I first started following Joey Esposito a little more than a year and a half ago while he was reviewing comics for a company on the east coast and doing a podcast I really enjoyed. Through a fanship of Scott Snyder and a contest he was running, I got connected with Joey via email and Twitter. He is a big shot now, living on the West Coast, working for a larger company and authoring the fantastic book, Footprints, but his star is only starting to rise. Here is a little more about this up-and-coming writer.
So when did you fall in love with comics?
There was really no time in my life without comics. My mom has been collecting comics since the golden age run of DC Comics, Superman, Batman. Unfortunately my grandfather got rid of all her old comics or we would probably have a fairly valuable collection now. But I have just always been around them. As far back as I can remember, I have memories of going down to the comic shop with my mom and dad.
When did you decide that writing comics was something you wanted to do?
I have always been writing. As a kid I did a lot of writing and attempting to draw comics. Later, while I was attending college for film, I was fortunate enough to take some classes about comics. They really helped me to understand the depth to comics and the opportunities with them. I was studying film school, but there is so much more that you can do with comics. The feasibility of some of the stories, like Footprints, in film is limited, but in comics they you can do a lot more.
In my review of Footprints, I imagine the idea for the book being reminiscent of something a couple of friends would come up with while hanging out one night. How did the idea for cryptid noir come about?
Actually that is not far off from how the original idea came up. A friend of mine and I were driving in the northeast and talking about Bigfoot and the Mothman, whom we were both fans of, when we came up with this idea of seeing Bigfoot. What if he ran out and we hit him, and then we had the first confirmed specimen, we would be rich. But we came up with this whole little idea, but that’s all it was. Then about a year and a half ago or so, I was talking to the same friend and it came up. The idea progressed, well what if we did not tell anyone and then there was this Bigfoot death, and what if his cryptid friends came out to investigate it. So that progressed into Footprints.
So then this became noir. Where did that idea come from, have you always been a fan of the genre?
Yeah I have always been a fan of noir films, the characters and really the character types. As I was writing Footprints, I was making parallels of the cryptids and classic noir characters. Mothman as the femme fatale, Bigfoot as the detective, and really all the characters, tying those stereotypes to the cryptid mythology.
We know that the first arc, ICED, is four issues and have been picked up by 215ink after a successful Kickstarter campaign. Are there plans for more? Was ICED always intended to be four issues and a complete thought?
We always knew Iced would be four issues and intended to do it as such from the beginning. We were lucky to have the Kickstarter support to finance the project, and then to be picked up by 215ink. We have ideas for more, but it is difficult to say where things will go. Unfortunately writing comics can be a time consuming endeavor for very little income, and Jonathan (Moore, artist) has other obligations, like a family and regular job. But you will see as the story ends that there is definitely potential for more.
How are sales going?
It is difficult when you’re an independent comic creation. So much of the market is dominated by the big two. Unfortunately we were not picked up for regular distribution by Diamond, the major company who distributes to the comics shops. So right now really people can only get the comics through 215inks site or the iPad app. We were recently picked up by a smaller indy distributor so that may help, and we were picked up by Diamond for the trade, and hopefully that will also bring in some sales.
So we just got issue two, where are you and Jonathan in the process?
I am actually done, and Jonathan is working on the art for issues 3 and 4 as we speak. Just last night I got the cover for issue 3 and it is fantastic. I mean there are always little tweaks and things that will have to be made for the story, but I have started to focus on our next project which will be a graphic novel for next year.
So what is your next project?
Well we are not saying too much about it, but we just released the first image a few days ago. This is something that is a complete 180 from Footprints and is a story that is much more personal. It also give Jonathan, who is just a classical artist accomplished at so many things, an opportunity to do something different. For me this new project is a bigger challenge doing something so different than the fun of giant sharks and Bigfoot. This book will be more closely to the reality of true life. That real life can be so dramatic is what we are trying to capture.
Sounds terrific. So I know we have seen you and Footprints at a few conventions already, but where else will we find you?
Next weekend, Oct. 29 and 30, you will be able to find me at the Long Beach Comic Con in Artist’s Alley booth 1312A. Then the following weekend, Nov. 5 and 6, we will be at Comikaze expo table 41. And you can always check out my calendar at my site. And we will have printed issues of both issues one and two with us so it will be a real treat for anyone coming out.
I want to thank Joey Esposito for being my first interviewee. As I have said before, one of my favorite things about comic books is the sense of community. And in this day and age when the everyday fan and the creator at every level and have such extensive interaction, it can only bode well for keeping the genre alive. I am not by nature a social creature nor a networking guru, but here in our Comic Booked world, I have found relationships to build on. I also want to remind all of us out there to remember that no matter how much a fan you are of the big guys on the block, everyone starts somewhere. You never know when the next Mark Millar or Grant Morrison is waiting for you to discover them in a black and white title you’ve never heard of sitting on the counter. Take nothing for granted, give everything a try, and pick up a small book from time to time. And always make sure to follow us here for you inside scoop on all things comic.