During the convention this weekend, we had an opportunity to sit down (or stand up, as the case may be) and talk with a lot of people. Some of the information we got we can share. Some of it we can’t. What we got from Ben Perez and Matt Rothblatt, the founders of Phi3 (That’s pronounced “FEE 3″) comics, we can share…and will.
When we met with Ben and Matt, we were out on the show floor and were able to look over all of their wares. They hooked us up with the first 2 issues of their comic series “Spiralmind” and talked with us about the ideas and concepts behind the series.
Here’s what went down.
Rob : When did you guys start Phi 3
Matt : We started in 2004 when my nephew Benito called me up and said “We’re going to make a comic called Spiralmind and this is how it’s going to go” At the time is sounded a lot like Batman…He was a billionaire playboy but with less gadgets and he had something else in there that got my attention which was a Rabbi performing an exorcism and corruption all the way up to the Vatican. He had the name already and we just needed to change up the character a little and make him a little more original. By day he is Ben Landry, an electrical engineer and former special ops Delta Force soldier.
(A few spoilers hit at this time…I won’t drop them here)
Rob : So this started basically in 2004, we’re now in 2001, this has been a long process…
Matt : When we started we had no idea how to do comics. When he called me on the phone I thought it was going to be one of those things like when he wanted us to start a “New Kids On The Block” type band when we were younger. I thought we’d go have a beer and move on but we had an artist, his name was Joaquin Silva. He’s not with us now for various reasons but he introduced us to all this, so we said why not, let’s do it! I found a book online about how to make comics and I read it like a bible. We finally got the art done by Brian Robinson who we found on deviant art. We weren’t sure how we were going to print it so we found comicxpress and the rest is history. The timing kind of helped us to get to the point where things were available for us to do it. We’re still learning though…it’s a learning process.
Rob : Obviously the super hero genre of comics has been around for a while and all superheroes have powers. What grabbed my interest was the talk of the Rabbi doing exorcisms. You said you have issue 1 and 2 out, 3 is going to press, 4 has all of the artwork done and you mentioned a graphic novel that’s coming out?
Matt : Yeah, we started like we were writing the script for a movie. There’s a premise in the novel about the Nephilim who are the offspring off angels and human women. They’re coming to take back the earth and Rabbi Rotblatt and Father O’Brien have to fight them. So we started the whole thing off like a movie idea and then sat down one week and finished up the idea. We’re doing a 162 page novel and we’re on about page 70 or 80 right now.
Rob : So the comic and the graphic novel are following some of the stories in the bible, biblical prophecy and what-not, does the comic series hold a religious connotation for the readers?
Matt : My father was Jewish, I was raised Catholic and Benito went to Catholic high school but is mostly focused on Judaism right now. I’m fascinated with the religious dichotomies and the whole difference in the beliefs. It’s not by any means religious at all but it explores the twists and differences in the beliefs.
(At this point, more spoilers…You’ll have to read the graphic novel to learn more)
Rob : So it has a religious context but not a religious message?
Matt : Exactly!
Rob : Well you guys have obviously done a lot of research and a lot of homework on this. The premise sounds great. You’ve given us a couple of comics and we’re going to read them and I’m sure we’re going to review them.
At this point Matt showed us a resolution from the state of Texas recognizing the work they’ve done. They’re really cool guys and we wish them the best of luck. Coming up in the next couple of days we will have a review up on their first 2 comics so make sure you stay tuned for that!
Phi3 Comics’ web site can be found HERE