Paul Allor is the poster child for formal comics education. A
student of Comics Experience's courses in scripting, Paul went on to
apply his edification in a self-produced volume of graphic
short-stories, Clockwork, which garnered quite a bit of acclaim. An
upcoming sequel is spinning out of the success of the first Clockwork
collection, and the quality of the series has piqued the interest of
quite a few industry professionals, landing Allor in CBR and Graphicly's
respective hot seats and paving the way to a work-for-hire career. I
had the opportunity to speak with Paul about his upcoming Fugitoid issue
of IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro-Series (issue #8 to be
precise), which will hit stands on September 5, contrary to earlier
solicitations. Check out our discussion below, and as an added bonus for
our readers who may be unfamiliar with Paul's work, we've included a
preview of Paul's Clockwork series in the image gallery following the
CBB: You are a Comics Experience alum. What sort of impact did taking writing
classes specific to comic book scripting have on your work?
Paul: It had a tremendous impact. I'd like to think that before the classes I
had a certain amount of raw ability, but Comics Experience absolutely
helped me focus it, and put me in the right direction in terms of
developing my craft.
I can say with absolute certainty that if it wasn't for Comics
Experience, I would be way behind where I am, both in terms of craft and
in terms of career development.
CBB: Did IDW approach you because of Clockwork, or did you go to them first?
Paul: A little of both. IDW editor Bobby Curnow was one of the people to whom I
sent a copy of Clockwork after it came out. He dug it, we started to
talk, I mentioned that I'd appreciate it if he kept me in mind for
opportunities, and long story short, he let me pitch on a couple of
things, including this. I'm thrilled for the opportunity, and humbled by
the amazing writers and artists who work on both the main series and
the other Micro issues.
CBB: With Clockwork, you were challenging yourself to write very short comic
book vignettes. Have you found that that discipline now benefits you in
terms of writing full-length comics?
Paul: Oh, no question. I'm a strong believer that it's way, way harder to
write an exciting, well-structured five-page comic than it is to write a
22-page comic. It teaches you so much about structure, about pacing,
about keeping what you need and cutting what you don't. Comics are,
let's face it, kind of pricey, and as a writer, I want to do all I can
to tell an extremely compelling story, and make it worth the reader's
CBB: The title character of your upcoming comic, Fugitoid, is one of Kevin
Eastman and Peter Laird's earlier creations, even predating the Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles, though Fugitoid was later integrated into the TMNT
mythos. What about this character do you find is still relevant to
Paul: Really interesting question, Daniel. One of the reasons Fugitoid is such
a compelling character is that he touches on so many universal themes.
Questions of identity, of sacrifice, of trying to do the right thing
when the odds are so, so stacked against you. Take those universal
themes, and place in this extraordinarily imaginative world that Mr.
Eastman and Mr. Laird created, and I think you have a truly enduring
CBB: How will your Fugitoid book play into IDW's broader TMNT narrative?
Paul: Another good question. And one that I'm totally not going to answer! All
I can say is that Fugitoid will play a role in the main book, and that
this issue leads directly into it.
CBB: I feel like my generation's childhoods were dominated by TMNT, so there
is definitely this strong nostalgia factor that seems to exist
generationally in regards to the franchise. Were you a Ninja Turtles fan
before you landed this particular gig, or has it created a
retrospective appreciation for the Turtles?
Paul: I was definitely a Ninja Turtles fan before landing this gig. The world
of the Turtles was one of my first introductions to large-canvas
storytelling, where you have an entire world populated with heroes and
villains and standbys and allies, all bouncing against one another in
endlessly imaginative ways. It had a huge influence on me as a
storyteller. And that's why I am so, so danged happy to play some small
role in this wonderful universe! If 10-year-old Paul knew I was doing
this, it would blow his little mind.
CBB: What was your experience like working with artists Paul McCaffrey and
John Paul Bove, and why are there so many Pauls working on this book? Is
this some play at world domination?
Paul: Yes, absolutely. I made a play to have editor Bobby Curnow and letterer Shawn Lee replaced by Pauls, but my coup was foiled.
On a more serious note, both Paul McCaffrey and John Paul Bove did an
amazing job, and totally brought this world to life on the page. I
didn't work much with them directly, but I stayed in touch with them
throughout the process, and was just thrilled with the gorgeous work
CBB: Has your collaborative experience with artists changed with your
transition from self-publishing your own work to writing for IDW?
Paul: Oh, yeah. On my self-published stuff, I'm obviously deeply involved with
every aspect of the process (though I do, as a rule, try to take a
hands-off approach to art and coloring notes, and let the artists do
their job as they see fit).
But on the Turtles project, pretty much all I had to worry about was the
writing. I worked with Bobby to produce the best script possible, and
then my job was mainly limited to sitting in front of my computer and
dancing with unabashed joy as new art flowed into my inbox. Bobby is an
awesome editor, and he'd hired a great team, so it was an incredibly
rewarding project. I can't wait to hear what people think of the book.