Where did the name Quiet Hell comics come from?
It came from a quote from an Oliver Stone biography I read. He had just got the contract to make Salvador and it said “his 15 years of quiet hell were over”. Meaning he had spent the last 15 years shouting in the dark about how he had talent and wanted the world to see but no-one could hear him or see him. I thought it was neat and so named the company Quiet Hell Comics.
What comic books did you read growing up and who influenced you as a writer?
I read pretty much all the British ones. The Victor, Eagle, Warrior, Roy of the Rovers and of course the Dandy and Beano. Dan Dare was my personal favourite out of all of them.
As for influences for the ‘Man with No Libido’ probably Scott Pilgrim would be the big one or that style of OEL Manga. Oni Press was producing a lot of cool books around that time like ‘Love the way you love’. They’d be the biggest influences.
What comic books do you still read today?
My taste is pretty eclectic to be honest. Brian K. Vaughan, Ed Brubaker and of course Alan Moore. I’m really a big indie fan and enjoy the less mainstream ones such as ‘Orc Stain’ by James Stokoe.
Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Jason Browne and I am the proprietor of Quiet Hell Comics. I wrote our first book a 136 page black and white digest sized graphic novel called ‘The Man with No Libido’. We are currently in the process of our second graphic novel called ‘Problems with Dragons’ which will be released in 2014.
Why did you decide to go into the comic book industry? Was it because you weren’t seeing stuff you’d like to read out there?
I used to work in film and TV but didn’t enjoy it. As I was always a huge comic book fan I decided that I was going to do comics instead as I didn’t have to worry about budgets or editorial interference. My imagination was my limit. It was a very good decision for me I think.
How do you go about setting up a new comic book company?
Tell us how the Man with no Libido came about? What was the inspiration behind it?
Inspiration? Hmmm. I think everyone has had their heart broken at some stage and sworn themselves off the opposite sex or said that there done with relationships. So I thought it would be interesting if there was a procedure were you could be done with love, sex and romance ergo the elimination of a person’s libido. And if they did what would the consequences be? Not just for them but the people around them? I should hasten to add at this stage that it’s a comedy.
As for how it came about, the simple answer would be sheer bloody-mindedness on my part.
How long did it take to complete?
Too long. I won’t be using the printing company that printed the book again. They had a good reputation but they were horrendous.
Did the story change much during the process?
Not really. I sometimes had to rein myself in but the concept was strong so there was just the usual organic stuff rather than major changes. It had being knocking around in my head for a good long time so I had most of it already worked out, so it was mostly a matter of getting it down on paper.
How did you go about getting your name out there? What platforms are there for you to use?
It’s improved a lot even in the last year or two. The first thing to do is ask. All they can say is no. I wrote an article for Bleeding Cool about making our book and the likes of Ain’t it Cool News were good enough to review us.
What’s your opinion on digital comics? Are they a vital part of the industry’s future?
I think they’re getting bigger. We’re only on Amazon at the moment but we’ve plans to launch the book on at least two other digital platforms. For an indie it’s a good way to get revenue as its not costing you anything and you might make sales so why not?
What’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned from starting all this?
Choose your collaborators carefully.
What advice would you give to any budding writers/artists out there who might be thinking of creating their own comic book?
Do it. If you want to get into this business none of the big boys will look at you unless you have a book out. You can write all the scripts you want or draw all the pretty pages you can but unless you create a book and go through that process then they won’t go near you. It’s also incredible training. There is no better way to become a better writer/artist than actually doing it. It doesn’t have to as ambitious as ours but you need to do it if you want to become a professional.
What’s the most satisfying part of seeing a book completed?
That all the struggle and hard work has paid off.
What’s been the response to the book to date?
All positive. All the reviews have been great and most people have really dug the premises. Ain’t it Cool News gave us a rave and all the critics have enjoyed the concept of the book.
Were you aware of comic book events like DICE beforehand and how useful are they to you as a company?
Yes but it was my first year going and I’m glad I did. It was our best convention yet in terms of sales. It was also the first time I met a lot of guys who I’d know from on-line but was my first time meeting them in person which is always good.
At shows like that, do you get a chance to get advice from other comic book artists and writers who have been in your position?
To be frank no. I was pretty much tied to the table for most of it but other artist/writers I know floated around and chatted to professionals. One or two got jobs out of it as well which is cool.
You have just showcased your first T shirt at DICE. How does merchandising play into comic book sales?
I’m not sure yet. Prints seem to sell better than T-Shirts. Anything that attracts people to your table and you can make a profit of though is good.
What new stuff are you working on?
‘Problems with Dragons’ is the next thing we’re putting out there. It’s an Asterix style book but set in Ireland and is for all ages.
Where can people find out more about Quiet Hell and the Man with No Libido?
Guys thank you so much and keep us up to date about how things go!