Interview: Chris Welsh Of “Wart-The Comic”

August 13, 2015

Written by Capt McNeely

Georgia Division ZADF Twitter: @ZADF_ORG

WART

A bit about the book from it’s creator:

Wart is an original horror comic series starring Wart Bellamy, an unfortunate young fellow ripped from his reality and tossed into a mysterious, other-worldly ‘Asylum for the Belligerently Insane’. It’s written by Chris Welsh (from the UK) and drawn by Ammar Al-Chalabi (from The Netherlands).

There are monsters, cults, ghosts, rats, and a shady doctor in charge of the whole thing. Wart’s story takes him through multiple dimensions that threaten both his physical health and his crumbling sanity. Along the way he makes friends, enemies and gets incrementally closer to finding out just what the hell is going on.

The series is independently published, Lovecraft-influenced cosmic horror that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Our first two books have been incredibly well received, and we’ve just launched the Kickstarter to fund Book Three.

I was fortunate enough to be able to ask the writer of Wart, Chris Welsh, a few questions for this interview and he was gracious enough to provide me with some great answers.

Chris Welsh

Chris Welsh

STG How did you get your start in writing?

CW “There’s no secret to it really, I just started writing. The first thing I ever wrote was a comedy zombie novel, which I did at my desk in my first incredibly boring office job. I’d go in, spend an hour or so doing the bare minimum, then work on the novel until home time. I wouldn’t recommend doing this if you want a career in offices, but I’m glad I did it anyway. That gave me the bug and I’ve been writing (and learning how to write) ever since. Novels, screenplays, shorts, comics. Though novels have sort of fallen by the wayside recently in favour of comics…”

STG Who are some of your favorite writers?

CW “This could be a huge list, my tastes are varied and I’ll read anything, but I’ll try to keep it brief… Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams are huge influences on my work, along with Neil Gaiman, Rob Grant, Warren Ellis, Joe Hill, Matt Fraction, Kieron Gillen, Steve Niles, Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, and dozens of others I can’t think of right now.”

STG What made you want to write comics?

CW “I’m a big fan of them, and I love writing, so it seemed natural. I’d never really considered it before because I had no idea how to go about finding an artist, laying out the script, etc., so when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at it.”

STG What was the first comic that you remember reading?

CW “I read a lot of British kids’ comics like The Beano, Dandy, and loads of others that no longer exist. I used to get them every week and look forward to the huge yearly annuals they put out. It wasn’t until my mid-teens that I really got into Marvel stuff through Spider-man. At the moment I’m reading a lot of Image stuff, the quality of their output is insane.”

(* I have to agree, I am loving me some Image Comics right now too.)

STG What inspired you to write Wart?

CW “Basically… As a challenge to see if I could. Ammar (Wart’s artist) came to me with the base idea just as I was getting into a lot of Image titles – Walking Dead, Invincible, etc. – and a whole load of horror comics. I’d never written a comic before and wanted to find out if I could. Going to a few conventions as a fan also helped inspire me – I went to San Diego a few years ago, and it was all amazing, but it was Thought Bubble (an excellent UK convention) where I thought ‘Yep, I really want to come here with a comic and have a table’. This year I’ll be there, with a comic and a table! So that’s one thing crossed off the bucket list.”

STG How did Wart come to be?

CW “Ammar made a post on a ‘ComicBookCollaboration’ sub-Reddit looking for a writer. He was an artist with an idea but needed it fleshed out, and he was looking for writing samples. I had no comic scripts to send him so sent over some short stories. Out of all the replies he got he decided my style was the best fit and it all went from there. It took about a month of emailing back and forth to get a story we were both happy with.”

STG What can you tell us about Book Three of Wart?

CW “It’s the end of the first ‘story arc’ but by no means the end of the story. Sort of like a season finale. The culmination of everything that happened in books one and two. Things get stranger, monsters reveal themselves, and poor Wart’s life generally continues on its steady downward spiral. He does meet some new potential allies though, so it isn’t all doom and gloom. Just mostly.”

STG Will there be more books in the series to come?

CW “Absolutely. The plan with Wart is to continue putting out a book or two a year until either we get bored of making it, or people get bored reading it. Or if we come up with a killer definitive ending. Whichever of those things happens first.”

STG If you could give a piece of advice to aspiring comic creators, what would it be?

CW “The only reliable way to become a comic creator is to create a comic. If you’re a writer, write that script. Artists, get drawing sequentials. If you can do both, excellent, get started. I’d also suggest that you’re much better off creating your own comic from scratch – Marvel already have people working on Spider-man, that job is taken, so try something different and try to stand out. With crowdfunding, digital platforms, and the amount of comic cons happening, it’s easier than ever. But, having said that, it’s still a ton of hard work. If you don’t love it, you’ll give up sooner rather than later, so work on something you love.”

STG Where can we find more information about the Kickstarter campaign and the Wart series?

CW “All the usual places. The Kickstarter campaign is here and we’ve already passed our target. There’s still a few days to jump onboard and get some comics though. And those stretch goals to aim for!”

Facebook page is https://m.facebook.com/WartComic

Twitter is https://www.twitter.com/WartComic

“And most importantly, our site is https://www.wartcomic.com where you can read almost all of the story in webcomic form (except the exclusive chunks only available in the book editions).”

STG Where is it available for purchase?

CW “It’s available from our site www.wartcomic.com, digitally from Comixology here, and directly from us at one of the many cons we attend.”

Our schedule for the remainder of the year is:

  • August 16th – MEGACON, CARLISLE
    August 29th – MANCSTERCON, MANCHESTER
    September 5th – ICECON, BIRMINGHAM
    September 19th/20th – N.I.C.E., BEDFORD
    October 11th – COMIC CON LEICESTER
    October 24th – NOTTINGHAM COMIC CON
    November 14th/15th – THOUGHT BUBBLE, LEEDS
  • December 12th – CARDIFF EXPO, CARDIFF “

WART2

Please take a look at the Wart-The Comic website, their Kickstarter, Facebook, Twitter, and Comixology pages and support the project so we can see what happens to Wart in the next book of this Cosmic Horror Comic series. Also, if you happen to be able to attend one of the cons listed above; stop by, say hello, and tell them that ZADF.ORG sent you.

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