Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Bertie Bear - An Interview with Andy W. Clift

In 1937 the Dagger of a Thousand Souls, an ancient relic of untold power that is long thought lost, re-emerges and the hunt is on! 

In the wrong hands, the Dagger could spell darkness for the entire world and they don't come more wrong than dark wizard/crime boss Vince "The Prince" Del Vino and an army of a whole cult of Vampires, lead by the dangerous femme fatale - The Rose. 

Standing between them and their prize is Bertie Bear, a treasure hunting/monster slayer trapped in the body of a teddy bear!

Written and drawn with gusto by Andy W. Clift, he takes you on a journey full of twist and turns, every moment revealing a little more about the gentlemanly Bear, and there are great moments referencing old serials from the 1930s

The black and white artwork has a cartoony and very clean cut style, but with the addition of your typical Vampire style blood and super violence. 

The first three issues that I read were a complete joy and Bertie looks just SOOOO cuddly!

I can't wait to read more!

So me and Andy had a little Q&A about the comic, Bertie's influences and who should voice the Tomb Raiding Bear.

Hi Andy, how's it going?

Hello! It’s going good thanks, yourself?

Can't complain :D

Who are your favourite comic book characters?

Christian Walker (Powers), Hal Jordan/Green Lantern, All 4 of the Ghostbusters, Flash Gordon, Space Ghost. The Spirit. 

Batman….seriously, I could get carried away :D

And artists?

This one’s tough because it’s always changing, but the core artist who I’ll always love are;Jack Kirby, Alex Toth, Michael Avon Oeming, Bruce Timm, Darwyn Cooke, John Romita (both Sr & Jr) Mike Allred, Dave McKean and Tim Sale.

But then there’s the ones who just grab you. Greg Capello has totally been nailing it on Batman for the last 3 years. 

Ryan Ottely, Dustin Neguyen, Fiona Staples. Martin Simmonds is about to blow everyone
away on Death Sentence. Yeah, I think I better stop now. :) 

What about writers?

Darwyn Cook again, JMS, Brian Bendis, Brian K. Vaughn, Scott Snyder, Dan Abnett (with and without Andy Lanning), Alan Moore, 

Jeph Loeb, Mark Millar, Frank Miller, Garth Ennis. Seriously, this is like the artist, I could go on and on. I’ll remember more and will kick myself after I send this.

What's on your pull list right now?

Rat Queens,

Now onto the comic...

I got a great Saturday cinema serial vibe from these, were there any other influences?

Indiana Jones was a clear influence, things I grew up with like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ghostbusters. There’s a lot of Will Eisner’s the Spirit in there too, with some Doc Savage to boot. 

Bertie’s very much a pulp character, in this first story at least. 

When reading it I had the voice of Alexander Armstrong in my head as the voice of Bertie, or David Niven from the classic comedic Casino Royale film, who do you have in your mind for him?

Alexander Armstrong, I like that one! I don’t think I have a specific actor, but Bertie’s very British.

With his eye scar and the other artifacts in Bertie's study in issue one you really get a sense of history there and you want to know more of those adventures, will we ever find out what or who gave Bertie that Scar?

Oh yeah, I’ve got a lot of that mapped out. I know exactly who gave Bertie that scar and that individual will appear sometime down the line. 

I loved the recaps, it reminded me of Deadpools intros in the Deadpool & Cable series or the chapter breaks in Empowered

I wanted a way to recap the previous issue, but not just have a regular blurb. I toyed with the Star Wars Clone Wars style news report, but in the end I decided, why not just have Bertie tell the reader what’s been happening. 

What can we expect next from Bertie and you?

Next from me. I’ve illustrated a 10 page story in Mike Garley’s awesome new horror anthology, Samurai Slasher, due out very soon.

As well as webcomic with Mike coming also very soon, I’m really excited about that.
Bertie’s first story arc wraps up in the summer with issue 4. 

Then it’s onto a brand new story arc sometime next year!

Okay now onto the quick fire round...

Marvel or DC? 


Mario or Sonic? 

Sonic, obviously! Sega represent! 

Chocolate or vanilla? 


Indiana Jones or Lara Croft? 


Vampires or Zombies? 


Captain America or Iron Man? 


And finally, if you could write a story featuring any Comic book character, and you have the chance to write it as another cuddly toy - Who would it be and why?

That is a great question! The Joker. Could you imagine that? The Joker as a cuddly bunny, terrorising a Gotham City full of humans. With those eyes and that grin embroidered on. Great, hello Nightmares!

Thanks for your time Andy!

You can buy the Bertie Bear physical issues HERE 

or buy the digital copies HERE

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