Interview: Joe Mulvey on SCAM #1

Scam #1

This week saw the release of Scam #1, a wild new caper from writer/artist Joe Mulvey. a lot of dominos drop in the first action-packed issue, and there’s still plenty of intrigue to come. For anyone after a fun and suspenseful action series with set pieces Hollywood could only dream of, look no further.

We talked to Mulvey about setting up the big heist as both writer and artist and about promoting an indie in today’s market.

Graphicly – What is Scam? I mean, we know what a scam is, but for the uninitiated, what’s this particular Scam all about?

JM – This SCAM is all about revenge. As the book starts off, we see our crew of conmen about to pull off a big heist and then the one new, NON Powered, guy in the crew screws them over. So after dealing with the fall out of that job for 2 years, they get the band back together and decide to finally make their move. Now while that’s just ONE Scam going on there will be numerous more to follow. Everyone’s conning somebody.

Graphicly – Do you have any personal heist planning experience that helped in plotting this caper?

JM – I don’t really have any personal heist experience that I brought to the book. I mean I’m sure we’ve all tried conning our way out of some situation in our lifetime. In a quick story that can only make me look more like the jerk I am, I do remember being tired of taking two busses , each way, to and from school back in high school, so a friend and I decided to make up a fake charity and take donations from students and teachers and then we just used that money to take cab rides home. Karma has more than paid me back for that and a few other indiscretions since.

Graphicly – You write and draw Scam. How different is that process from the typical comic gig where you’re only doing one of those things? Do you still start with a script?

JM – I plot the arch out first. Than do layouts and from the layouts I start to think up the dialogue. So as I lay out the action or pace of the page and I start working out how the characters interact with each other. That’s really where most of the writing gets done. Then at the end I tighten up a script to give to my editors and letterer. Not the usual from what I’ve heard, but it works for me.

Graphicly – Have you ever gotten into any blowup arguments with yourself that might’ve threatened the production of the book? How intimate a working relationship do you have with…you?

JM – The intimacy of my work relationship with myself is beyond close. I mean, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen myself naked and that’s always tricky with a working relationship. I guess the best way to describe it is a love/hate relationship with myself. Because as the artist you want that cool splash page or cool layout but then the writer, especially in a conman story, has to make sure he gets all the info out there that the reader needs. I wouldn’t say I’ve had any blow out arguments but to be completely honest, I will say at the moment, because of creative differences, I’m currently not talking to myself.

From Scam #1

Graphicly – As a creator and reader, does the knowledge that your comic is available digitally affect the way you approach storytelling?

JM – It doesn’t affect my storytelling at all, honestly. Either print or digital, I’m just trying to make a well done, enjoyable comic. The digital aspect just helps me get it to more people who might not have a comic shop near them. The ability to press a button and have your product available immediately is fantastic.

Graphicly – Any tips for other indy comic creators tasked with promoting their books in the market?

JM – The best advice I can give any indy creator is to work with the retailers. Show them you want to succeed in the comic market. Not enough people promote enough IMO. Comics are hard and then beating the drum to sell it after you’ve gone through all the hard work or making it can be daunting. ( Personally I love it) But show the retailers and possible readers that you LOVE your book. Most indie books are done for love of the medium, so once you put that love down on the page, let people know where they can get it. And that they are seriously missing out if they don’t. Especially with social media marketing being so useful, it doesn’t take all that much to plug stuff on Facebook, Twitter, tumblr or whatever sites your use. People need to know and then be reminded that they know. So don’t let up. I know myself and the great people at ComixTribe are beyond appreciative of the success that SCAM #1 has had, but we have no plans of letting up anytime soon. We love the book and want you to know it. And if you think we promoted for #1, just wait until you see what we do for #2!

Check out this preview of Scam #1 and look for the next issue real soon!