Posted - 02/06/2015 : 09:17:02 AM
Mason Harold Hal Hilden
Writer for Political Power: Stephen Colbert
Published by: Bluewater Comics
Interviewed by: Richard Vasseur/Jazma VP
Rich: Were you a fan of Stephen Colbert before writing this comic?
Hal: I was. I had been watching The Colbert Report for years.
Rich: How did you try to present "Political Power: Stephen Colbert" in the comic?
Hal: I wanted the comic to imitate Stephen Colbert's real life, that of being the "real" Stephen Colbert existing and alternating with the "idiot" Colbert (who is the political pundit and host of The Colbert Report). BTW, Stephen Colbert often refers to the pundit Colbert as an "idiot". My goal was to mix and alternate between a fictional story and include true aspects of Stephen's biography.
Rich: What did you like most about working on "Political Power: Stephen Colbert"?
Hal: He was a great person to write about in the sense that he "did his time" to get to where he is now. His biography really amazed me, and it is constantly evolving. When I first wrote the script, Stephen Colbert hadn't yet been chosen as the replacement for Letterman. In fact, the script was completed and with the editor when the Boston Marathon incident occurred. After watching The Colbert Report episode following the bombing, and how he was able to make a nation smile and laugh, I immediately contacted my editor and told him that I had to move some panels around and include Stephen's heartfelt and humorous response to said bombing. In fact, the product description for the comic was what I had said to Darren Davis after the Boston incident, "Here is a man, who states he is more comedian than political satirist, acknowledge a great tragedy the day it happens, and with wounds still fresh, manages to get people to wipe away their tears and smile, and even laugh."
Rich: How do you go about writing a comic book?
Hal: I prefer playing in other people's sandboxes, so I like being given an assignment, like write about so-and-so, or we need so-and-so to fight a lake monster. I start off with a plot synopsis, usually a half page to a full page. From there I try to break up the pages needed, since I have only so many pages to tell my story. The writing itself is first done on lined paper with a mechanical pencil [and it has to be a mechanical pencil], and from there I do first edits as I transfer it to my computer. I use the Dark Horse method of scripting and it works for me. I send this script off to my editor and then to my second edits, and even third edits when needed.
Rich: How do you feel when you hold a completed comic book you worked on in your hands?
Hal: It's a surreal feeling seeing your name on a comic book. Having someone spend their hard-earned money on your comic is a humbling experience, and I will always be humbled by this.
Rich: Would you like to work on more Political Power comics?
Hal: I would. Darren (from Bluewater Comics) mentioned another a while back, and I may surprise him with a completed script very soon.
Rich: What work have you done at Red Leaf Comics?
Hal: I have worked on MacSorly: RCMP, created and penned a 3-pager of a group called Ministers of Magic, and I hope to soon finish a great little story of the current Red Leaf. John (the Red Leaf creator, guru, and all-around great guy) was even nice enough to allow me to publish an old co-creator owned work called Dreamland: 2047. My hope is to get issue 2 and possibly 3 out this year.
Rich: What comic book did you most enjoy working on?
Hal: I've enjoyed them all! Each work taught me something new, and how to better myself as a writer. I enjoy the dialogue between myself and the rest of the creative staff.
Rich: What comic book would you most like to work on that you have not?
Hal: Marvel: Doc Samson, Nighthawk, Nightcrawler, Black Knight, Hercules, Nova (Richard Rider), D-Man, Blue Shield, Thunderbird, Werewolf-by-Night, Alpha Flight, Shi'ar Imperial Guard, Great Lakes Avengers. DC: Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Shazam, Hourman, Dr. Midnight, Aquaman, The Atom, Metal Men, Doom Patrol, JSA, LSH. Dark Horse, Charlton, Bluewater, Image, Arcana, Valiant, Dynamite, IDW, Archie, Boom, Bongo, Disney, etc: Anything.
Rich: What do you have planned next for your career?
Hal: I am trying to find work related in the field of writing. I will continue to write comics, and hopefully turn that into a career. I am also interested in scriptwriting for animation, video-games, television, and the cinema.
Rich: What is your work ethic?
Hal: I am the Kevin Smith of indy writers. Between work, family life, health, and comic writing, sometimes comic writing gets put on the back burner. My hope is to complete at least one script a month.
Rich: Which comics did you read as a child and do you now?
Hal: I read whatever my Dad picked up for me, which was a lot of 1970's Marvel, DC, and Charlton comics. Some of my favorites were X-Men, Spider-Man, Superman, Werewolf-by-Night, Doom Patrol, Metal Men, and LSH. Others were Magnus Robot Fighter, Fightin' Army, Judomaster, Turok, and the Six Million Dollar Man.
Currently I read Marvel and DC, and another possible restart for each! I read X-Men, Nightcrawler, Saga, Earth 2, JLU, some Bluewater comics, Alien Legion (whenever they print new stuff) and I plan on picking up the new Charlton comics. I'm also looking forward to reading Survivorland by Danica Brine, when it comes out.
Rich: How can someone contact you?
Hal: Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me through Facebook at Mason Harold Hal Hilden.
Rich: Any words for the fans of your work?
Hal: I hope you like what you read, and I hope you laughed when you were supposed to have laughed.