Hey everyone, my newest interview is a blast. I got to speak with David Lucarelli, you might’ve heard of his work like Tinseltown, The Children’s Vampire Hunting Brigade, and many more.
David Lucarelli is a writer, musician, and sound engineer. He lives in Hollywood with his wife, son, and cat.
Q 1) When did you know that you wanted to become a comic book writer?
A) I’ve loved comics my whole life. I’ve always been a writer, but when I became a father, suddenly the idea of achieving what I was trying to do in getting my band signed and going on tour for long periods away from my wife and son looked a lot less appealing, so I began to explore other creative avenues, and I knew I didn’t want to die without having written some comics.
Q 2) I’ve read your work and it’s amazing, especially Tinseltown, how did you come up with the story?
A) My mother was a police officer for over 20 years, and it was difficult to be a woman officer in the 1980’s. I started to look at what it was like for some of the very first female police officers. I came across the historical fact the in 1915 Universal Studios had a female mayor, police chief, and female police officers. They functioned as across between lot security guards and actors meant to assist and amuse the tourists. The powers that be were not above exploiting them marching them in short skirts in parades. Interestingly enough, in doing research for Losing the Light I recently found out Universal wasn’t the only studio at that time to feature female pseudo police officers.
Q 3) Can you go into details about Tinseltown’s sequel series by any chance?
A) Losing the Light is a darker tale. The Great War that is engulfing all of Europe is beginning to cast its shadow over America, including Hollywood. There have been a series of mysterious accidents on the lot, and Abby is trying to get to the bottom of it.
Q 4) Between the first five issue Tinseltown and the sequel how many years or months have passed since we last saw Abigail in the series
A) Losing the Light takes place after Abby has recovered from the injuries she sustained at the end of the first story. There isalso a connecting story in It Came Out On a Wednesday #11 called “Pin Boy,” that introduces a new character and bridges the gap between the first series and Losing the Light.
Q 5) In the end of the director’s cut for Tinseltown we had Abigail as an old woman speaking about how Dan died will we see that eventually play out in the comic series?
A) That is eventually what happens to them. There is a school of thought that you don’t ever want to do what I did in providing that wrap around sequence, because then the reader knows that, say, Abby isn’t going to die in the story. I obviously don’t subscribe to that school. If I’m reading a Sherlock Holmes story that is narrated by Watson, there is a part of me that knows, if he is narrating the story, short of some narrative trickery, he’s not going to die in the course of it. If I’m reading Batman, I know that Batman is not going to die. However, I don’t find that knowing that gives me any less enjoyment of the story. The reader isn’t thinking, “Is Batman going to really die?” They are thinking, “How is he possibly going to get out of this one?”
Q 6) Are there any other comic series that you are hoping to work on after your done with Tinseltown comic series?
A) Tinseltown artist Henry Ponciano and I have a story coming out in a Cthulhu anthology called “The Old Gods Ain’t What They Used to Be,” from Wannabe Press. I have another humorous horror short about a werewolf that will be coming out from Scary Tales Publishing. There are some other, bigger projects I’d like to explore, but for right now I’m happy to keep telling tales from Tinseltown.
Q 7) In Tinseltown you wrote a page that was a letter to the fans telling them about your mother and how she was a police officer and your character has the same badge number as your mother did. How much of Abigail is based around your mother?
A) Tinseltown is a tribute to my mother. She died before it was done, but I did get to share with her a very rough draft of the script before she passed away. It’s not so much that Abby is my mother personality-wise, although they do have some things in common. They’re both good cops!
Q 8) Not meaning to get off topic but I recently read The Children’s Vampire Hunting Brigade, and it was awesome. How did you come up with that story?
A) That was my first foray into comics and my first time working with Tinseltown artist Henry Ponciano. I went down the rabbit hole of the internet one night and found the Gorbals Vampire Incident. In the 1950’s in Scotland hundreds of school kids went into the Southern Necropolis cemetery looking for a vampire. The youngest one was just four years old. I thought, what would make a child that young take a steak knife into a graveyard looking for a vampire? Perhaps he has a baby sister he’s trying to protect? Then I thought, what if some of these kids found what they were looking for? There are three graphic novels in the series. The third one we did after the first Tinseltown series. You can get all three at the abacabstudios store on etsy.
Q 9) Back on topic, do you think your character Abigail could inspire the younger generation or all generations of women in the matter to try to live out their dreams?
A) If Tinseltown inspires anyone male or female, that’s fantastic. It would be a dream come true if a female police officer were to come up to me at some point in the future and tell me that Tinseltown had played a role in her choosing to become a police officer. You know, my mother grew up reading Nancy Drew and other mysteries. So when the time came for her to choose a career, the fiction she read as a child definitely had an impact.
Q 10) I know your a busy guy this will be the last question, is there any advice you could give to anyone wanting to get into the industry for writing comics?
A) I would say, you should just start doing it. You can read books and articles about how to write comics and there is a lot of useful information out there, but comics is ultimately something you learn by doing. Every story, every scene, every panel is going to present a unique series of challenges and problems to solve. If you are a writer, find an artist. The incredible creative synergy that exists between an artist and writer when they are working well together is the most exciting and creatively satisfying thing about working in the medium. As far as finding a publisher, if you are just starting out, it helps to have a completed product in hand. There is a truism in Hollywood that nobody knows you can do anything until you’ve done it. The good news is that the industry doesn’t look down on creators that start by self-publishing. It’s actually seen as initiative. Throw your stuff online. Print 50 copies and buy a table in artist’s alley or small press at a local con, when they start having cons again. It’s scary. The in-your-face raw capitalism of it can be intimidating, but at a certain point you have to run it up the flagpole and see who salutes. Chances are, if its something you are passionate about, there are other people out there who will relate to it as well.
I want to thank you again for giving me the opportunity to do this interview I truly enjoyed it and again it’s an honor being able to do this.
P.S. Get issues 1 & 2 of The Children’s Vampire Hunting Brigade for FREE by clicking HERE.