Joe Casey stops by the Outhouse to talk about his newest "supersexploitation" title BUTCHER BAKER.
Joe Casey is the storied creator and the writer of such critically-acclaimed series such as WildC.A.T.S. and Godland. He's about to take the comic book industry by storm with his latest series, Butcher Baker: The Righteous Maker, the Image series heavily promoted by Image last November. Casey stopped by the Outhouse to talk about his latest series and what readers can expect from his outrageous new series.
The Outhouse: Your newest series, Butcher Baker, The Righteous Maker, hits stores this month. For people who missed the month-long teaser campaign back in August, what's the new series about?
Joe Casey: It's everything you ever wanted in a superhero comicbook, but turned up to 11. It's a book that's not constrained by editorial influence. It's pure comics delivered with the highest degree of care and craft. Beyond that, you'll just have to read the book to find out what it's "about". Or you could just hang out and marvel at Mike Huddleston's career defining art.
OH: You've described Butcher Baker as a "superexploitation" book in past interviews. How would you describe superexploitation and how does it fit into the traditional superhero genre?
JC: I think I've since upgraded to "superSEXploitation", which I think is a more apt term, considering the content involved. Once you make that adjustment in the word, I'd like to think it all becomes very clear. And thankfully, it DOESN'T fit into the traditional superhero genre. While it does embrace it to a certain extent, it also bends it. Twists it. Goes down on it. These are all virtues, by the way.
OH: Let's talk about your title character, Butcher Baker. What sort of character archetype was he modeled after? What sort of personality does he have?
JC: Butcher Baker is obviously cast in the patriotic superhero mold, much like Simon/Kirby classics like Captain America and Fighting American. But wearing the colors of the American flag means something much different in 2011 than it ever did during the 20th Century. We live in a much more cynical world than those WWII-era heroes could've ever dreamed of. But it does make finding the inspiration in what this country is supposed to stand for all the more accomplishment.
OH: How do you think Butcher Baker would fare in a fight against long-standing superheroes such as Superman, Batman, or Wolverine?
JC: Well, I don't know why Butcher would be fighting with fellow superheroes. If anything, he'd just as soon sit down with them, have many beers and swap war stories. They'd talk about the women they'd had.
OH: Characters such as Jihad Jones, El Sushi and Angerhead have been named as some of the supporting cast members of Butcher Baker. Can you tell us a little bit about these characters and what roles they play in Butcher Baker's plot?
JC: "Supporting cast members"? These guys are the superfuck bad guys of all time. One thing readers will discover, though... is that they might actually have a legitimate beef with Butcher. You'll see why in issue #1. But they're not the only ones. There's the Abominable Snowman, White Lightning, the Absolutely, the Pale Gator, Jetboy and more!
OH: Judging from the teasers of Butcher Baker, it appears that the book will have political themes. Are there any political issues that you plan to address in Butcher Baker? Do you feel that the book will have a political bias at all?
JC: I don't think the book has any particular political bias. As far as I'm concerned, everything is up for being satirized to some degree. Politics, sex, celebrity, superheroic tropes... it's all fodder. I don't play favorites and I don't have to. It's the great thing about comicbooks. They can do everything, all at once. Actually, now that I think about it, I suppose there is a certain political bias to this series. It's about freedom. Pure, creative freedom of expression. These days, that's still a fairly political idea, isn't it?
OH: What do you hope to accomplish with Butcher Baker? What sort of statement do you want to make with the book?
JC: If readers have a good time with it it, that's a pretty big accomplishment right there. So many superhero comicbooks seem like such a fuckin' chore to read. They're marketed to us as though we HAVE to read them or else. I guess there's an artistic statement to be made... we're saying to all those readers who feel like they've been there, done that with superhero comicbooks that there's still a few superheroes worth reading about, they just happen to be brand new characters as opposed to characters that've been around for more than half a century. It's time for some new sounds, don'tcha think? Let's all fuck and give birth to the New rather than spend all our time trying to bring the Old back from the dead.
OH: Butcher Baker has been described as an "adult only" book. What does the book gain by gearing it towards adults? Do you feel that you would have had to tone the book down much if you had geared it towards a wider audience?
JC: I think there are a lot more adults reading comics than kids these days, especially mainstream superhero comics. So by not talking down to them, by acknowledging that they are actually adults and can handle a level of sophistication in storytelling and in content, I actually think we're gearing BUTCHER BAKER for a much wider audience than, say, your average issue of Superman.
OH: Do you have any other upcoming projects coming up? Do you plan to return to some of your past works such as Godland or Wildcats any time soon?
JC: So many projects coming up, I don't even have the energy to list them here. I can tell you, before the year is out, you'll probably be seeing DOC BIZARRE, M.D. and OFFICER DOWNE: THE BIGGER, BETTER, BASTARD EDITION.
OH: If you had to convince readers to pick up Butcher Baker in fifty words or less, what would you tell them?
JC: I'd say there's a pretty good chance that BUTCHER BAKER is better than sex.
Joe Casey and Mike Huddleston's Butcher Baker: The Righteous Maker hits stores March 30th.
Written or Contributed by: Christian Hoffer