Comic-Con 2009 Update #17 – Stormbringers (Interview w/ Korby Marks)

If you scout the vendor floor at Comic-Con, you’ll find your senses under attack from all possible angles.  There are authors, artists, filmmakers, celebrities, store owners and big companies all trying to attract your attention with a barrage of advertising and showcasing.  It’s easy to miss something when you are out and about in this area of the San Diego Convention Center.  Nevertheless, there was one particular booth that did successfully capture my eye without the need of someone convincing me to step closer. 

As a re-born comic book aficionado, I came across a series titled Stormbringers at this year’s Comic-ConArtwork is usually the first thing to catch my eye when it comes to comics but there can be a catch.  Covers may look fantastic but what’s inside can pale in comparison.  That certainly wasn’t the case with this series from creator Korby Marks.  Upon picking up issue #1 and thumbing through its pages, I started getting that childhood feeling like I walked into a toy store and my mom said I could have one of anything on the shelves…okay that never happened but I dreamed it a lot. 

The artwork that can be found on the cover of the Stormbringers series is the same high-quality work that you will find inside as well.  You need not worry about me rushing judgment on this series either.  I bought that first issue and read it with an uncompromising focus.  You will find an urban landscape where women with unnatural powers are being hunted by a mysterious para-military force.  One particular ex-CIA official hunts for answers on who’s pulling the trigger and what exactly the super-human women are capable of.    

I recently had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Marks about his work on the title as well as his other work; Glorious


Question #1:  When did you initially get the idea for the title/series and how did you come up with the characters and their personalities?

Answer: Stormbringers has been in the works since I was a child.  I had an extremely active imagination and whenever I read a comic book or a novel or watched TV I would simultaneously be imagining what it’d look like if I inserted my own characters into the piece. 

I actually began to diagram Stormbringers out on paper my junior year in college and then about four years ago I decided to actually bring it to life. Mainly because I didn’t see much representation of African-Americans in comics but also because it was something I could create, publish and bring to the marketplace without having to ask anyone’s permission.

The actual title/name Stormbringers was initially more of a business decision than anything else. It came about because it was the only name I could both trademark, and secure the dot-com names for.

The characters and their personalities just sort of came to me over the years.  If I had to mine the inner workings of my mind to answer how I came up with them I’d say they represent different archetypes in the African-American community.  And these archetypes are real flesh and blood human beings…a far cry from the stereotypes perpetuated about us in the media.  For example, one of my characters is a quantum physicist. That’s because I’ve met real African-American scientists and physicists.  Another character works for the CIA, as well I’ve met a few African-Americans who do as well, and so on and so forth.  We live such rich lives and have such well-rounded experiences that I wanted to capture that in a medium where I could intertwine it with larger-than-life storytelling.


Question #2: Could you give me an idea on what the timeline is like from beginning to end on the creation of one issue?

Answer: That all depends on the pencil-speed of the artist.  Some pencilers can knock out 6 pages a week, while others can only do half that or even fewer.  For Stormbringers issue #1 it took 12 months to be penciled and inked.  The subsequent issues took about 4 to 6 months.  Add in the colors and letters and I’d say each issue averaged about 6 months to a year to be completed.  This is mainly because they were hand drawn and inked on paper. In the future I’ll probably use an artist who can do it all digitally, or at least most of it anyway.


Question #3: Though Stormbringers was a mini-series, can we expect more of the story in the future?  If not, what other irons do you have in the fire today?

Answer: Yes. I have Stormbringers plotted out for 100 issues. The pencils for Stormbringers issue #0 have already been completed. Issue #0 launches the ongoing Stormbringers series.  I also launched my new series entitled, Glorious. Issue #0 of Glorious debuted at the 2009 San Diego Comic-con and is about a 14 year-old high-school freshman who begins to develop super-powers, but her powers only work when she feels good about herself and usually cut off on her at the worst possible time.  The 150+ page graphic novel for Glorious begins production in 2 short weeks.


Question #4: Someone on the discussion panel for the Kick Ass film said now is a great time to be in the comic book industry.  Do you agree and how would you feel if Stormbringers or any of your works were proposed to make their transition to a movie?

Answer: Yes. It has always been a great time to be in the comic book industry. Because you have to love this medium of storytelling to want to do it in the first place. I’m sure what they meant is that now so many comics are being optioned for film, but I’d be doing this even if that weren’t the case.

I have been offered film and TV deals for both Stormbringers and Glorious over the past couple of years.  I haven’t sold the rights or optioned them yet however because either the contract terms were too exploitative (i.e., one company wanted to own 50% of all my future creations in exchange for bringing an animated Stormbringers to TV) or they wanted to make the characters White…and I definitely wasn’t feeling that.

I didn’t get into this for the money, and I have a 9 to 5 job so I can actually wait until I find a deal that’s right for my properties.

I have an awesome attorney and a hardworking agent now representing Stormbringers and Glorious so we’ll see what happens next.


Thank you, Korby!


Why So Blu’s Gregg Senko & Stormbringers Creator Korby Marks


Check out the official site at www.stormbringers.com



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