If you’ve been reading IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series and Micro-Series like I have, then you know it’s been an amazing ride so far. The mixing of classic and new ideas makes for great stories. The micro-series has been excellent in the story-telling of each character from the TMNT universe and the next issue in the series continues that trend with the story of the classic character Fugitoid.
The issue is written by Paul Allor and illustrated by Paul McCaffrey and John Paul Bove. I had the opportunity to interview Paul Allor via email and we talked about what readers can look forward to in the new issue, his introduction into comics, other projects that he’s working on, and much more.
Tali Adina: What was your introduction into comics?
Paul Allor: I actually didn’t get into comics until about five years ago, when I was 28. A coworker knew that I was a Joss Whedon fan, and bought me a copy of his first Astonishing X-Men.
It blew my mind. I just loved the idea of visual storytelling on this defined canvas; every panel had to mean something, every word had to carry its own weight. And when you did it right, the cumulative effect could be just so, SO powerful. Limitless storytelling potential on a limited canvas. Wonderful.
TA: What inspired you to become a writer and when did you begin writing?
PA: I started writing when I was very, very young. I can’t really say what inspired me originally. I wrote a ton of prose fiction as a kid, wrote a few screenplays in college, and have written some truly terrible poetry over the years. I also used to work as a journalist, writing short political pieces and longer news features.
But when I started writing comics, it felt like, “Okay, yeah. This is the thing. This is what I’m meant to do.” Let’s hope I’m right!
TA: What can TMNT fans look forward to in the upcoming issue?
PA: ONE OF THE TURTLES WILL DIE!
Okay, that’s possibly not true. Can’t blame me for trying to goose sales.
The Fugitoid is an early creation of Mr. Eastman and Mr. Laird, pre-dating the Turtles. In the original continuity, he was a scientist named Professor Honeycutt, who becomes trapped in a robot body, and finds himself on the run from intergalactic forces.
Like the rest of the Micro-Series issues, this one will deliver a story that can stand alone, but also feeds in to IDW’s ongoing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles book.
TA: The new TMNT series mixes the old with the new. How much will this version of Fugitoid be like his Mirage counterpart?
P A: A lot of the broad strokes are similar, but like many of the IDW characters, his origin has been reworked a bit to fit in with the stories and themes IDW is working with. I do think we definitely stayed true to the character.
TA: The character wasn’t in the 1987 cartoon but did appear in the 2003 cartoon series. Will there be any nods to that version of the character?
PA: You know, I watched those episodes in preparation for this issue, but I can’t say I made any specific nods to it. At least not to any attributes that are in the 2003 cartoon but not the original comic.
TA: Paul McCaffrey (Men of War) is the artist for the book. What was the collaboration creative process between you and him?
PA: I didn’t work with Paul directly (editor Bobby Curnow did an awesome job of that), but I kept in touch throughout the process, and I was just absolutely thrilled by his work. Gorgeous, gorgeous stuff, wonderfully complemented by colorist John Paul Bove.
TA: 2012 has been declared the year of creator owned comics. What excites you about what’s currently going on in the indie community?
PA: I’m a pretty boring guy, so probably the same thing as everyone else. The Manhattan Projects is extraordinary. Saga has been great, and Ed Brubaker is rocking it with Fatale. I loved The Secret History of DB Cooper. And Turtles editor Bobby Curnow’s Night of 1,000 Wolves (with art by Dave Wachter) was wonderfully horrifying.
A few months back a pair of one-shot graphic novellas came out from Image – Wild Children from Ales Kot and Enormous from Tim Daniel. Very, very (VERY) different books, but both filled with amazing art and just fantastic storytelling. I thought it was fairly serendipitous that they came out at the same time, since together they did a great job of showing the diversity of creator-owned comics today.
I’m also a staff member at Andy Schmidt’s Comics Experience, a business that provides classes and workshops to aspiring creators, and I am absolutely blown away by the stuff coming out from the members and staff over there, including Rob Anderon’s Rex, Zombie Killer and Animal Control: Special Creatures Unit, Rich Douek’s Gutter Magic, Joey Groah’s Dry Seasons, Gannon Beck’s Space Corps, Amy Chu’s Girls Night Out, JD Oliva’s Deluge, and on and on… I’m leaving out a LOT, but those are just some off the top of my head. Just an amazing output, both in quantity and in an incredibly high quality of work. In three to five years you’ll be able to look over the list of creators I just mentioned, and go “Wow, amazing how many of those folks are established pros, now!”
TA: Not only are you a writer, you’re also an editor. What’s easier being an editor or a writer?
PA: I don’t think you can say “easier,” necessarily, since they’re so different. It’s just a totally different set of skills. I can tell you that I lean more towards the writing side of the ledger. My perfect career would probably be 70 percent writing and 30 percent editing.
TA: What advice can you give aspiring writers?
PA: Develop your craft before you publish; learn about every aspect of the business; read a wide variety of media, from prose to poetry to plays, and read a wide variety of comics as well; and check out Comics Experience!
TA: Do you have any future projects coming out?
PA: A couple, but nothing that’s been announced yet. I have a one-shot I’ll be announcing very soon, and a mini that should be announced soonish. I also have an old project that people can check out: Clockwork, a collection of short comics drawn by various artists, including JM Ken Niimura, Brett Weldele and Nikki Cook. You can find it at www.clockworkcomic.com
If people want to keep up with me they can do so on Twitter at @PaulAllor, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/paul.allor, or at www.paulallor.com. You can also drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org (and let me know what you thought of my Fugitoid issue!).
TA: What inspires you to create comics?
PA: Practically every single thing around me. Also, wealth and fame.