Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of your latest graphic novel, The Drude 2: Lost Angeles, from 1First Comics! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the series’ premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Omaha Perez: Why, thank you. I’m really proud of this book and excited to launch it into the world! The premise: THE DRUDE is Boris Drude. Boris is 40 years old, living like he’s 25, occasionally playing bass in a band, smoking a lot of pot, always looking for a new lady friend. Boris has no responsibilities and is perfectly happy. Unfortunately for Boris, he possesses supernatural abilities and trouble has a way of finding him…
The Drude is a vehicle for me to play with various conspiracy theories, through the lens of this “slacker” musician Boris. Volume 1 introduced Boris and his supporting cast as Boris is thrown head first into the midst of the Reptilian Alien global conspiracy. Of course, like his friends, you must question his sanity since only Boris actually sees the Reptilians.
I really hit the ground running with Volume 2, Lost Angeles. This sequel, which works as a stand-alone, features more Reptilians, the Illuminati, a Demonic version of Aleister Crowley, a strangely familiar "Mr. Dump," and the ghost of John Lennon dishing on Paul - all wrapped in a Doppelganger story!
Lost Angeles, which has several story lines, was inspired by the thought of “the road not taken,” Americans’ (I believe) still-growing preference of celebrity over substance, and the “Faul” (faux Paul) conspiracy in Beatles lore.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in writing the graphic novel, and what have been some of your creative influences? Likewise, what can you tell us about your collaboration with Tony Talbert?
OP: My process varies. SUPER TERRE.R (1First, 2016) came to me nearly fully formed in a dream, but most projects start with a Notes document. The Drude Notes has everything from story ideas, to news articles, to quotes, to song lyrics, etc.
The central Doppelganger story line in Lost Angeles was inspired by a Richard Hell song, “Destiny Street.” “I was walking down the street today, When I stepped off a curb into ten years ago, I was ten years past, and I saw myself at the age of twenty-one, Looking right back at the man I've now become.” Then things get weird. (I think Hell said the song was inspired by Borges’s story, The Double, which in turn I’m sure was inspired by the Dostoyevsky novel.)
I am sure the most obvious influence in my writing is PK Dick, and I am a huge fan, but my favorite is Alexandre Dumas. Particularly the Musketeers series and Count of Monte Cristo, having been originally serialized in weekly newspapers, are real page-turners - and serve as a great model for pacing comic books. I’m also influenced by Robert Crumb, Jack Kirby, and Gilbert Shelton’s Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers.
Tony Talbert - what a fantastic talent! Our collaboration began a few years ago when I asked him for a pin-up for Drude v1. I loved the piece so much, not only did I buy the original but we colored it and used it for the cover of the book!
When after completing the first chapter, Greg Hinkle had to drop out of SUPER TERRE.R, I knew Tony would be perfect for the material. My publisher quickly told me to “keep him busy,” and we’ve been continuously working together ever since. He’s currently wrapping up our 3rd book together and is set to begin work on our 4th!
Our working method is pretty standard. I write full script, but Tony knows he’s free to incorporate his storytelling sensibilities. In fact, particularly with action sequences, he’s been known to expand the page count. As the art comes in I find myself obsessively refining the script, over and over - cutting dialogue I find extraneous, rephrasing bits, etc.
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from your work?
OP: First and foremost, I want to entertain readers and hopefully take them places they’ve never been before. There’s a recurring theme in most of my writing, from The Drude to HOLMES (AiT/Planet Lar, 2008), back to BODHISATTVA (O-P-P, 2003) - the theme being the illusory nature of Reality (and sanity). The Hindu concept of Maya, that the “world is but an illusion.” That’s just kind of the backdrop. Drude books aren’t very serious - they are way over the top, politically incorrect, weird fiction.
BD: Do you have plans to expand the Drude world into additional graphic novels or an ongoing comic book series?
OP: Yeah, the stories keep coming! I’m nearly done with the first draft of Volume 3.
BD: If given the opportunity to expand your series into other entertainment mediums, in what format do you hope to see it adapted?
OP: I was asked to write a Drude screenplay (my first). I sent the latest draft out in early January. I’d love to see it as a feature or a series. We’ll see.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
OP: Tony really wanted to do a SUPER TERRE.R sequel, and I was happy to oblige! I tailored the script to his strengths. While the first book is mostly a slow-burning suspense thriller, this one explodes into complete mayhem! He’s working on the last chapter now, and the pages he’s turned in are spectacular. He says he’d like to work on ST.R books for years to come, so I expect after our next (long awaited) project we’ll be on to ST.R 3.
The next project (our 4th together) is currently unannounced, but I’ve also written an (also unannounced) Arthurian graphic novel. Tony is clearly booked up, so we are seeking another suitable artist for that one. And as mentioned, I’m nearly done writing The Drude 3 - that will need another artist, as well!
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about The Drude?
OP: My Facebook Author Page will have the most updates and info regarding The Drude books and my other titles. There’s also www.thedrude.com and my publisher's website, www.1firstcomics.com.
The Drude V2: Lost Angeles is available for pre-order in February through Diamond. DCD code: FEB191675.