Jim Terry Talks Sundowners And The State Of Comics

Power Hour Interview: Jim Terry

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The Power Hour crew talked with Jim Terry; comic book artist, writer and film maker about his new book (Sundowners #1) and how creator owned books changed the state of the industry.

Terry has worked on Coma D Clown, The Crow, Lie Down Low, Jack Kraken, and Underneath. Terry’s current project is Sundowners from Dark Horse Comics in which he teams up with writer Tim Seeley and colorist Sean Dove. Sundowners #1 will be in your local comic book store on August 27th.

Listen to the interview or read the transcript below.

What’s Sundowners about?

“I will say it’s a very odd book. The basic idea of it is a support group who think they may have super powers. They dress up and do all that jazz and they patrol the streets at night. But the rub is you’re not really sure if they do or not. They may be delusional. However the obstacles they come against are more definitely real than their possibly imaginary powers.”

So they’re fighting super powered villains but they might be crazy kind of thing?

“I’ll tell you this: its more of a horror book. So the things they come up against are going to be more of that nature. Things that go ‘bump’ in the night.”

Tim Seeley is currently writing two Batman books. How did you team up with him?

“Well we’re both from the same town and we run into each other a lot. I had just done the Crow book and we started looking for something to work on together. This seemed to fit the most. As you know I’m not a photo realistic super hero type of artist out of the like the big two where everything looks like a photograph. I’m a cartoonist. So these stories…we can bend a little bit with these stories and have a little old school comic book type of fun with this one.”

How is Tim to work with? Does he give you room to interpret his work?

“Yeah Tim’s awesome. Tim’s awesome to work with. Most of the stuff I’ve worked on in the past is been things that I’ve worked on by myself or been very loosely guided. And we’re kind of continuing that a little bit just as far as my storytelling. He writes all the dialog and all the words and exposition and such, but he’s given me a lot of freedom as far as how to represent it. I’m old school.”

Which character in Sundowners can you relate to?

“Probably the one I like drawing the most which is Carl Wolf. He’s the old man. He’s the least fantastic, the one with the craggliest look. But he is a much snappier dresser than I am.”

What’s his super power?

“Well Carl’s problem is that he is a Dr. Strange type of necromancer. He can do magic and summon things and good stuff like that but he’s mute because of a stroke that he had. So he can never speak the words that he needs to to get this stuff done. Does he have these powers or is very inconveniently unable to use them?”

So instead of saying what’s their super power its saying “What’s their issue?

“Well its very loose. Its kind of spontaneous and so the theme I would say would be more about these people finding each other and helping each other in whatever way they need to at the time. Whether it be fighting somebody or just supporting each other and making sure they’re not alone because it is about them more than anything else.

I’ve noticed a strong push to urge retailers to order this book. Is this the new state of the comic book industry?

“Well I think that has a little bit to do with it. In fact it may have quite a bit to do with it. But this is also a unique thing for us because it is a creator owned thing. It is something that we came up with and came to them with. So we naturally feel a little more urgency as far as ‘Lets get this out there.’ I ran into this problem with The Crow book where people didn’t even know that it was coming out. And so when I’d see them and I’d talk to them and they’d discover that I had been doing a Crow book they’d be like ‘I didn’t even know they were still doing those.’ So getting the word out, as you know with your own show and the things that you do, you have to get it out there. Otherwise, there is so much out there so much great stuff too that you just gotta fight for your little corner and that’s what we’re doing.”

How do you think digital comics has affected the industry?

“Well personally I don’t care for reading them. I don’t enjoy reading a digital comic on a tablet but I’m old fashioned. I know people that exclusively read them and that’s great. They don’t live near a comic book store. Or they don’t want to have 26 longboxes of comics at their place. So they read what they want and it’s stored in some kind of cloud.”

[breaks up]

When does Sundowners come out?

“Sundowners comes out August 27. It’ll be in the comic stores and I believe digitally through Dark Horse’s website.”

Jim Terry
The Power Hour airs live every Monday night from 6-7pm ET. Listen on WHBO 1040 The Team in Tampa and WHOO 1080 The Team in Orlando as well as SportsTalkFlorida.com.

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