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Indie Spotlight: Myriad

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In the fifth edition of Indie Spotlight, we’re printing an interview by self-made creator Bart A. Thompson, creator of Approbation Comics’ Myriad. Hopefully you’ll think he’s as cool as we do and give one of his books a shot.

The Mighty 10 Questions!

1. Who are you and what is your book?

BART A. THOMPSON: I'm Bart A. Thompson and I did a series called Vampires Unlimited: Shades of Things to Come. After many setbacks including the death of my studio mate, a fire and other major problems, that series was placed on hold but the collected edition will be out later in the year. Currently we're working on ChiSai which is about the world's first Black, teenage, single parent heroine assassin. It'll first be released through Approbation's Myriad this May, so please pre-order copies!!!

2. What’s your book about? Can you compare it to any other books out
right now?

ChiSai is the tale of an 18 year old African American female named Shy Stevens. Shy experienced an unspeakable evil at the hands of Jeno Jacobs who is the head of one of the leading corporations in Chicago. Her quest is to dismantle his organization from the shadows until she's finally strong enough to face him one-on-one and extract her revenge. As for a comparison, the only thing that comes to mind is mixing NightHawk from Supreme Power and the Punisher with Kabuki. The story is set in the real world with lots of military and fighting applications (I’m sorry- you won’t get your superhero fix in this one, though she does have a mask she wears at times if it helps).

3. Who are some of your major influences?

Family, friends and every woman I’ve ever dated and/or been close to in some way. As for established people, I have a HUGE list but for a quick sample: Terry Moore, David Mack, Mark Millar, Garth Ennis, Brian M. Bendis, J. Michael Straczynski, Jim Lee, J. Scott Campbell, Chuck Dixon, Tom Lyle, Greg Horn... I hate to leave names off but that’s a start.

4. What inspires you?

Anything from anywhere can spark a good idea at anytime. I wish there was one set answer and half of my creative problems would be solved (sometimes the muse is hard to catch, darn that flighty wench!). It could be anything from a good conversation to a good movie to good TV to good music to a good encounter. Hell, even bad movies, TV, music and situations could be inspiration!

5. Would you ever like your book to be mainstream, or are you pleased with where it is?

I wouldn’t mind ChiSai becoming a mainstream book... actually; I’m looking forward to it. Bring on all the secondary things too... action figures, movies, I’d even take an HBO mature audiences cartoon!

6. Do you aspire to make it into the mainstream? For instance, if you were offered a job at Marvel or DC would you take it?

Hell yeah, I’d take a Marvel or DC job! It’s a steady paycheck but it’ll still be secondary to my projects. I’m a workaholic, so there’s room and time to do my stuff and do some pretty kickass big two stuff. Plus, can you argue with a steady paycheck doing what you love anyway? In the end it’ll only help fund my self published comics, so the industry will only benefit even more. So yeah, Marvel, if you’re listening I have story arcs for Cloak & Dagger and Scarlet Spider I think you’d be interested in. DC, I’d really like to play in the Bat-universe and I have a few Superman ideas that may work for everyone!

7. Do you aspire to stay in comics? Or do you just want to tell a few stories and be done with the medium?

I’m here to stay. I love the comic industry and after doing some serious soul searching the past five years I’ve discovered how engineered I am to be in this industry. I’m attached at every level - writing, art, colors, letters, business, politics, and theory... whatever is related to comics I have an interest and I’m willing to get my hands dirty. I love storytelling and comics are the most pure form for a creator than any other medium.

8. Do you have any other projects lined up?

Oh, yeah!!! Around the same time as Myriad’s release I’ll be presenting a new series called Chaos Campus: Sorority Girls vs. Zombies which judging from pre-reactions from people it’ll be pretty popular. I thought it was going to just be a one shot just to get the concept out of my system but I’ve actually grown to like writing comedy and parody, plus you can never get tired of sorority girls and zombies! Down the line once things are squared away with Myriad, ChiSai and Chaos Campus, I’ll start bringing the Lazarus Factor mini series out and then returning to Vampires Unlimited.

9. What books are you into right now?

I try to read a bit of everything that comes out on Wednesdays but on a regular basis I look towards Supreme Power, the Ultimates, Strangers In Paradise, Ultimate Spider-man, the Walking Dead and Astonishing X-Men. Mostly I’m catching up on my TPB collection when I can. I am really, really sad that Dogwitch is ending.

10. Where can folks go to see more of your work and purchase your comics?

See more of my stuff at http://www.approbationcomics.com and bring a friend (don’t forget to bookmark us, too!). 2005 is going to be a big year for Approbation, so keep checking those Previews and please preorder our stuff (buy copies for friends and family, too!). I’m scripting a book called Lethal Instinct/Enforcer for Alias Enterprises, so be sure to pick that up. If things work out I’ll be attending the San Diego Comic Con for the first time this year and hopefully I can have a booth at Wizard Chicago like usual. I hope to see all you guys there!

Bonus Question!

You mentioned you are a big movie guy, so I've gotta ask you: what are your Top 5 favorite movies?

I am, I am... my friends call my DVD collection, “the library”. My sister joked that on all the episodes of MTV Cribs that none of the rich people have a DVD collection that rivals my own. That’s pretty scary... but yeah, I’m poor but I LOVE movies!!! On to that list:

1. Aliens - As much as I love the first Alien, Aliens really blew me away from start to finish and I get the same childlike wonder each and every time I watch it.  Every sound, every movement, every line, each effect... just perfect. There are tons of movies I enjoy, but rarely can I watch the same movie twice in a short time. I could watch Aliens over and over and over and NEVER get sick of it.

2. Matrix - Oh, God, the two following movies were a BIG disappointment but the first Matrix was awesome; a feast for the mind and the eyes. So beautiful. I could watch this back to back and not get tired of it too.

3. Terminator 2 - Okay, yes, I'm a big Cameron fan. Again, a feast for the eyes. A visual treat and the story isn't half bad, either.

4. Resident Evil/ Dawn of the Dead (remake) – tie - I'm a big zombie fan and both of these movies just have the basic fun zombie goodness. Sure, there are more thought provoking zombie films by Romero (Day of the Dead is an AMAZING film) and other writers/directors but from visuals and enjoyment factors alone... I keep coming back for more!

5. The Crow - Visual treat but a sad story. I lost a fiancée also (Ovarian Cancer), so I can really relate to the feelings of the character Eric Draven and the heartbreak and grief that drove James O'Barr to create it all.

- JP Dorigo

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