“Ogre the Top”: An Interview with Bob Salley – writer of Ogre and Salvagers
Bob Salley is an independent comic writer whose latest title“Ogre” sold out both its debut issue and second issue first printing withSource Point Press. Issue #1 could be heading for a 2nd printing. I picked up the first issue when it came out (along with a beautiful store virgin variant) and between the story and the art, in my opinion, it’s an absolute
I spoke to Bob recently and asked him some questions about his current work, his creative team, his professional background and what we can expect from his other new projects.
Jeremy Waldorf: Congratulations on the success of Ogre, it has been getting a lot of attention lately. What can you tell readers about the story and how got the idea for the concept?
Bob Salley: I already wrote a sci-fi comic so I really wanted to expand myself into another genre and I’ve always been a huge fan of Fantasy.
Ogre is the story about a reclusive beast locked in a dungeon and chained to a corpse. He is haunted by the ghost of that corpse to go on an adventure that he doesn’t want to go on, with people who don’t want him there.
Originally, the concept was a much larger epic tale… But after consulting with Travis McIntire, Source Point Press editor-in-chief, we tweaked the story to make it a little different. In doing that I have the ability to really express the characters and weave them together into this fantasy setting.
JW: Source Point Press has some hot titles recently such as Monstrous, The Rejected and now Ogre. How did you get connected with SPP, and what makes it such a good fit for you and your projects?
BS: I met Travis and Josh Werner (art director) on the convention circuit and I really was impressed by their mission to get their titles out and in front of fans by attending more than 60 comic cons a year. As Travis has told us, many times, the best way to sell your book is to put it in somebody’s hands.
At the time I joined with my title Salvagers, [Source Point Press] didn’t really have that Space Adventure Sci-fi comic. So, I wasn’t sure if they would want it. But, I think it was a perfect way to bring that genre to the publisher, as I had a
JW: How did comic books come into your personal life, and what were your favorite titles when you were growing up?
I always loved good stories whether it was movies, books or Comics. The special thing about Comics was that they came out every Wednesday. So on Wednesdays or Thursdays after
JW: What was your first job as a writer?
BS: When I was in college I had a job where I would write profiles for artistic people who are offering their skills for hire. They had creators for piano lessons all the way to wood whittling. It was a challenge to write these profiles in a way that made these people stand out and have somebody want to use their service.
JW: Going back to Ogre – the first issue helped to set the scene. It’s a 3-part series, I assume you have some surprises up your sleeve?
BS: You’ll have to keep reading to find out.
JW: That’s fair. What kind of personal experiences did you draw from in the Ogre title?
BS: In my life, I think I’ve always been somebody who is open for suggestions on how to do things differently even though I am hard-pressed to change my ways. In Ogre, you have characters that wouldn’t normally interact with each other finding that they need each other and forcing them to decide whether their way is the right or wrong way to live.
JW: Shawn Daley is the artist on the series, how did you connect with him originally and what were your first impressions of the art for the series?
BS: Shawn and I met at a comic convention in Philadelphia and we had already known about each other through common friends and social media. After a short chat, we both decided we wanted to work together on something… we just didn’t know what yet.
As I said earlier, my original concept for this was a more epic tale and I was looking for a different art style. But after we made the changes, Travis and I agreed that Shawn would be a perfect fit for this new story. Shawn’s work is gorgeous and so unique. Knowing that my name would be tied to the writing of this book, I knew it would have to be pretty damn good if I wanted to compliment Shawn’s art.
JW: Are there bigger plans being discussed for the Ogre title?
BS: Shawn and I are currently working on a follow up to Ogretitled “OGRES”. It’s a separate story with different characters and a totally different vibe. Think Alien vs Aliens. One was a horror movie, the other an action film.
Bob’s first title published by Dirty Planet titled “Salvagers”, is still running strong today in the Source Point Press family. You can read all about it here.
JW: One of your first titles “Salvagers” was released in 2015, and has a new release coming up soon. What can you tell us about the Kickstarter and what we can expect to see in the Salvagers title?
BS: Salvagers: The Havoc of Blackbane is the current volume we’re working on and it is LIVE on Kickstarter. It is the 3rdAct to this 3 Act intro to the Salvagers Universe. Everything is coming to ahead and it will definitely end with a Bang… literally!
JW: -Let’s change direction a little bit for a minute–
JW: If you could work with anyone at all in comics, who would it be and why?
BS: Amy Reeder… I have a cyberpunk script I would LOVE for her to do the art on. So, Amy, if you’re reading this… call me.
JW: In your opinion, what’s the best trend in comics right now, and the worst trend in comics right now?
BS: I love how the independent comic scene is flourishing and fans are gravitating toward new original creator-owned storytelling. The worst thing is seeing those out there trying to tear creators down and discredit them. Social media makes it easy to turn a thought or rumor into supposed fact in the minds of others. This causes a lot of creators to disengage where they could be giving knowledge to those who are coming into the industry looking for guidance.
JW: What or who motivates you in your work?
BS: Every single creator out there motivates me. When you see
JW: Who is your favorite writer in the comic industry right now?
BS: Rick Remender. I’ve been following his writing career since Fear Agent and the guy can write. He’s an ambassador of the craft too… offers his wisdom to us newbies so often.
JW: Name one person that’s had an impact on your life.
BS: Travis McIntire (Editor-in-Chief of Source Point Press). Just when I thought I was getting a handle on how this industry worked, Travis smacked me in the face with reality and I realized I knew very little. His wisdom and guidance
JW: Where do you see yourself professionally in three years?
BS: More writing and editing and hopefully a bigger part of SPP (Source Point Press) and the industry in general. I love the comic book industry and all the people in it. I’d love nothing more than to make it a full-time job.
JW: What other projects does Bob Salley have in the works?
BS: I have a cyberpunk story in the works as well as a diesel-punk story. I’m looking forward to taking on an editing role on theSalvagers series as we bring on other writers and I’m looking forward to developing a Salvagers animated series.
JW: Sounds like a lot of exciting things. What kind of advice would you give an aspiring comic artist or writer?
BS: Just keep at it. Don’t get discouraged when you fail (and you will fail), but turn it into a learning experience. You need to go through the process. It’s very rare that you get a published gig right off the bat, so create, self-publish and network with creators who are also on your level.
That was some great insight from writer Bob Salley, you can ask your local comic shop to order the Source Point Press titles “Ogre” and “Salvagers”. If you’d like information about the now fully funded Salvagers
Ogre #2 is officially sold out. It’s on shelves now wherever you can find it, and issue #3 (the conclusion) is right around the corner. Ask for them where you buy comic books and be sure to check out www.BagsUnlimited.com for all your comic storage, shipping and supply needs.
Source Point Press website: www.SourcePointPress.com