Beyond Ink and Paint: An interview with David Byrne

In late February, the Palm Beach County Convention Center was filled with freaks, geeks, comic creators, and fans of all walks of life to experience Comic Con Revolution.  This one day event served as the first “official” comic con in the Palm Beaches, and as such was able to bring in a large talent pool the sights of which had never been seen in our area.

One of these talented individuals is David Byrne. Byrne, who is currently riding a wave of popularity with his novel “Shady Place,” recently shared some of his insight about writing, the world, and life in general.

 How did you get started in the comic book industry? I’ve been a writer my whole life, but was getting nowhere with screenplays, after I adapted my novel Shady Place into a novel and self-published I took the plunge and wrote and published my first comic The Couch.

Can you tell us a little more about what you do? I’m a writer first and foremost, screenplays, novels, and comics. Being self-published means I wear a lot of other hats though as well, most importantly publisher and marketer.

What is your favorite part about being an artist? I have constant need to create, so it really fulfills that urge, but the greatest feeling in the world is having others enjoy something you created.

How do you get your inspiration? I get my inspiration from everything around me, life events, stories from others, tv and movies, you name it. I often see or hear something and think, but what if this happened or what if that happened, then my mind is off and running. A lot of my work includes comedic elements, which I can draw my sense of humor back to books like Catch-22 and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and shows like The Simpsons and South Park.

Comic book inspired movies are all the rage nowadays. Of all the characters you’ve created, which one would you like to see come alive on the silver screen? The Couch is a comic about a therapist who becomes the psychiatrist to superheroes, his first patient is Wrecking Ball, a complex character who questions why he’s even a hero at all, I’d love to see him on the big or small screen – in fact, I’m working on a short film now involving one of their sessions.

What is the funniest thing to happen to you in your career? Sitting at a yard sale recently, we put out some of my books just to stir up conversation and maybe grab a few sales. I heard a shriek as a woman approached and shouted, “I love Shady Place!” It was pretty funny and felt amazing.

If you could be in charge of one of the big comic book publishers for one day, what would you change? I’d put an end to, or at least curb, the insanity of all the variant covers – more than one title over the last few years have offered more than 20 (!) covers for a single issue.

Are you enjoying your time in South Florida? We were only able to come down for the show, but enjoyed it immensely.

What is your next big project? The Couch is ongoing, so issues will continue to arrive about once a quarter, Shady Place is getting a sequel (A Shadier Place), and I’m working on another comic that I’m not quite ready to share yet, but can say it involves vampires!

 

We’d like to thank David Byrne for taking the time out of his schedule to chat with us, as well as our special correspondent Mike Bragel for helping to get the ball rolling by covering the events and attractions that were Comic Con Revolution.

We hope to profile more artists who were involved in Comic Con Revolution in the coming months, including the creative team behind Tart. Stay tuned!