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To understand that Larime Taylor is responsible for any one part of comic book production is impressive. To realize he is a virtual one-band band (he writes, pencils, inks, shades and letters black-and-white comics) is nothing short of miraculous.
To him, it is just something that he loves to do.
Taylor was born with Arthrogryposis, a birth defect that stunts development of the limbs in utero, and leaves him with very little use of his arms and legs. He uses a power wheelchair to get around, and he draws with his mouth. He works on a WacomCintiq, doing everything digitally.
One of the announcements coming from Top Cow during the last SDCC was a new ongoing from this unique writer/artist called A Voice in the Dark, which launched in November 2013. Issue #7 hits stores May 21st, and at this point in time the comic book machine that is Taylor ponders his future and that of his book.
Dynamic Forces caught up with Taylor to see how the unique comic producer is doing.
Dynamic Forces: Larime, I marvel at your talent. But I am sure there has been a price in growing up and being born with Arthrogryposis. Tell us about the disease and the challenges of your life.
Larime Taylor: I don’t really have anything to compare it to. I’ve only known my own experiences. The kids I grew up with, the ones who knew me from kindergarten, they just saw me as another kid. For them it was normal. It was only after moving to another town between 5th and 6th grade that I really became “different” or felt that way. I’m in a wheelchair and do everything with my mouth, and I can do most things anyone else can, I just have to work a little harder or go at it from a different angle. I just have to think differently and adapt. I’m good at problem-solving.
DF: How did art enter your life?
Larime Taylor: Like most kids do, drawing as a child. Every kid colors and doodles, and I was no different. I just did it with my mouth. My mother is artistic, and she taught me some basics for drawing – proportions, and so on. It was something I was good at and got attention for, which every kid wants, so I stuck with it.
DF: What types of art have you worked with and how did you develop your “mouth technique,” for lack of a better term?
Larime Taylor: It’s not really any different, I don’t think. I just have to work harder on perspective and proportion because my eyes are so close to the work that it’s easy to get “lost” in where things are. I’ve drawn with pencil, pen and ink, brush and ink, and painted with watercolor, oils and acrylics. I’ve done illustration, portraiture and caricature, and now comics. I come from a caricature background, doing festivals and events.
DF: Do you still have trouble functioning in everyday society, or has that become second nature now?
Larime Taylor: I get by. I’m 38, so I’ve had a lot of practice and experience in the world.
DF: How did you become interested in comics?
Larime Taylor: Like most kids, I’d get them on the spinner racks at corner stores. I was never much of a collector. I fell out comics by high school, but got back into them again in college with The Crow and The Sandman.
DF: How did you and Top Cow get together?
Larime Taylor: They were one of about 10 publishers I pitched to at Wonder Con 2013. A few were interested in the book, and Top Cow was the one I went with. It had a long history, a brand name, and the big Image “I” on the cover. Matt Hawkins really liked the book, and I just felt comfortable there. It’s been a great fit.
DF: Tell us a little about the complex path as a project of A Voice in the Dark.
Larime Taylor: It started as a Kickstarter that funded my submission package, a 56-page graphic novel. That got turned into issues #1 and #2 at Top Cow, and #3 through #7 – which comes out on the 21st – is all-new material, a new arc. The trade that comes out June 11th collects both of those arcs.
DF: What is the current status of Voice?
Larime Taylor: It’s been renewed for another five-issue arc starting in September, so there will be two months off after the trade, then it’s back. It’ll be in color, too. My wife Sylv, who colors the covers, will be doing interior work as well. There will be a second trade collecting that, and depending on sales, we keep going in five-issue minis as long as there’s interest.
DF: What about your status as a comic book creator?
Larime Taylor: It’s the only book I’m putting out at the moment. I've been talking some with other publishers about writing some licensed material, and I’ve been working with other artists to develop other creator-owned books as a writer. I’m not ready to try drawing two books a month just yet!
DF: Larime, tell us about your current dilemma and your GoFundMe page.
Larime Taylor: We’re trying to move to Las Vegas to be closer to family and get a fresh start as my career takes off, but being disabled we have more needs and expenses and can’t just hop in a car and go. I’ve put together a fundraiser to help us with the move. You can see it at http://www.gofundme.com/82y2z8.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Larime Taylor for this special interview, and we urge all interested to check his GoFundMe website. A Voice in the Dark #7 from Top Cow hits stores May 21st!
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