Over the course of the next couple of weeks I will be interviewing various entertainment professionals that I have had the pleasure of interacting with personally that have shown a certain dedication to their craft, as well as a desire to not only be successful in whatever particular field that their expertise is in but also a deep desire to become a key component in that particular industry and community.
So starting us off this week is Anthony Ball, comic book writer and creator of
Tell me a little about yourself and what got you into working for the comic book industry?
I’m old school, man. Chicago born and bred. I grew up on the south side of Chicago and lost my pops when I was ten. I owe my literacy to a few good teachers, but mostly to my moms. Everyday, I had to read for an hr, didnt matter what, and I had to show that I understood what I read before I could go out and play. I read everything from mythology books, World Book Encyclopedia to Safari Cards (quick, ten bucks to anyone under 35 who can tell me what those were!) but my main love, the stuff that kept my attention and fueled my imagination were comic books. I started reading them in third grade and have been in love with them ever since.
Between then and now, I did the whole high school to college to work thing. Somewhere, in the middle of it all, I stopped reading. I had gotten disgusted with the whole way the whole industry was going around the time Image really started taking off. A super expensive variant cover here, a super expensive variant cover there, incentive books, glow in the dark covers, pop ups…it had simply became gimmicks over making good, readable stories and I had had enough.
Long story short, a few yrs later, a friend of mine gave me a copy of The Great Darkness Saga (look it up, kids!) deluxe trade and that damn book just lit a fire under me, made me throw myself right back into collecting, and all was right with the world once again…or so I thought.
HATING my job, comics were the only release I had, but suddenly the stories stopped being consistently good, stopped being entertaining from month to month. Well that was more than a little nerve racking, so one night I just decided to sit at my keyboard and just write a story that went in the direction I wanted to see, ended the way I wanted it to end. That one story led to another, and another, and another until the strangest thing happened, I started getting good. I came up with a few good concepts and then I decided “why not?” If I could write original concepts, intriguing characters and an entertaining stories, “why the hell not?” Why not try to do it, no WHY NOT do it? Why not do for a living what I’ve loved since I was a child? And thus, you have my origin story (albeit, condensed).
I’ll get back to you with the second act this summer.
What projects are you working on right now?
Currently, I’m on the steering committee of the WonderFunders ( you can look us up on FB or www.wonderfunders.com).
I am also the founder of Single Malt Comics, and we’re in the process of submitting two books for publication – Disco Frankenstein and The Anointed. Disco Frankenstein is a tribute to the old Universal monster flicks of the 40s and the Blaxploitation flicks of the 70’s. It’s what you’d get if Frankenstein’s monster was Shaft. The Anointed is my protest to the glammed out vampires we’re seeing today. It the classic love story of boy meets girl, boy finds out that mother was an angel and daddy was a vampire, girl gets turned into vamp, boy freaks out and kills his undead father and then sets out to save his mother’s trapped soul. See? Just like Pretty in Pink.
I have a few more projects under my belt but I have to keep them quiet until the summer.
What do you think you personally bring to industry as a person?
Common sense and some honesty. I swear, some of the thing you hear and see along the way will make you scratch your head and make you wonder if its really worth it. Seriously, you can gain the world with some common sense, a little consideration, a honest word, a kind ear, and and open mind. Remember that.
What do you think you bring to the industry as a writer?
Some wild ass ideas! Not to bang my own drum, but I have some really new and exciting ideas that I just want to get out to comic fans everywhere.
If the sky was the limit what would you like to accomplish?
To get published and open the floodgates for some of my friends (some of the most talented creators you will ever see), to see WonderFunders grow and to get the indie community into a true community. Network, support, collaborate, resource and community. Thats my motto. Oh, throw in a motion picture or cartoon, a few Hollywood starlets and a E True Hollywood story and you get the idea.
What comic book professional would you still like to get autograph from?
I would have to agree she’s on my list too as far as comic book writers.
What comic book professional would like an opportunity to work with.
That s such a loaded quest. I’ll try to limit it to about five or so. The aforementioned mentioned Gail Simone, Geoff Johns, Joss Whedon, Reggie Hundlin and Tony Daniels. For starters.