Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sean Wise Interview - Creator of Penance : Trial of the Century

This rounds out the interviews we have had with the creators of Penance : Trial of the Century. This time Sean Wise co-creator is subject to our Q&A.

Jim: I read a little about you on the web and found your website, venture capitalist, professor, author, online tv host, lawyer and comic book aficionado. So who is Sean Wise?
Sean: I'm a business superhero!!! See for yourself:

Jim: What inspired you to write this tale?
Sean: Penance was a labor of love inspired by earlier tales, including: Watchmen, Astro City and Kingdom Come.

We started with the premise "If OJ Simpson's case was the trial of the century" what would it be like if a real hero, a superhero was put on trial. A trial for a crime he most likely committed.

I wrote it while in law school and while OJ was on trial. We ended up selling it to a publisher who later got embroiled in a lawsuit over another project. That locked us up at the same time.
I promised Paul, that one day, this would get printed. We just needed to wait til that lawsuit ended.
10 years latter I was on a speaking tour and I was approached by Sean O'reilly, the publisher at Arcana. We got to talking and before you know it. Penance was back.

Jim: In reading Penance it was a little disconcerting having the universe be one I was almost totally unfamiliar with. Was I have supposed to read a recent mini-series about this universe prior to this book? If no, then why kept that continuity going? Plans for more stuff in the near future?
Sean: Tales of Penance issue 1 is all you need to read. The book starts mid fight as a literary tool. You have not missed anything, you just have wait til future issue flashbacks to find out what happened earlier.

So yes, their is continuity, but no you haven't missed anything. The best is yet to come. Penance Trial of the Century is a four issue story arc which makes up volume one of the trilogy.

We've mapped out the series to completion, but its so dense it takes 12 issues to grok it all. But if you careful in issue one you can actually see easter eggs alluding to the future. You just need to look real hard.

Jim: Obviously you day job keeps you busy, so you and Paul Gilligan just wrote a plot outline or more?
Sean: Paul and I wrote the series. We plotted it, did all the concept work, and wrote issue 1's script. Then Paul's pooch cafe strip took off and my career got busy, so I steped aside and brought in Ryan and GOOF! So for most the book I'm more the executive producer than anything.

Jim: Is this strictly a labor of love for you at this point?
Sean: It is a labor of love, but I'm still hoping it gets widely read, because I've got two more volumes of stories to tell.

Jim: Did you choose the scripter for this series?
Sean: Paul Gilligan and I worked with Sean O'Reilly to choose who would turn our epic into a page turner. Once we meet Ryan, there was no choice. He was a perfect fit.

Jim: What are some of your current favorite comics (if any) and why?
Sean: I'm a huge fan of the Geoff Johns' work on Green Lantern, JSA and the rest. Also a big fan of Powers and Invincible. All for the same reason - the writing. When I grow up I want to be one of those writers.

Jim: You work in start-up companies all the time, are you working with Arcana?
Sean: Sean O and the gang from Arcana are awesome. They don't need my help. But if they did, I'd be there.

Jim: Any short term goals for your concept?
Sean: Well Penance:: Trial of the Century is the first act of a 3 chapter story that takes place over a number of years. So My goal is for PToC to sell well enough so I can get going on Penance: Strange Bedfellows and Penance: Cradle to Grave.

Jim: In comics what would be your dream project?
Sean: I really want to right a mini series for the Green Lantern Corps. I'd like to bring back the idea of the "backup" lanterns. ie now that Guy Garner and John Stewart are full time alongside Hal Jordan, I'd like to write a 4 issue series of new heroes picked to back up these legendary ringslingers.

That wraps up our interviews with the Penance creators check the artist GOOF's interview here and the scripter Ryan's interview here.

Gentlemen once again I want to thank you guys for letting us get to know each of you a little better and here more about your book.

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