Posted - 05/28/2010 : 09:27:57 AM
Brooke A. Allen
Creator/Writer/Artist for A Home for Mr. Easter
Published by: NBM
Interviewed by: Richard Vasseur/Jazma VP
Rich: What is "A Home for Mr. Easter" all about?
Brooke: Well the short answer is A Home for Mr.Easter is basically about a girl on a quest to get her Easter Bunny back home where he belongs and in doing so attracts a lot of unwanted attention… the long answers too long.
Rich: Who is the heroine of this comic?
Brooke: Our heroine is a rather large girl named Tesana who is in the middle of running the gauntlet that is high school while still holding on to many of the childish things that people that age (and probably younger) usually abandon for fear of persecution, things like having an honest love for Lisa Frank and an over active imagination. At times she can seem pretty dim witted and possibly even borderline mentally challenged but really she’s just a big kid with a severe lack of adventure in her life.
Rich: Who are some of the people Tesana will meet in her adventure?
Brooke: With out giving too much away, she’ll face a mean spirited football team, a seedy pet shop owner, a group of immoral scientists, a pack of animal rights demonstrators out for blood, and a magician on the run… you know, the usual riga-ma-ru.
Rich: Why will people identify with Tesana and care about what happens to her?
Brooke: I hope people will see more of themselves in Tesana then expected. I think we’ve all had moments where we feel like we’re at odds with the rest of the world and reality keeps cramping our style. Tesana's by no means perfect but she knows what she likes and she knows what she wants and in this case it is to go to the ends of the earth if need be to make sure her bunny friend is in good hands. There’s a certain uncompromising and utterly absurd loyalty that Tesana’s capable of that I admire. I think we could all use a friend like Tesana.
Rich: Why isn't this book for a 7-year-old girl?
Brooke: I don’t know, it certainly could be, it was written whilst channeling the inner 7-year-old Brooke Allen, which I think would account for a lot of how fast and haphazard the story moves. I definitely wrote it with a large audience in mind and hoped that if it did happen to find itself in a 7-year-old’s hand they might enjoy it. Then again, I gave a copy to the kid across the street, (mostly just to prove to her that “I can too draw good”) her response was “huh, neat. Can I borrow your laptop so I can do Barbie’s hair online?”
Rich: Did you believe in the Easter Bunny as a child?
Brooke: Definitely. And it’s funny you should ask, there’s a great story revolving around my belief in the Easter Bunny when I was a kid, one that I believe may have paved the way for the book, but I can’t tell it… it would make Mom really mad.
Rich: How would you describe your art style?
Brooke: Reckless, in flux, and heavily influenced by a combination of animation and the inadequate number of hours in a day.
Rich: Will you be creating any more comics soon?
Brooke: Certainly, I’m currently working on an oversized gouache and watercolor comic and several other top-secret projects that I’ll be declassifying soon on http://gremsley.blogspot.com/.
Rich: Why do you enjoy creating comics?
Brooke: I enjoy any visual medium that lends itself to communicating a story. I’ve always been into films and animation but there’s a certain freedom that comics have to offer both creators and readers that I find really appealing. For example, creators have such tools at their disposal as format (the size, shape, and material of the book), page layout (the amount, dimension, and direction of the panels on the page), word balloons, text, style, and the list goes on. In a way all of these things become secondary characters essential in building this microcosm in which your story takes place as well as a sort of invisible guide navigating and moving the reader through that world towards the end of the story. I guess really I could just point you in the direction of any Scott McCloud book on the subject and that would pretty much sum up that particular reason for why I like making comics.
But… there are so many reasons. Over all it’s fun, it’s cool, it’s the best job in the history of ever.
Rich: What is SCAD like?
Brooke: SCAD is like an art camp that never ends held in the Secret Garden where all the schizophrenic homeless people go to have conversations with themselves and the average glock-toting gangster is 8... so basically its amazing.
In all honesty, if you think you’d like to go to school for comics come to SCAD because the sequential art department here is heaven on earth and the city’s got a lot of character.
Rich: Do you like having pets?
Brooke: I LOVE having pets! Or rather that’s what I would have said a couple weeks ago when I still had my elderly dog Tess the Bear Faced Terror who sort of balanced out the force… now that she’s gone all I have is Linus, who is like trying to walk a lit bottle rocket tied to a string… people want to help you, but they don’t want to get too close. I’ve decided that despite his psychotic nature I should keep him around just incase he’s going to save my life one day…if he hasn’t all ready. I also have a brave and brooding hamster named Batman. He’s supposed to be nocturnal but like myself, he laughs in the face of sleep schedules. All together Linus and Batman are great roommates and I love them both... well actually, Linus is a rather terrible roommate.
Rich: What comics did you read as a child and do you now?
Brooke: I’ll admit it, I’m not afraid to say that the first comics that I read that made me say “I want to draw comics” was Garfield or rather more specifically they were the Garfield Pet Force books which weren’t comics at all but after reading them I started drawing tons of comics that looked as if Jim Davis had a horrible, horrible accident and went on to draw crayon epics about my dog Gizzmo getting beat up by other dogs… with Mohawks. So I ripped of Jim Davis in every way possible until I discovered Calvin and Hobbes and then it was as if Bill Waterson and Jim Davis were in a terrible, awful train crash together and some unholy man of medicine salvaged their parts, put them back together Frankenstein style, and out of their deep disfigured despair they began drawing comic strips about me and my best friend Anna being really mean to her older sister Nora.
But aside from Calvin and Hobbes and Garfield I had a few Sonic comics, every Disney Adventures book imaginable, and several random issues of X-men and Batman that made little sense out of context. It wasn’t until I was 13 or 14 that I made it to the comic book shop on my own and got all the good stuff.
As far as what I read now… I like just about everything. I enjoy the work of European creators like Christophe Blain, Francois Boucq, Claire Wendling, Blutch, Cyril Pedrosa, Joann Sfar, Gipi, the list is endless. I’ve always wished for more Blue Monday and I’m a sucker for just about anything Batman or Dragon Ball z.
But I have to say that the artists that have been the biggest inspiration in the past couple years are (and if you havn’t heard of them already I’m sure you will soon) Rafael Grampa’, Coleman Engle, Jeremy Sorese, MacArthur ‘M’ Jewell, Jonathan Belle Wolfe, Ben Frisch, and Tradd Moore.
Rich: How can someone contact you?
Brooke: Aside from the usual ESP, smoke signal, or messenger pigeon, feel free to send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Pen Pals encouraged!
Rich: Any words for your readers?
Brooke: Thank you so much for your support and don’t be a stranger!