Micah Ian Wright: Returning to the Medium he Loves

A comics interview article by: Geoffrey D. Wessel

It was a bit of a shock when former Stormwatch: Team Achilles writer Micah Ian Wright suddenly reappeared on the comics world’s radar a few weeks back, on the heels of a new graphic novel he and co-writer Jay Lender are currently Kickstarting entitled Duster (click for a 40 page free preview!)

Wright caused a firestorm in 2004 that reached far beyond comics, with revelations that his vaunted Army Rangers background was in fact a lie. It cost him Stormwatch: TA, work both within comics and without, friendships and respect from many quarters. Now, however, he says he’s a changed man who’s learned from his mistakes, and he hopes forgiveness can help turn into a successful Kickstarter. Kurt Busiek and Chew writer John Layman are on record as saying Duster is fantastic work, but will that be enough to sway doubters?

Geoffrey D. Wessel asks the tough questions…

 

CB: With the coming of Duster, what made you decide to try to get back into comics writing after being away as long as you were?

Micah Ian Wright: Well, first off, I love comics. I love reading them, and I love writing them. There’s a certain amount of control one has as a writer that you can never get from film or TV writing and especially not videogame writing, which is my other business. They’re also a challenge... you have to deal with the limitations of the art form in a way that forces you think think smarter about what you’re doing. No sound, no music, no movement... these things all have to be implied with comics, so it forces you to think very visually when you write, which I enjoy.

The other half of the answer to this question is easy: I never intended to be out of comics for this long. I left Wildstorm in 2004, and I was very busy for the next few years in games and working on Hollywood stuff. Comics took a back seat for a number of reasons, not least of which was that it’s very difficult to make a living in comics as a writer unless you’re generating 3-4 books per month.

Additionally, I had been generating a lot of material prior to leaving comics that I had pitched repeatedly at various publishers, and the general reluctance of the marketplace to publish anything other than superhero material had really worn me down. I pitched a book with Charlie Adlard attached, for example, to all of the usual suspects, and everyone turned it down, which seemed insane to me at the time, and kind of depressing. After I left DC/Wildstorm, I had a giant backlog of great projects which never went for one reason or another, but nowhere to publish any of them, so I began to consider maybe starting one or two of them and then approaching publishers once I had a substantial portion of the book completed... it wouldn’t be a pitch any longer, it’d be a finished proof of concept... like building a game demo in order to sell a game to Electronic Arts or something. But that involves funding the book out of your own pocket, which can build up fast.

So we began this book in 2008, we set it aside for a few months, then recommitted to it in 2009, and then my artist got a great job teaching at a university, which slowed his page output. But we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel, so we put it all together and started showing it to the people I know in comics, and everyone who saw it was super excited about it. So here we are... later than we wanted it to be, but for me, well, I’ve only been entirely out of comics for about 3 years, because I’ve been working on this book for so long. It only seems like 8 years to everyone else.

CB: There are a couple of points in your response I want to get back to, but tell us about Duster in 50 words or less. Who's your co-writer and who is your artist and why should comic readers donate money to this project?

Wright: Duster is a book about Jo, a woman who’s entire life has been disrupted by World War II: her husband dies in the skies over Europe, she’s had to take up his job as a crop-dusting pilot to make ends meet, but with that job comes added responsibility and resistance from her neighbors and even her own daughter as she breaks the culture mores and gender norms of her time. Then, just to make things worse, a plane full of Nazis crashes in her small Texas town. With all the men away at war, it falls on Jo to defend her town and rescue her daughter from these escaping war criminals.

My co-writer is Jay Lender. We’ve been friends since 1995. We met at Nickelodeon when we were both working there and have been working together off and on since then. Jay’s an accomplished writer and director in his own right, having written a third of the episodes of the first series of SpongeBob SquarePants, as well as having written and directed half of the episodes of Disney’s Phineas and Ferb.

The book is a full-color 240-page hardback. We’re selling it on Kickstarter and readers can find the project by going to http://duster.me

CB: Is that really so historically accurate though? It's been pretty well documented women during World War II did just that: took up their husbands' jobs to make ends meet and to meet production needs for the war effort. You know, Rosie the Riveter, "We Can Do It!," that sort of thing. Sure, it was always meant to be temporary, but...

Wright: Yeah, it’s pretty accurate. There was tremendous opposition to women working in factories, etc. on a cultural level. Our story takes place in a small Texas town. Small town life is even more parochial than big city life, and more resistant to change. The government was ruthless about propagandizing the citizenry that women working outside the home was essential (and temporary!), but you have to remember that women had only been allowed to vote for 25 years, and THAT took 150 years to achieve. A lot of people were NOT ready for that change, and just because it was necessary, it doesn’t mean it was welcome. The 19th Amendment became law on August 1920, but Maryland didn’t ratify the amendment until 1941, 20 years later. Virginia didn’t ratify it until 1952. Alabama in 1953. It was only after 49 years of women being allowed to vote that Florida and South Carolina ratified the 19th Amendment in 1969, followed two years later by Georgia and Louisiana in 1971, 51 years after it was already the law.

And Mississippi? They refused to ratify a woman’s right to vote until 1984. 64 years after the Amendment became law. Hell, look at America today; there are still right-wingers who argue that women shouldn’t be working outside the home. They’re a minority, but a dedicated one.

So yeah, I think the story’s pretty accurate... especially as it’s set in the South.


CB: So what was the inspiration for it and was it always a comic?

Wright: I had a dream while attending San Diego Comic Con in 1995. I woke up from it and was amazed... but it had ended too soon, so I closed my eyes and forced myself to go back to sleep, and it worked... I saw the end of the dream. I was on my grandparents’ farm in Enochs, Texas, it was World War II (which isn’t historically accurate, because they hadn’t bought that farm yet), and a plane full of Nazis crashed on the farm, and my grandmother had to kill them all. I told Jay the dream the next time I saw him at work, and he said “You should make that into a movie sometime.” Years later, we did. Then we ran right into the little-known secret of Hollywood: no one will greenlight an expensive action film about a woman. That’s why they haven’t made a Wonder Woman movie yet, for example. There’s this feeling that someone tried it once and it didn’t work, so they’d better not try it again. When you mention SALT or The Hunger Games, they cluck their tongues and say “Oh, that’s the exception to the rule.” As if that rule was written down somewhere by someone who knew what they were talking about, instead of just being fear and common wisdom.

So we talked about it, and decided that it was a good story, that we spent a lot of time writing it, so why let it go to waste? Besides, by doing it as a graphic novel, we would essentially have complete control over it, unlike if we sold the film. The first thing they do when they buy any action film is fire the writer and bring in someone with a bigger name to rewrite the film. Then they fire that guy and repeat that process about five or six more times, and then you wind up with a movie that costs $250 million that no one’s proud of. We avoided that fate with Duster by doing it as a book ourselves. It’s the story that we wanted to tell, exactly as we wanted to tell it.

 

CB: You realize you also just told the Twilight story, yeah? …

Wright: No, not really familiar with the origin story of the Twilight series... it’s bad enough I get dragged to the movies by my wife!

 

CB: But you do also bring up the point about Hollywood being gun-shy about action films about women, or most other non-white male protagonists. (Don't get me started about The Last Airbender and its cock-up of a casting policy) Superhero comics really are kind of the same way these days, aren't they?

Wright: Yes. Full stop. I was really disheartened when I read that the newly-gay Green Lantern, Alan Scott has a loving relationship for about 10 pages before his boyfriend is murdered. I suppose they spared him the agony of finding his loved one shoved into the refrigerator like the last Green Lantern, so maybe that’s considered progress?

It’s not that I think every comic has to be a rainbow collection of racially and sexually diverse characters, but it’d be nice if there were more than a scant handful of non-white superheroes out there. I remember growing up in the 70’s, Marvel had The Falcoln, Black Goliath, Luke Cage, Blade, The Black Panther, Deathlok, The Prowler, Storm, Gabe Jones (in Sgt. Fury’s Howlin’ Commandos), Misty Knight, Brother Voodoo and a few others who you’d see pop up in their own books or guest-starring with Spider-Man or The Thing in those books where they’d rotate in a new guest star each issue (Marvel Two-in-One? I think?), and in the 80’s at Marvel, Cloak & Dagger were huge, and War Machine stepped in for Iron Man, and... no one else of note? I vaguely remember Bishop from the 90’s X-Men books (vaguely because I was never an X-Men fan), and Wheat Thresher or whatever that guy’s name was from New Warriors, but after that? Who was the last popular black character who had his own Marvel book, or even could make an appearance of note? And DC had Milestone, but all of those guys just went away and were hardly ever heard from again. It’s depressing how monochromatic superhero comics are, and frankly when you look at how poorly a lot of comics starring black characters sell, you have to wonder if it’s not just a grim business decision to not feature them. I remember getting a nasty letter when I was writing StormWatch: Team Achilles when I had Flint and Santini sleeping together... such shocking miscegenation! And this was 2004... but that letter sure made it feel like 1954.

I love comics. I wish they better represented the people who live in this country, but maybe all they do is reflect the vast majority of the customers who buy them.

CB: Well, you're aware of the perceived "whitewashing" of DC heroes that happened mid-2010, where many of the more gender/racial diverse versions of "legacy" characters were bumped off in order to bring back the "classic" white versions... now, I do say "perceived," but this was also around the same time where many of the DC heroes were declaring oaths to a White Power Lantern, and wearing white costumes and masks, so, you tell me! But yeah, it seems in many ways, DC especially has decided to cater almost exclusively to its core. How is that "mainstream" at this point?

Wright: I don’t really follow DC’s stuff, I only vaguely recognized that there was some event that I was supposed to buy 200 comics of where everyone was in white costumes, two which I thought “Well, what’s the point of that? Why not just publish black-and-white comics?”

As for mainstream, well, a third of this country is Hispanic now, so where are the comics written in Spanish? Or even Hispanic superheroes? Does the White Tiger still count? Or did they kill him off?

CB: Well, you do have the Miles Morales Ultimate Spider-Man, who's half-Hispanic, half-African-American, and much like the new gay Alan Scott, off in little pocket continuities so it won't interfere with the marketing and Hollywood plans for the characters, but every so often they can trot them out to say "Hey, see, we're diverse!"

Wright: Yeah. Like that.

CB: Tell us about Cristian Mallea and Jok, and how you determined they were the right artists for Duster?

Wright: When we decided to make a graphic novel, we went looking for artists. We wanted a certain level of experience, because I’ve worked with guys who were awesome artists, but who couldn’t deliver on time. We didn’t want that. A lot of the artists I spoke to about the project were excited about it, but they had just gotten hired on other projects. One of the guys I wanted left comics for good to go work in videogames. Another left comics for good to go into illustration work. That’s a problem comics has; as our audience has gotten smaller, many of our best artists discover that other fields are more lucrative and just vanish on us. Another problem is that a lot of storytelling skills in American comics have gotten lost as a result of that first problem... so some of the artists who remain aren’t as trained as their equivalents would have been in the mid-80’s, for example.

So when I ran out of people I knew and already wanted to work with here in the US, I started looking farther afield. My choice then was to hire a rookie American, or to maybe consider going overseas. Contrary to America’s experience, several foreign countries have thriving comics industries, and I found an overflowing abundance of people who really understood comics AND who could deliver a consistent product on time.

Cristian and JOK leapt out at us... they can do everything from start to finish, we love their work, and they’re very experienced... but mostly in Argentina and Italy, so their work will be brand new to the American audience. They recognized that the story was very sophisticated, that the level of nuance would demand a lot of out of their art, and that this was an opportunity for them to do a great book here in the US and maybe open up some new opportunities for themselves. It was a win-win.

CB: How did you come across them? What strips have they worked on before?

Wright: When I set out, I started by talking to friends I already knew, guys like Charlie Adlard, CP Smith, Tomm Coker and John McCrea, but everyone who I already knew was working (which was lucky for them but unlucky for me, because many of them hadn’t been just a few months earlier). I have a lot of colorist friends, and I’ve always known that colorists know more than anyone else who’s good and who’s not, so I asked all of the colorists that I knew “Hey, who’s your favorite up-and-comer?” and scored a few more names... again, all busy. Then once you get past “friend of a friend” connections things become tenuous. This was 2008, before Facebook had really taken off, and meeting new people wasn’t quite as easy... I think we take things like Facebook and DeviantArt and Flickr for granted these days, but at the time I started looking, a lot of those easy-to-use sites didn’t exist, and a lot of artists just didn’t have their own webpages or online galleries.

I began to despair until a friend said “Oh, why not go check out Digital Webbing?” I’d never heard of it, but I went there and posted an “Artist Wanted” ad, and I got BURIED in submissions. Some of them were great, but were too “superhero-y.” Others were fantastic, but too loose... they wouldn’t have been able to draw all the detail we needed consistently. I wouldn’t ask someone like, say, Ben Templesmith to draw Duster... all the straight lines and machines would probably drive him mad. So that eliminated a lot of other really great artists who submitted. Then there were a lot of others who were just not up to snuff, or who were almost good enough, or who we asked for additional pages but couldn’t show anything. Exasperating stuff like that.

Just as I started to despair, we got a note from Jok Coglitore explaining that he represented an entire studio of artists, and would we be interested in checking them out? We didn’t know any of them, and we’d never heard of the Italian and Argentine comics they had done, but we went to their page, and sure enough, there were several of them and they were all great in one way or another, but the guy who struck us as being perfect for the book was Cristian Mallea. He had done some other books in Argentina, as well as some feature film development and poster work, and we just fell in love with his line. He’s like Moebius had a baby with Paul Pope.

So we did a contract, we pre-paid them for 10% of the book with the rest due upon completion of the pages, and began the process of development and design before rolling into the book.

Our working system is we wrote the book in 8-page chunks, then Jok would lay out the books in rough thumbnails, then we’d make corrections, then Cristian would do pencils, then we’d make corrections, and Cristian would polish off his own pencils with ink, and then the colorist team goes to work. It’s a slower process than having a separate inker and not making corrections (which is how American comics work) but we loved the results, so we accepted the speed cut in exchange for the line quality and purity of vision.

You can see several of those script-page-to-colored-artwork transitions on our Facebook page... we post the script page, the roughs, the corrected roughs, the pencils, the corrections to the pencils, the final inks, then the color, and color corrections, then the final inked, colored, and lettered pages. It’s quite the revealing glimpse at the hard work that’s gone into this book... especially when you consider that it’s 215 pages of story.

We’re currently on page 130 of the inks, the colorists are working on pages 41-60 right now (we just started coloring about a month ago), and the roughs are completed up through page 160. Our plan is to be finished with the roughs in about six months, and the inked pages a few months after that, with the colorists finishing a few months after the last inked pages are delivered. We start lettering over the rough layouts, so by the time we get the first pencilled pages, we can look at them and figure out if we need changes to accommodate the dialog, or if there’s room for everything, etc. That way the lettering takes almost no time to polish up and finish off.

It’s a lot of hard work, but we think it’s been worth it. And so did Kurt Busiek! :)

 

CB: What are your impressions with Kickstarter so far?

Wright: I think Kickstarter may end up being what saves indie comics. It’s too easy to slave away on an indie book for a year or more only to have it come out through Diamond, not get noticed and for everyone to lose a lot of money. Kickstarter provides a way for indie comics people to sell a limited edition directly to highly motivated fans, and to break even before publication and distribution through the normal distribution system.

We made a few mistakes with our campaign (not factoring in the attention drain that San Diego Comic Con would entail being our primary mistake), but for the most part, we’re thrilled with the response thus far


CB: So you don't feel there's a point to where Kickstarter can be abused, or there's a burnout point among the donation pool?

Wright: Yeah, I do think there’s a point where Kickstarter can be abused... I think Penny Arcade’s new campaign literally breaks the Kickstarter rules prohibiting asking for business expenses for ongoing projects. I know a guy whose project got kicked off Kickstarter for a much less egregious violation of their rules. I see people giving them $150,000 in a single day, and I think about the fact that the ads on their site are so non-invasive already, and I wonder if that’s not just money which might have gone to less already-funded projects? I mean, they’re successful and selling advertising doesn’t quite seem like some kind of horrible thing to me, but then my background is in TV. They want to dump their ads and have their readers instead fund the site by contributions... not that they shouldn’t be able to do that, but why? What’s the point? It’s like “Hey, we’re already wealthy, but we want YOUR wealth, not money from these anonymous corporations dumb enough to give it to us!”

So yeah, Kickstarter isn’t perfect... but what is?


CB: On the off-chance Duster doesn't succeed in its funding, do you guys have a backup plan?

Wright: Grind it out the way we’ve been doing it... straight out of our own pockets. We’ll definitely get a publisher, the book is too good not to, but man, it would be nice to not start that process $30 grand in the hole...

CB: OK now, you knew this was coming eventually, so, are you ready for the uncomfortable questions?

Wright: Sure. Fire away.

CB: We all know what happened regarding Stormwatch: Team Achilles and your, shall we say, fabricated credentials, and anyone who doesn't can Google them. I think the biggest question I have, out of anything, is why?

Wright: That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? To save people some Googling time, basically, I pretended I was an Army Ranger combat veteran of the invasion of Panama, and I used those fake credentials to immunize myself from criticism that my political stances against George Bush’s war in Iraq were anti-American.

Why did I do it? Well, I guess the most comprehensive way to say it would be that I didn’t like who I was, so I pretended to be someone else. It was a long time ago, it was a stupid thing to do, I’m sorry I did it, I’m a better, healthier person today, and I would never repeat the behavior. For some people, no apology will ever be enough. I’ve made my peace with that, and I try not to dwell on the past or let that incident color my life today.


CB: So besides being thrown out at DC/Wildstorm, were there any other direct consequences for what you did?

Wright: Sure there were. Financially, my book publisher immediately stiffed me for $20,000 in royalties for my first book and canceled my 2nd book. Professionally, DC fired me and I was quietly told I’d never work there again. Ditto Marvel. Maybe Image. Some fellow professionals took great pains to kick me in the teeth while I was down, especially those closest to me who were worried they’d shoulder blame for my misdeeds. Personally, just about every friendship I had fell apart completely, and I’ve had to spend a decade rebuilding them. Some people will never forgive me — I’ve permanently lost them out of my life. Like they’re dead, but I know they’re not, they just won’t answer my email. Michelle Malkin wrote me up in her nationally syndicated newspaper column and used me as a club to beat all liberals with, which was unfair to other liberals. More harm to answer for. My grandparents read my name in Malkin's column in their small town Texas paper... that was an unpleasant phone call, to say the least, explaining to my World War II veteran grandfather what I had done. I had people calling my house non-stop for weeks to tell me what a piece of shit I was. Death threats abounded. The Internet makes the entire country into a small town, where everyone knows everyone else’s most intimate business, only it adds a level of anonymity which gives those same “neighbors” permission to say the worst things about you that they can imagine.

Just imagine the worst possible thing you’ve ever done and magnify it a thousandfold, then put it on the Internet permanently. I work in a high tech field; every employer I’ve ever worked for since 2004 has Googled me before holding a job interview with me. Sometimes they can’t get over what they’ve read (and it’s ALL negative, there’s no good version of what I did... even people who agreed with me politically couldn't defend my bullshit lying, so the only stuff you can read about me online is intense hatred from right wingers). Sometimes employers meet me and they quickly realize that I’m not the horrible monster they just read about online, but I’ve also had employers bring it up in the job interview. It’s a conversation killer... what do I say? “Yeah, I did this really horrible thing ten years ago, but what’s that got to do with this job right here right now?” No. So I’m forced to relive it, to explain it, to go through it step by step by step, and then to get judged anew for decade-old misdeeds in real-time.

I’m a different person today; healthier, happier, I went through therapy and figured out why I did what I did so I would never repeat it. I’m married, I have a kid on the way, I’m active in the writing and union community making life better for my fellow writers. I’m a better person, I think... but sometimes it feels like I’m still there in 2004, permanently, forever trapped in amber. One of the bad things about the Internet is that you can never move on with your life... when someone puts something nasty about you on the Internet, it’s there eternally... hell, Google earns money making sure all that nasty shit is at everyone’s fingertips forever. So yeah, there have been a few consequences. It could have been worse, I guess... I could be John Edwards. I see a guy like that (or anyone going through a scandal, really) and I instantly understand what he’s gotta be going through like few people possibly can, I think. In some ways it’s made me a better writer... but wow, what a dumb way to learn those lessons.

CB: If I may be so bold, you've said several times now "Some people will never forgive me," but I've also seen instances where several creators, like John Layman or Kurt Busiek, who had put you on blast at the time, are speaking about you in the positive, "He knows he screwed up," big-upping Duster, etc. …

Wright: Yes, some people HAVE forgiven me. Others will never. Kurt had the best advice... he said “Just go away, get offline, go do some work, and let the work speak for itself.” I did. I showed it to him and he thought so, too, and was kind enough to give me a great pull quote. Some other people who I used to be friends with wouldn’t even read it. Again, my own fault, no hard feelings, but it still stings.

 

CB: Is there anything that you have done in the way of penance or atonement to try to make up for the incident in any way?

Wright: There is, but I keep all my charity and volunteer work to myself. The last thing I need is a bunch of creeps calling places I volunteer and saying “Oh, did you know that one guy pretended he was in the Rangers?!”

 

CB: Are you able/willing to at least give a vague outline of the sort of things you've been doing? Specifically, are any of them in any way related to veterans or the military, or....?

Wright: No. I won’t talk about any of it, for any number of reasons. No matter what I say or do, nothing will placate the haters, especially those who say I’ve stolen the honor of dead soldiers. I mean, even if one accepts that premise, can you pay something that intangible back? How? It’s impossible, short of forgiveness, and people who think like that can never forgive me. No matter what I do to atone, the people who hate me will just find ways to twist and turn what I do into the most hateful things; “He’s just assuaging his guilt!” or “I called that charity and he didn’t give all that much money,” or “so what if he volunteered to do such-and-such, that doesn’t bring back the dead soldiers whose honor he stole!” and on and on. It’s an irrational, unwinnable conversation, so I won’t engage in it.

I will say that that financially I do what I can for people in need, especially the victims of Bush’s war, both foreign and domestic. I don’t think that atones or makes up for anything I’ve done, but I do it. Who? None of anyone’s business. I don’t want to name any of the charities because I don’t want someone there sending me a refund check with “FUCK YOU” written on the note section after 10,000 rabid nutjobs call them and tell them what a piece of shit I am and how I’m using that charity to wash away my guilt. Don’t imagine these people wouldn’t do it, either... they’ve done far worse. I mentioned once online that I had just gotten a job, and a series of angry “How could you hire that traitor?” phone calls later, the employer called and said “Sorry, I can’t put up with this, my phone’s been ringing off the hook, we’re going with a different writer.” There are people out there who have never met me but violently hate my guts, and nothing, ever, will placate them. They’ll hound me to the ends of the Earth whenever I re-emerge into public and will no doubt wheel themselves to the graveyard and dance the maypole on my grave. Just the other day, I posted about Duster in a popular online comics forum, and the commenters started wishing that someone would beat me up at a convention for daring to come back into comics... and those were the forum moderators! That’s why I don’t read comics websites. No good can come of it. I can’t engage with any of it, if only to protect my family and employers and my own mental health... because it’s toxic, those are toxic people, and nothing I say will change their minds. So why bother? There’s too much hate in the world. Internet anonymity just makes it worse, and the ones who aren’t anonymous wear it as a badge of pride that they can tell me to fuck myself to my face, whether online or in person. So no, I don’t talk about my atonement or my penance because people who hate me don’t think there can ever be enough of either. Like they say in the rap game, haters gonna hate, and nothing can change that.

 

CB: Do you think any of the scorn you still get even today is unjustified? Do you have some empathy for why someone may be upset with you beyond any chance of forgiveness?

Wright: Sure. Sometimes. The first thing you learn in therapy is that most of the time, people’s reactions to you aren’t about you, it’s about them, and what’s gone on in their lives. People have different experiences and different values. Just because someone doesn’t like me, that doesn’t make them wrong or a bad person. When they take it to the next step and harass me, well that’s a different story.

 

CB: What would you say to someone who may be on the fence about helping out with Duster for any number of reasons, to sell them, or even to sell yourself?

Wright: I would say "read the book." There's a free full-color 40-page preview on Kickstarter... download it and read it. Then look at what Kurt Busiek said about the next 110 pages. If that doesn't convince people that the book will be a good read, I don't know what would. If they're worried about the personality stuff, then they need to stop reading comics or watching movies or listening to any music because every one of us, fan or creator, is a human being who makes mistakes and does things they regret; some bigger than others, some more publicly than others. If your primary criteria for an artist is "have they never screwed up their life in some public fashion?" then I'm not your go-to guy, and maybe you should settle down with some Christian Broadcasting Network instead or something... but if you're interested in a ripping action story at a great price that has great art, and which you'd probably never see from a mainstream comic company, then yeah, take a chance on the book. Either way, not a single penny of the first $36,000 we raise will go to me... That's all going to the artists, and 5% of everything I raise above that goes to "Kicking It Forward" which is a program to fund other Kickstarter projects as a way of helping other artists' dreams come true.

 

CB: So what follows Duster? What else have you got going on?

Wright: Another 2 graphic novels in the pipeline. If KS works out for Duster, then we’ll probably crowdfund them, too. They’re only in outline right now, but once the madness of Kickstarter dies down, I’ll be getting back to them full-time. I’m also writing a big videogame right now. I’m also prepping a little horror movie that I wrote, hoping to pick up financing so I can direct it. And I had a conversation with Adi Tantimedh the other day that got me interested in doing a radio drama, which sounds insane until you realize that with the advent of podcasting, EVERY computer is a radio now... people have grown accustomed to listening to entertainment again while they do something else, just like in the 30’s and 40’s. Podcast Drama is an undiscovered country, and just the idea of finding something cool to do there is fascinating.

And, of course, my biggest project of all time: I have a daughter coming into the world sometime near the end of August.


CB: Congratulations there! Do you find you're having a different perspective now that she's on the way, or... ?

Wright: It’s certainly terrifying. And I’m not looking forward to the day she Google’s dad’s name on the internet and finds Malkin’s fans talking about her father.

 

CB: Certainly gives a bit of perspective on the whole idea of "sins of the father" doesn't it?

Wright: I think anyone who picks on an infant because her father was a dirtbag a decade ago is an even bigger dirtbag.

 

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