Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Interview with Cabra Cini's writer Sam Johnson!

Through a Facebook friend, writer Sam Johnson, I saw a really cool comic of his called Cabra Cini: Voodoo Junkie Hitwoman. It’s about a girl who comes from the mean streets of prostitutes, pimps and junkies and has become a dimension hopping magician, ala Constantine, that is also a private detective/"voodoo lady" for hire. 

Sam has created an exciting 8 page story with artist Bruno Letizia in “Digital Visions #4”.

It’s a wonderful piece that tells us about her junkie/prostitute past, her work as a private detective/Hitwoman, and her badass dimension hopping abilities.
I found it a very refreshing take on the best of Lee/Ditko’s Dr. Strange with a more modern approach for the darker post-Preacher/Sin City audience.

Sam Johnson, the author describes her as this -
“No longer willing to let her boyfriend/pimp treat her like dirt, Cabra Cini got lethal payback with the help of voodoo magik--and liked it. Voodoo became her new addiction and Cabra has cleaned up her act and forged a deadly new vocation…”

As if you didn't already guess some of the subject matter is pretty adult but not overly graphic. I'd say it is PG 13.

And this is what else Sam had to say about it -
“Cabra Cini is a character close to my heart, whom I have big plans for,” says Sam. “There’s a one-shot already in the can, illustrated by Fernando Melek & Gaston Zubeldia, but this story–‘Voodoo Trespass’–is where Cabra makes her debut–and we’re thrown headlong into her twisted world.”

 Sam adds; “Voodoo is a weapon Cabra employs–along with her array of blades and guns–and she’s developed her own bastardized version of the art: which she uses to dramatic effect in carrying out her hits.

“One of the ways she uses it is to access a dimension known as ‘The Infinity’–Limbo’s ‘crazy cousin–locked away in the attic’–which can serve as a dimensional gateway between where you are and wherever you want to go. Though, with what the ruler of The Infinity throws at its trespassers, the journey can come at a monstrously high cost, as Cabra–hired by bereaved parents to take out the guy who killed their daughter,‘playing vampire–is about to learn…”

I had the oportunity to ask Sam some questions about Cabra and some other creations of his. This is what he had to say.

How long have you been writing comics seriously?

Well, I was writing stuff for years and getting stuff picked up to be published and then the publisher folding or the artist flaking; it's only in the last three years that I've been getting stuff published and started making my mark

What have you got published?

Well my first thing,'Little Janice Wants to be a Star', was in Desperado's Negative Burn #20, which as many people will know was a long-running, well-regarded anthology, so a nice thing to debut in. It was my first 'Gold Town' story; Gold Town is a like-Hollywood-but-more-fucked-up place steeped in urban legend; and it's something I've got more plans for. In fact, a new, self-contained Gold Town story, 'A Whole Other Thing', that introduces my character Pete the Pimp--a whiteboy wannabe-gangsta--is coming soon to Pandemonium Spotlight #2 from Twilight Star Productions. I'll be posting on my Blog, Sam Johnson comics blogspot, when and where it'll be available.
So can you give me a brief idea of what it's about?

Sure, Pete is a guy who fancies himself as an old-school romanticized vision of a pimp. He was running a small hooker operation with his pal Jacob, but Jacob got thrown in the slammer and Pete can't really cut it on his own. He's got bad debts, his ho's have quit, and his landlord's had enough.

So, along with his new--and now, sole--employee, the monosyllabic Billie, he skips town to Gold Town--where things are cheap and prostitution is rife, so it's an easy place for him to start anew. Only there's all kinds of fucked up, weird shit going on there, which Pete's going to get to experience first hand in his debut story.

What kind of weird shit? Is this steeped in the super-natural?

'The Limb Launderers'... 'The Albino Demon'... 'Mr. Reed, the Zombie'... 'The Bastard Lovechild of an Alien Goddess'...

So, this is an adult book? Cabra Cini is also for adults. Is that the market you prefer to write for?

Yeah. Well, I like to be able to swear, ideally (lol). I prefer to be unrestricted, but if the only 'adult' content that the character/story requires is swearing, I don't mind using the ^%!#'s.
Funnily enough, right now I'm sending art page files from the new Cabra Cini: Voodoo Junkie Hitwoman story to the colorist, and three of the pages have two versions: one "with 'bitch'" in and one without. :)
Some publishers/printers are happy with 'bitches', some aren't.
'Bitch' is something you don't want to call Cabra, so the word needs to be used--whether $^#%ed out or not.

What are your favorite comics? Who are your influences?

My favorite comic ever is Grant Morrison's run on Doom Patrol, which is bizarre, even by Morrison's standards, and features some of the most out there super-heroes and villains I've ever seen, including a radioactive hemaphrodite and a sentient, transvestite street! That's my biggest influence. Peter David and Brian Michael Bendis are others.

Do you have any other projects in the works besides Gold Town?

Yeah, Geek Girl - 'Popular college chick turned superpowered super-klutz' Geek-Girl's 4-issue mini-series is in the works, with Geek-Girl #0 still available ( Geek Girl comic website );

and downtrodden housewife turned unhinged super-heroine MS. F has just made her debut in the new issue of H!M Comics' IF-X http://idea-men.us/if20_gallery.html and I've got big plans for her.

Cool! Are these all ages?

They are indeed. :)

Do you have any future plans for Cabra Cini? 

Oh...yeah... big plans; Hispanic werewolf El Hombre Lobo; insane fascist White Out and his lobotomized butler Chives; zombies; and stuff I can't talk about yet...

I'm currently working on putting together a Cabra Cini 4-issue mini-series. Her debut in Digital Visions #4 is going down well, with one reviewer saying she has the potential to be 'the next Buffy the Vampire Slayer'. I'm very invested in Cabra and have high ambitions for her.

Thanks so much Sam! 

Thanks very much, Thomas

CABRA CINI: VOODOO JUNKIE HITWOMAN’s color debut in Visionary Comics' Digital Visions #4 is Out Now and available to Download or Read online FREE via http://samjohnson-comics.blogspot.com/

1 comment:

  1. Wow!
    I like his style and would definitely love to read some of this stuff!