Walt Flanagan talks Cryptozoic Man and Tell ‘Em Steve Dave

CryptozoicMan01-Cov-Flanagan-TempWalter Flanagan and Bryan Johnson have once again teamed up to produce their third comic book project.

The Tell ‘Em Steve Dave, and Comic Book Men stars, who previously brought us Karney and the brilliant War Of The Undead, have once again put pen (and pencil) to paper to create a truly original and captivating mini-series for Dynamite comics, called Cryptozoic Man.

If their past projects are anything to go by, then this is going to be something truly special. Johnson is a wonderful storyteller, and Flanagan’s art is second to none. 

As friends of iconic indie filmmaking legend Kevin Smith, Bryan Johnson and Walter Flanagan are certainly not new to the world of entertainment. As well as having featured in the majority of Smith’s movie back catalogue, they are two thirds of the wildly successful podcast, Tell ‘Em Steve Dave, which they host with their former fire fighting, turned cat collecting, Impractical Joker friend, Bryan ‘BQ’ Quinn.

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Tell ‘Em Steve Dave, was such a hit that a reality TV show loosely based on the podcast was created. AMC’s Comic Book Men made its onscreen debut last February, and centres around the staff of Kevin Smith’s comic book shop ‘Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash’, where manager Walter Flanagan and Bryan Johnson are joined by fellow podcasters and ‘Stash’ employees, Ming Chen and Michael Zapcic. Together they look to buy interesting pieces for the store, come up with adventurous ways of advertising and making money, as well annoying the hell out of Ming.

It was during this show that the concept for Cryptozoic Man was introduced, in an episode which shows the guys pitch the idea, with the help of a certain Stan Lee, to Dynamite Comics. With Crytozoic Man now released, I was lucky enough to have a little chat about the comic with artist and co-creator Walter Flanagan.

 

NICK: For those, who have never seen Comic Book Men, or heard Tell ‘Em Steve Dave, could you please tell us a little bit about the Cryptozoic Man?

WALT: Cryptozoic Man is a comic book about a father who will go to any lengths to find his missing daughter… even becoming a patchwork creation made of various creatures of legend… The Loch Ness monster, Bigfoot and the Jersey Devil.

NICK: How did you come up with the concept?

WALT: It’s an odd origin. I picked up the complete Plastic Man cartoon series from the eighties on DVD at a dollar store. The DVD sat unopened for weeks. When I finally watched the first disc there was this villain called Little Foot who fought Plastic Man, he was half-man half-yeti. I was smitten with that concept so I thought, ‘Well, why not add some more legendary monsters to that?’ Then the name Cryptozoic Man came to me almost instantly.

NICK: You have been friends with Bryan Johnson since childhood and also paired up on previous comic projects War Of The Undead and Karney. What is it like to work together as close friends on a project such as this?

WALT: It is the best. It’s so fun to work with a guy who is like a brother to me. It’s very rewarding.

NICK: Being a Dynamite book, can we expect a number of variant covers? 

WALT: A few. I actually loved the “negative” cover the crew came up with at Dynamite for the first issue. But I don’t believe there will be variants at all for issues 2-3 or 4… so not that many variants at all.

NICK: How much input did fellow Comic Book Men Mike and Ming actually have in the project, and with their new found fame as Comic Book Men, can you see them creating their own book some time soon? 

WALT: Ming and Mike helped in so much as bouncing ideas off of and whatnot. Actually Mike has a great idea for a comic project. I love it so much, I wish I had thought of it!

NICK: The book is a four part mini-series, but are there any plans for an on-going run if the book proves to be a hit?

WALT: Regular series? Not sure about that… a follow up mini? Maybe? But that’s out of my hands. Dynamite would be the people to ask that question. 

NICK: Can we expect Comic Book Men on UK television anytime soon. If and when this happens, could we see the Comic Book Men at a UK convention?

WALT: I don’t know if or when the show will air in the UK. But I hope so! As far as a con appearance from the guys… maybe? I don’t fly though so I’m probably out, but the guys would love it I imagine. 

NICK: You got to draw Batman and a number of characters from the Bat universe on the two books that you did with your good friend Kevin Smith (Batman Cacophony & Batman: The Widening Gyre), but is there any character/series that you’d love to draw on?

WALT: Yeah, I’d love to do a Werewolf by Night mini-series…and Swamp Thing. One of my favourite characters from my youth was the Werewolf by Night. It’d be as big a thrill for me drawing that character as drawing Batman, believe it or not. I love the Jack Russell character so much. 

NICK: What can we next expect from Walter Flanagan and Bryan Johnson, as a comic creating team?

WALT: Next? Not sure… hopefully something.

NICK: For all the Tell ‘Em Steve Dave (TESD) out there, Making Hay III has been teased, but after the I Sell Comics (ISC) effort, is it still going to happen? 

WALT: The plan is to do it… it’ll happen… soon.

NICK: Will TESD be returning to the UK anytime soon?

WALT: Space monkeys will before TESD does. 

Cryptozoic Man hit the shelves this week, but if you missed out, or would like to get your hands on any Comic Book Men, Tell ‘Em Steve Dave and Kevin Smith merchandise, then get on over to jayandsilentbob.com. If for some crazy reason you have never listened to Tell ‘Em Steve Dave, it is available for free on iTunes and Smodcast.com. While you’re there, why not check out another of the brilliant Smodco Network’s podcasts; “There’s so many to choose from.”

 

 

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