Geek Interview: Creator of “Geek Girl”, Sam Johnson
Today’s chopping block features Sam Johnson, creator of “Geek-Girl,” “Mr. Mashup”, and “Cabra Cini: Voodoo Junkie Hitwoman”, and co-creator of “The Almighties”.
Geek Smash was lucky to catch up with Comic-Book creator, Sam Johnson for an interview just before he launches “Geek Girl” #0 and “Mr. Mashup.”
Geek Smash: Tell us a little about your past, Sam. Where did you grow up and what was life like for you?
Sam Johnson: I grew up in London, England where my parents still live. I had a fun childhood and my two most prevalent early memories are getting stung by a bee and my later-best friend running around in a Spider-Man costume. (the former not so much fun).
GS: How old were you when you first got into comic-books?
SJ: A little kid; then, as many do, I left them in my teen years, and then rediscovered them when something fresh caught my eye in the comic shop within London’s Virgin Megastore. That was Rob Liefeld’s run on ”New Mutants,” which, as many are well aware, brought us the likes of Cable and Deadpool, and begat the original X-Force.
GS: What titles did you start reading early-on?
SJ: The stand-out one I remember reading as a young kid was DC’s funny-animals-in-tights-‘n’-capes, “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew.” I remember naively leaving a new issue on a wall somewhere and it ‘disappearing.’ That still haunts me to this day.
GS: When did you realize that making comics was your mission?
SJ: I was always into creative writing, and in their relatively early days Image Comics ran some writers’ talent search contests, for which you’d submit story proposals featuring their characters. Entering these got me hooked and I’ve never looked back.
GS: What are your top three favorite titles out right now?
SJ: “Superior Spider-Man” easily takes the top slot. It’s a bold thing they’ve done there, and a hell of a story we’re gonna see play out., I’d imagine. DC’s “Dial H” is a quirky little thing with offbeat protagonists and superheroes, which captures a little of the same kind of magic that Grant Morrsion’s run on “Doom Patrol” had; which remains one of my biggest influences. Crazy ol’ “Deadpool” is always a character that interests me, and is a character I’m gunning to work on. I’ve got some ideas for the Merc with a Mouth and I have a pitch ready and waiting for the right time…
GS: What about making comics do you like the most?
SJ: That’s tough. I enjoy writing dialogue a lot… and developing characters; I’ve got very definite plans on where I want to take my characters Geek-Girl and Cabra Cini: Voodoo Junkie Hitwoman… They’re very contrasting; Cabra, an ex-drug addict, comes from a much darker place than the privileged GG; but both have a powerful journey ahead of them.
GS: Who do you look to for inspiration and why?
SJ: I don’t consciously look for inspiration, but there are certainly other creators who influence my work. Brian Michael Bendis broke new ground (as far as I’m aware) with the style of dialogue he uses in his comics, and that’s the last influence I can pinpoint. Though the bizarreness of Morrison’s “Doom Patrol” remains a big one.
GS: Digital vs Print?
SJ: For me, print. I like to have the physical comic. I don’t own any form of tablet, though I can see the appeal for those that do; and the more digital is developed, the more scope there is to utilize its capabilities and make digital comics do things physical comics can’t. I’ll still be buying the floppies, though.
GS: How did Geek-Girl happen?
SJ: Geek-Girl – who is Ruby Kaye, a hot college chick that lands a pair of super-power-inducing specs that also mess with her in ways she’s not aware – came about as the result of another Image talent search contest. Their studio Shadowline ran a ‘Who Wants to Create a Super-Heroine?’ thing and Geek-Girl was one of the ideas I came up with for that, and later fleshed out and developed further, and she became one of my faves.
GS: What projects are you working on?
SJ: Geek-Girl and Cabra Cini: Voodoo Junkie Hitwoman’s respective mini-series. I’ve been doing various things the last few years, but I’ve realized it’s time to make these two lovely ladies my focus. Pablo Zambrano, who I worked with on my Avengers-parodying “The Almighties,” has recently joined the art team for Cabra and is doing a great job – particularly as it’s a much darker style than he employed for The Almighties.
GS: If you could ask anyone in history, alive or not, one question, who would it be and what would you ask?
SJ: Current Marvel Editor in Chief Axel Alonso: “Who do I need to bribe to get a gig writing “Deadpool?”