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Creator Interviews: Writers of TPub

ArtCrumbs Community • Jun 14, 2022



Hello and welcome back everyone for another Creator Interview! For June's guest, we are sitting down with Raymond Tyler and Neil Gibson from TPub Comics (@stacitpub), a publisher from the United Kingdom. Recently, TPub released Amputation Capital #1 for free on Globalcomix, and it will also soon be available on Kickstarter to fund a printed Trade edition of all five issues.

Raymond Tyler wrote Amputation Capital working together with Neil Gibson as a mentor. I assisted on this series on the lettering, and I was excited to sit down with the team that wrote this story. I figured this would be a perfect time to get some advice on writing and their experience working together!

So with the intro out of the way, let's dig in!


So first off, Ray, Neil, thank you for sitting with us today. My first question is for both of you. Amputation Capital is wonderful so far, it's well written and full of action even in just the first issue, and so I'm wondering, what sort of previous experience led up to it?

Ray:
This was actually my first experience writing a comic. I was on the tail end of an MFA in Creative Writing at Lesley University. I'd always wanted to write comics but never got to properly study and learn. I met Neil and he became a mentor. I'm so happy to co-create this book with him and work with Andre, Lizz, Agnese, Jed, and Kat who are all wonderful artists.

Neil:
I have published over a dozen titles, but this is the first book I co-wrote. Raymond sent in the best pitch we have ever received, and so we were lucky enough to be interested before we realized what a sick and twisted mind he is…
 


Sick and twisted, huh? That's not always a bad thing! It can lead to the best stories! So Neil, on the topic of experience, you have many years and titles to your name. What sort of work have you NOT done that you would like to do?

Neil:
Oh LOADS! There are so many topics I haven’t addressed and character types. But in terms of Genre, the main work I haven’t attempted is Romance. I love good romantic comedies, but writing a good romance story is not something that I think would come easily to me.

Raymond:
You should see his My Little Pony Fanfiction - sick stuff.

Neil:
Raymond. What happens in Fanfiction, STAYS in Fanfiction…


Amputation Capital is setting up to be a suspenseful comic that literally doesn’t hold back any punches! It has moments of brutal reality, crime, sadness, betrayal even! It was a real emotional rollercoaster over all five issues. Can you tell us what sort of inspiration you both used while writing it?

Neil:
Honestly, the premise is all Raymond. I just help with the plot, some twists and the storytelling. Gotta give credit where it’s due - the premise, universe and characters are all Raymond.

Ray:
I worked in social media and influencer marketing, before that I had a lot of jobs with a heavy labor focus. Dog walking, construction general labor, surveyor assistant, but then my friend got me a job in an air-conditioned office talking with influencers and scheduling social media posts. I also lived in Los Angeles for a couple of years before moving to New York. I really wanted to make a satire about the professional managerial class and celebrity exploitation. Neil Gibson came along and man was he amazing to co-create this comic with. We started building out the world and the characters together. His perspective and ability to shock and make a scene pop was really cool to watch.
 


I see, so you have had experience working with influencers and social media, you had first-hand experience with these types of people and their lifestyles. I'll bet that was really helping create believable characters. Alfie seems like he has big dreams and goals, but lost his way. I feel like a lot of people could relate to him. Was Alfie directly inspired by anyone or more from the type of people you met?

Ray:
When we created Alfie, we wanted to create a character who embodies what he thinks a salesman should be. To the point where at times he is almost cartoonish, but then there are moments where the mask is pulled off, and you see Alfie who he really is, a scared kid larping as a big-shot salesman.

Neil:
Huh…interesting…I always thought Raymond based Alfie on himself

Ray:
Get out!
 


Alright, so we have a good background for both of you and Amputation Capital, let’s talk about the process. Working with two writers can be a bit tricky, so how do you handle it? How much revision/editing goes on in your scripting process?

Ray:
I’ll let Neil answer that. He taught me everything about the editing and scripting process. I’ll say for the scripting, we did most of it over Zoom calls.

Neil:
I can’t remember. I was drunk for most of it.
 


With both of you living in different areas, Zoom calls would be an efficient way to work live together at the same time. Continuing with the process, finding a team to work with can be difficult. The style of artwork does matter as well as the raw talent/skill of the team to execute that. How did you with the rest of your team for Amputation Capital??

Neil:
You’re absolutely right - a great artist on one project might be totally wrong for another project. That is kinda obvious if an artist draws cute art and you want a horror style, but I was amazed how even within the same genre you really do need the right artist for the particular story. Strangely, I’ve discovered the same is also true for colourists.

Luckily, we found what I think was a very strong team for what whole project and ones who were the right choice.

Ray:
Neil’s from the 80's, so I think he still uses a Rolodex for all his artist contacts.

Neil:
What’s a Rolodex? Is that some new fangled filofax type thing?
 

What advice would you have for a writer/s to look for their artist/team?

Ray:
I think it is important to find people you like working with, and you think can grow with you. I want artists who aren’t afraid to change some things around or give opinions on the script.

Neil:
Jokes aside, I think quality/style, clarity, choice of shot, storytelling ability and willingness to collaborate are the ideal attributes. BUT you also get what you pay for, and the best artist might be out of your budget. So know what you want, but also know what you can afford, and then try and forge a partnership where everyone wins.
 


Amputation Capital still has 4 issues left to release on GlobalComix over the next couple of weeks, and there is a Kickstarter coming up soon as well. Let's talk a little bit about crowdfunding. How do you approach that process?

Neil:
ALL TPub comics are complete before we launch Kickstarter. We believe in the quality of our products. They are not for everyone (hell have you SEEN the premise for this one), but we generate a lot of passionate loyal readers once they see the work we deliver. We’ve never had a failed Kickstarter and with GlobalComix involved, I am not worried at all!

Ray:
What Neil said.
 


 

We're definitely excited about it, too! Once I read the comic I was sharing it with the team to get them to read it so I could gush over it with them! Now, going back to teams, a lot of them don’t have enough money upfront to get a comic completed at normal wages, many struggle to just break even in crowdfunding. What advice would you give to them about using crowdfunding as your primary print run, especially for a larger book, which costs more per unit?

Neil:
This is a tricky proposition. Luckily, we have always been able to make our comics. I don’t think we are in the best position to answer this question, especially because some people reading this will clearly be talented enough to make their own crowd-funded comic. Others will need a lot of guidance, whether they know it or not.
 


Indeed, crowdfunding is tough and can have a lot of unexpected costs that can really hurt any possible profitability if not prepared for. Sometimes, as an artist myself, I feel like writers have a harder time proving their skills than artists do, so it could be more difficult to get that big break. So this is my final question: Do you have any advice for writers looking to get their start? If you feel it’s helpful, offer insight into how you got started in the industry.

Neil:
I think getting quality feedback is essential. If your script is good enough, you will find people who want to collaborate or buy your work.

Ray: I’d just add to that and say: don’t wait for a publisher to give you permission to be creative. Go ahead and write, learn to write and study multiple forms. The artists and the team will come, you’ll find people to work with, but focus on being creative and engaging in a community of creative people.
 


Thank you so much to Neil Gibson and Raymond Tyler for giving us their time today! We were able to talk about their experience as writers, processes, things to think about when gathering a team, and thinking about crowdfunding. I hope this has been a helpful and educational interview for all you creators out there.

Thank you all for reading, and thank you once again to Raymond and Neil from TPub for giving us their time! We'll see you all soon for more educational content!

Until then, you can read Amputation Capital #1 right now. Make sure to follow TPub here on GlobalComix for new release notifications, and head over to Kickstarter to sign up to be notified when the campaign starts.

Amputation Capital, 28 pages - Published by TPub, (cc/ @stacitpub)

Amputation Capital is a dystopian present where celebrities and influencers sell body parts on a publicly-traded skin market. The story focuses on three characters that are displaced and objectified by the skin business. Alfie is a lowly skin trader who has dreams of becoming a CEO, Morgan is a recently divorced actress who sold her ring finger for 2 million dollars and Walter is a former pornstar who makes a symbolic gesture of solidarity after appearing in a porn film with trafficked women. Amputation Capital is Death of a Salesman meets Saw.

Story and Art by TPub