As a writer and comic book creator, every now and then I come across a story line that is SO good that I'm jealous! To the point of saying,"...that's such a great idea! I should have thought of that..." Such is it with "Americas Kingdom"! Brian Hawkins, one of the creators of AK, is a friend of mine. So when I asked him to interview for IMP, he was all too happy.
IMP- How long have you been making comic books?
AK- This summer will be four years… Wow! Hadn’t realize that.
IMP- What got you into Comic books?
AK- I was really into comics as a child, collecting Marvel Superhero cards, the toys, all of that… I’ve always loved the stories… I rediscovered this in my adult life and it was like a breath of fresh air.
IMP-Favorite comics/heroes and why?
AK- Batman. Of all time. No super powers but dominates with his mind; he understands that the universe works mentally. I’ve begun to have more respect and feelings for Robin though… I love the passing on of the baton from Robin to Robin, that interests me from a story-telling aspect. There are several more… I love Tony Chu from Chew on Image - I love everything about that book. Volume 6 Space Cakes is my favorite trade of all time!
IMP- What is the synopsis of America's Kingdom?
AK- What if America had never been a democracy but instead a monarchy? It’s modern day America but under the reign and rule of a descendant of George Washington, Prince Geoffrey, who is the sole heir and soon to be king of the United Kingdom of America. It’s twenty-first century America, but in this alternate history things are subtly different; Knights instead of the Secret Service, swords have replaced guns, and there’s a rebel group bent on usurping the monarchy of United Kingdom of America to turn it into a democracy…
IMP- What are some of the challenges in making a comic book?
AK- Drawing in the fan base and of course the cost. The comic book industry is a niche industry and there are trends and groups and to some extent it’s oversaturated. So you have to navigate a lot of angles and make sure that you have the right title and are marketing it to the right people… The actual making of the comic book is the best. I love the process… I love getting those pages from the artists. I’m working on a co-creator project now with an artist, he and I are complete partners on this title and I’m loving it! The collaborative process, it’s amazing!
IMP- How did you come up with the story concept for Americas Kingdom?
AK- I was driving down Broad Street in Richmond, Virginia in 2000-2001. I was in undergrad at VCU. I remember looking at the buildings and the roads and the cars and the people out walking around… And the thought came to me… What would this all look like if there was war on these streets? A modern day civil war? But one that has nothing to do with race. And then my next thought was of something I learned in high school… That George Washington had a chance to be king and turned it down and that’s how we ended up a democracy. It was just one decision that changed the course of America and the free world. But what if he had chose to be king? And that’s where the story springs from. War and that one choice.
IMP- Do you have a favorite character in your books?
AK- Hmmmm... [sigh]... That’s a tough one. Okay, I would have to say yes. Prince Geoffrey. He’s really fun to write because of his complexity. The power he has as the most powerful man in the world. This is normally considered the President of the United States, the ruler of the free world, BUT imagine being the ruler of the free world and you’re the KING of the United States… Not being elected but feeling as if you own America. Yeah, that makes for some very interesting writing.
IMP- What can we expect in the next issue?
AK- In Issue 2 of America’s Kingdom, we get to see how far Prince Geoffrey will go to show his authority as the heir to the throne. His actions affect everybody and the more he pushes, there’s a possibility that the worse things will become.
IMP- What other aspects of GEEKDOM are you into?
AK- LOVE Star Wars and Star Trek (more so the movies, both old and new). I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and I love young adult fiction. DC over Marvel by the way (sorry).
IMP- Who shot first? Han or Greedo?
AK- Hans! No question.
America's Kingdom FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/americaskingdom/
CEO Spike Bowan is the Pittsburgh based Actor/Director/ Author/ Creator of the Alternate History Genre/Fiction saga "War in the Backyard".
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