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Kevin Joseph Tart KS 12
[00:00:00] Melissa: this is spoiler country and I'm Melissa searcher today on the show.
I'm excited to welcome comic book writer, Kevin Joseph, thanks for coming on today.
Kevin Joseph: Oh, it's my pleasure. Thank you for having me.
Melissa: Thank you. How are you doing tonight?
Kevin Joseph: I'm doing good. We, you know, we're, we're getting ready for this, this super Tuesday it's national sandwich day. So that's very important to me.
some other things are happening. So my wife and I sat down and we decided to watch Arnold Swartz, nigger, and rod deal because we wanted the dumbest, Mindless entertainment we could possibly get. And that's what we ended up with. And I think we made a pretty good choice.
Melissa: Nice. Yeah. That's a good choice.
yeah, I think everyone is kind of on edge, right? just anticipating tomorrow. And are, are you going to have a sandwich on national sandwich? Aye.
Kevin Joseph: Aye. Aye. Every day is national sandwich day in my house, so absolutely.
Melissa: That's great. Awesome. Well, I'm really happy you're here tonight. I know it's a little bit late for you.
You're on the East coast, right?
[00:01:00] Kevin Joseph: Yep. Fort Lauderdale, Florida. So as East coast, as the United States can go, but I don't mind staying up a little late to, to top comic books.
Melissa: Great. Well, let's, let's get into it, but, so we're here to talk about tart, which I have had the pleasure. Thank you for sending me the.
Issues. I've read all the ones that you sent me and I'm really into it. I thought the illustrations were gorgeous. The story is really fresh and different. So I would love to find out more like what inspired you to come up with the idea for tart?
Kevin Joseph: Well, I think w we, we put it together. Ludovic. Sally is the artist and I, and we, we put it together based on a lot of things that he was already working on.
So the time traveling elements and the demon hunting elements were all wrapped up in this series that Ludo was doing that he was writing and drawing himself called hell strawberry. a mutual friend put us together and said, I think you guys might, you know, your, your ideas might jive together. And so [00:02:00] basically we, I looked at his art and I knew that I wanted to get on that train somehow some way.
And, and so I sat in there and I, I didn't know how to exactly work. in the lines that he had set up, but I do, I knew I could work in his sandbox. So I said, well, what, what, what if we did something a little bit more like this? And I sent him the plot to what is basically chart number one. and he read it and he said, yeah, let's do it.
And then together, we just kind of tried to make this story. With, you know, the school chick who comes floats through time and she shows up, why does she show up? Why, why does she not know where she is when she wakes up? How come she knows there's demons? So we just emailed each other for about three months trying to answer all these strange little questions we had.
So we came up with it kind of happy. [00:03:00] I don't want to say haphazardly, but that's probably pretty true. It's kind of like, well, Why, why is this happening? And then you're like, okay, well, let's find a bigger and stronger. adversary and like, okay, what, what does that adversary want? And we just kind of created clues for each other to follow.
Melissa: Yeah. Well, I like, I really love the, the first page, the hooks you right away, just, you know, he or she is waking up in an alley, not really knowing where she is. And I thought it was actually kind of a little comical too. It was fun. A little. Yeah, B, we're you know, it was just got the knife and he's trying to help her.
And she screams, I have trust issues like he's running away and I thought that really draws you and it kind of sets the tone really well for, for what, what her character is going to be like. at what did you have any, influences or inspirations for when you came up with tart acid?
Kevin Joseph: I, I didn't have any that I realized.
W I was drawing from at the time now, [00:04:00] you, you cannot read this book and I, in fact use it as a selling point. I bring up, you know, I was a huge fan of Buffy, the vampire Slayer. So, I, I don't, I don't go away from that. But then I think that, you know, just Sweden had kitty pride and rogue as his inspirations for Buffy.
So I think. Somewhere along that line of the Chris Claremont, Into Buffy was probably going around in my head as to here are some ladies that I've loved in comic books and let's try to make somebody justice. Cool.
Melissa: Yeah, no, that's great. When it's also very whimsical. And, and S and super colorful, which I love.
it's very appealing. Visually. Was that something that you mentioned that you had seen some of Ludo work? Was that what drew you to him was that you wanted it to be whimsical and colorful? Was that the look you were going for from the get-go?
Kevin Joseph: I think that I, At the time realized that Ludo was an artist [00:05:00] that, needed to be, just let loose on mainstream comics.
And if I could just be somewhere along that ride, I wanted to be there with him. And, and it's only become as, as we've gone on and on and on. And I've seen how varied and flexible his art style is. I can send him. Any story anywhere in time with any tone. And he will find a new way to draw it too, to bring it out in the best way possible.
And I, I, you know, like, I don't think that I thought far enough ahead when we were doing this, it was just like, we'll just do this comic book and I love the way it looks, but it's, it's kind of like, just like, Oh my God, this there's this guy that is just this. Unbridled passionate creativity. And all I have to do is just, you know, just get a spark.
Yeah. And all of a sudden it's a forest [00:06:00] fire and I just, you know, I give them a direction and I let them go and it's, it's gorgeous and they're not because he doesn't speak much English. It's a second language. I get to do all the interviews. And so everybody thinks that I have a lot more to do with it than I really do.
It's really just saying Ludo here. And him going nuts. And then I get to do, to do the, what's that the, when you're running around the stadium at the end, high-fiving everybody, the victory lap, the victory lane.
Melissa: And where's he based out of
Kevin Joseph: he's in, he's in a wine country and France.
Kevin Joseph: Yeah, I'm certainly hoping I I've always wanted to go visit.
some things have happened in the last six months that I don't know that I would be allowed to fly to France, right.
Melissa: Things that will, will not be mentioned right now.
Kevin Joseph: Spoilers.
Melissa: Yeah, no France would be, yeah, definitely on the bucket list for sure. so do you just communicate, you know, via Skype and [00:07:00] email, and do you ever talk on the phone?
Kevin Joseph: Rarely do we talk, on the phone it's usually email or Facebook messenger. and we, we we've met, he came over to New York Comic-Con I think. I think three years in a row, at least two, but I think three. And so we've, we've spent some time together as a creative team and it was lovely, but, our work is kind of like all, you know, the wife and the kid will go to bed and I'll, and I'll stay up and write a little bit and I'll email him and then I go to sleep and then I wake up and there's a sketch.
okay. If I was going to do that idea, I'd do it looking sort of like this. And so I've closed my eyes. It feels like for a second and all of a sudden there's this art there. So it's, I do recommend being eight to 12 hours ahead or behind your, creative partner, because it really kind of, it's like you're working 24 hours a day.
Melissa: Oh, wow. [00:08:00] That's cool. That's cool that you guys can be so far apart and still collaborate so well together.
Kevin Joseph: It was, it was very surprising how, how much we see eye to eye on what we're doing this. I mean, he's, he's a French artist. I'm an American writer. I didn't know much about French comics when we started and still don't, he didn't know much about America, American comics.
I mean, he'd seen the big ones, but yeah. There was just something in his part, the, the, the, the vivacity of it, just, it just, so it, it just smacks you in the face with, with sexiness and beauty and Bon, and I, and I, you know, it's just like jump, jump in with this guy.
Melissa: Yeah, it's very, very visually appealing, I guess, that it draws you in right away.
it has it's own, feel to it, you know, it's, it's different than some of the other comics that are out there, which I think will appeal to a large audience because it's unique.
Kevin Joseph: It is. And [00:09:00] he, he does something that I think is many artists who, who can do it, should do it. I sent him script that says, there's going to be like six panels on this.
And this is what's going to happen on the page. And he looks at the entire page as a painting. And he says, how can I tell this story the way we need to tell it, but in a way that if you just looked at it as a painting, it would be visually beautiful on its own. And so there's this whole other. I looking at our pages that that is, you know, way past what I could do on my own at all.
Much less, you know, just a, a normal artist. He's just looking at it from a couple of different vantage points.
Melissa: Yeah. Well, that's yeah, that's really interesting. And we're getting into some of those visuals. I, you know, I noticed a lot of details whenever I'm a visual person. And I was wondering if, if at all, is there, what is the significance of, you know, the ice [00:10:00] cream cones and the, the cupcakes, you know, what, what does that mean to you for the comic as symbolism wise?
Kevin Joseph: Well, you know what? It came down to, Ludo in his, original piece. It was hell strawberry and, He had this naming convention to his characters. Cherry McCobb already existed in his world. Gloom Tangerine existed soon after. And he just told me I want something sweet and something sour at all times.
He wants to like that pop that, that kitschy pop, but also like it's maybe leading you down. To a basement that you might not want to be going to. And so with that flavor of, you know, sweet and sour week, we just kind of grabbed on it. And when I sit in my plot for issue one, I told him, I don't know if this is.
health strawberry story, or if it's a new character and I just, it was a total throw away. I said, we'll just call her tart in this [00:11:00] script and we'll figure out a name later. And he emailed me back when he said he wanted to work on it. He goes, Target's fine. We'll just give her a nasty, last name, like acid.
Yeah. So that was the sum total of thought that we put into naming our character targets.
Melissa: Yeah. Well, and actually with the names of the characters, it also reminded me a little bit of like Riverdale, you know, I have,
Kevin Joseph: I mean, I I've, I've read some Archie. Comics of course, but I haven't watched the show Riverdale.
Do they, jump into that?
Melissa: Yeah. It's it's like, you know, they, they play on those words, like the F you know, the fruity kind of the bitter sweet, you know, Cheryl blossom, you know, is one character. I mean, of course you have like the Betty, the Veronica and stuff, but, yeah, it's, it's very whimsical and kind of silly, you know, but in like a cool campy way.
and it plays really well.
Kevin Joseph: Brant Fowler asked me this week. If anybody had call it a strawberry shortcake for adults. [00:12:00] And I have heard that once or twice, something like that once or twice, and I don't run from it either. It's, you know, definitely it's not strawberry shortcake, but I can't tell you that that isn't something that Ludo had in his mind when he was putting it together either.
So I'm not sure.
Melissa: Yeah, it does have a strawberry shortcake with, with demons vibe to it. Definitely. You can see that influence for sure. I don't know if they are into that in France. I think that's an American icon or whatever. but yeah, it definitely has that vibe. and then, you know, your other character gloom, Tangerine you.
I was reading some of the liner notes after the comics and. You had mentioned that she is more of a comical character, kind of goofy. Was that like what you intended for her or did that just kind of come out organically when you were writing the character?
Kevin Joseph: That came out organically. It wasn't something [00:13:00] intended.
It just, when we, we, there's an arc in the issues it's issues four or five, six and seven. And that first season of tart where we, we send them off to train on an Island and there's three girls there's lemon. Lamarck who's the leader. Tart acid and gluten Tangerine. And it was kind of nice to have these three loners working who just do not want to team up being forced to spend all their time with some people.
But lemon was the leader of the training. So I felt like a lot of the angst was, was centered on her. And it kind of just, we got to watch gloom kind of. React a little, a little Bradely. and, and, and it just sort of informed it. And a lot of that is I'll send ludicrous script and I'll get a page back.
And I see their, I see the, the, the body language and how they're looking at each other. And [00:14:00] basically I'm just like, Oh, that's, that's really who she is. So.
Melissa: Yeah. She's one of those characters where you're not sure on the first, you know, her first entrance. You're not sure if you like or not. And then as the story progresses and you see more from her, you're like, Oh, I'm rooting for her.
I, I like this. Just got spunk.
Kevin Joseph: Yeah, she's, she's, she's fun. And there's, there's a, health strawberry has a book that Ludo did call. He calls it hell strawberry factory one, and it's sort of like a trade paperback. And there's a moment in that where gloom grabs a gun. And instead of showing the violence, Ludo has a song and a dance come in.
It's this really trippy, wonderful moment. And that of course informs it for me too. That in, in that first time that I read her the way Ludo. Rotor. It was goofy and kitschy and fun. So [00:15:00] I want her to stay fun and I want her to be Uber VI, Uber violent and silly is what I want for a gloom Tangerine.
Melissa: Yeah. I mean, almost like a Harley Quinn type of a vibe, not, not visually, but just sort of mentally, I think.
You know, it's in little spurts, she's sort of playful, but she has this killer, you know, edge to her. So she's not all sweet, but she's funny. And, but yet that could be like, her secret weapon, you know,
Kevin Joseph: she's the one I would least likely to get in a fist fight with. I'm not sure that I could handle any of these women in any way, but.
Fistfight gloom would, ground and pound me into submission. Whereas Tarte would probably just put me down and say, do you give up? And I'd say uncle and we'd be done.
Melissa: Right. It just tap out. Yeah. The, the scene when they're training and then they get separated, with all of the, do you [00:16:00] call the mermaids or my shirt?
Yeah. Yeah. Okay.
Kevin Joseph: More people in mermaids, w w whatever, whatever you want to call them or we're good with.
Melissa: Okay, cool. how did that, how did you construct that? Cause that was pretty intense and there was so much, you know, involved in that, and with that, the concept of the, you know, the breathing tube and using your clothing to, you know, benefit your survival, how did you come up with all of that?
Kevin Joseph: Well, we, we had an outline for the entire, you know, series of tart and I wanted to go somewhere after issue three that felt a little too early. We're still gonna get there. but it just felt like. It was a lot to throw in an audience right away. We, you know, I've always told people we're going to get darker as we go a little bit farther, but I kinda want people to love us before we start putting them through the ringer.
- We were like, let's find something else to put there. And a friend of mine sent me an email, showing, [00:17:00] basically they call it, you can Google this, the demon fleet of truck lagoon, T R U K. And. It's be some of the most beautiful underwater photography you'll ever see with the sunken ships, the sunken tanks.
and it is known as the world's most haunted waterway. I did not create any of
Melissa: that. Interesting.
Kevin Joseph: so we sat down and, and the visuals were amazing and I emailed Ludo and I said, what if we put. Something here. And we decided, well, there's no vacation for our people. Unfortunately for them, there's no vacation.
What if they were sent here for training and, what would that training be? And we, we had a toxic die from not being able to breathe. You know, we, we see the remnants of it in issue three. So we figure, yeah. Sherry would not want that to happen to any of her agents ever again. [00:18:00] So we'll send them there and we're like, well, let's look at our outline.
What, what. Do we have out here maybe 12, 13, 14 issues in, into the outline that maybe we can reference. And we found something and we were like, okay, so that's, what's haunting, Chuck liger and it's mermaids who knew.
Kevin Joseph: It is, it was a battle in world war II between the Americans and the Japanese. So it's one of those many islands that they fought on in the Pacific.
off the top of my head, I couldn't tell you how close it really is to Japan, but it was in the Pacific theater, where the battle had.
Melissa: That's cool. I'm going to have to definitely Google that. Cause that's super interesting saying I'd never heard of it before.
Kevin Joseph: So it's beautiful.
Melissa: So how do you, you know, you have so many, I feel like each issue has its own feel to it.
And I mean, there's an overall, over reaching arc, but each issue is [00:19:00] definitely unique. How do you come up with fresh ideas? You know, for each issue, because they are so even just the demons, you know, change from issue to issue. So how, what is that like for you to have to come up with like a fresh idea for every, for every issue?
Kevin Joseph: Hmm. That's I guess that's just the goal, right? It's it's the goal is to, to deliver an issue that will change the reader's emotion. Every time. And so we can't always do it the same way. We want you to laugh at one and cry at another. Maybe hopefully do both during a third. so it's just always the goal to be surprising enough that people don't know what they're getting from us, but also honest with the premise enough that they don't feel like they've just been bamboozled.
Right. Does that make sense? That
Melissa: that. Definitely. Yeah, definitely. [00:20:00] Yeah, because you, you know, you have some stories and, and not just with comics, but just in regular fiction, novel series as well, where, you know, you have Sears where there, we all start to kind of blend together and there's nothing new and fresh.
And then you have other series where they go. So out of bounds, That you're like, wait, am I even reading, you know, a book by the same author? so, but I felt like you, you do a good job of keeping the theme, and the overall feel and mood of it while still creating fresh, you know, stories and fresh settings.
Kevin Joseph: It's definitely our goal and Ludo. And with, with the aesthetic, that's all Ludo, you know, there is there's, Issue 11, which we're, we're about to bring out. We send the girls to the nine, 10, 1936 Olympic games and Berlin, Germany, and Ludo sent me the pages. And it's all gray except a little. Brown and the girl's red hair.
You either, either, you know, we've got a blonde [00:21:00] dark at a girl and tart and gloom or walking around, and those are the only colors are the grays or the girl's hair. And like maybe their dresses stand up. And that's all, low-dose all Ludo style and someone read it and asked me who the second artist was.
And I was like, there, there isn't one it's Ludo.
Melissa: Yeah. That's amazing. so will you like historical settings? You use them a lot. Do you do have to do a lot of research or do you like how much research goes into it when you're like, okay. For example, the Berlin games, do you research it? It's pretty exciting.
Offensively beforehand, before you start writing,
Kevin Joseph: I have always enjoyed history. So that part is fun for me. That part is like, Oh, we need a story to do something like this. And I kind of think back, Oh, maybe it could land. Maybe it could be with the Berlin Olympics. And so then I'll sit down and I'll make sure that.
[00:22:00] That the things that I think I know are right. And, you know, it's 50 50 at that point. and I'll, I'll just, I'll get it enough to make sure that the story makes sense, but I don't get so bogged down into details that, that it. The story, the story is what is it doing? The story isn't how were the 1936 Olympics throne?
So I try to make sure that I remember that I did, when I sat down, I wanted to get maps of Berlin at the time. And I wanted to actually do a true to life, walk up to the stadium and I failed. So miserably getting, you know, accurate maps from the thirties that I could read. And I just gave it up and I found a YouTube clip with cool buildings and I sent it to Ludo and I said, yeah, Put them wherever you want.
So, you know, we try to get it as right as we can, but we do say, and I say [00:23:00] this all the time, this is a time-traveling story where if something in the past happens, it can change the future. So if you spot a historical inaccuracy, It was true when I wrote it, but something in the past changed,
Melissa: right. It was done on purpose.
Yeah, for sure. So, getting into another, issue that I really liked was you've mentioned it's it's when she. She's in with the vampires and, you know, I won't give too much away, but I do like the mention,
Kevin Joseph: I'm going to spoiler country. Right?
Kevin Joseph: If you come on the show, you've got that's right. A
Melissa: little bit of a spoiler, but, I do like how you mentioned with the Holy water and you had a tart was basically saying that you don't.
You only have to have safe to consecrate it. You don't need to be a priest or, you know, ordained or anything. And I thought that was really interesting. It was a really different take because, you know, we see a lot of, horror movies, vampires genres, specifically where, [00:24:00] you know, there's lots of talk about Holy water and it happens.
To be blessed by you did like a completely different take on it, which I thought was really cool. I was just wondering, how did you come up with that? Like what was that like a lot of brainstorming or was it just like, ah, let's do this,
Kevin Joseph: you know, I maybe subconsciously I did more than, than consciously on that.
I, I wrote a short story once in my mom called me up and you know, I'm not, I'm not a big church person, but I, you know, I do, I do think there's something out there. I don't know what their name is and I don't know what, what rules they really want us to follow, but I. I either believe in aliens or God, because we can not be the top of the pyramid as humans.
I got a problem with that, so, okay. So it could be aliens. It could be God, I'm not sure what it is or it could be both, but, I. I heard her, when she called [00:25:00] me, she said, Oh, this story was so the most religious story you've ever written. And I was like, I don't know what you're talking about, mom. And, but she named a couple of things and I was like, Oh, okay.
All right. I guess, I think it was a bit of me saying that we can own our own faith and it doesn't matter what a guy standing in front of a room says, faith is. that would be the deeper thing. And the more shallow thing is I needed it to happen in one page and I didn't have four pages to have her go find a priest.
So maybe, I don't know if it's deeper or shallow, but somewhere in between is how that, that came about.
Melissa: Yeah. So yeah, it was basically a convenience thing, but it actually ended up being more how to deeper meaning, because I literally stopped and thought about it for a second. And I thought, well, that's really a cool concept that no one's ever really addressed before.
Kevin Joseph: Well, I'm glad, I'm glad it worked. I don't want [00:26:00] to, I don't want to take away from it either because I don't know, 100% where it came from, but yeah, but I also don't want to pretend that I'm. All that deep of a human being. I just kind of like, how can we make this page? Cool. And then how can we hit some emotion and maybe, maybe come up with a couple of cool, cool lines.
Melissa: Nice. How long does it typically take you to create one, an issue from first draft to Polish draft?
Kevin Joseph: usually it takes me about a week to get my thumbnails drawn up and then typed in for myself. And I'll I'll, I don't do a ton of huge editing at that point because I feel like I need to get it in front of Ludo and our editor Cassie and see what they say, because I don't want to spend hours polishing down.
You're uttered basically, you know, I want to find out like, do you, do you [00:27:00] think there's gold in here to Polish? And then, and then we get down to it. So a good, a good week to get the first draft. And then after they give me their thoughts and suggestions, depending on how much needs to be changed another week to two weeks.
So maybe three weeks for the script, but that's not eight hour days. It's, you know, an hour here, an hour there.
Melissa: And then.
Kevin Joseph: Ludo usually takes about three months to get a full issue, completely illustrated and completely colored.
Melissa: Oh, wow. Okay. So you do. so what can they expect is twos then every about four months or are they releasing every six months?
What can we expect?
Kevin Joseph: Our goal is, every three months, our goal is to get. Four issues out a year. we don't usually hit that goal, but, we're, that's our goal. And because we've been picked up by scout comics to get into comic shops, our goal is to get a nice collection out every year. [00:28:00] So season one was seven issues, which came out, you know, in the issue.
One came out in before the pandemic and the trade paperback came out after the pandemic, which was a lot of fun to have that. Three months in the middle. Wondering if anybody was going to remember who our, what our book was. and the next issue will the next trade paperback will have five issues. So that'll come up 2021 and hopefully we'll have the next arc done for 20, 22.
That's the goal.
Melissa: Oh, awesome. Okay. Yeah, I know. I know what it's like. I actually released. The book during the pandemic. And it was like cricket.
Kevin Joseph: Yeah. And you can't blame anybody. And also what I've tried to say to myself, more than anyone else's like, this is affecting everybody in the world. And if you can get through this, and the worst thing that happens is there was a little less energy for your book than you wanted.
Then [00:29:00] you are a lucky bastard.
Melissa: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, just to be black for us to even be able to do it. Right, right. Yeah. Well, not actually, that was another question I want to ask you cause you do tackle some heavy themes of hell and demons and sense. which I love because I also write about demons. and the concept of, of humans destroying themselves.
So, did you pull from current themes at all mean, was there a parallel to, you know, our current society or did that just sort of kind of happen in, in retrospect
Kevin Joseph: that very specific statement was probably me looking at the world and just.
in, in seeing the world for what it is right now and not really loving it. Yeah. And that was pre pandemic. you know, I just. I think that we, [00:30:00] as a human race are lovely and kind, and beautiful and disgusting and greedy and evil and conniving. And I just described to me, you know, it's like, I don't want to say, like, I'm a great person because everybody has strengths and everybody has weaknesses.
And we as humans. Boy when we show our weaknesses, it's pretty rough. And I think I was going through one of those moments when I wrote that particular part. And that's why I wanted lemon. Lamorah to be the person to say it because she's kind of the battle weary old general of the group, whereas chart's a little more bright-eyed and, and idealistic.
I didn't, I, I didn't want tart to say that I wanted lemon to say it.
Melissa: Yeah. And I've felt right with her saying that just based on what you've built with the characters. [00:31:00] So the other thing I wanted to talk about, because that's another thing I'm fascinated with is the story of Roanoke. And I've always been fascinated by that.
how did you, is that something that also interests you, you know, that whole mystery of it and you know, for using that as a setting and, and I, I won't talk about it too, too much because it's a later issue, but this setting itself and the concept of Roanoke, how did you go about that?
Kevin Joseph: My goal with tart is that if there is a mystery of the world, if I think I can come up with a plausible explanation, that supernatural forces were behind it.
It's fair game.
Kevin Joseph: truck lagoon, Roanoke, you know, there are some other things that, that I hopefully will touch on. And that is partially because I kind of like doing my little. Two days worth of research and going through a Roanoke and finding out where the [00:32:00] signs were and finding out what they think probably did happen, what you know.
And so that was fun for me. That was like Kevin getting his little history on the other goal is that if there's ancestral memory of like a supernatural being, I would like.
And, and why we all sort of know mermaids exists, but we've never seen one. So why is that? Why do they exist? But we haven't seen them. So it's kind of like, how are they hiding? What's their church story and kind of, we wrap those two things together a couple of times. And that's me having
Melissa: fun. Yeah. That's cool.
What do you, what do you think happened to Roanoke? That's your theory?
Kevin Joseph: I think the native American tribe probably either came over and attacked or probably came over and found six starving people and took them with them to [00:33:00] save their lives. I don't know which, but it was probably one of the native American tribes, you know, after a harsh winter and, and everybody was dying anyway is my guess.
Melissa: But yeah. Yeah, that sounds pretty proud of
Kevin Joseph: the true answers and tart nine. I mean, I know what happened, but I can't, I can't pretend that it's true.
Melissa: Right. Exactly. Well, now I had just been reading up on it again recently. And then when I, I saw it pop up in the issue, I was like, Oh, that's, you know, it's all that the coincidence synchronicity sometimes when you're researching something and then all of a sudden you start seeing it everywhere.
Kevin Joseph: Yeah. That's so weird. Right?
Melissa: Yeah, no, I love that. It's almost like you're on the, onto something or, you know, keep, keep reading about it. But, well, another character I wanted to ask you about, because it's a mystery and, you know, like aside just feel free to, tease it or whatever, but, will we find out more about the messenger?
Kevin Joseph: I think you will [00:34:00] definitely find out more about the messenger. Okay.
Melissa: And you're like, ah,
Kevin Joseph: I, I think, I think that I can say, if, if people are new to this, to this story, you know, we, we talk about heaven and hell. heaven has never really, Had a spot on the page. We know they exist, but there is one person who can move from heaven to earth, to hell.
And we call him the messenger and he's basically our version of death. so because he can move heaven to hell and time doesn't seem to, bother him in any which way, any way whatsoever. He is. The person who picks up souls and deliver them where they need to go. And he does have a part to play in our story.
Melissa: Okay. Got it. Yeah. It's, it's a really interesting part of the piece of the puzzle,
Kevin Joseph: right. I'm in now because Ludo draws him. So fucking setback. [00:35:00] Can I curse? I'm sorry. He draws on so sexy and beautiful. I just want to see them on the page. You know, like I, I just, I know I'm just riding him in the horse cause I get to see them.
Melissa: Yeah, no, your eyes definitely drawn to him for sure. And that's why I was like, I want to know more about this character. you know, so I'm glad to hear that he will have a backstory and stuff will come into fruition and future issues.
Kevin Joseph: It definitely, definitely stuff will come to fruition. We'll see if he tells me his backstory or not.
Melissa: Okay. Yeah. I know characters sometimes they don't cooperate.
Kevin Joseph: Yeah, yeah,
Melissa: yeah. another character is really fascinating is, I think, and let me see if I'm pronouncing this right. Is
Kevin Joseph: I pronounce it Q
Kevin Joseph: I am going to tell you that Ludo and I have only. done that by email and he named him. So I don't want to say you're wrong.
I'm going to say that I say cue and it could be K U I'm [00:36:00] not sure. Okay,
Kevin Joseph: Tart tart says cue in my, in my ear. I hear her say queue.
Melissa: Thank you. Okay. Yeah. And you never know, so I want to make sure I'm pronouncing it right. and so we'll, we will learn more about him too, and his backstory and how he came to be.
Kevin Joseph: I do believe there will be an issue that, that gives us a little more, insight into his backstory. Yes, I do. I do believe that will happen. The only way it doesn't happen as, you know, if we don't have the space and pages to do it, but I, I personally believe he deserves it and I want to do it.
Melissa: Yeah. Yeah.
I would love to definitely read more about him. It's very fascinating. Just the concept of it.
Kevin Joseph: That's awesome. Yeah, no, he's great. He's fun.
Melissa: Cool. So how many issues do you have trans and is there an ending, like, have you already thought about an ending or is it just sort of open open-ended at this point?
[00:37:00] Kevin Joseph: I, Ludo and I, when we decided to do this, we decided that we wanted a huge sprawling story with an end. And so we, we created an, About a 42 issue outline. Okay. and that was because we were ignorant of just how much work came into doing one comic book, much less 42. So about three years ago, we sat down and said, all right, what can we do to tell the same story with less with fewer issues?
And we're down to about 27 issues. So tarts story should finish. Around issue 26, 27, 28, depending on you know, how long those issues run when we start to actually create them.
Melissa: Okay. And you have a Kickstarter for the next issue and that's starting on Thursday,
Kevin Joseph: Thursday, November 5th. Yes. I don't know when, when the soul run, but, Thursday, November 5th, you know, I've [00:38:00] joked about the election.
I did not want a Kickstarter running, you know, on. Right now, there would be nobody who was interested in looking at it. And just so we're like, we'll wait until Thursday. We'll launch it. My, I figure, we either know who the next president is by Thursday, or we're not going to know by December anyway. So running it at any time is dangerous.
So we're just launching on Thursday. My wife did look at me today and go. Did you realize what you were doing? And I said, sorta
Melissa: the study is I, I have, I'm an author and I wrote a book and I thought, okay, well, I'm going to, and you know, of course, just not thinking clearly I originally, scheduled the release for November 3rd.
and you know, books. Yeah. Cause a lot of books come out on Tuesdays. It's sort of like the industry standard. So I'm just like, let me pick a Tuesday. That's right. You know, far enough in advance for me to get everything done. And so I had it scheduled and I was like, Oh my [00:39:00] God, what have I done? This is election Sunday.
And no one is going to pay any attention to my social media posts. So luckily I was able to change it and I, and it came out last year. Oh, fine. Yeah.
Kevin Joseph: Congratulations. That's cool.
Melissa: Thank you. But I was like, what has gone into, what are you thinking? So, yeah, I totally get that. And you know, I think Thursday though, people will be looking for something of a distraction.
Kevin Joseph: Anything else? Yeah. Either way, either way it goes, there's three ways it can go, you know, you know, I'm not going to get political assaults say more of the same change for Bush V Gore. Right too. you know, I'm not sure which of the three is, I know two of the three, I think are bad, but I'm not, like I said, I'm not going to get political on
Totally. Yeah. We both know. I, I can tell. Yeah, we're, we're on the same page here.
Kevin Joseph: Very possible. Somebody from South Florida and somebody from the West coast to [00:40:00] agree on this.
Melissa: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. we got, so let's use, there'll be a bust in Wednesday, but yeah, Thursday, I think we'll definitely be wanting to be like, okay, let's, let's have a distraction.
So I think it might actually benefit, you to have the, the Kickstarter, you know, start on Thursday and then, and then of course, it's just going to continue on until. You know, you reach your goals and everything. do you have any of, the perks sort of planned out? Like what are, what are some of the, the, the Kickstarter benefits?
Kevin Joseph: Special thing that we've done is an enamel pen that actually has tart acid as our, our lead pen. We've done already. you know, the cupcake symbol and we've done a lemon and a, and a gloom Tangerine. We wanted to save tart, tell something was a little more special. And we felt like finishing issue 12 was special.
So that's the big, special thing. But you know, we do meat and potatoes, Kickstarters, the comic [00:41:00] book, the enamel pens. We're going to have Virgin variants for people who like really special stop. Other than that, that's what we're making. We do one great thing though, is we've always. Print it out, many more issues than we're, we're actually sending in a Kickstarter.
So we still do have our, our, ketchup tier. So I think it's $60. You can get all 12 issues, in one package. So, and that includes shipping, which I know $60. That's still a lot of money, but, 12 first edition comics for 60 is isn't as bad as it was.
Melissa: No, not at all. Actually that's a really good deal. And then are they, do you have your comics available in hardback as well?
Kevin Joseph: We have a hardcover of issues, one through three, which will be available as an add-on, in the campaign, but, As a, because I've done comics on Kickstarter and we're at scout. we have a collection of [00:42:00] issues, one through three at scout, I'm sorry, issues one through seven at scout and that's trade paperback only.
I am hoping next year there might be a new, printing and we might try to do a hardcover, but I don't want to promise that because I'm a writer and not. Part of the publishing outfit, but I think there's a way we can do it, that getting a hard cover can help me and scout. So I'm going to try to, I'm going to try to, you know, argue that point on the, on the back end.
So hopefully we'll have a really nice hard cover next year. But I'm not sure.
Melissa: Yeah. Okay. Yeah. I'll definitely get the hardcover. I love, they just think it's so nice. That's for sure. Yeah. You can argue with that. You like, I have someone that wants to buy one. So, so what are your plans after Tyree, after you finished?
Do you have any other ideas that you're working on? Any projects that you can actually talk about?
Kevin Joseph: Oh, after turn I'm probably, I'm finally gonna watch dr. Who. [00:43:00] Oh, that's that's my reward. When we finished chart, I'm finally going to go back through and watch dr. Here. Cause I've never watched it. Ludo is a doctor who fan.
So all of the, the what's, the Neil Gaiman thing, the timey Wimy, Whatever that statement is all that comes from Ludo. And I'm just kind of bringing my back to the future and, Terminator time, travel knowledge to it. So that's, that's my reward. I'm going to watch dr. Who and I'm going to read Jeff Smith's arousal.
I, you know, I don't, there's not a book that will come after chart because I do dabble in other things, you know, it, you know, it takes Ludo three months to, to illustrate these because he's doing so much more work than I am. I have time to. Right. Other books with other artists. So like, David Bishop, and I did a book called that came out from source point press that, I'm [00:44:00] incredibly proud of.
And I would love for anyone to go find it at source point presses, website, you know, like I'll get books out as we go. But, but the goal, my literary career goal is to finish tart and it to be something that people that have been with us since the beginning, they look back and go, that was a journey that was worth going.
Melissa: Yeah. Oh, that's awesome. And you can buy tarts on your website, correct?
Kevin Joseph: Yes. I think it's a store in the catch all comics. but the easiest way to be honest, during the Kickstarter is just using the catch-up here. And getting whatever you want during it. You and I, in fact, it's a slightly better price, to be honest,
Melissa: it's a better deal.
Kevin Joseph: Not that I don't want you to go to the web store, but I mean, the Kickstarter is [00:45:00] one-stop shopping.
Melissa: Okay. And
Kevin Joseph: that's going to be, really easy to find, but if you go on my Twitter, it's, Kevin Joseph CMX. And I will, be tweeting about it just a little bit, come Thursday. So you're not going to miss it if you, if you come to Twitter.
and I apologize, I apologize. And in perpetuity because I will definitely be putting it out there.
Melissa: Okay. No. Perfect. And we can also put that in the show notes as well, also your Twitter and the website as well. Yeah. And then, just one last question, before I let you go enjoy the rest of your night. I like to ask this, to, Oh, comic book writers.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to do what you do?
Kevin Joseph: Oh, I, I hope that, excuse me, I'm all, I'm all for clipped. start small, the smaller, the better, because finishing something is always better than starting [00:46:00] something. Right. So, like I said, Ludo and I in our ignorance, you know, created a 42 issue outline.
what we should have created was a five page short. So, you know, really, really, really know that, we all think we have this Epic masterpiece that we want to write, and that's great. And there's nothing wrong with having that, but you can tell that Epic masterpiece with. 105 page shorts and you have a 500 page Epic, but those five paid shorts can be finished and shared and learned from, and you'll grow from them.
You'll grow from them so much more than an 80 page graphic novel that you only get 60 pages finished.
Melissa: Yeah. Excellent. That's good advice for everyone listening. Well, thank you so much for [00:47:00] chatting with me tonight.
Kevin Joseph: Well, thank you for reading the books. I mean, that's, that's what I'm in this for. you know, it's, we, we like to keep our nose above water with.
Some sales so that we can pay Ludo and, you know, and pay the internet fees, et cetera. But it's about meeting new readers and talking about the books. I I'd love it. So thank you for giving me time to chat about my book.
Melissa: Yeah, absolutely. Well, no, thanks for sharing with me because I always love finding new stories to dive into.
So now I'm excited. I'm going to check out the Kickstarter on Thursday, which everyone should go do. And you can also, as we said before, find tart at hedgehog comics dot prom, and yeah. Thank you so much. And I hope you have a wonderful night and, enjoy the day tomorrow
Kevin Joseph: as best
Melissa: with your sandwich.
Kevin Joseph: daughter's school gave them the day off and I just looked at her and I said, you're going to see dad. [00:48:00] Pretty stressed out tomorrow,
Melissa: right? Yeah. I think all of us, we're going to all be stress eating and probably drinking way too much.
Kevin Joseph: I'm sorry. I've got some Prosecco in the, in the fridge, just in case there's something to celebrate and I've got whiskey in case there's not
Melissa: a lot.
So funny. I literally have the same exact thing. Same exact thing. No joke. Yeah. Maybe I'll drink both
Kevin Joseph: coast to coast high five too, for that
Melissa: that's right. Yup. Awesome. Well, thank you so much. This has been spoiler country with Kevin Joseph tonight. Thanks so much.
Kevin Joseph: Oh my pleasure. Tell to tell those, tell those guys I miss them.
I will, for
Melissa: sure. I think they miss you too. All right. Thanks Kevin.
Kevin Joseph: Bye
Melissa: bye. [00:49:00]