Back in March we spoke to George Lentino, publisher of Moonshot Digital Comics, who was setting out his plan to revolutionise the world of digital comics with “innovative, experimental and down-right fun to read comics”. Well the first title, from that stable, Deluge, is about to be released with the team of film-maker turned writer J.D. Oliva and artist Richard Clark at the helm. After hearing about all the great things that George had planned for his new line of digital comics, I got in touch with J.D. to ask him about his inspiration for Deluge and just what exactly the Moonshot Digital experience entailed.What was the inspiration for your new comic Deluge and what are your hopes and aims are for the title?
JD: I was shooting a short film in New Orleans in the summer of 2008 and while we at a bar one night the locals starting telling Hurricane Katrina stories. One of them was about a group of cops who decided to pick off criminals stranded on their rooftops. That story always stuck with me but it took me a few years to figure out how to make it work beyond just the concept. Then in the summer of 2010 while in Andy Schmidt’s Comics Experience Advanced Online writing course, I had to come up with a miniseries pitch and that was the first thing that popped in my head. I’m hoping just to tell a good, solid story and get my writing career headed in the right direction.
You’re financing it via KickStarter, how have you found that process and would you use it again?
JD: Though my KickStarter was successful, it literally came down to the last hour before knowing if it was going to be successful or not. I don’t think I have enough industry cred to pull off another one, as of yet.
For those who aren’t familiar with your work, what is your background in comic and what inspires you as a writer?
JD: I’ve been a fan of comics since I was 9 years old. Growing up, I wanted to either be film maker or a comic writer and in high school in decided to focus on film. I’ve made a couple of indy films and found the experience to be not quite what I had hoped. I started reading comics again and decided I wanted to chase this path down, but didn’t have any clue how to do it. Consequently, I spent a few years doing everything wrong. I remember a few years ago I was invited to pitch a television show and I spent a lot of time creating the pitch, which they passed on. I was pretty down on myself and later that day I saw on C.B. Cebulski’s twitter page that former Marvel editor Andy Schmidt was taking his Comics Experience classes online. I decided to give it a shot and it’s been a life-changing experience. I wouldn’t be talking to you today if I hadn’t gone and furthered my education with Andy. I can’t say enough good things about what these classes have done for me as a writer. I’m totally happy writing comics and scratching my film itches with my documentary work, which actually pays the bills right now.
You’re releasing the book via Moonshot Digital Comics, tell us how that came about and what the experience of working with them has been like?
JD: Deluge will be one of the initial properties distributed by Moonshot Digital Comics. It’s pretty exciting to be on the ground level of a brand new company and it’s very humbling that George Letino, our publisher, believes in the book this much. He likes what Rich Clark (my artist) and I are doing and I couldn’t be happier with the situation.
I pitched George the book about 9 months ago and it’s been a great experience, so far. George wants to make Moonshot a company for creators, so he’s pretty much let us tell the story that we want. He’s made a few suggestions, but nothing that would change the book we’re creating. That’s probably been the most fulfilling part of this experience. That being said, I’ve brought in freelance editing extraordinaire and fellow CEX alum Paul Allor to edit the book. I know that I have flaws as a writer (I can’t spell to save my life) and having someone like Paul work with me has been a huge help. And he’s a pretty good writer in his own right!
Finally, what does the future hold for J.D. Olivia?
JD: I’ve got several properties in various stages of development and I want to have them all housed at Moonshot, but with company being in its infant stages, I’m holding back a little right now to see how everything with Deluge. I know I have a lot to learn regarding the craft and the business of comics. I imagine in the next few years, I’ll have a few more books out there.
Deluge will be available mid-summer on Apple’s iBooks, Barnes and Noble’s Nook, Amazon’s Kindle, Kobo and Android platforms as well as on the web via Graphicly.com and on Moonshot Digital’s Facebook page. In the meantime you can follow J.D. on Twitter @JD_Oliva