I was lucky enough to get the chance to ask 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt Winner Kenny Porter a few questions on being a winner of the contest.
How does it feel to be a winner of Top Cow’s Talent Hunt?
I'm honored to be one of the winners of the Talent Hunt. From what I've heard there were around 800 entries just for writing alone, so to be selected out of that many entries feels like a real honor. I put a lot of work into my submission, so I'm glad to see that the hard work wasn't wasted.
What influenced you in becoming a comic book writer?
I've been a comic book fan since I was in elementary school. I can still remember going to my local shop on my bike and buying issues of Uncanny X-Men from the discount bin. But what really pushed me was after I had studied screenwriting and wanted to branch out from just writing movies or prose. I was still reading comics here and there, but had never thought about writing them. After experimenting a bit I realized that I could combine my love of scripting with my love of comics. After that I couldn't stop coming up with concepts, stories, and characters. I've been writing and studying the craft of comics now for the past several years.
What comics or writers inspire you?
I have a mixed bag of inspiration from both comic book writers and traditional writers. Mark Waid, Grant Morrison, Neil Gaiman, and Brian K. Vaughan are some of my favorite comic book writers. Each has their own unique style, but I appreciate the variation and enjoy the way each of them brings words and panels together. When it comes to traditional writers I’ve always been a fan of Douglas Adams and Kurt Vonnegut. I was kicked out of my high school silent reading class for laughing out loud at The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy until I started to cry.
How does it feel working for a company like Top Cow?
Working for Top Cow has been a very positive experience. I've worked closely with the editorial team and have found the whole process to be exciting and enjoyable. I'm a firm believer in the idea that someone can always learn more about his or her craft, and I've learned a lot from working with the team at Top Cow.
How does it feel to work on a series as popular as Artifacts?
It was a little daunting at first. I had never written licensed characters for a title like this, and I know that Top Cow has dedicated fans that enjoy their universe and characters. The more I explored the concepts and realized that we were doing a story that was still in the vein of Artifacts, but with the voices of myself and -Rom-, I was happy to contribute. I'm honored to get to add to that universe and carve out a little corner for Tom Judge and Tilly Grimes to explore.
What do you love writing the most (dialogue, action, character interaction ect.) and what is your favourite genre to write?
It’s kind of a silly answer, but I love writing all of it. This issue was a little lighter on dialogue than some of my other work, but that’s because I wanted to build tension and focus around some of the more dramatic visual elements of the story. When it comes to scripting I'm excited to write every piece, no matter what kind of scene or interaction is going on in the story.
Were you a fan of Artifacts prior to working on the series?
I was a fan of Artifacts, though I didn't really follow the entire run until I entered the Talent Hunt. Researching all of the characters, including Tom Judge and Tilly Grimes, was half the fun. I found myself getting lost in the mythology and the world that Top Cow had built in their universe.
How do you feel about working alongside a fellow winner of Top Cow‘s Talent Hunt?
Working with -Rom- has been a delight. She and I had an instant connection when it came to telling the story and controlling the pace that the characters moved through that world. At first it might have seen like we were just complimenting each other back and forth to be polite, but it was because we were honestly excited to be working with each other. Whenever I would get her sketches back or she would get my story notes each one of us had to cut down our exclamation points by at least half.
Are you planning to work on any more issues of Artifacts and if not what are you planning on working on next?
There are no concrete plans right now, but I would love to write more issues of Artifacts down the road. Right now I'm also working on some creator-owned projects with local artists in Michigan and a few of my friends in New Orleans. Most of this year will be dedicated to writing pitches and getting the stories out there for people to read.
What advice would you give an aspiring writer about tackling Top Cow’s Talent Hunt in the future?
Do something different, but don’t sacrifice your voice and style to do it. If your story feels repetitive or your not sure about it then you should scrap it, start again, or make it go in a completely different direction. Be yourself in your writing, but also remember to honor the characters and the world that Top Cow has built over the years.
Artifacts #33 is on sale now.