Monday, October 8, 2007

Creator Profiles: Richard Bensam

Short and to the point: Richard Bensam is a freaking amazing writer. I'll explain why, but first let me tell you how we *met.*

Richard came to my attention when he was the very first blogger to write about Flashback Universe where he eloquently explained the importance of digital comics much better than I ever could have.

Shortly after that, Chris Sims (I think it was Chris) mentioned he was going to write a Flashback Universe story, whereupon Richard e-mailed me asking he I was accepting submissions.

Now, I get a LOT of people asking this and my standard reply is to give the requester some busy work to see if they really are going to do the work or are just blowing hot air. I think I told Richard to come up with a Fantom Force story. I just off handely mentioned the connection between Doc Nomad and Nick Flint as a way of explaing the Doc Fantom/Nick Flint relationship.
Well, I don't think 7 days passed before Richard e-mailed me a completed story synopsis with full character breakdowns of all of the Fearless Five AND Fantom Force. Simply Amazing. To this day, no one has beaten that turn around time.

Not only was he quick in his delivery, but the story was top notch. He found a nice way to introduce all the characters and the relationship between the two teams. His dialogue was witty and natural. His action scenes flowed nicely. Really, it was everything you could ever want in a comic story, and it's gotten some nice comments ever since it was posted.

Currently, Richard and I are kicking around a cosmic hero he created called Asterion, who was originally inspired by the Silver Age Captain Mar-Vell, but has since grown into something much different. I'll keep you posted on his development. :)

In the meantime, here are Richard's responses to my Creator Survey:

What Flashback Universe comic did you work on, or are you currently scheduled to work on?
The debut stories of both the Fantom Force and Doc Nomad and the Fearless Five, and more to come...

Do you have a link to a blog/portfolio you would like me to include?

What comics from the 70's did you like when you were growing up?

I was always very keen on team books like the Legion of Super-Heroes, the Avengers, the Defenders, the JLA, and the X-Men. Something about the heroes being together to interact and provide support for one another always appealed to me.

What writers/artists do you think you are most influenced by?

Jack Kirby influences my real life on a daily basis, but in comics writing I feel most influenced by Steve Englehart and Steve Gerber.

Current trend in comics you hate now?

Where do I start? The anti-fun policy among certain creators and editors. The belief that only nihilism and misogyny are "realistic" and that this supposed "realism" should be the goal of all comic books. The industry closing out potential new readers in favor of holding onto an ever-dwindling base of comic shop customers. Artists who swipe all their character drawings from porn mags. Everything overrendered with computer coloring to look photorealistic but instead becoming dreary and lifeless. I could go on and on.

Current trend in comics you like now?

People who fight the above trends! Seeing work from artists like Darwyn Cooke, Mike Allred, Paul Grist, and Colleen Coover enter the mainstream. New forms of distribution and free comics.

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