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FCBD Interview: Creator and Artist Jess Smart Smiley Talks Upside Down: A Vampire Tale

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Silver sponsor Top Shelf Productions is proud to join the 2012 FREE COMIC BOOK DAY celebration with not one, but six all-ages tales. Teenagers and adults will be sure to love Upside Down: A Vampire Tale, a spooky story about a friendly vampire named Harold, who has a major sweet tooth for candy!

Here, Comic book creator and artist Jess Smart Smiley gives a brief synopsis of the plot, tells readers why Upside Down: A Vampire Story is a great FCBD release and much more in this exclusive interview.


FCBD: Set your project up for those that might be new to your comic book. What can we expect to see in terms of story and art? 

Jess Smart Smiley (JSS): Upside Down: A Vampire Tale stars a vampire named Harold that loses his teeth, bats, a scientist, and the last witch on earth. The entire 144-page graphic novel is colored in black, white, and Halloween green and it rocks!

FCBD: What has been your favorite part of book or character to tackle?

JSS: Ooh! Good question. Well, John and Randy are two mischievous bats that like to cause trouble. They end up befriending Harold, the main character, and they're super-fun to draw. They crack some good bat jokes and even show up in Top Shelf Productions' Free Comic Book Day issue!

FCBD: Tell our readers why they should pick your book first on FCBD.

JSS: It's hilarious! Harold (the boy vampire) has a terrible nightmare and John and Randy help him sort things out.

FCBD: What’s your favorite part about being able to work in comics?

JSS: I get to draw my favorite characters over and over again, and I get to tell a story. There are also tons of friendly creators in comics that make creating fun.

FCBD: Many newcomers will be picking up comics for the first time on FCBD—what was the first comic you remember reading?

JSS: The first comic I remember reading is one of Eastman and Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles graphic novels. The artwork was amazing, the story was dark and funny at the same time, and it starred the Ninja Turtles. What a great introduction to comics, eh?

FCBD: Where will you be for this year’s FCBD? Do you have any annual FCBD traditions?

JSS: Dad introduced me to FCBD years ago and I've been hooked ever since. I get to spend this year drawing with my friends at Dragon's Keep in Provo, Utah, and drooling over all the sweet free comics!

FCBD: Looking to the future of the book, is there anything you can tease about what's coming? 

JSS: Am I allowed to mention that it's the first book in a series? No? Okay, I won't say anything about that. What I can say is that Upside Down: A Vampire Tale has something for everyone--it's a family-friendly, spooky-fun adventure coming in October, just in time for Halloween!


Be sure to visit often to check out previews of this year’s books and to learn more about the creators involved. You can also follow all the latest FCBD news on Facebook and Twitter.

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