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Comic Book Yeti Contributor Alex Breen recently corresponded with writer Mario Candelaria & artist J. Schiek about their crime-drama OGN, One True Love, to discuss their inspirations behind it, common misconceptions with crowdfunding campaigns, and their shortlist of must-watch crime/heist films. There's only a few days left in the campaign so read on and then head over to the Kickstarter page.


COMIC BOOK YETI: Mario and J., thank you so much for joining me today. From the way both of you described One True Love in the campaign's page, this seems like a true passion project. What are some of your favorite things about making crime comics?

MARIO CANDELARIA: I have to say the craftiness of a good crime. It’s not just the act of doing it, but the brazenness needed to come up with a plan to take something that is not yours.

J. SCHIEK: I really enjoy the opportunity to tell new stories with images. I’ve loved comics since I was in single digits, age-wise, but after discovering Buster Keaton in an American Film Masterpieces class in junior college, I became obsessed with visual storytelling. Keaton’s ability to convey immense amounts of subtlety without dialog really clicked with me. Watching Chaplin helped refine a lot of that, and ultimately, as much as I love comics, it seems inevitable in hindsight that those two passions would collide, sooner or later.

CBY: What are some of your major influences with this story?

MC: Ed Brubaker, for sure, but the works of Terrance Winter are something that stands out to me as a direct influence. Check out Tulsa King or Boardwalk Empire if you can for examples of how to humanize someone who will not hesitate doing you any harm if you get in the way.

JS: I would be remiss not to mention Sean and Jacob Phillips, as this book feels very much like a Brubaker/Phillips kind of story. However, I would also cite David Mazzuchelli, and in particular his Batman & Daredevil work with Frank Miller as influences. From more of a film standpoint, the nods go to John Huston, Howard Hawks and Quentin Tarantino.

"...this more lateral format allows for those wider, cinematic aspect ratio...that 90-degree rotation makes all the difference to being able to lay out some wider spaces for the characters to act and interact."

CBY: One True Love is being produced in a wider format than a traditional comic. Mario, does that change your approach to scripting the story? And J., are there any aspects that you enjoy about this format over the standard comics page?

MC: Not at all for me! As long as I make sure to end pages with cliffhangers that make you want to turn the page and see what happens next, I can do the gif in any orientation.

JS: I like that this more lateral format allows for those wider, cinematic aspect ratio kind of panels. It’s exactly the same square footage of a regular page, but that 90-degree rotation makes all the difference to being able to lay out some wider spaces for the characters to act and interact.

CBY: Mario, can you describe your collaborative process with editor James Ferguson? What advice would you give to new writers when working with editors?

MC: Listen. Listen. Listen. Don’t take shit personally. If their reasons for why something needs to change are better than your reasons for keeping it, then do the needful thing and make the changes.

CBY: Which crime/heist films would you recommend to readers?

MC: Logan Lucky. It’s taking the genre and placing it in a whole new setting. A very inventive take on something we have seen.

JS: Tough call. It isn’t a heist movie, but in terms of mood—as it relates to this story—I can’t recommend Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood enough. Easily my favorite Tarantino film and something I used to throw on for background noise all the time before my son started developing a working vocabulary. Getting to heists, you can’t go wrong with The Italian Job, the original and the remake, and also Spike Lee’s Inside Man.

CBY: From both of your experiences, what's a common misconception people have with crowdfunding campaigns?

MC: That we get rich off these things. Some people make bank, sure. But that’s the exception to the rule. It’s a lot of work to raise funds for production, but having people who believe in you makes it all worth it.

JS: I’m not sure how common these are, but one I’ve seen recently is someone asking if we could reset or extend the campaign timeframe. The other—and I don’t know if this is a misconception more than it is my own insecurity—would be someone getting the idea that one has gone to crowdfunding for the same reason people used to go to vanity presses when their magnum opus mystery/romance novels couldn’t find an agent or a publisher. Like we’re trying to sell expired milk or something. Crowdfunding definitely can be a grab bag, and in a lot of ways, it is the wild west, but I have seen some legitimately amazing books from some legitimately amazing people.

Frankee White’s Eat My Flesh, Drink My Blood, Ed Brisson’s Catch & Release, and Richard Fairgray’s Octopus spring immediately to mind, and both are phenomenally well-produced books. I can think of maybe a couple of buyer-beware sort of books, like Grant Stoye’s Sidequest (kidding, in the extreme; SQ is amazing), but generally, if I find a comic I’m not a fan of, I don’t tend to say anything about it. Or, even remember it, in many cases.

CBY: When is the deadline for people to support One True Love?

MC: We end next Friday night, 6/30, at like 11:59 pm EST.

JS: YOU HAVE 24 HOURS! Sorry. I was just watching Into The Spider-Verse prior to this interview. No, you’ve got until, lemme see…*checks notes*…You’ve got until June 30th at 8:59 PM Los Angeles time. That’s a minute to midnight for you folks on the East Coast. Mileage may vary for Mountain Timers.

CBY: Where can people find both of you on social media?

MC: You can find me on Twitter at theothermarioc and on Instagram at anothermarioc.

JS: I go by the same handle, @schiekapedia, on Twitter and Instagram. I don’t really bother with Facebook anymore, but if you want to join my grandma in sending me Mafia Wars requests, my Facebook is just my full name, Jeremiah Schiek. You can also see a bunch of my work on my website at:

CBY: Mario and J., thank you so much for your time.

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