GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Interview: Comic Book writer/artist Brockton McKinney | I Smell Sheep

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Interview: Comic Book writer/artist Brockton McKinney

Brockton McKinney, I Smell Sheep, interview
Action Lab Entertainment started a mature line of comics called "Action Lab: Danger Zone" and the horror/comedy Ehmm Theory will be one of the first ones released in May. I reviewed it recently (here) and loved it. So when I found out the writer Brockton McKinney was going to be at the Winston Salem Comic-Con (about 20 minutes from my house) I contacted him about doing an interview and finding out the story behind Ehmm Theory as well as some important stuff like which Disney princess he thought was the hottest.
Brockton is so charming, and enthusiastic about his work. I wish I could translate his energy during the interview into this post! If you ever get a chance to meet him at a convention stop by and say hello. He is also an artist and does commission work if you want a a character turned into a zombie. Check out some of his work at Lost Story Studios. And he agreed to turn our sheep logo into a zombie! He will be unveiled at the end of the interview.

*I have to apologize to Brockton cause I suuuuck at live interviews. I constantly interrupted him and turned the conversation around to be about me <G>. I had to edit out lots of me. But we spent a lot of time laughing <G>*

Sharon: What was your Favorite childhood comic?
Brockton: Okay, I think my favorite childhood comic is gonna be Spider-man. I loved Spider-man growing up. 

Sharon: Favorite adulthood comic?
Brockton: probably Lock and Key. I've really been enjoying the Lock and Key series. It's a Joe Hill comic and sort of scary and cool with an awesome back story and great continuity and the art is just pretty you’ll be reading it and getting used to it then it will shock you with something *gasping* a real emotional roller-coaster to me which is hard to do in a comic book. He is a novelist... 

*Sharon has a duh moment and realizes he is talking about Joe Hill as in Stephen King’s son*

Sharon: oh, that Joe Hill! I didn't know he had a comic…

Brockton: yeah! And it’s brilliant! I really do love it! 

*Sharon notices Brockton’s enthusiasm for this comic has him very close to ‘squeeeing’*

[we go off on a tangent about Stephen King books we read as kids. His favorite was Skeleton Crew “scared the hellllll out of me”]

Sharon: Tell us about your comic Ehmm Theory… how many issues?
Brockton: we got signed for around 60 to 75 issues. So it’s an ongoing series. That’s not to say we couldn’t get cancelled because we most certainly could. The way it’s currently set up; we have 4 issue arcs and I’m keeping them between 4 and 5 issues maybe 6 max. As of right now the first 12 are all 4 issues. So I’ve got pretty much 12 issues done. The first issue will come out in May then every other month after that. We’ll see how much faster things start picking up and make sure we have enough under our belt so we don’t get to a point where you have to wait 5 months for the next issue.

Sharon: How long does it take to produce one issue?
Brockton: We’re streamlining it now, but it took us about 30 days to get a single issue done. It was just me and Larkin Ford, the artist, and we had it black and white when we were self-publishing and pitching it. Then we added Jason Strutz who’s doing the colors for us now. We have a studio in Carrboro (NC) called Lost Story Studios and Jason works there. [Larkin (left), Jason (right]

[I mention I use to live in Carrboro when I was going to UNC and we go off topic, again, because his wife went to UNC too]

I’m thinking we are going to have to get it down a little quicker than 30 days. There is a new way we are doing the style where Larkin watercolors everything to add the shading. For the new issues, since signing with Action Lab, he won’t be doing that. Jason will be handling that with the colors so that should speed it up. 

Sharon: So your artist, Larkin works from Asheville, NC?

Brockton: yes, we do everything email. I go there every three months and we plan out the next arc, do story boards and come up with cool stuff. It’s super fun. 

[since my brother also lives in Asheville we go off topic again about the town, how much fun his family has going there] 

Sharon: How did you and your artist come together to work on Ehmm Theory?

Brockton: We’ve know each other since we were kids. His father was my psychology teacher in high school and he was a super cool dude and I met Larkin from that and he loved art. He wasn't really into comic books so much as he was into Calvin and Hobbs. I love that stuff too, so I was like "here, check out X-Men" and that was it! We were working on separate projects and we had been meeting over the years and saying we should work together. Ehmm Theory was born out of that. This is definitely the thing I am most proud of, that I have ever done.

Sharon: when did you guys start on Ehmm Theory?
Brockton: 2 or 2 1/2 years ago. It’s real new and we were kind of banking everything on it. We quit our all our other stuff. Then Action Lab came through for us.

Sharon: How did you end up working with Action Lab?
Brockton: They were looking for something for their new mature line of comics, now called Danger Zone. They had seen us at conventions and we knew Jeremy Whitley who writes Princeless (my reviews of Princeless Vol. 1 issue #1 and Vol. 2 issue #1)
[guess what? Yeah, off topic again. We gushed over the brilliance of Princeless]
Jeremy pointed them our way. They have first right of refusal where they can at any time stop. We are in it for the long haul if we can make it work. 

Sharon: If you had a theme song play whenever you entered a room (like a superhero) what would yours be?

Brockton: Oh, man… it would probably be Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie. [we gush about David Bowie and the song] I want to believe it was some badass hip hop song. 

Sharon: Do you have a favorite comedian?

Brockton: I like Patton Oswalt a lot, Louie CK… I’ve been watching a lot of stand up lately. 
Sharon: Ron White?

Brockton: absolutely!

[we go off topic again cause I interrupted him to talk about my parenting fails and then the kick ass movies out right now… as I transcribe our conversation I realize I do that a lot… sorry Brockton! <G>]

Sharon: What is your favorite monster?
Brockton: Bela Lugosi’s Dracula. As a kid I remember it being one of my favorites. That was one of the things I could get away with watching and my parents wouldn't freak out. I’d secretly be watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

[yeah, I jumped in again. We talked about the movie Evil Dead and how the whole Lost Story Studio was going to see it together. I wonder if he liked it?] 

Sharon: Finish this sentence “people think I am weird because…”

Brockton: ..there’s so many reasons. I try to be so punctual. I have a thing about trying to be on time and it seems like everyone else in my life does not feel that way. 

[we launch into a conversation about getting to the movies 30 minutes early... stop judging me! <G>] 

Sharon: Which Disney princess would you date?

Brockton: maybe Jasmine… I like Jasmine. She’s pretty hot and exotic. 

[we then had a conversation about a zombie movie he made back in the day called The Sick and the Dead, and he was very adamant about how awful the movie is, but they got to blow body parts up. They filled a fake head with chicken feet (yes, you heard right) they were on sale at the store. They hit the head with something and all the chicken feet fell out. It was supposed to look like brains. There is another movie Rodney Cecil Psycho Hero that is available on amazon that was pretty good.] 

Time for a little Rapid Fire!

Sharon: Ice pick or machete?
Brockton: machete. Ice pick is to close; I’m good with a baseball bat so I figured I’d be good with a machete. 

Sharon: Past or future?

Brockton: Future. I’m a future guy. 

Sharon: Sexy nurse or naughty librarian?

Brockton: hmmm… naughty librarian. Something about that. 

Sharon: Pirate or knight?

Brockton: I want to say knight, but I am probably more pirate. 

Sharon: Coke or Pepsi?

Brockton: my default would be Coke, but I like them both. [Brockton tries to soften the devastating blow, but the damage was done] 

Sharon: Wild West or Outer Space?

Brockton: Outer Space, sticking with that future thing. 

Sharon: Millennium Falcon or Serenity?

Brockton: Millennium Falcon. And I looooove Serenity. But Millennium Falcon, that’s Hans and Chewie.
[we talked about seeing the original Star Wars when it first came out] 

Sharon: Chicken Dance or Hokey Pokey?

Brockton: Chicken dance 

Sharon: Twilight Zone or Tales from the Crypt? Brockton: Tales from the Crypt. 
[talked about Tales of the Crypt comics] 

Sharon: Left or right?

Brockton: right. 

Sharon: Autobots or Decepticons?

Brockton: duuuude, I gotta say I love, loved the Decepticons. I just like the look of them. I do love the autobots too. 
[aaaaand we started talking about Transformers toys and fixation with Optimus Prime]

Then we all posed for pics. I told Brockton that what happened at Winston-Salem Comiccon would stay there... but I lied.
Baaart, sheep, kissing
Baart says you never called!
Sharon Stogner, zombie, Brockton McKinney
We tried to be all grrr, arrrg... Brockton nailed it, I only managed to pull off dorkness

Thanks to Brockton for taking the time to talk with me and Baaart. Be sure to check out Ehmm Theory along with all the other cool comics coming from Action Lab: Danger Zone.

Danger Zone, comics, Action Lab

And now for the unveiling of zombie I Smell Sheep!!! Thanks Brockton for drawing this.
I Smell Sheep, zombie, sheep, Brocton McKinney


  1. Oh what a great interview...

    1. he was so much fun. It is nice to talk with someone so passionate about what they do :)

    2. And it shows! Passion is so amazing, in any form. Love what you do. Do what you love!

  2. That was great. I love the sheep Zombie.

    1. I know! I love it too. We will be using it for Halloween :)

  3. OMG I love this so much! The picture of you guys is awesome!!! Sharon, you're having too much fun damn you! lol Lots of love. xoxox

  4. You and Baaart obviously had a great time with him. But please never send me one of those zombie sheep!

    1. Oh come on!!! You know a brain eating Baaart would be so awesome! lol :)

    2. yeah! it's still the same old Baaart just... different and hungrier and smellier, but other than that the same!

  5. The earliest X-men consisted of Jean (Marvel Girl) Grey (who later became the extremely popular Phoenix), Professor X (Xavier), Cyclops (Scott Summers), the intelligent Beast (Hank McCoy), and Iceman (Bobbie). Mutants born with special "super-mutant" abilities. old marvel comics