By Sean T. Collins
Not everyone can make a thrilling, action-packed comic about restaurants or kickball—but not everyone is Corey Lewis. In high-octane graphic novels like Sharknife and Peng!, Lewis has injected everything from ninjas to hip hop into some of the randomest-seeming topics around, and the result has been some crazy-cool comics. So maybe it's not surprising that Lewis selected one of Marvel's most oddball characters, Longshot, for his contribution to STRANGE TALES.
Lewis put the pencil down to speak with Marvel.com about the Mulleted One, his dream Iron Man/Spider-Man crossover, and why reading his comics is like hitting "play" on a great video game.
Marvel.com: What is it about Longshot, of all characters, that appeals to you?
Corey Lewis: I just really like his overall character, from his design to his power to his origin. Everything about Longshot is interesting to me, like how he was created to be a living thing by the Mojo People and stuff like that. All the bones, his multiple hearts, his luck powers—just insane.
Marvel.com: It's sort of weird idea piled on top of weird for that character.
Corey Lewis: Yeah, absolutely. He's even more fantastical than the average mutant, which is already fantastical in itself.
Marvel.com: So what's the scoop on the story that you're telling?
Corey Lewis: Mine is only four pages, so it had to be pretty quick. Basically it's Longshot and his buddy—the round-headed guy. They're hanging out at a punk rock show, watching a band that is really similar to X-Men, like an X-Men-themed band. He decides that Dazzler might be into this band, so he goes ahead and teleports looking for Dazzler through the Mojo TV universe. He goes through a bunch of different shows, like a robot disk show and a Sentinel show, looking for Dazzler, but he can't find her.
A page from Corey Lewis' Longshot story in STRANGE TALES #3
But he ends up using his luck powers to get teleported back to the punk show and he gets a special keyboard that Dazzler needed and she ended up being at the show the whole time. It's weird, these weird circumstances pile up to where he actually did get her the right gear that get her to play the show later on.
Marvel.com: Any story that involves a quest for Dazzler is okay by me.
Corey Lewis: Yeah, totally.
Marvel.com: What's your first Marvel Comics memory? Does it involve Longshot and Dazzler?
Corey Lewis: [Laughs] Not really. Actually, I've only been into Longshot since doing this job. I mean, I have always known about him and thought he was pretty cool, but I never really got into him until this job. Originally, when I was a kid, I was way into Iron Man. That was my main comic back when I was a kid. I went to the grocery store, like, every week to get the new Iron Man.
I vividly remember collecting DOOM 2099 when that came out, too. I don't know why, but DOOM 2099 was always my biggest deal for me like out of all the 2099 books. That one just always seemed cool to me. I guess it was his platinum freakin' outfit with the blue cloak and stuff. I thought that was really cool.
Marvel.com: Which Marvel titles have you been into lately?
Corey Lewis: To be honest, I've been so wrapped up in my own comics realm, I haven't taken much time to check out many mainstream titles lately. But, two of my biggest heroes and comics inspirations are Paul Pope and Junko Mizuno, so I totally checked out STRANGE TALES #1. I loved it. Both their stories in that one were pure gold.
Marvel.com: Are there any other Marvel stories you would like to tell at some point?
A page from Corey Lewis' Longshot story in STRANGE TALES #3
Corey Lewis: I would definitely like to do Iron Man someday. I actually drew a bunch of Iron Man pictures back in the day. I don't know if I still have them or what, but I always made him look kinda like a gundam-style, Japanese-style robot-warrior kinda thing. Fans of mine have always liked my Iron Man pictures, so yeah, I've always wanted to do that. I also always liked Spider-Man, of course. And I actually have like a crazy idea for an Iron Man/Spider-Man [story] someday.
Marvel.com: Since some Marvel readers might not be familiar with your work, what would you say you bring to the table as a writer and as a artist that's different from the norm?
Corey Lewis: Well, what I think I am most known with my own books is my configuration of video game culture, graffiti and hip hop culture into my comics. So with Longshot, I have him hop through these teleporters—I don't think he even usually does that in his comics, but in mine, he has these digital powers, like he can access contextual video-game menus. I think I get kinda mental with my approach to comics, like very self-referential in a way. And when Longshot jumps through the teleports and stuff, he rides on a magical skateboard. Stuff like that, from my youth culture, I bring to my comics.
Marvel.com: What do you recommend to someone who digs your Longshot story and wants to see more of your stuff?
Corey Lewis: I have two other books out that are totally mine and I'm proud of, which are Sharknife and Peng! Both of them are from Oni Press. Sharknife is my first book ever. It's an OGN, about 140 pages, about a mystical ninja warrior who defends a restaurant. Peng! is about kickball. If they want more of my stuff, those are the two books to look for. More recently I've been working on my online comic Seedless, about little alien grape warriors. It's like Mega Man meets that movie Batteries Not Included. It's at www.seedlesscomic.com. Last year I was also in both the Meathaus SOS anthology and Image's Popgun Vol. 1, with a bunch of my pals.
Marvel.com: What else are you working on?
Corey Lewis: I update my online comic Seedless every Wednesday. I also worked on two Avatar: The Last Airbender short stories this year. They should be seeing some kind of print next year. [I'm also] finishing up my 3rd OGN, Sharknife 2, and developing my main two indie properties for future slayage: Sharknife 3 and a future Peng sports title. This time it's about ping-pong. I call it Peng-Pong. If all goes well, it should all be hitting next year.
Read Lewis' Longshot story in STRANGE TALES #3, on sale November 3!
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