Spears, Callahan And Anderson To Go Hollywood At Oni With ‘The Auteur’ In 2014 [Interview+Preview]
Today at San Diego Comic-Con, Oni Press announced its latest ongoing creator-owned book, The Auteur, which is slated to make Hollywood start feeling a burning sensation in the spring of 2014. So what's it all about? Having had the opportunity to check out an advance copy of the first issue by Rick Spears (Black Metal), artist James Callahan (Barf Comics) and colorist Luigi Anderson, I can say that at first it seemed to be about an unhinged movie producer desperate to bounce back from the biggest box office flop of all time. By the end of the issue, however, the better question seemed to be "What isn't this comic about?" For answers -- along with a first look at six intense preview pages from The Auteur #1 -- we may or may not have interrogated Spears.
ComicsAlliance: The Auteur follows the Hollywood hijinks of one Nathan T. Rex, a manic movie producer fighting the reality of his devastating failure with a potent cocktail of ego, hubris and drugs. What attracted you to the pseudonym Rick Spears and why was now the right time to make a biocomic?
Rick Spears: I was working on this god-awful work-for-hire thing when I got bitten in the eye by a black widow. The neurotoxin traveled up the optic nerve into my brain and I had this vision of Alan Moore riding a unicorn, but the unicorn’s horn was this massive erect penis.
So Alan asked me, “What do you want to be remembered for?” And I said, “I want to be remembered for all the LOVE I’ve brought to the world.” And he says, “So what are you f*cking around for?” When I came out of the coma I got to work. I wrote this amazing epic poem about love but it was kind of fruity so I threw it out and wrote what became, The Auteur.
So yeah, it’s a dark comedy about a movie producerʼs downward spiral into the depths of depravity to make a great movie and his internal struggle for true human connection and redemption. There’s also plenty of glue sniffing. It’s all very progressive.
CA: After completing the first issue, I guess my most pressing question is... are you feeling alright? Is everything okay in your personal life?
No, I’m not all right! What a stupid question! Who the hell is all right? Only boring people and liars! I’m a mess, but I’m going places.
CA: There's a lot of salty language, nudity and hyperviolence in the first issue of The Auteur, making it a decidedly "mature" book. Why do you hate children?
RS: The Auteur is not for the weak or immature, but perfect for kids! They’re smarter than you think and invincible. I love kids. I even made one. And just for the record I was against the profanity, and boobies, and all the gore, but Oni Press and my editor, Charlie Chu absolutely insisted. They know what sells. Rex gets a cape in issue 3.
CA: According to our sources, you live nearly 3,000 miles away from Hollywood -- about as far as you can get in the continental United States without moving to Maine. Do you consider your whereabouts an act of protest against the film industry?
RS: Actually I split time between my ancestral home in Richmond, Virginia and the Chateau Marmont. And I love the film industry! Like everyone else in comics I really rather be making movies. The master plan is to get The Auteur optioned for a film or TV show so I can quit writing the stupid comic and start making some real money.
CA: Lastly, so far I'm quite impressed by James Callahan's art and Luigi Anderson's colors. Callahan's skateboard deck leanings along with Anderson's talent for making them pop sell the extreme lifestyles of the book's characters and especially the bizarre hallucination sequences flowing throughout the first issue. This isn't a question. I just want you to agree with me.
RS: Whatever. I should get all the credit. I tell those guys what to do. It’s my brilliant script that inspires them to do such amazingly sick work. So yeah, YOU’RE WELCOME.
We’ll have a preview of the 1st issue at NYCC and the book launches properly spring 2014. Buy it!
You can check out six pages (we made page #1 SFW for preview purposes) from The Auteur #1 below.