13 Coins, coming out this Wednesday , is a book that explodes with violence and color. I’ve been following this book online for a while. It was first made available through Corinthian digitally, luckily for us all Titan Comics has picked the series.
It’s from the twisted minds of Eisner award-winning artist, Simon Bisley, and the screenwriters of Hitman: Absolution (Martin Brennan & Michael B Jackson). ‘Coins tells the story of John Pozner, an ex-con tormented by his past, searches for vengeance , when he discovers that he is descended from angels, and is the living key to Earth’s future, or Heaven’s fall. It really is epic, so when I had a chance to get a few questions into Martin Brennan, I had to.
MB:Yes, much different. Writing a comic, you are writing the story you want to tell. Story is all important. There is a rhythm and flow in good story telling no matter if its comics, novels or screenplays. But games interrupts the flow of the story with tasks. The trick in great games is to make that task blend with the flow of the story. That helps the gamer get more into the character and further enjoy the game. If the gameplay is used correctly it deepens the character -aids in his development within the story. Again, helps the gamer identify with the character he’s playing. Comics rely solely on the story and the artwork to convey emotion and take the reader on a ride. So, yes. The two mediums are very different. We love them both.
Duff: This book, which is awesome, deals with some heavy spiritual issues, what did you read,research to prepare?
MB:We pride ourselves in the amount of research we put into projects. A heck of a lot of research went into 13 Coins because the concept of the story is global. We studied many cultures and religions and noticed almost all of them had two things in common: angels and demons. Whether they were called angels or spirits or gods or ancestors or whatever, they all had that common thread. So, whether it’s Native Americans or European Celts, the cultures believe good spiritual beings that protect them from the bad ones. Another thing many cultures have in common is a story of a great flood. The names of the characters change, but the story is basically the same. We also read a lot from the Dead Sea Scrolls to really give depth to the core the story is built upon, that is the story of the angels rebelling against God. The Book of Enoch was really interesting and useful because it details how the rebel angels were punished. In doing the research for 13 Coins, it became clear how truly small our world is. It is really amazing how cultures in different parts of the world have similar stories. We really are just one race- human, but divided by our different cultures.
Duff: Bisley’s art is so kinetic, so rock & roll…do you have to tailor you’re writing to his style, or more of an ebb & flow?
MB: Biz [Simon Bisley] is amazing. Emotion and energy flow from his art. Many comic artist simply draw the story so the reader can see what happened in a scene or panel. Biz is one of those rare artists who understands his art is what takes the reader into the story. His art has emotion and flow and energy that combines with the words on the page to bring the reader’s imagination to life. That ebb and flow as you put it is essential for good story telling. Its rhythm. Its heartbeat. Its natural. For example, take the main splash page of the war in Heaven scene where the angle cleaves the other angle in half. There’s mayhem all around in the picture. The flow and emotion in that drawing is so amazing your mind puts sound to it and you imagine you hear that battle. Bisley is incredible.
But to answer your question, no we don’t tailor our writing towards his style. It’s just a good match, and getting better as you will see in up-coming issues and in new projects.
Duff: Without giving too much away….what can readers expect in upcoming 13 Coins issues?
MB: A really good story. We took our time and laid a foundation with the first issue. As the action kicks in and things start to twist and turn, events in the story have more meaning and hit harder because the background has been set. There’s betrayal, there’s half-truths, there’s a racist politician with a black mistress, there’s twisted love that could destroy the world… there’s a lot more to come.
13 Coins is available from Titan Comics this Wednesday. Make sure to add it to the pull list.