Interview: Rich Tommaso

Folks, now for something completely different. I manage to score and interview with no other than the writer of Imagine new-noir fiction, Dark Corridors, Rich Tommaso. I must say he was completely gentleman, very nice to have given me the time of day, me being unknown.

Me: What is your full name?
Rich Tommaso: Richard John Tommaso

Me: What did you dream off when you were kid, was this your dream job?
Rich Tommaso: Comic strip artist for the newspapers.

Me: What was your first comic?
Rich Tommaso: At age 11, I drew a comic book series called, U.A.V. (The Urban Assault Vehicle)

Me: When did you know you wanted to do this?
Rich Tommaso: I have always been drawing comics, from when I was a kindergartener. I used to draw Snoopy, Beetle Bailey, Hagar The Horrible, Garfield, Heathcliff, B.C., and Shoe all throughout my childhood. I remember being afraid when I was age 10 that I would “grow up” and become a lawyer or something instead.

Me: How did you get in the business?
Rich Tommaso: I was self-publishing mini comics for about 4 to 5 years and then moved into a house full of Joe Kubert graduates who were all getting published. I decided that I too wanted to be published, so one day called up Fantagraphics Books and asked if I could send them some of my minis. The guy on the phone–Jeremy Pinkham–said, “We got a mini called Cannibal Porn from you, we were thinking of publishing that.” I had forgotten who I had sent those minis to, but a week after that call I got the green light from Gary Groth to do a redrawn version of that mini over at Eros Comix.

Me: What your toughest story to write and the one you enjoy the most?
Rich Tommaso: The toughest story for me was The Cavalier Mr. Thompson, a graphic novel I published under my RECOIL comics imprint. It was set in the 1920s and featured many characters, so there was a lot of reading and researching to do for it and a lot of people to keep up with in the story. I most enjoyable comic was my Dark Corridor series that I did last year with Image Comics. It featured two seemingly separate narratives, both of which blended into one another by Issue six of the series. I love crime fiction, so It was a blast to be able to do two scripts I’d always wanted to produce in one comic series.

Me: Any author or artist you admire?
Rich Tommaso: Alex Toth, Hergé, Roy Crane, Lorenzo Mattotti, Julie Doucet, Jaime Hernandez, Frank Miller, Sergio Aragonés… the list goes on and on.

Me: Would you like to work with someone in the future?
Rich Tommaso: A colorist. Don’t enjoy that part of the process very much.

Me: And what some of the goals for your comics?
Rich Tommaso: To be exciting and entertaining, yet contain a personal voice that sets them apart from most other things out there.

And there you have it folks, my first interview and possibly one in many of line to go.


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