Breaking Indie – An Interview with comic writer Ted Sikora
BY Paul Drabick
PD: Good to see you, Ted. I know you’re a busy man from Directing to writing comics you ’ve had a lot on your plate. For those that may not already be familiar with your movie, what can you tell us about Hero Tomorrow and where can we find a copy?
Ted: Thanks for having me, Paul. Hero Tomorrow is a dark comedy feature about a guy who has an idea for a superhero. His idea is based on the premise that so many great heroes are creature themed, but all the good ones have been taken, (Spider, Bats, Panthers, etc) He makes up a new animal that is so powerful and stealth that it was never yet discovered by mankind. He calls this creature an Apama. This makes no sense to publishers, but his girlfriend is an aspiring fashion designer. She makes him a costume of his own character for a Halloween party, and then he starts to lose touch with reality.
PD: Following the success of Hero Tomorrow you decided to start writing comics. Can you tell us more about them and when are they expected to be on comic shelves?
Ted: Many people who saw the film mentioned that the Apama idea might make for a cool comic. We did the first issue and became hooked. Now we couldn’t stop if we wanted to. Apama has been released in two trade collections but will be making its single issue debut April 18th along with issue #1 of Tap Dance Killer.
PD: It looks from your movie and from what I’ve been lucky to read of Tap Dance Killer and Apama we canexpect a lot of character-driven plot and action, what would you say has been your inspiration?
Ted: Milo Miller (co-writer) and I are huge fans of the bronze age. We wanted to do something that felt like the books we grew up reading but is presented in a modern way. I’ve always loved single character books. I’ve never been a fan of big teams and crossovers. Apama is a guy that has no super-hero buddies. He’s got to figure everything out himself, and he’s not the sharpest pencil in the box. It’s a very easy on ramp.
PD: Filmmaker, Writer, Colorist, Letterer, Illustrator and you work with the theater. Just saying all that feels exhausting for me. When you find your creative juices running low what do you do to get back into the swing?
Ted: The good thing about all that is if I’m feeling a bit burned out on any one thing I can shift into one of
the others. There’s always a ton of stuff to keep me busy.
PD: From Philly to Detroit, I’ve seen a lot of truly creative talents come from the area commonly called the rust belt. Has your environment been impactful to your creative base?
Ted: Absolutely. We grew up in Cleveland, so it made a lot of sense to set it here. In our world, the residents are experiencing the first ever superhero, so it becomes this great blank canvas for this kind of story. Visually the rust belt has so much authenticity and richness too.
PD: What do you see in the future for Hero Tomorrow Comics? Do you plan on bringing in other writers/artists to do their own stories?
Ted: Right now we’re laser focused on Apama, Tap Dance Killer, and the upcoming series Bloom. It’s all we can realistically handle.
PD: Can we look forward to seeing you at any of the comic conventions coming up?
Ted: Wonder Con, Steel City, Motor City, Denver, Baltimore, and pretty much every con in Northeast Ohio.
PD: Aside from your own books, what was the last comic you read?
Ted: I’ve been reading the first Daredevil Epic Collection. I was astonished at how many intricate details of that character were established in the very first issue. Pure genius.
PD: Lastly, do you have any advice to for current or aspiring writers or directors that want to go full time with their work?
Ted: Don’t wait for someone else to give you the green light. Find a way to make your art. Mess up a bunch of times, do it again and again until you figure out your own method.
Forged in flames, Cast with steel, where three rivers converge. That's where you'll find this mad man who hunts for all things unique and grand. Most can only look and see what is, he looks and sees what is and what can be, Better known to people of this realm, Paul Drabick proprietor of the comic shop