Occasional Bunnies, Bio Boy & Old School Nintendo

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Perhaps you’ve picked up Sal Cipriano’s recent comic. Perhaps you have chuckled at Bio Boy’s peculiar wit and outlandish sense of fun. Perhaps you have paused to scratch your chin and wonder to the world at large, “what kind of interesting fellow must one Sal Cipriano be to have created such a thing?” And you would be right to wonder.

So it’s perhaps fortunate for you if perhaps you were one of those perhaps-ers that Broken Frontier recently scored a little quality time with the writer of Bio Boy. Personally, I’m always excited to talk to the new faces and rising stars in this industry. These dudes have broken into a notoriously closed industry and thanks to rising awareness of their work; they’re getting a legitimate chance to make their mark. So when I got the opportunity to snag an hour of Sal’s time, I was pleased that he was so willing to talk about the process of getting his baby onto the shelves of your neighborhood comic shop.

But enough bravado. Let’s cut to the chase and what the man had to say.

Broken Frontier: How long has the idea for Bio Boy been hopping around inside your noggin'?

Sal Cipriano: I first created Bio Boy in 1994, and had been tweaking and molding it since then. When Andy came aboard awhile back we further developed it into what it eventually came to be.

BF: Wow. What was the process like getting it into the hands of people who were interested in publishing it?

SC: The journey to Speakeasy was a long one, from really fleshing out the ideas, to putting together a pitch I could really get behind, to getting feedback from various publishers. There were a couple of publishers interested in the book along the way, but for one reason or another, either I or they had decided to pass. When I finally got to Speakeasy, on the recommendation of Marshall Dillon, we clicked right away, and in a matter of days I had a contract. It was pretty sweet to go from a long journey to finding such a perfect home.

BF: When it comes to finding a home for a project, would you say then that it's sometimes a matter of just finding the right people rather than the right deal?

SC: I guess that depends on the individual creator. Some people won't stop looking until the deal is right. Some stop when they are comfortable with the publisher. For me it's definitely the latter. Speakeasy consists of such a wonderful group of people that genuinely care about the books and creators, and that's what I wanted. Not a cold synthesis of a relationship, but something warm and toasty that I can snuggle up with. (in a nonsexual way!)

BF: Ha - speaking of snuggling - nah, I got nothing. Let's talk a little bit about the book. I've seen you say in other interviews that Bio Boy came out of a genuine desire to just make a fun comic - is that one of your big guiding principals?

SC: Totally, I wanted to create a cross between something from old Saturday Morning Cartoons and Adult Swim. Something a casual fan can pick up and just have a good time with and not worry about a deep continuity.

BF: How much continuity is Bio Boy going to have between issues?

SC: It's there and it's clear, it's just something someone picking up an issue for the first time will not have to worry about. Yet if they continue on, they will feel rewarded for doing so. 

BF: And as a follow-up, actually, how long do you intend for the series to run?

SC: It can go on for as long as the fans want. My head is bursting with ideas for the book! (In a non medical emergency way!)

BF: Without committing that most heinous fanboy sin of tossing a spoiler out there, what sorts of head-burstingly exciting things should readers be looking forward to?

SC: Tiki Robots, Giant Catzillas, Fusion Babies, Lizard Mods, the occasional fuzzy pink bunny, and more!

BF: Occasional Bunnies are a particular favorite of mine.

SC: ;)

BF: Coming back to something that features less bunnies, however, what advice would you have for someone who wanted to find a publisher for their book?

SC: Don't give up and never ever doubt yourself. You're in charge of your future and your successes. If you love it and want it and believe in it, it's going to happen.

BF: I want to wrap this up and let you get back to your life, but I have one or two silly little questions left.

SC: Sure! Fire away!

BF: I really dug the fun vibe Bio Boy had, and the humor was not at all what I was expecting. What are some of your influences?

SC: A total mix mash of stuff. From Godzilla to Saturday Morning Cartoons to Benny Hill and Three's Company. I love a lot of the Adult Swim cartoons like Family Guy, Futurama, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and The Venture Bros. The anime FLCL is a huge inspiration and I can watch those 6 episodes over and over. Comics like old 80's Uncanny X-Men and Spider-Man were tremendous in shaping the way I approached comics, as well as later ones like Tank Girl and Battle Chasers. My love for earlier video games from the Nintendo era really helped as well. I'm still finding influences everyday. I'm always trying to keep my eyes out for anything fresh and new that can inspire me.

BF: Oh, I can see that old school Nintendo influence, now that you mention it.

SC: yeah totally! I love Zelda and Super Mario Bros. and all the Capcom games!

BF: Oooh, Capcom - I was a huge fan when I was a kid… but I digress. That all-important final question. If you had to pick a soundtrack for Bio Boy, what would it be?

SC: Mix up the two Gorillaz albums, and there you go instant Bio Boy soundtrack!

BF: Ha, awesome! Sal, I want to thank you for taking the time.

SC: Thank you, Jesse, it's been a pleasure!

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