Posted - 12/31/2010 : 03:11:49 AM
Co-Writer/Illustrator for Bonnie Lass: The Legend
Published by: Red 5 Comics
Interviewed by: Richard Vasseur/Jazma VP
Rich: How did you and Tyler Fluharty end up collaborating on "Bonnie Lass: The Legend"?
Michael: Tyler and I both graduated from Shawnee State University with BFAs around the same time and began toying with the idea shortly thereafter. Basically, we had the opportunity and free time, so we just snowballed the concept from there.
Rich: What is the basic story outline?
Michael: Bonnie, the feisty daughter of a notorious pirate nicknamed Cutlass, is out to make her own mark on the world. What starts as a simple treasure heist turns out to be an opportunity for Bonnie to outshine her father by uncovering a secret he apparently gave up on years ago. She and her trusty cohorts will have to clash with other forces to get to it, including a militant secret society and a sea monster, but the hunt is on!
Rich: Who are a few of Bonnie's crew?
Michael: Ben is Bonnie's slightly younger brother—usually level-headed but easily the protective powerhouse when in the thick of the action. Trick is a former gun-for-hire who joined up with Bonnie and Ben at their shipwright uncle Doogan's suggestion; Trick is a self-assessed ladies' man, but that may just be one of his many facets.
Rich: How would you describe your art style on "Bonnie Lass: The Legend"?
Michael: Early on the biggest influences I wanted to incorporate into the visual style of the comic were the classic Warner Brothers cartoons of the Tex Avery and Chuck Jones era. Obviously there are some anime/manga influences in my usual style as well, and everything's rounded out with some art nouveau styling, even in some of the paneling design. I'd also be remiss if I didn't cite Glen Keane as an influence, especially in regards to facial expressions and Bonnie's locks of hair.
Rich: How would you describe Bonnie's attire?
Michael: Cheeky? Honestly, her whole look started as almost a parody of "hot action chicks" but I think as I got around to actually illustrating the final artwork for the issues the character had come into her own and she just seemed like she just wants to wear whatever's comfortable (are stockings comfortable?). You'll see a slight wardrobe change in Issue #2, but it still sticks to her basic design of casual, light top; short shorts; thigh-high stockings and sturdy shoes, all while still invoking a piratey flare.
Rich: When did you first start drawing?
Michael: Since I was about two, going on three. One of the first particular things I remember drawing was He-Man (or a blob of colors that I was convinced were He-Man).
And Jessica Rabbit.
Rich: What drawing of yours was published in "Antarctic Press' Gold Digger Swimsuit # 19"?
Michael: I did a pinup of Gina on a beach. That's probably not very specific, so the only clarification I can think of is that there is an orange, toy shovel in front of her. haha!
Rich: If you could work on any comic besides Bonnie Lass which one would it be and why?
Michael: I feel extremely fortunate that "Bonnie Lass" is out of the gates in the first place, but if I were to pretend like my skills were wanted on any other projects at the moment, I'd have to say I'd like to have a try at either some run of Spider-Man or Batman. Also, if Robert Kirkman were to start up yet another new project, I'd love to work on whatever he'd cook up. Not only is he proven versatile, but we're both Kentucky boys.
Rich: What projects do you have coming in the near future?
Michael: I did the artwork for Bluewater Productions' "Gearz/VSS" one-shot crossover coming out in the next month or so, I believe. It was quite fun to dive into, so please be on the lookout for that one!
Other than that I can't quite talk about any of the current projects I've got lined up just yet, but hopefully I'll be able to start sharing those sooner than later!
Rich: How do you improve your skills in writing and illustration?
Michael: As cliche as this sounds (even that part's cliche), I only get better at either by continuing to work at them both.
I'm a fan of pawing through art books, making-of books, available production documents, etc. Basically, I'm an information junkie; the more I can take in, break down and apply to my own working processes the better! Art jams are also fun exercises—getting a few other willing artists together and just jamming out sketches of hand-picked topics while trying to render them efficiently and effectively.
Rich: Did you ever play pirates as a child?
Michael: I'm sure I did. haha! Definitely played cowboys! You'll see some Old West elements in "Bonnie Lass" too!
Rich: What comics did you read as a kid and do you read now?
Michael: As a kid I was into the obvious choices: X-Men, Spider-Man, The Avengers... I was definitely a Marvel kid! As I'm finding is common among many contemporary enthusiasts, I did fall out of reading comics for several years, mostly through middle school and high school, aside from a few TPBs—basically came down to me most often not having the spending money to keep up with anything more. Concise TPBs are still the way to go for me, but I'm trying to get back to monthly issues lately. "Atomic Robo" is a definite must, and I'm giving more recent Batman and Spider-Man stories a go since I've been out of college.
Rich: How can someone contact you?
Michael: I've got a Bonnie Lass page on Facebook (facebook.com/bonnielasscomic) and right now it's probably the best way to keep up with news regarding the comic.
michaelmayne.com will get you to pretty much any of my active portals online, including deviantART (maniac086.deviantart.com) and Twitter (@michaelmayne).
Rich: Any words for those who pick up "Bonnie Lass: the Legend"?
Michael: Anybody that picks up "Bonnie Lass: The Legend" is tops in my book, and I thank you wholeheartedly! Please stick around for the remaining issues, and let anybody you know who likes fun action/adventure know about it too! I promise things get even zanier and kinetic as the story goes on!
I'd also like to thank Red 5 Comics for "picking it up" for publication! That's blown my mind!