Sam Johnson is a British writer with extensive writing credits. His well-crafted tales can be found in his comic Geek-Girl, and in numerous anthologies throughout the industry. He recently spent some time with CBI to discuss his career in comics…
JMH: Where were you born and raised?
SJ: London, England. But I came to Sheffield in the north to do a Creative Writing for Film & TV Masters Degree and have been here since.
JMH: Have you had any formal training in writing?
SJ: Yeah, the aforementioned Creative Writing course, and before that I did a degree in Media Production, for which I wrote a 3-issue comic series as my major project. I’m also a member of the Comics Creators Guild http://www.comicscreatorsguild.co.uk/, and learned some stuff there from writer Win Wiacek, among others, back in the day.
JMH: Who are your writing influences?
SJ: Grant Morrison; his run on DC’s Doom Patrol, specifically, is a huge influence. It’s incredibly inventive and out there, with some bizarre creatures inhabiting the DP’s world (a deranged former CIA agent with Scrabble pieces for eyes; a Punisher-type character who devotes his existence to killing bearded men and slicing their beards off… these are just the tip of the iceberg). Peter David, Brian Michael Bendis, and South Park‘s Trey Parker and Matt Stone are also influences; the latter combining with Morrison in helping provide inspiration for the feel of some of my more out there characters.
JMH: How did you break into writing comic books?
SJ: Well, I was on the sidelines for a while; I did well in a couple of Talent Search contests (one of which was run by Wizard magazine), but every time I got something picked up to be published, the artist would flake or the publisher would fold, so I wrote some short stories, as they require less artist and publisher commitment, and I saw my first thing–Gold Town: ‘Little Janice Wants to be a Star’ published in Desperado’s Negative Burn. That was about three years ago, and I’ve had a steady stream of things published since then, with my profile gradually building.
JMH: Do you read any of the new comic books that are being published today?
SJ: Yeah, after reading mostly just Marvel and Doom Patrol for a long time, I’ve recently got back into Image books; The Bulletproof Coffin was fun–with a trippy Morrison-esque weirdness; Top Cow Pilot Season winner Troy Hickman’s wackjob super-heroine Twilight Guardian has just started its 4-issue mini and I’m digging that; and I recently picked up Savage Dragon, having not read it in ages, and it blew me away; Larsen’s action art is so dynamic now.
Cabri Cini Page 3.
Cabri Cini Page 4.
JMH: What are your hopes and plans for your comic book writing future?
SJ: Well, I’m trying to crack Marvel–particularly Deadpool; I’d love to write an issue of Doom Patrol; and I’ve got big plans for three creator-owned projects; most of the main characters from which–Cabra Cini: Voodoo Junkie Hitwoman, Geek-Girl, and Ms. F–are out there now in one form or another to introduce people to them.
Page 2 From Gold Town.
JMH: Tell CBI about Gold Town and Negative Burn, What are the protagonists like? Are these characters that will see further adventures?
SJ: Well, Negative Burn is no longer with us, I was in one of the final issues, but a brand new Gold Town self-contained story is soon to appear in Twilight Star Productions’ Pandemonium Spotlight #2.
This introduces whiteboy wannabe gangsta Pete the Pimp. Pete and his buddy Jacob Trencher used to run a prostitution gig together in Detroit, but Jacob’s been thrown in the slammer and things haven’t been going well for Pete, so, along with his new, and now sole employee Billie, Pete bails to Gold Town–a like-Hollywood-but-more-messed-up place steeped in urban legend. There, Pete goes on a hooker recruitment-drive but gets a lot more than he bargained for.
There’ll be more news on this and the other stuff that will be in the book at my Blog: http://samjohnson-comics.blogspot.com/
Geek Girl Page 1.
JMH: Do your stories carry a message?
SJ: Sometimes, yeah. In the case of Gold Town, you could say it’s ‘be careful what you wish for.’
Page 4 from Ms. F.
JMH: What are Cabra Cini: Voodoo Junkie Hitwoman, Geek-Girl, and Ms. F?
SJ: Ms.F is a former downtrodden Canadian housewife turned unhinged super heroine. She makes her debut in the new issue of H!M Comics’ IF-X taking on the grotesque racial stereotype-perpetuating Mr. Wang in ‘Sweet & Sour Smackdown!’
Geek-Girl is ‘Little Miss Popular’ Ruby Kaye: who lands a pair of super-tech glasses–invented by a brainiac college geek–in a game of Strip Poker, and she’s granted flight, super-strength, and–due to a flaw in the glasses’ programming–super-klutziness. Geek-Girl #0‘s still available at www.geekgirlcomic.com and there’s a 4-issue mini-series in the works.
I have big plans for both GG and Ms. F.
Cabra Cini: Voodoo Junkie Hitwoman is an ex-crack whore who, no longer willing to let her boyfriend/pimp treat her like dirt, got lethal payback with the help of voodoo magik–and liked it. Voodoo became her new addiction and Cabra has cleaned up her act and forged a deadly new vocation…
Cabra’s color debut in Visionary Comics’ Digital Visions #4–alongside Karl Altstaetter & Robert Napton’s Deity and A. David Lewis, Michael Angelo Lee & Chuck Bordell’s Gangland Avalon–is out now.
Digital Visions #4 starring Cabra Cini.
JMH: Do your characters appeal to average readers?
SJ: Yeah, Geek-Girl I would say has the most broad appeal, and can be enjoyed by fans of stuff ranging from Glee or Mean Girls (as college cliques are an integral part of Ruby’s life) to super-heroes. Ms. F is a bit more quirky; Gold Town and Cabra Cini are edgier and suggested for mature readers.
JMH: Where can fans buy your comics?
SJ: Geek-Girl #0: www.geekgirlcomic.com
Ms. F in IF-X: http://idea-men.us
Cabra Cini‘s color debut in FREE Download Digital Visions #4 can be found at:
http://samjohnson-comics.blogspot.com where you can also read it online.
JMH: Sam, Comic Book Interviews.com appreciates your time.
About the interviewer –
John’s creator-owned properties include: The Leaf, Canada’s Greatest Hero, Sky Watcher, The Armor Guardians, NorthForce, MacSorly R.C.M.P, and many others.