January 11th held the Pre-Con Event at the Downtown Phoenix Tilted Kilt for the Amazing Arizona Comic Con coming soon on January 25th-27th. Amazing Arizona Comic Con is usually held further south in the city of Tucson. For the first time, Amazing Arizona Comic Con will be held at the Phoenix Convention Center located in the heart of downtown Phoenix. The Pre-Con event brought in local talent from all over the state including the convention directors and associates.
However, the list didn’t stop there.
Some quite amazing talent had shown up to take part in the annual pre-con event and absolutely blew my mind away as to just exactly who had shown up. And who am I talking of exactly? Well that would be none other than John Layman (Writer of Batman Detective Comics, Chew) and Mike DeBalfo (Aspen Comics), to include the small cast of famous talents. Other famous talents include that of famous cosplayers Cara Nichole (Powergirl Cosplay) and Toni Darling (Thor’s Sister). Brian Augustin even made an appearance. Brian Augustin is a former Editor of DC Comics who I had the pleasure of meeting.
I had the opportunity to interview the amazing John Layman himself, even over a pint of Guinness.
Jacob: In light of all the press of the Evil Dead movie coming out, are we going to expect anything further from your Army of Darkness series?
Layman: I haven’t seen the new red-band trailer for the new Evil Dead, I’m sure I’ll see when it comes out. It’s hard to imagine Evil Dead Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell. There will be no plans for Army of Darkness, that is long done. I didn’t know when I wrote Army of Darkness that Bruce Campbell wasn’t happy with the comics. However, Marvel Zombies vs Army of Darkness was a lot of damn fun to write.
Jacob: What future can we expect with your Image comics title “Chew”?
Layman: Well we’re on issue #31 – we’ll be doing 60 issues so we’re at the half-way point and I’ll be looking at unemployment in 29 issues. First I got Batman which will keep me busy and I have other companies who have offered me generous stuff. I have a great relationship with IDW, Image and I recently got a good relationship with Dark Horse. At the moment with Mars Attacks, Chew and Detective, I write 3 1/2 books a month, I do production for 2, I do design for 1, I design all the trade for Chew and do business stuff so it’s killing me.
When notifying John Layman that Comic Booked put out a recent Comic Book review of Mars Attacks, he explained that he saw the review and was very pleased with it.
Jacob: What are some new things can we expect with Batman: Detective Comics?
Layman: I’m trying to write it as really accessible, as one and done. You don’t have to read the issue before to understand the following issue for a satisfying case. One of the problems I have with comics today is, you pick up a comic book and see it’s part 3 of 8 and you don’t know what’s going on and it’s not really satisfying. Every issue is a beginning, middle and end. Every issue tries to be a new case.
Jacob: What is Batman up to right now?
Layman: “Death of the Family” event is happenin’ right now and that’s Scott Snyder’s book right now and some consider that to be the primary Bat book and that’s okay with me. He has a great handle on Batman and I have no ambition in being the primary Bat writer and I am perfectly happy writing a secondary Batman book that I hope people will be satisfied with.
Jacob: For those who are not familiar with Chew, what is Chew all about considering the fan-base this title has been receiving?
Layman: Chew is about a federal investigator who gets psychic impressions from what he eats. So he has to go to crime scenes and eat the dead bodies to figure out who the killer is. That’s the broad stroke pitch. It’s a huge cast, he has a family, he has co-workers but if you want to get down to the nitty-gritty of it, it’s a cannibal cop who gets psychic impressions with a cooky supporting cast and he solves food related crimes. It’s a food related book. Each character has their own food related power. In retrospect, the concept is probably why it’s been well received.
Jacob: And what is Chew up to in Issue #31? WARNING: Major SPOILERs AHEAD. Issue #31 hits your local comic shop January 23rd, 2013.
Layman: This is a pretty big spoiler but I don’t care. Tony Chew got knocked out of the picture and is in a coma in the hospital in the last story arc. It focuses on his twin sister, Toni, died in the end of issue #30. Tony eats and sees the past, Toni eats and sees the future and Toni plans her own death she saw coming. So what we see is repercussions that follow Toni’s murder.
Batman: Detective Comics is up to 16 issues and Chew is up to 30 issues. Chew Issue #31 comes out on January 23rd, 2013.
The Amazing Arizona Comic Con comes to the Phoenix Convention Center in Downtown Phoenix for the first time on January 25th – 27th, 2013. This event will be featuring big names such as the return of Jim Lee and the legend himself Stan Lee and more! For more information, visit the Amazing Arizona Comic Con website.