I try to take some chances on New Comic Book Day so I can continue to find new creators and new projects. A few weeks ago I picked up The Quiet Kind, instantly attracted to Jeremy Treece‘s expressive art and fascinated that Dark Horse published a one-shot, which historically struggle in the Direct Market. I really enjoyed what I read and, seeing there’s clearly more to tell, reached out to its writer. I was happy Chuck Brown agreed to an interview about the book and his career in comics thus far.
Can you describe your path as a comic book creator? How did you break into the industry?
I started out just creating my own comic book characters as a kid. I would give them names, origins, purposes, etc., but never considered myself a writer. I never imagined I could do it. It wasn’t until I went to college that I started writing and joined a community of creators. We self-published and I learned a lot and make a ton of mistakes. I decided that I wanted to do this for a living and focused on creating quality work and working with amazing creators. I broke in by doing the work and making a lot of sacrifices.
When did you meet David Walker?
I first heard of David when he was working on Shaft at Dynamite. I didn’t meet him until he started working on Power and Iron Fist.
What’s your co-writing process like with David?
Our process varies. I recently wrote the outline and beats for the second arc of Bitter Root. David will add to it and write another outline that I’ll take a look at. Then David will either write the script with some dialogue and I’ll fill in the rest, or he’ll write half the script and I’ll work on the other half. All the while we’re having quick chats on the phone or exchanging emails.
How does the process vary on a creator-owned versus licensed book?
On creator-owned project I get to work directly with the artists. I see all stages of the process and can be heavily involved. There are a lot more risks and you don’t always have an editor at your disposal. When writing with a comic book company you might have little to no contact with the artist. On the other hand, though, you have the support of a large organization and you know you’ll be paid for your work.
Perhaps your best known work is Bitter Root, which is co-written. Has that made establishing yourself as a solo writer more of a challenge?
Sometimes it can be a challenge. At times, the writing on Bitter Root got praise and only David was mentioned. David was always there to let the world know that the idea started with me and that I was an important part of the team.
I made sure to take advantage of all of the opportunities Bitter Root has provided. Projects like The Quiet Kind have helped people get a better sense of my writing.
How did you first connect with Dark Horse?
Back in 2012, Sanford Greene and I were both part of the Dark Horse Presents relaunch. Since then I’ve had a great working relationship with Mike Richardson and Phil Simon. They’re great guys and always willing to listen to my crazy ideas.
What was the pitch process like for The Quiet Kind?
The Quiet Kind was originally developed for Dark Horse Presents. It was going to be a 6 part story consisting of 8 pages each. Dark Horse Presents was cancelled before all the art was completed and the book sat on the shelf for a long time. When I reached out to inquire about the publishing rights Dark Horse offered to collect the story into a one-shot.
There’s clearly more story to tell. Do you see The Quiet Kind continuing in some form?
The short answer is yes. Solomon has only begun his journey. He still has a ton of mistakes left to make before he can reach his true potential. He’s been through a lot that I haven’t even shown readers yet. There’s a lot more story I want to tell. This is a very weird world with even stranger characters that need to be expanded o beyond those 48 pages.
Have you and Dark Horse discussed making more The Quiet Kind comics?
Dark Horse and I have talked about a mini-series but it’s still too early for either of us to decide if we want to move forward.
Following the success of Bitter Root and the release of The Quiet Kind, where do you go from here?
Thanks to Legendary Pictures’s optioning of Bitter Root, transitioning to writing full-time is a strong possibility. For now, my primary focus is to just keep doing what I love and hope that success will follow.
Follow Chuck on Twitter @Cbrown803 and check out The Quiet Kind, now on sale from Dark Horse.
Matt Chats is an interview series featuring discussions with a creator or player in comics, diving deep into industry, process, and creative topics. Find its author, Matt O’Keefe, on Twitter and Tumblr. Email him with questions, comments, complaints, or whatever else is on your mind at [email protected].