Toni Boix: How did Moonstone come up? What was the philosophy that encouraged you at the beginning?
Joe Gentile: We came up due to the folding of another comic company…there was just a lot of us in one space with nothing else to do at that time! We wanted Moonstone to be a place where writers could be less confined, and in so doing, just concentrate on telling great stories.
Toni Boix: From certain time on you decide to bet on licensed characters. What’s the reason for that? Do you think it obeys to some sort of way to stand out among the wide world of small amercian independent publishers, usually eclipsed by Marvel and DC?
Joe Gentile: Well, honestly, we thought two things about this:
1. We thought it would help get us attention by both fans and retailers, and…
2. We werent just going to do “any” license. We thought we would do some that would pull NEW people into comic stores, or maybe some readers who havent been to a comic store in some time. So we advertised these licenses OUTSIDE of the comics industry.
Toni Boix: It seems that backing on known character has also made it easy to get to work with famous authors, Was that an expected consequence? Who has been the author who surprised you the most when asking you to work with any specific character?
Joe Gentile: Not expected…not at all. Each and every time has been a surprise, and a nice one!
We have had so many authors talk to us about either The Phantom or Kolchak, its hard to pick just one: Max Collins, Stuart M. Kaminsky, Peter David, John Jakes, Len Wein, Robert Randisi, Ann Nocenti, etc!
Toni Boix: In all your titles, it seems to be a trend to hire very good writers and cover artists, but the same thing doesn’t apply to interior perncillers, whose quality standards aren’t too high. Of course there are exceptions such as Von Eeden and Mandrake but, what is the reason for that? Is a good penciller too expensive to pay to? Is the bet on illustrated tales in wide-vision format aiming to save in your products’ graphic terms?
Joe Gentile: Honestly I cant say that I agree with you at all here. We try very hard to get good artists for the interiors, but everyone has different tastes. For instance, you mention an artist that some people have told us they dont like! Art is very subjective here, brother, and your question is stated a little argumentatively. We have had some good luck with art, and some bad luck…just like anyone else. Your “bad art” is someone elses’s “good art”. If you’re looking for the bIG NAME artists to do interior work here, then I’m afraid you will disappointed. Most of those artists have an “exclusive” deal with one publisher or another, so they can ONLY work for that one company. BUT, we are ALWAYS trying to put the very best work out there we can…fair enough?
Toni Boix: You said that you became a fan of the Phantom because of its pulp novels rather than the comics. In general terms, does a good tale attracts you more than a good comic book? What is, in your opinion, the essence of a comic book, the one that makes them different for the rest of the stroytelling arts?
Joe Gentile: Hmmm…why can a “good tale” be a “good comic”? For me, almost no matter who’s drawing it (there are exceptions of course) its ALWAYS about the story! So whteher its a movie, a book, a comic, or a TV show…if the STORY is good…then I’m all for it!
Comics, for me, do a couple things no other medium can…tell a good story using a series of still pictures. I think with a comic, the creators are ONLY limited by their imagination. We can get BOTH visual AND words without any kind of “budget restraints”, like in film. Comics can be unbridled creativitiy!
Toni Boix: In Moonstone, you act both as an EiC and a writer. Which one of those works do you feel more comfortable with?
Joe Gentile: Honestly, no one has ever asked me that question, so I give you credit for that!
For me, writing is what comes naturally to me. Being EIC is a ton of work, and most of it completely “thankless”!
Toni Boix: Who is your favourite character?
Joe Gentile: Of ours? Of anyones? Comic character?
Favorite characters: Sherlock Holmes, Phillip Marlowe, Lew Archer, Starman, Hawkeye, Daredevil, the Shadow, etc!
Toni Boix: Two of your works have been pencilled by Trevor Von Eeden. What’s your opinion about him and about the amont of fame he is getting in the comic book industry? How is working with him?
Joe Gentile: I loved working with Trevor! He is a VERY hard worker, and just a super nice guy!
I first saw his work, way back, when he was doing “THRILLER” for DC. LOVED that book! Very “pulp-like”! Trevor could use a little more attention over here, thats for sure!
Toni Boix: Your biggest failure?
Joe Gentile: Hmmm….not having the ability to be in more than one place at one time…!
Toni Boix: Your biggest triumph?
Joe Gentile: Getting the Kolchak, Phantom and Buckaroo Banzai license! I assume thats what you meant?
Toni Boix: Your biggest hope?
Joe Gentile: That Moonstone can continue to rise, so we can do all of the very cool projects we have coming up!
Toni Boix: What three Moonstone books we shouldn’t miss?
Toni Boix: And three series from the rest of the publishers?
Joe Gentile: Hmmm…I’d go for “Captain America” and “Daredevil” from Marvel…just so wonderfully written! And…then “Fables” and “Desolation Jones”…
Toni Boix: Thank you very much for your time.
Joe Gentile: Thank YOU!
Moonstone Books Solicitations for August ’06
The Phantom: Man-eaters
A new Moonstone WIDE VISION book! Every page is a double page spread, sandwiched by prose across the top and bottom!
CONTINUING the YEAR LONG celebration of the PHANTOM’s 70 year ANNIVERSARY!
The Phantom, en route to his beloved Bangalla to bury the remains of
his childhood friend Mente Olalla, the victim of ‘zombification’
(“Damnation Game”, The Phantom #5 & 6), receives an emergency call; a series of murders is taking place in the small village of Tsajaban, presumably
the work of man-eating lions! With DEA agents Coughlin and Greaves at his side, The Phantom uncovers a deeper, more dangerous situation than even he could imagine, as he battles ancient gods and modern mercenaries to save the people of his homeland.
Written by Eisner nominee Rafael Nieves (Vampire the Masquerade) and
illustrated by Vatche Mavlian (Spiderman & Wolverine)in the exciting new Wide Vision format!
Buckaroo Banzai #3 – “Return of the Screw” part3 of 3
The 1984 film starring Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum, & Christopher Lloyd is a cult classic loved the world over!
Writer Mac Rauch and director WD Richter return to their creation with a BRAND NEW STORY!
“…a bold, titillating mix of particle physics, rock n roll, super-sonic speed, beautiful women, and villains beyond redemption.”
Part 3 of this rollicking saga concludes as Banzai, along with his Hong Kong Cavaliers, think outside of the box to make sure our world can safely go to sleep at night!
Hearts are broken, a birth of something strange, a photo with a sad memory, a road trip with Uzi’s, the Man in the Moon, an assault on a Lectroid stronghold, Tommy as Tarzan, unerring marksmanship, the taste of a good rope, and all that wrapped inside a riddle about an elephant! But when will they have the time to book the studio to record their next smash album?
This “Mr Toad’s Wild-Ride” adventure screams (and then jumps with the world holding hands) to a conclusion that could only happen to our one of a kind scientist/hero/rock star…Buckaroo Banzai!
Drawn by (Star Wars) Stephen Thompson, inks by (original Banzai inker!) Keith Williams!
Covers by Dave Aikens and Michael Stribling are shipped 50/50.
Werewolves: Call of the Wild #3
WEREWOLF vs WEREWOLF action!
All bets are off in this spine-snapping thriller! Cole has found his brother and now he’s out for blood. Marcus, meanwhile, is still trying to cover his tracks, and he’s only got one more loose end to tie up: a big one named Cole Tyler.
The explosive finale to the three-issue arc by Stoker Award winning horror writer Mike Oliveri!.