Q) You have self-published PHL for about a year now? How has the series been received so far, especially #1?
Amazingly well! Since the kickstarter, the campaign grabbed a lot of media attention and helped get the word out on my comic.
Last March Comicon in Toronto, I had three issues out and people would check out the series with only the first issue, then come back that same weekend telling me they like what they've read and want the rest. I'm floored by all the positive feedback so far but the pressure is on to make the next issue consistently good, if not better, than the last one. I've been told by a number of readers that they were caught laughing out loud in public while reading my comic.
Q) What do you think people see in the character, or the books in general, that has really drawn them in and kept them coming back for more?
I've made some down to earth, grounded characters. Especially with Human-Lizard's alter ego, Lucas Barrett. We can all relate to the experiences of working a job we don't want to be in, going on a bad date, as well as a lot of other moments where we see Lucas, as well as his supporting cast's flaws and imperfections. It makes us want to see if our protagonist can win the day, even if it's a small victory like being noticed by his superhero role model Mother Wonder.
Q) The costume definitely captures it's lizard inspiration, but how many versions did you draw before you settled on it?
I've probably went through 6 different versions of the Human-Lizard costume in the preliminary stage.
Q) Any major changes from the first draft of the costume to the final version and was there one you loved, but chose not to use for any reason?
When constructing the costume, I've kept in mind making it look practical, simple, and flashy, kind of like the old school superhero costumes. I felt I had a general idea from the start on how I wanted him to look, so in each version I drew I took out elements that looked clunky and tried to simplify it even more in the next drawing. It was like sculpting the costume model with clay until it looked right.
Q) There appear to be some parallels with the more classic Spider-man (hard-luck hero) style stories, where did you draw your inspiration from?
Pitiful Human-Lizard was definitely inspired by the old Marvel comics, having the stories take place in actual locations like they did with New York City. But I am also a fan of Adrian Tomine and Daniel Clowes and how they are able to tell tales of average mundane people with interesting stories. I would say PHL is like the Amazing Spider-Man, but less amazing and more pathetic than Peter Parker.
Q) Does the Pitiful Human-Lizard focus more on Lucas Barrett or his alter-ego, what are his struggles between the two identities?
Pitiful Human-Lizard focuses more on Lucas Barrett who is struggling to be a superhero while juggling his mundane office job along with other things going on in his life, like credit debt, making time for his parents, trying to find love, etc.You'll find some elements in his alter-egos spill into each other.
Q) The series takes place mostly around Toronto correct? What do you love most about being able to base the series there?
Yup! I think Toronto is an interesting city as New York City or Los Angeles. There's definitely a lot of character from its diverse population to its unique architecture.Toronto is a character in the comic. It's my way of showing my pride for the city I live in.
Q) Will PHL be travelling very far from home in the future?
Yes, in issue 7, the Human-Lizard will be stranded in the suburbs of Mississauga late at night and then in issue 8 he'll find himself out of this world/dimension in an adventure with Toronto's finest superhero Mother Wonder.
Q) Tell us a little about the people who surround Lucas in both his civilian life and when he's in costume.
First off, there's his parents Hugh and Lauren Barrett who were Toronto celebrities back in their prime. Then there's his best friend / superhero buddy Majestic Rat, the king of the Toronto's underground. Mother Wonder is Toronto's finest superhero, a figure the Human-Lizard looks up to. Then there is the mysterious Barb, a girl that Lucas dates in issue 2 who goes on her own adventure in the following issues.
Q) Does the Pitiful Human-Lizard operate within the same continuity as any other known heroes?
Yes. Though Human-Lizard is a street-level superhero who is too involved with his own troubles to notice the greater stuff.
Q) If fans want to see team ups with other books, how likely is that to happen?
Very likely. Now that the Human-Lizard is part of Chapterhouse, the odds are high that he'll come across someone like Captain Canuck.
Q) With the new series being published by Chapterhouse Comics, will it be monthly or bi-monthly?
Issues 1-5 which I've self-published on my own will be reprinted through Chapterhouse on a monthly basis starting with the September release of issue 1. Then new adventures will follow bi-monthly beginning with issue 6.
Q) What do fans need to know going into their first issue of The Pitiful Human-Lizard?
Absolutely nothing! You'll go in with a great introduction to all the characters, as well as Toronto, in the 52-page hilarious and action-packed debut issue.
Q) If fans want to meet you at a convention, where can they find you over the next few months?
So far, I'll be at Montreal Comiccon on July 3-5, Fan Expo on September 3-6, and Word on the Street on September 27.