Home Blog Interview EXCLUSIVE: Award-Winning Comic Book Writer Paul Allor on the Mysterious New “Pink Midnight Presents” Indie Series
EXCLUSIVE: Award-Winning Comic Book Writer Paul Allor on the Mysterious New “Pink Midnight Presents” Indie Series

EXCLUSIVE: Award-Winning Comic Book Writer Paul Allor on the Mysterious New “Pink Midnight Presents” Indie Series

I was lucky to get a chance to speak with writer and letterer Paul Allor, who comic book fans know for the incredible “Hollow Heart” for Vault, “G.I. Joe” for IDW, numerous titles for Marvel, and especially for “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

Now, Allor is working the with team at Zoop launch a new series, called “Pink Midnight Presents.” These titles will feature different kinds of stories, which are designed to make the reader question everything. We were lucky enough to get a preview of the first issue of “Presents,” and it is good as advertised.

As I am contractually obligated not to share what happens in the issue, called “The Butterfly House,” I will say that the ending gave me the same feeling that I had when I watched “2001: A Space Odyssey” for the first time. Yeah, “The Butterfly House” is good.

INDIE COMICS ZONE: Thanks so much for making time to talk to us. Can you tell us about your new project, which you’re crowdfunding through Zoop?

PAUL ALLOR: Sure. “Presents” is a is a series that we’re launching with the first issue called “The Butterfly House” that can be a series of like weird, slipstream, eerie, horror- adjacent stories. All are done in black and white art… all from me and artist Juan Romara, and editor, Claire Napier.

Most of them won’t be wordless, that’s just something from this first one. But hold on a second starting to cough. Sorry, under the weather right now. And “The Butterfly House” is a story that’s basically about a guy who goes into the titular butterfly house. And without giving too much away. Strange things happen.

And these stories are on to be very, very eerie and sort of operative. They’re all their own dream logic. The idea is that when you finish them, I don’t want you to be able to say exactly what happened, but it should feel like it makes sense on some sort of instinctual gut level like, like a dream logic.

INDIE COMICS ZONE: Cool. So, tell me… are you using the Zoop? Why are you crowdfunding this versus like, pitching it or taking it to Scout Comics or another indie publisher?

PAUL ALLOR: Yeah, the guys at Zoop really know what they’re doing. They’re very good at crowdfunding and getting the word out.

INDIE COMICS ZONE: Zoop is doing things a little bit different. They’re the ones that are like focused on indie art and creators versus other crowd funding programs…

PAUL ALLOR: Yeah. And honestly, I mean, without talking about specific publishers, I think “Presents” would be this would be a tough sell. This is not a book that screams “extremely marketable.” I think there is an audience for in the market for it. I think the crowdfunding success of it so far has shown that but it’s not the type of book that most publishers are climbing over themselves to put out whereas Zoop — they were just instantly on board.

The dynamic duo of Short Round and award-winning comic book writer Paul Allor.
The dynamic duo of Short Round and award-winning comic book writer and letterer Paul Allor.

INDIE COMICS ZONE: Awesome. So, you work with Andy Schmidt at “The Comics Experience.” Tell me a little bit about what kinds of classes you teach.

PAUL ALLOR: Yeah, I teach the intro to writing class. That’s the big one that I actually took as a student 12 years ago. And I just got into teaching it last year. Before that, and still now, I also teach a number of advanced classes, I teach a class on writing a mini-series, I teach a class on dialogue, on different genres.

I have a class coming up later this this year called freelance writing for comics, which basically, it simulates the experience of a writing a work for hire comic, where I’m your teacher, and I give you notes as a teacher.

I roleplay as a not particularly good editor, so that the notes are kind of like crazy and wild. But all based on like things that I’ve had notes on over my career. So those are my classes, [and they are] a lot of fun. I teach a like thing, like about half a dozen different classes, further analysis. There’s quite a few of them.

INDIE COMICS ZONE: Gotcha. Cool. I just wanted to clarify — you took this class way back when and helped you get started…

PAUL ALLOR: Yeah, right. Right. Right before the beginning of my career.

INDIE COMICS ZONE: That’s awesome! Yeah, it’s as if, if a student ever has any doubt of these classes, you know worth it, then just look at you. Recently, I interviewed comic book artist and frequent “Star Trek” artist J.K. Woodward. What was he like to work with? You collaborated with him on a “Star Trek: Voyager” book for IDW.

PAUL ALLOR: Um, honestly, we worked on a “Voyager” book together, but that was one where we both went through the editor, so I didn’t really have any direct communication with him.

INDIE COMICS ZONE: Well crap!

PAUL ALLOR: Yeah, sorry. Just such an I’ve only done the one “Star Trek” one shot. I love “Star Trek” so much. I’m hoping to get back on that franchise at some point, but so far, it’s just been one that one comic. IDW — call me!

Allor’s “Hollow Heart” is a sci-fi horror story featuring queer characters.
Allor’s “Hollow Heart” is a sci-fi horror story featuring queer characters.

INDIE COMICS ZONE: All right. So, tell me, you’ve dipped your toe into so many different franchises. G.I. Joe and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and some others. What was there one that you’re that you’d like to work on, that you haven’t been — besides “Star Trek?”

PAUL ALLOR: So maybe, I mean, the “Buffy” comics… I would love to work on that at some point. I haven’t done any Marvel stuff in a while, and I’ve never worked for DC. So, I’d love to get back to them.

I have a really interesting idea for Crystal Castles pitch that I’d like to, and also “Little Shop of Horrors.” I think I could do some really amazing things. I mean, those are just a few off the top my head there are there are so many. I mean there’s literally limitless properties that I would love to be a part of.

INDIE COMICS ZONE: I have not been able to catch up with “Hollow Heart.” But it’s one of your books that I keep hearing great things about. Would you say that you are a science fiction writer first?

PAUL ALLOR: I really like to mix it up. I am a huge fan of sci-fi. I mean, in my personal life, that’s probably the genre that I gravitate the most, in what I read and what I watch that just like straightforward, literary stuff.

But in comics, I really like to like to keep myself on my toes. I like to keep switching it up. Picking it up “Presents” is an interesting one, because [these stories are] kind of in the slipstream genre. It’s a chance to do things that are very eerie and don’t really fit cleanly into any category. That’s been a lot of fun.

INDIE COMICS ZONE: So, the “Presents” series, how many how many stories have you written so far… and how many we can expect?

PAUL ALLOR: I have a script for the second one written already and I have pretty tight outlines for the next three after that. So, I’m up to number five, pretty much in the conception of them. Then I have a list of one or two sentences’ ideas for several more. So yeah, if this works out. We’re going to keep going hopefully, as long as we can.

INDIE COMICS ZONE: What is what is your conception or view or thought feeling on the current state of the industry? I guess there were a couple of implosions that happened back in December, and people were sort of scrambling to get paid when there was no money left.

The Aftershock situation… I think there was one other which I can’t I can’t think of right the second. How has this uncertainty affected you? How are you getting along?

PAUL ALLOR: I’m doing fine. Thankfully, none of those particular things affected me too much. I do have a book at Aftershock and we’re not sure like what the situation is with that, but it’s been out for like several years now.

It’s tough and it’s really an industry where you can’t put too much investment in any one platform, any one publisher, because this kind of thing can happen. Even if the publisher is doing fine, if your editor leaves that can have a big impact on you.

Working in freelancing comics is very difficult. And you just have to keep your head above water and keep working your butt off, and try to diversify what you’re doing as much as possible.

Also try to take, control of it yourself, because if a publisher goes under, and you have a book with that publisher that hurt you. But if you’re putting stuff out yourself as well, then you have that to fall back on. To rely on the financial situation… very few people can make a living entirely off of self-publishing. But it is good to have that, that the range of diversity in terms of what you’re doing and where your income is coming from.

INDIE COMICS ZONE: I interviewed Frank Forte not too long ago, and he also said something very similar. He’s got his main gig working in Hollywood for a lot of animated and live-action productions. So he’s got that as his primary. But on the side, he has his horror-themed Asylum Press that is his love. And he’s got that on the side, but he doesn’t lean on that to pay the bills.

So, you’ve been in the biz for years. What kind of advice would you give to a young person that’s wants to break in. What would what kind of advice would you give to that person, if they happen to run them at a convention or something?

PAUL ALLOR: Just work hard, do your best, but understand that comics works on its own timeline. It can be a very brutal and capricious industry. I feel like the typical advice that people give is, “make good comics.” If you make good comics that will happen for you.

But, there are a lot of people out there making good comics that aren’t really getting the recognition that they deserve. So just understand that comics works on its own timeline, not on your timeline, and just enjoy the journey rather than being hyper-focused on reaching a certain destination in a certain amount of time.

INDIE COMICS ZONE: And I guess maybe the classes that you teach with Andy and Comics Experience, maybe take a class or two and sharpen your skills a little bit before?

PAUL ALLOR: Yeah, that that genuinely is good advice. I’m always hesitant to say it because it’s like, what advice would you give people give me money. But, those classes were extremely helpful for me, and it really helped set me on a certain path and give me an idea of what I was doing.

Just a few of the franchises which Paul Allor has written for.
Just a few of the franchises which Paul Allor has written for.

INDIE COMICS ZONE: Do you do the convention circuit?

PAUL ALLOR: Yeah, I haven’t done a con in a few years. First because of pandemic and just the I just for various personal reasons. I know I need to get out there and start doing them again soon.

INDIE COMICS ZONE:  I was just going to ask if you’ve got any upcoming appearances.

PAUL ALLOR: Oh, no, no, I don’t have any planned appearances right now. I mean, when people do cons, they leave their dog for days. That’s insane. How does that work?

INDIE COMICS ZONE: Are there any projects — beyond “Presents” — that you can share with us?

PAUL ALLOR: I have some cool stuff coming up, but nothing has been announced yet, unfortunately. So, I’m at that phase where it’s like — stay tuned!

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