EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Comic Author & Musician Charles Soule on 27 & Plans for a STRONGMAN Adaption
Published: April 29, 2011 - 7:57am
Soule's ode to rock and allegory about creativity 27 (Read the 4.5/5 Review Here) has just wrapped up its first four-issue mini and has a trade paperback that will be released at the end of June.
What is at surface an homage to music legends that have met an untimely demise, the various mysteries which spring forth from their deaths, and the myths that follow the sordid history of rock-n-roll becomes something with far more depth as 27 supernatural entities get involved to explore the creative process in great detail with much metaphor and abstract concepts. With such ambitious content he "pitched it with the same logline that we used for the book itself, which was essentially, 'Famous guitarist turns twenty-seven, his life begins to fall apart and he realizes he’s been hit by the same ’27 Club’ curse that took brilliant musicians like Hendrix, Cobain and Morrison. From there, he has to beat the curse and try to live to see twenty-eight.' I always planned to include the broader themes about creativity and its sources and pitfalls, but I also recognized that using a famous rock and roll legend as the initial hook was an easier sell."
With so many elements involved, Soule talked about first writing with himself in mind and then filtering the ideas through others so that "if some plot point or other is too far off the mark, they’ll let me know and I’ll rework. I think another important element in writing well is reading. You have to know what good writing is like before you have any hope of emulating it."
The trade paperback of 27's first four-issue mini will hit retailers the end of June, Charles Soule described the many extras that were planned for the volume as "an expanded version of Issue 4 that includes alternate versions of a few of the pages you got in the newsstand edition. Scott Forbes’ amazing covers are featured, and he drew a fantastic cover for the trade itself. Beyond that, there’s a breakdown of all the cool little easter eggs scattered throughout the book, the solution to the infamous 27 Puzzle, and more."
"The biggest extra, though, is an all-new 12-page backup story called “Crossroads Blues,” which tells the story of another member of the 27 Club. It has gorgeous art by Renzo Podesta, the series’ regular artist, and it’s a fine addition to the 27 canon. I hope people check it out!"
With the First Set done, Soule will now be working on the second, which will have "the basic thematic structure will be similar to First Set. I have a fun element of rock and roll history I’m putting front and center. We’re moving away from the 27 Club members in favor of this new idea. Below/within that, I’ll be talking about fame in much the same way I discussed creativity in the first book. In particular, I want to cover the way creativity and fame can conflict with each other[...]Is it better to write a truly brilliant song that a hundred people hear, or some terrible, disposable pop ditty that a million people hear but forget the minute it’s over?"
Last, I spoke with the author about his other graphic novel work Strongman, which is about a washed up luchador who has succumbed to a life of heavy drinking and throwing matches and finds a final shot at redemption. It is currently in beginning talks for an adaption by people close to the writer, "They really understand the book and want to make it the 'right' way--that it doesn’t have to be just another crappy action movie.
I’m not sure I would be as jazzed about it if it were just going to be a check – but don’t get me wrong, I would love a check, even for a terrible adaptation, because it would help me continue putting comic projects together. My goal is to keep writing comics as long as I can."
Strongman Volume 1 can be purchased and Volume 2 can be pre-ordered at Amazon.
More about Charles Soule's work, including his music, can be found within his blog here.
He can also be followed on Twitter via @charlessoule.
When asked for the ultimate playlist for while reading the 27 trade, Soule responded with the list of names below. "Mix well, let bake for however long it takes to read the trade!" he added.