By Kevin Muzzell
What kind of creative stress is there when compiling many stories of various styles into one book?
"It was actually very liberating. Other Worlds was constructed as a means to a very specific end. While working on The Killing Jar – a single story 240-page behemoth with the incredible Russ Brown on art – I got the itch to write shorter, more focused genre pieces. And from my experiences at cons and the like, I’d developed a list of indie artists I wanted to write for. It really started with Mike Lawrence, who I met at the Stumptown Comics Fest several years ago now. The very first Other Worlds story went to him, as did several others, posters, covers and a lot of emails. He was followed by what I hope everyone can agree are a dazzling array of artists illustrating a dazzling array of genre stories."
You've definitely got an interesting imagination that shows through your stories. You create enough questions for the reader, yet giving a good amount of curiosity that makes it a quite enjoyable read. What inspires your style of storytelling?
"Thank you! When it came to Other Worlds, the mystery in each story was part of the appeal. A couple were actually based on dreams that inspired stories that in turn were illustrated by artists and then, bang, were into your hands and into your head. My only real rules to myself were that each story had to place the reader into a different realm and that none of them could outstay their welcome. That’s why we have a 50-page story and a 3-page story…both featuring the work of the indie genius Tym Godek, for those keeping track at home."
Do you have a particular story in this book that you enjoyed writing the most?
"I can’t say that I do. Every Other Worlds story was very different and took a number of twists and turns through the process of writing and illustration. I learned something from each and every single one."
What do you look for when searching for an artist to illustrate a story of yours?
"One of the cool things about Other Worlds was that it was a very organic process. In some cases I had a story that I’d already written that I was interested in being illustrated by a specific artist. Stories by Tym, Russ, Mike and the incredible Grace Allison started the series out in this vein. In other cases, I would meet artists at cons – or I would tap artists I’d already worked with – that I would actually write a story for. Folks like Terry Blas, Matt Grigsby, Russ Brown and Mike Lawrence eventually had stories that I created solely for them to illustrate. This was a real pleasure for me…writing to challenge a great artist. Writing to the strengths of a great artist. Fun times. I wish I could do it all over again."
Are you currently working on another issue of 'Other Worlds' or another creation of yours?
"I am a pretty prolific creator, but you can keep track of my varied work at my production company’s website, www.brickerdown.com. As far as the comic world goes, I have a new series in the works, I’ve written two short screenplays set in the Other Worlds universe that I hope to get into production in 2013 and 2014 and I’m launching the print and ComiXology versions of Other Worlds and The Killing Jar at fests throughout the next year with my pal Tyler Chin-Tanner and his publishing outfit, A Wave Blue World. http://awaveblueworld.com/ https://www.facebook.com/AWaveBlueWorld"