Last week two new comics debut in print format, and I hope you were smart enough to grab them; Mono and Captain Stone from Titan and Madefire. I specify by saying print, because both these series were previously available on the Madefire platform. Madefire is cutting edge app, that brings comics to life, like you wouldn’t believe…it’s FREAKING AMAZING! Check it out http://www.madefire.com…
Back to the books at hand…
Mono and Captain Stone are very unique books, unconventional, especially Captain Stone. I can’t think of another book like Stone…so, he’s title character, but only shows up in other characters’ memories, he’s the focus but not the focus. Mono is a different animal all together, literally, he’s a half man half ape, all warrior. He’s the crypto version of Liam Neeson in Taken.
I can’t say enough about the storytelling.
Liam Sharp along with Christina McCormack create a fascinating world at the brink of destruction in Captain Stone, it’s modern and somber. Sharp also takes care of the art duties…mind blowing, so much detail, each page is story unto it’s self.
Mono, is a crispy pulp pulled right from yester-year. It’s brash, big action adventure, told in a third person narrative, glistening off Sharp’s typewriter (i’m guessing here). Ben Wolstenholme handles the art, it’s great, reminded me of Frank Frazetta work in a lot of ways.
I could go on, but let’s get to the interview, right.
Mr. Liam Sharp is Founder & CCO at Madefire, as well as a world class comic creator. You can follow him on Twitter, @LiamRSharp
Duff: Mono, is a character that was been forgotten by most despite it’s rich pulp history. Why bring him back and why is now the right time?
Liam Sharp:MONO was brought to my attention by Ben (Wolstenholme), the Co-Founder and CEO of Madefire, about six or seven years ago, and I was amazed I had never heard of him before! So much history and such a wealth of material is a treasure trove for writers, and it was fun doing the research. I always loved the Doc Savage books with those amazing James Bama covers, so I hoped I could honour the tradition, but bring it up to date. That’s what drive the concept of journals – what was fact, or fiction? What was he doing now?
MONO is like Bond Crossed with Batman via Hellboy, so he’s a good character for the times. The material we have in the pipeline starts to deal with very contemporary issues. With a character like this you have literally decades as your sandbox…
Duff: What were some of the influence, outside the original source material that you drew on?
Liam Sharp:I wanted the script to be poetic and literate, so there are references to the poems of Wilfred Owen, and one protagonist quotes Wagner – but I didn’t want it to be pompous, so it’s got a kind of rhythm to it inspired by Frank Miller’s scripts for books like The Dark Knight. There’s a fun juxtaposition between the words and the brutal artwork, the bestial elements of the character…
Duff: In the first issue, Mono is a heated battle, what other adventures will we him see him get entangled in later? (no spoilers of course)
Liam Sharp:There are stories to come that span decades, right up to the near future – much more urban material. But it’s all very Bond too. Lots of continent hopping!
Duff: Capt Stone is very unique. His mythology is created by other characters, not himself, was this a challenge telling the story?
Liam Sharp:Certainly! We (Christina and I) wanted it to start as a slow-burn mystery that the reader partakes in – clues and hints and intrigue… It’s a lot easier as an idea than it is to execute! And each character has a spin on the Cap, based on their unique experiences. It was like a puzzle, putting it all together. The historical references are all based on fact too, so it was important everything worked as a timeline – just in case anybody ever wanted to look up the Mexico Olympics, or the various earthquakes and volcanic eruptions we mentioned…
Duff: We’re introduced to Charlie Chance, the Pet, friend or foe we’re not entirely sure, what other characters will enter the world of Capt Stone?
Liam Sharp:There’s The Craven Panther, and the Cap’s brother, as well as our major villain down the line… It really starts to go in a completely different, and hopefully unexpected direction as we get deeper and deeper into the narrative. This reveals a lot of unexpected elements and characters – which I can’t wait to draw!
Duff: The book is so visual, and abstract…was it difficult going from the Madefire format to print?
Liam Sharp:Surprisingly not! It’s all words and pictures… I was concerned it might not gel, but when I read it it seems to hold together and make sense. It’s a very complex narrative, so despite first appearances I think the various styles help with clarity – at least, that’s the intent!