First Comics News: How does writing enrich your life?

Pat O’Malley: Writing allows me to explore creative universes and ideas that otherwise would be stuck in my head, but writing can also be a kind of therapy, to exercise ideas out. It’s something when I am in the writing mode, my brain can’t stop thinking about the story and what comes next, and how to make it more twisted and unique for the audience.

1stWhy and when did you decide, you want to be a writer?

Pat: My love for writing started to develop in high school when I started making my short films. I would write zombie movies and film them with friends. Writing helped me dream big and explore how to creatively turn words into moving images.

1stWhat is the basic storyline in “Popscars”?

Pat: Popscars is a Hollywood revenge story about a pink ski-masked badass, Pinky, fueled by a burning desire for revenge against a sleazy director who’s made a career out of crushing dreams, and also happens to be her father. It’s all about revenge.

1st: What is Pinky’s personality?

Pat: Pinky’s personality has two drastically different sides. With her mask on she can do and say anything, it’s her superpower, but also allows her to dissociate herself from some of the more violent things she has to do on her path to revenge. Without her mask, she is like everyone else who has been hurt, she feels alone and rejected. Throughout the story, she is constantly trying to suppress any weakness that could get in her way of revenge, but in the process, she loses herself to the pink ski mask.

1st: How did you come up with Popscars as the name of this comic?

Pat: I was working on a short film called “POP”, it was a Hollywood story about two friends who were actors, and one finds some success and the other becomes jealous. It became an experimental short film that was shot over the span of 8 years. At one point during the breaks between the production of that project, I started developing this comic story. I wanted to keep the POP in the title, and twisting popstar into something more violent sounding ended up being the perfect title for this story.

1st: Can you tell us about a few of Pinky’s supporting characters?

Pat: Her main reason for being in Hollywood is Harry Kinkade, a black-balled movie producer who is out for his revenge against his former partner, Vincent.
Vincent screwed over Harry and is now producing a remake of their first film together “The Swamp Shark”. Mika is a world-famous popstar making her transition into acting and this is her first big role. She finds herself addicted to “Euth” the new drug sweeping the streets of Hollywood.
The drug is supplied by Mary, a mysterious mask-wearing enigma who has a plan for Hollywood but prefers watching things from the sidelines for now.
These are just a few of the unique and strange characters you will meet when you step into this version of Hollywood.

1st: Do you think Swamp Shark would make a good real-life movie?

Pat: I do think Swamp Shark would be a great B-movie horror film! We’ve seen some other, crazier ideas find some cult success like “Sharknado” and I think this could put a new twist on an old classic. Throw it back to “Creature from the Black Lagoon” meets “Jaws” and I think it would be a very fun midnight movie.

1stWhat is coming next in “Popscars”?

Pat: I am currently editing the script for Popscars Vol. 2 which picks up after the events of Volume 1. I had the concept for Volume 2 developed for a long time, and now that this first part is being released it felt like a good time to get this next chapter on paper. I think the first volume is an emotional arc for Pinky, so what happens now after she gets what she wants? I felt like there was more to explore in Hollywood and many more bad guys who needed to face some consequences. So the next Volume will turn up the heat in Hollywood, but will also have the fallout to deal with. Some very unhappy powerful people are now looking for Pinky, and she isn’t great about keeping a low profile.

1st: From “The Antagonists” can you tell us about the Eval Family and A.C.T.I.O.N.?

Pat: The Antagonists is such a fun world to be a part of. The Eval family are some of the most dynamic characters to work with, but they are in for some tough times ahead. Tyler Martin has crafted an amazing story with so many incredible conflicts that erupt in such surprising ways. I think the antagonist is like Popscars in that, it’s a fully realized world and there are many different layers that get peeled away as you get to know these characters in a much deeper way. The Antagonists make you question who are the good guys and who are the bad guys, and by the end of it, maybe the bad guys aren’t so bad, and the good guys aren’t so good.

1st: Why is “No H2O” a comic worth picking up?

Pat: No H2O is such a special book for me, it evolved during a time when I was unsure about how to create comics. It started as an 8-page writing class assignment, and it just kept evolving. I couldn’t let it go, so the story grew and grew until we had enough for Volume 1. It’s a post-apocalyptic adventure about a family driving across the empty Atlantic desert in search of their mother. It’s like “Mad Max” for kids.

1stHow does a writer grab the reader’s attention?

Pat: I started Popscars with the line “I’m going to kill my dad.” and I just knew that was a killer way to start the book. It’s controversial and challenging, and it serves as a perfect introduction to our lead character. So I think the only way to hook people, is to hook them fast with something surprising, and the rest has to be all about good, well-developed characters that keep the reader’s attention.

1stAre there any tips for being a great writer?

Pat: Everyone says you just need to put in the time. Sit and get words on the page. I think grabbing a pen and a notebook is the best place to start getting ideas out. I have a few five-subject notebooks filled with sketches, thumbnails, character designs, and concept art, so writing can also be much more than just written words. Doing basic sketches can help you visualize your characters and world.

1stWould you like to meet in real life a woman like Pinky?

Pat: I don’t know, I think if you’re meeting Pinky, it’s because you’ve done something not so good! But, meeting a badass killer would be thrilling, also terrifying! We’ll see. I am hoping to meet some Pinky cosplayers at Comic Cons!

1st: Any last words for all the fans of your work?

Pat: It’s amazing having people respond to my comics. I love to hear about what parts of the books they enjoyed, or references they can spot. That stuff is really fun as a creator when people engage with the world you created. I hope people keep checking out my work. I feel like I am just getting started.

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