Category Archives: interview
Artist John Bolton has had a long and storied career in comic books and sequential art. He made the jump from working in English magazines such as Warrior, to burgeoning American periodicals like Epic Illustrated, in the early 1980’s. He’s been working in and around the mainstream comic book industry ever since, as comfortable drawing superheroes as much as he is painting fairies, vampires and demons.
Drawn to the genres of fantasy and horror as both an illustrator and painter, Bolton has worked alongside some of the greatest writing names the comic book industry has known, including Chris Claremont on Marada The She Wolf and Black Dragon, both for publisher Epic Comics. With Neil Gaiman in The Books of Magic for DC Comics, he created the look of the reluctant boy-wizard, Timothy Hunter, based on his eldest son. His acclaimed graphic novel series, Shame, alongside writer Lovern Kindzierski, is where Bolton’s efforts most currently dwell, with the first three acts being recently complied into a single hardcover volume.
There’s a sense of wonder, amazement, power, and sexuality inherent in Bolton’s work, combined alongside an overt menace that makes a viewer full of trepidation. Even when his sense of horror is not manifest, nothing is ever as it seems in Bolton’s completed visual offerings.
On the eve of an infrequent visit to Toronto via the 2017 edition of Fan Expo Canada, JP Fallavollita caught up with John Bolton in an exclusive interview via email, and asked him about his process, his female-driven subject matter, and his recent work on Shame.
DONNIE DARKO is, in many ways, the definition of a cult movie made good. The film was first released right around the time of September 11th, 2001, and barely found an audience in theatres. Drew Barrymore helped bring the story of the disturbed Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal), whose new friend is a large bunny named Frank and who is deeply interested in the concept of wormholes and time travel, to life, but at the time the film went unfairly unseen. The following year, DONNIE DARKO would find its audience on DVD, one that became so devoted that director Richard Kelly was able to go back and create a director’s cut of the film, which screened in 2004 and made efforts to be a little more literal and less obscure in its storytelling. Depending on your opinion, that version is either a masterpiece or a bit too on the nose with its explanations.
This spring has seen both version of DONNIE DARKO remastered and released in a new Blu-ray set from Arrow Video, along with screenings of the film across the world. We had the chance to talk to director Kelly about the movie’s roots, his collaboration with his lead actor, and much more, .
Andy Burns: DONNIE DARKO is such a unique film. Where did it come from?
Richard Kelly: I like to say that it came from 23 years of life. It was my first screenplay, I’d been through a rigorous education at USC and I had a film degree. I was looking to write a screenplay and this is what emerged.
Andy Burns: The film deals with universal fears – the idea of death and dying alone, time passing and what we can do with our time. How much of you is in that story? Were those concerns of yours?
Richard Kelly: Well, there’s a significant amount of me, my adolescence in the film. They’re all personal stories. I don’t really know how to tell a story that isn’t personal. At least not yet. There’s plenty of that in the DNA of the story. My high school English teacher who taught us Watership Down, he said to us, “Write what you know.” Everybody should be writing something that’s emotionally true and that’s authentic. Otherwise, you risk writing into cynicism or into the market place, and people can see that. Emotional authenticity is what I’m aiming at.
Andy Burns: How much of the character of Donnie Darko was on the page versus how much was collaboration with Jake Gyllenhaal?
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Biff Bam Pop! Founder and Contributing Writer Andy Burns, and other interviewers, had a chance recently to chat with actor Topher Grace, who folks might remember from That ’70s Show and as Venom in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, and now stars in Netflix’sWar Machine with Brad Pitt. Come join us for this fascinating discussion after the jump.
I was offered a chance to read and review a novel written by Edwin Herbert. The write-up that his publicist sent was quite intriguing and something that was definitely up my alley: Vatican conspiracies, history, mystery, and adventure. Edwin Herbert is president of his local free thought society and has been a regular op-ed newspaper columnist on topics concerning science, skepticism, and the mythical roots of various religions. Mythos Christos is his debut novel. Meet me after the jump. Read the rest of this entry
I love working for Biff Bam Pop because not only do I get to interview some really cool people, I also get to review films and television series. This time, our fearless leader, Andy Burns, asked me to review Zhen Lyu’s science fiction book, Intruders. It was an interesting read, but would the book make a great gift idea? Pull up that easy chair and meet me after the jump. Read the rest of this entry
I can’t say this enough! I love working for Biff Bam Pop! Not only do I get to review some awesome television shows, but I get to interview the actors who star in them. When I was offered the chance to interview Jeff Teravainen, who plays Lieutenant Anders on Syfy’s space opera, Dark Matter, I jumped at the chance.
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to speak with Canadian actress Carolina Bartczak, known for her work in Smurfs 2 and Brick Mansions. In X-Men: Apocalypse, opening this week in North America, Carolina plays the small, yet pivotal role of Magda, Magneto’s (Michael Fassbender) wife. Meet me after the jump for the interview.
I was asked to view a film called Against the Wild 2: Survive the Serengeti which was written, produced and directed by Richard Boddington. The review of the film will be followed by an interview with Boddington. What if your backyard was the Serengeti and your children were lost? Read the rest of this entry
The Biff Bam Pop! Podcast Network presents The GAR! Podcast, the Glenn Walker and Ray Cornwall weekly podcast where they talk unrehearsed about whatever happens to come to mind. It’s an audio-zine for your mind, a nerd exploration of a nerd world, coming to you from across the vastness of suburban New Jersey via Skype.
This week, we’re recorded live from the 2016 Camden Comic Con, and interviewing the legendary comics artist and writer Neil Vokes, co-creator of Eagle and Death’s Dark Angel. You may also know his work from The Black Forest, The Wicked West, and Parliament of Justice. He is one of the best black and white artists to ever grace the form, and over the years has even tried his hand at Superman, Spider-Man, and Tarzan. See and hear more after the jump.