Skip to Content

Exclusive: Writer-artist Larime Taylor ponders future with quiet Voice

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:14341:]]

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?

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:14342:]]

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.

CBN: What is the current status of A Voice in the Dark?

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.

CBN: What about your status as a comic book creator?

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.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:14343:]]

CBN: What can readers who have loved your work thus far do to aid your situation?

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.

CBN: Were you surprised that the first issue of Voice sold out? How did that feel?

Larime Taylor: It was amazing. A really great experience. The trick is building the audience to keep the numbers up there.

CBN: Is there some particular story that is brewing in the brain that you would like to shop around the indies circuit?

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.

CBN: What does the future hold for Larime Taylor the comic book creator?

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 …

CBN: Do you feel like you achieved what you wanted with Voice?

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!

Read More about Exclusive: Writer-artist Larime Taylor ponders future with quiet Voice

Exclusive: Larime Taylor Talks About Rare Congenital Disorder & Writing/Drawing “A Voice In The Dark”

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:10250:]]

Coming in November from Top Cow is an utterly unique reading experience, not only the product but its creator as well.
 
A Voice in the Dark is a new ongoing by Larime Taylor, who was born with a condition that renders his limbs useless.
 
After an SDCC interview with Taylor, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer knew he had to have a more in-depth interview with this one-of-a-kind comics creator. Also be sure to check out the trailer for A Voice in the Dark featuring Mr. Taylor following the interview.
 
Cosmic Book News: Larime, I marvel at your talent. But I am sure there has been a price in growing up and being born with Arthrogrysposis. Tell us about the disease and that challenges of your life as a child.
 
Larime Taylor: Arthrogryposis is a birth defect that basically stunts development of the arms and legs in utero. My arms and legs are contracted in fixed positions, so I have little use of them. I’ve used a power wheelchair and drawn with my mouth since age 4 or 5. Things were pretty normal for me through the 5th grade because I grew up with the kids in my classes, they knew me since Kindergarten, but moved to a different town before 6th grade and the adjustment was rough. I never really fit in very well after that. I wasn’t constantly teased or bullied, but I just never felt much of a connection. I only had a handful of friends.
 

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:10251:]]

Cosmic Book News: It takes a special person to not only cope but overcome the physical situation. Tell us about these life challenges, then and now.
 
Larime Taylor: I’ve lived with it all my life, so it’s all I know. I don’t have any other point of reference. For me, this is normal. Basically, it just takes me longer to do some things, or I have to find different ways of doing them. I’ve always had to think around corners.
 
Cosmic Book News: How ever did art enter your life?
 
Larime Taylor: Like most kids, I just drew a lot. I was lucky in that my mom is a very talented artist, so she started teaching me and really encouraged me.
 
Cosmic Book News: What types of art have you worked with and how did you develop your mouth technique, for lack of a better term?
 
Larime Taylor: I’ve mostly been a caricature and portrait artist, which is why I can draw faces and emotions so well but struggle with pretty much everything else! People have been my bread and butter for years. Learning to draw backgrounds and buildings and cars, that’s been the challenge.
 

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:10252:]]

Cosmic Book News: Do you still have trouble functioning in everyday society, or has that become second nature now?
 
Larime Taylor: I get by. I definitely see things and experience things most people don’t, but I’m used to it by now for the most part.
 
Cosmic Book News: How did you become interested in comics?
 
Larime Taylor: I grew up with spinner racks in 7-11 and such, so comics were still a daily part of pop culture. I read comics, like most kids. I liked X-Men, Wolverine, all the usual suspects. I was never a huge fan or collector, though. It wasn’t until college when I started reading The Crow, Strangers in Paradise, and Sandman that I really became a fan of the medium.
 
Cosmic Book News: Do you have any favorite comic books or comic strips?
 
Larime Taylor: Past favorites are the three I mentioned above, plus things like 100 Bullets, Love and Rockets, etc. Stuff I read and like now? Rachel Rising, Think Tank, Saga, Fell, The Walking Dead, Scott Pilgrim
 
Cosmic Book News: How did you and Top Cow get together?
 
Larime Taylor: They were one of the six or so publishers I submitted to, and Matt Hawkins was really positive about the book. I’m thrilled to be at Top Cow and a part of the Image family.
 

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:10253:]]

Cosmic Book News: Tell us a little about the complex path as a project of A Voice in the Dark, what has been and what will be in November.
 
Larime Taylor: It started as a Kickstarter last October to fund a complete single issue to use as a submission package, rather than the standard 5 pages and a pitch. I wanted to show that I was serious, professional, and motivated. The Kickstarter raised 600% of the goal, so I turned it into a 3-issue mini and printed a trade for the backers. That trade got me the deal as an ongoing series with Top Cow. Issue #1 comes out in November, and contains 2/3 of that Kickstarter story. #2 is the last third, and everything going forward from #3 is new content I’m doing now.
 
Cosmic Book News: Going back a moment, you have been a caricature artist since the age of 14. How did that help you in your art and how did it help you in life?
 
Larime Taylor: It’s made me pretty good with drawing faces, consistent characters, and expressions. It also taught me to draw fast, since caricature artists get paid by the drawing, not by the hour. It’s made me a pretty fast artist – I can do 1-2 completed comics pages a day, so about an issue and a half to two issues a month.
 
Cosmic Book News: Your drawings are so simple and yet capture such personality and mood. Do you think your unique drawing method lends itself to that?
 
Larime Taylor: I think it comes from being a caricature artist, which is all about capturing the person’s likeness and personality as quickly and cleanly as possible.
 
Cosmic Book News: You do everything in you works. How do you plot your stories? Drawings first and plotting along, or plot and then the art/script?
 
Larime Taylor: I plot in arcs, as outlines, then write the scripts. I shoot the entire issue as photographs from the script for reference, do the layouts, and often will even letter based on the photo pages, then draw the art and drop it into the finished pages.
 

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:10254:]]

Cosmic Book News: I noticed you are not much for coloring. Is there a reason?
 
Larime Taylor: I’m horrible at it! I’m a line artist. Shading and toning is about the extent of my abilities, hence the book being black and white.
 
Cosmic Book News: Could you achieve what you do if we did not have the technology that is available today?
 
Larime Taylor: No. I really couldn’t. Being able to draw sitting upright, on the screen, where I can zoom in and out and rotate the art easily has made me much better than when I drew flat on a table, hunched over. I can do horizontal lines easier than vertical, so spinning the page and changing angles is huge for me. I can draw freely, now. Before, I’d be all cramped and hunched and restricted.
 
Cosmic Book News: Explain a little about the tech you utilize.
 
Larime Taylor: I draw with a Wacom Cintiq, a tablet-screen that Wacom donated to me. It’s really changed my life. My computer is a 6-core with 16GB of RAM. It’s an art monster.
 
Cosmic Book News: What does it mean to have “Voice” coming out from a top indie publisher?
 
Larime Taylor: It’s great. It’s awesome to be at Top Cow and to be a part of Image.
 
Cosmic Book News: Since becoming associated with Top Cow, have you met any fellow creators you had been hoping to meet?
 
Larime Taylor: Honestly? I’m a terrible geek, and don’t recognize most creators on sight. At conventions I’m always trying to read name badges! I have met a few of my online creator friends, like Terry Moore, Jimmie Robinson, and Gail Simone. Meeting them in person was great. I also got to meet Humberto Ramos, who is probably my favorite penciller in comics, and he was a really nice guy. I’ve met Erik Larsen, who is incredibly kind, and Marc Silvestri, obviously, who is a total rockstar.
 

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:10255:]]

Cosmic Book News: As an obvious role model, what would you say to others suffering from physical handicaps who are trying to develop some talent or other?
 
Larime Taylor: I really don’t see myself that way. I’m just a guy doing the only thing he really can, trying to make a living. I guess I’d say, figure out what you’re good at and do it and never let anyone tell you that you can’t.
 
Cosmic Book News: Anything on the horizon for your creative juices aside from “Voice?”
 
Larime Taylor: I’m pretty much focused on this right now. I have other ideas on the back burner, mostly as a writer since my artistic skills are limited, but my main priority is making this book as successful as I can.
 
Cosmic Book News: Is there any ritual you go through before beginning your fabulous works?
 
Larime Taylor: Not really? I always have music or podcasts or movies going on in the background. I don’t work well in silence. I need a distraction so I can auto-pilot the art. It sounds strange,  but I do best when I don’t think too much and just trust my instincts. I’m OCD and end up hyper-focussing, otherwise.
 

“A Voice in the Dark” #1 from Top Cow hits in November!

Follow Larime Taylor on Twitter @XLarimeX.

Read More about Exclusive: Larime Taylor Talks About Rare Congenital Disorder & Writing/Drawing “A Voice In The Dark”

Comic-Con Exclusive: Unique writer/artist Larime Taylor to do ongoing for Top Cow

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:9543:]]

To talk to Larime Taylor is to admire him.

The one-man comic book factory (he writes, pencils, inks, shades and letters black-and-white comics) has only been experimenting with the medium for a little over a year, but art is as much a part of him as his keen mind and brave heart.

One of the announcements coming from Top Cow during SDCC is a new ongoing from this unique writer/artist called A Voice in the Dark, launching in November.

Why is Taylor unique? Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer caught up with him exclusively and got his story as well as some juicy tidbits about his coming book.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:9546:]]

Cosmic Book News: If you will, Larime, tell us all about yourself and the special circumstance of your talent.

Larime Taylor: I was born with Arthrogryposis, a birth defect that stunts development of the limbs in utero, and leaves me with very little use of my arms and legs. I use a power wheelchair to get around, and I draw with my mouth. I am the sole creator on the book — I write, draw, tone and letter it, all by mouth. I work on a Wacom Cintiq, doing everything digitally.

CBN: Tell us how the A Voice in the Dark project came about.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:9547:]]Larime Taylor: It started in late 2012 as a Kickstarter campaign (then called Dark Zoey) to fund a single-issue submission package to send to publishers in the hopes of getting it picked up as an ongoing series. I treated it a lot like a pilot for television — produce a completed issue to show proof of concept, art and writing skills, and professionalism. Most submissions are 5 pages of sample art and a pitch, but I wanted to show that I was serious and ready to go from day one.

The response to the Kickstarter was overwhelming, due in large part to the support of industry pros like Gail Simone, Neil Gaiman, Warren Ellis and Joe Hill, all of whom retweeted and spread the word. I ended up at 600 percent of my goal, so I turned it into a 3-issue mini that I put out in serial format online for my backers, and compiled into a trade to be printed and sent to them upon completion. That trade also served as my pitch or submission package to publishers at Wonder Con. I had several publishers interested, and ended up at Top Cow as a part of the Minotaur Press line of black-and-white, creator-owned books.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:9548:]]CBN: Will this be an ongoing series? Can you tell us about the initial storyline?

Larime Taylor: It will be a monthly ongoing series starting in November of 2013. Issue #1 will be a double issue, containing the first two-thirds of the Kickstarter trade, and #2 will be the last third. New content that I’m working on now will become #3 and on.

The first two issues, the Kickstarter content, are an introduction to the story and characters, setting things up for stories to come. It focuses on Zoey Aarons, a young woman of mixed race attending a prestigious Women’s College in California on an academic scholarship. Zoey is a straight-A student, graduated top of her class in high school, and appears to most people to be a model student.

She’s also a serial killer.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:9550:]]

CBN: You seem to have a great talent for expression that is unique. How did you come to apply it to cartooning?

Larime Taylor: I have been a caricature artist since the age of 14, drawing caricatures at parties, festivals, wedding receptions, etc. It trained me to capture personality and mood as quickly and simply as possible, which translates well to comics and gives me a very clean and expressive style.

CBN: Might we see other works by Larime Taylor coming from Top Cow in the near future?

Larime Taylor: Right now I’m just focused on this book, and making it the best it can be. I do work pretty fast, though, completing about 2 issues a month, so I may look to branch out somewhere down the line.

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Larime Taylor for taking time out of his schedule to answer our questions. We would also like to thank Top Cow’s own Matt Hawkins and Siike Donnelly who helped make this interview possible.

“A Voice in the Dark” #1 from Top Cow hits in November!

Follow Larime Taylor on Twitter @XLarimeX.

Read More about Comic-Con Exclusive: Unique writer/artist Larime Taylor to do ongoing for Top Cow