If you're one of the many who have been enjoying DC's THE FLASH series by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato then you may want to give FOSTER a shot. While the upcoming creator owned book may have nothing to do with speedsters in red tights, it will be Buccellato's very first creator owned project. The story is nothing like a superhero book and is more horror genre than anything else. We recently caught up with Buccellato to talk about his new book and to find out what its all about. Check out the transcript of our interview as well as four exclusive pages from the book, below.
Comic Vine: Where did you get the idea for this story?
Brian Buccellato:The inspiration for the story came from a conversation I had before I began co-writing THE FLASH for the New 52 re-launch in mid 2011. A writer that I really respect recommended that I write about what is important in my life. This was more than just the well-known “write what you know” axiom; he suggested that I tackle themes that resonate in my current life. Well, anyone that knows me knows that for over eleven years, the MOST important thing in my life is my son, Paris. So, I decided to write about fatherhood… and specifically about a father’s need to protect his child. From there, all I did was marry that theme with something I have been wanting to do for a LONG TIME -- write a story that takes place in the world of New York and Los Angeles crime movies from the late sixties and the mid seventies.
But as far as the horror/sci-fi element in the story, who knows where I pulled the dwellers from. Maybe it was drawn from my love of The Planet of the Apes crossed with all theTwilight books/movies that I never read/saw.
CV: The story opens with a flash-back, is Foster the child in the beginning of the story?
BB: Yup, that was totally Foster as a kid in the beginning. Poor guy not only saw a monster, but had some pretty monstrous parents growing up. My intent there was to set the tone for his life with just that one snapshot of his childhood.
CV: What can you tell us about these Monsters? Where did they come from and how long have they been around?
BB: Not much is known about the DWELLERS, since humans don’t “officially” acknowledge their existence. There is no record of their origin, but some believe that they are supernatural creatures that trace their beginnings to Neanderthal man. What IS known about them is that they don’t get along with ANYONE (humans or other dwellers) so they form only the crudest of societies. These primal misanthropes prefer to live in the shadows so they can do the THREE things that they love to do: kill, eat and have sex.== TEASER ==
CV: The first issue of FOSTER tells us a lot about the central character without laying it all out explicitly. Although he is flawed, he still seems like-able. Why take that particular approach? Why give your main character an addiction? What are the advantages?
BB: There are two archetypes of hero that interest me personally, the super-heroic kind that does what’s right NO MATTER what the personal cost to him (like my main man, Barry Allen)… and the flawed hero that has greatness and heroism hidden inside him, buried underneath tragic life circumstances. For the story that I am telling, Foster just naturally fit better as the latter kind. As I reveal more about his past, it will become clear that Foster’s journey is actually one of redemption. There is a reason he decides to take on the responsibility of protecting Ben, even though it’s pretty obvious that he’s not built for it. Unfortunately for Foster, the more obstacles that he has in his way, the more compelling his journey will be. And while his addiction is an advantage from a storytelling perspective, it isn’t some arbitrary choice. His alcoholism was born out of traumatic life experiences, which include an abusive childhood and him being a war veteran.
CV: What can you tell us about Trina? Will she return to the story?
BB: All I can tell you about Trina is that she has struggled with many of the same demons as Foster. Beyond that, everyone will have to wait until at least issue #2 to see her return.
CV: If you could sum up Foster's character in three words what would they be?
BB: TRAGIC. BUT. HOPEFUL.
CV: How much of Foster's past will be coming back to haunt him throughout the series?
BB: His past will continue to haunt him throughout. Even though he has the best intentions, he can never truly escape the pain and the fear that he has carried all his life. His past will motivate AND handicap him. But in the end, his past may also be the key to his and Ben’s salvation.
CV: Tell us a little bit about the creative process; how much input did artist Noel Tuazon have on the development of the story itself and the characters?
BB: Well, the story was completely formed and issue #1 was written before I was lucky enough to be introduced to Noel. As far as the process goes, I write full scripts with panel breakdowns and I include tons of reference photos for him. I also designed the characters and have very specific ideas about the time and place. But, that said, he has the freedom to interpret the script in his layouts, and at times will even ADD panels to help pace the story. Overall, I think he is doing a fantastic job and I’m very fortunate to have on the book.
CV: How many issues do you currently have planned? The first issue is set for a January release, when do you plan to see issue # 2 hit store shelves?
BB: My hope is that this can be an ongoing series. I conceived it as one, but the industry being what it is, even the best intentions can get derailed. I am realistic about my place in comics and that my little group of fans may not be enough to carry this on long term. Even so, I am absolutely committed to doing SIX ISSUES, which will complete the first story arc. I’m printing a special edition of 500 numbered copies in time for the Arizona Con in January 2012, and plan to solicit the series through Diamond shortly, thereafter.
CV: What is it like as a creator to have your very own story on comic store shelves?
BB: Honestly, I can’t answer that just yet. This will be my VERY FIRST creator-owned project in the stores. I imagine that it will be REALLY satisfying… but I’ll let you know how it goes. You wanna buy a copy or twelve?
The first issue of FOSTER is published by Dog Year and is set for release sometime in January, 2012. This will be Brian's very first venture into creator owned comics. You can also check out more of his work on DC's FLASH series. What do you think of FOSTER #1? Do you think you will be checking it out?