Following the recent review of The Cold War #1, (go check the review section), we caught up with writer / creator Quinton Miles to discuss aliens among us, self publishing and competing on the world market of Comixology:-
Comic Crusaders: Hi Quinton, thanks for taking the time to talk to me. Can you tell us a little about QAM Comics, the inspiration behind it? How it differs from other indie publishers?
Quinton Miles: QAM Comics launched in 2013 when artist Andres Quezada and I decided to self-publish our debut series, Template, after it was initially passed on by publishers. At that point, we really just wanted to get the series out there to see how it would do, so that was all the inspiration there was behind it. Template wound up becoming one of the best-selling Comixology Submit titles for 2013 and 2014. The one thing that immediately set us apart from other indie publishers at the start was all of our comics using Comixology’s Guided View Native format. The Cold Wave is a departure from that, making it my first regular format comic series.
CC: What was your first comic that you read/ purchased?
QM:I can’t even remember the actual first comic I read, but I know it was DC. Growing up on a military base in Germany, the Army catalogues used to sell bundles of assorted current comics and that was how I first got into them. The first actual comic I bought myself was Spider-Man #37, right around the end of Maximum Carnage. The adage of every comic being someone’s first was very true there since it was my first Marvel comic. Needless to say I had no idea what was going on, but I knew Spider-Man and Carnage looked cool so I guess that was enough.
CC: What is it about the comic book medium that interests you over other types of storytelling media?
QM: Compared to other visual mediums, comics are the absolute best at being able to tell the kind of story you want without all of the “cooks in the kitchen”. At this level, it’s the writer and artist, sometimes an editor, and that’s it. The fact that I’m publishing my own stuff means I don’t have to get permission from anybody else to do my stuff. That’s awesome. Not to say going through a publisher is bad because it isn’t, but in terms of creator-owned I’d much rather control my own destiny, put it out into the world first and go to them later if I think it could grow further in print.
CC: The “aliens among us” is an age-old part of sci-fi; yes I am old enough to remember The Invaders (a Quinn Martin Production!). How is The Cold Wave unique?
QM: The Cold Wave is an alien story on the surface, but that’s really just a Trojan horse for me to be able to tell a variety of stories about humanity. Or more importantly, how we really act and treat each other when we don’t think anybody is watching. Most “aliens among us” stories or alien stories in general play up the invasion and paranoia aspects, or just go all out on spectacle, and I don’t plan on doing that. Even when things get intense, this will be a very grounded series even as the sci-fi aspects evolve.
CC: Of all the “aliens among us” stories, which is your favourite and why?
QM: As crazy as this sounds, I don’t think I have a definitive favourite. But I definitely consume my fair share of them. Doctor Who, Alien Nation and V (both versions) come to mind immediately. You brought up The Invaders, but that was before my time (heh!) On the comics side, Dark Horse’s Resident Alien series was an influence on The Cold Wave so I’d probably have to go with that. Like our story, the main alien isn’t out to invade the planet or anything. He’s stranded and just trying to get by, helping out his town as a doctor along the way.
CC: Damon seems quite flexible within his role. How are his self defined versions of the rules going to come into play, especially as it seems that he is starting an involvement of his own?
QM: I don’t want to risk spoiling the story here since Damon’s perspective is the core of it, but I’ll say this. To him, the mission comes before all. As the first arc plays out, a lot of the drama is going to come from how he can get involved in situations while allowing them to progress how they naturally would have had he not. It’s a fine line to walk, but it’s been fun as hell to write.
CC: From a small book point of view, how hard is to compete with the Big Two, or, do you just worry about other small publishers?
QM: If you’re on Comixology, which we are, you’re competing with everybody whether you like it or not. In that case, all you can really do is put your best foot forward and hope the audience recognizes the effort. Anything else is out of my control so I don’t worry about it too much.
CC: What’s next for The Cold Wave and future books from QAM?
QM: The Cold Wave’s initial arc will be three issues, and I’m waiting on the response to see if we go past that. I’ve got another unannounced series launching this year that I’ll be able to talk about soon. Aside from those, the last three issues of Template’s second season, entitled The Binary Code, are still in the works and I hope to get those out this year as well.
Sounds like a busy year ahead! Good luck with the books and drop us a line with that unannounced book. We would love to speak to you about it nearer the time.
For more information on The Cold Wave, check out the review in the Reviews section and log onto Comixology to purchase the first issue.