What To Expect At SDCC: Devil's Due Entertainment
Somehow we found someone who is legit cooler than us (I know it's a sad day). Yep, he's got the credentials, at least for his job anyway. Just featured by CNBC as having one of the coolest jobs in 2013, and somehow Josh Blaylock found the time to speak with us about Devil's Due Entertainment and what they have in store for us this year at SDCC.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
Everywhere. Personal life experiences, classic mythology, research of history, technological innovations. It all gets stirred around in the subconscious and then somehow ideas come out.
What is your favorite work you have done?
I'm very proud of the package we put together with Yumiko: Curse of the Merch Girl, collaborating with MURS on an amazing, unique hip hop version of a rock opera. My most favorite to work on on a regular basis would currently have to be Mercy Sparx, though, which is why I'm so glad the readers demanded we bring it back.
What current work are you most excited about?
Mercy Sparx - She is heaven's involuntary bounty hunter - a reluctant heroine caught in the system. Mercy Sparx's natural form is that of a classic red, horned devil girl, but she lives amongst us as a human, secretly working for Heaven. Her job is to hunt down angels who's gone off the grid and to retrieve them before everyone in Heaven's realm knows there's a problem. When not hunting, she's usually passing time in dive bars, taking her frustrations out with shots of whiskey and some punk rock to wash it down with.
I'm fortunate enough to say more of the same. I do have a lot of interests, though - I can't stop researching, learning, and experiencing them. I'd love to be able to split off into different clones that can devote 100% of their time to each different subject. A weird combination of creating comic books, alternative ancient history research, fringe sciences, natural health breakthroughs, financial education and building passive income, self-improvement, etc.
What do you typically offer at your booth at SDCC? Is there typically any exclusive items?
There's always something - everything from variant covers to exclusive t-shirts to VIP party passes.
What other uses have people found for your designs?
I've had books I've published used on everything from T-shirts to bootleg toys in Argentina, and it's always a trip. I think one of the coolest things is seeing the characters I created for G.I. Joe: Kamakura and Zanya, made into toys and in the case of the former, on some cartoon episodes as well. And a little off topic, but equally rewarding, is hearing songs from the Yumiko: Curse of the Merch Girl hardcover on the Pandora app.
What is your favorite autograph or collectible you’ve picked up at a convention?
One time at the Book Expo America, a total industry show where it's not open to the general public, Kevin Eastman was sitting next to our booth for the entire show. He was completely available to chat, and was so cool as to sit there for a half hour and draw me the most bad ass illustration of Leonardo - a complete original. Kevin's art was always some of my favorite growing up reading TMNT comics, and to have that is about as cool as it gets.
What is the best SDCC or convention moment you have had?
It's hard to narrow it down. Having Kevin Spacey on our panel was up there. The PopCult party in 2009 was amazing - paid for by Coke Zero and full of about 800 people enjoying live art, live music, DJs, and drinks. But really, it was probably those early days, hustling our asses off to sell G.I. Joe comics. The first year I went there, before G.I. Joe #1 came out, I didn't have money to live on after returning home. I had 13 people crashing in one big hotel suite to keep our costs down as much as possible (a lot of big names in the industry now actually, when we were all slumming it, ha). Then we made like $12,000 that weekend and it was enough to get by until the first issues dropped.