Vault's Open Source takes you behind the scenes of what goes into building a comic as told by the people who are producing the titles you love.
Michael Moreci's name has been on everyone's lips recently due to his well-deserved acclaim on the recently released Black Star Renegades novel. Vault snagged some time with Moreci to chat about what it's like to write for comics, what's happening in the industry, and to get some background on our upcoming collaborative title WASTED SPACE (hitting shelves April 18).
Vault: Michael, writing for comics seems to take a different set of skills than how an author might approach a novel. What are some challenges you've faced when getting your story ideas into the right format for comics?
Moreci: Well, to some degree, story is story. Movies, books, comics, they all function in some way that's universal. But the main challenge in comics versus novels is making sure you're keeping a good page rhythm/pace. In novels, you can tell it all. But in comics, a lot of story is happening between the panels, and it's so crucial to be attentive to what you tell and how you tell it. While all stories are fundamentally the same, there's a language to comics that's all its own, and I'm very mindful of that when crafting my scripts.
V: How has your process changed over time?
MM: I used to be more of a rusher--I'd want to get in and start punching the keys. But I've slowed down. I want to dig deeper--in story, character, themes, all of it--and try to give as much texture to everything I do. I still want my work to be fun, in some regards--that's another thing, I've loosened up a lot--but I also want to have a balance so my stories have some density to them.
V: What's the best advice you could give to a new creator?
MM: It's been said so many times, and I can only echo it here: If you want to do the thing, then go do the thing. Don't wait for someone's permission, don't wait for anything at all. Just go and do it. Then do it again, and again, and again, and again until people take notice. Until you're good enough for people to take notice. The clock's ticking on us all--you want something, go get it.
V: WASTED SPACE promises to be quite a ride; where did the spark come from for this story arc?
MM: Cold medicine and anger. And I'm kinda being serious. The idea was hatched back in the winter of 2016--on Christmas day, as a matter of fact. That was a tumultuous time in our country, as it is now, but that was still kinda the beginning. And I was stressed. And angry. And confused. All these feelings were weighing on me on Christmas, and I was sick as a dog that day. But I have kids, so I still had to be present. So, I got myself hopped up on cold medicine, all pissed off for being sick on this day, and drove my family out to my in-laws, feeling like garbage and mad about everything. And that's when Wasted Space was born. Anger, garbage, and cold medicine.
V: If readers could only take away one thing from the story, what would you want it to be?
MM: You know, far be it from me to instruct people what to take from a story. Whatever someone takes from it--as long as they're experiencing something, as long as they're feeling something, that's a win in my book.
V: There has been some chatter lately about some shifting in the comics industry. Do you see that happening at all and, if yes, how so?
MM: Without question. I don't know where we're heading, but things are changing. They'll continue to change, and I think there's going to continue to be some major shakeups. We can't keep losing comic shops, we can't keep seeing sales numbers slide. And I know these peaks and valleys have existed forever, but something about the current climate tells me we're heading into more profound changes that will make for a new normal. it's an exciting time, but it's also a little bit of a scary time. But comics will pull through--I have no doubt in my mind.
V: Can you tell us about any projects you have coming up that readers should know about?
MM: I have a new novel, a spy thriller called The Throwaway, coming out in June, and then the sequel to a different novel of mine, the sci-fi space adventure Black Star Renegades, is out early next year. I'm also writing Batman '66 Meets Archie, which is a ton of fun, and I'm just getting started on a secret DC project...
V: Finally, and most important, if you could have lunch with any comic character, who would it be and why?
MM: That's a tough one! I'd say Superman. To be near someone that pure and powerful and amazing--there's nothing that could ever compare to it. I just have to know what it's like to be that close to him.
Thank you Mike!!
Follow Mike on twitter: @MichaelMoreci
We're excited to see Wasted Space hit shelves next week on April 18. We chatted previous with artist on that series, Hayden Sherman; check it out for more behind-the-scenes info!
Up next: Vault chats with author Mags Visaggio about the May launch of VAGRANT QUEEN.