I really enjoyed book one of the comic Creepy Scarlett, which I reviewed yesterday, so I was very excited to get the chance to talk to creator Graeme Buchan.
1. How did you start writing comics?
It started with my love of film. I was learning film-making on my own and making short films.
Mostly I was just learning and playing with ideas. I did a short film for Halloween with the Pumpkinface character. I started working on a Pumpkinface comic and about six pages in the artist abandoned the project. It was coming up for Halloween time again and I decided to make a new short film, Creepy Scarlett. It was just a character idea, there wasn't any story at that time. As soon as I started working on it I knew it was something worth working on more. Almost right away the Creepy Scarlett issue#0 comic started. It was 45 pages and had a few little random stories including Scarlett vs Pumpkinface and Scarlett vs Zombies. I had no idea what I as doing as far as producing a comic book and it really wasn't a pleasant process to be honest. Eventually I found a team and after the issue#0 we started right away on issue#1, The Emerald of Lucifer. So I've been making comics for about 18 months now and here we are. I think jumping in at the deep end is the best way to learn to swim, so there's been a lot of treading water and doggy paddling going on. I think we've come pretty far in a short time but it's only the beginning I hope.
2. Where did the idea for Creepy Scarlett come from?
I spent a lot of time filming and wandering the cemetery where the cemetery in the comic is based on. A lot of it comes from that. Through making short films and testing ideas, eventually it all came together as Creepy Scarlett.
Whatever inspires you, there is always something of those things in your work. I think some of the things that inspired me are obvious in the comic and some maybe not so much.
My philosophy for Creepy Scarlett is, life is not a genre. That's been the hardest part of explaining Scarlett. What is it? A horror? a comedy? A samurai story? It's all those things and in the next issue the circus comes to town. There is the main storyline throughout of the mysteries of the artifacts and Scarlett is the constant that ties all the stories together.
3. You're all over the web, with Creepy Scarlett pages on Wix, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr! How important do you think the internet is to the success of someone working in comics today?
I think it's very important. It is a long term project and I want people to join in the adveture because they like it. I'm not very good at the promotion side though. Trying to focus on creating the comic takes most most of my energy and I pretty much rely on people finding the project of their own accord. Which isn't the best strategy I guess.
4. Would you ever consider working for one of the big comic publishers? If so, which character would you most like to write?
Growing up I loved the Hulk and Superman etc. I think Batman is the only character that would be of any interest to write something for though.
I might enjoy reading or watching other creations but I much prefer working on my own ideas.
5. What are the best comics you're reading at the moment?
I read random things at random times. I am mostly working on the future of my own project. The next question should answer why I don't have much time to invest in other things just now. There are great independent projects out there and people should actively seek them out. What we all like might be different but any time I see someone who is following their own path I tip my hat to them.
Those are the ones who dare to dream. So to quote the blind melon song; "Keep on dreaming boy, cause when you stop dreamin' it's time to die."
6. What's coming next for Graeme Buchan, after Creepy Scarlett?
There is nothing after Creepy Scarlett. Series two will be set in the 1920's and will be the story of the seal of Solomon. It will have gangsters, a city detective, and a cowboy assassin, all on the trail of the seal of Solomon. Their adventure will lead them to Sunnyville and Scarlett. Each series will continue the main story and have some side stories also. It will continue until it's up to date and current. It's "an epic adventure". Now I know the word "epic" is maybe a bit overused but the scope of the project really is epic.
Obviously it is not all written but it is planned out as 10 series. The next step is to look at an animated series and either a live action or animated film series. So, yeah, I'm just one wee man with a wee dream. It will be a journey and an adventure and I hope some people will enjoy it.