By: Danny Bell
April’s Spotlight is on Satine Phoenix, a Los Angeles based comic book creator and artist, whose latest comic, New Praetorians, has just released its second graphic novel with the third expected to be out by the summer.
Danny Bell: What was the first book or series that really attracted you to comic books?
Satine Phoenix: Bloom County. I was obsessed as a little girl. I was familiar with other comics and funnies but for some reason, the mature content and social commentary really wound me up. I would read the same collections over and over. Berke Breathed is a genius. I’ve collected probably three quarters of all of the books. He stopped making them for a while but has come back and you can follow him on Facebook.
DB: How do you choose who to partner with for your projects?
SP: I’m a work for hire kind of person so pretty much anyone who wants to do a project with me and has the cash to follow through is who I work with. That’s freelance life. My personal project, New Praetorians, was started because of another project I was working on with RK Syrus. We met over World of Warcraft. When we started talking about what comics we wanted to write we began with the things we had in common that we loved. We both love the same movies and comics and TV shows so it was easy to make something we both wanted.
DB: There are always going to be great comic books that fly under the radar. Who do you feel is the indie creator whose work excites you the most?
SP: Kabuki has always been a favorite. Written and illustrated by David Mack. It’s been an inspiration since I was in college. Most people know of his work on Daredevil and now with Fight Club but the Kabuki series is one that is really unique. It has evolved as the artist has evolved. The styles have changed with each volume. I only read trade collections or graphic novels. That series has been out for quite a while.
A new series that I love is Empty Zone. Jason Shawn Alexander is the creator. He is a painting master who paints these enormous 8ft painting and also does comics. He’s done Batman and Hellraiser and now working on the Empty Zone series. It’s gritty and Cyberpunk and the art… oh man the art.
Both of these have strong female lead characters. That’s just something I am attracted to personally because I feel like a strong female character. But more than loving these stories because of the females, I love the stories because they are rich and dynamic and full of life. It takes a lot of work to bring a story to life, to have it linger in the reader’s imagination. I hope to one day leave that kind of lingering emotion with what I do. I admire these gentlemen for their mad storytelling skills.
DB: What advice can you give new indie creators?
SP: DO BY DOING! Just make the thing. Don’t over think it. Don’t under think it. Give yourself a timeline. Deadlines are important for YOU or else you’ll just sit around on the same page or idea and then BAM! It never gets done. Also LEARN storytelling. STUDY STUDY STUDY. There are lots of books and podcasts that will help you learn how to hone your craft. Don’t wait to start your work until you read or listen to them all, but always be learning and listening and watching and making. Be a sponge. Don’t worry about accidentally making something that looks like something someone else has done. Do what is right for you and your story. Also, be careful of gratuitous…anything. Simplify; then enrich the efficient story.
DB: What can you tell our readers about New Praetorians?
SP: I co-created and Illustrated New Praetorians with RK Syrus who wrote it. Colors are by Mack Sutton. New Praetorians is a Female Lead Sci-fi set 80 years in the future about Sienna McKnight, Colonel and leader of a Special Ops force who’s been hunting an international terrorist named “the Scythe of Heaven” her whole life. As she gets closer to finding him suddenly experiments on an alien artifact release its energy across the planet and various people suddenly get powers.
The story is about how each of these people is affected and who they become because of the changes they go through. We focus on character and the Who’s and Why’s of human actions. There is no romance, it was important to me to make something that didn’t default to romantic story. That seems to be something that “females” always have in stories. That’s too easy. I’ve played too much dungeons and dragons to think that there needs to be romance to make a good story.
DB: Where can people find New Praetorians, as well as anything else you’ve worked on?
SP: NewPraetorians.com. I run the website so if anyone has questions or wants to buy a copy just order through there and I will send it out with a little note to ya.
Last year I finished a really cool children’s book called “The Pretend Adventures of Philippe Chivandre” by Edward Lovic Jr. He’s a 96 year old Astrophysicist and his children’s book teaches kids about astrophysics. I drew over 70 images for the book and i believe it’s over 100 pages. I’m very proud of it and I hope everyone else enjoys it too. It’s being put together by Gordon Lysle Bash.
I just finished RK Syrus & My new Non-Fiction book called “The Action Heroine’s Journey”. It’s for storytellers and a comedic supplement to books like Vogler’s “Writer’s Journey” (12 step Hero’s Journey), Joseph Campbell’s “Hero with a Thousand Faces” and Murdock’s “Heroine’s Journey”.
Both The Action Heroine’s Journey and New Praetorians book 3 will be debuting at San Diego Comic Con in booth 1603.
DB: Thank you very much for taking the time for this interview. Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
SP: Keep in touch via Facebook or Twitter: @SatinePhoenix @RKSyrus. We creators are just fellow fans who get inspired by other artists and movies just like everyone else. Please say hi and repost things you think are cool. BECAUSE THEY ARE COOL!
Featured Image courtesy of Greg DeStefano