Andra Walt sits down with the man behind Creature Entertainment John Ulloa.
Andra Walt: I see that you were born in California but migrated to So Fla. What brought you to this area?
John Ulloa: Yes, I was born in East LA but we left when I was only 6 after the big earthquake of ’72 so I don’t remember much other than a few things.
AW: When did your love of comics begin?
JU: Since I could read I’ve loved comic books. I even remember the comic book that got me hooked it was Fantastic Four #72 when they fought the Silver Surfer. After I read the book I cut it all up and pasted the images on my school folder, I wish I hadn’t done that.
AW: You are establishing Creature Entertainment as a multi-level Entertainment entity. Which part of this do you enjoy working with the most; movies or writing comics?
JU: I love doing both movies and comics, but if I had to choose one it would have to be comics. You don’t have to deal with any actors.
AW: You have been in the comic industry for many years, and have had several small press ventures. Tell us about some of these.
JU: I started a comic book company back in the early 90’s called High Impact. We were very successful with our biggest title Double Impact which sold over 50,000 copies on its first day.
AW: Ravenous and Forgive Me Father look like the two newest titles. Are these to be mini-series, ongoing books?
JU: Forgive me Father is a 3 issue mini and Ravenous will be an ongoing series.
AW: Your books have vibrantly colored covers and when you see them you cannot help but pick them up to look at them. Who is responsible for the covers?
JU: We are lucky to have been given the opportunity to work with several great artists; Jose Varese is our art director and he has done a few covers. Patrick Reilly and Jeff Dekal have done the majority of our covers.
AW: How do you market your books? Are they in any local comic stores?
JU: Right now we are only doing conventions, but you can get a few of our books at Tate’s who has been great in their support of indie comics, and Florida super comics, who also have been very supportive.
AW: Have you been able to get your books into the Diamond catalogue, or is this even something you are striving for?
JU: We have met with Diamond and are looking to be in their catalog this summer.
AW: Do you think the Indy market is having any impact on the big boys (DC and Marvel)?
JU: Some have already made an impact, the major one being IDW. They stated off as Indy and now they are one of the big boys.
AW: I see that Creature Entertainment was at NY Comic Con. Was that a good experience? Do you feel that your exposure in that area of the country will be important in getting your books into more readers’ hands? Are conventions the only avenue for the Indy publishers?
JU: NY was great, but I don’t think you should just count on conventions. You have other ways to get out there and if you don’t get into Diamond there are still ways to get your book out there. You can use Comics monkey as one, and if you want to go digital you can try Graphicly. All good ways to get out there.
AW: Of the movies, what are you working on now?
JU: We are finishing up TS-101 (I’ll make sure to get you an invite to the release party), and next we will be working on Tommy, a story of a young boy and his murderess pet rabbit, or so he thinks it is his rabbit.
AW: Where do you film your movies? Do you use local talent?
JU: We film mostly in Miami and all of our actors are local.
AW: Where can people see your movies? Do you show them at cons?
JU: TS 101 will be shown at Megacon and we are hoping to get it into San Diego con. But if you can’t make it to any of those you can still see most of our movies at PalmCon, this September.
AW: Where can people find you at Megacon?
JU: We will be in the small press section. I don’t remember what booth number it is, but you can’t miss us. Our banner will be bigger that our booth.
AW: Have you set your convention schedule for 2012 as yet?
JU: So far all we are doing is MegaCon, San Diego ComicCon, Florida Super Con and PalmCon.
AW: What is the ultimate plan for Creature Entertainment? Where do you hope to be in 5 years, 10 years, etc?
JU: The plan is to be on the big screen. If we get picked up by a major studio I might be sitting in a Jacuzzi in a big house on the Hollywood hills in 5 years.
AW: Do you have a favorite comic hero, and why (or why not)?
JU: I would have to say the Silver Surfer. The way he handled the Fantastic Four and then went after Galactus was just bad ass.
AW: Is the climate better for the Indy market today that it was years ago, and why?
JU: The market is nowhere near what it was in the 90’s. This is the digital age and we have to adapt or die. But Hollywood is looking for fresh new stories and they have been picking up a few indies like Scott Pilgrim and a few others. The market has taken a new direction much like the music industry has, but nothing has been set in stone yet so we might see more changes in the future.
AW: Are any of your books being put out digitally? How do you think this format will affect the local comic shop owners?
JU: Yes, you can find some of our books on Graphicly and as for the retail market I think it will be a while before the comic book store goes the way of the record store. There will always be some people who still want to hold a book in their hands.
AW: How do you solicit for talent for all your ventures?
JU: On our website creatureentertainment.com and word of mouth.
AW: It would appear that Creature Entertainment is made up of a few key players. Who are the major shakers and movers behind Creature Entertainment?
JU: For our comic book part, there is Juan Navaro our editor-n-chief, Jose Varese art Director. For the movie side Anthony Dones, Rick Porven and Julio Alvarez shoot and direct our movies, and Rene Quesada is our movie editor, and Al Quesada is our web guy and part time colorist.
AW: How do you fund your projects? Have you ever used Kickstarter as a funding source?
JU: We self fund everything but we are looking to start a Kickstarter project.
AW: Can we listen to you on any podcasts in the area? Do you ever listen to any of the local podcasts?
JU: I listen to a few podcasts like the Pow Wow show and Nerd Nation and our very own Juan Navaro has his own pod cast, but I haven’t been on one yet.
AW: I personally liked your book ‘The Gun’. Are there other issues of this book on the drawing board?
JU: The Gun #2 will be at MegaCon.
AW: Do you sell any of your movie titles, or are these just for viewing at cons?
JU: Our movies will be for sale at MegaCon too.
Thank you John! See you at MegaCon in a couple of weeks!
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