Monday, September 1, 2014

STGCC 2014: Bicepstuous Booths #5 - Writer Kelly Bender Is All Set To Give You Some "Starburn"

Oof. Ouch. Ow-Ow-Owwww. *sizzle*

Is that some serious "Starburn" happening this close to STGCC?

Red Dot Diva blames Kelly Bender for this. She is sure he'll be very amiable about the ruckus she is putting him through right now though. 'Coz..... He's Canadian. They so nice. *g*

But hey... if one is a scifi-nerd who likes cosmic Starburns like Valley girls like tanning machines then... do head right to Bicepstuous Booth #AA96 at the show floor this weekend. Kelly Bender will also be appearing on stage as a guest panelists in the Comics Artist Panel together with Humberto Ramos, Cameron Stewart and David Mack on Sunday, 2-3PM. Although, Kelly is not an artist, and the panel is pitched more as one about creator-owned works.

Even as Kelly is currently having a holiday with his family in Vietnam, the Glam Bloggers' Alliance managed to zero in on him, and gleefully ensnared him in a web of questions:

GBA: We are intrigued, where did you spring up from, and what comics have you worked on previously?
Kelly: I am originally from Canada. I previously have worked on "Convoy of Corpses" (preview from my blog) which has been released from Rocketblast Comics, I've done 3 anthology stories (Two of which were released by Emerald Star Comics, which directly led to "Starburn" coming out by them).

GBA: What made you decide to relocate to Singapore?
Kelly: We (My wife Renee and our daughter Brynn) relocated to Singapore due to my wife's job. She is a Creative Director for a digital Ad agency. They opened up an Asian office, and wanted somebody of experience to help run the office.

GBA: And have you managed to navigate skillfully through the local minefield called Singlish?
Kelly: Canadians talk funny too "Eh?" it's been fairly easy. I know many locals through playing softball with & against them. They have been invaluable teaching us the "local ways" (ie: best hawker stands & what to order at each stand, where to shop...)

GBA: How long have you resided in Singapore and are you enjoying yourself?
Kelly: We've been in Singapore for over 8 months. We are LOVING it here! Love the vibe of the country, the people, the food & the weather.

GBA: For your new comic "Starburn" you tagged, Firefly, Star Trek and Guardians of the Galaxy... (a) Which Guardians of the Galaxy - (i) Jim Valention (ii) Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning or (iii) Brian Michael Bendis? (b) Firefly & Star Trek are huge franchises to tag to, are you confident to live up to them?
Kelly: I tagged those amazing franchises as I feel that "Starburn" is a great entertaining story for fans of those series. I'm not saying "Starburn" is better or even in pat with those series. I'm saying if you liked those series then give mine a read! (I've only read the Valentino version of GoTG, still haven't seen the movie yet )

GBA: How do you get your creative ideas? What is your usual process like?
Kelly: Ideas come in various ways. Sometimes it's a dream while sleeping (ala "False Dawn"), or a conversation between me and an artist (ex: "Blood In. Blood Out.", "Yakuza 893" & "Tribal Lines") and in the case of "Starburn" sometimes inspiration comes from a publisher asking if you have "any sci-fi stories"? And me saying yes even when I didn't at the time. 

I always try and get something done everyday. Be it scripting, plotting, ideas, notes talking with the artists...

GBA: Which of these ideas spawned your comic "Starburn"?
Kelly: I was thinking about sci-fi ideas and what came to me was wouldn't it be cool if somebody told a story about the Millennium Falcon BEFORE Han, Lando & Chewie got it? Obviously I can't use the Falcon thus "Starburn" was born. It's the "Black Pearl" (from "Pirates of the Caribbean") & "Falcon" all rolled up into one. The story is really about the Ship. I sent the artist (Brian Balondo) & the inker (Cristian Docolomansky) a future script and they both were like "how could you kill that character?" And I have to remind them... It's all about the ship!

GBA: How did you get to know "Starburn" artist Brian Balondo?
Kelly: Brian Balondo (the artist) and I met through the DeviantArt website we started talking and we worked on a pitch together for another sci-fi story I wrote called "Celestial Corpses" (basically the 9-1-1/ Tow-trucks of the universe) that series didn't get picked up but my script "Starburn" did. I asked him & Cristian (who inked "CC" & his inks really enhance Brian's already amazing art) to work on it. They jumped at the chance as it's their first North American published work.

GBA: Any popular comic you would like to work on?
Kelly: I like some of he mainstream comics and what the writers are doing with them, but truthfully right now I'm enjoying working on my own stuff. (I did have an idea for a "Hellblazer" story but they was a "Vertigo" style one. But I haven't read the comic since the character became mainstream.)

GBA: How did you find out about STGCC, and what are you expecting to get out from the con? 
Kelly: First week I was in Singapore I googled two things. 1) Comic books Singapore & 2) Softball Singapore.

I found STGCC that way and immediately started a conversation with them about getting a table and possibly doing a panel. I am just excited to see the public's reaction to "Starburn" to meet and network with many of the talented artists, colorists & writers here.

"Starburn" and Kelly Bender biceps, yes?

GBA: *Ahem* Bonus question - Your fans want you to re-enact Chris Spratt's abs scene in the GoTG movie..
Kelly: I haven't seen the movie yet so I am not sure what it means, but I assume it means showing off my stomach. I'm almost 40 (I'm 38) and if people want to see my hairy belly who am I to deny something the fans want? 

Yes yes, no denying is good. Red Dot Diva says biceps-flexing would even better!

So, if one likes checking out new books, stop by Booth AA#96 this weekend and help make Kelly Bender feel the Red Dot Island welcome. This is his first time exhibiting at STGCC after all. But in return, do come prepared to feel the singe of some serious "Starburn". (Don't say Red Dot Diva didn't warn you!)


Note: Most of the questions above was posed by Agent W, with a few additions from Red Dot Diva!

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