Pullbox Interview: The crew behind Hot Brass, Pharaoh’s Gold

Hey Pullbox readers, recently I was able to connect with members of the creative team behind the family friendly project Hot Brass, Pharaoh’s Gold from Unlikely Heroes Studios

John Pence, creator/writer/letterer Instagram  Facebook

Joe Koziarski, artist Instagram Behance Deviant Art 

Laurie Foster, UHS owner, publisher, editor, etc Twitter Instagram 

Unlikely Heroes Site Twitter

“Somewhere outside of Bakersfield, 1919: The Dell Boys Gang rob a train full of ancient Egyptian treasures, but get way more than they bargained for when they awaken the mummified remains of an evil Pharaoh and his army!

The Dells have been in tough scrapes before, but now they’re chased by mummies on one hand and about to get nabbed by Sheriff Dwight Owens on the other. If they’re caught, it’s not just the law they have to worry about, because Sheriff Owens’ daughter Sally is the “wildest half-puma little girl” in the West, and she don’t take kindly to train-robbin’ scallywags.”

Eric: First off, thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. The idea of cowboys taking on mummies is nothing short of pure awesome, where did it come from?

John: Haha! Thanks! I have to credit my coauthor, my son Will, for that. It just popped up in one of those random moments that kids have when they’re thinking out loud. We were walking home from school, and after a minute’s silence, he’s like, “So Dad, who would win in a fight between mummies and cowboys,” and I was like, “let’s draw up a contract and I’ll show you how I write scripts.” 

Eric: How did the creators connect?

John: Years ago, Joe and I worked together on another short series/graphic novel, The Ballad of Brighid of Atlanta, and I knew his work would be perfect for this story. Joe and I had a good relationship during that book, and I feel like I knew how to write for him. 

Eric: This premise certainly could have been an r-rated affair, but Hot Brass is a family-friendly (8+) adventure story. How important was it to you to make this not just for an older crowd? 

John: Well, since it was written by a kid, that was one thing. It’s funny, because even though I’m most widely known for my work on The Surgeon, which is not appropriate for kids AT ALL, I want comics to be roughly accessible to kids. Childhood was when I fell in love with comics, and reading didn’t come super-easy to me, so comics were a great format. Now, don’t get me wrong: this story would never make it past a Netflix censor. Adults enjoy celebratory cigars and drink whiskey. Everybody shoots at mummies, and the mummies are scary! But I could handle that kind of stuff when I was a kid, and I bet modern kids can, too.

Eric: Is there a sequel in the works?

John: It would be a daggone shame for a comic writer to ever truly “end” a story without an opportunity for sequels. Truth is, Joe does have something up his sleeve, and we’ll tease it at the back of this book.

Eric: Shameless plug time: Any other projects coming from the creators or from Unlikely Heroes?

John: Surgeon 5 should be in the works before too long, and issue 4 will probably be ready for press this summer. We’re taking submissions for the next Elsewhere Anthology. I’m running a GlobalComix exclusive hardboiled noir (with cartoonish animal characters) serial these days called The Jonesey and Dr. Long Adventures, and I’m right proud of that. I’ve got about a half dozen books always simmering on the back burner, too, but can’t commit to talking about anything else right now …

Laurie: To add to what John is plugging, we also have the upcoming issue of Unthinkables in the works, as well as a new series launching in October called Miss Medusa’s Monstrous Menagerie that we’ve been slowly teasing…I won’t give anything else away just yet…

Eric: Thanks again for talking with us today. And readers please don’t hesitate to back this project and check out all the other project these creators have coming (links at the top of the interview)

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