I first got to talking to Michael Carr of CZKWorld a few years ago. He was one of the few folks that actually commented on Needless Things. We got to talking about GI Joe – because pretty much anybody in my general age range can talk about GI Joe – and horror and other stuff. We’ve followed each other’s blogs since then and chatted from time to time.
Then he sends me a message a couple of months ago about this comic book he’s writing – Quiver. It sounded like an interesting take on a Hell On Earth/Post-Apocalyptic kind of thing. Then I saw the awesome and somewhat familiar-looking artwork attached and I realized the immensely talented Jason Flowers was attached to this project. I was already interested, but seeing that the Bloody Olde Englund artist was involved was the clincher.
As it turns out, the timing worked out perfectly for me to feature both Carr and Flowers during 31 Days of Halloween. Michael is the subject of today’s post and we’ll be hearing from Jason next week.
1) What are your top geek passions?
A) I have to admit, like most collectors or anyone that appreciates pop culture, I have many interests. Recently I have started to down size my collections, but I totally dig action figures, statues, indie comics, and movies.
2) What was your favorite toy when you were a kid?
A) To narrow down to just one toy is almost impossible, I’m sure everyone has a story that goes along with their favorite and I’m no exception. I have been a total GI Joe: A Real American Hero fan since the beginning. Those cleverly placed small promo catalogs located inside the boxes were worn from almost daily flipping, pondering, and scheming to get more. Sometimes my only wish was to be able to see some of those bigger, cooler vehicles in stores. After months of wishing for one in particular, I found it at a New Orleans KB Toy store, The Sky Striker with Ace. The box was huge to me and the art was so amazing…I could not contain myself once I saw it. Luckily, my mom caved, and it was mine.
3) What is one album everybody should own?
A) Easy, no contest…Kiss guitarist, Ace Frehley’s solo album from the 70’s. Every scratch on the LP was a war mark from consistent play. I bet I could put it on now and still sing every word to those songs.
4) Who is your favorite wrestler and why?
A) Wrestling wasn’t as huge of an interest for me, not like GI Joe… But I did dig “The Junkyard Dog.” He seemed likeable, but at the same time possessed a silent intimidation. He didn’t have to say much, just his presence wearing those chains.
5) What can you tell us about your new project, Quiver?
A) Quiver is a 32 page black and white comic. Going into this project I really wanted to reproduce what drove me to comics. I knew instantly that the art had to be reminiscent of indie comics from the 90’s. Of course this meant finding the right artist who could follow in the steps of James O’Barr’s “The Crow”, David Lapham’s “Stray Bullets” and Drew Haye’s “Poison Elves.” It was my impression that doing so would also help captivate a dark story, as well as introduce current readers to an art style I appreciate. Quiver isn’t a book that you are going to fly through, it’s intended for you to really look over each meaningful panel, not only to read the words but to digest what the art is saying as well. With this combination I think we have produced something that is beyond unique.
Here is a brief description of Quiver…
A manifestation has emerged on Earth. Over time it has become more destructive than any recorded storm. Aggressive, it reproduces faster than every known infectious disease. This epidemic terrorizes the planet’s inhabitants, testing the devotion of the faithful. A viciousness so resilient and callous it has even silenced Satan’s authority.
Humanity, once a term used to describe kindness and compassion is now a label of wickedness and detestation.
A answer will soon be found setting within a “Quiver.”
6) What’s your writing background?
A) In 2010 I found writing helped me deal with a personal change. As I started writing, the story became bigger and more incredible, something that I wanted to share. After making one comic, I soon realized it was an immense undertaking for my first project. So I took my time and rewrote the comic scripts originally entitled “Corey the Zombie Killer” to later publish it as the novella “Dead Factions.”
7) What can you tell us about CZKWorld Studios?
A) CZKWorld Studios was part of an early idea that the stories created by the studio would fall within the same world. Even though the stories were different and happening in alternate places, they could later be merged together without hurting any continuity. Since that time, my ideas and stories have evolved into more than just one genre. With understanding that, I knew I wanted a more diverse name and brand. With the release of Quiver you will also be introduced to the new studio name, Carr Imagery Garage. Under the new label, we can provide a larger variety of titles and not be limited to any one style.
8) What's a favorite Halloween memory?
A) I guess I was about eight and dressed up as Gene Simmons from KISS. It was a plastic costume that came with a mask for just the front of your face. Looking back I have to laugh , I remember that the adults didn’t know if they should give me anything or not…they would just stare with some hesitation before dropping the candy.
9) Which actor do you feel like you could sit and watch for hours no matter what they were doing and why?
A) I promise I’m not being biased because my choice is a fellow southerner, but because I remember him from his early days. Acting as the Easy Reader and Dracula, Morgan Freeman was one of my favorites from the show Electric Company. Since that time he has played every role imaginable with perfection, his talent seems to have no limitations.
10) What advice can you give to somebody looking to self-publish a comic?
A) There are the obvious answers of research, read, find your niche, and of course write, and write some more. But truly, look from within and find what makes you tick? What pisses you off? What would you change in the world and how would you do it? Find and develop passion then mold that emotion into words. If after all that you have something you truly feel like sharing… do it. Don’t go big, not at first, try a few of your short pieces with those you trust to give an honest evaluation. Also, look through the hundreds of forums out there online and find an audience. Online websites are where you can publish your first work, a short story, nothing huge, then wait and see what you get as feedback. Remember, not everything you write will be understood and appreciated the way you intend. Take valid criticism and use it to polish your craft. Once you have built a solid story, drafted a dependable team and saved up enough money. DO IT! My final suggestion would be checkout Dirk Manning’s book, Write or Wrong: A writer’s guide to creating comics.
11) If you could pursue any project, what would it be?
A) I would love nothing more than one of my stories to become a movie. As much as I like comics, nothing is as much fun as being entranced in an amazing film. Strike that, making a film that would fascinate masses of people would be incredibly rewarding.
12) Is there a movie that should never be remade and if so which one?
A) I initially wanted to say Empire Strikes back, granted that’s a great movie, it is a cliché answer. The first film that comes to mind has to be my favorite zombie flick, Dead Snow. It has the campiness of the teens in a cabin, but it also has the awesomely portrayed Nazi zombies. It is a foreign film that should be left alone and appreciated as is.
13) Closer – can you give the big pitch for your projects and where we can find them?
A) First I would like to say this has been a lot of fun and hopefully I have offered some insight to what writing is for me. But the best way to find out more would be to visit my blog, www.czkworld.blogspot.com. There you will find all sorts of things in the archives from the last couple of years, short stories that I have written, current news and the store for your copy of Dead Factions and the soon to be released Quiver. In the next few months, the site www.carrimagerygarage.com will be available to you as well.
Phantom Troublemaker vs. 31 Days of Halloween
I’m changing the format a bit this year in order to more accurately portray SyFy’s schedule and also to preserve my sanity. I had the genius idea to cut and paste the schedule directly from SyFy’s page rather than typing it out in my own format. This has saved me an awful lot of time and also means that individual episodes are listed rather than blocks of programming like previous years. So what I’m going to do is provide commentary where I feel it is needed rather than posting next to every single entry. Don’t worry – you’re getting the same amount of hilarious, then kind of funny, then labored, then thoroughly disenchanted Phantom content. Just in a different way.
Like last year, I am covering the programming from the time this posts until the time of the next post. That means that on Fridays you are going to be treated to a shit-ton of this stuff.
Let’s do it!
Oct 8 10:30 AM Deep South Paranormal Old Soldiers Never Die
Oct 8 11:30 AM Deep South Paranormal The Good, The Bad And The Ghostly
Oct 8 12:30 PM Deep South Paranormal Dead On The Bayou
It has been pointed out to me that it doesn’t make any sense that I love Destination Truth like I do and give all of these paranormal shows such a hard time. But it does. While the various Ghost-hunting shows feature dudes wandering around houses with the lights off and squealing every time a curtain moves or a spider farts, Josh Gates is out in the fucking wild wandering around jungles and in situations where he might literally have to fight a tiger. I don’t believe Gates is going to find a sasquatch any more than I believe the Ghost Hunters are going to find a ghost, but Gates and company are in a much more exciting situation. Plus, Gates doesn’t take himself too seriously. And he’s my close, personal not-friend:
Oct 8 01:30 PM 31 Days Of Halloween Movie Daybreakers
Oct 8 03:30 PM 31 Days Of Halloween Movie Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant
Oct 8 05:30 PM 31 Days Of Halloween Movie Dawn Of The Dead
C’mon, SyFy. This is, like, the third day in a row you’ve shown this lineup.
Oct 8 08:00 PM Face Off Tweet-peat - Cosmic Circus
One advantage of this silly “Tweet-peat” thing is that I can comment on the episodes of Face Off that I’ve watched. First of all, I fucking love this show. It is the perfect kind of reality television – where the focus is on the craft of what the people are doing and not bullshit made-up drama created by ruthless editing (yeas – I am talking about Heroes of Cosplay; and to be clear, I dislike the show, not the people on it).
So this episode came on last week and I shocked myself by being emotionally effected by the end. It came down to Laney and Alana and Alana got eliminated. And Laney lost her shit. I like Alana an awful lot, but I feel like she was being kind of a butthole to Laney about the cowl (none of this is going to make sense if you didn’t watch the show). I think the cowl could have been made to work. It wouldn’t have saved their project – which wasn’t great – but Alana totally set Laney up to feel like the loss was all her fault. And she totally felt that. I don’t think Alana meant to do that. I think she was just having “I’m the veteran and I’ve been here before” complex, but that’s what happened. So I felt bad for Laney and was very sorry to see Alana go while that weirdo serial killer Eddie got to stay because he was lucky enough to partner up with Miranda. But that’s what happens as the end draws nigh.
Also, Glenn continues to deliver the best Blue Steel in the business.
Oct 8 09:00 PM Face Off Mortal Sins
I’m excited about this one. Not only are the Seven Deadly Sins a passing interest of mine, but Eddie is almost certainly going to be eliminated due to these being solo challenges.
Oct 8 10:00 PM Fangasm Take Me To Your Lee-der
I still haven’t watched this, but I’m starting to hear it’s harmless fun. Except for one drama queen that happened to be interviewed on ESO recently.
Oct 8 11:00 PM Face Off Mortal Sins
Oct 8 12:00 AM Fangasm Take Me To Your Lee-der
Oct 8 01:00 AM Syfy Original Movie Yeti
Sold. The only way I could be more interested in this movie is if it were called Rage of the Yeti.
Oct 8 03:00 AM Syfy Original Movie Rage Of The Yeti
Oct 9 06:00 AM Paid Programming
Oct 9 08:00 AM Ghost Mine, Season 2 Return To Darkness
Oct 9 09:00 AM Ghost Mine, Season 2 The Lost Chamber
Oct 9 10:00 AM Ghost Mine, Season 2 Phantom Intruder
No, no, no. No. I don’t care how many hot little redheads you put on this show. I’m not watching this buffoonery.