Hello all, Mad Dashiell here and thanks so much for joining me! I have a special treat today as I am joined by both the writer and artist of The Space Odditorium.
She's spunky and spry and she almost always lands on her feet. She's Major Trauma, a survivor of the Stowan invasion of Earth in 1994 and she's a favorite contestant on the deadly reality game show, The Space Odditorium. But what happens when you raise a girl isolated in space and exposed to reruns? Find out for yourselves in The Space Odditorium, a new space opera comic adventure.
Quantity is limited so order your copy today!
The Space Odditorium can also be found online in digital comics format through - Comics by comiXology
Mad Dashiell- Here we have Chris Calzia, the writer of The Space Odditorium. So Chris, how did you get your start in creating comics?
Chris Calzia- I wrote a single story in a minicomic with Dave called The Misadventures of the Smalltime Drug Peddler. Then Dave and I went separate paths for a long while, and during that time I wrote screenplays until we reconnected and started The Space Odditorium.
MD- The Space Odditorium is one of the wildest weirdest comics I have read in a while. It was a real breath of fresh air. That said, how did you come up with the idea?
CC- Dave and I set out to create something wild, weird, and off-the-wall. I feel that current comics are modeled too much after the entertainment industry (Tv & movies) and we wanted to create a COMIC BOOK. Include an ongoing story, but an oddball story that can only be done in a comic book. The original story started as a girl and a robot in a dystopian world (maybe Dave will provide you with the original concept art if you ask nicely) and gradually turned into The Space Odditorium.
MD- Without getting spoilery- What sold me while I was listening to a podcast of Talking Comics was the way they described the how the character was forced to watch episodes on repeat of Full House and these incarnations of alien holographic alien versions of characters from that show appear. It sounded so weird and well for lack of a better word, illegal. I had to check it out ASAP. After I read it I realized you guys changed the perfect amount to cover yourselves, but I have to ask. In hopes of not sounding redundant, how did the entire chain of an idea to have alien holograms of Full House characters come into being?
CC- We originally threw caution to the wind and used the Full House characters and names. But then we got scared and changed the names, but kept the likeness of the characters. It's all part of the alternative-independent-finger-in-your-face comic book way of creating (only partially though) similar to MAD magazine or Tank Girl. William Burroughs is one of my favorite characters and one of my favorite authors. His counterculture theories are in direct opposition to a sitcom family's way of life and we'll witness more of that conflict and drama as the story progresses. So stay tuned!
MD- Do you have an end-game in mind?
CC- Haha! That's a funny question because Dave asks me the same thing and the truth is I don't have an endgame in mind. The Space Odditorium has been and still is a new writing adventure for me. I come from writing screenplays, where typically your whole story is plotted before you begin writing, but I didn't do that with the SO. We're making this up as we go along. I'm as curious to see where, how, and if it ever ends.
MD- I love it, total freedom. Can you tell us maybe what 5 of your favorite or most influential comics are?
CC- We love this question because then Dave and I can recommend other great comics to readers! My influences change with everything that I write and the genre. I have mystery/crime influences, martial arts influences, and science fiction/fantasy influences. All influences come from books, music, and comics. If I had to narrow it down to five my comic book influences for The Space Odditorium are Morrison's New X-men, Claremont's Uncanny X-men & New Mutants, Ellis' Transmetropolitan, Milligan's X-statix, and Martin & Hewlett's Tank Girl.
MD- Do you have any other work on the horizon you would like to let us know about?
CC- I have a fantasy webseries that I wrote and produced called Tales of Synthina. It's an entirely different tone and departure from The Space Odditorium. We're gearing up to do another two episodes to be released in 2019, but you can stream our previous episodes on Vimeo on Demand.
Watch Tales of Synthina Online | Vimeo On Demand -An online miniseries following the adventures of a wandering female magician set in a world of sword & sorcery -vimeo.com
I've also got a martial arts screenplay that I wrote many years ago that has finally grown legs and is gaining momentum. It's exciting, but the world of feature film writing/producing is an unpredictable one (one day your up and the next day your down). We'll see what happens.
The Space Odditorium is the only sure thing/project I currently have going. I'm lucky to have Dave as an artist. He's incredibly talented and we share similar interests. We're excited to see where it leads us!
MD- Wow, anything you can leak about the martial arts screenplay?
CC- It'll be a throwback to the Shaw Bros and the 70's martial arts films; violent, quirky, and dramatic. Cross your fingers and let's hope that it gets the greenlight one of these days.
MD- Well, thanks again for your time is there anything else in closing you would like to let the readers of AICN know in closing?
CC- I don't think so. We covered a lot of information. Thanks for the inquiry and interest Dashiell. I look forward to the article.
MD- Best of luck to you!
Mad Dashiell: I also have with me here today Dave Law, the illustrator for The Space Odditorium. So I would like to know your comic-book creator origin story. What can you tell us about that?
Dave Law- Definitely was the Uncanny X-Men. My cousins were cool enough to hook me up with a run drawn by Jim Lee when I was just a kid. It blew me away and started my first love for comics, especially superhero books. That faded away a little in high school and it wasn't until I discovered Shade the Changing Man that I had a reawakening with comics and what they could achieve. It was so weird and different. I don't think I ever got over the psychedelic elements that Bachalo did in those books. So cool. After some strong encouragement from James at Isotope Comics, I started drawing mini-comics. I knew I was hooked from there on.
MD- Yeah those Jim Lee Xmens blew my mind as well back in the day and Shade the Changing Man is some good stuff, I can see some of that influence from the explosive madness of Shade in your work now that you mention it. At times it reminds me of the influence of trippy old rock & roll posters as well. So how did you link up doing this crazy comic with Chris Calzia?
DL- We met in high school and played together in a hardcore screamo band in college. That’s when we started hitting up the local comic shop during breaks from band practice. He asked to write an issue of a mini-comic I was doing at the time, and that’s how it started.
MD- Cool, alright so current, old, most influential, it doesn't matter, call it a comic handshake so to speak. Can you tell us what 5 of your favorite comics are?
DL- Well, the X-Men for sure, especially Jim Lee's run as well as the more current Chris Bachalo run. Both books have been extremely influential at very different parts of life. I studied both the artists' styles very closely, and consider them masters of the art. Shade the Changing Man. Both the art and stories changed my mind about the type of comics I wanted to create.
The Watchmen. Alan Moore's storytelling is a work of art at the highest level. It's also my favorite example of a story where the comic medium is the perfect voice. Tank Girl, because it's the perfect book. Sin City, also because it's perfection.
MD- Are there any current comic titles you follow from other peoples work currently?
DL- I've been mostly reading old stuff these days. I'm really only currently reading Bitch Planet, Dr. Strange, Black Science, and Heavy Metal.
MD- Nice, I do laps in old comics, you can never read too much Dr. Strange or Heavy metal. Another thing I wanted to mention was the movement of your main protagonist- Major Trauma character in the comic. She's always exploding off the page. It really comes to life and I even see reviewers talking about putting on some music and reading your comic. The flow is perfect. What can you tell us about your creative process?
DL- Thanks so much! I think about all the tiny elements that go into comics A LOT and it's good to hear it translates well to the reader. My overarching philosophy has always been to make every page as awesome as I can, from fighting robots to watching tv, I look for ways to make a page stand out. Usually, a panel or sequence will stand out to me when reading a script for a page, I make sure to get that as good as I can, then just build off of it. It's funny that you mention music, cause I'm basically listening to music all the time. It's the only thing that lets me focus. That being said I try and match up what I'm working on with what I listen to, and I'd like to think a little of that bleeds into the art. So I guess I can see how it The Space Odditorium would go well paired with some Kid Cudi!
MD- Awesome, thanks for taking your time talking with us, is there anything you would like to say to the readers in closing?
DL- Thanks to all who have bought our book, and to all the people who read and appreciate indie comics and thanks to you Dashiell, I enjoyed your questions.
Mad Dashiell here again, Dave also shared some exclusive early concept artwork for The Space Odditorium here-
Space For Rant- If you are tired of run of the mill hero comics or just plain looking for something fresh to read check this comic out as soon as possible. It's off the wall, hilarious, and full of steady surprises while still seeming to playfully pay some homage to a backwards version of Battle Angel Alita trapped in rerun hell. There was a moment in the 5 part collection when my jaw dropped as hard and fast as a Tex Avery wolf cartoon that is losing his mind over some amazing spectacle and I did my best to keep it under wraps to surprise you, the readers. This comic is a hoot that will melt your brain. That is the fun that is this comic, its brilliant, it's irreverent, and it is a wild ride you will be glad you strapped in for so do yourself a favor now and set your controls for blast off to The Space Odditorium!
-Mad Dashiell signing off.