1st: How did you get into writing comic books?
Gene Selassie: I’ve loved comics since I was eight years old. I dabbled in writing here and there, before seriously pursuing it over the last 15 years. I’ve written a few short stories for anthologies before getting an ongoing series off the ground.
1st: Why do you enjoy writing so much?
Gene: I have a wild imagination. The things that I could never get the budget for in live action, I can do in comics.
1st: In “The Ghoul Agency” what is the storyline?
Gene: Shay Melendez is a hard-working creative for a unique advertising firm, one that caters to clientele ranging from mad scientists to creatures of the night. The “macro” of The Ghoul Agency is a story about an advertising agency for the undead. However, the “micro” is a tale about a young woman of color trying to navigate the world of business and advertising.
1st: What type of creatures or mythical beings will we see in the pages of “The Ghoul Agency”?
Gene: In issue two, we meet the new H.R. Manager (Cthulhu). Zhu (the pig/human hybrid) deals with his manipulative brothers that also work at the agency, one of them is the fabled Monkey King. There are many more, but I don’t want to spoil too much.
1st: How did Shay come to join the Ghoul Agency firm?
Gene: Also a spoiler for further down the road, we will see a flashback to Shay’s first job interview with the Agency.
Rich: Why did you decide to make the business an advertising one?
Gene: Mad Men is one of my favorite television shows, so that had a little to do with it. I’ve had ideas in the horror and in the comedy genres utilizing an ad agency as a backdrop. At some point, I just decided to utilize both horror AND comedy.
1st: Why will people love Greer?
Gene: Issue two really gets to the core of what inspires Greer to pursue a career in advertising. The Ghoul Agency made monsters feel seen and heard, which left an indelible mark on him.
1st: What is it about Shay that stands out the most for you?
Gene: The fact that Shay will face down monsters, demons, or killer robots from across a boardroom, but sometimes doesn’t have the courage to face her overbearing family makes her an intriguing character to write. Hopefully, fans will feel the same when they read.
1st: What type of creature featured in “The Ghoul Agency” are you most like?
Gene: I try to be the father figure like Esteban, but I tend to have Greer’s naivete at times.
1st: What do you have lined up next in your career?
Gene: Working on a fantasy action comedy with the awesome penciler, Orlando Baez, and on a manga with colorist extraordinaire, Sam Nang. There’s also an animated feature I wrote that’s in pre-production.
1st: What supernatural creature would you most like to be?
Gene: Whichever one has the power to manipulate time.
1st: What would you like to say to anyone who has enjoyed something you helped create?
Gene: Besides thanking Orlando, Sam, and letterer Micah Myers for all of the hard work they’ve put into this book, I also want to thank the fans for being as supportive as they’ve been. I’m in awe that such an outside-the-box concept has developed the buzz that it has.