Topic: Vin Varvara, Writer/Editor of The Howler Part 1 (Read 477 times)
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Vin Varvara, Writer/Editor of The Howler Part 1
« Thread started on: Feb 14th, 2011, 7:46pm »
Interview with Vin Varvara, Writer and Editor of the Howler
Interviewed by Paul Dale Roberts, President of Jazma Online! www.jazmaonline.com
Question: Please tell your readers something about yourself. Your home life, schools
you went to, recreational activities and hobbies.
Answer: Hey everyone! My name is Vin Varvara; I was born and raised in the Bronx, NY. Went to school in the Bronx, and graduated college. Iíve been a comic fan since I was a little kid. The minute I got my first book I was hooked for life! What once (and still is) my hobby now has become a passion. Iím now a comic book writer, contributing stories and characters to this great industry under the Creative Elamentz Studios banner. But comics arenít the only part of my life. I do like checking out movies, bookstores, museums and enjoying the nicer weather by taking long walks.
Question: How did you get started in the comic book business?
Answer: Well, that is a long story. When I got hooked on comics I always had a desire to be involved in this industry in some way. Unfortunately, Iím not much of an artist, so I had to rely on my writing skills and wild imagination if I was going to get into this business. As time went by, and I went to college I kind of fell out of comics for awhile. You know how it is dealing with the pressures that go along with college, assignments, paper deadlines, part time work. I figured if I was going to be a writer, it would probably be through a novel after graduation. I was adrift with the whole comic book thing. But one of the great things that happened to me when I was in college was that I met Jemir Johnson (co-founder of Creative Elamentz Studios). We had a bunch of classes together, and shared similar interests such as comics. We hit it off pretty quickly. By the time graduation rolled around, Jemir had mentioned that he along with Matt Wilbekin (co-founder of Creative Elamentz Studios) where working on forming a publishing company for comics and asked if I had any ideas. I think it took me a total of three seconds before I gave Jemir a resounding ďYES!Ē and the rest is history as I soon went to work on creating characters such as Retribution (my first graphic novel) and The Howler along with others that are still in the planning process.
At this point I have to hijack the interview a minute Paul, and I have to thank both Jemir and Matt for giving me this opportunity to work with Creative Elamentz. Thank you guys! Thank you for everything you both did to help me get as far as I have within this industry; from reading my horrible first drafts, to the constructive criticism, to just be my sounding board when I was having problems with a story. Thanks for letting me be a part of Creative Elamentz!
Now back to our interview...
Question: Why do you enjoy writing comic book stories?
Answer: For me, the thing that I always liked about writing is just the pure escapism from everyday reality, if only for a bit. When you write stories such as The Howler, there is a fantasy element which allows you to perhaps live vicariously through these characters as they do these actions that you know cannot and should not be done in real life.
Question: What was your inspiration for your recent comic book graphic novel...the
Answer: The story behind The Howler is a bit of an interesting story because Howler originally was just to appear as a supporting character in another book I was working on at the moment, Retribution. When I was plotting Retribution, I was thinking of possible stories/characters for Retribution to deal with. One of those ďminorĒ characters was this kid who can transform into a werewolf. Theyíd fight, someone would win and thatíd be the end of the werewolf character until I got another idea for him. Then it happened. If you interview other writers they always say something along the lines of ďcharacter X then spoke to me and pretty much dictated how the story was going to go.Ē Personally, I never subscribed to that theory but then there was this werewolf character growling in my ear, if you will, and I just couldnít deny it. Story ideas for Retribution were put to the side as the flood gates just opened up with all these possible story ideas for the werewolf that would become The Howler.
Now when I began writing this book, I also noticed there was a time where there were NO comics based on werewolf characters since Marvelís Werewolf By Night series so I knew Howler would fill a void for good werewolf stories. Now of course you see werewolves in almost every ďsupernatural showĒ from Being Human to True Blood. But I like to think that The Howler stands out from them in that Iím hitting the reset button on the traditional werewolf story with a modern day view. Basically you have the man cursed with being a werewolf and he travels the world searching for his cure while being a fugitive for a crime he is accused of committing. Iíve kind of likened it to the Wolf-Man meets the old Bill Bixby, Incredible Hulk series.
Question: Do you enjoy writing horror stories, more than superhero or science fiction
Answer: Thatís a tough question because out of those three genres, those were the only things I knew about, and was really into when I was growing up. Iíd read superhero comics, but when it came to watching television I always scanned the channels looking for the science fiction or horror movies. But if I had to choose one over the rest, I think itíd be horror. Again itís all about creating these fantastical characters and putting them in situations that also may reach out and affect the reader in some way. Maybe the reader will be scared when they see our protagonist go into the dark basement in the deserted house where there is a serial killer on the loose. You build up the suspense with a big payoff at the end and youíve got the readers right where you want them when they scream/gasp after reading your story.
Question: What do you feel people will remember the most about The Howler?
Answer: I hope that after reading The Howler two things will stick with people. One, that they recognize the hard work that everyone that was involved with the book put in. Iím not only talking about myself but the work that Bill Young did on the art. Itís fantastic and I know he put in a lot of hours getting the story just right, especially chapter three of the book which is entirely painted by Bill. The second thing I hope for is that after reading The Howler, people will be interested in the character and invest themselves in the characterís struggle enough that Creative Elamentz can continue to bring you future Howler stories.
Question: If the Howler became a movie, who would play the leading parts?
Answer: See, Iíve had this conversation with Jemir on a number of occasions and my answers always change. But as of right now if The Howler movie was being made Iíd pick the following actors for the parts:
Chris Stevens (the man cursed with being the Howler): Iíd pick Jensen Ackles who plays Dean Winchester on Supernatural. If you look at how Chris is drawn he and Jensen are almost twins.
Teresa Sloan: Iíd go with Natalie Portman.
The Howler: Hollywood has made some major advancement with CGI but Iíve seen the UK version of Being Human where they have an actor in a werewolf suit and that looks frightening. Iím okay with either approach so long as the essence of the character is captured.
Question. Fun question. If you had 6 dinner guests, 3 fictional and 3 historical, who
would they be and why?
Answer: I donít know. Iíve never given this much thought. If I were to choose off the top of my head letís see:
Fictional- Dexter Morgan, Frank Black, Larry Talbot. I chose those three because they are characters that are all touched by darkness, but strive to live in the light. Kind of like how Chris is dealing with his co-existence with the Howler.
Historical: Vlad Tepes, Alexander the Great, Cleopatra. Iím choosing these three because of the fact they were all leaders of people who went about doing it differently. Itís a good contrast/compare exercise.
Question: What would the dream crossover of characters be and why?
Answer: I love this question! The mind swims at all the possibilities. Iíll give you two, one for comics and one for movies.
The comic crossover, I think itís time for Marvel and DC to finally get together and bring us that definitive Batman/Daredevil story. Here you have the two most urban vigilantes of their respective universes that pretty much deal with the evil you find in the back alleys and underground. This story would need to be written by one of the greatest crime writers around in the industry that understands both characters. Iíd choose Ed Brubaker for this.
As for the movie crossover this is going into horror fanboy areas but Iíd crossover The Crow with either Michael Myers from Halloween or Jason from Friday the 13th. The movie practically writes itself! Think about it a victim from one of these killers is resurrected to become the next Crow and seek vengeance against their killer. Itís the fight to end all fights. If youíre familiar with any of these properties you know that Jason, Michael, and whoever is the Crow are basically unstoppable. Someone in Hollywood reading this interview get on it now!
Question: Where can one purchase The Howler?
Answer: Right now The Howler is available on lulu.com for $12.95
The Howler is also available through Discount Comic Book Service (DCBS)
I also plan to have The Howler be carried by Amazon and Barnes& Noble in the near future.
Question: Have you ever had a paranormal experience?
Answer: Iíve had a couple of ďweirdĒ things happen to me at one time or another. But I donít know if it was a paranormal experience or i