With the first Abigail & Rox in the Land of Enchantment one-shot, having landed in stores on August 1st and a second one announced series creator Joshua Gamon answers a few questions.
DIGITAL WEBBING: Why don’t you tell us about Abigail & Rox?
Joshua Gamon: Abigail & Rox is a raunchy comedy about two brothers from India who travel to New York to study the American girl, but complications arise when their pretentious grandmother comes along to chaperon. OK, not really. That’s actually my upcoming Bollywood pitch.
Abigail & Rox is about a little girl and her teddy bear that are sucked into a fantasy world inhabited by the world’s most endearing fairy tales at war with each other. Imagine if Calvin & Hobbes got busy with the Neverending Story, and had a child out of wedlock. In one aspect, the premise allows the reader to explore a world through the eyes of a child, the proverbial stranger in a strange land, but the world is still very rooted in the darker aspects of human nature—even when most of the characters are far from human. Even departed from the real world, those very real human emotions and self-destructive behaviors are still evident in the characters Abigail encounters. The Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz fell victim to hisown intellect, and the loneliness of having no one to talk to drove him mad. Ichabod Crane, from Sleepy Hollow, is as cowardly as they come. Yet he becomes mayor of the book’s largest city, and he’s reluctantly thrown into the role of hero when his city becomes the center of the war. However, even when Abigail gets caught up in the madness, Rox is the one thing that grounds in reality. He’s her best friend, and the one link connecting her back to the real world.
So Abigail & Rox has a wide spectrum of concepts woven together by a single premise: the power of friendship empowers them with the courage to never give up hope even when trapped within the heart of darkness. And I do put these characters through hell.
DW: Personally, I’m a big fan of these kind of stories. What has been the general overall response of Abigail & Rox?
Joshua Gamon: Before the book even came out, the responses from retailers have been positive. I personally got in touch with nearly a hundred stores across the country, and a majority of them were very supportive. I made sure to woo as many as possible, and it did help the numbers in the end because they ordered two or three issues at a time.
Joshua Gamon: Don Bluth’s Dragon’s Lair II. There’s a stage in the laserdisc game where the vocally-challenged Dirk the Daring traveled through the looking glass. This came out in 1991, and the mere thought of Dirk the Daring crossing over to another property was the coolest thing in the world when I was a kid. He fought the Red Queen, the Jabberwocky, the Cheshire cat, and my love affair with fairy tales grew from there. Hell, I even thanked Don Bluth in the book’s credit page. The guy’s one of my heroes. And I guess Abigail & Rox was an itch I wanted to scratch for years. Well, that’s the official story. The unofficial version of the tale is I wanted to remix fairy tales with a blue collar, psychedelic feel, like if Terry Gilliam jammed with Oingo Boingo and featured Tim Burton as the bass funk guitarist.
Yeah, man, now that’s a sound I can jive to.
DW: What surprised you the most about Abigail & Rox?
Joshua Gamon: A few things: A) I thought children’s fantasy would have been an easy sell. It wasn’t. It still isn’t. Children don’t buy comics. Their parents do, and naming the book Abigail & Rox plants the comic on the top shelf, far out of the chubby little reach of children everywhere. I should have named the book Zubigail & Rox. B) It’s hard to promote a book by yourself. C) Comp copies take up a lot of room. I stopped collecting comics years ago because I simply ran out of space, now I get two year’s worth of comics for every book I put out. I just donated several books to various children’s hospitals up the east coast. I also plan to ship out more to our military overseas. D) My French Gov’t professor was right; it truly is a “publish or perish” environment. If you’re not in the public’s eye every 30 days, you’re an unknown writer every time your book comes out. E) Finally, people do take notice. A gentleman who publishes a Lewis Carroll bibliography wants to include Abigail & Rox in his upcoming 3rd edition. That’s pretty cool, and gives the book some literary merit.
DW: I haven’t read Abigail & Rox… why don’t you tell me why I should force my local comic shop to order a few hundred copies!?
Joshua Gamon: Shame on you for not reading the book! But don’t worry, you’re not alone. However, it is a little too late to tell your local shop to order the first book, but Abigail & Rox will get a second issue. You can tell them the book is a great alternative to the over-violent, blood-stained, lost-in-its-own-continuity books flooding their shelves every Wednesday—aka, their best-sellers. It’s simple counter-programming. However, if you missed out on the first issue, you can always order them through me!
DW: Are you involved with any other project that you’d like to leak right now?
Joshua Gamon: I do have several projects in various stages of development. Abigail & Rox II has the highest propriety, in terms of print. Everything else will remain under lock and key until they are released.
DW: Great chatting with you!
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