Vincent Acampora is the new, current writer of the Steven C. Barber-created, new, full-color comics title American Bladerunner about a double amputee man, who, with technology-produced artificial blade-like legs, becomes a new sort of superhero/-mercenary type of hero! I talked to Vincent about this new, exciting project this week.
Take a look!

First Comics News: To begin with, what say we start with some preliminary questions.
From my having read the complete first issue of the new superhero comics title American BladeRunner # 1, and having rather enjoyed it, I understand, from the credits on page one, that this is a character created jointly by Steven C. Barber and yourself. When did you create this character, and what were your influences, if any, in creating this character?

Vincent Acampora (writer of new comics series American BladeRunner):
First of all, I hope you are feeling better.
(Note: Interviewer Phil Latter, conductor of the interview, had a bad cold for several weeks on end.)

To start, the idea for this character and his costume design came from Steven Barber. He is a documentary filmmaker based out of LA.

Here is Steven Barber’s website VanillaFire.com

1st: I’m also wondering if any of the inspiration for the creation of this character, came from real-life former Olympics South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, whose replacement legs look somewhat like American BladeRunner’s?

I think I can also see some Six Million Dollar Man parallels here, but if so, I think that is an excellent springboard to start from.

And besides, most comics characters these days owe their origins to previous characters, +despite the fact that I happen to feel strongly that your American BladeRunner is rather unique!

Vincent: Yes, there is some influence from the Six Million Dollar Man, but the main drive for Bryce West to be a double paraplegic, is from the fact that there are thousands and thousands of disabled veterans in the USA, and there really has never been a double amputee superhero before.

1st: That’s an excellent point, Vincent. Unlike The Six Million Dollar Man, though, based in turn upon Martin Caidin’s original prose novel of the early 1970s, entitled ‘Cyborg’, the organization that transformed the man who became American BladeRunner, does strike us readers as being decidedly evil!
Will this organization continue to plague American BladeRunner, as time goes on, or will A.B. take care of these nasties permanently, early on?

Vincent: Bryce West, a.k.a the American BladeRunner, will have to deal with the sinister organization known as R.I.S.E (Revolutionary Industry Saves Everyone) for awhile. Bryce West will have to deal with other enhanced super-soldiers with enhanced arms, bodies, etc. Won’t spoil too much.  R.I.S.E will be in the shadows throughout the series as well as another secret dark terrorist group (that might be even worse than R.I.S.E) A former friend might cause trouble for Bryce West as well.

1st: Is this comics series a mini-series, an ongoing series?

Vincent: The series is planned to be an ongoing series. I have the summary for the first volume written. We just need to iron out some creative details.

Issue # 1 is actually available on About Time Comics Web Store. The comic book is available for download and print. This Company is based in Georgia. Here is the link   AboutTimeComics.webs.com

1st: Did you create the company, or are you employed by them?

Vincent: I did not create the company and I am not employed by them.

1st: Where is this company based?

Vincent: Steven Barber’s company, Vanilla Fire Productions is based in LA. About Time Comics (owned by Lee Jiles) is based in Georgia.

I’m based near Milford, Pennsylvania.

1st: Where did you come to meet the artist of the series, Gilbert Monsanto? How did that come about?

Vincent: I found Gilbert Monsanto through a contact on Facebook. It took Gilbert 4 months to do the first 10 pages. I told him no rush but when the project started to move, Gilbert completed the next 14 pages within 3 months. Not bad.

1st: Gilbert Monsanto must have a lot of creative energy, seeing as how he did pencils, inks, colors, and lettering for this first issue! I’m curious as to how long it actually took him to do all this for the first issue? And, when does he ever find the time to sleep? Smile.

Are you writing any of the other comics titles for this company? For example, comics titles Godsend, The Legend of Everett Forge, Dreamer, or IFS: In Flight Service?

Vincent: I did not write the other titles under About Time Comics.

1st: I take it that American Bladerunner is a costumed hero (or would you call him a mercenary?) who doesn’t hide his real identity since he doesn’t wear a mask? Also, In future issues of American Bladerunner, do you see the character as being sort of a secret agent mercenary sort of character, and/-or a superhero, who fights crimes, in urban settings? And, if the second one, how can he protect himself and his family/-loved ones, if his so-called secret identity becomes publicly known?

Vincent: Bryce West is out in the open. Bryce actually has quite the dark past, but that is too ‘spoilery’, for this interview. Let’s just say he doesn’t have many close friends or family, but the ones that he does have can take care of themselves.

1st: Just out of curiosity, how did you come to write the new comics series American Bladerunner, when the character was created by someone else, Steven C. Barber? And how did you come on board the project?

Vincent: Back in the summer of 2018 I sent Steven Barber a friend request on Facebook. He got back to me and asked me if I created comic books because he had an idea. Steven Barber told me his premise and then I ran with it.

1st: Was this your first written comics series?

Vincent: No, I have actually written two comic books titled A DARK DAY, Issues # 1 and # 2.

1st: Where do you see the series going from here?
And, if you don’t want to spoil too much in advance (and that would be understandable), can you give us some vague ideas?

Vincent: I have actually written a pitch and written the summaries for the first volume. Bryce West needs to assemble a team of people he can trust. Old friends, comrades, etc.

Bryce West will run up against agents from the shadow organization known as R.I.S.E. Steven Barber also has an idea to introduce a couple of new allies for Bryce West. Maybe assemble a sort of Avengers team. It is an idea we have discussed, but we have to work out the details.

1st: Out of curiosity, how old were you when you first got interested in comics, and how did that interest come about?

Also, what were some of your favorite comics titles, and characters, growing up?

Vincent: I actually never had a huge interest in comics, but my interest in all comic book characters and video games came about when I was 5 years old.

I liked all the cartoons shows, though.

I liked Spider-Man, Transformers, Beast Wars, Mega Man,(not a cartoon, but I enjoyed the Batman movies), Might Max, Dragon Ball Z, Swat Cats, Mummies Alive… I watched a lot.

I always liked using my imagination and creating stories, so naturally, the above shows caught my eye.

Before we end this interview I would like to tell everyone they can follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter. Help spread the word.

  Twitter: @ADARKDAYWRITER1

1st: That’s great! Thanks very much about telling us about American Bladerunner the comics series today, Vincent!
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Vincent Acampora is the new, current writer of the Steven C. Barber-created, new, full-color comics title American Bladerunner about a double amputee man, who, with technology-produced artificial blade-like legs, becomes a new sort of superhero/-mercenary type of hero! I talked to Vincent about this new, exciting project this week. Take...