Thursday, December 06, 2007

Q&A With Larry Lonsby Jr.

So Larry Lonsby Jr. Writer and Creator of the acclaimed TEZLON series, caught up with us after XcapeCON1 and we were able to squeeze some information out of him about his Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Poorly placed Dickens reference aside here is what Larry had to say when we asked him about creating worlds.

Brian Germain: The World of Tezlon huh? Was this your first Comic Project ever?

Larry_Lonsby: yes, it first started with a short series based on Jaak Tate the Scarecrow from Tezlon, in a small press book called FREAK

Brian Germain: FREAK? is that a book that is still around?

Larry_Lonsby: No, FREAK only had 200 copies printed of it, and was completely sold out. I have 2 Copies myself that's it. It was our entrance into comics.

Brian Germain: So who all was involved with FREAK?

Larry_Lonsby: Dark World Comix (Defunct) published it; it was an anthology book which featured several creators’ characters. It was of course during the Super Hero phase for us; Jaak (Jaak Tate, The World of Tezlon) was on earth and had a different type of feel to him then. Others in the book were Young Masters, Agent Orange and Lithium. Ben Swinson, Dan Presely, Richard Buckhana, Robert Gossman, and Larry Lonsby Jr.

Brian Germain: That sounds like a nice sized endeavor, Anything you want to tell us about your experience working with Dark World Comix?

Larry_Lonsby: Well, in the beginning it was a group of very talented people with the goal of publishing comics. We all had our characters, stories and dreams of going forth and making a reality of it. Definitely I achieved my goal I set out to do within Dark World Comix, and that was to publish a series of small press comics called Tezlon. On the other hand, life stepped in for a lot of the other creators...and comics became more of an after thought so, the dream seem to fade for a lot of them, not to mention the amount of work it actually took to produce the books, and everything. It also involved money, patience and pure blood as you know yourself. Some of the guys couldn't hack it so to they left

Ultimately Dark World Comix dissolved because as creators we all had different goals, and expectations. Mine was to further Tezlon and to seek others who also embraced similar aspects to their goals. which led me to Dark Elf Designs.

Brian Germain: Yeah that is understandable comics can be a rough gig, if you're not in it for the love then sometimes it's not really worth being in. I want to talk with you about your involvement with Dark Elf Designs a little bit later, but for now I want to get back to Jaak Tate. I know there is a cornucopia of Tezlon Characters including The Swordsman but Jaak seems to be one of the penultimate characters in the The World of Tezlon. What is Jaak's story?

Larry_Lonsby: Jaak is the everyman's hero I think. he has a part of all of us in him. He symbolizes our pains, our defeats, our triumphs and our hopes. He represents to me what we're all capable of being and growing into. Jaak's entire society is destroyed, all those he knew and loved wiped out by the evil Narzya Darkfinder. First you must understand that Scarecrows were once created by Narzya Darkfinder for the purpose of being Slaves and his Army. During the War of Darkness a great conflict occurs that alters the course of the Scarecrows and causes Narzya to one day return to exact his revenge. Scarecrows do not know emotion like Humans and other races. They begin to adapt and learn to feel emotion through those surrounding them.

Larry_Lonsby: So Jaak endures a lot of hardships and victories on his road to becoming closer to what human emotion is, he learns to feel love...compassion, hatred...and ultimately to have hope for the future.

Brian Germain: Wow! so the Scarecrows were a magically created race of essentially automatons or constructs? is Jaak the last of his/this race then?

Larry_Lonsby: Yes Scarecrows were magically created, but eventually began to evolve and even procreate believe it or not to create more Scarecrows. Jaak is ONE of the last, there are several more who are vagabonds or not present at this point. Let's just say when all is said and done, the Scarecrow will return.

the way they procreate btw is similar to the effect of two scarecrows sharing their souls with each other, their life essences mingling together to create a new one...which births in a cocoon type state, which the essence is placed in.

Brian Germain: that’s pretty crazy sounding, and cools all at the same time. So is Jaak just a straight up hero or is he kind of an anti-hero or is it just more he is hero by default because of the situations he's thrust into

Larry_Lonsby: I would say he starts out as a normal hero who is thrust into a really big situation which leads him on his ultimate path of becoming an anti-hero, if that makes sense...we will see the rise and fall and redemption of someone...

Brian Germain: that's cool I also like the idea behind the scarecrows gaining identity and then emotions based on their empathetic interactions with other races/ humans.

So all in all how many Tezlon related books have you done?

Larry_Lonsby: FREAK #1 First Appearance of Jaak Tate, Tezlon Negative 1 First Appearance of Narzya Darkfinder and the Scarecrow Empire, Tales of Tezlon #1, Tales of Tezlon #2, Outland #1, Tezlon: The Swordsman #1,Tezlon:Glance of Time #1... oh and Tales of Tezlon #3 I forgot about Minith (Dark Elf) Kelandi Melarn's first appearance

Brian Germain: What about TOA that is Tezlon too right? Also you have Glance of Time #2 and Swordsman #2 well on their way and wasn't there a Collected edition of Tezlon?

Larry_Lonsby: ah ok, Well TOA is not directly linked to Tezlon at all, just a side project...

the Tezlon Collected Edition takes the best from the small press stuff I's basically my graduation book from small press Xerox comics to full size. Forth Tezlon: Glance of Time #2, Tezlon: The Swordsman #2, Tezlon: War of Darkness #1 and Tezlon: Chronicles of the Kattan

Brian Germain: any ideas of throwing any of the Tezlon characters into TOA or vice versa?

Larry_Lonsby: well it's funny because...the group in TOA comes across a cornfield. and roped up on a wooden cross is Jaak Tate. but he is nothing more than a real scarecrow (*laughs*)

Brian Germain: Too funny!

Larry_Lonsby: so that's as far as it will go. But anything is possible... Oooo I almost forgot 2008 will also see my own Written/Drawn series Tezlon: Rites of Passage....the series based on a young Jaak Tate, it takes place like 25 years before The Swordsman.

So yes my plate is full, but a lot of all this stuff is already written and being prepped. I should also mention I am writing the first Novel which is a companion to the Swordsman comic series called Knights of the Sigil

Brian Germain: I love Site gags in comics. but regardless that is like 14 books you have worked on already, Not to mention the work you have done on Jwan Jordan's Circular World and the help you did for the DWC group. that's a lot of books! Where do you find the drive to conquer such a monumental task in today's small press market?

Larry_Lonsby: the drive...well I LOVE comics, always have...and I love writing and creating. Like I said "for me it's about telling my stories, if I reach just one person who enjoys any of them, then I’ve reached my goal in what I’ve want to accomplish." To do nothing in life is no excuse. if you have gifts you should be using them in one way or another.

Brian Germain: any Plans to for the future to re-release the beginning stuff through Dark Elf Designs such as the collected Tezlon and such? I mean there have got to be a lot of would be fans who can't get ahold of the books or just don't know about them. Are all of the books still available? what's the best way to get them?

Larry_Lonsby: I think a collected version needs to be released...just for archives sake, I’d like to get that rolling for 2008 through DED. No, none of the books from the pre-full size comics are avail...all gone no more printing. So if you have some they are definitely collector's editions.

Brian Germain: So now might be a good time to tell the readers how you got involved with DED

Larry_Lonsby: years ago I believe I met Brian from Dark Elf Designs through a mutual friend Mike Groleau; it had been during a period that I had been heavily publishing my own Tezlon series. It was then I wanted to do a project with Brian, and some digital coloring. So I joined them as a member, and have been since. Up until recently I opted to bring my Tezlon series to Dark Elf Designs.

Brian Germain: I have been looking over some of your work and it's amazing, I also remember you were at the first ever XcapeCON, how did that go for you? Also I noticed a Jaak Tate Statue that you had setup on your table there, any reasonable offers? Do you pan to get more of those statues produced?

Larry_Lonsby: ok XcapeCON was a blast; I did get a lot of exposure and sold some books. It also allowed me to network with several people I was able to meet there. The Jaak Tate statue was created by an artist named Omar. We had talked about doing a sculpt bust of Jaak, but he wanted to attempt a full body one of him because he thought he was so awesome. The cost is about $400, but to a creator that's priceless, given that it costs close to $1000 to get an action figure made in Japan. I had gotten a couple offers on it, but I would never sell it!

Brian Germain: What are some of the pitfalls and advantages to working with a group like DED?

Larry_Lonsby: Well bluntly, I love what Dark Elf Designs stands for. The advantages obviously are the networking between people, and projects. I believe that there is a "core" group within DED that share a common goal. The pitfalls are nailing everyone down to get that goal accomplished. I See though Brian definitely has done a lot of hard work to get things off the ground...his hard work will eventually pay off because I believe is on the verge of exploding on the scene like no other company has. We have a multitude of talented people coming together.

I believe DED is on the verge of what it's supposed to be.

Brian Germain: What do you think about other artists, writers and/or participants (or rather non-participants) in the group who isn’t pulling enough weight? perhaps not even their own? What do you think should happen with them if anything?

Larry_Lonsby: Well seriously if they are not doing anything...why are they here in DED? I mean that's a question they need to ask themselves... You and I know what we want to accomplish with DED, as well as the other serious people, but for those talking the game and not doing...

It's just a waste of time to deal with those people. I KNOW from experience in DWC

I think DED needs to focus on those willing to keep it fresh in the minds of comic collectors and fans. with new books and recent books. you know those who are helping to hold DED up... I have no problem supporting DED wherever I go. the LOGO on the book should mean something.

That's why I put it on my book, because I believe in it... So there u have it.

Brian Germain: That's a great answer as far as I am concerned. anything new you wanna talk about or plug? Or any shout outs you wanna give? (this is a good spot to talk about anything you'd like)

Larry_Lonsby: I wanna see NEW MoonShadow!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah definitely I want to shout out to Jwan and Roberto on their Titles for keeping it going! CORE Studios, I should say they are a bunch of great guys.

Brian Germain: (laughs) Cool, well thanks for Stopping by and chatting with us, you give good interview. I will see if I can't kick myself into getting another MoonShadow out, and I look forward to talking with you again soon. Maybe about the Crossover event!


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