Corey Fryia is a Canadian-born comic book writer who now lives in the southern United States. He’s a community minded creator with past works helping non-profit organizations. He edited Out of the Blue, which gave back to child-literacy organization The Comic Book Project. At the SoKomics Expo he sold prints of his canine comic strip Good Boy to benefit a local Humane Society.
He is now looking for a little help of his own to produce an oversized first issue of his new pulp comic hero Doctor Crowe with a Kickstarter campaign.
So Corey, how did you come to comics?
I have always shared a connection to comic books in some form or fashion throughout my life. As a young kid I was glued to the TV watching Batman the Animated Series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or those amazing Spider-Man and X-Men cartoons from the early 90’s. While I ended up honing my skills writing in my later years in life, these cartoons actually inspired me to want to be an artist when I grew up. I used to staple paper together and make my own comics when I was a kid. I still have original comic books that I drew from when I was seven or so years old. I wrote and drew a Star Wars book, Spider-Man, Star Trek, James Bond and even Xena Warrior Princess. I also used to draw these wild recreations of my favorite panels from X-Men and Spider-Man comics. Technically, those were my first attempts at a foray into the world of comic books. However, It wasn’t until much later in life (my early twenties) when I actually started entertaining the idea of creating comics as an actual profession.
You acted as co-editor on 2014’s Out of the Blue: A Collection of Strange Stories and the upcoming sequel A Collection on Campfire Tales. What’s your involvement in those and what can readers expect from the sequel?
Along with Marta Tanrikulu, I served as a co-editor on both Out of the Blue anthologies. Now before I even begin to talk about my involvement in those books I have to mention that Marta is one of the hardest working and most determined editors that I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with. She truly is the lifeforce behind these the books. I feel as if I act as the Robin to her Batman on our little editorial dynamic duo.
If you enjoyed the first Out of the Blue book, then you’re going to love the Out of the Blue: A Collection of Campfire Tales. While the first Out of the Blue was more slanted towards strange stories, this second volume is more focused on chilling or scary sort of stories. We have some first volume creators returning as well, but they’re also sharing the spotlight with some new creators that pump a lot of fresh life into the pages of the second volume.
I think I can speak for Marta when I say that we are really excited for everybody to get their hands on this book. Everybody who has worked on this thing has really brought their A game and you will not be disappointed.
You’ve got a current Kickstarter campaign to fund Doctor Crowe, could you tell us a little bit about it?
Doctor Crowe #1 is first issue of a 4-issue mini series. The mini-series follows the story of Dr. Victor Crowe, an infamous adventuring scientist; expert on the occult and an all-around pulp hero who uses advanced technologies to battle gruesome, supernatural terrors across the globe. Issue #1 features is 28 pages long and features four separate, serial anthology-style adventures that pits Dr. Crowe and his allies against unique, otherworldly threats that must be eliminated at all costs.
Who did you work with to bring Doctor Crowe to the comic page?
I have been fortunate enough to assemble some of my talented artist, colorist and letterer friends to help bring Doctor Crowe to life. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of folks to work with. Artists Tony Gregori, Karim Whalen and Matt Horak really put their unique spin on the character and their hard work is definitely evident on every page. Their pencils and inks are complimented by a solid group of colorists as well. Doug Garbark, Josh Jensen and Laura Lee are all amazing at what they do. And to cap it all off — Taylor Esposito, Nic Shaw and Micah Myers are some of the finest letterers that comics has to offer. I honestly believe that.
Are there any specific influences on Doctor Crowe?
As far as other comic books that have influenced Doctor Crowe, then I have to mention Frank Barbieri and Chris Mooneyham’s Five Ghosts. As far as present day pulp adventure books go there is no series that does it as well as Five Ghosts. It’s just good action and adventure for the sake of entertainment. That’s something that we’ve brought over to Doctor Crowe. I’d like the reader to be able to pick up the book, dive into the adventure and just forget about the real world if even for a split second or two.
Does living in the south shape your creative works in any way?
Kentucky is certainly a big part of my life. I identify with the kinds of people who live here and I try to let that show in my writing. If you pay attention to anything that I write, there’s usually some character that’s dialogue is written with a southern twang. In the case of Doctor Crowe, that character is Nora, Dr. Crowe’s tomboyish sidekick.
One of your previous works was a comic strip about your faithful dog; does Dr. Crow contain any animal friends?
Of course he does! In fact, I’ve made a pledge to myself to write a canine companion for any lead character that I write going forward. And, no, I’m not joking! Doctor Crowe’s dog is named Ajax. He’s a loyal Weimaraner who’s actually based off of my own Weimaraner named Harvey. Ajax appears in two of the four adventures in the first issue. I supplied Tony Gregori and Karim Whalen with an unhealthy amount of reference photos of Harvey in order to capture his likeness haha.
I’m a big dog guy. Take one look at my Instagram or Facebook and you’ll easily find that out. I have two amazing dogs, Sonny and Harvey, and they are literally my best friends in the entire world. I couldn’t imagine life without them and the bond that I share between my dogs and myself is something that I’d like to continue to explore through my writing. Also, dog sidekicks make everything instantly cooler. I think that’s a proven fact.
Check out Corey Fryia’s new pulp-hero Doctor Crowe on Kickstarter. It hit 100% funding in one day, but there’s still plenty of time to get your copy. You can also connect with the creator on Twitter @CoreyFryia