Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Whazamo! Profiles: Anthony Del Col & Conor McCreery

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Kill Shakespeare #11, by Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col

Open Book is celebrating the outstanding graphic novels and comics published here in Ontario and throughout the country with Whazamo! profiles, contests, videos and a series of original literary comics curated by Vepo Studios. Check out Open Book's Whazamo! page all month long to keep up to date.

In today's Whazamo! profile Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery, writers and creators of the wildly successful Kill Shakespeare comic series, get the Bard down to five words each and describe their creative process. Issue 11 of Kill Shakespeare — complete with a final showdown with William himself — is released today! Visit the website for more details.

Open Book:

What is your most recent publication, and what are five words you would use to describe it?

Conor McCreery:

Kill Shakespeare and “massive Shakespearean mash-up.”

Anthony Del Col:

We have just released issue #10 of the Kill Shakespeare series and I would describe it as “Shakespeare’s greatest characters do battle.”

OB:

When you're working on a project, which comes first — the words or the images?

CM:

For me it is the words as we work with artist Andy Belanger. And while I try to think visually I can’t draw to save my soul, so it’s not like I sketch out THE scene on a cocktail napkin and then write to get to there.

ADC:

The word is where everything begins, but even before I start typing I visualize what the scene will look like in terms of setting, characters, set pieces, etc. One of the first images I had when even devising Kill Shakespeare was a “reverse-balcony” scene where Juliet would be climbing the balcony to visit… someone else.

OB:

What do you do to get the creative juices flowing?

ADC:

The first thing I do is shut off my email and turn off my BlackBerry, to avoid the temptation of succumbing to procrastination. And then? I listen to orchestral film scores. I can’t seem to write without them quietly playing in the background.

CM:

Sit in front of the keyboard. That’s the hardest thing for me amidst everything else we have to do business-wise — to just get at that computer, sit and write.

OB:

What does your work space look like?

CM:

I work at home, so it looks like my bedroom.

ADC:

Much like Conor I work out of my home office, so it does double as my living space. However, I keep one corner devoted solely to my writing/working endeavours and that is lined with some inspirational messages and mementoes, as well as lists of goals.

OB:

What medium do you most often work with?

ADC:

I’m a very structure-based writer, so I like to put together outlines and treatments of the story and each individual comic book page. I’ll also use a Word table to put this together.

CM:

Sometime longhand on a yellow lined pad. Usually, though, I work on my PC or my laptop.

OB:

Why do you think graphic novels are finally gaining popularity?

ADC:

I actually think that the recent success of The Watchmen has played a big role. It was the one of the first graphic novels to be considered more than just a “comic book,” especially when it was listed as one of the top books of the 20th century. When the film came out two years ago it led to a resurgence in the title and made people associate graphic novels as part of a larger literary circle.

CM:

I think they have been less ghettoized — the stigma of “super hero comics” has been removed partially because so many really interesting super-hero movies have been made. I think people are seeing sequential art as a medium and not a genre. And when they do that they realize there is a “comic” out there for them. If you read I guarantee you I could find you a comic that would intrigue you.

OB:

Who is your favourite graphic novelist?

CM:

Wow, just one? Darwyn Cooke is pretty awesome.

ADC:

I really like the comic books that Brian K. Vaughn (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina, Runaways) does. He is able to put together some great high concepts and his writing is concise, pop-culture savvy, intellectual and very entertaining.

OB:

Where can we find more of your work?

ADC:

I’ve produced two feature films but it would probably be very, very hard for you to track down copies of those… I was very fortunate to have worked in the music industry as a manager for a number of years, so if you pick up any music by Nelly Furtado, Fefe Dobson, Jacksoul or some other top Canadian artists, I played a small role in helping to make those come to life.

CM:

That’s pretty much all I have done. I did a little un-credited writing on a sci-fi show a few years ago, and if you want to find me as a journalist you could search the web, I guess. I wrote a bit for the Globe and Mail (mostly on-line) as well as spending six months as a reporter for the Ghana Statesman in West Africa.


Anthony Del Col has worked in the music, film and television industries, produced two independent feature films and most recently assisted with the management of international pop star Nelly Furtado and her world tour.

Conor McCreery has served in both creative and business positions for film and television companies, contributed over 1,000 stories and articles for media outlets and also provided expert analysis for Canada's Business News Network.

For more information about Kill Shakespeare please visit the Kill Shakespeare website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

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