RICH INTERVIEWS: Mark McElligott Creator/Writer “Dark Spud”

First Comics News: How was the idea for “Dark Spud” developed?

Mark: Initially it was an off the cuff idea my sister had as a joke. I had been doing super hero stuff forever with no success and one day she said to me “If you ever want to succeed in comics you’re gonna have to make a super hero potato. Name him Starchy.” We all laughed it off, but later, as a joke, I did a six page story for her of Starchy the Darkspud, and the (hopefully) legend was born!

1st: What is “Dark Spud” the comic?

Mark: Well it’s the adventures of Starchy and his sidekick, Smallfry as they rid Alphabit City of crime and ponder life’s big questions, like why isn’t Captain Crunch an admiral by now?

1st: Why have a potato super-hero?

Mark: All the really cool vegetables were already taken.

1st: Do you like food a lot?

Mark: Actually I’m pretty hard to feed! I have a bunch of dietary restrictions. Drinks are even worse as I’m paranoid about being roofied.

1st: What personality does Starchy have?

Mark: Mine entirely. He has stupid ideas and hard opinions, road rage, and a seriously skewed take on life, but even though he rarely gets the joke, he always seems to be the center of it.

1st: Would you like to see “Dark Spud” as an ongoing printed comic book?

Mark: Absolutely. Or a newspaper strip, or an animated series, or merchandising, or anything that I can whore him out to to make a buck.

1st: Does “Dark Spud” ever make fun of super-heroes such as Batman?

Mark: Our standard description of Starchy is; What if Batman were a potato?… with mental issues.” Starchy is a lampoon of comic books in general, and you should see many heroes parodied or joked about in this book.

1st: Who else will we see in the pages of “Dark Spud”?

Mark: Rapscallion, Nectarine, Commissioner Julien Fries and his evil triplet, Saurkraut, Squash, Armin Hammer, Canadian Bacon, Joey Sackabrillo, Dr. Calvert E. Flaur, Brenda the Blenda, the Brotherhood of Dangerous Ingredients, the Grapes of Wrath… and so on.

1st: Where do you want this comic to go in the future?

Mark: Straight to the bank, my friend. Actually my single hope is that it becomes famous enough that Kate Beckinsale reads it. I love Kate Beckinsale. When I die I want my ashes scattered over Kate Beckinsale.

1st: Do you have any ideas for another comic?

Mark: I’ve had several, but none I’m as excited about.

1st: Do you share any characteristics with Starchy?

Mark: As I said, absolutely. Essentially Starchy and Smallfry are the embodiment of me and my ex-wife. I say something stupid and she responds sarcastically. It was a great source of laughter throughout my marriage, and continues today within our friendship.

1st: If you could have a super power what would it be and why?

Mark: Complete control of my density. That covers flight, invisibility, super strength, invulnerability and the ability to go wherever I wanted to, phasing through solid objects. If you only get one power, that covers the most ground.

1st: Do you currently read any comics besides “Dark Spud” are there any you would recommend?

Mark: You know, I’m a Marvel guy through and through, but this push toward diversity at the cost of core characters has ruined it. Right now they have “Not Captain America” and “Not Thor” “Not Hulk” soon to be replaced by another “Not Hulk” and upcoming; “Not Iron Man”… sorry, but that makes me “Not purchase”.

1st: Any words for anyone who has read “Dark Spud”?

Mark: I’m sorry if you spit hot coffee out your nose, but you should have known better.

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