under an independent label. In your experience, how do things compare writing for one of the “Big 2” compared to a relatively smaller publisher like Dark Horse Comics?
Clown Fatale has the best kind of concept – bizarre! Where did the idea for these femme fatales of the carnivale originally come from?
Victor Gischler: When asked what genre CLOWN FATALE is in, I say “fucked up.” I mean, that’s what I love about comics. It’s a place that has room for crazy little messed up stories like this. I was really just inspired by Russ Meyer films and other trashy exploitative films. It’s really meant to be that kind of experience … and maybe a little tongue in cheek.
Maurizio Rosenzweig and Moreno Dinisio also did some fantastic artwork for the series. How did you come to this collaboration?
Victor Gischler: I was talking to an Italian editor who suggested Maurizio to me and it was Maurizio who brought Moreno on board. Let me tell you, these guys are one hell of a team. Maurizio’s pencils blew me away, but then after Moreno came in and id his thing it was just eye-popping. They work so well together. My creator-owned work so far has really been the story of how I lucked out with some amazing artists.
There looks to be a brief but clear homage to The Punisher in the finale! Was this included as a nod to some of your previous work?
Victor Gischler: Ha. Yes a little. But mostly I just thought it would provide a goofy laugh.
This recent mini-series was jam-packed with violent action that was not only exciting, but well-written – something we can always use more of! Now that the four issue run of Clown Fatale has wrapped up this week, do you have an interest in continuing this title with future installments or have you finished telling this story?
Victor Gischler: I do think it’s possible to come back for more … but it’s not something I’m thinking too much about. The mini has a very finished feel. That’s my gut reaction. We have something that was intense and crazy for 4 awesome issues and now — whew — we’re done. But more books in this vein? Yeah. I’ll go there.
Victor Gischler: Titan Comics will publish SALLY OF THE WASTELAND an irreverent, B-movie style post apocalyptic tale. I’m working with a great and enthusiastic artist named Tazio Bettin on that one. And epic fantasy fans should check out my novel INK MAGE published by Amazon’s 47North imprint. I’m hoping to interest the public in a sequel. And Buffyverse fans should join me and Dark Horse Comics for season 10! I’m helming the Angel & Faith book.
Once again, thank you for giving us some of your time. Your most recent works have been fantastic and we look forward to many more!
Victor Gischler: Thank you. That’s very generous.
Be sure to check out Kiss Me, Satan! and Clown Fatale, both from Dark Horse Comics, and you might as well pre-order anything else with this man’s name on it since he is on fire! Also, fans of the Buffy universe will want to pick up Angel & Faith Season 10 starting in April since Mr. Gischler will be on writing duties for this one as well. Big thanks to our friends at Dark Horse Comics for these exclusive pages. For now, enjoy the preview pages from Angel & Faith Season 10 #1! Follow him on Twitter @VictorGischler.