We were lucky enough to interview Jim Zub, writer of Glitterbomb. Check out the interview below and then go read our review of the comic!
Q) For those who don’t know, how did you get your start in comics?
A) I started making comics online. I was working in animation and doing freelance art while living in Calgary, Alberta and I wanted an outlet for myself so I started making a comic called The Makeshift Miracle in my spare time and began serializing it online 3 pages per week starting in September 2001. The encouragement I received from readers and other creators convinced me to start going to comic conventions and that opened my eyes up to the possibilities.
From there I’d join the UDON studio and learn a ton about how the industry worked – contracts, pre-press, marketing, publishing, editorial. All those different areas of knowledge came in handy as I built up my storytelling skills. By 2009 I had written a Street Fighter mini-series for UDON and was planning a new creator-owned project. Skullkickers launched in 2010 and that’s when a lot more people started seeing my work.
Q) What inspired you to write this specific story about a Hollywood experience gone wrong?
A) Glitterbomb grew out of my own fears about failing in my creative goals, wondering at what point my own career would plateau. It’s a nasty story, but also one where I feel like getting those harsh thoughts out of my head is a good way to purge them from the system. Hollywood is filled with extremes – fame next to poverty, strangers and celebrities. It became fertile ground to explore those ideas.
Q) Where does the title “Glitterbomb” come from? Or will that be answered in later issues?
A) The title isn’t a specific reference to something in the story. It’s more of an idea that syncs up with our broader themes – something shiny and dazzling you can’t take your eyes off of that’s going to destroy everything around it.
Q) Your main character Farrah feels very real. Did you have a particular actress in mind when you began to think about the Hollywood life that she represents?
A) She’s not modelled after a specific actress in my mind, though my artist and collaborator Djibril may have had someone specific in mind when he drew her. If he did though, he hasn’t mentioned it to me at this point.
Q) How did you go about finding your artist?
A) Djibril and I met at Montreal Comic Con last year. My friend Marguerite Sauvage (artist of DC Bombshells and other excellent comics) introduced me to him and asked if I could give him a portfolio critique. I checked out his work and was blown away by the confident storytelling and care he put into his pages. On the spot I asked him if he’d be interested in working together on a project. A couple months later I pulled out some old project pitches and Glitterbomb was the one that really caught his eye.
Q) What was the process like in deciding on the look for Glitterbomb? Did you have a style in mind or did you trust Djibril Morissette-Phan to bring the story to life?
A) Djibril’s art was already a good fit for what I had in mind so we didn’t have far to go. Right from the start he understood the bleak and grounded reality I wanted the series to have. His nuanced character expressions and textured brushwork does so much to deliver the emotional impact. Adding K. Michael Russell to the team with his moody dramatic colors just synced it all up.
Q) The essay at the end of Glitterbomb is very powerful. How did you connect with Holly Raychelle Hughe and what made you decide to add a real life story to the end of your fictional one?
A) When I was doing research for Glitterbomb I bookmarked dozens of articles about Hollywood – gossip, studio processes, acting advice, all kinds of stuff. Holly’s essay about how Hollywood ground her down was one of the more powerful ones I read and, when I decided that having back matter material in the issue would help ground the story we were building, I took a chance and reached out to Holly on Twitter. She must have thought I was a weirdo but, thankfully, she let me explain what Glitterbomb was and I emailed her a PDF of the first issue. She was impressed enough with it that we were able to work out a deal to reprint her article in the first issue and then have her come on board to write new essays for issues #2+. Needless to say, I’m thrilled. Her articles do a wonderful job at broadening Glitterbomb’s story and giving more context to the weird stuff that happens off camera.
Q) Is there anything you can tease for the future of Glitterbomb?
A) Death, angst, and someone’s head literally exploding. Little Marty eats macaroni and cheese.
Q) Do you have anything else coming out we should watch out for?
A) Wayward, my creator-owned “supernatural teens versus Yokai” series continues at Image. The Street Fighter Legends: Cammy mini-series is underway at UDON. Dungeons & Dragons: Shadows of the Vampire is heading toward an exciting climax at IDW. Thunderbolts has villains trying to be heroic and heroes making bad choices every month at Marvel. It’s a busy Zub Slate right now, but I’m loving it.
Q) Where is the best place to follow you on social media to keep track of Glitterbomb and your other projects?
A) The best place to see what I’m up to is through my website: www.jimzub.com. It has all the interviews, previews, and Amazon links you’d expect along with tutorials about how to write comics, how to find artists to work with, and the economics of creator-owned comics. I’m also pretty active on Twitter @jimzub so that’s a good place to drop me a line.
We want to thank Jim Zub for participating in this interview. Check out his latest comic Glitterbomb and all his other work by following his website and on twitter.