FOR TOMMY: SEBASTIEN CLAVET
How does such a situation affect a company like yourself?
In terms not only of time and finance, but also motivation
SEBASTIEN: 88MPH is owned and run by myself alone. The
creative team is scattered throughout the USA and Canada and
I work with them over high speed internet. I've financed everything
I've done so far from my own money, there is no investor just
plain old me.
people might say that I am crazy to have risked my money on
these projects, that are based more on passion than any real
desire for profit, but sometimes crazy works. Tron didn't,
but Ghostbusters is still alive and kicking.
myself is not that hard, I do it based on my desire as a fan
to own these books. I truly enjoy working on them. However
business being business, money has to be earned so everything
can keep moving forward. In that sense, stress can do nasty
things on my moral, there is always a chance no one will like
what we do. I don't think that will be the case, but if the
last year has taught me anything it's to expect the unexpected.
Luckily I have a great team working for me; Andrew's always
been there, helping in many ways more than just writing, and
Steve, Serge and Blond are the same. I have nothing but praise
for them. This book is theirs; I'm just in the background
says that comics don't sell like they used too, and I guess
that's true. I wish GB could sell 50 thousand copies a month,
that would be incredible, but that's just not realistic right
now. However, I think once people see the caliber of book
we're putting out, we'll do okay. It's to the point now where
I'm sick of talking about the book as a theoretical, I want
to get it in print and show the world what we've been working
on for the last year. I think a lot of people are going to
be surprised at just how good it is.
learned a lot since 2001, and I've made my share of mistakes,
but I have also learned from them. In comics (especially licensed
comics) there will always be situations you can't control,
just like in any other business. However the nature of what
88MPH is doing puts us in the public eye where one can be
judged very harshly, especially when the facts are not all
there for people to read.
is not Devil's Due or Dreamwave, I don't imagine that I could
be as successful as they have been. However the quality of
what we do is equal to theirs, Andrew, Steve, Serge, Blond
are all pros and their collective talent makes Ghostbusters
shine like I never thought it could. I am really proud of
that book. My company might not be big, but it is here to
lack comics experience, but I am a hopeless dreamer, a nostalgic
and I am deeply passionate about the work I do. And if people
try one issue of Ghostbusters they will see that a whole lot
of passion went into its creation.
How about this whole licensed property thing anyway? It seems
to take the worst aspects of work-for-hire, a lack of creative
freedom, and combine them with the worst aspects of creator-owned,
a lack of security and cash flow. Why put yourself through
SEBASTIEN: Working on licensed properties is obviously
quite different than working on your own material. It depends
on what you want to accomplish in this business, in my case
I have the desire to work on Ghostbusters, so I accept the
rules of the game and abide by them. But to be brutally honest
I don't feel "restrained" at all.
as creative freedom goes, we have a lot. Sony is really great
to work with, I have nothing but praise for them. They understand
what we want to do with this title and are very supportive.
Obviously we have to keep things on a certain level (equivalent
to a PG-13 movie), but beyond that we can do pretty much anything
we want. In the first four scripts, Sony has only requested
about a dozen changes, and most of those were typos. So, while
other companies might feel constrained, I don't. I'm very
lucky to work with a licensor who shares my vision for these
the security and cash flow, those are risks I am willing to
take because I love the property and want to work on it. Also,
I know there is an audience for this title. The problem with
most creator owned books is that you have to create your audience
from scratch. With Ghostbusters, there is a huge audience
out there, we just have to let them know we're here, and produce
work that is good enough to get their attention. So that takes
away some of the financial risk. Of course, I may be wrong,
but I don't think so. And besides, I want to do this. Sure
I might fail, but I might not. Everything is a risk, at least
this is a risk I will have a lot of fun taking.
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