We interviewed James O’Barr today at the Albuquerque Comic Expo. For those who don’t know James O’Barr, he is the original creator of The Crow character and comic book. He started working on The Crow in 1981. It took 15 years for it to be published. He is currently working on a new a project called SunDown that is a gothic western. It will be a motion comic first then a published book after that. It is fully painted, with full anamorphic panels, music and sound effects, so it will look like an old spaghetti western. It will come out in 10 issues for the iPad first. James said “It is closer to film than any other motion comic I have seen.”
Of course we had to ask to questions about The Crow. We asked, what originally prompted you to create The Crow comic book? James said “I had a lot of personal issues I had to deal with and it just seemed a lot more productive to get it out on paper than be self-destructive. Kind of self-help theory.”
Did you ever think it, while you were trying to get the crow published, it would have turned into the cult phenomenon it turned into? “No, no, it was more like my diary. I never really thought of getting it published until it was costing me a lot of money for the materials and supplies. 20 years ago, before Photoshop and that stuff, using zip tone and duo shape board and it got pretty expensive to do. I thought there would be an audience for it but I never thought it would be assimilated into the main stream like it has. It did take 15 years for it, I guess I was ahead of the curve, before Goth kind of hit the main stream.”
What prompted you to put this story into comic book form? “Because film was too expensive, I would have liked to make a film and in fact I originally sketched it out in story boards but film is the only artistic medium where you need a finance backer and there is the fact that I don’t work well with others, so it was just easier to do, where I have a complete control over everything.”
If you were a fan on the other side of the aisle, who would you want to see? “Bernie Wrightson, he’s one of the old school guys. Um it’s like everyone in there owes something to him, if they don’t realize it. There is a third generation that has borrowed from him.”
After talking to James, we now have a better insight into The Crow comics. If you are interested in meeting James he will be appearing at the Albuquerque Comic Expo June 25th and June 26th. To find James O’Barr’s website click here.