Thursday, April 3, 2014

OLD WORLD COMICS - Q & A With Todd Goodman


Todd Goodman is the writer, creator and founder of Old World Comics.  Since launching his independent publishing company on New Year’s Day, 2010, he has filled it with incredible artistic talent to compliment his comic scripts, which produced such titles as The Powers that Be, The Book on Me, The Cosmic Avenger and others, including the bestselling All Hallows Eve.  Todd also writes the monthly webcomic, Old World Office, in which he and other staffers are lampooned. 

SIC: Do you remember what the first comic you read was?

Todd:  No, but I remember when and how I really got turned on to comics.  Back in high school, I worked at the local grocery store.  Every Wednesday, the new magazines and comics were dropped off at the store and had to be checked in, and I always volunteered for the job.  I remember seeing the first issue of "Rom: Spaceknight" from Marvel and thinking it looked so cool and that this was a number 1 issue, so a good book to start reading.  That was in 1979 (and, yes, I'm old).  I don't remember getting so excited over a title until "Batman and the Outsiders" debuted in 1983.  I still have all the issues of both titles.
SIC: You're a long time comic book reader. What caused you to make the jump to comic book creator?
Todd:  Oh, man!  When I was a kid (eight or ten or whatever), I would "draw" my own comics on college ruled paper.  I remember "creating" a super-speed character called Barefoot Bullet (because I was eight or ten or whatever!), and I had him meet the Justice League of America and racing the Flash.  I don't remember who won.  It was just cool to draw the Justice League and have my own character.

Jump forward many years later to 2006 and Stan Lee's "Who Wants to be a Superhero?" on the Sci-Fi channel.  I would go over to my friend's house every week and we'd watch it, when my friend says that we should do a comic - he'd draw it and I would write it.  Now, two good friends of mine were already making their own comics:  Wayne Osborne with John Byrne doing "FX" for IDW Comics and Daniel Frazier self-publishing, "The Adventures of Nightclaw and Prowler".  So my friend pushed my childhood "make comics" button. 
So by mid 2009, I was juiced to do my own comic.  I remembered that super-speeder, Barefoot Bullet, and wondered, "Do I dare use him ...?"  That's how I came up with "The Powers that Be!" and decided to make it a surreal, over-the-top superhero comedy.  I also decided to just go ahead and start a company, and Old World Comics was born.  I shopped around on the internet and finally hooked up with the super-fun-talented Cory Butler and we were on our way.

SIC: What are your thoughts on digital comics?
Todd:  The quick answer is my motto:  "Kill a tree.  Make a book."  (We can always grow more trees.)  Actually, I'm kind of neutral about digital comics.  I personally don't like them.  I'm old school.  That's why I founded Old World Comics (duh!).  I'm a "touchy-feely" kind of guy.  You can read Old World stuff on digital, but for me - it just ain't the same.  Also, it will kill conventions for all of us.  There's something special about meeting someone (creator and reader both) and holding a real object between the two of you.  I think digital comics can be great for introducing a book to a reader, but it ain't pulp, baby!
SIC: You may be the only local creator to have an international hit, with Empty Skull. How did that come about?
Todd:  Well, I'm just all-that and a chocolate chip cookie, Sunshine!  HAHAHA!  "International hit"!  You're buying into my own press!  That's great!  Actually, "Empty Skull" artist, Marcelo Briseno, lives in Mexico.  He does at least one local convention, which he is a HUGE attraction!  "Empty Skull" sells out for him all the time, and I just love that for the both of us.  I have tried to talk some other Old World artists into doing their own set-up, like Free Comic Book Day, so we'll see how that goes.


SIC: In addition to comic books, you also publish All Hallow's Eve, a series of illustrated prose stories. What would you say are the advantages and drawbacks of each medium?
Todd:  "All Hallows Eve" was a complete surprise for me.  It was a format I tried out just so I could tell a story I've had on the shelf for literally years, but didn't want to begin a new comic book title.  I have one rule at Old World Comics, which exist so that I can write comics, and that is:  I do what I what for me, and share it with others and see what happens.
I already have plans for the next prose series I'll be doing after "Eve" wraps up, because I think comic book buyers (to a small percentage) will read non-comic books.  I think "Eve" sells great because (1) people just love the synopsis when they hear it and (2) the books are inexpensive and thin.  They're not plopping down $15 to $30 for a novel they don't know if they will like or not.  They can spend three little dollars on Book One to try it out.  What's to lose?  So it's been a huge success for me so far.
Photo: Had an awesome time at Lexington Comic Con this weekend. Saw cool stuff and met lots of cool people. Got to hang out with Todd Goodman at the Old World Comics booth, which was amazing. Can't wait for next year!

SIC: You used to front a metal band. How does that compare to being a comic book creator at a convention?
Todd:  You know, I was never comfortable as a front man between songs.  I could never scream in a convincing voice, "How you doing, Cleveland?"  HAHA!  I think doing comics is completely different because its just me, for the most part.  No drummers to fight with!  All decisions are mine, good or bad, and that's pretty liberating.  Girls don't scream as much, but whacha gonna do?
SIC:Old World Comics publishes a diverse line of titles, from horror to slice of life to comedy. Is there a genre you haven't done yet that you'd like to try your hand at?
Todd:  What am I missing?  I still want to do a straight-up superhero book, maybe even a side universe of titles, but I ain't holding my breath!

SIC: Who are your writing influences, in or out of comics?
Todd:  Here's the thing:  I don't read fiction, outside of comics.  I read history, non-fiction and religious books.  Now, back in the day (which is the 70s through the 80s), I loved reading all those cats writing comics!  Other of that, I read Poe on a yearly basis.
SIC: Tell me about "Evil Todd."
Todd: HAHAHA!  Evil Todd has nothing to do with creating comics!  He takes over my Facebook page every October (he's a big Halloween fan) and deletes people from my Friends list ... so don't piss him off!
SIC: What does the future hold for you and Old World?
Todd: A fifth anniversary on January 1, 2015.  Other than that, keep checking, baby!

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