Hello my lovelies and welcome back to the Indie Corner with Matt Dunford. In this interview I will be taking some time to chat with Kevin Bieber and Victor the creators of a new small press book titled Man vs. Rock
Matt: I recently read the first 3 issues of comic titled “Man vs. Rock”. Man vs. Rock is the story of a man, a man named Buck Stone. Buck Stone is a geologist, a geologist who knows a very terrible secret. And what secret is that? He knows that rocks are planning to destroy us. They have been planning their vengeance since the dawn of man. We have walked over rocks, thrown them, crucified them, we have urinated on them, and we have stolen their music. So now it’s payback time. So here are the wonderful storytellers behind this mineral massacre.
Kevin: My name is Kevin Bieber, formerly Kevin Timberlake.
Victor: My name is Victor DeTroy and I am a mysterious voice that floats in the night.
Kevin: He’s not creepy at all and he really does send the right message for Man vs. Rock.
Victor: I model my life choices around being creepy.
Matt: So guys why don’t you tell us a little about Man vs. Rock.
Kevin: It all came to us one day when we were sitting around on a regular Saturday night. I said to myself “Hey Kevin, I want to be rich one day. So what better way to be rich than write and independent comic book?”
Matt: Exactly. What better way to become rich than shelling out $100 a page for an artist, paying printing fees, digital distribution fees, booth fees in order to sell your comic for $3 an issues to convention guests.
Kevin: Exactly. It’s such a foolproof plan. Forbes just released their list of billionaires and I wasn’t one of them.
Matt: No, I refuse to believe that.
Kevin: But with this independent comic book I’ll be there shortly.
Victor: I did it for the chicks. There are like mad chicks that like comic books.
Kevin: So like you said Man vs. Rock is this absurd comedy about this semi-illiterate homeless geologist named Buck Stone who thinks that rocks are out to get us because we’ve used and abused them from the beginning of time. I thought it was would really be an absurd and funny story that we could share so we could let everybody know how insane we are and confirm our mothers worst fears about us.
Matt: At every comic convention I go to I always pick up a book that I’ve never heard of before. I’ve ended up discovering some of my favorite books this way, that’s even how I discovered Man vs. Rock. I know it’s really rough doing a creator owned book when you people haven’t heard of you. So how has the uphill battle been pushing the boulder that is Man vs. Rock?
Victor: It’s very hard. I’ve hired a group of street thugs to wear 1980s spiky leather clothes with skulls on them. We basically just walk up and down the street finding people, throwing them to the ground and pushing Man vs. Rock into their faces. That hasn’t been working out so well but Kevin has some pretty good strategies.
Kevin: I’ve been dancing out in the street for nickels. So that’s how I’ve been funding Man vs. Rock. One day I’ll make it. But it’s been really fun; it’s hard to think of a more fun thing that I’ve ever done. There are so many components to it, the collaborative end working with someone as delightfully insane as Victor and our artist Jared Lamp. I’ve met Jared only a couple times but I’m still not even sure if he exists. I’ve had so much fun meeting all these new people at conventions and even dealing with the business aspects like sales, printing and merchandising. Making a comic has been a very cool experience and though I don’t wanna say that I know more about business now than Warren Buffett but I feel like I do now.
Victor: We’ve been very aggressive at cons. We go up to the people and we chat them up and we try to see if they like comic books. Some people at cons aren’t into it, so to each their own. But there are a fair amount of people that want to give something a chance. We’ve found that most people go to cons because they are interested in the material and they like comic books. I think Man vs. Rock is a fun concept; it’s not something that’s dark and heavy that takes a lot of time to get into. Man vs. Rock is entirely about fun. So when you have to go to the bathroom Man vs. Rock should be your #1 choice or #2 depending upon the situation.
Matt: One thing that stood out to me about Man vs. Rock is all the humor we see in this book because we don’t see to many funny comics in this day and age. I think it’s a good choice on your behalf I’ve found a lot of independent comics that are thrown my way have a fair amount of action and violence. Not that I don’t like action and violence every now and then but it’s good to laugh every once in a while. So could you tell us about your humor writing process?
Victor: Well first and foremost Man vs. Rock is not humor; it’s a documentary about the dangers of rocks. So we just want to clear the air on that one.
Matt: I think rockumentary would be a more fitting title.
Victor: I agree. But I think that’s what sets us apart from others at the cons because we don’t take ourselves super seriously. We’re just looking to have fun and I think it’s a nice change of pace for people. They go to cons and they grab a little of this and little of that so they have a nice big pile of comics to read when they get home but we would like to throw in a little bit of comic relief into their comics. So far they’ve responded very well to that and it’s allowed a different angle when we’re approaching people.
Kevin: We can actually use comedy to sell to the book. So if we’re making jokes to people who come by our booth it makes them more than likely to try it out than it would be if it were in a different genre.
Matt: Moving on I want to know how the collaborative process. You guys don’t work in the same studio your artist, Jared Lamp. I found his style to be very gritty but it brings the laughs. Sort of like Todd MacFarlane in the late 80s.
Kevin: We’re very blessed to have Jared Lamp working with us. He’s a great artist and we couldn’t ask for anyone better.
Matt: You probably could but they would say no.
Victor: Jared does an awesome job and collaborating can be difficult but I think it take an artist who is willing to be patient, do the revisions and work on stuff.
Matt: He does a great amount of detail. There are lines all over the place.
Kevin: It takes a certain kind of artist to do our book. You have to be willing to draw anything. He was willing to draw the book from Day 1. We talked to other artists before we got Jared and most of them didn’t get it. When Jared sent us the first sketches he got it. He’s always willing to go the extra mile and willing to humor our insane and borderline illegal activities.
Victor: There is definitely some stuff we have him draw that several other artists said “I’m not gonna draw that.”
Matt: Come on, where’s their sense of creativity?
Kevin: The crucifixion of a rock can be tastefully done in my opinion.
Matt: I’m sure Mel Gibson could do it.
Kevin: And I’ve got a great idea for Mel Gibson if you know his agent.
Matt: Which I do.
Kevin: I’m so happy to be working with Jared he’s currently on issue 4 right now; hopefully we’ll have it out by Wondercon. From there we’ll keep on keeping on.
Matt: Since there is no such thing as true creativity. What were your influences for this story? I saw it as a different version of Attack of The Killer Tomatoes or something like that.
Kevin: Really the influence for Man vs. Rock was the CNN show Crossfire with Tucker Carlson. Just the type of very lucid debate made me think about the Man vs. Debate. But in actuality it was South Park that gave the feel.
Victor: If you want a more hipstery version of our influence I would say Mr. Show with Bob and David.
Matt: I am a big fan of both those shows.
Victor: It was a big mixed bag of stuff we liked growing up. I’m a huge fan of Axe Cop and Brian Posehn so that’s where we get our style.
Kevin: But I also think back to the time when we were campaigning for the George W. Bush 2004 election. I remember Dick Cheney coming up to us and I just called him Dick. But he came up to us and said “We need something that the kids are gonna find hip these days.” And we said “Men fighting rocks.” So from there he was the election and became the greatest President ever. So it just happened. And I don’t want to say that Man vs. Rock had caused all that. But it would be cool if it did.
Victory: Especially it was released like 5 years after.
Matt: Yeah but from there we simply got Man vs. Iraq.
Kevin: Wow, we should really have you write for us.
Victor: This guy’s hired.
Matt: All great stories are written with a beginning middle and an end. So how far do you see Man vs. Rock going for?
Victor: It was written as a screenplay originally. But after a bit of delusion we realized that there is no way this would be written into a movie. It’s 7 volumes total and we’re about 4 volumes deep.
Kevin: We have everything laid out; we know exactly how it ends. After this story ends we may continue on with Buck Stone continuing the rock saga.
Matt: Buck Stone is a great character. I could see him played by Nicholas Cage in a movie.
Kevin: Which Victor has admitted is never going to happen. But in case Mr. Cage ever needs money he’ll be interested in doing Man vs. Rock.
Victor: I’ve written to Nic Cage daily for him to star in Man vs. Rock and to finance it. I’m offering him a nickel more each day. So I’m up to $1.55 right now. So I guess you could say we’re in tight negotiations.
Kevin: To be fair it was better than his original idea of Bill Cosby.
Victor: He just kept trying to drug the rocks and it didn’t go well.
Matt: How has the fan reaction been to Man vs. Rock?
Kevin: We had to go into the witness protection program for a couple months. But after that things have been going great. The people who are into it are a really into it, we were proud to be called one of the Top 15 Indie Books of 2014 by Bleeding Cool and we were called the best Indie Book of 2014 by Comic Bastards we’re really happy about that. We even have an ad coming out in Dynamite Comics in March and none of this would have possible without the fan reaction we’ve got. So to everyone reading our comic, we love you guys. Thanks for everything.
Victor: Out ad in Dynamite Comics will also list off all the potential side effects of reading Man vs. Rock. So if you’re experiencing night terrors and involuntary arousal then read the side effects in our ad.
Matt: So for fans that are unfortunately have not read your book, where can they find you and grab a copy?
Kevin: You can find Man vs. Rock in the hearts of children everywhere. But you may have seen us at Long Beach Comic Expo, you’ll see us at Wondercon in April, we’ll be doing Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con in June, and the San Fernando Valley this March.
Matt: San Fernando Valley? That’s were they make pornos.
Victor: We are considering a porn parody spin off called Man vs. Cock.
Matt: Also starring Nicholas Cage.
Kevin: We’ve got a lot of things coming up, but our biggest hope is San Diego Comic-Con. So knock on wood.
Matt: Man vs. Wood.
Kevin: And like most indie books we’ll hit the Alternative Press Expo. So we’ve got plenty of events coming up where fans can find our book.
Victor: You can also buy it online at Amazon and Comixology. So yeah just steal it off of one of those places.
Matt: What about social media? Are you like one of the cool kids that has one of those thingies?
Victor: What’s social media?
Matt: It’s that thing that replaced friendship.
Victory: Oh yeah, that. We have twitter, instagram, the book of faces and Jdate.
Matt: Do you also have MySpace and Friendster?
Victor: Yeah but we were kicked off of them. We weren’t considered cool enough to be on those.
Matt: Ok, I guess I won’t be putting in in my top 8.
Victor: We’ve been tweeting a lot lately. Semi-psychotic tweets and we have a blog that we update every week or so. It’s called Buck’s Totally P.C. Blog. It has such lovely articles such as romantic erotica series about Aaron Hernandez. Buck was also commissioned by the North Korean government to write a response to The Interview called “The Super Glorious Interview” about how the godlike Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un flew to America and unleashed his wrath upon the Hollywood terrorists Seth Rogen and Dave Franco.
Kevin: He decided to spare James Franco.
Matt: Thank god.
Victor: Buck is working on it right now and he’s hoping that they’re make it into a pamphlet that will be given to all the people of North Korea.
Matt: One last question. Why should everyone be afraid of rocks?
Kevin: Do we know for sure that rocks didn’t write Mein Kampf? We don’t know if a rock didn’t cause the persecution of white people for so many years, which is the other thing we’re passionate about.
Victor: There’s also a line in the Bible that says, “The greatest trick that rocks have played on man is they convinced us that rocks don’t really exist.”
Matt: I remember reading that in Sunday school.
Kevin: Rocks are these evil filthy dirty little things. You don’t see them do anything but they’re plotting. Every single problem that ever happened traceable to a rock and rocks were at the very least near every single problem that ever occurred. No historian can dispute that because with any atrocity there was a rock close by. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Call me crazy, but there’s no way. If you consider yourself an intelligent person you have to accept that, it’s fool proof.
Victory: I don’t accept that.
Matt: And with that I think we should close out. Thanks so much to Kevin Bieber and Victor DeTroy for joining me here at the Indie Corner here at Comic Impact. So go check out Man vs. Rock.
– Uncle Dunfy