Interviewing Enrique Carrion on Vescell
Last month, Image Comics saw the release of Vescell, a new Sci-Fi Noir, and The Outhousers very own Linwood Earl Knight gave it a positive review. A week before the release of issue #2, writer and creator Enrique Carrion sits down for a quick interview.
Greg: Enrique Carrion! How are you today, Enrique?
Enrique: Feeling good, my dude. Aura is on gold and swag is on a million.
Greg: I feel you on that. Tell us about yourself. How did you get started in comics?
Enrique: Man, my uncle gave me my first comic when I was like ten; it was Amazing Spider-man #300. When I first opened it and saw Todd McFarlane's work and read the story... It was a wrap. I was converted into a StreetNerd.
Greg: Since then, what comics have inspired you to move from street nerd to fan boy then finally comic book creator?
Enrique: I'm inspired by everything. Life, movies, music, art and comics. Comics that really had an effect on me though were Infinity Gauntlet, Spawn, and Books like Dune.
Greg: Tell me about Vescell! What is this about?
Enrique: Vescell is Sci-Fi Noir. It is a story of love and redemption. Choices and the penalty and rewards they bring. It's a story about a man and his companions' journey through life. All wrapped up in a mystic seedy high tech world.
Vescell is the supreme corporate power in the world. It has enemies and rivals but its exclusive spirit-tech keeps it number one. The company offers a unique product known as "V-Trans" which is the transferring of a person's mind and soul into a new body so you can become a new you.
Greg: How did you come up with the idea for Vescell? There's a lot of stuff going on in just the first issue? It also moves rather fast.
Enrique: Ideas in my head are like stars. First various elements of high powered thoughts and feelings become heavy and attract each other, then they coalesce and then ignite into what you see before you.
The first issue definitely packs a kick to your chest so hard it will make your shoulders clap. The reader gets to fully immerse themselves in the characters and their world. You can't read Vescell just once; there are a lot of Easter eggs and in-depth meaning that you can only unlock after two or three reads. You definitely get your money's worth when you pick up an issue.
Greg: Who's Moo?
Enrique: Moo is a man doing all that he can not to succumb to his fate and instead achieve his destiny. He is surrounded by people who understand the great potential of his power. Some will try and use that for good, and some for evil, on his perilous road he must be able to navigate through that very carefully. Anyone who wants to see a cast of characters learn, grow, and change as they go through various experiences will love this book. The characters are not emotionally stagnant, they will evolve and change as the Vescell saga continues. That is all I can say for now without revealing too much. It's going to be an amazing ride... stick around.
Greg: And who are the folks who are surrounding him and the factions specifically? As of the first issue, what parts do they play in his life?
Enrique: I wish I could speak more on it, but story lines and plot reveals are very sensitive and under wraps over at these here parts. You're just gonna have to cop that next issue.
Greg: Okay, understandable. One aspect that caught me with Vescell was the T&A and sex. In comics they're are usually a bit looked down upon and passed by. For example, despite strong stories and characters in the Witchblade book, people still disregard it and refuse to check it out, even if the last few years she's been very much covered. In Vescell, the sex and T&A are near unfiltered. Why the decision to go this route?
Enrique: Everything I do is always in context of the story. If I have an action scene I always tell my story through that action, whether that action is a car chase, a gunfight, or a sex scene. That's the difference between Vescell and other books. I never have violence or sex just for the sake of it...that would be lame.
Greg: There's also an aspect of the occult involved in this. To the point where there seems to be a werewolf, Moo casting a spell mistaken for Vodou, and fairies. Why do you think this is a good fit for a futuristic sci fi noir?
Enrique: Mysticism is definitely prominent aspect of Vescell. It goes side by side and also intertwines with the technology. Readers are going to see stuff in Vescell you've never seen before. I want to destroy preconceived notions of what Sci-fi/Fantasy in comic books is suppose to look and read like. I smash tropes and break boundaries, take their shattered remnants, and make something new.
Greg: If you've noticed, Vescell seems to be one of the only current "mainstream" Independents with a black lead. DC have released some black lead books recently. What are your thoughts on this? It's not too often we even see a black lead in a sci fi/noir type story of this nature?
Enrique: That is so true. I am proud to have a black character as a lead, especially a black character that can be universally accepted by all people. I also understand the responsibility that comes with that. You are not going to see any sambo shit in Vescell. I am also proud and grateful to have it done at Image comics which is a label respected and known for thinking outside the box and putting its muscle and money behind excellent ideas...plain and simple. In my book you will see lots of diversity with characters of all ethnicity's and sexual orientations.
You know the main character, Mauricio "Moo" Barrino, is half black/half Latino... so respectfully since my book came out first I think I dropped the "Blacktino" thing before Miles Morales...#wavy!
Greg: Ha! Well played. How did you meet your artist, John "Roc" Upchurch, and how is it like working with him? What made you decide he was the perfect fit for Vescell?
Enrique: Roc and I were working on a different project before and then midstream I was talking to my art director, Evelio Tamayo, about this idea I had called Vescell. He was like, "Yo, that's hot," and he basically hit me with that Fifty line, "Go ahead and switch the style up and if they hate, then let them hate but watch the money pile up." So I told Roc, "Yo, let's go with this Vescell." He was feeling it and the rest is history. My team is the illest. Roc is fantastic on the art. My man, Evelio, on the art supervision, and my man, Rafael Diaz, on production design and lettering. We so wavy.
Greg: Nice. Well, we're gonna be wrapping this up soon. Last final questions: are there any other books put there catching your eye?
Enrique: I like Chew. John Layman and Rob Guillory are killing it right now.
Greg: Do you have any advice for other aspiring creators trying to break in?
Enrique: Don't give up. Understand that it is a team effort. Surround yourself with a strong team that shares your vision and is willing to sacrifice blood, sweat, money and time to make it happen. Stay loyal and true.
Written or Contributed by: Greg Dae