I was in a horrible mood as I descended via the escalator into the bowls of the Hyatt. Another Dragon Con, another weekend on zero sleep, existing off of sweets and sodas, but this was the first year I had been vomited on. I had to put that all out of my mind though and get my professional face on. I was on my way to meet with a man I was eager to talk to, Brian Pulido.
Pulido is a writer and creator of many things, most famously in the comics world for Lady Death and Evil Ernie. He was the owner of Chaos Comics and now runs Coffin Comics under the title of Publisher, recently bringing the pale goddess back through the power of Kickstarter. After the success of Lady Death: Chaos Rules, Pulido and crew struck gold again with Lady Death Damnation Game. I was looking forward to talking to him about his creations, and the time he spent in television, but also just interested to meet the man whose work I had been seeing since I was in high school.
The booth was in the back with a large image of Lady Death herself above the rows of prints that were available to be purchased and signed. I was a couple of minutes early, which worked out because there were two people in front of me who wanted autographs and pictures. It was cool to see Pulido interacting with his fans: engaging, kind, and taking the time to shake hands and answer their questions. I took an opportunity after them to introduce myself as his twelve o’clock appointment. He smiled and asked me to give him a moment, preparing to leave his booth in other hands. I took the time to admire some of the cover art. Lady Death never hid its T&A side, but rather embraced and flaunted it. Much of the art was gorgeous. I knew I was not the only one to think so though, as talents like Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell had done their own renditions of her.
When he was ready to speak we both agreed Artist Alley was a bit too loud to conduct a proper interview, so he looked past a few booths and led the way through two sets of black curtains into a nice secluded area.
“I’m not sure if we’re supposed to be back here, but we’ll use it until someone tells us to move.”
I smirked. The statement had set the tone for the interview. Setting up the recorder I went over what I would be covering in the interview and made sure Pulido knew he was free to talk about anything that came to mind. We started with the standard questions about the kickstarters and usual business. I was interested to find out about their methods, since these are rare to kickstarter in the sense that all of the work on the comic is already done before the crowdfunding even goes live. Pulido said he got some advice a while back from Jimmy Palmiotti who told him, “the most important thing is to get it out and deliver.” Advice that makes sense in a world that focuses on instant gratification with its entertainment. It builds a reputation of someone being able to deliver.
I was confused why these were full stories but were being called #1s.
“Companies like Marvel are in the event business.” Pulido said, “It’s about letting the fans know they are getting something special.”
It all made sense. He would know about Marvel, having worked for them on a cool book called Supernaturals. I asked a few things about Lady Death specifically, interested in her evolution into these new books. One of the original antihero bad girls of comics started as a villain in the pages of Evil Ernie and had seen a few different series give glimpses into her backstory.
“She had gotten too powerful, so we put that into the story and fixed it.”
It’s good when someone realizes their character is suffering from Superman syndrome. Pulido has a lot planned to expand on their canon, even a new Lady Death series he said hadn’t been revealed yet that would cover some of the gaps in her history. He seemed excited about it and made me want to read more.
We talked about his writing style and how he selected artists. He bragged a bit about putting a lot of work into finding some of the best young talent out there and getting them to do his characters before they became famous and cost too much to use. The proof was there. Many of his former staff had gone on to do big things.
Pulido also had a hand in publishing a large number of classic slasher comics ranging from Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th to Child’s Play and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, most of which can still be found online. The man is a horror buff and attributes it to his mother making him watch a lot of the films when at a young age. We spoke about horror movies for a good while and he recommended a recent one called The Battery that I need to check out. There were the WWF (World Wrestling Federation) comics he worked on as well. I was glad to hear the man was a huge Undertaker fan.
We had been talking for a while and I was afraid of monopolizing his time. The man was a natural, pulling me into my own queries by answering me with questions or wanting to know what I thought about certain things. He had picked up the recorder after the first question, speaking his answer directly into it and then holding the device towards me when it was my turn. I felt bad, thinking I should have been the one holding the device, but there he was doing it with a smile. I hate it also because there would be more quotes in this write-up had the gods of chaos not seen fit to erase our interview off of the recorder somehow. It was honestly a worse feeling than being vomited on—such a good interview.
Just before I thought we were finishing up there was a name I saw when I did my research and wanted to ask him about, Zack the Zombie Exterminator. He was excited to talk about it, talking more with his hands and leaning in a bit closer to make sure I heard him. The zombie apocalypse has happened, but kind of fizzled, and the story follows the rise and fall of a reality-TV famous corpse exterminator who just might be needed to save the world. I won’t spoil much else about it and let the promotional materials do their work, but it is a book I will definitely be picking up. It was an excellent way to end our talk before he signed a comic for me. I had to ask him one more thing though. I wanted to know why comic readers who had never heard of him or his work should give Lady Death or Zack the Zombie Exterminator a chance.
“If you’re looking for something huge and convoluted I can’t help you, but for anyone who wants to see some great work, read something they’ll enjoy, and rock out, look us up.”