Ahoy Comics have published an expansive variety of books over their 5-year span. One of their most popular series has been their Edgar Allen Poe Anthologies. So, with their anthology track record firmly in place, they have decided to celebrate their 5-year anniversary with another creative anthology. This time embracing the legends of the Cryptids with Project: Cryptid. For this project, they have recruited a plethora of talented writers and artists. Many of which are familiar names to the Ahoy pantheon while some are first time contributors to their ever-growing lineup.
Familiar names like Mark Russell, Paul Cornell, Bryce Ingman, and Stuart Moore, as well as established talents like Alex Segura, Melissa F Olson and so many more. Not to mention a contribution from the iconic literary mind that is Grant Morrison. So, when we were given an opportunity to talk to some of these great creators, I struggled to decide. In truth, I couldn’t go wrong in this scenario. But after some thought, I picked two whom I had not had the honor of speaking to before. In this case, talented writer Alex Segura. Alex and I spoke of his beginnings, the challenges of writing for established characters in the mainstream and of course, his contribution to Project: Cryptid. So, let’s welcome Alex Segura to GVN Talking Comics.
GVN: Thank you so much for sharing a bit of your busy schedule, Alex.
Alex: My pleasure! Thanks for having me.
A Writer from Early On
GVN: Since this is my first opportunity to talk with you, let’s start with a bit of your beginnings. At what point did you decide that writing would be the career you would pursue and whose work inspired you to believe that this was a path you were destined to take?
Alex: Oh, this is a tough one – because I can’t really recall a time when I didn’t want to tell stories in some way. I think it just took a while to realize the mechanics of it. I was a voracious young reader – particularly Archie and later superhero comics, science fiction, Sherlock Holmes, Classics Illustrated – and when not reading, I tried my hand at my own stories. I wrote X-Men and Star Trek fan fiction, drew my own Archie comics with new characters, and spent a lot of time wondering about what would happen if X or Y existed in the many fictional universes I read about. I would tell adults I was going to be a writer. It was always the dream. As I got older, I started to figure out the concrete “how” of it all, but it was what I wanted from as far back as I can recall.
Writing in the Mainstream
GVN: Your talent has led you to write stories that center around some of the most iconic comic characters, including Superman, some of the characters in Marvel’s Spider-verse, and even the gang from Riverdale. As you were offered these projects, did you have any apprehension in writing characters whom fans have such strong feelings about?
Alex: I wouldn’t call it apprehension – which implies some fear. I was, and continue to be, honored to have these opportunities to add to the histories of these amazing characters that were so important to me as a kid. I vividly remember picking up the first issue of SPIDER-MAN 2099, for example, or reading Roger Stern’s novelization of THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN. If I have a passion for a company-owned character, then the challenge becomes – do I have anything new to say? Or do I have anything to add? But I would say that’s more a desire to get it right and honor the legacy than apprehension.
GVN: Your recent book Secret Identity combined your inside knowledge of comics and the creative process that goes into it with a noir like mystery all based in the 70’s (my comic generation), all to great effect. How long did you work on this book and was it always your plan to mix your love of comics into this narrative?
Alex: I knew from the drop that I wanted to write a mystery set in comics. It felt like a fertile and vibrant setting for a noir murder mystery. When I was reading Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon in college, I had really longed to read those Escapist stories IN the novel – as I was turning the prose pages. So when Secret Identity came together, the idea popped back into my head. 20 years ago, I hadn’t thought I’d be the one writing this dream novel. I reached out to my good friend Sandy Jarrell, explained the idea, and we were off to the races. Soup to nuts, Secret Identity took about a year to put together, and I’m really proud of the end result – and have heard from so many fans that either loved comics and thought it worked well, or were not comic fans but were not curious about the medium. That’s the goal.
GVN: One of your new projects involves participating in a new Anthology for Ahoy Comics, Project Cryptid. (I admit, I had to look up what a Cryptid was 😊) Specifically, as part of the writing team for PARTIALLY NAKED CAME THE CORPSE! A prose story with a veritable who’s who of writing talent starting with Grant Morrison. How did you get involved in this project and who approached you to lend your vast writing talents?
Alex: I’m actually doing TWO stories for AHOY! – one is in PROJECT: CRYPTID #2, with spectacular art by my friend, Steve Bryant, and also contributing to the PARTIALLY NAKED CAME THE CORPSE! serialized prose saga. The Cryptids story came via Sarah Litt, an old friend who edits a number of titles for AHOY and others. She reached out and I immediately said yes. Diana Montalvan, a supernatural/occult investigator based in Miami, is approached by an old flame to figure out the mystery of a rare, missing bird that might be cursed. Unable to say no to anything that makes her curious, Diana digs deeper – only to get in the crosshairs of something much more dangerous.
In terms of the Grant project – how could I say no? Grant is one of my absolute favorite writers, period. I got to blurb their novel LUDA, which was a treat, and have followed everything they’ve done since their early days on titles like ZENITH and later ANIMAL MAN. I loved working on this because each sequence reflects the style and strengths of the contributor, and it all kind of makes sense together! My thought was to be additive but also to support Grant’s overall vision – so my sequence is a bit of a detour that tightens the plot a bit. It was a blast to write.
Melding into a Collective Story
GVN: I have read LUDA. Well actually, I listened to the audio book. A fascinating story that was quite addictive. But I digress. As I mentioned, you are writing a story with numerous others. Does that kind of project require a different thought process than writing a story on your own? How much of a conversation is required from the writers before (You have part #9) as you continue the narrative?
Alex: The only conversation I had was with Stuart Moore, an old friend and the AHOY person tasked with coordinating it all! But that’s fine! I added my bit and it seemed to fit – so we’ll see what the readers think. 🙂
GVN: Thanks again for talking to us today, Alex. Before I let you go, I want to give you an opportunity to share any other projects you want to promote (if you can) and where fans can follow you on either social media or the web.
Alex: Sure! I just wrote an X-Men Infinity Comic for Marvel starring Polaris, drawn by the talented Alberto J. Albuquerque, which you can read on Marvel Unlimited. I also have a Spider-Man story in the first issue of MARVEL ZOMBIES: BLACK, WHITE, and BLOOD #1, hitting next month.
For DC I just completed a two-part Sinestro story in the two KNIGHT TERRORS: GREEN LANTERN issues drawn by Mario “Fox” Foccillo. New installments of my creator-owned series, THE AWAKENED and THE LEGENDARY LYNX, continue to be serialized via Zestworld (with the latter coming to print via Image next year), and my follow-up to Secret Identity, ALTER EGO, hits next year from Flatiron, along with my sci-fi novel, co-written with Rob Hart, DARK SPACE, via Blackstone. I’m sure I’m forgetting something!
The first issue of Ahoy Comic’s Project: Cryptid is available now. You can check out all the participants in PARTIALLY NAKED CAME THE CORPSE! here. Be sure to check out issue #2 with Alex’s story coming in October.
Senior Writer at GeekVibesNation – I am a 50 something child of the 70’s who admits to being a Star Trek/Star Wars/Comic Book junkie who once dove head first over a cliff (Ok, it was a small hill) to try to rescue his Fantastic Four comic from a watery grave. I am married to a lovely woman who is as crazy as I am and the proud parent of a 18 year old boy with autism. My wife and son are my real heroes.