Stories From Exile: Checking in with Greg LaRocque

Checking in with Greg Larocque

The Dreaming

Greg LaRocque’s one of those professional comic book artists - always well liked by fans, yet maybe a little bit overlooked during the era of flashy artists who missed deadlines like it was part of the job description, LaRocque has drawn just about every major character at DC and Marvel, including seminal stories “The Return of Barry Allen” in the pages of Flash and the death of the original Superboy in Legion of Super-Heroes.

In recent years, his profile has not been as public as many fans would like. LaRocque has spent several years expanding his portfolio with diverse illustration work and creating comics of his own via his Exiled Studios, which will be the publisher of his next comic book project.

Due in February, The Dreaming is, according to LaRocque, “A comic book with a secret, truth and fantasy mix to ask a simple question ‘What is Reality?’”

We were able to ask the prolific artist a few questions about the project.

Newsarama: Greg, what can you tell us about The Dreaming?

Greg LaRocque: It’s a fifty-two page graphic novel of all new material, with story and art by myself with some help from a group of young talented artists.

NRAMA: Is The Deaming stand alone? Is there more to this series or “universe”?

GL: Much more.

NRAMA: You’re collaborating on this story with Adam Russo and Dan Parsons. What brought you three together? And what does each of you bring to the project?

Dream Watch

GL: Dan inks some pages and Adam helped with the story. I also have some pencils from Chad Culbertson and Ted Gilbraith, both fantastic new artists, and I'm happy to have a chance to show their work.

NRAMA: The preview art maintains a superhero-type feel, though the promotional text doesn’t suggest a slam-bang action story. What’s the mood of The Dreaming?

GL: Astral projection, remote viewing, the Stargate project, an actual government program that employed psychics to spy on the Russians. The paranormal studies there proved the existence of a dream realm inhabited with dream spirits who have visited humankind since its birth. DreamWatch was born as an offshoot of the StarGate project. A comic book with a secret, truth and fantasy mix to ask a simple question “What is Reality?”

NRAMA: What can you tell us about DreamWatch and its members?

GL: DreamWatch is a team of U.S. government agents with paranormal or enhanced abilities whose mission it is to protect mankind from 'the dreaming'; an extra-dimensional race of dream spirits who visit mankind in their dreams and can cross over into our reality when they find a willing human host, causing havoc in the life of the human host and disruption to the shared consciousness of our reality.

The team is based on an actual government agency known as StarGate, that was depicted in the film Subject Zero, starring Ben Kingsley.

Whisper is the dream spirit who visits our world to visit her friend Crystal.

NRAMA: Since you started Exiled Studios, Greg, you’ve published three issues of Exiled one issue of Crybaby and a Crybaby: Extinction graphic novel. Do you plan to come back to those characters?

GL: At some point they will tie in to the characters I introduce in The Dreaming.

NRAMA: Many fans remember you fondly from long runs on just about every superhero comic. Yet you’ve focused primarily on your own Exiled Studios and non-comics work in the past decade or so. Can I ask why your career moved in this direction?

GL: That's a question only the editors can answer. I've been around.

NRAMA: Do you have any particular favorite runs or issues that you’ve worked on?

GL: What If #32, “What If the Avengers Had Become Pawns Of Korvac?”

NRAMA: You’re also teaching a class on comics illustration at a local shop in Maryland. Are you still offering lessons? How has that been going?

GL: It’s a lot of fun. That's where I met Adam Russo who helped with The Dreaming. I'm taking a break over the holidays but starting back up at a new larger location next spring.

NRAMA: What’s next for you and Exiled Studios after The Dreaming?

GL: Preliminary work is underway to do a film, a small independent feature that I'm looking to begin next year. It’s entitled The Dreaming, and yes, it relates to the graphic novel.

Believe in your dreams!

For more on what Larocque is up to, check out his MySpace page here, and his personal website here. He does take commissions.

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