First Comics News: How did you get into writing comics?
Adam Lance Garcia: I grew up reading comics, so it was only natural that I spent a good section of my youth writing and drawing comics on printer paper when I really should have been paying attention to my school work.
It wasn’t until I connected with my friend Ben Granoff (who is a very talented artist and storyteller in his own right) that I was able to dip my toes into writing comics professionally. He brought me in on a project he was working on with artist Greg Mitchell Mayer and I took to it like a fish to water.
1st: What was your first published comic and how did it feel to hold it in your hands?
Adam: Nick Adrian: Security Guard is my first published comic. It was a small run, self-published comic based on my short film of the same name. It answered the life-long question: “What if Dirty Harry was a security guard at the Gap?” Ben did layouts, and Greg did the art. We originally planned it to be a 4-part story, and maybe one day I’ll get the chance to finish it.
But, no matter the format—prose or comic, or even the number of stories published—it never stops being surreal holding something you wrote in your hands. Writing is a very solitary experience, putting these weird, amorphous ideas floating around in your head into words and suddenly they exist in this three-dimensional form in your hands.
That doesn’t even begin to describe the moment when you realize other people are going to be reading your words and their going have those weird, amorphous ideas floating around in their heads.
1st: What is the story in “Sons of Fire Vol. 1”?
Adam: Thirty years ago, the town of Black Rock was nearly destroyed by a fire. The arsonist, teenager Jacob Crowe, has kept the truth behind the blaze a secret… until now.
The lone survivor of a fire that took his brother and father, Jacob is unable to forgive himself for leaving his family to die. It is only when he discovers his friend Andrew Danner is something more than human that Jacob sees a way toward redemption. But for Andrew, the life of hero risks exposing his secrets to the world, leading him to question his humanity.
Together, Andrew and Jacob will begin a dark journey that leads them from the boys they are, to the men they will become; revealing that the difference between heroes and villains are the lines you’re willing to cross.
1st: Why will we care about what happens with Jacob Crowe?
Adam: Jacob is like so many of us who want to be a hero, but is still painfully human.
1st: Who will be some of the supporting characters in “Sons of Fire Vol. 1”?
Adam: Our principle cast (so far) is Andrew Danner, who is something more than human; Sarah Nickles, Andrew’s girlfriend; Michelle Crowe, Jacob’s mother, and Quentin “Tin” Cobb, the town’s sheriff and Michelle’s lover; Paul Ioannides, a local thug who is after Jacob.
1st: What is the best selling point for “Sons of Fire Vol. 1”?
Adam: Elevator pitch: It’s the origin of Superman by way of Stranger Things.
1st: What is it about the character Green Lama that draws readers to him?
Adam: For me, it’s that his heroism is centered on his faith in others. He’s not driven by revenge, anger, or a personal tragedy. Rather it’s his belief that by helping others, by sacrificing his own enlightenment, others will follow and make the world a better place.
1st: Would you like to meet the Green Lama if you could for real?
Adam: Yes, mostly so I could apologize for what I’ve put him through these last few years.
1st: Do you have any ideas for other comics of your own creation?
Adam: Absolutely. Heidi and I have talked about what we want to do next, but we need to finish Sons of Fire first!
1st: What do you do at the Radio Room audio play series?
Adam: I’m a writer-producer alongside my partner Steele Filipek. That means I’m not only writing scripts, I’m also casting and paying actors, editing the audio and occasionally directing. Steele handles most of the directing because he’s simply a better director. We tend to trade off writing duties, with one acting as the other’s script editor.
Radio Room has been an incredibly satisfying creative experience, because not only do Steele and I force each other to be better writers, there is also this huge freedom in telling a story aurally. Steele’s series Queens of the Sapphire Sea is set in pre-World War 2 Southern France and features high flying air battles; my series Smoke Without Flame takes place in a whole different reality; our Green Lama audio-plays will take place in 1947 New York. Much like with comic books, we can tell these wild, absurd stories and are never restricted by budgets, casting, locations, special effects in the way film or TV show are.
1st: How do you improve your writing skills?
Adam: By writing and reading every single day. The best thing I can tell any writer is to make sure you read things outside your comfort zone. If you like sci-fi, read non-fiction. If you’re a man, read female writers. If you’re white, read stories written by minorities. The wider your vision, the more nuanced your writing will become.
1st: Which comic book that you have not worked on would you most like to?
Adam: Shazam is my dad’s favorite hero, and I just love to tell a story where the ideals found in youth can push back against the moral complexity of the world.
I am a huge Doctor Who fan, I’d love the chance to write stories for Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor for Titan, or maybe even Paul McGann’s 8th Doctor tale.
It’s also no secret that I want to write a Star Wars story. The new films have opened up so much possibility for the characters. Luke’s journey after Return of the Jedi is a story I want to tell.
And I would kill to write a Superman comic—Black artist Jamal Igle and I came up with a whole pitch via Twitter using the hashtag #SupermanHope. Check it out. I think it’s pretty snazzy.
1st: Who has helped your comic book career the most?
Adam: Heidi. She keeps inspiring me with my work.
1st: What would you like to say to the fans of your work?
Adam: Thank you. Seriously, thank you.