Writer/Artist Rich Tommaso Talks Dry County and His Next Series in This Interview
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Rich Tommaso to discuss his new series, Dry County, a new crime series that follows a Miami comic strip creator as he falls headfirst into a crime story!
Outright Geekery: Rich, Dry County is your new “everyman crime series.” What can you tell us about this new crime adventure?
Rich Tommaso: It’s a straight forward, wandering girl mystery, but everyone involved is a total amateur. The characters–the kidnapper, the detective, the muscle on both sides, the spies, stakeout guys, captors, gangsters in the book–they’re all novices–doing their part either to help out a friend or who will work cheap to do someone’s dirty job for them. In that sense, it feels like a more realistic world than you’d find in something like my first Image crime series, DARK CORRIDOR for example. A crime novel that is just barely a crime novel.
OG: What was your inspiration for this comic? What makes Lou Rossi, the everyman, an interesting lead character for a crime comic? Perhaps something (or someone) from real life?
RT: When I sat down to write this story, in 2008, I wanted to do an autobiographical comic about an early period of my life– the first time I had tried to live on my own, which was in Florida when I was 19 years old. But I was also interested in getting back to writing crime stories again as well. So, I decided before I had gotten too far along in the script, that I would take that time period and weave a crime theme into it.
OG: One of the things that really grabbed me reading the comic was the imagery, particularly the club scene and the parallels between Lou and Janet talking to the clothes tumbling in the laundry. What inspired these visuals?
RT: Those were just visual ideas I had come up with on the spot. I wanted to fully express his hatred for having gone out to a rave club by showing him in the undertow of a huge crowd of dancing people–that kind of leaping in seemed like a great way to open a story as well. With the latter, because this is supposed to be a unrequited love story, having his clothes mingling with Janet’s in the dryer just seemed to work perfectly for that first meeting between the two of them in the laundry room.
OG: How long do you see this adventure in love and crime lasting? If finite, do you see it as self-contained? Or is this perhaps a world we may return to?
RT: This is a finite story, but I do have plans to do various crime scenarios with Lou in the continuing stages of his (my) life. We’ll see if I ever get to those books or not.
OG: What’s next on your plate after Dry County?
RT: Not sure at the moment. Most likely, another Spy Seal book. I do have another Spy Seal story all figured out, but before I can work on that, I have some other “secret” freelance gigs that I’m currently working on. After those are complete, who knows? Maybe my next auteur book will be another story with Lou Rossi.
Outright Geekery would like to extend a special thanks to Image Comics and Rich Tommaso! You can catch Dry County 1 in stores tomorrow, 13 March, in the United States! You can also catch our review of issue 1 here! Still not convinced? Here’s a three page preview!