Kickstart has become an avenue for talented writers to jump into the diverse medium of comics. Steered by top-notch editors Jimmy Palmiotti and Larry Young, these books are unique in both their story and format – slimline graphic novels priced at under $10 and available not just in comic and bookstores but major retailers like WalMart. For the upcoming Spring book Blacksmith, two entrepreneurial young screenwriters are bringing a new twist to the classic action story with the graphic novel Blacksmith.
Blacksmith tells the story of the newest member of a secret society of weapons-makers that have fueled the United States’ dominance in the past two hundred years. From industrial age technology to 21st century tech, the Blacksmiths have kept with the times – and kept on the cutting edge. But when Blacksmith Alex Malloy finds out a weapon of his was used to commit an unauthorized public assassination, he’s on the run – to stay one step ahead of the law while tracking down his weapons now in the wrong hands. The story is by screenwriters Malik Evans and Richard Sparkman, who are joined by artist Alberto Muriel (A-Team: War Stories: Face, Legion: Prophets) to tell this twisted take on an action tale.
Nrama: So guys, what can you tell us about Blacksmith?
Evans: Well, the Blacksmith is a very original concept, but at the same time with a familiar character. A character we’ve all been accustom to and seen in movies in the past decades. You can even go back far as to 1963 with the film Dr. No featuring the first days of the James Bond series with the character Q.
Sparkman: Instead of concentrating on your hero who uses the weapons, we’ve focus on the character that actually makes them. Hopefully this will set us apart from other projects. We are taking a different angle on someone you already recognize.
Nrama: Like you said, this is not about the guys who need the weapons – but the guys who make them. At the center of Blacksmith is a secret society of blacksmiths – weapons-makers – who have supplied the U.S. Government for years. Tell us more about their handiwork and history.
Evans: Well, that’s really the cool thing about this concept, is the mythology of the Blacksmiths.
Nrama: Mythology? Just how long have they been making weapons?
Evans: These Blacksmiths have created and supplied the military dating back to the 18th century.
Sparkman: They have been involved in turning the tides of all major U.S. battles: the Civil War, World War I & II and Desert Storm, just to name a few. Also another intriguing factor is no one really knows the true identities of the Blacksmiths.
Nrama: And who is the particular blacksmith we’ll be following in this one-shot?
Sparkman: Our main character is Alex Malloy, a young male who is a weapon genius known as the Blacksmith. He’s in a league of his own and the top-notch Blacksmith of his era. His specialty is guns and various heavy artillery.
Evans: The authentic thing is that the Blacksmith is by no means a kick ass character, but rather a guy that’s a few steps away from being a nerd, building some of the most advance weapons in his own basement.
Nrama: And in your story Alex is having to hunt down one of his toys when a nefarious someone gets a hold of it. What kind of weapon did they take? guys?
Evans: Well, it’s not really just a particular weapon but plans for his different creations.
Sparkman: Actually the most dangerous weapon is his mind.
Nrama: And who are the bad guys exactly?
Sparkman: The bad guys are an assemblage of Black Ops soldiers that no longer work for the government, but for themselves and the highest paycheck.
Evans: With every great protagonist there always should be a better antagonist. Your hero can only be as good as your villain.
Nrama: This is a really interesting spin on the action movie. How’d you guys come up with it?
Evans: That’s one of the most challenging things in this business is coming up with something no one has ever seen or heard before. Personally we get tired of seeing the same material and so many remakes flooding the business.
Sparkman: We’ve just decided to take another route with the hero. Instead of your typical macho man we’ve chose to use the underdog. We can easily spend hours, days and even months trying to brainstorm new ideas. Blacksmith is just the beginning; we have more great things cooking in the oven and soon people we get a taste of what we have in store.More from Kickstart Day: KICKSTART DAY: Burn Notice Writer Gives The Gods a HEADACHE