The Phineus: Magician for Hire interview with Barry Linck continues…
Q6: Has being a Role-play Gamer helped you with creating stories for Phineus: Magician for Hire?
Yes, definitely. As well as my theater and film background.
Role-playing has gotten me to think as a character, act as a character would act. Being a DM, helped me create worlds, tell stories and create conflict in the stories.
In addition, all the monsters, magic, and Myth are right in there. I know most of the stuff in , say, the Monster Manual, is based on mythology. That said, the various gaming manuals itemize and describe the characters so succinctly that they sort of become my go to Beast-encyclopedia.
There have been stories I’ve done directly lifted from advesntures I’ve played with my game versions of Phin and Sara. I’ve even created a RPG around Phineus, with the help of my friend, John Burris. I’m even working on a second edition.
Q7: You must be very proud of making four complete Phineus stories. How has Phineus evolved in that time?
I’m actually working on my 7th Volume of Phineus! Aside from my daughters, it’s the most monumental thing I’ve ever made!
It has changed a lot, over the last 25 years, mainly because I’ve learned how to be consistent and how to write and draw better.
As a story, it’s grown as the characters have grown. My characters are roughly the same age as I am, and I put them through similar things that I go through. For instance, the heart attack Phineus suffered way back in “Rotwang” (Issue 6, Volume 1) happened as I was going through a divorce. My heart was broken, so I “broke” his heart. That sort of thing.
I have also, planned and made it known that Phineus will turn evil, eventually. I’ve been adding lore that leads to that throughout.I have tried , and largely been successful, in not only writing a comic, but creating a whole world. I’ve learned to world build.
The other thing that has changed in that time is that I publish it on the web. When I started all this there was no internet. I self-published and distributed it in comic stores. I basically put out a book whenever I could afford to do so, like 3 times a year. Since the advent of the internet, I update 3 times a week, that’s over 150 pages a year. That alone makes me do more, reach more people and tell more stories!
Q8: What has the fan response to Phineus been like? Do their comments influence you at all?
I have a growing and very rabid pool of fans.
There are people that I know if I see at a con and I don’t have anything new, they’ll ream me out! The really cool thing is that a lot of the response I get is from other creators that I admire, and find out they are fans of me! That’s cool.
The other nifty thing is, that since I’ve been doing this so long, I have adult artists that have grown up fans of Phineus! The tell tale sign of that is the very large Fans of Phin section of the site that has guest art by some of my favorite artists, yourself included. Plus I have a growing Fan fiction collection, too. Love that.
Facebook has been a boon for connecting with fans and finding out, instantly what they like or don’t like. I’ve even pooled people to find out what story they’d like to see. I’m just thankful people care what I do.
Q9: What’s it like being a part of the the ‘Old Dying Kitty Comics’ Studio?
Old Dying Kitty is really awesome.
I used to be a part of Rampage Network at first then signed on with Wevolt, which was a pretty cool deal for a while. Those other places just didn’t work out. James Riot, of “The Path”, “Bastard Who” & “Anunnaki” who was a Wevolt Studio-mate of mine started up his own website and invited me along.
We are two like minds seemingly separated at birth. We now have a home for the paranormal and sci fi that we love to create. James’ has since added Calvin Garcia and Vaughn Reynolds’ “William Feist”. There’s also another undisclosed comic also coming over to ODK, as well.
The really cool thing is that we have a very “Bullpen” attitude towards each other. Although our books are our own, it feels like we’re all in it, together.It feels like I’m in on the ground floor of something destined to be legendary.
As for Phineus, this is probably going to be the best year, yet. Lots of life changing stuff is happening. Lots of fun stuff. I have great plans for Phineus in the near future & far future. I don’t think I’ll ever stop telling Phineus stories.
The beginning of the year saw fellow Pittsburgh comic creator, Jon Towers’ “Mother of All Monsters”, his very own killer Phineus story. Jon is , if you can believe it, more productive than me. He creates “The Non-Standard Assembly” series of webcomics and books. He’s inspiring.
I am also involved in three crossovers with Phineus, coming up, this year. I have a three-way crossover with James Riot’s “The Path” & Adam Black’s “Locus” called “Trinity”. This was begun a while back, but put on the back-burner, due to scheduling issues.It’s awesome & Lovecraftian.
Next up, we have a yet unnamed crossover with “William Feist”. Vaughn and Calvin and I are in the plotting stages. It will also be Lovecraftian. See a pattern? I’m really loving the process with these guys.
We also have a story in the works with Shawn Atkins & Seth Fronzoli’s “Explorers of the Unknown”. It will be very retro and cool. EOTU is a paranormal superhero book that’s a gas. These guys are hosted on my other studio-mates Strumhaus site, the home of “Weirdlings” and “Gaslight Tales”.
Having so many creative friends is a boon for my drive and creativity.