Samuel Haine and Jim Shooter talk about SLOW CITY BLUES

Slow City Blues is an ongoing, genre-bending series about Detective John Loris. Slow City Blues brings you everything you crave in a comic book: action, adventure, suspense, fantasy, tragedy, and plenty of humor. How could anyone pass that up? Through in the team of first-time creator, Sam Haine with legendary Marvel Editor-in-Chief, Jim Shooter, and I have to know more. Sam and Jim were nice enough to get on the phone and talk about their new project Slow City.

First Comics News: Who is John Loris?

Sam: He’s a detective from, Well, he was in the LAPD. And after accidentally killing a little girl in the line of duty, is pulled apart emotionally and subsequently, he tried to take his own life. That blood brings out something which is the physical manifestation of his imagination. because e is so wracked with guilt, from committed this horrible accident.

1st: What does he do in this new manifestation, Slow City?

Sam: He goes back to doing the only thing he knows, being a cop.

1st: How does he relate to this new world?

Sam: Because this is his world, he is seen as the creator, he’s revered and reviled in Slow City and  God is just another slob. He’s going about his business and he has been there for a little bit when the story starts. The wheel of his mind and emotions speak to this world. Then a double homicide happened which he is personally connected to. Now, he has to find the murderer and bring him to justice.

1st: He lived in the regular world like you and me before entering Slow City in his subconscious?

Sam: Yeah. He’s trapped in his own mind?

1st: What happens to his body in the real world?

Sam: Well, that you find out later on. You don’t know if he’s dead or in a coma. I don’t wanna spoil it.

Really, it’s his redemption of the spirit, the soul, and we get work outwards from there.

John’s trapped in this world, this crazy world, with all these characters, all of the baggage from being a detective, and all of the books in the shows on TV  he has experienced in his life, in a way, created his own purgatory.

Jim: But he’s a hero now.

1st: In the real world there weren’t all these anthropomorphic characters, but in Slow City he’s got a skunk partner. How does John process that as being his new normal?

Jim: He knows, but knowing, that’s not the way the real world works, it’s still his subconscious creating all this thing. We get into a layer of why things are the way they are.  It’s kind of subjective for all of the characters because it really is just his imagination.

1st: If he’s the creator, how does he relate to God?  He’s the creator in this universe and he’s looking for redemption?

Sam: He hates the title of “creator”. He had no interest in being looked at that way.

1st: If all of this is all happening in his mind and he’s the creator and he understands this; isn’t he responsible for not stopping the murders. Can’t he just recreate the events to avoid the murders?

Sam: That’s the biggest part, he’s so racked by guilt, he doesn’t really have control of anything. He is very much subjected to this world. He is working on redemption, taking responsibility and overcoming everything.

1st: Is John actively trying to find a way out of Slow City?

Sam: When we first meet him, is very much just wants to be left alone. That’s really what the story is about. Is he gonna become worthy of finding a way out, if there’s a way out.

1st: It’s sort of like Inception, where you get trapped in the artificial reality?

Sam: That that’s pretty fair.

1st: Let’s go back to a little bit of history here. You’ve been working on this project for six years?

Sam: Yeah.

1st: How did you get started?

Sam: I’ve never written before. It was exciting to take on something new. It was just kind of the idea, not the finished product, but it kind of popped out in my mind. I was working in a Mexican restaurant and I was on EBT, which is like, stamps for in California. I’m just cobbling together money when I can, and I got the first pages commissioned. One of my friends goes, “I know a guy in John Levin”.  John is like the mayor of a town, and he knows everybody. He thinks the story’s pretty good. This is my first comic ever and he wants to show it to Jim Shooter. There’s no higher status than having a legendary Master look at your work. He took mercy on me, or saw something, in me.

1st: Jim, we haven’t seen you in comics for a little while. What brought you back for this project?

Jim Shooter: Well, I’ve been doing comics for years, but a lot of it is commercial; mostly custom comics stuff. I kept myself busy. When John called me, I looked at it, and I knew that the art wasn’t there. The young man wasn’t talented. It was this big story and it’s a very challenging story to tell. I tried to work with the artist a little bit that it wasn’t going to work. I talked Sam into finding someone else. Things started to pull together a little bit. Mostly, I make my story comments. at the top of my lungs.

Sam: Thanks. It’s rare.

Jim: Any rate I keep saying “this is good”, “this is no good”, we are making pretty good progress. Step by step, he’s building, he’s putting it together, and it is going along very well.

Sam: I had a nebulous idea, and Jim really kind of, like, looked at it and said: “I got the end.”

Jim: I need to stick the landing for you.

Sam: Nailed down the landing, Nail down the ending for the whole thing. I can’t think John, enough. I can’t give John enough credit. John put this team together and he got Jim involved.

Jim: It took a while. but we found Sean and strong-armed him into joining.

1st: Image Comics is creator self-financed, where you, the creator finance your own project. You saved and paid $1500 for the first artist. How do you manage to finance this entire project?

Sam: I had a family member, I told him about Slow City Blues and he really liked the story, He said “It’s a hard field, a tough road, You know? I love you. I believe in you.” So thankfully he came in and funded the whole project. We have a handful of other people that also came in like, “We love you. We love what you’re doing. Let’s make this dream a reality.” It’s all John and Jim and these other people that came in that I won’t name.

1st: Is Slow City Blues an ongoing series?

Jim: Yeah, it’s ongoing. In a series of many story arcs.

1st: Is there going to be a break between arcs, or is it going to continue monthly?

Jim: We’re going to do it monthly. We’re trying to get out as far as possible.

Sam: I have it written out pretty far in advance. We are working on the second story, now which is a lot bigger than the first story. We get to really explore the world, but we’re gonna keep it going. Want to keep people interested. We want to keep them hooked in. We want to make sure that, you got four bucks and it comes out once a month. It’s wild, having such an amazing team.

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