Article by Lauren Pon
If you’re not much of a graphic novel fan, when you think of comic books, you’re probably thinking superheroes and spandex. When it comes to production companies, chances are that movies and television shows come to mind. Full Clip Productions is going to change your perception of both.
Founded by brothers Michael and John Schwarz with their good friend Sam Worthington (Avatar, Terminator: Salvation), Full Clip is an up-and-coming production company that not only delves into movies and TV, but graphic novels as well. On August 17th, they’ll be releasing the first part of their six-issue series Damaged, the story of two brothers – one vigilante, the other a cop – with very different ideas of justice. With other graphic novels, a movie adaptation of Rick Remender’s Last Days of American Crime, and several unannounced television shows all in the works, you’d be crazy to say that Full Clip isn’t keeping busy.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Mike and he gave us some insight on Full Clip, their upcoming comic book releases, and the shape of things to come. Check out the first part of this exclusive interview after the jump and look for the second part on Friday.
This interview was arranged in collaboration with SW Full Clip, who provides full coverage of Full Clip Productions and their projects. For more information and another great in-depth interview with Mike, check them out!
Can you introduce yourself and give us an idea of what you’re about?
My name is Mike Schwarz. I work for a company called Full Clip Productions, which I just started with my brother John and our other partner, Sam Worthington. We initially started out as a film production company, but we branched out into comics and television. We’ve been based in LA for a little over a year and it’s been going pretty good so far.
Congratulations on Full Clip’s Comic-Con debut! Damaged debuted there and it’s amazing; did you get any feedback from fans right off the bat?
Everyone seems to be pretty positive about it so far, which is really great. That’s got a lot to do with the team that’s on board; David Lapham (Stray Bullets) is the writer, he’s a legendary comic book writer. My brother John and I, and Sam, contributed bits and pieces to the story along the way, but he really shaped it and brought it to life. The thing that people really respond to is the artwork by Leonardo Manco (Hellblazer). It’s a cool package that I think everyone’s really enjoying.
Full Clip isn’t just an imprint with Radical, you’re also a production company. Generally, when people think of production companies, they think movies, TV shows. For our readers, can you talk about how Full Clip got into comics?
Before Full Clip was in existence, we were three mates that were trying to get things going in Australia. All three of us grew up reading a lot of comics – I’m probably the biggest comic book geek out of the three, kind of proud to admit. As Sam’s career was starting to take off, he asked me to go to fly out from Sydney and go to Comic-Con in 2009 to have a look around at different comics, see what was around, and what was coming that no one knew about. Find one that sort of could kickstart our film production career.
That was when I met Barry Levine at Radical, where he had Last Days of American Crime. I sort of found it before I went there because I’m a big fan of Rick Remender (Punisher, Uncanny X-Force). It had such a cool premise, and it was a long way from being done. I showed that to Sam, his agents, and my brother, and everyone seemed to think it was a cool one for us to start off on. That pretty much started our relationship with Radical, so when I moved out to LA in March of last year, Barry Levine, being the generous guy that he is, gave us an office to get things going. We started the relationship there and through that, we started kicking around other ideas and comics that we had. Barry responded to them, and one of the first ones we talked about was Damaged.
Once we started work on that, Barry had the bright idea of giving us this imprint deal that would allow us to do multiple comics. So we said “yes please!” That’s really how it started, working with Radical on Last Days of American Crime as a film. We’ve always been comic book fans, but we had no idea how to go about making comics. There’s been a really fun, rewarding experience, working with the Radical team.
You’re a really good fit with Radical, based on what you’ve been looking at and what Radical puts out. There’s really epic, cinematic things that people don’t really think of when they think of comics. A lot of people, when they think of comics, think superheroes and spandex. The kind of stuff you’re doing with Radical and Radical in general is definitely going to pull in different kinds of readers. Is that something you anticipated, or did it just happen?
Not really. It just happened. I’m a big fan of superheroes and most of the genres of comic books, but that doesn’t mean that I want to create superhero stories. I feel the best superhero stories are out there already, the characters have been established. It’s part of Radical’s mandate that they don’t do superheroes. It just fits.
As far as the stories we want to tell, I don’t necessarily want to see the same things that I see in films. With my comics, I like the really character driven stuff. I don’t necessarily want to see big monster stories or big special effects. It’s comic books. I don’t think it has the same power, watching an explosion on the page as it does on the big screen. It just sort of fits. We’ve just become one big happy family, and it fits organically.
To learn more about Damaged, click the image above.