The Broker: An Interview With Wayne Talbot

Lightning Strike Issue 7 cover by Ruairí Coleman

Wayne Talbot’s comic, The Broker, returns this year. I asked him about, amongst other things, the origins of the book and discuss how life may be imitating art.

From chatting with you at comics events and online and knowing the kinds of fandom you are into, I would have expected something different for your first comic. Something more sci-fi maybe. The Broker is quite grounded in reality. What drew you to this kind of story?

Yeah, that seems to be the reaction from folks who know my tastes, and that was pretty much the reason why I went with a story that was somewhat grounded in reality. I wanted to write something that reflected the world we are currently living in. I didn’t want to produce something for my first foray into the world of Comics that fit in with a lot of what was already out there. I felt that if I wanted to get the story noticed it would have to set itself aside from the plethora of Sc-Fi, Superhero, horror or fantasy stories that are out there. I mean don’t get me wrong, I have a Sci-Fi story in the works, I will scratch that itch eventually.

Just on the grounded in reality point, you mentioned that life might be imitating art when it comes to your script. I think you said you’ve had it written for a while too.

I have, I finished thew scripts for all three issues over a year ago. I have made a few dialogue changes to bring it up to date, but the main story and message have stayed the same all the way through. My main worry about it taking so long was that people might think it’s a reactionary story to the way things are in America at the moment, when in fact, it was written as a kind of a cautionary tale, we all know how reality worked out in the end.

You’ve also have a change of artist. How much impact has this had on the story?

Thankfully with the way it all worked out, there is little to no impact. I was worried that it was going to a struggle to find someone to take over from Ruairi, who did a cracking job on the first issue. Brian Corcoran is taking up the mantel and like Ruairi, before him, he just gets what I want to do with this story. I’ve been very lucky that everyone who has been involved with this book has brought their A game.

I wondered about it was working with an artist for the first time especially one who has more experience. Was it daunting in any way?

I wouldn’t say it was daunting. I was lucky to get the team of Ruairi, Tim and Miriam for the first instalment of the book. They brought their collective experience to the table and that helped tremendously. Myself I have a filmmaking and animation background, so I think that helped me a lot when it came to writing The Broker.

I was really happy that the story got the cover and that you covered the issues you did. Actually, I should probably ask for people who haven’t read it yet: what is the broker about? Spoiler free of course.

The Broker starts with a look at the world we live in today, social media and its influence on how we perceive things. The remainder of the story then takes the idea that we are fed information and then what we choose to believe and do with that information. The title of the story comes from the man we see at the end of the first instalment. The Broker is a man who just likes being the villain. He has a mission in life that is only one piece of a larger machine, but he believes in it, and will carry it out with gleeful abandon. He does not see himself as a hero, not by a long shot. His story unfolds fully in the rest of the book.

Speaking of unfolding, I’ve been enjoying Brian Corcoran’s updates on social media. When will we be seeing the finished product?

Yeah, I’ve been enjoying them as well. Brian sent me all of his page layouts, and even they look brilliant. His tweets have been the pencils for the final pages. Once they have been inked I will then colour them, then hand them off to Miriam Abuin for lettering, while that’s all going on Brian will finish off the final ten pages, and again once they are done I’ll colour and Miriam will letter. Then it’s off to the printers which we are hoping will be early July so it’s done and dusted in time for it to be released in full graphic novel fromat at this years Dublin Comic Con on the 12th of August.

Broker pencils by Brian Corcoran

I’d forgotten that you were going to colour the book. You’ve gotten back into drawing lately too. What made you come back to it? I’m assuming it was a big part of your life back when you were doing animation.

It’s been a slow return to drawing for me, my Wife Irene has been very supportive and has really been helping to get me back into a creative mindset for a long time now, in so far that she even signed me up for K Michael Russell’s colouring course. I also write a lot, and Irene wonders why I’m seeking out other artists to draw what I write. I do eventually plan on drawing one of the stories I am currently working, but I want to get myself more up to scratch with my sequential art. I think over the last two years I kind of ramped up the commitment to get back to the skill level I was at when I was working in animation. I’m almost there.

I have gotten a lot of exposure to the Comic Book industry at multiple levels over the last two to three years. We are really lucky here in Ireland to have a close knit community that covers all aspects of the industry. Everyone is so accessible. It really does lend itself to growth and expansion in a way that I have yet to see anywhere else. I have friends who work at all levels within Comic Books and they are very supportive, this has helped me to get to a level of confidence in my ability as a writer and an artist a great deal.

Thanks for the interview. Anything else you’d like to say?

Just to say thanks to everyone who has supported me up to this point. It’s been a fun ride. I’m hoping that my next book won’t take as long to put together.

About the contributor:

Irish/Depression sufferer/Geek/gaytheist/Whovian/Follower of Dylan. The Boss.

Usually @DavidpbFerguson