My name is Michael Bracco and I am a Baltimore based artist and writer. I have been making and publishing comics since 2007 and have been drawing crazy robots and monsters and screen printing them onto tee shirts since then too.
Right now I am working on a book called The Creators. It is a modern-day science fiction that focuses on young people who can bring their imaginations to life with their drawings and explores what happens when their creations go horribly wrong. On one level, it is a way for me to explore an intense social experiment through comics…on another it’s a great excuse to draw crazy kaiju monsters destroying the world under the control of teenagers.
How did the ideas for NOVO and THE CREATORS come to you? When did you decide you were going to pursue the ideas?
All of my ideas come from me asking what I consider the big question: What if? Novo is the story of an immortal alien boy who is constantly being killed and brought back in different scenarios. He skips around watching different civilizations being tarnished by conflict, greed and hatred. It was really just me asking what if we could change how we deal with conflict. The creators explores the ‘what if’ scenario of how the world would deal with its children if they became the most powerful force in the world.
Both stories use escapism fantasy to explore real issues which is how I deal with the real world most of the time anyway. I find it’s where my best ideas come from
What is your approach to creating? Walk us through your process…
It starts with an idea that I usually get in the car while commuting to work. I’ll turn on the dictation app in my phone and then start talking like a maniac. Once I sit down and make sense of all of the rambling and auto corrected nonsense, I’ll start outlining a story and doing character sketches. Then I will lock myself in a room away from all distraction and write a script. From their I will do thumbnails and draw the book page by page in my sketchbook. That way I can keep the work portage and work on it anywhere at the drop of a hat. The hand-inked and lettered pages then get scanned and if the book is colored, that is done in photoshop. From there it gets posted on-line or sent to a printer!
What separates your project/s from the countless amount of projects out there?
I hope there is a lot that sets me apart from the pack but if I had to point out one thing in particular I think that my books, which usually are about young people, are not written to connect to a particular age group. I think they speak to the different aspects of the young person in all of us; the one who was sad, lonely, passionate, full of hope and ambition.
What form are you publishing in? Who is the publisher? How did you come to that decision?
I’ve published or have had my work published in many forms. Novo was published through Alterna comics and The Creators has had some parts of it self-published and all of it put on the web for free. Some of the decisions were based off of the opportunities put in front of me and some were made for other, more intentional reasons. When it comes down to it though, I really just wanted to get my work out there to as many eyes as possible.
As a creator, how do you want readers to remember your stories?
My favorite books, movies, comics, etc., have always been the ones that were a solid mix of fun and social potency and I really hope I can create books that people genuinely enjoy that make them think.
Who are the creators that inspire you?
If we’re talking comics then the 2 people who have inspired me most are Ronin and DKR era Frank Miller and Brian K Vaughan. Their work gave me something to passionately read and something to reach for. That said, comics aren’t really what makes me want to tell stories. I am a movie person through and through and it’s the Sci-fi stuff that I have obsessively taken in since childhood that makes me want to build worlds, create species and weave crazy yarns.
What is on your current “must read” list?
I know everyone is saying it but SAGA is so damn good.
Do you have advice for other creators or people looking to become creators?
1. The best way to learn how to make comics is to make comics. practice and integrity in your craft are the only way you will ever create something worth creating.
2. The comics world is a community. Your fellow comic creators are your family…NOT your competition, love them, learn from them and take an interest in what they do and they will return the favor.
CREATORS: Creatorscomic.com (The Creators is also available at Tapastic: http://tapastic.com/
NOVO: The best place to find Novo is at Spaghettikiss.com or Alternacomics.com