When it comes to writing, Tyrone Finch has a few pelts on the wall. Especially when it comes to television. He has written for numerous shows including his current work on Station 19. I know what you’re thinking as you look at his picture. He seems kind of young to be so accomplished. Actually, I love his reasoning for choosing it. Tyrone wants to remind kids that they can grow up to do be anything they set their minds to…including a successful writer.

No doubt included in his success is his upcoming graphic novel for Humanoids entitled Swine with artist Alain Mauricet. It is a page turner of a book with a unique story of angels, demons and and yes, pigs. Recently, I was very fortunate to have a chance to talk to the talented writer about his career and his new book…and Tator Tots. So let’s welcome Tyrone Finch to GVN’s Talking Comics Interview.

The Virtues of Tater Tots

Thanks for giving us a bit of your time, Tyrone.

TF: It’s a pleasure. When I finish this, I’m going to reward myself with some tater tots. This is a great way to work up an appetite.

GVN: Its rare to find a man who appreciates the virtues of  Tater Tots. I have been telling my wife since we first met that they are a great complimentary dish for frozen pizza. I haven’t convinced her yet. But, as usual, I digress. So, let’s start with a bit of your background. When did you take an interest in writing and who were your inspirations as you thought you might pursue writing as a career?

TF: I’ve been interested in writing since I was a teenager. I loved reading and I was always amazed by authors who could string together words in ways that made me laugh or cry or stay awake all night because there might be a vampire living next door. It’s hard for me to pinpoint any particular writer who might have inspired me. I can tell you that back then I read a lot of Kurt Vonnegut, Jack Vance and Ursula K. Le Guin; so maybe “Swine” is partially their fault.

Writing for Television vs Graphic Novels

GVN: You have spent a great deal of your time working in and writing for television. When did you decide to take on a graphic novel and did anyone specific encourage you to try it?

TF: I’ve always enjoyed comic books and I have a good time when I go to the conventions. I always meet a few comic book writers when I attend those events and we always end up talking about the differences between what we do. And whenever I expressed an interest in writing a comic book or a graphic novel, they encouraged me to give it a shot. I’d mention some of their names but I’m not sure if they’ll want to associate with me after they read “Swine.” But I can tell you that two of them have tremendous singing voices.

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A “Swine” Idea

GVN: I’m pretty sure that after reading this book, their level of association with you would go up, not down. Especially once they know about your affinity for Tater Tots. But speaking of Swine , it is a magnetic and addictive book with quite an original premise. What was the inspiration for Swine and did you write it specifically as a graphic novel?

TF: I envisioned Swine as a six-issue comic or a graphic novel. After a few conversations with some experienced comic book writers, I decided a graphic novel would be the way to go. As for inspiration, it’s hard to say. I was at a restaurant with two friends and I had one of those “Hey, wait a minute!” moments while we were eating hamburgers. The premise got into my head and I had to write it or it was going to continue to take up space in there.

Giving Pigs Some Humanity

GVN: Hamburgers?? I’ve always wondered why burgers made of Beef are called “Ham”burgers. The name would seem to reflect a “Pork” product. (Digression, Part II) One of the real challenges in Swine was you had to make the pig characters have some sinister depth. Which isn’t easy considering that most people, when they think of pigs might think of (telling my age with these comparisons) Arnold the Pig from Green Acres, Wilbur from Charlotte’s Webb, or even the movie Babe (that will do, Pig, that will do.) How did you tackle that challenge?

TF: First, I’m going to pretend I’m too young to understand any of those references. What is this “Green Acres” of which you speak? Honestly, the challenge was made a bit easier because I never thought of the pigs as merely pigs. Given that they’re possessed by demons, it wasn’t too difficult to give them a variety of personality traits. The biggest challenge was giving each of them some measure of humanity. I didn’t want them to be purely evil. I wanted each of them to have some quality with which a reader might identify.

Alain Mauricet

GVN: I would call that mission a success. Especially where Simon is concerned. You worked with artist Alain Mauricet on Swine. How did the two of you get together and what was the collaboration like?

TF: Mauricet and I first worked together on a project we did for AHOY Comics a few years ago. It was a lot of fun and we had a great time. The collaboration on Swine was easy. Basically, my editor would send my pages to Mauricet and he would spin them into gold. I would always let him know what images I thought should be included in each panel and sometimes I’d get it right. When I didn’t, I could count on Mauricet to do something amazing that would not have occurred to me. I swear, every time I received an email with new drawings from Mauricet, I was as giddy as a kid opening presents on Christmas morning.

Social Media < Tater Tots

GVN: I can imagine. He did a masterful job of bringing Swine to fruition. Thank you so much for sharing a bit of your thoughts with us Tyrone. I know you are a busy man, so before I let you go, do you have any other projects you can tell our followers about where they can follow you on social media?

TF: Arrgh! I wish I could tell you about what’s coming next, but I’ve been sworn to secrecy on some things. And I don’t use any of the social media platforms. If I did, I’m afraid I’d dive into that rabbit hole and stay there forever. And then I’d never have time for tater tots.

GVN: Its always good to have your priorities in order. Tater Tots should always supersede most things 😉

Humanoids Swine by Tyrone Finch and Alain Mauricet will be released on October 5th where great graphic novels are sold.

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