Welcome Back to part 2 of my interview with Paul J. Salamoff, writer of Logan's Run: Last Day by Bluewater Comics. If you missed part 1 last week then go here first. Issue 2 is on stands now.
Matthew: Now, let’s focus on the writing side. What have you written before now (in comics or anywhere else)? When did you discover you were a writer? Where did you get your encouragement? How did you break into the “Biz”?
Paul: I’ve been working in the Film & TV business for over 20 years as a Screenwriter, Producer, Executive and originally as a Special FX Make-Up Artist and have worked on over 50 films and numerous TV series and commercials. I am a bit of a newbie to comics (Closing in on 2 years). I have written a few series for Bluewater including 6 issues of the widely popular VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS and Roger Corman Presents BLACK SCORPION which is just wrapping up it’s 4-issue run. I also wrote PUPPY POWER: BO OBAMA which was just released as an expanded Trade paperback as BO OBAMA: THE WHITE HOUSE TAILS. Upcoming I have another Roger Corman series combining two of his film series DEATHSTALKER and THE BARBARIAN QUEEN. I also have a graphic novel coming out later this year called DISCORD for Markosia Press.
I’m also the author of two non-fiction books THE COMPLETE DVD BOOK (With Chris Gore) and ON THE SET: The Hidden Rules of Movie Making Etiquette, which is used in film schools around the world.
Matthew: Wow, that’s a pretty impressive resume. You’ve done a lot since your palm flower started blinking!
Paul: LOL…I’ve managed to elude the DS Men for quite some time.
Matthew: When do you find time to write? Do you keep a journal or anything? Is writing your fulltime “gig” or do you have to supplement with another job? Any tips for aspiring writers?
Paul: I am a very focused and organized writer and try to write during the day (after I drop my kids off to school). When it pays, writing is a fulltime gig, but I am also President of Production for Rat Bastard Productions and I do a lot of freelance producing so that eats up some time. The best tip I can give for aspiring writers is “Writer’s write” so write whenever you can whether its comics, screenplays or short stories. Every time you write it increases your skills and makes you a better (faster) writer.
Matthew: Oh, to be a faster writer…
Matthew: Who are your primary influences? What writers do you like to read (you don’t have to limit it to just comics) and why?
Paul: I love to read Sci-Fi and Horror (interspersed with some non-fiction here and there). My favorite authors are Stanislaw Lem and Kurt Vonnegut. I also like Robert Asprin’s MYTH ADVENTURES series as well as The Hitchhiker’s Guide and James Bond series. The reason I like Lem and Vonnegut so much is that they’re hard to categorize. Yes, they’re known for Sci-Fi but they also write absurdist fiction and generally mix reality into the fantastic. They also write in many different genres which I do myself, so it gives me hope that you don’t have to be pigeon-holed as only a sci-fi or horror guy. I love writing comedy too.
Matthew: I had to read one Lem novel in college, Eden. I didn’t like it at all -- maybe it’s because it was over my head. However, I loved reading the Ian Fleming Bond novels growing up.
Paul: Most people know Lem for SOLARIS. I actually really like EDEN and it inspired me to write my graphic Novel THE SILENT PLANET.
Matthew: I’m tempted now to read it again, but I’m pretty sure I chucked my copy awhile ago. I always thought the book was called LEM, because his name was bigger than the actual title.
Matthew: Did you start reading comics as a kid or did you discover them later? What was your favorite comic book series growing up?
Paul: I still have 6 long boxes filled to the brim with comics that I read as a kid. I was more of a Marvel guy and a fan of some of their secondary titles. I loved Marvel Team-Up and The Defenders and The Thing (Ben Grimm) had his own comic [Marvel Two-in-One]. Yes, I did read X-Men and Spiderman, but I was intrigued by all the mini-series that came out, especially Secret Wars. I also collected Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from the beginning and still have all the originals (Except for Issue#1, of course) in mint condition.
Matthew: Did you ever read Marvel’s Godzilla or the Micronauts? Those are some of my favorites. My wife would love it if I only had 6 long boxes. I think I have over 5 times that much!
Paul: I had a few issues of both, but was more a fan of the Godzilla movies and Micronauts toys.
Matthew: Are there any other adaptations you’d like to tackle? How about Barry Hughart’s Bridge of Birds or Steven R. Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant series or “Gap” series? -- If you’re familiar with those.
Paul: I have a few in mind, but would like to keep those under wraps :)
Matthew: What would be your dream project? Are you interested in creating your own series or working for one of the “Big Two”?
Paul: I currently have 4 graphic Novels being produced based on original stories of mine. One of them, THE SILENT PLANET is my personal favorite, so that is really living the dream. I would also love to work for MARVEL or DC at some point. It would be surreal to say the least.
Come back next week for Part 3.
Also, I want to wish everyone a Happy Easter (aka Happy Resurrection Day) this weekend. I'm planning on visiting my childhood church down in Virginia tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to it.