Interview with Brian Clevinger

brian clevinger

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend ConnectiCon 2013 in Hartford, CT. While my full report is still in the drafting stages, I do have some news from the convention, mainly a brief interview I conducted with Brian Clevinger, writer of both Atomic Robo and 8-Bit Theater. My friend, and the original person who lent me the Robo volumes, Knight of Alpha joined me with a few questions of his own. Check out the interview after the break!

Silverwolf: How did you get inspired to create Atomic Robo? 

Brian Clevinger: Because robots are really cool and history is full of interesting crap, so we [Clevinger, and his partner, artist Scott Wegener] shoved those two together and here we are today.

Silverwolf: Do you have a favorite issue of the series? Or a favorite volume?

Brian Clevinger: No, I like them all for different reasons. I don’t know, I’ve got no answer.

Silverwolf: OK, that’s fine. What are some of your favorite comics in general?

Brian Clevinger: Weirdly enough, I’m really digging these old Captain America comics that you can get in the giant Essential black and white collections. I love those because they’re just so insane and they just don’t even care, it’s wonderful.

Knight of Alpha: I’ve actually got a question. I’ve noticed your comic titles, at least for the volumes [of Atomic Robo], seem to be based on other works, like The Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur and The Savage Sword of Conan, I think one of the future volumes is called Atomic Robo: Diamonds are for Never. Do you get influenced by other works, such as Conan?

Brian Clevinger: Oh yeah! We draw our inspiration from all kinds of movies, fiction, research into non-fiction stuff. Pulp is a big, big influence, especially the vibe you get from that stuff.

Knight of Alpha: I also heard you might be doing something with Mouse Guard in the near future, such as in their upcoming anthology?

Brian Clevinger: No, I don’t think we’re doing anything related to Mouse Guard. 

Silverwolf: Ah all right, a panelist last night mentioned something about it, but I suppose he was mistaken. The panel was actually asking about everyone’s favorite Indy and small press comic titles, and I said Atomic Robo!

Brian Clevinger: Yay!

Silverwolf: Do you have any funny stories from your time working on Atomic Robo? 

Brian Clevinger: It’s honestly really boring. All we do is read. The weird stuff happens here at shows. Like, we had this one guy yesterday, and he was terrifying, and that’s  all I wanna say.

Silverwolf: I can understand that. What advice would you give aspiring comic creators who are out there?

Brian Clevinger: Do what you love! It sounds really cliche, but that’s what got us this far. Practice, I mean, I wrote a comic for about ten years before we started Atomic Robo, and man, having to do a page a day for ten years, it was a hell of a crash course. So just stick with it, read more than just Marvel and DC, there’s so much out there, Indy comics are great, read as much nonfiction as you can, cause just learning about people and the world is amazing and gives you great inspiration for stories.

Silverwolf: Great! Well thanks so very much for your time, I appreciate it!

Brian Clevinger: Thank you!

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