Derek is pleased to have Rich Tommaso back on The Comics Alternative. He appeared on the show last year to discuss his new series at the time, She Wolf, but this time he talks about Spy Seal, his intriguing new anthropomorphic espionage series from Image Comics. They begin by chronicling the genesis of the story, a comic that Rich began as a thirteen-year-old, and then discuss the development of the premise and the various choices Rich made in situating his narrative. One way that Rich describes his new series is by paying homage to Hergé’s Tintin, the globetrotting young investigator who always found himself immersed in adventure and intrigue.He also discloses many of the lessons he learned with his previous Image series, both She Wolf and Dark Corridors, his love of genre, and his need to move on — at least momentarily — from psychological horror and crime stories. Derek also asks Rich about his plans for future Spy Seal narrative arcs, the temporal settings of these plots, and the ways in which the uncertainty of creator-0wned series impacts a writer’s storytelling choices.
On this episode of the interview series, Andy and Derek talk with Rich Tommaso about his recent publications from Image Comics, She Wolf #1 and the trade collection of Dark Corridor. Both were released last week. The guys begin by trying to wrap their brains around She Wolf, a surreal lycanthrope narrative with a 1980s flair. Rich reveals that this is a planned four-issue arc, and that if the interest is there he has plans to continue and expand the story. He contrasts this publication strategy with that of his earlier series, Dark Corridor. That began as a more ambitious project with more of an ongoing storyline. But, due to the sales, he decided to wrap up the title sooner rather than later. In fact, Rich speculates that crime comics may not be a current interest with the comics-buying public, at least compared to horror and science fiction. He also suggests that autobiographical or slice-of-life comics — as found in his earlier works, Let’s Hit the Road and Pete and Miriam — may not be his forte, and that genre stories are more his style. You’ll also find in this interview a lot of talk about film, crime fiction, and the recent HeroesCon where the guys first met Rich. So whether you like your Tommaso comics plain or genre-flavored, this conversation has something for you.