Interview with Mike Norton on Battlepug!
Hey ComicAttackers! Today we were able to sit down and talk to Mike Norton about his upcoming collection of Battlepug, being released by Dark Horse. Norton, who has done great work on an endless amount of titles from all-ages goodness with Billy Batson and The Magic of Shazam!, to the new super-cool webcomic Xevious on ShiftyLook.Com, has created a cool world with the title Battlepug. Let’s see what’s on his mind!
Mike Norton: Battlepug is a comedic fantasy epic about a lost warrior’s quest for revenge and the ridiculous giant pug that helps him to do it. It’s a little bit Heavy Metal Magazine, a little bit Iron Maiden album cover, and a little bit Bone. At least that’s the aim of it.
CA: It seems like such a cool creation. How did you come up with the idea for Battlepug?
MN: It was a last minute creation on my part, actually. I was asked by iFanboy.com to design a T-shirt for a series of signature artist shirts they were doing. Since I had no original copywritten material I thought would work, I had to think something up. This was the first thing that popped into my head. I guess that says a lot about my psyche.
CA: Some folks may be familiar with Battlepug as a webcomic on your website; can you tell us how Dark Horse came into the picture?
MN: My friend Eric Powell kept telling me he was a fan and that I should talk to Dark Horse about publishing a book there. I talked to the DH guys at San Diego comic con and things worked out pretty well. Now, here we are!
MN: There IS an overarching story to Battlepug, but I’ve set it up in natural stopping points. The story continues, but Volume One has a logical stopping place. The story will (and does) continue!
CA: How is working on Battlepug different from other things you’ve drawn, like issues of DC’s Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam!, or your work for Marvel?
MN: Artistically, I’m feeling very close to the work I did on Bill Batson. I was given a lot of freedom to do stuff on that book. Normally, at Marvel or DC, there are obvious restrictions set either by corporate or editorial or sometimes even marketing that keep you from doing exactly what you want to do. Battlepug is all me, so I get to do whatever I want. It’s a kind of freedom I haven’t really taken advantage of fully in my career until now and it’s extremely gratifying.
CA: Dog adoption is really important to you, and your love for canines shines through in many scenes you depict in Battlepug. Can you tell us your thoughts on dog adoption and why man’s best friend means so much to you?
MN: I’ve been an animal lover in general since I was a kid. The only thing that I even considered other than art was veterinary medicine when I was younger. However, that involved math, chemistry and more school – things I really don’t get along with. I grew up always having a dog and they’re just a big part of my life. I love ’em! I find it natural to want to help when it comes to animals in need. One of my dogs is a rescue, and if I can encourage others to do the same, it makes me happy.
CA: Aside from this cool Battlepug collection, do you have anything else coming up this year we should keep on our radar?
MN: Definitely, I have an ongoing horror/mystery series with Tim (Hack/Slash) Seeley coming out the same month as Volume One of Battlepug and another Image series soon after featuring an already established Image character. Other than that, MORE BATTLEPUG!
CA: Any other closing thoughts on Battlepug?
MN: Other than I’m extremely grateful for the feedback and support I’ve received already from the Battlepug readers in the past year, not really. I’m extremely excited about this collection and hope that everybody will go out and get it. Thank you so much!
CA: Thank you, Mike, for taking the time to talk with us today!
Battlepug Volume One is being released in July by Dark Horse, check it out soon!