While attending last year’s COMIKAZE Expo I got to meet with Damian Wassel Jr.
He’s the first of several interviews with Creative Mind Energy.
If you’re ready for a barrage of awesomeness than scroll on!
UTF: Where did the idea for CREATIVE MIND ENERGY come from?
Damian Wassel Jr.: I think the idea for the business has been in the background of all of our minds for a long time. My father brought us up telling stories and getting us involved in creative projects. A long time ago he wrote an illustrated series of children’s books, and he had another illustrator work on them; wasn’t particularly satisfied, so my cousin Nathan was in high school and doing a lot of art, and he gave him a shot to work on it.
He sort of paid Nathan to work full time on art all through his college years, so he honed his craft and then we had this whole library of stories and this phenomenal artist, so we thought, “Let’s see if we can make this happen.”
Through a really fortuitous business connection, my dad’s other career, we got funding to make this a reality. So …
UTF: Can you describe your responsibilities in the company?
Damian Wassel Jr.: Yeah. My two roles in the company are – three roles, really: I do management, I do graphic design, and I trouble-shoot stories. What I mean when I say that is, for example, we’ll talk about “Deadeye.”
We were working on where to take the second volume, and we knew we wanted to expand the scope of the narrative, because we wanted to make room for this to have a longer run than we originally planned. They came to me and said, “We have this idea we want it to be the case that as Deadeye goes westward, things get a little more insane, and there are these strange creatures, and so forth. We need him to be caught up in this power play between these mysterious forces that show up in the first book, but we’re not quite sure what these mysterious forces should be. We need some idea of how to have weird monsters and these mysterious forces pushing things around.”
I went and sat down and thought about it for awhile and came back with the idea of these psionic aliens that have been imprisoned on Earth, and trying to get to an escape pod that has a security system that mutates lifeforms; and patched it all together into an integrated whole.
UTF: Very nice!
How do you see your role moving forward?
Damian Wassel Jr.: I’m also the lead writer on some of our projects. For example, we have a historical narrative set in the early Edo period in Japan. The title’s called “Dragon Flower.” I’m in the final stages of writing that now, and that project should be released sometime in the next calendar year.
As we move forward, I end up finding myself taking on an increasing amount of management responsibilities, but I’m also keen on playing the role of writer on some of our other properties that are coming out.
UTF: Are there any messages that you would like to send out to the fanboys and fangirls that might be reading this transcript?
Damian Wassel Jr.: The way I think of what we do as a company is we try to deliver the sort of product that everybody’s always wanted and they haven’t been able to find. We catch you with the art, keep you with the writing, and try to make both aspects of our storytelling creative. Our company slogan is “Imagine Extraordinary Things,” and that’s what we try to do. We try to imagine just absolutely beautiful works and worlds, and put them in fanboy hand.
As we close out I want to thank Mr. Damian Wassel Jr. for sitting down and chatting with me. It was a pleasure and I can’t wait to see what he does next!
But what did you guys think of the questions? Sound off with your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!