While attending last year’s COMIKAZE Expo I was fortunate to meet with several people from ASPEN COMICS.
First up is Mark Roslan, and we talked all about his original pieces and his literary style.
Scroll on to see what this talent had to say!
UTF: My first question is, having worked for Aspen and created your own properties, how does it feel to see them at local comic shops?
Mark Roslan: It’s a great feeling, because basically, you’re stuck at home and you’re working on these things, and developing them, and it’s a little nerve wracking until you see if people are going to enjoy what you’ve done and what you’re doing. Then to see it come to life, that in itself is rewarding. But then, the book finally comes out, and you get to read reviews, or you see people’s interactions and going to conventions it’s great to have fans come up and say “Oh, I enjoyed it,” or “Oh, I didn’t like it”. I like that because at least they’re being vocal and they care.
UTF: Well that’s very awesome. I gotta say, speaking specifically to BubbleGun, I absolutely dig the technological aspect of it even as it carries a positive feel. But there are some serious undertones and I gotta ask, where did the idea for that franchise come from?
Mark Roslan: Well, it was intended to be a very cool, fun, action grade book that wasn’t too serious. I was writing a story that I felt was a mission impossible. I decided to put it in the future and make things a little crazier. To make it too serious, I thought it was hurting it, so the story twisted a little bit to the fun aspect. That kind of came with the books I grew up with. Because I was a big fan of Danger Girl, Generation X with Scott Lobdell’s writing. I wanted it to be a little fun, with these young kids going out and doing some crazy things and I’m a big sci-fi fan, so I threw that in and I think going too serious would have hurt it.
It just sort of naturally became this fun, pop kinda comic book. I’m really happy with the way it came out. But like I said, I was influenced by Danger Girl, Battle Chasers, of course, which also includes the decision of the artist. I wanted someone that reflected the story and do something that’s fun. I didn’t want anyone too serious or dark. So I asked Mike Bowden to come in and draw these characters, give ’em some bounce and I think it really helped compound the story.
UTF: I would absolutely agree with that.
I want to delve a bit deeper into your writing style. How did you develop your voice in regard to Broken Pieces oppose to BubbleGun?
Mark Roslan: When I first write something, it’s there, but it doesn’t feel unique or have its own voice yet. Then I usually go back and try and edit it myself, and put myself in that character’s mind, and try to make it have their voice. So you really have to sort of juggle different emotions and different feelings and different voices in your head to get these characters to be different, basically.
UTF: Embrace the schizophrenia.
Mark Roslan: I used to write late at night, because I felt like the world was sort of turned off and I could concentrate and bring out these different voices that were coming through my head. Then, I found that writing early in the morning, almost first thing, helps too, because you just rested. Everything is fresh and clear. It helps you get a different perspective, even on your own writing, because you’re looking back on what you didi the day before and you’re oh, you know I should change this or tweak that, so basically, I just wanted to get to know these characters as much as I could, cause it’s not something that’s been around for 10 years. It’s brand new. So you basically have to give it a few times over and tweak it multiple times until you feel like you’ve reached what this character should be saying and doing. It takes some time, but I basically just edit over and over again.
UTF: That sounds perfect.
As we wrap this up, I just want to ask you one more last question. If you were to give a message to your fans out there, and any possible newcomers, what would you like to say to them?
Mark Roslan: Sure. Yea, I’m actually a big fan of the independent publishers. I do feel that there’s some great Marvel and DC books. Some of them feel a little stale and old to me. But the independents are growing and putting out great stuff. Aspen, of course, is putting out a lot of titles with their 10 year anniversary and the 10 for 10. They’ve put out five brand new ones and brought back five ones with a fresh perspective. But also, there’s other comic book publishers, like Image Comics, that had a big spark of new titles. I encourage people to try out these new properties, because there’s something fresh and crazy and cool and innovative for everyone.
If you’re interested in doing your own comics, I think now is sort of the best time because you should really push yourself to just write something, or draw something and get into it. You can get on digitally. You can print your own copies. For me, when I was starting, I was really nervous about putting my voice out there and telling these stories. With the support of my friends and everything, they just pushed me to do it. So if you’re an aspiring creator, I think now is a great time for independence, independent publishers and independent ideas. If you feel like you have a unique voice, you should push yourself and ask your friends to push you, so that you’re able to finally put what you have down on paper.
I feel like this is a great time for comics and a great time to read and get new creative / cool stories out there.
As we close out I want to thank Mr. Mark Roslan for sitting down and chatting with me. It was a pleasure and I can’t wait to read more BubbleGun in the near future.
But what did you guys think of the interview? Sound off with your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!