Battlepug interview (March 2013)
Battlepug is created by Mike Norton
Drawn by Mike Norton, with colours by Allen Passalaque and letters by Chris Crank
The immense pleasure of interviewing Mr. Mike Norton himself was all mine this week. Mike is one busy guy, working on Revival, It Girl and the Atomics and his creator-owned super hero series, The Answer! Besides all of the talent oozing from him onto the pages of some of today’s hottest indie titles he has been running a webcomic called Battlepug since February of 2011. With so much critical acclaim for his work it is no wonder that Battlepug has been as big of a hit as it is. Mike, Allen and Chris recently wrapped up the second volume of Battlepug, and have just returned after a two-week break with the newest page this week (February 25th, 2013). As the momentum keeps building behind Battlepug, make sure you check it out now, and please enjoy this interview with the man himself.
RCB: Just to give our readers a bit of background on you, could you tell us what your first comic was, what made you want to start working in comics, and what the first comic you ever worked on was?
Mike Norton: Amazing Spider-Man 163. Just like most kids that get into comics, I was obsessed with the idea of telling stories visually. It’s all I ever wanted to do since. My first pro work was The Badger at Image Comics back in the late 90′s.
RCB: Can you give us a quick synopsis of your webcomic, Battlepug?
Mike Norton: Elevator pitch? Battlepug is a fairytale a woman tells her two dogs about a revenge seeking barbarian and the giant pug that he rides on.
RCB: What’s the story behind Battlepug? Did you wake up one day and say “My dog is so awesome I’m going to create an adventure comic with him in it!”
Mike Norton: Ha. If that were so, improbably would’ve never done it. Actually, I was asked to design a tshirt, but didn’t have any original ideas to use. Battlepug was the first thing that came to mind. Seriously.
RCB: You’re already an established artist in the industry, so why start a webcomic?
Mike Norton:I wanted to do my own project. Write and draw it. I also wanted the publishing affordability and immediate response that a webcomic allows.
RCB: You just ended volume 2 of Battlepug. Volume 1 has already been collected in hardcover form, when can we expect the same treatment for volume 2?
Mike Norton: I think May or June? There gonna be soliciting it soon. It’s coming!!
RCB: What is your story writing process? Is it spur of the moment or do you have Battlepug planned out far in advance?
Mike Norton: I have the whole story mapped out in my head. Then I outline the general milestones on paper volume by volume. From there, I kind of wing it. I’m often writing the dialogue the weekend before the strip goes live.
Mike Norton: You can expect to find out a lot more about the world Battlepug inhabits. You’ll also start to see the way magic works in that world. It’s a big part of the BP story and you’ll get more of an explanation of the rules of that. Also, really weird stuff.
RCB: So now you’re starting up volume 3 very soon, which begs the question: do you have a definitive ending planned for Battlepug (not that we want it to end) or do you plan on telling stories for years to come?
Mike Norton: Yes, there’s an ending. I’m thinking 5 volumes total.
RCB: In the last page of Battlepug volume 2, and the newest page of volume 3, there’s a new character, one with a striking resemblance and name to a very particular person. I have to ask, is that a joke on Robert Kirkman?
Mike Norton: Huh… I’m not sure i see the resemblance. Other than the same taste in clothing, maybe…
RCB: Between Revival, The Answer, It Girl, Battlepug and your other various works, how do you find time to juggle all of your projects? Does it ever get overwhelming?
Mike Norton: Yes. It does get overwhelming. But I asked for it. I’m not going to complain. I just try to get as much as I can during crunch time (which is now), and do what I can
RCB: Since you’re already well known in the comic community, do you have any advice for aspiring comic artists/creators looking to create a webcomic?
Mike Norton: I don’t know how well known I am in webcomics. That’s a great big world. My main advice is be consistent. Put it out regularly. We just took a two-week break, and that was the first week since we started 2 years ago. Also, keep a lot of pages in the hopper. Your schedule will catch up to you fast!!
That’s it for now, folks! Make absolute sure you check out this week’s page of Battlepug, and read each prior page, and each subsequent page. It’s an exciting and fun read that Mike Norton puts a lot of heart into. After you’ve done that, make sure you follow Mike Norton on Twitter: @themikenorton. Until next time, read some comic books!