Welcome back kiddies! This time I trapped writer and creator Jason Crawley in a box and carried it down into the dungeon. So go on and take a look at what he had to say when he woke up and found out he was trapped in the interview chair.
Hey Jason. Thanks for taking the time to sit down and chat with me about yourself and what's going on at Virus Comix.
First off. thanks for the opportunity to let those who don't know of our work, to get the chance to learn about it through this interview.
So lets start off with who are you and what do you do ?
My name is Jason Crawley and im company partner with Virus Comix creator and artist Ju Gomez.I also do the writing and lettering for the books.We first met about two years ago on Myspace and Ju gave me the chance to do some lettering for his upcoming online project that he was working on and things went on from there. Most people I know here in the States call me Bloke which is a general word used back in my home country of England when talking about a man, Blokes meaning men.That nickname lead to the creation of the titles of some of our books. I hope that helps clear things up for those who look at the titles of some of our work and think 'What the hell" lol.
What inspired you to do Tomb of Bloke? Was it your first attempt at creating comics?
Actually, Tomb Of Bloke came about after Ju had the idea to do an online comic on MySpace http://www.myspace.com/tombofblokeonlinecomic with me as the central zombie character. Tomb Of Bloke is also the name of my own myspace page which came to be after I had created a page about my love for the horror genre and was stuck on what to call it, a few names came up and my wife helped me pick this one out from the rest.
The actual concept of the online version came from mine and Ju's love for the zombie films of the late 70's and early 80's, especially the work of George A Romero. Due to its success online we decided to do a comic book version and Ju suggested that as it was about me I should give a go to rescripting the entire story and so began my writing career with Virus Comix. Previous to this I was doing the lettering side of things from scripts that Ju had written - first of all with our first online comic on Myspace called The Horror and then on our first actual comic book Son Of 6 issue 1, which was the first published work by Virus Comix with my name associated with it.
How long did you plan all of this out before diving into it?
The general premise of the book was already there with what we had done with the online version, so we discussed ways in which we could take the story which included replacing the last few pages of the online story with a continuing storyline that we felt would be better received.
What influences you and your work?
My lifelong love for all things horror influences me and what I do along with a belief that as comic book publishers we can bring to the public the sort of books that they will hopefully like, whether its a one shot book or a continuing series.
Do you see yourself growing as time goes on, do you feel yourself progressing?
As a company I feel we are growing all the time with each book that we release and as time goes by more and more people are becoming aware of us and what we are doing. So, because of this I really feel that we are progressing, especially as the original plan for 2009 was to release 4 books, but come November our fifth book of the year will be coming out.
So what is new and exciting over at Virus Comix ?
This month we are releasing two new titles - first off is our new anthology series called Blokes Tomb Of Horror, introduced by the Bloke zombie from our Tomb Of Bloke book, hence the name of the book. This will be four short stories by four different artists including a continuation of the Tomb Of Bloke story. With everything going on within the company right now we knew it would be a while before we could get an issue 2 going so we went ahead and did a short continuation called Tomb Of Bloke 1.5 which carries on right from the end of issue 1. This book also introduces the art of a great friend of ours named Fernando Ignatius who we also met via Myspace and hails from Malaysia.He had done some pin up work for us previously but now you get to see his awesome art style over a 10 page story that I wrote and he brought to life!
Also coming out this month is the comic book debut of our first online comic mentioned earlier called The Horror http://www.myspace.com/thehorroronlinecomic which has had a slight script re-write by myself. The book also includes a short story by our friend and artist Steph Dumais called Nuclear Winter. Further plans involving Stephs work include us publishing his Zombie Commandos From Hell - Ultragore book in 2010.
November sees the release of Son Of 6 issue 2 and early 2010 will bring Blokes Tomb Of Horror issues 2 and 3 which include collaborations with Italian writer Enrico Teodorani. Readers can keep up to date on our current and future work by visiting us at
Do you feel that horror fans are receptive to your books?
With what we have done so far I would say yes. There always seems to be a lot of interest in what we are doing, especially the anthology book with artists and writers asking to be involved in the project.
What do you think helps your work stand out in the horror market?
I'd like to think that the varied output of our work helps us stand out. Whether its a continuing storyline or a collection of stories by various artists and writers displaying a variety of styles and techniques. We don't look to swamp the market with our books, instead we do short print runs which hopefully will sell well and leave the reader wanting more while at the same time helping us with the finances to produce more books. Self-publishing can be an expensive way of getting your work out there, but if there are people out there that want to read our books we will do our best to give them what they want, while at the same time enjoying what we do and delighting in the knowledge that we have an audience for our work.
So aside from your own books what are you reading these days?
My favorite books to read at the moment are The Walking Dead, which I just can't put down once I have opened an issue, something I would like to achieve with my own writing sometime. Also the Dark Horse Conan series which is a character I have loved since I was a kid.
So what can we expect from you and Virus Comix 5 years down the road?
I'd like to think that in five years time we can still be retaining the level of work that we do today as far as our love for what we do and the level of commitment that we put into it. That way we can strive to put out work that is still received well by our readers and give them what they deserve in comic books which are produced by horror fans for horror fans!
Sum up for me in why we should notice and follow what's going on at Virus Comix.
As comic book publishers I would hope we are bringing forward ideas and creations that others want to see. As well as our own work we also like to bring in others to help get their work noticed too which is something I feel works well for all involved. Not only can we produce more titles but it helps to promote those who other wise would remain unpublished. With the Indy scene not getting the attention it deserves as of late I feel that's the way to go to try and get it back in the spotlight and get some recognition for those who put their all into their work.
Thanks Jason it's much appreciated.
My pleasure Dan, Thank you!
If you want to check out what Jason is up to or the crew over at Virus Comix you can head on over to Virus Comix