By: Alexander Jones
Author Brian Buccellato is looking to steer his career in a brand new direction with the upcoming Sons of the Devil comic from Image, announced at the Image Expo with artist Toni Infante. He seems to have a new frame of mind as well, sporting a beard and a sleek red sweater. The author was ready to tell the press all about the trials and tribulations of Sons of the Devil, and about how taking the comic from Kickstarter to Image is the right way for fans to experience the story. With the short film of the same name announced on Image’s website, Buccellato is looking to diversify the Sons of the Devil experience. Along the way Comics Beat checked in with his DC work, as Buccellato is also the writer on Detective Comics with Francis Manapul which is welcoming Anarky to the cast of villains.
We’re talking Sons of the Devil. I know you Kickstarted the comic at first, but why then decide to take the big leap and bring the comic to Image?
“There is a whole world of entertainment out there and Image allows creators to flex those muscles.”
Kickstarter was a way to get the one-shot and the film going, and to be honest, the film cost me more than the Kickstarter. It was a head start, and really got me the chance to make Sons of the Devil a reality. I always wanted it to be an ongoing series, but the sad reality of it is that unless you are with Image, it’s hard to do it on your own. I tried that with Foster years ago, and it was very difficult to sustain. Luckily my buddy Kyle Higgins showed pages to Eric and that got me in the door. Once that opportunity presented itself it was just a no-brainer. Image is the top of the game. They treat you well, and it’s the best way to survive with a series.
Could you give us a quick elevator pitch for the comic?
Sons of the Devil follows an adult orphan who’s a blue collar worker living in Venice. He’s having some abandonment issues. He grew up in foster care, and he’s had a rough life. He’s a good guy who doesn’t know who his parent’s are. He figures out his dad was a murderous cult leader.
Is there a definitive launch date for the title?
I don’t have it yet, but it’s going to be early summer. Toni is already done on the first issue, and we are inking the second issue. It’s completely penciled. The earliest would probably be May. It will more than likely probably be shipping in July.
How did you meet Toni Infante?
I found him. I was looking for just the right artist when Sons of the Devil was just a concept. I was like “I can’t do this book unless I have the right artist.” I was looking online, I was scouring and tweeting. Marie Javins, who is an editor at DC now, had suggested I check out Behance which is like an international website portfolio. I was scrolling through, looking at all the artists, and I looked at a European comic he did. He has no experience with American comics at all. I cold emailed him and told him, “I would love to work with you” and he said “Yeah, sure.” What do you need to make this happen? We talked about it and he was onboard.
How does the short film correlate with some of the work in the comic?
It’s the same story told from a different perspective. They are different mediums. The short film is geared towards being a digital series. If you actually lined up the order of the events, the short film would probably be issue three with the comic. I started earlier with the story in the comic. Oddly enough, because of casting and just how things worked out, the character in the short is older. Travis is 30 in the film, but in the comic he’s 25. So I think there’s gonna be some differences just because it’s also in a different medium. We are going to focus on different aspects of it. Each one enriches the other without overlap.
Should fans watch the Sons of the Devil short or read the comic first?
That is a good question. I would read issue one and then watch the short. The short is going be available before the comic, but I would rather people watch the film. Hopefully it will drive them to read the comic. There is only one scene that overlaps in the two.
How exactly do you balance your output with DC and your own creator-owned work?
That’s always a funny question. Deadlines are deadlines in publishing. There’s a date the book’s got to come out, and you know that you have to get it done by then. All your planning goes around when that book’s gotta come out. To me, I’d rather sit down and write a whole issue of something than just write five pages of something and then jump to detective or jump to Injustice. You know what your responsibilities are, you want to make it happen, you want to work hard, because you want the stuff to come out, so you just do it.
That’s a great mantra for artists to abide by.
Yeah, you know I know Nike says “just do it” but writers should say “just do it” too.
Can you tease anything about the return of Anarky in Detective Comics?
What can we tease? It’s more of our origin of Anarchy. All is not as it seems. I think the reveal of who Anarky is, is gonna shock some people. I want them to chill, and read the whole arc before they get mad at us.
That’s not going to happen on the Internet!
Just read all the issues before you decide that we suck. The Anarky story is truly about what would you do if you had the chance to start over? That’s something that Bruce considers and I think that will play out throughout Detective.
Is there anything else you would like to say about joining the stable of Image creators on stage today?
I am really just honored. Everyone knows that Image is the prestige, the respect. It’s the place people go for creator-owned material. You saw all the artwork. I was in awe of all the new books. Of course, they showed all the books from last year and all these covers. I thought wow, there’s just so much great stuff. I love Marvel and DC comics, I love the Big Two stuff, but this is something different. I think they both can succeed. I don’t think the Big Two is the enemy or Image is the upstart. There is a whole world of entertainment out there and Image allows creators to flex those muscles.
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