Not too long ago, writer Kenny Porter was a reviewer and columnist for Cosmic Book News. But the talented scribe won a contest put on by Top Cow and the fruition of that effort will be in stores Tuesday: Artifacts #33.
To get to the heart of this matter, M.E. Byron Brewer exclusively discussed the book and a number of other issues with Kenny. Here is his report:
Cosmic Book News: Kenny, as a comics fan and former comics reviewer, how does it feel to finally see your own comic book in print?
Kenny Porter: It’s exciting to say the least. I’ve been a comics fan since I was a little kid and I always dreamed of creating comic books. I started reviewing comics several years ago and just started writing my own shortly after that. The medium has so much to offer and now that we’re seeing a real revolution in creator-owned as well as licensed work it’s a thrilling time to get into the industry. I’ve done some of my independent work in small print runs, but this is the first time I’ve been through a major publisher and have had distribution through Diamond. It’s all still sinking in a little bit for me.
Kenny Porter: I can still remember the moment it happened. I was kind of the last person to find out about it. The news broke while I was having dinner with some friends and my phone didn’t have any service. When I walked out of the restaurant I nearly had a heart attack from all of the notifications my phone had blown up with after it was announced. The amount of competition that was involved with the Top Cow Talent Hunt made me really take a step back and think about my writing and the progress I’ve made over the past few years.
Kenny Porter: The protagonist of this issue of Artifacts is Tom Judge, a former priest and bearer of the artifact known as the Rapture. Similar to the Witchblade or the Darkness it gives the user special powers and transformative abilities. Judge can use the Rapture to turn into a brimstone form with incredible strength and powers. I try to test him in this one-shot both physically and mentally so that the theme of the book can focus on his struggle with having this supernatural power and pitting it against the unknown.
Kenny Porter: The basic premise of the story is that Tom Judge and his partner Tilly Grimes have caught up with a serial killer who has claimed over fifty victims during his career. Judge thinks that he’s got the antagonist dead to rights, but soon finds out that there’s a lot more than he’s bargained for. A young girl’s life is on the line and Judge is determined to stop the killing spree that this horrific man has been on for the last several years.
Kenny Porter: The inspiration for the story came from my interest in stories about the dangers of black magic and cautionary tales about overestimating your abilities. Tom Judge is a character with a lot of power, but can’t solve every problem that comes his way. This one-shot puts him in a situation where he can’t use brute force to solve the problems that the serial killer has caused. That being said there’s still plenty of action for readers to sink their teeth into.
Kenny Porter: My experience with the editorial department at Top Cow has been very positive. The whole goal of the process was to expand the story and make it the best it could possibly be. Top Cow is truly a publisher that puts story and art on the same level, so both -Rom- and I were given lots of attention and detail that brought the book together. I enjoyed it a lot more than working solo, because I could find weaknesses and strengths in my writing that I might not have seen otherwise. I’ve worked with other editorial influences in the past (Visionary Comics and Viper Comics), but this experience made me realize how much I appreciate the work that editors do for the comics industry.
Kenny Porter: Absolutely, but that’s always a loaded question. As a writer I feel like no work is ever finished. But a huge part of writing is letting it go and putting it out into the world. I’m reminded of the scene in A Scanner Darkly where Robert Downey Jr. says, “We are all WAY too close to this.” After some time had passed and I read the issue as a whole I realized that we put together an interesting story that goes from a thriller, to action, and then to horror without being too jarring. I couldn’t be happier with the issue.
Kenny Porter: There are some underlying elements I would love to explore further. The villain and his method of murder leave the door open for a lot of plot lines down the road. That of course is completely up to Top Cow on whether or not they would like to expand upon that in their universe (or let me do it), but I’m happy to open that door for them in future stories.
Kenny Porter: I’ve never worked with an artist like -Rom- before. She has a very dynamic painted style that stands out from a lot of other artwork. We were on the same wavelength when it came to how the story should be paced and what we should focus on when it came to the characters and the action. We’ve talked since finishing the issue and would love to work on something together in the future if our schedules align again.
Kenny Porter: When it comes to comic projects I’ve always got something in the pipeline. Right now I’m working on some pitches and creator-owned work with some fantastic local artists in Michigan, as well as some very talented friends of mine who live in New Orleans. I have notebooks full of ideas and plenty of scripts backlogged, so right now it’s just a matter of finishing the projects and getting them out there into the world.
Cosmic Book News would like to thank Kenny Porter for granting us this interview.
Look for “Artifacts” #33 from Top Cow on Tuesday!