Ben Templesmith talks THE SQUIDDER
If you are familiar with comic books than you have heard of Ben Templesmith. Ben Templesmith is bringing us his own original graphic novel The Squidder via Kickstarter and 44Flood. He has already surpassed his goal of $18,000. The Kickstarter campaign is already at $97,000 with ONLY 10 days left. Yes there is a ton of projects out on Kickstarter but 44Flood always delivers with some awesome prizes for everyone who pledges. Not only can you get a 144 page graphic novel, you can get prints, t-shirts and more. This is high quality of work straight from the creator, it doesn’t get much better than this! So if you haven’t backed this project yet there is still some time to. Ben was nice enough to sit down for a quick interview about The Squidder. Check it out below!!!
Interview with Ben Templesmith:
CB- How did THE SQUIDDER come about and how long have you been working on this project?
BT- THE SQUIDDER has slowly been congealing in my mind for the last several years at least. On subways, in airports, on planes… I’ve been taking notes and jotting down sequences and little world building things. What was lacking was an overall narrative, something that started to bind if all together, and that came a little more recently as I really sat down and decided doing a new project, all completely by me, was the direction I had to take. I figured it was time I did an honest to squid, tentacle themed sort of book, since I talk about that sort of thing so much.
CB- Is THE SQUIDDER an ongoing story? Do you plan on more volumes?
BT- It’s certainly not an ongoing story in the sense of endless episodic superhero comic issues where no one dies and the status quo is always preserved so a company can keep churning out “new” old stories to keep the numbers coming in. I want something I can finish but maybe go back for more later if something suits it. If there’s more story to tell, it could take place 100 years, or 1000 years in the future… or be stories coming from the past, in what the lead up was to the “great squid war” or indeed a collection of stories during the war. There’s so much I could do… and would actually like to, if the book is received well. But it may not even involve the current main “squidded” character himself or those around him, just the “Squid World” perhaps.
CB- Why did you go the Kickstarter route?
BT- Well, crowd funding is the most natural and empowering way to do a project. In a way we’re going directly to the consumer. No middle men. We get to find out if it’s a viable commercial proposition on our own terms… maybe later a regular publisher can do THE SQUIDDER but as 44FLOOD we can create and put out a deluxe format boutique print run for those early adopters and those willing to help fund me actually doing the book *my way*. It’s an incredible feeling of independence and means we don’t have to give the rights away to intellectual property merely because someone else is fronting the printing costs or advancing me money to pay my rent while I complete the book. It’s really changing the dynamic between creators and publishers I think, if we’re smart about things. All we asked for was the basic cost of printing THE SQUIDDER. After that, it’s a basic pre-order system, where I need enough people to buy the book so I can afford to live as I do it. And that’s been amazing to have happen. So amazing we can do things the regular commercial world won’t do. Who ever heard, outside of Kickstarter, of a publisher increasing the size of their books by 33% just because it sold better than they expected? That’s the beauty of Kickstarter. The backers are on a journey with us. I cannot thank those that contribute enough. Except give them a beautiful book at the end, on top of a few extras!
CB- What do you love most about creating your own comic book?
BT- Well, when I do things myself, obviously I’m in charge… it’s both liberating and daunting. But I can write and create in a much more organic way than trying to interpret someone else’s script. And there’s basically *no* script, with the way I write, when I do my own thing. Just dialogue and “scenes” I see in my head that I then do layouts for directly, breaking down the storytelling before I finally draw out the real thing. I didn’t get into comics overall to work on *other people’s* things per se. I always wanted to tell stories my way, with my own sensibilities. Working with others is fun but it’s just not the same as shaping an entire project yourself.
CB- Do you have any other creator owned comic book projects in the works?
BT- Well uh, I’ll be knee deep in THE SQUIDDER for a few months and I’d like to focus on that before I worry about what’s next. Suffice to say I’d like to keep doing my own books now, instead of working on other people’s IP. I just don’t have the drive or inclination for that anymore, outside of some fun short little things perhaps. It’s time to craft my own voice again.
CB- If you could pick one character in comics to be, who would that be?
BT- Probably that guy in the background on panel 5, page 3 of THE INCREDIBLE HULK #345. You know the one.
CHECK out The Squidder on Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/44flood/the-squidder