Hey, thanks for joining us today. Who are ya?
Hi! I’m Jeremy Kahn.
I’m the creator, writer, and colorist on the comic Alien Summer (set to be published this spring by United Comics). I also work as a freelance comic colorist having done coloring work for publishers such as American Mythology and Silverline Comics. Among the many titles I’ve work on are comics featuring classic children’s characters such as Casper the Friendly Ghost, The Pink Panther, as well as Rocky and Bullwinkle.
What do you do for fun?
For fun, I like reading and working on various do-it-yourself projects. I am also really big into antiquing.
As a reader, I enjoy fantasy and sci-fi. Though, I also am a big reader of manga, comics, and light novels. One of my favorite light novel titles I’m currently reading is Ascendance of a Bookworm. Which, as a book lover myself, has a very relatable character who reminds me so much of my cousin.
As for some of the DIY projects I’ve been working on, I’ve begun building a device to automatically turn the pages of a book for me. This is so I can display certain rare books I own in a display case while being able to turn the pages without taking the book out.
Tell us about your book.
My comic book, Alien Summer, is an all-ages comedy which revolves around Earth discovering that aliens exist which results in a treaty being formed that allows for the export and import of goods. Earth’s biggest exports happen to be their pop-culture and entertainment as Aliens just love Earth’s imagination. They love it so much that they decide to come live on Earth to experience Earth life.
The star of the comic, Lunatia, comes to Earth as part of an exchange program to spend the summer with a host family. Unfortunately all her knowledge of Earth comes from movies, comics, games, and manga. Thus, her knowledge of what Earth is really like is a bit skewed.
Who designed the cover?
For the cover, I hired Tracy Yardley to draw out the line work for me, which I then proceeded to color using my amazing comic coloring skills 😉
Tracy is a comic artist who has done work for titles such as Archie and IDW’s Sonic the Hedgehog comic series. He also is a alumni of SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design). In addition to Tracy, I hired another SCAD Alumni, Lime Robertson, to draw the interior art. This means that the main creatives behind the comic (me included) were Alumni of SCAD.
What gave you the idea for this book?
Interestingly, Alien Summer came about as a result of both necessity and desperation. Due to various reasons, I found myself a month away from a scheduled comic convention appearance with no books to sell. This meant I had to create a whole new comic within a month’s time frame.
I decided to make a mini-comic (a 12 page comic book) with the story focusing on various hobbies I indulge in. This made it easier to write a story as I’d be writing about things I know well and have a great love for. As for the characters and world, I knew from the start I wanted to make this a stand-a-lone story, this way those buying it would be satisfied after reading it. For inspiration when coming up with the characters, I turned to the manga series To LOVE-Ru and Urusei Yatsura. Both these series feature an alien princess coming to earth and winding up living with a human and his family, all while getting to experience Earth life. It is that base premise that I decided to use as well for my story.
Though, I would like to note that the two manga titles mentioned are not kid friendly. I had to be very picky in what I drew inspiration from and make absolutely sure not to reference parts of those series that would be inappropriate for the demographic I was writing for. Thus, leading to an all-ages series about a energetically curious Alien and her grumpy straight laced human friend..
In the end, though, it was my desire to write something fun where I could showcase my love for manga, comics, games, etc. that drove me to create Alien Summer.
What is your writing process?
I tend to focus first on developing a general outline with a beginning, middle and an end. I then come up with a couple story beats I’d like to see crop up. With this in mind, I begin working through the story just writing dialogue for the characters in a way that moves them from point to point. Basically, I treat them as a team of improve actors with the outline and story beats being the suggestions they are to work off of. When I eventually reach the ending I go back through and straighten the rough areas, making things flow better.
What other writers/people do you consider inspirational? If they’re authors, what about their work captures your interest?
I love sci-fi and fantasy. As a young kid Isaac Asimov and Michael Crichton were must reads for me. I just love the world building in their works, and how they handle the pseudo-science mixed with real world science. I was basically that weirdo who read both Fantastic Voyage and Fantastic Voyage 2 just to see the different approach to the science and how medical knowledge had changed between the two releases. Other than the facts and information, most of the story being told in the two books was more or less the same.
I’ve also always been a huge fan of pulp fiction. Edgar Rice Burroughs being one of my favorites with John Carter of Mars and Tarzan. I love the mix of fantastical and real world elements found in these kinds of pulp stories. They make what happens seem almost plausible. It is of course important to strike that balance between real world and fiction, and stories from these authors mostly all ways hit the mark. Special mention to Tom Swift, as well.
What are you non-writing hobbies or interests?
As part of my love for animation, I collect style guides and press kits as a hobby. I’ve amassed a pretty large collection over the years, with over 60 style guides in my collection and nearly the same amount for the press kits.
“Animation style guides help streamline how a character looks, especially when they are the result of a collaboration of more than three people. For instance, an animated style guide will make sure that Bart Simpson will look recognizably similar in every shot of The Simpsons Style”
Aside from my collecting, I also spend time reading manga, light novels, comics etc… I’ve been on a big light novel reading spree this past year, as a matter of fact.
I also love thrifting. I enjoy repurposing for things I find at thrift stores. My favorite find was this old, metal Pacman head that had originally been on display at an old arcade. I had a lot of fun converting it into a night stand.
How do you think your personal chances of survival are in an apocalypse? (zombie or other)
Not very good. lol
I can’t even squash a bug without a lot of hesitance (more often or not I call someone else over to do it), so defending and attacking zombies are definitely a no go for me.
So, yeah, I’d be out of the race pretty quickly.
Me: Okay, you’re off the zombie apocalypse team too.
But thanks for chatting today.
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