“The worst twin question is “If I punch you, will he feel it?”, because its always the precursor to one of us getting punched!” Goblin Hood creator Bobby Timony talks merry monsters and more!
We’ve raved about the awesome, Detectobot from Bobby and Peter Timony on here before, but this week sees Bobby go solo with the awesome Goblin Hood and his Merry Monsters available now via ComiXology. We recommended you check it out in this week’s Sunday Digest, so you’ll no doubt know what a fantastic read it is, but we were keen to find out more, so got in touch with Bobby to ask him whether this was just an excuse to come up with some great puns around the Robin Hood myth and what the worst twin related questions he’s ever been asked is!
Tell us a bit about the inspiration for Goblin Hood? Why subvert the Robin Hood story? Was it just so you could create a book with great pun names? Or was it a story you were always drawn to?
BT: Well, my original idea was to do a story about a gang of monster outlaws who were outcasts because they didn’t want to be evil monsters. As I was drawing characters, it occurred to me that I could pattern them loosely on the Robin Hood legend. While I was thinking about that, I decided that rather than just pay homage it might be more fun to just do a new interpretation of the legend. I’ve always loved Robin Hood and toyed around with the idea of doing a comic in the past, but adding the magic and monsters element to the story really makes it new and sets it apart from the other versions of Robin Hood that are floating around out there.
The book has a great all ages tone, is it aimed at kids or just whoever appreciates it? Is there a knack to writing a good all ages suitable story?
BT: It’s aimed at everyone. I think doing an all ages story is a lot easier than people think. Just don’t put in any nudity or swearing. Try not to make the violence too graphic, and there you go. All ages. The same rules that make for a great adult story still apply to an all ages story. Don’t try to dumb it down, because kids can sense when an author is talking down to them. Keep your story smart and your themes sophisticated. Kids are a lot more clever than we give them credit for and they’ll follow along.
I love the way you used the banshee as a narrator, was that something you had in mind all along? And how did you choose which characters would be which? Did you need to do a lot of research or is that something your already into?
BT: I really didn’t need a lot of research, honestly, but its fun to do anyway. My shelves are full of books on monsters and fairytales. It’s something thats always fascinated me. Peter and I dipped into the legends and lore quite a bit with our Night Owls comic (also available on Comixology).
As for the banshee, she’s patterned on a character in the original Robin Hood legend named Allan-a-Dale. Alan was a minstrel, so to represent him I picked a monster famous for singing, the banshee! I gender-swapped the character because banshees are traditionally depicted as women, and the Merry Monsters had too many boys in it already.
The main idea for this first story was to introduce the characters and concepts in a fun and entertaining way. Since Ellen O’Tale is a storyteller at heart, it seemed like a natural choice to pick her to narrate the story.
Which is your favourite of the Merry Monsters and which are you looking forward to telling stories with the most? Is there a plan for how long the story will last or will you just see how it goes?
BT: It’s hard to pick one, but my favorite might be one who hasn’t been introduced yet, The Sheriff of Knottyelm! He’s got a really interesting character hook and is the perfect foil for Goblin Hood. There’s more about him in the sketches and notes pages that appear at the end of the Comixology book.
A fan favorite seems to be Spill Scarlet, the werewolf. People really seem to respond to him, which is good because we learn more about him in the next story I have written. The plan with Goblin Hood is currently to tell a bunch of short stories and let the larger story play out among them, not unlike the original Tales of Robin Hood.
We loved your recent work in Detectobot for MonkeyBrain, can you tell us a bit more about that and what we can expect from it in the coming months?
BT: Thank you! Detectobot will be appearing in 12 page installments for .99 cents each. The prologue sets up the mystery and the upcoming issues will tell us more about our hero, his allies, and his suspects. We’ll meet the girl in the prologue and find out why she was at the scene of the crime. We’ll see Detectobot struggle with having to interact with humans, and we’ll see him maybe learn a few things that weren’t covered in his programming. There’s some good stuff ahead.
Finally, you and your brother regularly work together, and you have set up a site called Twin Comics so do you think that family bond helps you be more in tune when it comes to being creative? And also, what is the most annoying/repetitive ‘twin’ question you get asked (I hope it’s not the one I just asked!!)
BT: Peter and I have been making comics together since we were babies. We had little school desks in our room that we would sit and draw in and a big hollowed out speaker filled with crayons and markers. Working with Peter is like second nature. We’re very much in tune.
Hands down the worst twin question is “If I punch you, will he feel it?“, because its always the precursor to one of us getting punched.
Goblin Hood #1 is available via ComiXology now for £0.69/$0.99 For more information on Bobby’s work visit www.twincomics.com/ or follow him on Tumblr here, find him on Deviantart here and on twitter @BTimony