Rapid Eye Interview with Luke Stone of Tenacious Comics
Recently, Ian Yarington was able to review Rapid Eye, a comic from Tenacious Comics that is written by Bobby Torres. I was lucky enough to interview Luke Stone, who releases a number of titles from Rapid Eye to Worst Day Ever under his brand, Tenacious Comics.
Brian Barr: Are you one of the original creators of Tenacious Comics, and if not, when did you first get linked up with them and Bobby Torres? He seems like a great guy.
Luke Stone: Yes, Tenacious Comics is my brain child. The company came about after a year of planning. I had the book Worst Day Ever in production at the time and was looking to find a publisher for the title. Unfortunately, everyone that looked at the book at first glance thought it was the run of the mill zombie book and didn’t show interest. I really believed in the story that Westley Schomer had written for my concept and really wanted to make sure the story got told. From there, I went over several drafts of what a Creator Co-Op would like. I drew inspiration from my time in independent music and started by looking at some indie groups that we worked with how successful the power of the artist really was. After a long time developing the business model, I began seeking out artist who shared a similar tenacity. I had heard of Bobby through social media and was acquainted with his project Rapid Eye when he responded to a post we placed on ZWOL.ORG. From there, Bobby became a vital part of the team and hopefully we are writing history.
BB: Tell us about Rapid Eye. What’s the comic about?
Luke Stone: Rapid Eye is an amazing title! The team that Bobby has put together for this book is top notch. The story is a 5 issue mini-series that follows a CIA operative who has stumbled upon some information that could get him killed by his own agency. The twist is that the government has developed a way to jack into peoples dreams. At first glance, everyone wants to say it reminds them of “Inception”. I can understand that being that may be the only pop culture example of this kind of story telling people may know. If I were to describe the story so that the average person got an idea of what the books feel is, I would say it is Pulp Fiction meets Inception. It is a really smart story that gets you thinking. Bobby is an extremely talented writer that really has created a story with the potential to be way more than just a comic mini-series.
BB: What about your other comic projects, can you tell us about those as well?
Luke Stone: Of course! We have a lot of other titles in the works. The ones that are releasing this year are:
Augmented: This title is by Bill Stoddard and follows his main character Marcus Chambers. Marcus is an ex-MMA champ with a spotty past. He is given a second chance when a Fighter sponsor for the Augmented Fighting League approaches him and makes him an offer that he literally cannot refuse. We have a great team on that book. It is absolutely beautiful in it’s story telling and execution.
Worst Day Ever: This is the title that caused me to start TC. It is about a guy named Charlie who is unlucky in love, work, and life in general. Just imagine the worst day that you have ever had. Now add zombies. The threat of being eaten is not the main concern for Charlie in his world but it definitely a nuisance that must be dealt with.
Hybrids: The Sons of Gods: Another title that I have been working on for a very long time. This title dives into ancient texts for it’s inspiration. I have always been interested in angel lore and the story of the Nephilim. The idea is that the genetic code lost for thousands of years in the DNA of regular men and women is somehow awakened in it’s hosts. You can imagine the conflict this could create in an unstable culture.
Plus we have several titles in development like DOG. It is a story designed for kids. It is about a pound rescue named Rosco. A cute little pug puppy. We have a title called Saint in development as well that has a real dark and gritty story line. Alex Moya is working on his book Next Quest to release next year and Bobby Torres and I are working on a title called Atonement that we are both very excited about!
We are excited about our catalog so far and believe that our readers will only find that the work will get stronger.
BB: What is the collaboration process like with the other creators on your projects?
Luke Stone: We try to give each creator complete control of their creative teams. We do have a designated project editor that we recently added to the team. Jason Bennett helps make sure that each piece of work has a consistency in regards to quality. Besides that, we help each other in finding the right team members for the project and the budget. Besides this, we are currently working on a way to tie our individual worlds together in a shared TC universe. In all, the process is a really fun one. We talk about our stories, we help encourage and give critique to the work we do. It is a great group of guys to be part of.
BB: How long have you been writing comic books?
Luke Stone: Personally, I have not been officially writing long. I am primarily and artist and work closely with writers. I have had the pleasure of publishing a few titles. Most of that was part of a learning experience to better understand how the process works. I recently decided to write my own title. That is Hybrids. It is a story that I have been thinking on for a very long time and finally I am taking that step from artist to writer.
BB: Do you also write short stories, or novels?
Luke Stone: Most of my other writing is non-fiction commentaries. I have worked in ministry for many years and have produced work for that arena. I am finding new opportunities to work on comics and write more stories. I tend to just develop a concept and let real writers take on the scripts though.
BB: What is your favorite subject matter when it comes to writing stories?
Luke Stone: I prefer to write about the human condition. I like developing the characters. I feel it is important to connect with the individuals in the story. So no matter what I write, I try to focus on the things that connect us all like love, insecurity, family, internal struggles between the good in us and the bad in us. Those kinds of things.
BB: Who are your favorite comic book creators (writers or artists)?
Luke Stone: George Perez, Greg Capullo, Marc Silvestri
BB: Any plans for the future?
Luke Stone: Right now the future is Tenacious Comics. We are all working very hard to build that brand and draw attention to the titles we are putting out. The next coupe of years the plan is to get TC to be a recognizable name in INDIE comics.
BB: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Anything else you’d like to share with readers?
Luke Stone: Yes! We are going to have our titles shipping really soon. Right now our 4 flagship titles can be pre-ordered through our website. www.tenaciouscomics.com. We want to offer all of your readers a special discount. If they pop this code in, comicbooked1, they will get a 15% discount at checkout. Just a way to say thanks to all the fans out there!