Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: You will soon be releasing the comic book, Different Worlds, Best of Friends. For our readers who may be unfamiliar with the project, what is its premise and what inspired you to tell this story?
Cuyle Carvin: The story is actually inspired by real events in my own and Fred Grandinetti's lives. It's a story of friendship and how two people who had very different experiences during their youth and how those experiences led them to become friends many years later. I was a “cool kid,” a jock, back in my younger days, and Fred wasn't popular and called a nerd or geek. Fred was bullied a lot and usually by people like me who were the "cool kids." One day, I helped a victim of bullying, stuck up for him and befriended him. Many years later, after Fred and I had met and became friends, we were talking about past experiences and we found that we both had such different experiences growing up – he a victim, and I, an ally. Our conversation led to this book.
I personally wanted to tell this story, because bullying is such a rampant problem in society. If nothing else, I wanted to tell this story because it presents options to kids. I hope kids who read this story - be they the victim, the bully, or somewhere in between - can see that bullying is wrong, that it causes a lot of pain, it's 100% preventable, and also, especially for victims, that they have people like me who support them.
I want to use any influence I may have towards demonstrating that even if you're the cool kid or any kid of influence or power, that you don't have fall into the bullying paradigm in our schools and society. Use your influence for good, reach out to the kids that no one else does – you can literally save their lives sometimes, or at least change it for the better – and you'll feel a lot better about your own, as well.
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from this story?
CC: I also hope readers, particularly those who are having a tough period right now, know that life will get better. I want them to know that what they may be getting bullied for now will be the same things people love and celebrate them for later. I can only imagine how desperate and lonely some people must feel when everyone around them is taunting them physically and emotionally.
That they have people who support them, despite how it may seem that none of them are around right now - that they're out there. If they can stay strong, that they'll get past the stupid high school kids doing stupid high school things, and when they do, there's a whole world waiting to accept you and watch you thrive. Some of the most famous people were bullied as kids – Christian Bale was constantly bullied growing up for being involved in theater. Jessica Alba was bullied because of her buck teeth and speaking accent. Jennifer Lawrence and Tom Cruise had to move to get away from bullies. Steven Spielberg, Madonna, even the President of the United States was bullied growing up. The list of famous, rich, and powerful people who were bullied is never ending.
BD: Have you previously worked in the sequential art medium, and how do you feel that it helped to tell your story?
CC: This is the second book I've been a part of; the other was The Cuyle Carvin Coloring Book, which focused on a story of healthy living for kids. This new book, Different Worlds, Best of Friends, is for a little bit of an older crowd than the first. We wanted to use a comic style layout, because we thought it'd be of more interest than a standard story or just words on a page. A lot of kids like comics, and we thought it'd be a great way to try and get that audience to check it out.
BD: You have a talented team working with you on this project. What can you tell us about your colleagues on Different Worlds, Best of Friends and their contributions to the book?
CC: Fred Grandinetti and David Hudon are the guys that really made this project happen. Fred wrote the story based on our conversations, and David did the illustrations and artwork in the book. Both of these guys are great talents and tremendous humans who do great things for our society. This book is the second collaboration between us and I imagine we'll have many more.
BD: The proceeds from the sale of the comic book will be going to charity. Can you tell us more about the charity that you have selected and where we can learn more about the work that they do?
CC: 100% of the proceeds of this book are being split between Buddy Dog Humane Society and The Troublemaker Foundation. Buddy Dog aims to care for lost or unwanted dogs and cats and to help them find suitable forever homes. They promote education of how to care for animals and the best practices to keep our animal buddies safe and healthy. The Troublemaker Foundation aims to empower people with the belief in themselves, and to
achieve, inspire, and accept not only yourself, but all people.
BD: Are there any other projects on which you are currently working that you are able to share with our readers?
CC: I just had a crazy couple of months in which I worked on some really cool projects. Most exciting to me are a couple of video games – one of which I can't say anything about still – but it's amazing and a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. The other is a game called NELO in which I voiced two characters. You can check out some gameplay and much more on that site. Outside of gaming, I filmed an episode each of GRIMM on NBC, CODE BLACK on CBS, HAND OF GOD on Amazon, and have a small part in a new Netflix film coming out soon called, BURNING SANDS.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Different Worlds, Best of Friends?
CC: If anyone wants a copy of the book, it should be available on Amazon, but until then Fred Grandinetti is accepting checks/money orders for $7 ($5 donation for the book & $2 S/H). Send those to 96 Edenfield Avenue, Watertown, MA 02472.
If you have a volunteer opportunity or an important cause that could use the assistance of a few geeks, please email the details to barbra (at) fanbasepress (dot) com.