Thursday, November 01, 2007

Interview Scott Closter - Space Doubles Creator

Scott Closter is the creator of Space Doubles from Th3rd World Studios and is listed as the Business Director of Th3rd World. He is not the writer in issue #1 of either story, not the artist, not the colorists, not the editor, nor the grayscaler or the letter. So who the heck is he and why is he the creator and did he make this book in seven days?

Scott was kind enough to consent (subject himself to) a short interview.

So I was surfing and found out the you are based in Prince Rupert,BC, an IT guy by day and ex-bar band member (better then boy band). Now you are listed as the business director and creator of Space Doubles. I love seeing the different paths people take to get into the production & creative side of comics. All a long preamble to who are you and why are you doing this?
I've been Googled!!! Who am I? That's a question I ask myself every day to be honest. I'm probably not that much different from anyone currently reading this, maybe a bit weirder than some haha. I've always been a creative person, but one who's developed a small town practical mind-set, so though I've tried my hand at many things (writing, acting, music, magic) it's always been a side thing to any "real" job I've had. I sang and played bass guitar in a local band from about 1990 to 2005 roughly. It was fun, but as I got older it was seriously burning me out, so I decided to put that aside and, well, two years on I don't miss it one bit. I'd guess that has to do with the fact that I'm now involved in something that exercises the creative muscles as well as the not-quite-as-glamourous left brain business matters: "Comic Book Production". Hoo-ahhh! Why this, why comic books? Well to be honest, I just really love the medium and I love writing, putting ideas on paper, so the two just kind of seem to click. It's something I could do that's somewhat flexible time-wise, and I could really spend some time learning the craft without being on a schedule. I guess I should state that once an idea is developed past a certain stage, scheduling becomes a big part of it as more people get involved, but I think you see what I'm getting at.

Who is Th3rd World Studios?
Well, Th3rd World was started by Jon Conkling and Michael DeVito. Both had been involved in various aspects of comic book production and were looking to get kind of a studio / publishing company going. I knew Michael primarily from chatting with him and Dwight MacPherson while they worked on Dwight's Dead Men Tell No Tales series. I already had the Space Doubles concept and a few writers already interested in working on it, so I presented it to Jon and Michael, and things just kind of rolled from there. The "original" 4th members of Th3rd World is EIC Justin Robinson. He's edited a few books, including Amazing Joy Buzzards and is a great writer to boot, so he agreed to edit the series. He also has a story in issue 2 of Space Doubles called Sympathizers, which I know you'll get a kick out of. You know, as I sit here I don't even recollect how I got to know Justin, we're of like mind on many things, it seems like he has just always been around. HAHA. The two newest additions to the Th3rd World team are Kevin Bush as Community manager and Scott King as Executive Editor. We're very spread out, I don't even know where half of these guys live, it's a shining example of the Internet community in action.

Space Doubles is a really nice idea and is filling a niche that for the most part the market place has ignored for a lot of years. What is the series all about and how did you put it all together?
Basically what I wanted to do with Space Doubles was just get something out there that I'd like to personally read for the most part. Most of the comics I tend to read are genre titles. There were, and still are, a ton of horror books out there, many of them great reads. I've always been a Science Fiction fan at heart though, and at the time I started SD there wasn't much presentation of the genre beyond the licensed product. Nothing that for me hit upon the SF that predated Cyberpunk. I should say that I know there were a few books here and there, but SD was something that I wanted to see out there that could give someone the same sort of feeling that one would get reading a collection of old SF short stories from PKD, Bradbury and the like.

This is a five issue mini-series (correct?). Would you want to continue this as ongoing or do you have other ideas that you want to explore?
This is indeed a five issue mini-series. Should sales warrant more, we'll look at doing another one in the very near future. I wanted to keep the first series to a low finite number for practical and creative reasons. We're not really sure how well the book will do, so we didn't want to bite off more than we could chew. I do have other ideas I want to explore and am exploring. One of them being similar in concept to SD, but it's a bit too early to talk about it at this point.

Just doing a blog and working my day job takes a lot of time, how long has it taken you to pull together this entire project?
You know, I think it's quite a surprise to most people when they get involved with an internet based project, even one, that gets updated on a weekly basis. Like you say, it's a LOT of work, and then you can only hope people start reading. Michael DeVito pointed out your blog to me, and now I'm hitting it once a week. But back to your question. The project took two years, which was quite a surprise to me. I had originally estimated up to a year and that's what I was telling everyone who was involved from the beginning. We found though that creatively things were taking longer, people dropping out, etc etc. We then made a decision that we wanted to have 4 of 5 issue fully complete, and the 5th at least half complete before we solicit issue 1 to Diamond. Indy books are a hard enough sell as is, and we didn't want any delays releasing any of the five issues, as this seems to be one of the big reasons a book gets dropped by the readers. It's actually a hassle both for the retailer and the readers, so we're just making sure we do what we can to help them out by being consistent.

Do you only write one of the stories? If so why only one?
I did write one, and only one. I submitted it just like anyone else did, went through the editing process, etc. I didn't want this to be an ego project, or even have the taint of it. I wanted it to be a group thing and have several different flavours of story within the issues. And realistically to have the project succeed as a whole there needs to be a blend of name brand recognition with the "not as well known" talent, and I'm very much in the latter half LOL.

What are your short terms goals in the industry (idea man, writer,editor)?
My short term goals are to at least be moderately successful as a writer and idea man. I'm mentally reaching for the stars, but I know what I'll be happy with. Some of the ideas I have are a bit bigger than me, so if it's a good idea for a group project, I'm happy to share it, just to get it out there. As a writer, I still need to get more of my work out there, a lot of it is being worked on in the art stages and such, it's juts not a fast process for me due to the amount of time I put into my day job. That's what gives me the most thrills though, the writing process.

So GI Robot is a favorite character that you would like to make over into a Vertigo book, give us a couple of hints of what you would do with him? (For those of you who don’t know he is a character out of DC's Weird War Tales - slightly obscure)
I love a lot of the more obscure characters I used to read in my youth. I had a ton of DC anthology books such as Weird War Tales, House Of Mystery, Ghosts, Tales Of The Unexpected and the like. G.I. Robot was one that stuck out, just because the concept was just a neat idea and he appeared regularly enough to imprint upon me. I will stay a bit closed-lipped on what I'd like to do with him though, just in case. :)

What is your next project?
Well, I have two projects that I'm juggling right now that are in various stages. The Z List, and SP-I . In the meantime I'm still doing a bit of work on the Eskimo Dave web comic, and reparing to either jump upon a second run of Space Doubles or a second project similar to SD that I have in the works. I still have a lot of work to do to promote the remaining four issues of SD. I hesitate to speak too much about anything until things become a bit more concrete, I don't want to sound like I'm blowing hot empty air HAHA.

Thanks again to Scott for giving so generously of his time to let us conduct this interview. I’m looking forward to what Scott and Th3rd World has in store for us in the future.


  1. It's funny that you picked that issue of Weird War Tales. I had that one as a kid.

  2. You know, so did I actually. I think there just weren't as many books out there on the spinner racks in those days.