Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of your officially licensed book, Rush: Where's Geddy, Alex, and Neil? Vol. 1! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the book’s premise, and what inspired you to create this gorgeous hardcover book?
David Calcano: Thank you! You see for us in Fantoons, we aspire to create books, content, and merch that goes beyond the norm in Rock n’ Roll. And by that I mean the typical t-shirt, mug, etc… with the logo or the album cover that you print yourself. We want to celebrate the band’s history and legacy and hopefully introduce them to a new generation. And you may ask yourself, how a book where you need to find members of the band in cool, 2-page illustrations would do that… Well, I strongly believe that getting the name out there and creating gorgeous art and content will give them visibility and will create curiosity to check out the band and listen to their amazing music. It is really about them, you know? Their music inspires us to go above and beyond art-wise and story-wise to do this work. And the same goes with every band we work with.
The beauty of this book is that ANYONE can play, and if someone is a die-hard fan, it is PACKED with references of every single of the first fourteen albums the band released. That’s been my dream, always: to create a book that anyone can enjoy and gets the band out there… I want people to experience their wonderful music forever.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in working with the band, Rush, for this licensed book, and how would you describe your own artistic process and influences?
DC: Great question. Rush is always misunderstood as a serious band, and even though their music has deep and meaningful lyrics. Plus, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart are untouchable as musicians… they have an AMAZING sense of humor. We NEVER got a note to make them look cooler, or please do not make fun of X or Y. And believe me, we get those kind of notes often in the music business.
Working with Rush is a dream. If they don’t like something, you’ll know, and for us as a studio it's extremely easy. There’s no drama. I’d say we get a go-ahead 98% of the time with everything we create. That being said, it is because we are fans and we understand the band and how far we can go. That is extremely important to create something that resonates with them and their fanbase.
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from your work?
DC: For new fans: Hopefully, we inspire them to check out some of their music.
For existing fans: Laughter, joy, and celebration of the band’s wonderful legacy. Maybe pick up a record they haven’t heard in awhile.
BD: If given the opportunity to expand your series into other entertainment mediums, in what format do you hope to see it adapted?
DC: We are thinking of doing an app for these… with animated scenarios depending on the success of the books. We are preparing Volume 2 for late 2019.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
DC: Yes, we are starting to do a home-grown animated documentary series about the making of overlooked albums! It’s called Facts, Stories & Stuff about the Album. We’ll grab records that are amazing but have never been covered too much and build cool merch around them to support the creation of the mini-docs.
You can get these at our Facebook and Twitter (@fantoons).
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Rush: Where's Geddy, Alex, and Neil? Vol. 1?
DC: Go to our Etsy store or our Facebook page (we release comics & illustrations every week) and our Twitter (@fantoons).