SFIPress (Southern Fried Inkslingers) is the brainchild of Brad Joyce and Walter Shuler. Brad is the artist and Walter is the writer and they have collaborated to indulge you in comics, art, and fantasy fiction with the inkslingers podcast served up indie style. Brad and Walter are two of the funniest hosts you will ever listen to and you are going to love their podcast. Today we are going behind the scenes to poke around and see how they started SFIPress and find out what’s in store for us and them in the coming future.
David: Hello Brad and Walter, thank you so much for being featured at “Don’t Pick the Flowers”. Can you tell everyone how you guys came up with your brainchild that is SFIPress, what’s the story behind the podcast?
Brad: First off, thanks for having us on your blog! Being two ordinary guys, We (Walter and I ) are always humbled whenever people ask us to do interviews. We’re always like…”Us…you want to talk to us? Why?” lol
To answer the first part of that question, I’ll have to answer the second part first. Walter and I meet on twitter a few years back and it turns out we’re only 2 hours from each other. A little over a year ago, I started making regular trips down to hang out with him and his family. One weekend while I was down last April, we where talking about how hard it is to get your name out there. That’s when we came up with the idea doing our on little biweekly podcast. The main goal of the podcast has been (and will always be) to spotlight other creative talents! The world is full of em! Be it artist, author or what have you! And since Walter and I have been on twitter a long time, we decided to pull (blackmail is such a harsh word) guests from the vast contacts we have. Our friends seemed to like the idea and we booked the first six months of guests within two weeks. Walter and I are both southern boys so we came up with a name that shows that we’re proud of that and something that includes what we do. He slings ink writing books while I sling ink creating pictures. And with that, the Southern Fried Inkslingers Podcast was born!
Now back to the first part of your question. Well, one of the things we have always talked about was how to get Walter into the public eye a little more. If you’re an author, one of the things you can do for this is public signings (library, book store, comic conventions) of your books. Walter’s books are all in E-form. This makes it a little tough to do. So we came up with the idea of joining forces, making a graphic novel (he writes it, I draw it) that will be in print form so we can go to comic conventions put ourselves into the public eye just a little bit more. We also figured that sense we’re supporting each other, why not join forces on just one site! A one stop shop for his novels and my art work. Two people working for one main goal. It’s a win/win situation. Since we had the SFIPodcast, we just decided to go with that same theme and create our own little place in the world known as Southern Fried Inkslingers Press.
Walter: Actually, the podcast predates SFIPress. We were sitting around thinking about ways that we could help promote other creators and one of said, “Hey, what about a podcast?” To which the other said, “What? Great!” Neither of us remembers who said what, lol, but that’s pretty much the origin story in a nutshell. Of course, we gave the ‘cast our own ADHD spin – we didn’t want to be like all the other podcasts out there, particularly in our interviews, which is why there are some rather odd questions at times, but it just adds to our charm (and remember, resistance is futile. Bow to your overlords!).
David: What are your ultimate goals with SFIPress (of course besides taking over the world, haha)? Where would like to see it going and what can we expect to see in the future?
Brad: As I mentioned in the long rambling answer to the first question. We’re looking to put out (in print form and E-form) our own little graphic novel called Hawksfall in 2013. It will be a mix of Watership Down meets the world of fantasy author Raymond Feist. Something that can be enjoyed from the ages of say eight to adult. We’re both new at working on a graphic novel idea so we’re both finding our way in the dark on this project. Hopefully the future of SFIPress will bring many more projects to light. More novels from Walter, more art work from me, more mayhem in the form of the SFIPodcast. (Which is now booked with guests till early July of 2013! So mayhem from the podcast will be a definite!)
Walter: Our goals? Hmm…Well, world domination, free bacon for all of our minions… Umm, yeah. Really, as far as the podcast is concerned, we hope to keep doing what we’re doing. We’re both freaking blown away by the amount of support and love we’ve received, and there are some truly awesome folks out there. For SFIPress, the goals are a bit different. Brad and I will continue our own separate efforts, but we’re also going to be doing a lot of stuff together. SFIPress will become the imprint on my books, but will also be the publisher for our joint comics and other efforts (yes, there are plans for quite a bit more – Hawksfall is just the beginning).
Brad you are an artist and cartoonist (ex: Coffee Talk), what are some of your plans in the visual/artist world? Walter is a writer, what are some of the things on your plate at the moment?
Brad: Good question! One of the reasons Hawksfall is in such a “when is it coming out” state is because I’ve been trying something totally new with my art style for this project. I’ve been an old school pencil/pen/brush guy my whole life and I’ve been trying to teach myself how to paint in Photoshop. Taking an idea and how you see it and trying to put into an illustrated form you’ve never done before is not the easiest thing in the world to do! I can already see that the way book one of Hawksfall looks will be different from the way book two looks (hopefully in a good way) cause I’ll have the experience of book one under my belt and will be able to improve on in book two.
Walter: On my plate… wow, there’s so much. Right now, I’m trying to wrap up book 2 in The God Wars trilogy, Into a Dark Land. The 3rd book will be done the first half of next year. Then, it’s on to a new series based on one of the short stories in Blood and Brass. The first book will be called The Breaking of Northwarden, and follows Haem after the events in The Clockwork Men. That series will be at least 3 books, but possibly as many as 5. Brad and I also have the Hawksfall comic in the works, and I’ve got a number of other books in the “idea” stage.
David: Who are some of your favorite writers and artists in the world of comic’s and fantasy?
Brad: Man, as if I haven’t rambled on enough yet! I’ll see if I can’t keep this to 10,000 words or less. Favorite writer…hands down…is Stephen King! My left leg is dedicated to tattoos of nothing but his “DarkTower” series. Also in my favorite author collection is Andy Remic, Matthew Reilly, John Ringo, Stephen Green and John Steakley. Favorite artists…whooooo…this is a tough one! For two completely different reason my top two are Alex Ross (super realism) and Jeff Smith. (Brush and ink artist, creator of Bone comic) Also Greg Capullo, Skottie Young and Tim Sale.
Walter: Honestly, I’m going to have to stick with some of the amazing indies we’ve met on Twitter and FB – people like Charles Dowd, Tommie Kelly, Jorge Oliveira for comics. For fantasy books, I’m going to give some mad props to the very talented Shawn Wickersheim, who we’ll be interviewing on the podcast here soon. Thea Atkinson is another name people should know – her YA fantasy series is out of my main reading genre, but still managed to suck me in.
David: the internet is a powerful place, who would be your ultimate guest?
Brad: I’ve said this on the podcast before. The one guest that I would love to have on would be the brilliant and warped mind behind “Pearls before swine”…Stephan Pastis! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself really “laughing out loud” while reading a Pearls book. Every podcast I’ve listened to that features him; he seems like a down to earth guy. Love to have him on the show! Maybe one day, if I click my heels three times…it will happen!
Walter: You know, I’d really love to get David B. Coe on at some point – a very talented trade author and a cool guy. But other than that, man, I really get excited about the people we’ve had on and are coming up. The indie world is incredibly amazing, so rich in talent, and there are some awesome creators out there.
David: Brad and Walter thank you so much for being featured today at “Don’t Pick the Flowers”. I’m really looking forward to what you will be sharing with us the viewers and wish you both continued success as you move forward in this great venture “Southern Fried Inkslingers”.
And for those who are familiar with SFIPress or would like to find out more about Brad and Walters podcast, click on the links below to listen, follow, and then as Brad would say “Go cram it in your ear holes”.
SFIPress website: SFIPress website
Twitter (Brad Joyce): twitter.com/Brad_Joyc3
Twitter (Walter Shuler): twitter.com/anakronistical