RICH INTERVIEWS: Phillip Russertt Owner Philbo Publishing

First Comics News: How and why did you create Philbo Publishing?

Phillip Russertt: Philbo Publishing wasn’t my first thought actually. I was sick in bed for six weeks and decided to start my own comic book. I had no plans to expand beyond that but then all of these ideas started flooding my head and I started writing more stories. After seeing how many potential titles I had written I decided to start Philbo Publishing last year.

1st: What is the mission statement of Philbo Publishing?

Phillip: Our mission is to provide new and original storytelling through the visual and literary medium, accompanied by talented artists. our goal is to bring fans that sense of excitement to read again.

1st: Philbo Publishing has a comic coming out the “Fumigator” What is it all about?

Phillip: In a dystopian future, Havana is a nightmarish city plagued by swarms of nanobots that destroy the soil throughout the country and cause monstrous mutations. The Fumigation Corps, composed only of social outcasts, is the only “solution” granted by the Failed State to deal with the uncontrolled pandemic of nano-illegalities. José is a Fumigator but he is old and bitter from his stressful work routine and has yet to deal with one of the worst days of his life.

1st: What makes Jose Gonzales special?

Phillip: Jose is like most of us. He faces a job he hates and an unfulfilling life. He gets up every day and struggles to care about the day ahead of him. Add in the fact he’s an older protagonist who still faces adversity and life-threatening events and you have a character we can all relate to and root for

1st: Can you tell us a little about “The Dynamics” and “Withered”?

Phillip: Dynamics is the story of a super-powered family (based on mine actually) with humor, heart, and family-friendly action and adventure. At the core of this superhero tale is the power of family. It’s the dynamics of a family with dynamic powers. Withered is a much more serious story for adults. Imagine time wasn’t a measurement or human construct, but actually a malevolent omnipotent being that defeated God and imprisoned him. This great beast feeds off our life essence slowly over decades, hence we grow old, we wither and we die. A great war occurred wiping out all but three archangels. Satan pretends to be subservient to the great beast while he has his plans to usurp the throne. In the meantime the three remaining archangels have been recrutting humans who are worthy while on their death bed before they are consumed and turning them into angels; knights in the service of saving God and all of humanity against the dark forces of evil.

1st: You wrote “Tragedy” and in it who is the red-haired woman?

Phillip: Grace O’Connor is my redhead hero/assassin called Traddy. It is my flagship title and centers around a young Irish woman sentenced to a life she doesn’t want as an assassin in service of her adoptive father Seamus who uses her for his gain. If you took Kill Bill, John Wick, The Boondock Saints, and Big TroubleE in Little China and then added more, you have Tragedy. This book delves into the mafia, superhumans, Chinese mysticism, and more!

1st: When you write a comic book how do you try to capture the reader’s interest?

Phillip: I believe that at the core of every story, there must be a character/protagonist the readers can relate to, cheer for, and feel for when they fail. I like to write flawed, human characters. Characters who want to lay down and quit but stand in the face of exhaustion and adversity are characters that inspire us, no matter the setting.

1st: What was the last really good comic you read not counting any from Philbo Publishing?

Phillip: There is an indie comic book from Flash Delerium LLC which is now Slash Delerium LLC called “Rabbits Bad Ass Song”. It’s written by Christopher Elston and Chasity Elston and it’s a really good story with interesting characters.

1st: What advice do you have for writers new to comics who are just starting?

Phillip: Don’t overthink it. Write from what you know and love and don’t write to make it big. Just write and let the story tell itself through you. I do this and I never write myself into a corner or get writer’s block. It should be fun and cathartic.

1st: Which have you found better to use Indigo or Kickstarter?

Phillip: Kickstarter has been much more viable for me over the last three years by far.

1st: Why do you think people love comic books so much?

Phillip: It’s a great form of escapism but it also is a place where the good guys win. In real life we often feel powerless and that the villains always win. When we open these books we get a sense that maybe the good guy has a shot and isn’t powerless. It’s also just so cool to see awesome costumes and fantastical abilities play out into amazing action scenes!

1st: What is planned for Philbo Publishing in the coming years?

Phillip: Great question! We plan on going through distribution across the country with several titles including titles from other creators that we will publish like Fumigator. we are driven to succeed because we love this medium so much.

1st: Can you tell a personal fact about you no one knows?

Phillip: I am extremely hard on myself and don’t allow myself any praise or acknowledge success. I hold myself to a very high standard.

1st: What would you like to say to any fans who have enjoyed comics you have helped create?

Phillip: The thought that anyone would want to spend their hard-earned money on my stories is always amazing and surreal. I cannot thank them enough for making my dreams come true and I will always remember them no matter what happens. I promise to make it worth their time and money.

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