FOR TOMMY: SEBASTIEN CLAVET
So there I am, writing my Lying In The Gutters column when
I hear that Ghostbusters has been snapped up as a comic. Now
I've always had a fondness for the first film, it was silly
with a streak of nastiness through it, and mixed technology
and magic in an incredibly engaging fashion, only being equaled
now. Plus, you know, I always like it when people answer a
question by the likes of Angel.
So when I found out that some outfit I'd never heard of
called 88MPH had snapped it up, I didn't think too much of
it. Maybe a studio of creators had gotten together, maybe
this was a spinoff from a computer game project, who knows.
Then there were the rumours about Tron, clearly this was another
Dreamwave of Devil's Due with some serious money behind it.
It took a while later till I realized this was just one
man with aspirations. Like, this week.
You see, recently things took a little nose dive. Tron was
cancelled despite being in mid production and one inker cried
foul over delayed payments. So off I trotted, expecting the
same diversionary tactics I got from the likes of CrossGen
or Chaos. Not to be.
Sebastien Clavet was totally up front, telling me the reality
of his situation, what he had got himself into, but how against
all odds, he was pulling himself through it. Independently
a number of other creators stepped forward to back him and
his reputation, for fear it be damaged. It's not often I see
this kind of loyalty, so I took a double take.
I asked Sebastien where 88MPH had come from and how he'd
nabbed it from under the noses of the other license-takers
like Dreamwave, Devil's Due or MVC. How did this come about,
where did you suddenly come from, and how has the experience
This is a good question, and I feel it requires some introduction
as to how it all happened.
I grew up in the
80's, watching G.I. Joe's and Transformers with sheer amazement.
That decade produced some of the most memorable movie experiences
I've had; Aliens, Star Wars, Tron, Blade Runner, Dune, Indiana
Jones, Back to the Future, just to name a few.
And so over the
years I've come to appreciate their designs and got to learn
about the great artists who helped create these visual gems.
Visionaries like Peter Lloyd, Syd Mead, H.R. Giger, Andrew
Probert, Ralph McQuarrie, Ron Cobb, Doug Chiang, Jean Giraud,
Ron Miller. So I began collecting art books, and at the same
time I was developing an interest in Japanese big robots,
Go Nagai's robots, Evangelion, Gundam, Robotech, etc....but
no Transformers art book existed.
So in 2001 I told
myself "Heck I might as well try to make one", and the roller
coaster ride began. With no experience at all I embarked on
a journey far more difficult that I had anticipated. Most
people don't know this, but in 2001 I was an electrician working
in the electronics department at the equivalent of a Home
Depot here in Quebec City. Hence, I had a lot to learn. The
Transformers art book (Genesis) was my "school of publishing"
in many respects.
As for comics,
I started reading them during the whole "Superman is Dead"
thing and fell in love with the medium. After I'd finished
the Transformers book, I thought it would be cool to take
a stab at comics.
my favorite movie of all time, and I knew many more stories
could be told about our beloved paranormal "janitors". I just
love the concept, guys running around NYC in a busted old
59 Cadillac, wearing nuclear accelerators to catch ghosts,
I mean I still smile typing these words. Over the years I
became a "ghosthead", reading a lot about the movies, cartoon,
etc. I'm still not an expert, but I'm close.
For me it was
clear, I knew where I wanted the GB stories to be, where I
wanted them to go, what to explore, how to visually depict
them, etc. All I needed was a creative staff and a license.
I eventually met with Sony in California, made a small presentation,
explained my ideas and some weeks later the deal was drafted.
This was a great moment in my life. Working on Transformers
had been a real blast, but now with Ghostbusters, another
dream was coming to reality.
thought about other companies wanting GB. It never crossed
my mind, but I guess there were other people interested in
acquiring the license. Dreamwave, Devil's Due and MVC were
doing amazing books based on toy lines (and very popular cartoons),
so it never occurred to me that they would be interested in
a movie property. I don't think I took anything "under the
nose" of anyone. However when Sony informed me that we were
proceeding positively I truly was happy to work on the property
I loved so much. As corny as it sounds, I felt almost honored.
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