David Birchham's LawA column article, Comics Bulletin Soapbox by: James Redington
Welcome to an exclusive interview with half of the creative team behind the excellent Brodie’s Law, David Birchham.
What’s Brodie’s Law I hear you say? Where have you been for the last year? Well, I won’t waste any time explaining it to you, instead I will let David have that honor.
James Redington: Ok… can you tell me a little bit about the both of you? Who are you and what is your background? How did you get into comics?
David Bircham: The creators of Brodie’s Law are David Bircham and Daley Osiyemi. We started our company Pulp Theatre Entertainment over three and a half years ago which started out as a new media company, but we realised that our passion was for comics. Back then, Daley was working as a graphic designer, and I was drawing concept art for Hasbro. We met at a friend’s house and didn’t really get together straight away. It took some time before we realised what we wanted to do, but when we decided we went for it 100%. Getting involved in comics was due to our love of the media and because we wanted to capitalise on our talent to create a hot property, something that could be licensed for products outside comics.
JR: What is Brodie’s Law? Why should comic book readers pick up Brodie’s Law?
DB: The reason why comic readers should pick up Brodie’s Law is because in many ways you have asked for it. In subtle ways you have wanted the comics industry to produce something new and exciting, and that’s what we’ve done. We love comics, and what we produce comes from a passion to create, I guarantee if you pick up the first book you’ll pick up the second, and the third etc...
JR: You are releasing a TPB this August. Can you provide any details? Are you planning anything special with the TPB?
DB: I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to artwork, so for the trade of Brodie’s Law, I had to revisit the entire lot, well… most. I had serious issues with issues three, four and six; the panels were too dark and sometimes not enough detail. We brought in the one and only Simon Bisley to do the cover and the introduction from a very famous Hollywood director, who is a big fan of the comic. Plus, I am working on a limited series of posters for conventions, and I want to add one or two in the trade.
JR: How did you come up with the idea?
DB: I was working on an idea called ‘Doughface’ which had some semblance to Brodie’s Law. Later on, I scrapped that, and Daley came up with Brodie’s Law. We then fleshed out the idea, and it just worked for us. We weren’t trying to be different, but we thought that the idea had something very unique about it. The rest I think you know: we brought it out and people like it.
JR: You have plans for a sequel… any hints?
DB: The sequel will be great, and I’ll tell you why…
Part of it will take place in Japan, and we begin to find out who is really behind the formula and why they kept Jack Brodie alive. We also learn more about what is becoming of Jack and how he tries to find some new answers in dealing with his power. We intend to complete the first three issues before we solicit the second series. Then complete the next three. This will allow us time to get everything the way we want it. As for the second series, we're still formulating, plus we want you all to savour the suspense…
JR: How was it working with Alan Grant? How did you approach him? Sell the idea to him?
We didn’t sell the idea to him. Alan had known me from my first year at 2000AD back in the early 90’s. When we told Alan about our plans to launch Brodie’s Law, and he saw the artwork, he was game on. Obviously it was a contract based relationship; we paid him for his service, and it was more than worth it. Having Alan’s scripting prowess at the head of our story worked seamlessly; all three of us like it dark and sinister.
JR: Why self-publish? Did you think about taking it to a larger publisher, or was it always your intention to do yourselves?
DB: In the very beginning we did consider taking it to a larger publisher, but the truth is we want to be a publisher in our own right. We are still in the infancy of the publishing game, but with titles like Brodie’s Law that would hopefully change very soon. We are going nowhere; we are going to keep on growing and generating excellent comics. Brodie’s Law is one of many ideas, and we won’t bring out a second title until we are an established and well recognised publisher.
JR: I hear you have a possible film deal or interest, what can tell us about that… if anything? How did it come about? Did you approach them, or did they approach you?
DB: Film deal? It is more of a strong interest. The comic book made its way to producers, and they approached us… Please stay tuned. We will have to have a post San Diego interview, and all will be revealed!
JR: How was San Diego? How did that come about? Was it hard work? Was it hard being an unknown and British self-publisher?
DB: When you say "how did it come about," I think you mean how did we get there? We just booked a flight! And we were off!! We were very intimidated when we first got there, but as time went on at the Con, we said let's show these guys what puts the Great in Britain!!!
JR: How was it getting into Diamond Previews?
DB: We were fortunate because we made the right connections, so getting into Diamond Previews was easy for us. I am not sure how difficult it is for other people. I think Diamond is always looking for consistency and value in any product they take on; if you have both of these things you stand a good chance.
JR: What advice would you both give to anyone thinking of doing the same?
DB: Make sure you are not naive about how difficult it is to do this. Because if you are, you’re going to get a hard slap of reality. Be consistent with your product and don’t put anything amateur on the shelf even if you are an independent. If you want to make a business out of comics, you must realise that the retailer is judging your comic against Marvel, DC or any other well-known publisher.
JR: Brodie’s Law has been a surprise to me. It’s a fast moving and exciting comic – have you been surprised by the reaction to it from Critics and Fans? Would you have done anything differently knowing what you know now? Any plans for anything else apart from Brodie’s Law?
DB: We love the positive reaction that we get from Brodie’s Law. It makes it all worth while. I think that I am surprised about how open people have been to a new idea. It’s almost as if they’ve been waiting for something new, like I said before. The thing is the mistakes that we made are a part of the learning process, and we wouldn’t change a thing. Wait, that’s a lie. I would promote the comic way before I solicited, that’s for sure. We have plans for two new original graphic novel titles planned for next year.
JR: Any dream projects that you love to work on? Any existing characters you would love to tackle?
DB: I would like to work on District X because I think that David Hine is a class writer, and Bishop from X-men is bad to the bone!!
A big thanks to David Bircham for taking the time out of his busy schedule. If you haven’t read Brodie’s Law, make sure you pick up the trade. It’s definitely going to be worth buying – I have read all the issues. You can check out the reviews I wrote here in SBC’s review archive. I have just re-read all of Brodie’s Law, and the quality through the whole series has been amazing and the characters interesting and exciting.
Check out http://www.brodieslaw.com for more information and you can see the guys back at San Diego next week where they will be officially launching the trade. Make sure you say hello!!