If this all seems a bit vague, read on for a more in-depth view of how Cohen came to create and publish his 110 page graphic novel with a red-headed conjuring crusader as its hero. The publication of the book will be celebrated this Thursday, November 15 with a free event at Tannen's from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Cohen will present a special performance at 6 p.m. Tannen's is located at 45 West 34th Street, 6th floor (betwen Fifth and Sixth Avenues). On a regular basis Cohen can be seen in his long-running show Chamber Magic currently presented on Fridays and Saturdays at the Lotte New York Palace hotel.
Thanks for agreeing to answer some questions about your new graphic novel, Steve. I wonder, if you could comment on how the comic came about and what motivated you to create it?
I was looking for a new challenge! I had already written a book, created a two-hour television special, and performed a solo show on stage at Carnegie Hall. My ongoing show at the Waldorf Astoria was in its fifteenth year at the Waldorf Astoria. Frankly, I needed a new outlet for my creativity.
One day, on my way to meet a friend for lunch, I had a eureka moment and decided my next project on the spot: I was going to create a comic book. It simultaneously felt thrilling and crazy. What was I getting myself into?
From conception to publication, the entire process took three years. The script took roughly three months to complete, and then the artwork took another eighteen months. Pitching the book to publishers took a lot longer than expected, and at the end of the day I ended up self-publishing. The nice thing about self-publishing is that you have total control over every detail of the project. The final product exceeded my every expectation.
Can you provide some perspective on the process of creating it? For example in developing the story were there multiple iterations? Did you get feedback from one or more people as you were working on it? And how did you work with the writer and artists who helped you realize this? And is there anything else you can say regarding the process that might not be an obvious part of developing something like this?
I never knew that so many people were involved in creating a comic book! As a child I read thousands of comics, and now have a new appreciation for all of the work that goes into a standard 22-page book. (My graphic novel is a 110-page trade paperback.)
The team I assembled included a script-writer, an artist, a colorist, a letterer, a cover artist, and a book designer. Many comic books separate the roles of penciler and inker, but my artist, Peter Krause, took on both responsibilities.
I sent script drafts to my best friend and long-time collaborator Mark Levy who offered suggestions to enhance certain scenes.
Probably the best critics were my two children, Alex and June. I read the script aloud to them as a bedtime story, to see what they responded to and what confused them. Their feedback was invaluable. [Interview continues - Click "Read More" below].