An impatient crowd of people mill about a dimly lit club. There is expectation in the air that is building towards excitement as the throng moves closer to the stage. Then the lights drop, smoke machines bellow and movement is sensed on stage as the crowd yells in anticipation. The lights flash up and the stage is alive with vivid sound, color and movement as the band that everyone has been dying to see begins their set. These moments are borderline magical as is the creation of a group that elicits these feelings from their followers. It takes a special group of people to create moments like this and Fabian Lelay’s new book for Black Mask Studios We Are The Danger captures this mood and energy. I had the chance to discover a little more about Lelay’s new book and its creation.
Chris Campbell: What led to the creation of We Are The Danger?
Fabian Lelay: We are the Danger was originally a script I prepped as a pitch I wanted to do for a Licensed franchise. After finishing it and not getting the chance to send it, I decided to tweak it a bit to make it it’s own story. Music is my second love and to get a chance to pair it with comics, I knew I just had to make this story.
CC: Do you have experience in a band?
FL: I have a bit of experience. Back in the Philippines, I used to manage a band. It was one of the best experiences I had in my life. You could say with this book I was reliving those days a bit.
CC: Are the members of the band based on people you know?
FL: Not entirely. A lot of them have personalities of people that I’ve come across during my whole stint with my old band.
CC: Would you say you are more like Tabitha or Julie?
FL: I’d say I’m a bit of both. Having the immigrant experience and jumping into uncharted territory (comics) sums up how I’d be Julie. Having the drive to do what I love and bringing my friends into the mix, I feel, is my Tabitha side.
CC: Are we going to get to see more of Julie’s Filipino culture in the book?
FL: You can say so. It’s more the experience in a new world is what you’ll see. Given the number of issues we got to work with. Haha.
CC: You write great interactions between the characters! As a writer, when dealing with a group of characters and their dynamics, how do you manage them so well?
FL: Thank you. I never really saw myself having such a talent. I really just wanted things to be as organic as they can be in a written story. Also it might have something to do with my amazing editor, Stephanie Cooke. She’s the real MVP of the team. Without her guidance I don’t think the story would be as great as it is.
CC: Doing both the writing and artwork for the book sounds like it may be ideal for a creator owned project. Are there any downsides to this though?
FL: Time. Writing a 5 issue book, with the right Editor can take about a month and a half for me. But the art process along with everything else (colors and letters), blocking the whole thing is just super time consuming. Fulfilling work, just takes a bit longer than I’d like to spend on a project.
CC: The tone of this book is very different from books that Black Mask has published previously. What made you pitch the series to them?
FL: They seem to be rolling with the inclusivity trend and doing it well. I believe me and Matt Pizzolo believed the publisher needed to branch out and offer something else with a bit of that indie Black Mask flair.
CC: What can readers expect for the band to face in the near future?
FL: I don’t really know. To be honest, I like to think that by the end of the 5th issue that readers will be satisfied with the ending. I think this mini ends great the way it does and I am not really planning on a second arc. It’s possible, but it’s not in the cards at the moment. There are also tons of stories I’d like to do after this. We’ll see.
CC: If we could take a look at Julie’s recent playlist, what songs would we find there?
- Urbandub- “New Tattoo”
- Curbside – “Welcome to the Curbside”
- Fools & Foes – “Nocturnal”
- IV of Spades – “Ilawsadaan”
- Up Dharma Down – “Malikmata”
Look for We Are The Danger from Black Mask Studios in your local comic book store on May 30, 2018!