In Part II of this interview, we caught up with Chaos! Comics creator Brian Pulido to get his view on Dynamite Entertainment’s re-launch of the Chaos! Comics line.
Q: Dynamite Entertainment acquired the other Chaos! Comics characters, including Evil Ernie, Purgatori, Chastity and has been publishing them for about a year. Have you seen them?
BP: Yes. I’m happy to share my opinions on the topic.
Q. How did you lose control of Chaos! Comics and the characters you are known for, including Evil Ernie, Purgatori, Chastity, etc.?
BP: I had made a series of financial and strategic mistakes and we were upside down financially. So in August of 2002, Chaos! Comics filed for bankruptcy. All the above-mentioned characters were considered assets of the company. Consequently, during the bankruptcy auction, a business called Tales of Wonder purchased the assets. Tales of Wonder then made a strategic publishing deal with Devil’s Due and published Evil Ernie in Santa Fe, a Purgatori series and an Evil Ernie / Hack Slash crossover.
Q. Did you read those books?
BP: I did and I was not fond of them. It begins with the title Evil Ernie in Santa Fe. There has never been a history of an Evil Ernie story title with such a milk toast name. Evil Ernie titles in the past were tougher like Revenge, Destroyer, War of the Dead, and Depraved. Evil Ernie in Santa Fe? Sounds like something you’d hear on the Travel Channel.
To say these books were watered down is putting it mildly.
Once those books failed, it would appear that Tales of Wonder sold the assets to Dynamite Entertainment.
Q. Do you know the people that run Dynamite Entertainment?
I knew Nick Barrucci well during the 90’s. He did a lot of business with Chaos! Comics.
Q. Has Nick Barrucci approached you about being involved in the Chaos! Comics re-launch?
BP: He did not.
Q. Do you have beef with him that he did not approach you about being involved?
BP: I don’t.
Q. Do you feel Nick Barrucci or Dynamite owe you anything?
BP: In relation to this topic, no.
Q. Have you read the new material, including Chaos!, Evil Ernie, Purgatori, Chastity, et al?
BP: I have.
Q. What do you make of their re-launch?
BP: It occurs to me that Dynamite Entertainment is not the right publisher for the Chaos! Comics characters. They simply do not appear to understand the material. I liken the Dynamite Chaos! re-launch as Mumford & Sons fronting Guns & Roses. They are two things that don’t go together.
Q. You are not credited as creator inside the comic books. How do you feel about that?
BP: On the one hand, it stings. I spent nine plus years creating a universe of supernatural characters. I personally designed the characters, named them and gave them life. Dynamite doesn’t see fit to credit the work. That seems very out of tune with today’s trend of crediting creators and showing them the respect they accrue from their contribution to a work. You would not see Marvel or DC doing that.
On the other hand, if I were credited, then my concern would be that readers and fans would hold me accountable for the material they’re publishing. And to be clear, I am not associated in any way, shape or form with this re-launch.
Q. What would you recommend Dynamite Entertainment do to improve the quality of the Chaos! Comics line?
BP: It’s easy to misconstrue the Chaos! Comics characters simply as assets. They were born out of my soul and my passion. I spoke through them and they spoke through me. I’m not here to educate them on what to do.
Q. If Dynamite wanted to hire you as editor-in-chief of their Chaos! Comics line, would you accept?
BP: I would not.
Q. What if they offered you a million dollars?
BP: It’s not about the money for me.
Q. What is specifically wrong with the Chaos! Comics re-launch?
BP: I know exactly what’s wrong, but it’s not my job to educate a publisher on their assets.
Q. How about the cover art?
BP: Some of it is quite nice, but you can’t enthrall readers with covers alone, right?
Q. How about the interior art?
BP: It ranges from decent to not my taste. Overall, the interior work lacks a guiding hand in delivering an outcome that would excite me to read the book.
Q. Well, what about the writers, Tim Seeley or Marc Andreyko?
BP: I’m quite fond of Tim and Marc personally. They are both very talented writers. I find Tim to be a charitable guy and that’s a quality I appreciate in people, but they were the wrong guys for the job. I realize that Tim frequently says that he was a fan of the Chaos! Comics universe and I believe him. It’s one thing to be a fan. It’s an entirely another thing to write the stuff.
I didn’t like Marc’s reboot of Chastity. To me it invalidated who Chastity Marks was.
The Purgatori story was… It was very sad to see how they handled my creation. Very, very sad.
Q. Do you have a beef with these guys?
BP: Not at all. I’m just not a fan of the work. No big deal.
Q. In closing, any final comments?
BP: I’m humbled and gratified by the outpouring of love and appreciation of my work from the fans. I’m not gonna name names, but there’s a Lady Death fan, who also happens to be in a motorcycle club. He’s a tough dude. He runs with a tough crowd. He contacted me the other day and says my work made him feel like a giddy kid and he’s excited about comic book collecting again. To get that kind of emotional reaction from such a tough guy, that’s what it is all about for me. That’s who I make comics for. The outsiders.
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