RICH REVIEWS: Paul Tobin Co-Writer Voyage de Gourmet

First Comics News: You have written a book about cooking, do you cook a lot yourself?

Paul Tobin: Not as much, or as well, as I’d like to! That’s actually one of the reasons I was interested in helping create this graphic novel. It gave me a chance to delve more into culinary experiments, and take a deep dive into how I feel about the world’s relationship with food, as well as my own!

1st: What is your favorite dish?

Paul: Oh that’s a hard question! And the answer would change every day. I like simple dishes, like Pad Thai or maybe some Spam Musubi. Even a cheese sandwich/tomato soup combo can be fantastic. The thing about simple dishes is that the quality has to really shine through. It’s like writing or art: the little things have to resonate.

1st: Who are Layne Green and Jiang-Mi Pipper and will the reader be able to identify with them?

Paul: The main characters. Best friends from childhood, until Layne did a Major Goof, and now circumstances have brought them together as teammates in the Voyage de Gourmet contest. And, I like to think readers will definitely identify with them. They both have their flaws, and they’re both trying to fix them, although they’re both largely blind to their own flaws. I kinda feel like that’s how we all are: out there doing our best, but honestly kinda flailing, too.

1st: Is there a message or moral in “Voyage de Gourmet”?

Paul: I think there are several! Maybe the main one is that you can’t be true to your friends until you’re true to yourself.

1st: What prize do the contestants on Voyage de Gourmet the TV show play for?

Paul: A big chunk of cash, but…more importantly, the chance to appear on THE most important cooking show, which could seriously launch their careers.

1st: What type of dishes will be made by contestants on the TV show?

Paul: Ooo, a huge range! But it’s the “how” of how they have to prepare their foods that makes it the most challenging. Anything up to and including “making pizza while suspended over shark-infested waters.”

1st: What makes “Voyage de Gourmet” a young adult book?

Paul: The overall themes, I suppose? The ages of the main characters? Honestly, this is a huge question to me. What DOES make a young adult book? I’ve seen “adult” books that I would have considered middle grade, and young adult that I would have considered adult. Heck, there’s some adult books I would consider “chapter book” level!

1st: What most stands out about “Voyage de Gourmet” for you?

Paul: The characters. You could ask this question about anything I’ve ever written, and I will always say that the characters stand out the most for me. That’s where I have my love and my passion for writing.

1st: You also wrote “The Witcher”. What sort of person does your writing make Geralt out to be?

Paul: To me, Geralt has three main driving forces. The first (in no particular order) is that he’s a guy who—despite all he’s seen and been through—wants to believe that there’s good in people and monsters. The second is that he’s ALWAYS gonna try to do what’s right, even at great personal cost, while keeping in mind that he’s not always sure what “the right thing” is. And the third, maybe his key driving force, is that he’s just a guy trying to make it through the day.

1st: What is it about Black Widow that you and so many people love?

Paul: I like how Natasha (she’s always Natasha, to me) is skilled enough, SMART enough, to play at a level with gods and monsters. Can’t ever count her out.

1st: What was the first published comic book you had and how did it feel seeing it?

Paul: My first ever publication was in an issue of Dragon Magazine. My first comic was, to my not-great memory, an issue of Shattered Earth. I don’t think it made much of an impact on me. I mean, I’ve always been more concerned with working on the next thing, rather than wallowing in what I’ve already finished.

1st: What is the best part of being a writer?

Paul: Working with other creators.

1st: What would be your ideal job?

Paul: I think I’ve got it. I mean, maybe this job but making a lot more money doing it.

1st: What would you like to say to the fans of your work?

Paul: That I truly appreciate them all, and that I hope they’re drinking enough water because that is very important.

About Author