Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent launch of Patriot Comic Books! What inspired the genesis of this imprint of Patriot Pictures?
Christopher Reda: Our President and CEO Michael Mendelsohn wanted to start a comic book company that could complement his film company, Patriot Pictures. Through Patriot Comic Books, we can publish comic adaptations of his movies and search the comic industry for original stories to be developed into film. With there being so much overlap between the comic industry and film industry, he wanted to a way to expand his audience and tap into a growing market. To lead Patriot Comic Books, Michael placed me as our Editor-in-Chief and Mason Mendoza as our Managing Editor. From our experience being veteran comic publishers at Critical Entertainment, we can navigate the comic industry and find Patriot Pictures original comics we think are worth adapting to the big screen.
BD: Your debut coincided with the release of your first comic book title, Prisoners of the Ghostland. What can you share with us about the premise of this series and the creative team involved with the project?
CR: The comic for Prisoners of the Ghostland is a prequel and sets the stage for the feature film. The book features Nicolas Cage and Nick Cassavetes, two notorious outlaws who execute an elaborate bank heist in an east meets west stylized town. But, when his accomplice goes full-on psychotic, Cage must decide whether he wants to escape or have innocent blood on his hands. The creative team involved was myself, Mason Mendoza, Michael Mendelsohn, and Reza Sixo Safai, the screenwriter of Prisoners of the Ghostland. The talented Alonso Molina Gonzales did the artwork for us.
BD: How would you describe your shared creative process in working with creators to bring the story to life, especially in light of the impact that COVID-19 has had on the industry overall?
CR: Mason and I adapt the comic by directly working with the screenwriter; in this case, Reza assisted us. We try to find ways to expand on the original story along with integrating ideas the screenwriter might have that didn’t make it into the film. Michael also plays a role in the creative process as one of the benefits of operating his comic company in house. We find it easy to work on the comic as a full collaboration especially considering how much excitement creators experience when they see their vision illustrated out onto a comic book. As far as dealing with COVID-19, it was easy for us to all work remotely. Our biggest challenges have been with comic conventions being shut down and delays everyone has been experiencing.
BD: What makes Patriot Comic Books the perfect home for Prisoners of the Ghostland?
CR: We loved Prisoners of the Ghostland as our first comic book title. I try to emphasize stories that are visually appealing and play to the strengths of the comic medium. The film has an amazing style under the visionary director Sion Sono. It became easy to envision a comic book version of this story and start Patriot Comic Books with Prisoners of the Ghostland.
BD: Are there any other projects on which you are currently working that you are able to share with our readers?
CR: There are a handful of projects we are currently working on. Due to the nature of the film industry, I cannot share any of them right now. I can say that we are looking to expand our library and experiment with publishing
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Patriot Comic Books and its upcoming catalog?
CR: If you want to learn more about Patriot Comic Books, please go to www.patriotcomicbooks.com and to follow us on Instagram (@patriotcomicbooks), Facebook (@patriotcomicbooks), and Twitter (patriot_comics).