Alan Smithee

Interview – Claudio Sanchez

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There are few times in one’s life where they get to talk to one of their idols and have that feeling of awe kept intact. Today, I’m proud to present you one such occasion in my life as I recently got a chance to question Claudio Sanchez, the owner and president of Evil Ink Comics and front man for the insanely talented group Coheed & Cambria.

I feel lucky that Claudio took time out of his extremely busy schedule to answer a few questions I had concerning the comic series and the current tour the band is on. There’s enough here to whet the appetite of The Amory Wars fans and Coheed & Cambria fans alike…so without further ado, I give you the interview:

WatchPlayRead: Mr. Sanchez, I have to say that I’ve been enjoying the comic immensely over the entire run of IKSSE3 and with the latest issue (#9) out this week we got to see what I think will be the beginning of the Velorium Camper arc. Are you guys going to dedicate a few issues to the happenings with Al the Killer (personally my favorite character besides Jesse in the universe)?

Claudio Sanchez: Absolutely. Al will play a significant role throughout the remainder of the series. There are some pretty brutal reveals in issue 10 where Al is concerned. He’s become one of our favorite characters as well. There’s something about a likable sociopath…

WPR: I know that SSTB ran only 10 comics and yet we’re already at #9 for this series and there’s still so much more to cover! Considering the series is set for a 12 issues run, do you think there will be enough time to wrap up the IKSSE3 storyline in just 3 issues?

CS: The IKS series was outlined very meticulously before we started working on the scripts, so yeah, I think everyone will be excited at the way we wrap it up in issue 12. Also, the final issue will be extended to a 26 page mega issue to let the action breathe.

WPR: The latest trade was just released from BOOM! Studios collecting issues 5-8 of IKSSE3 in which we got to see the prosecution and execution of Wilhelm Ryan. Besides the follow up to these scenes that we get to see at the end of issue #8 and the stuff in #9, how good did it feel as the writer to see one of the most villainous characters to ever come about finally get his justice even if only temporary?

CS: It’s weird, but after spending so much time in your head with the characters, whether good or evil, it’s hard to ever feel like you want to let them go. Even someone like Ryan, who has basically terrorized all the other creations issue after issue…he still occupies a certain space in Heaven’s Fence that felt empty for the short time he was gone. Maybe I just identify with the evil characters, haha.

WPR: The story of Sizer is well known to the fans of the series, and I personally think that almost every male reader of the series can relate to a ‘son’ seeking his father’s affection and approval. Considering that most of the characters in The Amory Wars are based on someone in your life, I was wondering what real-life inspiration there was for the character?

CS: All the characters have some personal truth behind them that helps fuel their place inside the Amory Wars story. Sizer is certainly no different, I think all young males require an amount of attention from their adult counterpart. I’m sure I felt the same way at points in my young life, but to give you specific examples would be to go against everything the Amory Wars stands for in it’s relation to my life.

WPR: Bringing on Aaron Kuder to do the artwork for the series was a bit of a surprise to many of us fans of the series who grew accustomed to the artwork of Chris Burnham, but he’s proven himself to be just as good if not better in some regards. It seems that the art team has transitioned just fine, was the transition easy for the writing team as well?

CS: The transition with Aaron was seamless from day one. He’s taken the world that Chris helped to illustrate and made it his own, while easing the fans into the change. I love what he’s brought to the series and really become a bigger fan of his with every page. He’s an awesome part of the Amory Wars team and a good dude too.

WPR: We loved Year of the Black Rainbow’s novel, do you and Peter David have any other novelizations in the works?

CS: If all goes as planned, we will move into the novelizations of the other story parts, while simultaneously moving forward with the graphic series counterparts. The order of those is still yet to be determined.

WPR: So after we see the end of IKSSE3 in issue #12, are you guys currently in works to make a Good Apollo Vol 1 comic series as well or are you going to jump straight to volume 2 considering that volume 1 (illustrated by Christopher Shy) was already made into a graphic novel?

CS: At the moment, I’m trying decide whether to revisit GA1 or start the novelization for SSTB. I would like to see both happen, but time is going to dictate what comes first.

WPR: Your guys’s tour for the Neverender Second Stage Turbine Blade has kicked, are you guys going to be doing the setlist straight from your first album or are there some surprises in the works?

CS: We’re doing an opening set with some songs we’ve never played before and others repurposed for acoustic. Then we do SSTB straight through and a couple surprise encores. I think its a really full setlist. We’ve been having a blast so far.

We’d like to thank Claudio for taking some time to answer a few questions and look forward to meeting up with him when he comes through Salt Lake City next week on the 3rd of May.

For more information on The Amory Wars comic series, check our review of the latest issue right here on WPR, on the BOOM! Studios site, or even through the Evil Ink Comics Facebook page.

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