Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent launch of your Kickstarter campaign for The Golem of Venice Beach! For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about the premise of this century-spanning story?
Chanan Beizer: The story takes us from the Golem’s creation and subsequent suspended animation in 16th century Europe to his reanimation at the height of World War 2 to present-day Venice Beach. The Golem gets involved with drug gangs, a mysterious femme fatale, and the sole living descendant of his creator, but can he find his way in a world he never asked to be born into?
Chris Stevens: What if an ageless golem found himself living in the modern-day melting pot of bustling Venice Beach, after the horrors of medieval Europe and World War 2? And what if the streets and beaches of Southern California were just as dangerous and fraught with peril? Through a series of escalating events involving his ancestral handler’s romance gone wrong amid a vicious gang war The Golem of Venice Beach races along a finely tuned neo noir path fantastically filled with memorable characters and drenched in California sun.
BD: Chanan, your script for The Golem of Venice Beach won the very first ScreenCraft Cinematic Book contest for graphic novels. What has your experience been like in being able to see the project fully realized?
CB: Having a background in film, I couldn’t help but imagine what my characters would look like, and I tried to capture that in the script. Seeing the images leap off the page is satisfying in a way I can’t even describe. My creations are coming to life before my eyes. As a writer, it can’t get much better than that.
BD: As noted, the other creators involved with this project include Michael Allred, Stephen R. Bissette, Jae Lee, Nick Pitarra, Paul Pope, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Clem Robins. How would you describe your shared creative process in working with this team to bring the story to life?
CB: It’s been a crash course in the world of comic book production. I have to give the majority of the credit to my editor, Chris Stevens. I’ve been the padawan to his Jedi master. When Chris first started suggesting names to me for the various parts of the book, my mouth literally began to salivate. It was a lot of fun to break down the pages and talk through some of the visuals. I had the film knowledge and Chris had the comic knowledge. Then, if there were any questions that arose, Chris was the one who was able to make things clear to the artists or to me for that matter.
CS: It's been a real joy and thrill to see each artist tackle their portion of Chanan’s world with their own inimitable charm, and to help them acclimate to that world and make it their own. Paul and Lovern’s spread FEELS like you’re walking on the beach with the golem; there’s an ephemeral weight to Bill’s opening prologue pages that sinks you back 450 years; you are there, you can feel the torch light on you and the soft clay between your fingers. Nick takes an entire cast of characters, dozens, and makes you feel like there you are, standing shoulder to shoulder with them, and Clem lends everything its voice and makes reading an effortless experience. When you get to work with creators like them, you do everything you can to make sure they have what they need and then you trust in the preparation. No one on The Golem of Venice Beach delivered anything less than their best, from the book’s engine Vanessa, who is just getting started, to an absolute legend and master in Stephen R. Bissette.
BD: What are some of the fun backer rewards that are available to those who contribute to your Kickstarter campaign?
CS: I think the Bill Sienkiewicz virgin variant is going to be a hot item!
CB: I love the look of the hardcover itself. The image that Bill Sienkiewicz created really comes alive. Plus, I think the individual prints offered from all seven of the artists (the magnificent seven?) will look fantastic framed on a wall.
BD: Chris, what makes Clover Press the best home for this project?
CS: When you have people at Clover like Hank Kanalz and Robbie Robbins hands-on with you anytime you need them, and you know that along with Clover founder Ted Adams these are the folks who built IDW, a publisher I admire a lot, and you see the quality of their stunning art books, I can’t think of a better home for this book than Clover Press.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find out more about The Golem of Venice Beach and its Kickstarter campaign?
CB: Just check out the Kickstarter here!
CS: For updates, follow Clover Press on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.