Panels and Pages #6 | Justin Leach interview

Panels and Pages #6 | Justin Leach interview

Dec 29

If you are a frequent DeviantArt user and you have been watching some comicbook experts there, you may have noticed several of them have been raving about one particular title - Majestic-XII #1.

Most of the reviews are generally positive and most comic geeks can’t help it but be interested about picking up a copy as well. As I got mine, I think I can see why there’s tons of good feedback about it. Majestic XII is definitely a fun, solid read anyone who likes superhero stuff would enjoy.

Thankfully, I got the chance to get in touch with Justin Leach, author and creator of Majestic XII. Lets meet the guy for this episode of Pages and Panels as he tells us more about the book, his lifelong dream, how he created the characters and much, much more.

Mark Rosario: Hi, Justin. Congratulations on issue 1. Tell us. Is this your first comic book or have you written anything else in the past?

Justin Leach: Actually, this is my first comic. A lifelong dream to bring these characters that I have lived so long with to life. It is really exciting when people see the comic. They become fans of one or two characters right away.

MR: That’s cool. So what got you into comics as a kid? Was there a specific book that inspired you so much and made you say “Hey, I wanna be a comics writer” or maybe “Man! This is the kind of book I’d like to write someday”

JL: First, I would say that I used to be a little artist and also started watching the old “Incredible Hulk” T V series starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. I saw that and I walked into this little gas station and there was this cover of him fighting Iron-Man underwater. They were chained up and it was love at first sight.

I think the first stories that made me want to be a writer was the old Claremont and Brynes X-Men. Great characters, great story, and great artwork. I still get that old feeling when reading them.

MR: Now let’s dive straight back on your book. I heard this project took 30 years in the making. How come it took too long?

JL: Well, When I graduated high school back in ’92, I tried to get on with the major companies. However, this was about the time that most artists had also started writing so they were no longer really looking for new writing talent. So I changed my direction in life.

But several years later, I eventually found myself at a crossroads. I now saw that, with the internet, my dreams of producing a comic could become a reality.

MR: I noticed that the team has different nationalities. Would you want to tell us more about that?

JL: Mostly the whole team is American. However, Deth-Rattle is from Mexico, Revolution is from England, Coral is from the Pacific Islands, and Chimera is from Japan.

I really like the whole international team. It was a tiny homage to the Uncanny X-Men and all of their different nationalities.

MR: Do you have any favorite among the team?
JL: I love them all for differing reasons. Legend, Deth-Rattle, Ballistik, and Skorch are probably my most favourites.

MR: It’s insane but I think I like Limbo. Haha! Yeah, he didn’t get as much exposure on the book as, say, Legend but I think he’s got a cool costume. It really has that “KickAss” feel to it. Is he a criminal too? He looks too young to be one.

JL: That is funny because we had never heard of KickAss until after we had already created him. My first incarnation had him wearing big boots as a tribute to Power-Pack. Andrew liked the high top tennis shoes and so I said no prob.

Yes, in fact he is actually 45 years old. He received his Phantom powers when he was 8 years old and has not physically aged since then. When one cna go through walls and become invisible, it would be hard not to become a thief.

You are the first person to say that he liked Limbo. I am pleased.

MR: You bet I’ll keep an eye on him. I want to see him more in action, man. Anyway, how do you create a character? Does the costume design come first then comes the powers or vice versa? How does Andrew Kilian (artist) get involved in the process? I’m an aspiring comics writer myself so enlighten me please. Hahah!…

JL: Usually, the costume and look comes first. I draw it and in the process in thinking about it, I come up with a power and then a name. There are times when it is all just there, as if someone just handed it off to me and said “Here ya go”.

Andrew then takes and does some slight alterations. The only character that he almost totally recreated was Thunderheart, who was originally LoneStar. The look is almost the same only he did a great job with the new look.

MR: I have to say This.. You’ve got an amazing art team. How did you hook up with Andrew and Omi (Remalante, colorist)? They seem like a perfect fit for the feel of the story.

JL: I put up an advertise in the forum on DA which led me to Andrew. When I was looking for a colorist I put up an ad on Digital Webbing. Then all of the other talent on the comic Omi directed me to. It just happened so perfectly.

MR: Okay then. Please tell our blog readers how to find a copy of Majestic XII.

JL: For the 99 cent download, go to DrivethruComics and for the physical comic, you can get it from IndyPlanet but remember, shipping and handling might be a little high.

Look for our second issue to be coming out January or February 2010!

MR: Thank you so much for your time, Justin. And do give us a heads up when issue 2 comes out, okay? Good luck to you!

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  1. Another good interview. Nicely done Markus. :-)

  2. Thank you, Gio!

  3. NerP

    awesome piece pare!

  4. @ NerP, Maraming salamat. I’m hoping to do more interviews this year :)

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