That Texas Blood Writer Chris Condon
That Texas Blood Writer Chris Condon visits Spoiler Country as we do a deep dive into That Texas Blood
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Chris Condon Interview
Kenric Regan: All right, guys. Welcome back to spoiler country. I’m kinda Gregan as always today it’s going to be really cool because image is one of my favorite companies.
I love the big two. I love the big two when I was a kid, but as I’ve gotten older, I’m going to be 47 next week. So as I’ve gotten quite a bit older, I kinda liked those. More complete story arcs is more complete stories and those creator owned stuff that you get with image and other companies right now is a really cool story going on.
And we have the writer on Chris Condon. I say that right. Awesome. I always want to make sure I say your name right. And I really appreciate you are in the midst of writing that Texas blood. Correct. And my, I read the first arc. I read the the trade paperback. I actually, you know, what’s cool, Chris. I was able to check it out at my local library.
Christopher Condon: Yeah. Okay, cool. That’s awesome. That’s [00:01:00] amazing to hear
Kenric Regan: it. I feel like you made it when you can check your stuff out at the local library, and it’s not like one that a copy that you brought down to them that they, whoever is their purchaser went and found that book and said, I want this.
Christopher Condon: You know? Wow. Yeah.
I mean that, yeah. I feel like that’s the that’s validation right there. Right. I mean, I literally did bring down my, a copy of it to my local library, my, my hometown library that I grew up with because I just, I wanted to to have my book in my local library. And
Kenric Regan: in Seattle, Washington, they got your
Christopher Condon: book.
Well, that’s amazing to hear that. That’s really, really cool. I mean, like libraries are really important to me growing up. So like, just hearing that it’s in a library. I also Julio Anto who writes home, sent me a picture from the strand in Manhattan, you know, which is one of these gigantic bookstores.
And they had us on their best of wall, [00:02:00] this storyboard of a, of Paris. And I was like, why are we there? But it’s so cool. Yeah. I, the, the local library thing was funny though. Cause they were like, oh, so it’s young adult. And I was like, no, no, no,
Kenric Regan: I read it. Didn’t know what I was going into it blind, which I love to do with books, especially a good comic book.
I love the fact. I felt, it felt like an amalgamation of a Cohen brothers movie, like blood simple and no country for old men in with Lonestar, with Matthew McConaughey and in San Cooper. Have you ever
Christopher Condon: watched that? Yeah,
Kenric Regan: that’s what I, when I was halfway through it, I was like one, if this was made into a movie and I know that you try to pitch it as a script, as a movie and you even did a little, did you produce a little, a little skit out of it?
Just kind of. First thing, is that, did that come to light or did you decide to
Christopher Condon: yeah, so, so what [00:03:00] happened actually was the, the first issue is actually the short film that we were trying to make to kickstart the feature, which would have been issues 2006, the storyboard
Kenric Regan: or the fan of the, of the short
Christopher Condon: film.
Well, we only even got concept art and Jacob actually did the concert for me. So that’s how we got involved. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m a greeter and I was loving the stuff that he was doing in the back of killer be killed. He was illustrating the, the essays. That’s
Kenric Regan: where that’s from. I knew, I recognized that art, Hilary killed was yeah,
Christopher Condon: yeah, yeah.
No Calibri code was awesome. Yeah, and I was loving that book when it was coming out and I was loving Jacob stuff. And so I just reached out to him on his deviant art page. I didn’t even, we don’t, we didn’t know each other. I mean, we still haven’t met each other, you know, in the UK. But yeah, I just reached out to him.
I was like, Hey, I wrote this script and trying to get it made. It’s hard trying to get funding together for a short film, unless you’re yourself funding. Maybe you might want to do some concert, helped me pitch it. And he was, he read the script, you liked it a lot. And the script really didn’t [00:04:00] change much at all.
So it, it pretty much has been the same throughout, but yeah, I th the character of Joe, Bob just became a favorite of mine to write. And that’s kind of how he became the, sort of the focus of the, of the story in a lot of ways. And, you know, it’s funny, you mentioned you know, lone star and the cone roads, which obviously, I mean, that’s like an amazing compliment
Kenric Regan: beats are very similar. The beats that you have are very similar to what the Cohen brothers would do, and like the whole casserole dish I heard on another interview that you’re laughing because people always bring up the casserole dish. They do. Yeah. So that’s the Cohen brothers.
Christopher Condon: Well, it was, yeah, I mean, bros fan.
So, I mean, this is, that’s really cool to hear, and it’s probably just throughout Moses that I sort of pick this stuff up, but I, you know, I also think a lot of it came from Jim Thompson novels. If you haven’t read any of Jim Thompson he wrote like pop 1280 and the killer inside me and all these other great, you know, dark yeah.
[00:05:00] Crime slash just awful people, the stories. So, you know, a lot of it came from that. And also just absorbing from the people I knew from west Texas and spending a little bit of time in west Texas. But yeah, I mean, and in issues seven through 12 now, which we’re working on and I guess it’s going to spill over a little bit into 13, but it’s yeah, it’s, it’s a little bit of a different beast, you know, we’re melding it with a little bit.
A few other influences that I have, like seventies, TV movies, you know, these hard tanged TV movies, which a little bit of what we’re doing, but obviously still with that heart edged healthy thing we were doing in the first arc. So
Kenric Regan: it was a mini series on TV and it was scared the crap out of me.
Christopher Condon: Oh, I love Samsung. Oh, I should have said to start with happy birthday next week.
Kenric Regan: Thank you very much.
Christopher Condon: Yeah. Yeah. Odd. I mean, I’m a big king fan and so you’ll definitely in the next arc, especially, but I feel like even in the first arc you’ll, you’ll get a little bit of [00:06:00] that sort of Stephen King vibe. Yeah.
Just the fact that it takes place in this fictional place. You know, it just, th th he’s sort of a, is, is just a huge influence on me. I mean, that Salem’s lot to him. Mini series is one of my favorites. I mean, the window it’s a long, but I love it. I mean, it’s, it’s sales by and also just, I mean, texts a chance.
I’m gonna ask her. Fantastic. Another great one. I think I would argue that that is the best. That is the greatest horror movie of all time. It’s definitely,
Kenric Regan: I mean, I know it’s surreal. So when you watch it, it’s it gets, it gets super. Yeah. It’s
Christopher Condon: super scary. Yeah, because it just like eats into you when you watch it.
Which is why I think it’s so effective, right. It just like eats away at you. And until you’re just staring at the screen going, what am I watching? Wow. Which makes it great. Turn it off. Yeah, exactly.
Kenric Regan: Those movies that, you know, you did this, like I [00:07:00] was a kid and I’d be like blanket, but look in just through that slit because I don’t want to see it.
Christopher Condon: Well, my mom, when I was a kid, she would just, she would just tell us about these movies and Texas chainsaw. She just told us it was the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Which of course me and my brother were like, we have to see it now. You know I get that my mom was super
Kenric Regan: religious, so it was always no, no notes.
I always had to be at her friend’s house or me and my brother had a snake. We had like, when w when I was a kid, we had, we had a cable and it had the PG key. And I don’t know if you might be too. I don’t know how, I don’t know how old you are, so I’m not gonna assume nothing. I’m 30. Okay. So you might actually be a little too young for this.
So in the eighties, they had a PG key where your parents could tell the cable company, Hey, I want to lock out my kids from watching anything rated, PG or above. Right. Even though they wouldn’t know. In R, which was [00:08:00] way worse than radar, but get this key. And it would literally just, it’s a box and your cable went in, your cable came out.
And when you click, when you click that key, boom, it turned off all the, anything PG and above, or actually I think it would allow PG and below. So my parents would put that on the top of their dresser and they go to bed and they were both heavy sleepers. So like 1139, my brother would go up, grab the key and we’d watch Salem’s lot.
We had Showtime, which was really lucky, like 80, 19 81. We’d watched Sam’s lot Frankenstein the original Dracula, you know, Texas chainsaw massacre, the thing, you know, all those things watch that work gave me nightmares should never watch them.
Christopher Condon: It was so bad. Yeah. I mean, I just, I had a similar upbringing though.
I mean, my, my parents were very my, not my parents so much, but my mom was more so like, oh, you can’t see rated R movies at a certain point. Like when I was like 13, maybe she did start to filter. She said, [00:09:00] okay, you can watch these. And with like, she rented the extra cyst for us and like other things, but it was like at a certain point, like I had friends who were watching the Exorcist much younger than me.
And I mean, I, I hadn’t seen that, but I had seen other things before that, but I, I remember very early on my brother and I stayed up late and we snuck downstairs when we watched the original family, the opera with Lon Chaney. And I had never, I’m pretty sure I never had seen a Sally movie before. And it was the most terrifying thing to me.
The most terrifying thing to me was even Lon Chaney, walking through the sewer. Under the under the Paris opera has, but he uses this pipe. So nobody knows these coming, but you just see this pipe comment. I was maybe like five. I said, it terrified me is black and white under cranked. It was just like this surreal thing to watch.
Yeah. They really, really changed my life. The original
Kenric Regan: [00:10:00] Dracula did that for me. My mom didn’t care about that one, which was really odd because she like anything. I mean, when we rented the Goonies in 1981, is that come on 87, I think it was 1988. It was out on video. We rented the CUNYs at our local video store and the scene where chunk breaks the statue of David.
And they’re trying to. Is it back on, they put it on upside down. She like told my dad, pat cut it off. And I was like, oh, come on. Pretty watched it in the theater with my friends. So it wasn’t that big a deal, but she was very much a stickler, but for some reason she was okay with me watching the original Frankenstein and Dracula and the Wolf man and all that kind of stuff, which was really, yeah.
But that the original Dracula really got me. I was like, oh, but I really loved it. You know what I mean? I wanted to watch it like a million
Christopher Condon: times. Yeah. Well that was really effective. I think also because it doesn’t have music at the, you know, that was before they were doing a full orchestra. So the silence really gets to you too, because you’re not used to it.
If you’re, if you’re watching movies in the eighties, [00:11:00] you’re used to just a full-on score all the time. And this was just a silent movie aside from the title track, which was, I think what was it? The Swan lake. Yeah. That’s one where that was the universal movies, the universal monster movies. I was like their theme song of them had that all of them had SWAT like,
Kenric Regan: oh, I don’t think I realized that that’s hilarious.
And I’ve watched all those, I’ve gone back and watched them a bunch of times. The Wolf man is pretty good. It’s great. Yeah. Yeah. Lon Chaney is really good. Or is it that Lon Chaney that’s in that are launching
Christopher Condon: launch, launching the junior. Yeah.
Kenric Regan: He’s a big guy. Yeah. He’s not tiny. I was like, holy shit.
That’s a big dude.
Christopher Condon: Yeah. I always think it’s funny. The transformation in that movie, or did you just say it’s in the chair just slowly? Yeah. They just add on makeup. Yeah.
Kenric Regan: Yup. They did a pretty good job though. When you think about the time. Oh,
Christopher Condon: Jack Pierce, Jack Peters was the makeup artist. He’s [00:12:00] fantastic.
He’s one of the greatest he did all those
Kenric Regan: guys. When did you figure out? Cause you’re a movie buff. When did you figure out that you wanted to write a screenplay and how did you fall on, on Texas blood? I think you called it something else at the beginning because you’re a Jersey boy writing about texts when you talk about not, you know?
Christopher Condon: Yeah. So here’s the, I, there is a sort of mystique about Texas, especially if you grew up where I grew up, but it’s, there’s, there’s something about it. And, you know, if you watch movies about it and you visited and, you know, you sort of absorb this, it feels like the final frontier of America is there, you know, things that happen there don’t happen anywhere else that students, you know the, the vistas there, unlike anywhere else, really which is, I guess, true across the American last really.
But yeah, there’s just something about the characters, the way people talk. I dunno, there’s something about the place. And so that’s sort of, you [00:13:00] know attracted me to it. But yeah, I mean, I figured out that I wanted to work in entertainment in some capacity very early on. My uncle was an artist. He was a painter, he was, he was a fine art danger, you know, he was oil painter.
And so I kind of, I was already drawing and I, you know, I already did that kind of stuff. I was drawing comics myself very early on. And I remember in the second grade, I literally tried to launch my own remake of Titanic. That’s all I was obsessed, the Titanic. I was planning on how I was gonna make the deck.
I, I had already fit. Here’s like how my mind was already working in a second grade. I had already figured out that we would build just the top of that. And we would shoot wides of a miniature and then we would, but I would build the whole deck and I was, I had the whole thing planned out and I, the only thing I couldn’t figure, I was casting people on the school yard.
I was saying, what’d you be in my movie? Will you be my Jack? Will you beat my rose? I was going to, I was like casting the movie. And then the only thing I couldn’t figure out was how it was going to make [00:14:00] working smokestacks. And I dropped the whole that’s awesome. I had to get smoke to come out of the smoke stacks.
I just couldn’t figure it out.
Kenric Regan: No one gave you dry ice.
Christopher Condon: Nobody gave me dry. I didn’t, I might not have known it existed, but yeah, I from very early. Yeah. And I wanted to do movies, comics art in general writing. I wrote a book that was in my local library. I actually tried to find it somewhat recently and I couldn’t find it.
I don’t know where it went to. They had other people that were in my grade. Right. They have like a little summer program where you wrote and drew a book, like a kid’s book. And I had done that when I was maybe six or seven. And it was called the great fishing adventure and it was bad. A kid who was absorbed into a book.
Oh, that’s awesome. I never fished in my life. I don’t know. I wrote about a fishing adventure, but you know, it was right there. You know, I was, I was working on, you know, I was writing, I was always writing. I was always creating. That was always my thing. So it’s, this is really the culmination of literally my entire life.
The fact [00:15:00] that now I have an image comics published book to my name. So it’s pretty cool. The fact that it’s not a movie, is it too much of a burden for me? Cause I, you know, I, I love comics so much. It’s, can’t be too much. It’s a
Kenric Regan: fair trade, wonderful artist. You’ve got a wonderful company behind you.
That’s a, it’s a pretty good. And plus you can, you can dive so much more into that world than you ever can with just a straight movie,
Christopher Condon: you know, I think we’re, yeah, we’re allowed to the thing that I like to kind of say about it is that with comics, it’s essentially a one-to-one relationship with the reader.
You know, you are taught, you know, you’re talking directly to them. Right. Whereas with a movie it’s the screenwriter and the director almost with the screenwriters, the director. But even then you got to go through a producer, you got to go through your producers. Most likely you have to, you know, you have a cinematographer who adds their lens to it, literally.
So there’s all these different hats in the ring and it’s, and it’s amazing process. I’m not knocking the process, but you’re [00:16:00] getting a more direct conduit in comics. Right? Well, plus
Kenric Regan: the visuals kind of add to that as well, like M night Shyamalan, right. He literally draws a storyboard like a comic and then recreates those shots, you know, for Beetham.
So, I mean, really you’re, you’re doing, you’re doing all the work except for the, you know, who are the people you want, how you want them to look and how you want them to what you want them to say. It’s perfect. Every time I love it. I think it’s great. I, I, the book was really a lot of fun, Chris. I mean, You don’t get a lot of books that deal with the kind of emotions that you’re going through, you know?
I can understand Randy I liked how you kind of kept Travis very much more of a mystery and what other kind of person that he was like. Yeah. And understanding that he was an asshole in a lot of ways. But you don’t know why, and you don’t know how, you know, you just know that, you know, they didn’t, [00:17:00] they didn’t, they didn’t what’s the word endear themselves to their
Christopher Condon: community.
Kenric Regan: Took off and didn’t want to come back. But his brother’s death made him come back and yeah.
Christopher Condon: Yeah. I mean, I understand if people didn’t like that and I know that there were certain people that didn’t like that, but I, for me that it works and that’s, that’s the kind of stuff that I enjoy. And also.
I feel like the only important thing is that you need to know that Randy is, you know, fucked up because of this. That’s really the only thing that you need to know. You are
Kenric Regan: building a world and you’re showing what this community was like and what you can expect through these experiences and you in life.
That’s how life works. That’s why it reminded me so much of the Cohen’s. You don’t get everything in life that way you don’t understand you, you know, you meet people, you, they have this weird, fucked up thing in their life. You know, it is, you know, they’re messed up, but there’s a whole reason behind it, but you don’t know everything, you just know.
Oh yeah, yeah. His [00:18:00] parents were abusive, but you don’t know the extent. That’s how life works. So I liked how you did that. I thought it was written really brilliantly in that respect.
Christopher Condon: Well, thank you. I appreciate that. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it was, it was definitely, I definitely worked at some of my own dark.
Times through that character as well. You know, just dealing with, you know, drinking and depression and a lot of other things and, you know not getting along with my brother and my dad and like a whole lot of things, just kind of like bubbling up and just kind of filtered it all through that. Well, it definitely felt like it was sort of a therapy session.
Kenric Regan: have Joe Bob, you have Kutner, you have Randy and Travis and you have all these characters that you’ve Sarah and Marsha and you’ve all these characters ready to go. And I know how writing works. You know, what character do you think kind of you closely resemble and kind of working through some of your own issues when it comes to that?
Christopher Condon: You know, I, it’s funny cause it’s like the cliche [00:19:00] answers all of them and I really do think that that’s true
Kenric Regan: because everything, but you always have one that you’re a little closer.
Christopher Condon: Yeah. I mean, I think that probably in a lot of ways, Joe, Bob and I think that that kind of comes through in how my parents raised me.
Yeah. Yeah. I like it. And also maybe what I strive to be, you know, is sort of just like a good guy. I don’t know if I am, but I try to be. So probably him, I D there’s definitely, like I said, there, I mean, I’m only 30, but like there was a period in my twenties where I was very much, Randy, you know, I was just like, fucking my own shit up constantly.
I don’t mean to keep cursing. Sorry. Fine. Cool. Yeah. All right. But like, I was just like my own worst enemy most of the time, but then, I mean, also I was marsh. You know, cause I, you know, I had a girlfriend who, you know, was, you know, she wasn’t maybe the best thing for me and I just tried to be there for her.
And even when it was my own against my own, you know, well-being and [00:20:00] that was so that came across in her and like all these other characters that it really is sort of an amalgamation of just everybody being a part of you as a writer. And I think probably Jacob does that as well when he’s drawing them.
Yeah. Cause he, I mean, I, it’s sort of like, I don’t want to say that I’m the director, but I definitely, when I write a script, I sort of direct the script. So I have angles in it. I have all emotions in it, but really what it comes down to is I feel like if I’m the director, then Jacob is really the artist or the artist, but he’s also the actor.
Right. You know, so he’s bringing all these emotions to. And he’s bringing the scenery to life and he’s, he is really the Nissan San of the whole thing. Right, right. So it’s like that, that to me is that, that’s what our part, where our partnership is really where, where we thrive is just that I like to say that we, I write once he rewrites somebody to rewrite it again when we kind of meet back.
Right. And I, I [00:21:00] mean, I re I really truly believe that. But yeah, I think I got off topic there, but anyway, that’s
Kenric Regan: That’s perfect. When I know that you’re having, I haven’t read seven and eight yet.
Christopher Condon: Gotcha. It is at eight. Just came out today,
Kenric Regan: actually back to like 1981. And we’re going to get some of that story based on Joe Bob’s flashback with his, his, his, his, the sheriff during his time.
Christopher Condon: Yep.
Kenric Regan: Was that.
Christopher Condon: So it’s it is Sam, the Sheriff’s brother that doesn’t man, and we’ll, we’ll learn a little bit more about that and that, that doesn’t happen in this arc, but we get to know Sam more in this arc. Right. We will find out a little bit more in the next arc after this is crazy. What was that work during
Kenric Regan: the I’m sorry.
The art during the dream sequence is crazy and that whole thing coming [00:22:00] in behind him in the shadows. And I was like, I, I, for a second, I thought we’re going to take like a supernatural twist. Yeah. Cause it looked like, like a look like a zombie, you know, a lot of ways.
Christopher Condon: Yeah. Well, I mean, that’s, you know, that’s the, I love dreams.
Dreams are always a big part of whatever I create. I just think that. There’s something in them that is you know, I just, I love the surreal in general. I grew up loving care helium and you know, all these, like, you know, great surrealists Boone while and Dolly, you know, all of these great surrealists.
I, you know, I just felt, I feel like there’s so much in them cause you can do the weirdest thing. Yeah. And have it make a sort of sense. Yeah. You know, it showed that on TV. Yeah, exactly. So, I mean, yeah. I mean kind of in a way we’re doing sort of the twin peaks thing as well, but yeah, it’s, it’s a way to get into the psyche of whoever your character is that you’re dealing with.
And I mean, we see a little [00:23:00] bit more of a dream stuff with Joe, Bob, that’s sort of his, like the place he returns to is this campfire, you know, in his dreams. Why. Maybe we’ll find out. Yeah. Maybe. But yeah, I mean, that, that was, that was always in there from the script. Just, I, I liked the idea of this when we go back and that’s kind of how we find out a little bit more about the county and about the sheriff, sheriff, Joe, Bob, but also this other character who, like you said, we were fleshing out now in seven and eight.
Yeah, I mean, and just, you know, it’s kind of fun for me in the new story arc we’re of, we bounced between 20, 21 and 1981. So we’re going 40 years back in time, flashing back. That’s all, that’s kind of fun
Kenric Regan: skill set to do, dude doing
Christopher Condon: people like so far, seems people like it. So
Kenric Regan: it’s hard because I’m in the process of writing something out for myself, And I’m by no means a professional writer.
And I was talking to somebody and he’s like, man, you should really think about doing this and using [00:24:00] flashback. To get to this point. And I was like, wow, that’s a really good idea. And I started working on it. I’m like, I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing. I don’t know how to do this to make it make sense or to have it come forward.
So I’m like, oh, maybe that’s just me, but I should stick to the straight forward.
Christopher Condon: My, my sort of my thing with that is that I just sort of think you’ve got to follow your intuition. You know, I, I don’t, I don’t outline too much when I write, I S I have like a very rough outline where like, I know where I want to get to.
Right. I’m actually working on a short story right now, and I was just texting a friend about it. Cause I, I know where I need to get to, but I’m like at the other side of it. And I can’t get over it and I’m just, I just need to get over it and I’m trying to figure out how do I get there. Right. So, and that’s, you know, that’s, that’s the thing where intuition comes in and, you know, I mean, I definitely had it with first art to like, oh, how do I get there?
And then you might need to go for a walk and stuff like that, but it’s like, it’ll click and it will all make sense, you know? Yeah. But yeah, th the [00:25:00] cool thing for me about writing the 1981 to 2021 stuff is that you’re getting to see two very different sheriffs, two very different old sheriffs, how an old share facts in 1981 is not having an old share of acts in 2021.
We don’t, you know, I, yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s just very funny to me to have sort of you know, who Joe Bob is, is very different from who Stan is. And just to see that, that difference in, you know, Yeah. And just what made Joe, Bob, who he is kind of,
Kenric Regan: no, I love it, man. I think you’re doing some, I think you’re doing something really cool here that you don’t always get in comic books.
And the fact when, you know, one of my favorite things is I felt like Randy at the end and we’re spore the country. So if you haven’t read volume, one of Texas blood, I suggest maybe you fast forward, like five seconds, 20 seconds. And then go on. I felt like Randy [00:26:00] was in the Twilight zone and the fact that at the end, he finds out who really killed his brother, actually to do it to the family who really killed his brother.
But he’s done all this damage. And he’s just like, I don’t know if he felt, I don’t know if he was relieved. Like, I don’t know if he felt like he was happy that he was still there. They were still kind of the cause of everything. They still kind of help do all this stuff. You’re like, shit. I just threw away my whole life because he makes the statement I’m home.
I’m you know what I mean? I’m never leaving or I’m, I’m fine. You know what I mean?
Christopher Condon: Yeah. I think that he discovers in the end that that’s, you know, he is. Texas guy, like he’s he tried to escape it, but he can’t. Right. And literally it literally winds up with and being, you know, eventually caged in jail, you know, like you literally can’t escape.
I think I kind of
Kenric Regan: think that he might be your antihero protagonist, and then it [00:27:00] just turns out that no, he’s just really fucked up, like everybody else. Yeah.
Christopher Condon: Yeah. I mean, you know, that’s, that’s the thing, you know, I, for a while there, I wasn’t sure what I needed him to do in order to get to, you know, if people are, you know, if people are trying to avoid spoilers, I maybe don’t listen to that conversation.
But like at one point I was going to have it be even darker and I was going to have him he wakes up with the gun in his hand and the person who is on the ground shot would have been his girlfriend. Oh yeah. That Marsha. Yeah. And. And that would have been, that would have been sort of a different approach to things, but then I decided on, oh, he kills the guy, Fred plump.
Right. Cutting her. Yeah. And then we, and then we have the whole sort of telltale heart thing with the door scratching and all that. Yeah.
Kenric Regan: I wanted to ask you about Marcia because she comes down there. She, you [00:28:00] know, he answers the door, they have their fight and then she just goes back to LA. I kinda thought she’d have a bigger was there something cut out that you were like, I’m going to have all this happen or because that’s very true to life as well.
Right. I liked it. I thought I was gonna get a little bit more with her, but I liked that you did you cut it because that does happen. Yeah. And yeah, kind of kept it true, but I’m wondering if you did cut something out that
Christopher Condon: maybe you can well, sort of, so I, the way that I approached her was the issue for which has our great Simpsons reference on it.
You know, the cover is a reference to mother’s Simpson, the great Simpsons episode. I sort of thought of that almost as like Marsha’s episode, that was her issue in a way, because we spend a lot of time with her, where there, when she rents the car and, you know, we’re there when she’s driving down and then she calls him at the end and I wanted it to be this sweet moment where she is just trying to offer help.
Right. And he’s just being. Dog. [00:29:00] He’s just being like animals and she doesn’t know it. And she’s just thinking that he’s just having a rough time and she can come and, you know, pet his hair, you know, kiss him and make everything. Right, right. Meanwhile, he’s got a biding in this basement. So basically I wanted to, I didn’t have anything larger plan for aside from I wanted him to kill the relationship.
Yeah. Because he felt trapped. And that, to me, that was the only important thing. You know, I wanted to establish her as a possible safety net that he just brushes away. So they he’s essentially cutting all ties. Yeah. Again, so that, to me, it was her purpose and, you know, yeah. I, you know, I mean, I would have loved to have explored eight.
I wish that we had, you know, I sort of feel like I write in a novelistic way anyway, but I wish that we have, like, we could do it forever, you know, and just sort of explore these people and you know, that story. Cause I honestly do think that there is stuff to explore in there, but you know, in trying to fit it [00:30:00] into 23 or 24 pages, it gets tight.
I actually went over a couple of times recently. I think I wound up going to 25 or 26 issues on a couple of the issues coming up. Yeah. Just cause I felt like we needed it. Yeah, I mean, I don’t mind. I mean it w it’s it’s cool for me. I mean, we literally, we have the issue nine that comes out next month is 36 pages.
And it’s not that. You know, you’re getting a crazy amount, more a story. You’re just getting that everything’s a little more fleshed out and then you also get a longer piece of back matter. Yeah. Which I just, I felt strongly about the back matter, getting in there. And you know, if you read, so it’s not in the trade, but in issues two through six, there’s this a short story that serialized through them that Randy had written.
And it’s, it’s not like exactly what’s going on in the story, but it’s a, it’s a story about two guys who were criminals in El Paso who like come down in their sort of they’re they’re vagabonds [00:31:00] essentially. And they wind up in a shitty situation. They’re shot dead or dead or dying in a, in a, in a well house.
Yeah. West Texas. The, the one guy is dead, the other guy’s bleeding out and he’s telling him this story in his mind, as he’s watching the bats flood about in the sky, as the sun is going down and he’s dying and he’s shorted, the cops are gonna find him eventually, but you know it, so it’s the story that I was trying to tell through that was, I want it to have a sort of analogous thing with what he was doing, which was essentially, you know, just putting himself in a corner that he can’t get out of.
But in issues seven through 12, what we’re doing is a little different where it’s, it’s all we introduced this character named Parlin, never saw who was essentially, he said his big of weapons off of mine was a culture check. Yeah. Cole check the night stalker played by Jeremy Gavin. Oh yeah. Instead of a journalist, he’s a, he’s a PA.
Which I just, I also love, you know, private investigators. So that’s, you know, that’s easy [00:32:00] for me. That’s I love that
Kenric Regan: stuff, dude. Supernatural stories, the story I’m working on, I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you. And I tell everybody, because I figured if I tell everybody don’t even steal it, it’s called supernatural baby detective.
And it’s about a guy that his late fifties, sixties, like around the nineties or late 1990s, early two thousands. And he’s investigating a child kidnapping situation. Okay. And he goes to this place and he dies. And after he dies, he ends up going and this entity comes to him and I’m going to try to make it very
And the main thing, but this entity comes to him saying, no, no, no, no, no. I need you to keep doing this. I need you to figure out what’s going on because I can’t come to your world, all this kind of stuff. So he was like, so all this stuff happened. Basically what happens is he is reborn at that moment.
Right? So the next thing is [00:33:00] him coming out the birth canal, boom, he’s a baby, but in his brain, it’s just him. He was just born. But all of his knowledge, it’s not like, he’s a, like, he’s, it’s not like a, what do you call it? You know, when you die and you come back, you die, you come back. What do they call that?
Why is my brain not working reincarnation, reincarnation? It’s not reincarnation, right? No, no. This is Frank. In his head, he’s Frank and he’s frustrated because he can’t talk because he doesn’t have the vocal. Got it ready. And all of a sudden he’s meeting this lady, that’s supposed to be his mom. He was like, no, no, no, no died 20 years ago.
And dah, dah, dah. But you know, and now she’s having to change him and, and finally assembled to start talking. And so he has the, you know, so he has to struggle through feelings that he’s having with his lady as his mom. And he keeps calling her lady, but she’s pissed off because I’m your mother. I’m not, you know, some lady knows and you’re a lady.
My mom is this person. And oh yeah. And then when he’s like two and a half, three, she starts [00:34:00] taking him to the stuff to, to start investigating the re-investigate, all the stuff that he was doing. Cause he’s kidnappings are still happening. So he starts to reinvestigate. And so that’s where the supernatural baby detective comes because he’s a baby.
That’s investigating all this stuff.
Christopher Condon: I love it. And I love the title, natural baby detective. I don’t know. I didn’t think of that. That’s that’s, that’s pretty damn funny. I love
Kenric Regan: that there. I’m going to try to get it done here. Pretty, I mean, I’m still writing through like the second act, trying to get through, trying to just outline it and then get it through, you know,
Christopher Condon: I had a buddy that was like, it can be tough.
Yeah. The second that can be tough. Yeah. Well
Kenric Regan: now I I’m, I I’m introducing the villain, the villain and how he got to where he’s at. You know what I mean? And then we’ll go into this whole thing and I’ve got all these characters. I got him pretty much fleshed out, but at the same time do it, it’s a lot of work.[00:35:00]
It’s no joke. And so I applaud that you got where you’re at because man,
Christopher Condon: well, you know, it’s funny because I literally, I wrote this. I wrote this one piece of back matter. And then I wound, I, you know, I always reread my scripts before before Jake does all the lettering and I’m looking through and I’m like, wait a minute, does this all make sense?
And I literally had to go and like, create a timeline so that I made sure that everything made sense. Cause I, I say that things happened in 1968 and I’m like, do they always have it in 1960? Or do I sometimes fudge it and go 1970? You know, it’s like, so it’s like, I got to, I had to like figure out, okay, no, no, no, it was this person and it was this, this went and, you know, so it was like just figuring all that stuff out.
But yeah, it’s a lot of it is just sort of, I don’t know, it sort of just wing it and then eventually it’ll just, you know, if it doesn’t work, you’ll just like chisel it in there and make it fit. Yeah,
Kenric Regan: exactly. I just realized though, like I, [00:36:00] having a writing partner is great, but then I’m like, I like did this outline.
I sent it to my buddy and he was like, oh, I’m going to rewrite it. And then my brain had exploded. I’m like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. You can’t rewrite everything because nothing is actually done. I mean, I don’t, you know what I mean? You might make major changes that I’m not kidding. How about you? Just let me do finish it and then, you know, we’ll see how
Christopher Condon: it goes.
Yeah. I mean that’s yeah. I guess that’s the perks of being a solo writer, right? So what the only person you have to answer to is yourself.
Kenric Regan: Right? So you have your, I mean, the whole thing that this came out is you’re your detective, is it a short story? Is it are you going to hope to turn it into like a full fledged comic book arc?
Like we were getting with Texas blood or how, what is the format? Well,
Christopher Condon: so yeah, so this detective is so ever saw he comes in into what the back matter is, is It’s all of his collected [00:37:00] investigation material. Yeah. For for this case. So we’re getting as, as the issues go on and we started learning a little bit more about characters, like there will be a piece of information about that character about that place or whatever.
Yeah. Sort of flesh it out. But also, you know, I’m using it as an, as a opportunity to flesh out not only the story arc and the characters, but also the world in which we’re building of Ambrose county itself. So there’s things that stretch all the way back to the twenties. I miss this.
Kenric Regan: That is part of the Ambrose county world.
Yeah. Okay. Now this is even more exciting cause you’re, you’re, you’re building on top of what you’ve the foundation you already have.
Christopher Condon: Yeah. And that was the fun thing about doing the first arc. The way that we did it was that, you know, we’re sort of just establishing in a very small way, the county, and now in this article, Blowing it open.
Yeah. You know, we’re, we’re really getting into the nitty gritty of, you know, why, you [00:38:00] know, certain things might happen in this county.
Kenric Regan: I saw that you said you’ve already mapped out Joe Bob’s life. Yes. And I’m curious, is that just so that you can create decisions based on what Joe Bob would make or do you plan on sharing his death at some point?
Christopher Condon: Well, I don’t want to get into that. Even though we’re on spoiler countries,
Kenric Regan: don’t give anything
Christopher Condon: away, but yeah. I mean, I know I basically, I want it to know his entire life because I wanted to know the decisions that, you know, I want it to get to a point where he, the reason why he winds up making decisions that he ends up making.
Right. You know, we, we started seeing some of that being late now. And also just knowing where he came from and, you know, in a. In this, in the opening page of issue eight, we have a sort of monologue from him in which she’s talking about a, a talk that he and his brother, which also now introduce the fact that he had a brother [00:39:00] growing up.
His, his father had a talk with them about what a good man is. Right. You know, and you know, and so establishing who is characteristic and why he has, you know, brain works the way it does. You know, I, I just, yeah, I wanted to figure out, cause I, to me plot is obviously, but the really important thing for me is character.
And I really, truly believe that I know Joe Bob, as a person. You know, in, in this, in our story. And it’s really great that, I mean, people will like, you know, message me and be like, well dot, dot, dot, and that’s really cool. It’s, you know it’s, it’s just a really cool thing. I mean, that came from real people that I know in Texas, you know, that that’s how they talked as well.
All right. Well, let’s, let’s figure this out, you know, and but yeah, I mean, every time I, you know, I write a piece of dialogue for him, I, you know, I have to say it out loud and I do it in his accent of how I, [00:40:00] when you’re write
Kenric Regan: a yacht dialogue.
Christopher Condon: Yeah, I do. I do. I really do, because I want to, I want it to sound to me like how I think Joe, Bob would say something, you know, I want it to be authentic to him as the human being.
Cause I, I really do believe exists in some part of my mind. Right. You know, he’s a, he’s real to me in a lot of ways. Oh, go ahead. Go
Kenric Regan: ahead. I was gonna say my favorite, Joe. Bob’s. Isn’t even a scene that is you know, him, because some people could say the scene where he comes up to the car and dude blows his head off, you know?
Yeah. Or cause Joe Bob’s in a lot of seeds. My favorite scene with him is the simple one where he’s sitting down eating with his wife and he doesn’t feel good and she’s like thinning. And he’s like, I just feel like something bad’s coming and she’s like, indigestion. He goes, I just worry. And she’s like, you’re a good man.
You know what I mean? And I was like, yeah, that’s character building right there. [00:41:00] That is awesome. That I, I love that scene that made me feel like, oh, now I really get who Joe Bob is in a lot of ways.
Christopher Condon: Yeah. I mean, well, I also think that I think Martha is a big part of who he is. Yeah. And I definitely, I mean, she’s, she, she’s definitely, she’s just an important character for him and, and for me in writing him yeah.
It’s almost like sort of DSX MOC, you know, and it’s like, I don’t know how to write him. I’m like, what would Martha say to him at this point? You know, and say you got a little bit more of a relationship and seven and eight radio. Yeah. Trying to figure out a way to bring that back in a little bit. But that’s one of those hard things.
Cause we, that was like a fully, just like its own story and issue one. Right. You know, where we were able to explore that and it’s kind of hard to fit it into, you know, when you’re building a more, slightly more complex story in seven to 12. But it would be fun to sort of explore the [00:42:00] origins of the the radio.
But yeah. I’m working on issue 13 right now, which was originally so w we always wanted to do a Christmas issue. We wanted to do one back in 2020, and it was always going to be a one shot. And it was originally going to be this one thing it was going to be it would have been, it would have taken place in current day.
And then I decided on doing a different thing that would introduce a villain who’s coming later. And then, you know, which is involved with the west Texas above ground pool king. And I, I sort of re-read that. And I, it just didn’t feel like it felt like a full issue. So I was like, all right, I don’t want to do that.
So I finally landed on, you know, Christmas ghost story, the classic thing. Yeah. And also we, we end, obviously we end. Yeah. The arc. Well, I think, I think we ended really well. Yeah. I still feel like it would be nice to, cause we’re going to take another break after this, after [00:43:00] December, I thought it’d be kind of fun to do an epilogue almost, you know, where it’s a Christmas story it’s set in 1991.
Yeah. So, you know, so we get to explore because we don’t really see, Martha seemed much in 1981 we see a glimpse of her. She’s there, but we don’t really see her. So I wanted to definitely have her in this story a little bit more as Martha, 1981. Yes, she was. Yeah. You know, so yeah, her and her and Lou, both of them.
Kenric Regan: She’s got sets. I love Martha. She’s good.
Christopher Condon: Yeah. Well, so yeah, I, there was a, I wanted to do a story with her as well. Her, her occupation she’s retired now in Downey 21, but her occupation was she was a like w what would you call it? A correctional facility. Counselor. Okay. So that was her job.
And she’s retired now, but I had this whole arc set up where I was going to have her call in to, you know, one of her [00:44:00] old, one of the old inmates that, you know, she, he, she’s the, she’s the only one that he’ll talk to. Right. So they call her back in. I don’t know if we’re going to get to that at any point, we might, we might do a spinoffs or something, but like, I feel like I’ve been saying that Texas was, is 30 issues.
And I kinda liked the idea of 30 issues, but, you know, we’ll see where things go, but
Kenric Regan: issues of Texas blood, and then, you know, if you have other things you don’t have to call it Texas blood, it could be just happens to be
Christopher Condon: county. So here’s the thing is that you know, you could always do amorous county stories or something like that.
There’s a there’s a mention in the back matter, in issue seven, about this 1870s Western gang called the Enfield gang and Jacob message and messages, meaning goes, are we going to see any more of these guys? And I’m like you know, maybe in another, maybe the spinoff or something like that. And so we actually discussed that.
I think the idea right now, I don’t [00:45:00] want to get anybody’s hopes. So if we, if we don’t end up doing it, but the idea would be after the third arc. So after the third volume we might do that, do something, which was actually a recommendation from Sean, Sean Phillips Jacob’s father that, you know, we get three volumes in and then we could mess around.
Cause then we’re, we’re more established in that way, because I felt like with seven, right before seven came in, I was like, are people gonna just reject us? Right. Luckily they didn’t. But yeah, th I feel like there’s a lot of w building in our in our just creation of this county that we are, we’re introducing characters in places that we’re not necessarily exploring in that arc or in that story that we can play with later.
But like, like we were talking about Java where like, I have his whole life planned out. I also have Martha’s life, you know, and I know where they met. And we mentioned in an issue seven, they met in Dallas and at school, you know, the first movie they went to go stay together as plant of the apes, you know, it’s like, that’s, that’s the kind of stuff that I, you know, that I love.[00:46:00]
And that really kinda makes a character real for me. Right. Yeah. Yeah.
Kenric Regan: Cause you have, you have actual memories for them to draw upon,
Christopher Condon: which is almost exactly. Yeah. You’re giving them yeah. You’re giving them a full life. Yeah. You know? Yeah.
Kenric Regan: Some people don’t think about that stuff and you can, when you read certain books, And, you know, we won’t mention names or anything like that, but when you do read certain books, you can kind of tell you’re like, oh, there’s he just made this weird decision.
That’s completely out of character compared to what you had before, you know? Yeah. And it just kind of, I dunno, when they don’t do that, that when, when you don’t do that world building and that, that unseen, fulfilling fulfillment of the character, I think it comes across, you know, and I think it comes across with good stories when you do do
Christopher Condon: that stuff.
Yeah. I mean, for, for this story in particular, for what we’re telling you about Ambrose county, I mean, a lot of these stories were not connected originally, but [00:47:00] I had various stories that were all set in Texas. For some reason, I was very attracted to writing about Texas early on. And so I had a story that was called shaman, which is a story that we’ll see later on.
There’s going to be like the second to last arc in Texas. And there’s another, there’s another story that was literally called Texas bloods. So then that was the second through six and then, you know, obviously ever saw kind of cannon and, you know, but I have all these like different ideas and it just sort of, when I decided to put them all in one county, it all just became this huge history.
Right, right. Yeah, it, it really helped in terms of that, you know, just like having Joe, Bob be sort of our central figure that we follow throughout. Even if he’s not the main character, like in, you know, 2, 3, 6, you know, Randy’s the main character, but Joe Bob’s there and every issue. Right. In some small way, you know?
Kenric Regan: right. He’s he’s he, I feel like he’s the glue.
Christopher Condon: Yeah. I like that. He’s just started every being like Randy. Yeah.[00:48:00]
Kenric Regan: He picked up Randy up, took him to the police station and just kind of like. Was very much that father figure
Christopher Condon: for him.
Kenric Regan: Yeah. You know, and that speaks to who Joe, Bob is like, Hey, you know, this stuff is happening, but I, and I know your character, I know who you are. You might want to just kind of calm down and take a breath and, and don’t do anything brash.
That’s how I
Christopher Condon: took that whole. Yeah. Well, I mean, you know, it’s such a small community, which is one thing, but you know, he’s obviously he’s known these people since they were young, you know? And so he, he knows that they can be bad, but he also knows that, you know, what’s in their heart. And a lot of times when somebody is hurt is good, even if they’re making bad decisions, I know plenty of people who were in a very dark place in their life, you know, I never got to the point where I needed to go to rehab, but you know, I’ve known people who did have to go to rehab and, you know, they were just, there [00:49:00] were certain people that cut them.
Yeah. You know, there was, there was other people that I know who wound up making bad decisions and going to jail, you know, and there’s, again, certain friends of theirs that wind up cutting them off because they’re like, oh, like what’s the point? You know, they keep making these bad decisions. Right. But I feel like Joe, Bob is that person that will con you know, take you out to coffee and like ask you how you’re doing, you know, how, how you are.
And, you know, cause he knows that you’re, you’re a human being and you matter. And even if you make the wrong decisions, you’re, you know, you’re human.
Kenric Regan: Well, I’m excited to read the rest of these as they come. And, and I really applaud for what you and Jacob have done. You guys have put together a wonderful book.
I really telling everybody, I highly highly recommend going out. And you know, if you can’t afford it, go to your local library, they, they, they probably have it because mine did. And, but I was suggested, yeah. Either getting the, [00:50:00] all the series that you can from your local comic store or get the trade paperback for arc one, because it’s amazing.
And then catch
Christopher Condon: up only 10 bucks. The image is amazing at having a very affordable yeah. Frustrated. So 10 bucks, most of their trains are 10 bucks. Yeah.
Kenric Regan: Yeah. There you go. But you’re going to have a lot of fun. I’m telling you right now. I don’t know where Chris is at, but if you were a fan of the Cohen brothers if you’ve seen lone star, that’s one of my favorite movies from the nineties.
It really is it’s cause, cause it’s like not a real well-known movie, but it’s done super, super well. You are a modern Western fan. I think this book is going to be for you in a lot of ways. Chris we’ve been on for an hour already. Can you.
Christopher Condon: It’s been a great conversation. We’ve been having a great time.
Kenric Regan: Good.
Christopher Condon: I only record it.
Kenric Regan: Oh shit. Can we start over? No, it’s so funny because I go through and I try to [00:51:00] read what I can write from who’s ever coming on. If somebody like you, and then I always try to find interviews that they’ve done, because I don’t like asking the same questions that you answered over and over again, because that’s boring.
You can go back and watch those other interviews if you want to know. So I try to do that. I’m glad that you had a good time. Cause that, that means a lot to me.
Christopher Condon: Yeah. I think this is the most in-depth I’ve got about, I’ve gotten about Joe Bob in particular. I don’t think that I’ve really delved into him that heavily in any other interview or any other podcasts?
Kenric Regan: Well, it was really obvious that Joe Bob is probably your favorite character that you’ve been right.
Christopher Condon: I hate writing new things by like, cause he’s not in it. Yeah. I’m like, when am I going to find that other character is going to speak to me the way Joe, Bob does.
Kenric Regan: I love the name too. Joe Bob, just,
Christopher Condon: you know.
Yeah. Well that came from a real person that was I know a guy [00:52:00] in west Texas, you know, Marfa, Texas, if you’re not familiar that there’s the Marfa lights, which danced on it at night sky. But it’s this desolate area in west Texas. And there was a road guy named Joe and his, his name is Joe, Bob.
That’s awesome. And yeah, so he gave me the Wells as well, you know? Yeah. That was, that came from him and his family. And yeah, so that he just, he sort of lent me those things and I, I thank him forever for them. I’ve been more utilized him in this comic book more. Are they giving him shit
Kenric Regan: through the whole book about as well?
Yeah, of course. Well,
Christopher Condon: yeah, we had a shirt made up to that. Was Joe Bob looking in a well
Kenric Regan: that’s something people can order.
Christopher Condon: Yeah. It’s on our, it’s on our big cartel site. I think it’s Texas blood that Texas blood dad, big cartel or big cartel dot that Texas blood. Well, I’ll [00:53:00] look for
Kenric Regan: it and I’ll put it on the show notes cause that’s hilarious.
Christopher Condon: People need to get home. Yeah, it’s pretty cool. Yeah.
Kenric Regan: Well, Chris, thank you so much for taking your time and coming out and hanging out and talking that Texas blood When another, when your next arc is done, you should come back and we should have a whole new conversation about all the new characters and everything going on.
I’m sure. I don’t know if you’re interested. One of the things that we do from time to time is we do a DVD, a DVD commentary style track for comic books, where we use an issue. And then we literally read the issue with the writer and or artists or both. And we talk about each page and why this happened and you know what I mean?
Kind of, so that way somebody along with their book and kind of get that commentary
Christopher Condon: track, that’d be great. I mean, I, I, we could try to get Jacob on for that too. Yeah. It’s, it’s a little tougher because he’s obviously in the UK, so it’s time difference, but it’s doable. We’ve done it [00:54:00] before. But I mean, I grew up with commentary tracks.
I that’s how I became a film book. Really. It was just that I would, I remember, you know, I would go, I would walk. I didn’t have a car. Obviously I would walk on the railroad tracks to the Menlo park mall, which is like the big mall here, where I grew up. And I, I would go into the Menlo park mall. I’d go to the Suncoast and I would buy a DVD or a couple of DVDs or whatever.
I had enough money to get. I worked at a music wholesaler and he paid me cash. Then I would take that cash and I would walk to the sun coast. I buy a bunch of DVDs. I would go back. I would watch them. Then I was listening to commentary tracks. And when the director or the writer would talk about what his influences were, I would go out.
Then the next time I went and I would find those moons that’s now is how I became a film lover, really. I mean, I was always a film lover, but that was really how I became a film buff. You know, yeah, you’re going to file, as I
Kenric Regan: say, you might not know. [00:55:00] You know,
Christopher Condon: my point is I would love to. Yeah, that would be fantastic.
Kenric Regan: way. That sounds
Christopher Condon: fun. Yeah.
Kenric Regan: Cool, man. Well, I really appreciate it. And shit, man. We’ll chat soon.
Christopher Condon: All right, man. Cool. Thank you. Thanks for having me on. Yeah.