Source: Larime Taylor / Top Cow
Larime Taylor, writer and impressive mouth-artist of A Voice in the Dark, answers a few questions for The Outhouse. Previously he's proven to have a great sense of humor, and there's no exception here.
It seems that you’re more interested in telling the story from the heart of the characters and not strictly action. I think this draws a certain life to the character you wouldn't see otherwise. Is your intention to show how normal and cool Zoey can be while simultaneously wanting to murder people?
It's because I'm better at drawing people doing everyday things than I am at action.
Seriously, though, for Zoey's darker side to have power to it, we need to see her trying to just be a normal young woman. We need to see her go to class, hang out with her roommates, and do the daily grind. Then, when she does kill, or does fantasize about killing, it has more impact and meaning.
There's also the small matter of it taking a close-to-home pain to drive her to kill the first time. If she's not living life, she can't get hurt, and if she can't get hurt, she's much less likely to kill again.
A Voice in the Dark, the radio show, looks like it’s going to reveal some serious insight into other students' hidden feelings. Are you enjoying bringing up the things people don’t like to talk about? Where might that path lead?
It, like the show, can be cathartic, yes. Between the show and her Critical Thinking class, I get to play with a lot of hot-button issues and taboo topics. I can get meta, and do things that comics don't often get to do. It's a lot of fun. It also hints at what things might be coming up in the story as I try to keep the plot, her show, and that class closely linked.
You mentioned the reason why you are so good at the dialogue of teenage girls is because your wife says you hide them in your beard. What else are you hiding in there?
Lots of things. A few cats, an old car, some VHS tapes of 80's slasher films, the entire Tom Waits discography, and Metallica's long-lost integrity.
There’s been plenty of comparison to Dexter, but Zoey is not the same character in a different situation. She’s not cold and methodical, but torn between normal college freshman life and having the desire to take the life of others. What can we expect to learn about Zoey in the series without revealing too much?
At the core, the book will be about her finding herself, finding her identity and coming to terms with who and what she is. Any detailed answer to that would be spoilers on some level. I can give some hints, though. In the next two storyarcs, #3-#13 or so, we'll get to see Zoey try to have a social life, learn more about the strange town she now lives in, and have her first romantic fling.
You’ve mentioned you started to invert typical plot points and make it interesting. It looks like Zoey already has people around her that could find out who she is. Any interesting inversions in the story there, or are we talking a Breaking Bad or Dexter type scenario where those close to her are the ones after her?
The first person in her daily life to discover her secret is not going to be an obvious choice. Their reaction to it might not be what's expected, either. That's still down the road a ways, likely #8 at the earliest.
How long have you been working on this series? Is this your first comic project?
About a year now. I've developed a series before, strictly as the writer, and it was picked up by a small publisher, but never made it to completion because of setbacks out of our control. Nothing on the publisher's end, we just couldn't keep upon the artist's page rate, and my wife became too sick to keep coloring it. That book falling apart is what drove me to write, draw, and tone a book myself. It's all on me.
Your first Kickstarter project originally called Dark Zoey went over budget by $8k. Did you expect that large of a response to boot?
It raised about 600% of the goal, yeah. It was a very big response, and encouraged me to keep working. There's an audience. The pre-order numbers on issue #1 are equally surprising and suggest I'll get to do this book for quite some time.
Can you walk us through your feelings when you learned Top Cow was picking up A Voice in the Dark as a monthly series? How different is your lifestyle now?
Being with Top Cow and, by extension, Image, has been huge. It's a dream come true. Doing a creator owned book with that iconic 'i' on the cover is what I've wanted from the very start. It still doesn't feel real.
Things haven't changed yet. They won't until the checks start coming. When they do, though, it's going to be a massive change. We're talking three or four times what I make right now.
You call yourself a mouth-artist, historically, has the double entendre worked out well for you?
I've been doing pretty much everything with my mouth for 37 years now. I'm pretty good at it. Just ask my wife.
People have been inspired by your talent (including myself), who inspires you?
My wife, on a daily basis. Others include Neil Gaiman, Scott Sigler, Terry Moore, the Hernandez brothers, Brian K Vaughn, Joe Hill, and Gail Simone.
Thanks again to Larime Taylor. Look for A Voice in the Dark to be published in November 20th from Top Cow/Image.