Bringing to you in the latest Mind Meld, is someone I've considered to be a friend for quite some time. He is David Paul, who is something of a dreamer and a creator. You may recall him getting talked about in the Gary T. Becks Mind Meld, heck you may have seen his name be mentioned a time or two in the JOSEPH! web strips I've posted. Heck he even had a hand in naming this very website! And now, coming you to right here, right now is a look at some of David's own thoughts!
Interview by: Robert McClelland
David's rockin' those sunglasses!
1. So before we get to the fun stuff, for those that don't know who you are, would you be willing to introduce yourself?
I am David Paul, writer and co-creator of "JOSEPH!" with Gary T. Becks.
2. How long has the world of Comics been a part of your life?
All my life really. My first real hands on experiences with comics was Heavy Metal, when I shoplifted an issue from a convenient store.
3. For those that may not know or may even remember the interview with Gary, what exactly is "JOSEPH!"? As he mentioned the idea came in a dream?
"JOSEPH!" is the story of the adoptive father of a modern day 14 year old Jesus. I sometimes call it a parody in the tradition of Monty Python and Mel Brooks. And yeah, it came to me in a dream. I told many of my artist friends about it and they all thought it was something they wanted to take a crack at, but Gary took the idea and ran. When I saw his first character studies of Joseph and Jesus I realized the dream was becoming a reality.
Joseph, the man chosen to raise Jesus! Good luck to ya!
4. So basically it was a perfect match on first sight with Gary's art?
5. How long has the JOSEPH! strip been running for now?
6. Simply awesome to be going for that long! How many story lines have been done for the strip?
Oh wow. That's tough to answer. There might be several but the truth is it's all just one big ongoing story.
7. Where do you hope to see the "JOSEPH!" strip go?
I would love "JOSEPH!" to become an animated TV show. Or even a movie. Whatever happens we will continue to make comics.
8. When it comes to Print vs. Digital, what are your feelings on it?
I've been saying for a long time now that the technology for comics is in flux. I do think we will always have comics in print, just because they're so cool. You can't beat the feel of a comic book in your hands. But digital is what will sell. We're seeing now that the market reflects better digital sells and someday those sells will have a larger margin, beating out print. Let's see what happens in the next ten years.
9. Would "JOSEPH!" itself ever be placed on Print? Or would it stay Digital?
I very much want to get "JOSEPH!" in print and have worked towards that. But we've received a mountain of rejections. I think that's due to the material. Publishers really don't know what to do with it. Even those who get it - they get the parody, they get the tone, they know it's funny - don't know how to market it. And how would you? There's just no way of avoiding the religious implications. Gary and I have talked before about starting a campaign to raise the funds but honestly the support isn't there right now. It will be someday.
A true G of Miracles!
Oh don't worry, he's not pointing at the fine print in the contract for your soul!
The real star of the show!
Those Gas prices man!
10. Personally, I don't see why one would have to avoid the religious implications. Some people are bound to get offended no matter what. I do hope however that the support will come for you two. But when it comes to the characters of "JOSEPH!", what can you tell us about them?
Although Jesus can be thought of as the star of the show that's not always the case. His biggest problem is that he has all these really cool miracle powers and his adoptive father keeps telling him not to use them. But what 14 year old kid with super powers is going to listen to their dad?
Ruthie is the one who steals the show. She's a cute ten year old little girl who knows how to get her way and it annoys her brother Jesus to no end.
Jesus' best friend is Lil' D. and he may be the son of the Devil but it's usually Jesus that causes the trouble they get into.
Joseph himself must deal with all this and be a good parent at the same time. Sounds like it should be easy, but as we've seen in the series this is not a job you would want.
11. Where do you see yourself in the Comics Industry in say 5 years from now?
Five years from now I would very much like to see "JOSEPH!" as an animated show or feature. Whatever it becomes I will still be writing the comics.
12. A big heck yeah on the writing! Now one thing that's something of a running gag in the "JOSEPH!" strip is Joseph's wife Mary. As often times, readers will only see her response to something off panel or some body part of her while she talks. How did that come about?
Ya know, my idea is that people already have a firm grasp on who the mother of Jesus was. If you have any religious upbringing at all you probably have an iconic image of Mary. If you're not religious the same may still be true. Fact is, people already know who she is. No depiction of her will ever live up to your own imagination of her. It would be very disappointing. So leaving her always off panel is intentional. Another reason: the series is called "JOSEPH!" for a reason. It's not "MARY!" and it never will be. Mary has had her day in the sun for a very long time so let's give Joseph the props he's way overdue.
Hip happening new times!
Ruthie getting revenge!? Oh boy!
That cat can't possibly be bringing good vibes!
13. With your explanation, I can definitely understand that perspective now. Since you began your journey with "JOSEPH!", is there anything you would go back and do differently?
Not at all. All the work I've done in my life has led me to "JOSEPH!" and I am grateful for it.
14. If you were given the opportunity to write for the Big 2 or any Indy Publisher, who would you want to write for? As well as what title would you want to write?
I've been asked this before and I don't find that idea appealing in the least. I enjoy what they publish, some titles more than others, but I am just not attracted to writing something that isn't original. I mean at least from my perspective. If I were to write something someone else had created that's not original and that's not something I want to do.
15. For those starting out in the Comics Industry, what kind of advice would you give them?
Two things: 1) Whatever it is you hope to do (write, illustrate) do it every day no matter what. If it is truly what you love you will have no problem with this. If you burn out then you should not be doing this. 2) No matter what you believe, the only reason to be doing anything in comics is because you love it. You must not pursue it as a career. Test yourself. Work for free. That's right. Free! If it becomes your career because of your many hours of dedication in doing what you love fantastic. You made it. If not, so what? You will still be doing what you love. Do not kill your dream over some obsession to "make it". Obsession kills dreams. Love nurtures them. Remember who you were when you fell in love with comics.
16. Very well said! After the end came for the Family Album story, you started up what you like to call Ani-Motion and used it to make the "JOSEPH" come to life even more so. How did this idea get started?
Well to tell the truth the Ani-Motion series (animatic + motion comics) is my attempt at adapting the series as an animated show. That attempt doesn't work as a cartoon show on its own but it does work as something new in comics.
17. And to end this with what I'm sure many are wanting to know about. What's coming up next for "JOSEPH!"?
"The Never Ending Sequel" starts exclusively here at IndieComiX. For those who have been following closely, the current story-line in the Ani-Motion series takes place just prior to "The Family Album". So we're seeing how Joseph and the kids are spending their summer. At the end of the summer it's Ruthie's birthday with the clown incident. "The Never Ending Sequel" picks up on the first day of "big girl school". Ruthie's been home schooled up until this point and we're going to see if public school is a good fit. Did I mention there are going to be robots and historical celebrities? And someday you should ask me about the "Bible" I'm currently writing.
Just like the truth yo!
Editor's Note:I just may ask about that "Bible" one day! But will others? Only time will tell! That is if we all survive after Ruthie experiences school! A big thanks to David Paul for this interview and may success shine your way!
To check out more of the "JOSEPH!" strips and the Ani-Motion versions, head on over to his groovy pad!