One of the best parts of attending various conventions is checking out the guys and gals trying to break into the big leagues as comic pros. There is never a shortage of writers and artists, sometimes alone, sometimes teamed up, trying to sell their latest project. The quality of the product varies, as does the ability of the exhibitors in pitching their books. One sure-footed way to grab my attention is to have a great title. That’s how I picked up the first two issues of Head Lopper from writer/artist Andrew MacLean a few years ago at a con. I talked to Andrew for a bit and he gave a great pitch that sold me on his book. Earlier this year I read that his newest book, ApocalyptiGirl: An Aria for the End Times was being published by Dark Horse, showing that Andrew was inching his way closer to the big leagues. Soon after that, Image Comics announced that they would begin publishing Head Lopper, the aforementioned self published title. The next time you read something about him, he may be working for Marvel or DC, so get in on the ground floor, and enjoy PCU’s interview with Andrew MacLean.
PCU- 1. The latest book you created, Apocalyptigirl was recently released by Dark Horse. What is it about, and where can interested readers pick it up?
AM- Apocalyptigirl : An Aria for the End Times is about a world, post apocalypse, where nature has creeped back in to reclaim the rubble of the city where THE deed was done. Its been many generations since that destruction, so humanity has repopulated a bit, and moved back in to the area, though they are more savage in nature than previously. We follow a girl named Aria (19 or 20) and her cat Jelly Beans. Aria stands out as unique, having more technology than the other humans, even speaking a different language. We learn early on she is well-informed and on some sort of mission searching for something that remains ambiguous for some time. Aria’s run ins with the savages become the catalyst for a string of events that ultimate brings her closer to her goal, and her return “home.”
PCU- 2. At what point in your life did you realize that creating comics was what you wanted to do for a living?
AM- Pretty young. Maybe I was twelve, but at some point I started playing guitar and wanted to take a band on the road and do the music thing. I was maybe 26 when I realized I still really wanted to make comics.
PCU-3. You are given the keys to any two major publisher’s characters to start new books. Who do you choose and why?
AM- I’d probably do a Nightcrawler book for Marvel. I’d want to kind of ignore canon to some degree though and create some kind of origin story thing of my own. I just like the look and powers of him. Seems to me there is a lot of potential there. I’ve had a little 8 pager fan comic starring him in my mind that I’ve wanted to draw forever and just never found the time. I’d want to explore him further I guess.
PCU- 4. Do you consider yourself an artist that writes, or a writer that is also an artist? If you could only do one, would you ultimately have a preference?
AM- Definitely an artist that writes. I’ve been drawing for a long time but my writing is still very much in its infancy. There is a lot of kinks to work out still. Just need to keep making the things. IF I had to choose ONE though, it would be artist. I have to do something with my hands.
PCU- 5. What can we expect up next from you? Also, what other work do you have pre ApocalyptiGirl and where can readers find it?
AM- Literally, just yesterday (as of writing this) Image announced that my Head Lopper comic has gotten a series through them. I started that series self publishing a couple years back, and they are going to help me continue it. The self-published version are still available for a very limited time here: http://andrewmaclean.storenvy.com – Once these are sold, they are gone. Self publishing wears you down!!!