EXCLUSIVE: J.T. Krul talks SOULFIRE, JIRNI and ASPEN

While attending last year’s COMIKAZE Expo, I was able to sit down and speak with a few awesome writers, such as J.T. Krul.

He’s the scribe most recently responsible for All New Soulfire and Jirni.

Read on to see what this tremendous talent had to say!

UTF: Let me ask you, how did you get involved with Aspen Comics?

Aspen LogoJ.T. Krul: I actually got involved with Aspen almost at the very beginning. I got a big break with Marvel. I did two 11 pages stories in their anthology series’, X-Men Unlimited and Spider-Man Unlimited, and they came out in 2004 which was when Aspen was first getting up and running. They asked me to help out with Dawn of War. Geoff Johns, who I’ve known for years, actually introduced me to Mike [Turner], Frank [Mastromauro] and Peter [Steigerwald]. They bought me on board and when that finished up they said, “Hey, do you want to do the main book?” And I was like, “absolutely!”And then they wanted to do a companion series and a few months later they asked me to help out with Soulfire.

Soulfire vol.1 3_CSo I went from writing two 11 pages stories for Marvel and to four books over a few months. They gave me a huge shot. I would not be sitting here today or doing any comic book work if it wasn’t for these guys. They took a chance on me and now, we’re here 10 years later and Dave Wohl‘s writing Fathom but we’re launching the fifth line of Soulfire and I’ve been writing that since issue three of volume one.

We just did a panel, and I realized I’ve written more Soulfire than than anything else in my life.

UTF: Now that you’ve been able to dabble in properties within Aspen and you’ve launched Jirni, how does it feel to finally have a creator owned property?

J.T. Krul: It’s the best feeling.

I love writing other characters. I’ve written Aspen characters for years, I’ve written DC characters, other companies’ characters, characters I’ve loved since growing up but there’s nothing like creating your own world, doing your own thing.

Jirni 1_CJirni is kind of a celebration of all things fantasy that I loved growing up. Hulk and Conan the BarbarianClash of the Titans to Red Sonja and even Excalibur then you have the Arabian motif going in there to give it an exotic flare. It’s a story about a girl growing up. It’s about a princess who’s mother’s kidnapped from and she ventures off into this uncharted world that she knows nothing about to try to save her from this sorcerer who’s taken her. It’s a journey of self discovery. We’re not being coy in the fact that we called it Jirni, its just that’s what the books about. The books about a journey and that’s what I loved about old classic stories.

Conan-and-the-People-of-the-Black-Circle-2_CConan doesn’t change as much as it’s about him interacting and his effect on the world. He was always kind of like the lens through which you saw and that’s kind of what I wanted to do with Ara. It’s all about these amazing different places and the characters she comes up with and the decisions she’s forced to make. In that regard, it’s an endless possibility for them. We actually announced a few weeks ago we’re going to do a second volume of Jirni with retailers and the readers, everybody, has been really supportive of it.

It’s great to not only create something on your own but actually do well enough to continue it. That’s harder and a lot much more gratifying that people are connecting with the material.

UTF: I want to ask about Soulfire.

We have fantasy combined with technological in an effort to create something new (see the previous volume), all in an effort to take on a possessed Grace. Where did the idea for that dynamic come from?

Soulfire 5_BJ.T. Krul: Malachi is the center of the book and all along he’s had Grace to guide him and help him out. To basically, have the person that he relied on the most become the ultimate force of destruction and to kind of have to confront that head and take her then twist everything about her around and =use her as the harbinger of doom, it was just very appealing. To essentially force them to make such a big decision to merge magic and technology, which we’ve seen a notion of the purity of magic and that’s what a lot of the people who are in the Everlands are about. Not allowing technology in the realm at all. Malachi is a man of both worlds so for him it’s not actually so taboo. It’s not that he doesn’t see the big deal, there’s not necessarily an inherent evil in it.

We don’t want to do a story where it’s like, oh, magic is good and technology is always evil. They’re not. They’re tools and it’s about how they’re used and here they are combining the two in order to basically save the universe which isn’t a bad calling at all.

UTF: Agreed.

As we wrap this up, is there anything you’d like to say to fanboys and fangirls that might be reading this interview? Maybe give them a selling point.

J.T. Krul: This is our tenth anniversary, we just did a big initiative were we had all our first issues for a dollar.

EDITOR’S NOTE: They’re still available on Comixology for that price!

aspen10 for 10

So anybody who hasn’t tried our stuff its a great way to get introduced into our worlds and what we offer. We have a wide variety of characters it’s just a fun universe to explore.

For anybody who’s already read my stuff and like it I’d like to say thank you because if it wasn’t for readers buying my stuff and enjoying the works that I do I wouldn’t be able to do it. You can’t have one without the other, if you write something no matter how amazing it is, if no one ends up reading it, it’s really just a journal, it’s not a book or a comic book. The fact that people have responded and connected with the stuff I write, that’s the real reward of writing.

I want to take the time to thank Mr. J.T. Krul for the sitting down with me. Can’t wait to read what this guy does next!

But what did you guys think of the interview? Sound off with your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!

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I'm the Managing Editor for the site, and I've been a contributor for two years now. My main focus is reviews, comics especially, but I dabble in news and editorials with time permitting. I've been a collector for over half my life and this is my chance to stretch my fanboy legs. So relax and come with me to a place where INCREDIBLE and UNCANNY fall in line with AMAZING!