With the release of his first graphic novel today, we are delighted to be joined by the writer and producer Tyrone Finch. Tyrone has written for the stage and the screen; he is currently a writer/producer for ABC’s Station 19.
Hi Tyrone, thanks so much for being here with us today. We would like to congratulate you on your first graphic novel. Swine is releasing on October 5th from Humanoids.
Who are your favourite comic creators?
Wow! That would be a very long list and the names on it change at least twice a month. I will say that Charles Schulz never drops below number three on that list. I’m a fan of subtlety and he was masterful with it. You probably wanted me to name someone who’s more associated with comic books. Oh! I’ve been reading a lot of old Jack Kirby stuff lately. He also stays near the top of my list.
Do you have a favourite comic series or graphic novel?
I’ve been a Spider-Man fan since I was a kid. Maybe I’m just being sentimental, but I think he will always be my favourite character. As for graphic novels, I know that George Takei’s They Called Us Enemy is a memoir, but it’s easily one of the most moving things I’ve read in the format.
Can you tell us about the history of Swine?
Ha! I’m not sure that there’s much history to share. I was having lunch with a couple of friends and somehow during the midst of a relatively normal conversation, I got this idea stuck in my head. Whenever that happens, I have to put the idea down on paper or it takes up valuable space in my brain that I desperately need for other things.
Did you conceive Swine as a graphic novel?
I thought of Swine as a six-issue comic book or a graphic novel. I wasn’t sure which would work best. After a few conversations with some experienced comic book writers, I decided a graphic novel would be the best way to go.
How did Alain Mauricet join Swine?
A few years ago, Mauricet and I worked together on a small project for AHOY Comics. When the folks at Humanoids asked if I had an artist in mind for Swine, I immediately suggested Mauricet and they loved that idea.
What has it been like working with Alain Mauricet?
It’s been great. I love his work. He’s incredibly inventive and playful. Every panel is always much more fun than whatever I was picturing in my head. Receiving an email with new art from him would put me in a good mood that could last for days.
How would you describe Swine?
I think of Swine as a love story. I know that sounds odd, but love or the loss of it is what truly motivates these characters and explains most of their behaviors. At least that’s what I think. I’m close to the story so maybe there’s something going on there that my perspective doesn’t allow me to see.
How did the collaboration with Humanoids come about?
I’d been sitting on the idea for a while without any clue as to what I should do with it. It’s an odd story and I thought it would just stay on my hard drive forever. A friend of mine suggested submitting it to Humanoids. They have a fairly easy submission process and I figured it was worth a shot.
Who suggested Lee Loughridge and DC Hopkins for Swine?
Humanoids brought both of them to the party. Am I allowed to call it a party? I knew their work and I was very happy when I heard they were joining the team.
How would you describe the process of creating a graphic novel?
Yikes! I would describe it as panic-inducing. This was my first graphic novel and I had a lot to learn. The biggest challenge for me was learning to control the space. When you’ve got a limited number of panels to tell a story, you have to be economical with dialogue. I also didn’t want to cover the outstanding art with a ton of exposition and unnecessary digressions. I spent a lot of time printing out pages and spreading them across my desk to make sure I had a decent handle on what I was doing. It was sort of like writing a script and managing real estate at the same time.
Any message for the ComicBuzz readers?
Yes! Thank you for making it to the end of this interview. I hope you have as much fun reading Swine as we did making it. And support your local comic book stores whenever you can!
We would like to say a big thank you to Tyrone and wish him and his team the best of luck with thier graphic novel.