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Snowblinds Psycho Circus Review: Exclusive Interveiw With Kevin Conrad

Snowblinds Psycho Circus Review was at the New Jersey Kiss Expo on 4/26/98 and we got a chance to sit down and do an interveiw with Kevin Conrad, the man who does the inks for Psycho Circus. Well here it is :

Kevin Conrad and myself

Snowblind-How did you get the job of inker on the Psycho Circus comic?

Kevin Conrad- Well I worked for Todd for about a year working on Spawn, Todd new I was a big kiss fan so he asked me first.

Snowblind- so, him knowing you were a kiss fan helped?

Kevin Conrad- Yeah

Snowblind- You do the inks for psycho circus, what does that entail, my understanding is that you basically trace over angels, adding your own touches here and there, is that basically how it goes?

Kevin Conrad- Trace is a very bad word...(Laughing)

Snowblind- Well not trace, but go over darker...

Kevin Conrad- Well in simplest form, Yeah , what you do is go over the pencil with black ink, but there is a lot of tehnique involved, there is a lot of textures involved, ya wanna make sure the page balances, balances well with blacks and whites, if theres not enough black on the page I will add black, solid black, I'll add a lot of textures, I'll change textures angel puts on the page, so its pretty much... yeah Angel creats the image and does the story telling and that kinda thing with the initial image but, once I m finished with it no pencils exist anymore, its all inks. If ya wanna know a ratio, its probably 65% / 35% in regards to actual input.

Snowblind- Can you breifly go over the complete process of making the comic book, I belive I heard you say earlier there are three stages---

Kevin Conrad- Well yeah, it starts out with the writer. The writer will send the plot to the penciler, I get the plot also so I know whats going on when I get the pencils, and once Angel has the plothe will do the actual pencils, tell the story, make sure every thing flows and from there I get the pages usualy federal express , a page a day, I finish the page send the page off to the colorist, the colorist scans the art work into the computer, then he colors it on disk and so the actual art work stays black and white. The actual art work is much larger, its reduced 65% in the comic. Then the letters, all the letters are done by computer also, and then it goes to the colorist again and the colorist scans it in on top of the art work all on a disk, he fowards the disk to the printer and thats it. The physical art work never comes back for this particular book, Gene Simmons buys all of it.

Snowblind- Brian Holguin wasnt the original writer for the comic...

Kevin Conrad- they bounced it back and forth, ya know, Origanally, I think the original guy was supposed to be Roy Thomas and things didnt work out, then it went to a guy named Beau Smith, who actually writes comics for Image, he works for Tod, hes Tods promotional director, and that didnt work out, then they got, the colorist is good freinds with Brian Holguin who is presently doing the book, and he clicked and hes got it down, and I guess Brian will be writting spawn as of issue 75, so he will be doing both books.

Snowblind- There seems to be some delays with some of the issues, i think three of the issues have been delayed longer than the five weeks

Kevin Conrad- Some times, well for instance, issue 8 was supposed to be out last wednsday, but it got bumped because it wasnt risking returns, it is comming out this wednsday. It got bumped because Spawn was risking returns, if it came into stores a week later the retailer would be able to send it back, so thats what happened this time around. There was one ocassion where Angel had a hernia that he had to have taken care of, wich set the book back about a week . All in all I think its one of the more regular comics out there. The first issue came out in August of 97, by August of this year our goal is to have the 11 issue out. In regards to having one a month we are shy one issue.

Snowblind- One last Question- can you give any insight into whats comming up?

Kevin Conrad- Theres a four part story art thats comming up starting with issue #10, called "Destroyer"..where did that name come from(laughing), and each cover, much like the insert posters from the solo albums, will make up one big poster when put together. The first one will be Peter criss by himself with a little hint of Paul stanley around one of the edges, the second issue is Paul Stanley, the third is Gene Simmons, fourth is Ace Frehley, so when you put em all together it makes one peice of art work, thats a nice thing commin up. outside of that , off hand I really dont know much else... i'm havin the time of my life, I have been a kiss fan since I was 14 years old.

Snowblind- Yes I have heard that, I was surprised that they actually have kiss fans doing the comic, thats awesome.

Kevin Conrad- Brian Holguin, I havnt talked with him but, I hear he is even more of a kiss nut than I am. If ya read it you can really tell...

Snowblind- Yeah There is a lot of hidden stuff in there...

Kevin Conrad- Yeah there is actually alot of stuff in the actual text.

Snowblind- in closing I would like to say you guys do a hell of a job, and i think that you and Angel should do the covers more often though.

Kevin Conrad- Well we started doing the covers since issue six...

Snowblind- That Micheal Golden guy...

Kevin Conrad- Ya well hes out of the picture now, he's a great guy but... Ya know , if were good enough to do the interior then we are good enough to do the covers.

Snowblind- Thank you for the intereiw.

Kevin Conrad- Your welcome, any time.

Kevin was very nice, he was giving out to every fan that came to his table a #5 issue of psycho circus, and a color glossy promo flyer for the new action figures both autographed by him. He talked to every one all day and signed anything ya had for him to sign, and dont forget he was also gracious enough to give me an interview. This interview was also video taped for my freinds cable tv show about kiss, so it will be on tv in Rhode Island some time this week.
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