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Naked Productions (Comics targeted at mature readers)
Interview with Chris Hollmer
Natasha Brooks                                         

1. The name Naked Productions seems to be a very intriguing
name. What is the meaning behind the name?

We wanted a name people would remember.  The word “Naked”
offers a multitude of possibilities.  Naked is natural, pure and raw, yet
it also funny, stimulating and vulnerable.  We’ve had great success
with the “Naked Girls” that appear on the back covers of our print
books and at conventions.  The giant NAKED billboard with the
orange velvet curtains attracts attention at our booth.  I’m often
referred to as “that naked guy”.  Possibilities are limitless.  Branding
is key.  Make it simple.  Make it fun!

2. How many comic series do you have in total?

Currently, The Wannabe is available in print and Don Juannabe is
available on-line.  We have three additional series in development in
addition to some multi-media projects and three completed novels we
are shopping around.  Prose belongs in the large publishing houses.

3. How can readers pick up an issue of your comic series?

The Wannabe is available at select comic stores and at http://www.
Don Juannabe is free on-line and can be viewed at:

4. What can you tell us about any new upcoming series?

We are very excited about two new projects UniverCity and Bang!  
UniverCity is set in a major US city about 100 years from now.  The
US is in a world war, and several cities are transformed into giant
scientific-military industrial complexes, and all the intrigue that goes
with it.  We are featuring the return of one of the industries great art
talents – John Hebert, and written by newcomer Peter Hollmer.  Bang!
is a coming of age story featuring a young adolescent trying to find
herself in a world without structure.  Both series are targeted for
release in late 2006/2007.

5. The storyline to your comic series are incredible, where do
your ideas come from?

WOW!  Thank you for the kind words.  I believe a writer constantly
needs to as, “What if?”  All of our stories beg that question.  What
would happen if a regular guy who had everything going for him
suddenly lost everything (The Wannabe)?  How would an average,
married guy with three kids react if he suddenly realized he was a
sexual magnet (Don Juannabe)?   What would happen if the
government took over the best research institutions in the nation
(UniverCity)?  Keep wondering!

6. What inspired you to become a comic artist? What kind of
training did you have?

I started drawing the day my mother ordered me a subscription to
Spiderman in the 1980’s.  As I pursued a marketing degree
(sacrificing art), my rendering skills have suffered.  I prefer to
collaborate with more skilled talent, but do like to pick up a pencil
from time to time.   I love to draw and paint, but prefer to write these
days.  Leave the heavy lifting to the pros.

7. What is it like developing a storyline and what kind of
preparation do you take to write a storyline for your comics?

My first venture into comics drew from a novel I wrote (The
Wannabe).  It was a struggle to translate.  They are completely
different mediums.  I studied the best: Bendis, Baron, Claremont, etc.,
adapting to letting the art help tell the story.  Many of the other series
were written as comics first, so you’re set free.  You don’t need to get
hung up on what the novel was all about.

8. Who’s works with you on your comics?

My brother Peter Hollmer writes UniverCity, but we largely work
independently.  We serve as each other’s editors.  The artists I’ve
partnered with have been incredible.  Courtney Huddleston (Decoy,
Penny Farthing Press) draws The Wannabe with help from several
industry pros including James Taylor, Mike Zeck, Mike Garcia, John
Hebert, ErikJ, and Austin Janowski.  There’s nothing better than
seeing your words brought to life by these talents!

9. Obviously, a full color comic takes longer than a black and
white comic. How long was the Wannabe and Don Juannabe
project been in production?

Years.  I started The Wannabe in 1997.  Seriously, even black and
white takes a long time.  The biggest mistake comic creators can
make is rushing a title out, and then taking 2 years for the next
issue.  It happens all the time.  For that reason, we are looking to
launch upcoming titles with more complete story arcs (trade
paperbacks, etc).  The fans have lots to choose from.  They don’t like
being strung along.   In the future, we will take more time and release
complete stories.

10. What is your goal with Naked Productions? Do you see a
mission out there that you want the readers to know about?

We want to create unique stories that are told well.  Our books are
targeted at mature readers, but are not adult material.  We would like
to be part of the wave that kills the stereotype that “comics are for
kids.”  The United States is the only nation on the planet that has that
has that stereotype (but that is another interview).  I want People to
see Naked Productions and think, “This experience will be worth my
time.  I can’t wait to escape!”