AMA: Possession - Superheroes, mythology, punk rock, and kinky sex!

Michael_Norwitz
Jul 23, 2018

Michael Norwitz, primary creator and one of the co-writers of the NC-17 series now appearing on Comixology (and soon on Drive-Thru Comics), takes comments and answers questions about his series.  It harkens back to the style and tone of 80's comics and 80's and 90's style and promises adventure, horror, and a lot of queer content in issues to come.

http://possessioncomic.com/

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To what extent have you included your interest and experience in philosophy into your writing and what are some of the other external interests of yours that have infiltrated Possession's storyline?
Jul 24, 9:29AM EDT0

Not many ways specifically, aside from a tendency to be introspective.  There will be the occasional easter egg for Douglas R Hofstadter's work, however.

Jul 24, 7:26PM EDT0
What are your personal influences, and what influences do you feel have shaped the style and the themes of new comic so far?
Jul 24, 6:57AM EDT0

Too many to list, as with anyone, but some of the comics that influenced Possession in particular, as I said below, are Love & Rockets, Eddie Campbell's Bacchus, and Omaha the Cat Dancer.  I'd add Silver Age DC Comics to that.

Jul 24, 8:51AM EDT0
As someone who has worked in comics for so long, were there any of these stories that you’d never heard? Which one surprised you most?
Jul 24, 1:03AM EDT0

I'm a relative newbie to the field, actually, and I'm not sure I understand the question?

Jul 24, 6:07AM EDT0
Comics are as big as ever and basically dominate pop culture. Do you see a ceiling on how far the industry can grow?
Jul 23, 11:08PM EDT0

The human population is only around 7 billion, so yes,

Jul 23, 11:40PM EDT0
What means have you used to publish the first issue of Possession and what were the circumstances that lead to its successful publication?
Jul 23, 3:06PM EDT0

I had an eight-page section published through Octal octalcomics.com/ which is a resource I recommend to any new creator; even if you don't get in, the process will be invaluable in learning how to put together a pitch packet for a publisher.

Jul 23, 9:24PM EDT0
What are the rules or specific guidelines one must follow in order to write for comics and how did you personally develop your comic book writing skills?
Jul 23, 2:25PM EDT0

As for your first question, I've written about some of this here:  chapterbookchallenge.blogspot.com/2017/03/graphic-novels-and-writing-comic-script.html

As for your second question: trial and error!

Jul 23, 9:23PM EDT0
Several of the episodes highlight the tensions between collaborators through the years. Do you think there is something unique about comics that creates those tensions?
Jul 23, 11:21AM EDT0

Unlike prose, comics are (not necessarily, but typically)  collaborative, and unlike film comics are (typically) made with relatively small creative teams of near-equals.  That's a recipe for burgeoning egos to conflict!

Jul 23, 9:20PM EDT0
In "The Psychedelic Journal of Time Travel" what were the stories about and how did you become part of the anthology?
Jul 23, 3:35AM EDT0

I have a light superhero story which is a Marvelman pastiche, and another which is about plagiarism.  I discovered the Journal on Facebook through John Freeman, and already had the Marvelman pastiche script written, and sent it in.  They took it and I was hooked!

Jul 23, 9:18PM EDT0
How do you make your work progressive and more relatable for readers?
Jul 23, 1:07AM EDT0

I aim to have as diverse a cast as possible and try to give every character a unique voice of their own.

Jul 23, 9:16PM EDT0
How far have you gotten with the plotting of the storyline for the entire series and how many issues are you planning for the series?
Jul 23, 12:40AM EDT0

The series is plotted in 4 issue arcs.  Issues 1-8 are completely written.  Issues 9-20 are plotten and written to varying degrees.  I'm planning a few more arcs after that but they're still nebulous at this point.

Jul 23, 9:15PM EDT0
Do you have any words of wisdom to impart on other indie comic creators or to your fans?
Jul 22, 11:37PM EDT0

Let me recover first from the notion that I might actally have fans ...

Jul 23, 12:22AM EDT0
Why have you specifically restricted your comics to an adult audience, what is the particular message or purpose behind the decision to include explicit and sexual content in your comics?
Jul 22, 4:36PM EDT0

The origin for the characters that Steve Whitaker devised in the 80s had an inherently sexual motif, so I thought it appropriate to fully embrace that theme.  I also wanted to do something that would appeal to sexual minorities and other people whose sexualities aren't commonly depicted in the mass media.

Jul 22, 5:24PM EDT0
Which 80s and 90s comic styles have you borrowed for Possession and what are your reasons for choosing the influences of this era for the styling of your comic book?
Jul 22, 4:18PM EDT0

I grew up in the 70s and 80s during what's commony called the 'Bronze Age' of comics, when a lot of writers at Marvel and DC were trying to push the boundaries of superhero comics (a school which later gave rise to people like Alan Moore's late 80's work).    The gave me a sense for what I wanted my comic to be like.  Other comics from the next era influenced me as well, notably Love & Rockets, Eddie Campbell's Bacchus, and Omaha the Cat Dancer.

Jul 22, 5:20PM EDT0
What was the motivation to create this comic book at this stage of your life?
Jul 22, 9:36AM EDT0

I started working on these characters back in the 1980s!  It just took me a while to get the comic writing 'bug' and actually move forward.

Jul 22, 10:50AM EDT0
Why do you prefer comic-book-based movies or TV series that have "World" in the title and why did you not then include this in the title of your comic book?
Jul 22, 1:09AM EDT0

Ghost World and The End of the F****ing World happened to be two of my favorite adaptations and it was presumably an accident that they had a common element in the title, but it inspired a flippant response from me in the interview.  Unfortunately, I thought Possession World sounded lame.

Jul 22, 1:17AM EDT0
How much of your own personality and character traits are reflected in the characters you have developed for Possession and how much input did the other creators have with regards to the development of these characters?
Jul 22, 12:43AM EDT0

My personality and aspects of my life are spread throughout a lot of the cast - Javier has some, Sheila has some, Bertrand has some, and others including some that haven't been introduced yet.I've created the core characters Sheila and Javier long ago - under different names but as far back as the 1980's.  Mary Ann has created many others since I've come aboard.  As the series progresses we discuss scenes with each other and write each others' characters.  As the initial creator (and the scripter) I'm the ultimate arbiter, but respect her vision when it's important - we had a difference of opinion over the background of Rusty's sister Anaya (whom you will meet next issue), and I ceded to her.

Jul 22, 1:15AM EDT0
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