FERGUSON’S 7 QUESTIONS WITH… JAMES MULHOLLAND
Welcome back to 7 questions. One of the reasons I like to do this feature is to shine a light on some new creators and that is the case here. It’s 7 questions with James Mulholland.
What was the first comic work you did that was published?
It was my first short story idea, a web-comic, it’s called ‘A DEAD GOOD FRIEND’. It’s online right now for free. Part 2 of that story is in production at the moment.
What is the biggest thing you have learned since that book?
Research more and give more details on specific times for the period piece. The story got a lot of positive reaction (which lead to me writing 2 more parts to continue the story), but the main negative feedback I got was that people didn’t know the time period. Because of me bringing up cocaine, people thought was it set in the 50’s or after, but it felt like a 40’s (and it’s suppose to be mid to late 40’s). So I had an american guy give me a lot of information on when cocaine became big in America etc. So I need to be more careful with my research before writing a story, even thought it’s fiction, people like some accuracy to what is being presented to them.
What’s your process for writing a comic book?
It starts with an idea. An image, a scene or a piece of dialogue. From that, I come up with a story and a protagonist. I do an extremely rough outline, and then I start to script pages from that. In the past, I didn’t do detailed breakdowns for characters, scenes etc, I would write the first draft from my heart and re-write with my head. But I constantly try new things as I evolve and develop as a writer, so since January 2014, I’ve been doing very detailed breakdowns before I ever get to script. If I feel these aspects are making my stories and writer stronger, then I will keep doing them, if not I’ll go back to the way I described above.
What is the biggest influence on your work (Artists, writers, TV, movies)?
All of them influence me. Artists like Alex Maleev, Declan Shalvey to more recent ones like Michael Walsh and Tradd Moore. Comic, TV and Film writers would have a massive impact on me, Coen Brothers, Tarantino, Charlie Kaufman, Thomas Schnauz, D.B Weiss, Scott Snyder, Charles Soule, Ales Kot, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker etc etc etc.
What are you working on right now?
I literally just finished the script for ‘A DEAD GOOD FRIEND’ part 2. The reaction was so positive to this story, and people wanted to see more of this world that I decided to turn it into a 3 part story. So part 2 is with the artist right now. I’m also scripting the next 2-3 web-comcis that I want to get released in April. I’m also currently working on adapting a viking screenplay I wrote into a graphic novel. Outside of comics, I’m currently writing a feature film that I’d love to make in Ireland, the first draft should be completed by the end of April.
What do you have out now or coming out next?
I should have another one, if not two, web-comics released online by the end of this month. I also just received the final colored pages for ‘MINORITY’ #1. It’s my first 24 page comic. It’s an on-going series, so I’m hoping to get a publisher on board, but if not I’ll self publish the book.
What is your favourite Irish comic?
Freak Show and a new graphic novel called Celtic Warrior the legend of Cu Chulainn.