Elvis Presley movies were always pretty entertaining, even for a kid growing up during the Ronald Reagan action packed days of the 1980′s. They were always lacking in one area, though… MONSTER HUNTING!!! Fortunately, my prayers have been answered, unfortunately, Elvis is no longer making movies on account of a bad case of death. That’s where “King!” comes in. A very comical story, told in comic book form (can this get any better?) that focuses on the exploits and adventures of an undefeated-prowrestler-turned-bounty-hunter. As if that weren’t enough excitement, he’s not just any bounty hunter, he’s a MONSTER bounty hunter. That’s right, he hunts monsters. My fantasy fulfilled. Only it DOES get better. Turns out that one of the genius minds behind this project is a local and native Tucsonan by the name of Daniel Bradford. Mr. Bradford also happens to be a former University of Arizona Daily Wildcat Cartoonist who gained acclaim for his Calvin and Hobbes-like strip “Bedhead“. I was granted the honor of interviewing Daniel and reminiscing about the our old Wildcat days. The following is a brief interview with Daniel about his upcoming project.
1) Arnie Bermudez: Give me some background, man. Whats the deal with this project?
Daniel Bradford: “I was born and raised in Tucson and studied art at the University of Arizona. I started working on this project with a writer from New Jersey by the name of Tom Hall. He is the easiest and best writer I have ever worked with, because he gives me lots of creative freedom to work with on the page. For example, this project’s format will follow a 4 page main story and a 4 page backup story. He’s awesome when it comes to that sort of thing he is very detail oriented. Ninety percent of his work is research material, he’s hardcore about background. “King!” is our second title and very different from our first, Robot 13. King is absurd humor, it’s the book you can read on the crapper. The character is not Elvis just an undefeated professional wrestler by the name of Jessie King who dresses up like Elvis and gets into ounty hunting monsters. The first issue can be read as a stand alone issue.”
2) How did your old Bedhead strip influence your work here? After all, it was a strip about a boy and his imaginary zombie friend.
“I have always had a strong interest in zombies. Zombies are fun and easy to work with. With “Beadhead” I have a serious history and am very sentimental about it. It mostly taught me how to work with a schedule and taught me things like pacing using panels and frames. King only fights zombies in the first issue, in the second one he fights vampires.”
3) Where can we get a hold of “King!”?
“You can get a copy of it at our website http://www.blackliststudios.com/ . You can also get a copy of Robot 13 #1 for free there and download the rest of the series. I will be having a double signing at Fantasy Comics September 9th 2010, a Thursday. The first is at 11:30-1:00 p.m. and later that day at 4:00-5:30 p.m. Print versions of the comic will be carried by Fantasy Comics as well.”
4) How did you come up with this idea?
“I always had an idea of a character that looked like Elvis. For the record, I have never seen Bubba Ho-tep, eventhough I love Bruce Campbell. I think I was in high school when I first read a review about Bubba Ho-tep in the Tucson Weekly. I have always had an interest in an action hero that looked like Elvis. During a phone conversation, I told my writer “we should do a book about a guy that looks like Elvis and fights monsters”. There was a long awkward silence on the other end of the line, he then proceeded to change the subject. A couple of years later at a convention I brought it up again, and he said “remind me of that again”. So I drew a sketch and emailed it, he then called back and said ”oh he looks like Elvis and fights monsters!” ”
5) Will you be at the Tucson Comic Con? What do you think of the local comic scene? Very different from our old college days, huh?
“I will be there! I am absolutely thrilled with the about the Tucson comic community, it’s absolutely wonderful and I love it. Arizona is full of comic creators like John Layman the creator of Chew, Todd McFarlane and such live in Phoenix. I am excited just to know that the Tucson art scene is growing into comics, a lot of underground comics are coming to light which is helping that growth.”
“Contrary to popular belief practice does NOT make perfect, my parents do.” -Me