To understand that Larime Taylor is responsible for any one part of comic book production is impressive. To realize he is a virtual one-band band (he writes, pencils, inks, shades and letters black-and-white comics) is nothing short of miraculous.
To him, it is just something that he loves to do.
Taylor was born with Arthrogryposis, a birth defect that stunts development of the limbs in utero, and leaves him with very little use of his arms and legs. He uses a power wheelchair to get around, and he draws with his mouth. He is usually the sole creator on his books (although his wife has begun to take a hand, he said). He works on a WacomCintiq, doing everything digitally.
One of the announcements coming from Top Cow during the last SDCC was a new ongoing from this unique writer/artist called A Voice in the Dark, which launched in November 2013. Issue #5 hits stores Wednesday, and at this point in time the comic book machine that is Taylor ponders his future and that of his book.
Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer caught up with Taylor exclusively to see how the unique comic producer is doing.
Cosmic Book News: What has it been like with the creation of your own comic book?
Larime Taylor: A lot of work! Seriously, though, doing the whole thing myself means a lot of long nights to meet deadlines. I’m doing the writing, art and lettering on a monthly 22-page book and I haven’t missed a deadline yet. A lot of people assume comics is the greatest job in the world — and it can be, it’s great — but it’s also a job. It has its ups and downs like anything. Meeting fans at shows and signings, reading email from readers all over the world, there’s nothing like it. Seeing your hard work in a physical comic you can touch and read is amazing. There are also 18-hour days of mindless toning, page set-up and lettering. Days spent drawing from when you get up to when you go to bed. Still, it’s been great so far, all things considered. I’m thrilled to be doing it.
Larime Taylor: Issue #5 comes out on Wednesday (March 19). There are two more issues in this first arc, April and May, and then the trade comes out in June. That’s all guaranteed. Whether or not there’s more beyond that really depends on sales of #7 and, more importantly, the trade. If things hold exactly as they are and the trade does decent, there’s a good chance I’ll do more. Sales always drop from issue to issue until you find your baseline, and right now I think #6 is literally 90 copies lower than #5, so I think we’ve found it. If it kept dropping 300-500 per issue, I’d have to wrap it up and move on, but it looks like the bleeding has stopped. I can get by on what it’s selling right now — it’s not the huge (for me) paycheck of #1, but it’s enough to survive. If I had to guess, I’d say there will probably be at least another arc after the first trade, but you never know.
Larime Taylor: Oh, I’m not going anywhere. I have several more books in development just as a writer with other artists attached, but none of them are greenlit and in production yet. Top Cow has told me if Voice drops below what I can get by on, we just wrap it up and do something new, so I’ll be making another book if it comes to that. They’ve been really supportive.
Larime Taylor: Keep pre-ordering it. Get the trade when it comes out. Maybe buy a copy for a friend. If the trade does well, it can boost monthly sales on the next arc. Issue #1 is free online at the Top Cow website, so tell your friends.
Larime Taylor: It was amazing. A really great experience. The trick is building the audience to keep the numbers up there.
Larime Taylor: Like I said, I’m working on a few books with other artists, so we’ll see what comes of that. The next book I write and draw myself will be about fallen angels in Las Vegas. It’ll be very different from Zoey’s story, more action-based. My wife, who colors my Voice covers from #3 forward, will be coloring interiors on it, so you can get a sense of what it’ll look like based on those.
Larime Taylor: Hopefully, more work! I’d love to write a licensed property, or something for the Big 2. I’ve been wanting to create a new Oracle-style character at DC now that Babs is out of the chair. We need another disabled hero. If anyone at DC is interested …
Larime Taylor: No, not yet. I mean, I got it published, which was my main goal, but as far as all of the stories I want to tell with it, I have barely scratched the surface. I hope I get to tell more of them.
Cosmic Book News would like to thank Larime Taylor for taking time to answer our questions.
“A Voice in the Dark” #5 from Top Cow hits stands March 19th!