Interview: Trevor Landolt (Praxis Comics)

While at NY Comic Con 2008 I was fortunate enough to get an interview with Trevor Landolt, the Editor-in-Chief for Praxis Comics. You may have heard of Praxis Comics through Scarlett's Curse or Andrea D (among other works). Trevor is an all-around great guy, and I highly recommend checking the works out over there at Praxis Comics. Oh, and the above picture isn't Trevor but Andrea D, who looks better than him (no offense Trevor).

Omnicomic: What got you into comics in the first place? Was that always the goal, to illustrate or write comics? Was that where you were headed, or did you start somewhere else and end up in comics?

Praxis: With Praxis, it’s just like you said. The partner, Jeanine (Henning), she already had the company. I approached her and said you already have a company related to visual arts, why don’t we do comic books. I had the contacts for writers and artists; all I needed was a platform to produce comics. We went to San Diego in 2006, got picked up by Diamond and basically took off from there. One year later, we’re here; we’ve got five titles in the market and TPBs coming out next month.

Omnicomic: How do you guys work overall? Do the individual writers and artists work on just that book, or do you guys coordinate on each other’s work and check each other’s work?

Praxis: Pretty much, each book has its creative team, and everything goes through myself or Jeanine. What we’re trying to do now though is create more crossovers and tie-ins with the different creative groups. Very soon, you’ll have a crossover with Scarlett’s Curse and Andrea D, and I’m going to start working with guys from Gates of the East Wind (upcoming project) and working on Scarlett’s Curse.

Omnicomic: What do you look for in an artist or writer? Are you always open to whatever you think is creative, or are there certain things you look for?

Praxis: One of the things about Praxis has always been the diversity that we have. If you look at the five titles we have out now, they’re quite different from one another. I think if the story’s good, if it grabs the ready visually and the story carries so the guy wants to turn the page and buy the next issue then we’re definitely on it. It doesn’t have to be a type we want to be associated with, we want to be as diverse as possible. We’re quite a diverse group: I’m from Brazil, Jeanine is from South Africa, and we have guys from all over the world, and that’s what we want to promote is diversity in comics and bring different points of views to put on our pages.

Omnicomic: Who were your influences, either artists or writers? Or were there any?

Praxis: Yeah there were. Growing up in Brazil, there was a big company with Mauricio de Sousa, a lot of guys like Ivan Reyes; he worked a lot with Mauricio in Brazil. Brazil has a very strong comic book scene nationally. Personally, a turning point for me was Marvel’s works, which really blew me away when they came out, and from that moment on and said this is something I want to be part of, and it’s a dream come true being here.

Omnicomic: Where did the idea for Andrea D come from?

Praxis: Andrea D started out being created by Alex Lei, he did inks for Birds of Prey and Supergirl. He basically had this concept (we’d been playing with the idea for several years) and I gave him the platform and said, hey, let’s do it. He called on Walter Geovani (painter for Witchblade) and Rob Lee because they all live close in Brazil, so they are a close group of friends. It was great work to do, very friendly, and sales have been pretty good. We’re pretty happy with the sales. And the comic reflects a lot of the situations in Brazil right now, so we try to transport that perception of the social conflicts in Brazil into the American and European markets.

Omnicomic: Do you feel there this new push with Andrea D and Scarlett’s Curse with women being redefined in comics? It seems that many new comics focus on a really strong woman as opposed to the traditional male.

Praxis: I think it gives the central character a different perspective. As a comic book, we have to play with the idea that it looks better. Andrea D is a very tongue in cheek title, with the way she rides her motorbike, but you don’t get that sense in Scarlett’s Curse. It does put a strong central female character in a different perspective, and it changes the point of view.

Omnicomic: Any future projects on the horizon?

Praxis: One of the projects we’re working on is called Academy of Heroes, so you guys get the exclusive! Its created by Victor Poon-Poon is an assistant producer for the CBS show Moonlight. Fantastic comic book coming out in September, so yeah, that’s what we have planned for the year and we’re really looking forward to it.

Omnicomic: Well thanks for taking the time to talk with us today.

Praxis: Yeah, no problem!