Comic book creator and veteran inker Rusty Gilligan is launching Mac and Trouble. The title showcases two unique cats and their adventures through time and space. Launching through What The Flux Comics in comic book stores nationwide, Mac and Trouble reminds readers of the golden age of comics and road pictures starring Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. Rusty stopped by comicbookinterviews.com studios to discuss the future of the title…
JMH: Rusty, great talking to you again. Your energy and enthusiasm seems to never end! Lets get down to it, what is Mac and Trouble?
RUSTY: Mac and Trouble are two house-cats that fall through a wormhole and get caught up in far out space-time adventures. I’m very much a fan of buddy films… Abbot and Costello, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby’s ‘Road’ pictures, etc – and I loved the comedy they interjected in them… Mac and Trouble is a modernization of that.
JMH: Can you describe the world/universe it’s from?
RUSTY: That’s hard to do. I’m not building or adding to a universe here, I think I’m making fun of ours. Oh God, the lawsuits !!!
JMH: Does Mac and Trouble have supporting characters and if so can you tell CBI about them?
RUSTY: Well, there is a villain. But, I’m sworn to secrecy here – its part of the underlying plot to try to figure out who he is… if it’s a ‘he’… maybe it’s an ‘it’… hmmm
Along those lines though, we have special editions coming up where we cross-over with some great publishers, and bring their characters into the ‘all-ages’ realm. Imagine ‘funny book’ versions of some great heroes, teaming up with house cats, to battle some great villains and monsters !
JMH: Was Mac and Trouble inspired by anything from your past or real life experiences?
RUSTY: Mac and Trouble are my real-life cats that I’ve decided to turn into a new comic. Their personalities translate great into comics. Think Looney Toons meets sci fi. The first comics I read were ‘funny books’ and they’ve always impressed me with their creativity and longevity in the market. They interest readers with solid creativity – no sex, no gore, no ‘reboots’ or ‘death of a hero’ crap.
JMH: Do your stories carry a message to the readers?
RUSTY: I’m not sure that there’s a message within this book except to have fun with your reading. Comics have lost their way in recent years.
JMH: Talk about the creative team involved with Mac and Trouble…
RUSTY: First off, the fabulous Michael Mayne is the penciler for the book and the web-strip. His talents are incredible. He’s currently working on a new comic called “Massively Effective”, and also doing his own book called “Bonnie Lass”.
We’ve already had a few friends contribute work as well: Terry Pavlet colored the first cover – the incredible Russ Leach did another cover – both do regular work with What The Flux Comics. And soon, the talented Arthur Gibson will be doing additional writing and editing chores.
We also have a few surprise appearances coming up as well… guest stars galore.
The book is being published by What The Flux Comics.
JMH: Will Mac and Trouble be released in digital format, web comic, or print?
RUSTY: Right now, Mac and Trouble (as a property) is scheduled for a few formats. I’m not a big fan of ‘digital’ – but it could happen down the line.
What The Flux Comics is publishing the comic book on their ‘anthropomorphic’ versions. At first it will be a few one-shots, followed by a series.
At the same time, a web strip is being penned now, that features the characters in their ‘animal’ versions. This will be a weekly feature on a few websites.
There is also a children’s book planned, and a publishing contract is being created now for it.
Starting it all off is the 4-card promo set we’re about to release. The first 3 cards show art from the series and pix of the real cats, and the 4th card is a sketch card featuring the art of some of the best artists in the industry. On the backs, there’s a puzzle showing their web strips.
JMH: You’ve mentioned that What the Flux Comics is publishing Mac and Trouble. Where can fans get their copies of the book?
RUSTY: The books will be available through Diamond, as well as many online distributors. There will also be special versions of the book available through other outlets.
JMH: What are your thoughts on the current state of the comic industry?
RUSTY: I think that comics have gone too far to make sales. Comics today are written like they’re movies, which takes them out of their medium, and ruins them in my opinion. It’s all about shock value. Comics certainly don’t need mature situations, gore, and sex to sell a good book. I’m also tired of all of the ‘reboots’, ‘reborns’, and “deaths of”. Readers need solid plots, stable continuity, and fantasy situations that take us away from our daily lives – they shouldn’t be gritty reminders of what we see on the evening news. That’s not topical, that’s tragic.
JMH: Independent comics struggle to have a voice. What is your plan to market Mac and Trouble?
RUSTY: Easy – I don’t market my projects as comic book projects. You have to think outside the industry, mold your concepts to different elements, and be creative in your marketing. It’s nonsense to think that comics will sell only to comic collectors and that you’ll survive with only the comic distributors.
JMH: What advice do you have for aspiring creators?
RUSTY: The most important thing that you can do for yourself in the comic book market is to market yourself and your product correctly. Don’t put all of your time and effort into your dream, only to suffer a nightmare later.
A good friend of mine runs a great comic book development site that all should follow…
JMH: Anything else you’d like to mention that we haven’t covered yet?
RUSTY: An interesting facet to the book, that will lend itself toward the children’s book that I mentioned earlier, is that Mac is a handicapped cat. Mac has cerebellar hyperplasia, a rare disorder that causes uncoordinated movements. He also falls down a bit and has trouble walking.
On this end, his characterization will display some uniqueness and offer a different perspective than usual… it’s not how hard you fall, but how fast you get up that counts.
JMH: Rusty, as always, All the best!
RUSTY: Thanks man. Gotta run, I have cats to feed!
Follow the adventures of Mac and Trouble at: http://www.macandtrouble.com
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.