Bones and Cheese: An Interview with Baron Rat’s Troy Vevasis
A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed the one-shot Baron Rat and the Great Cheese Caper from Alterna Comics. It was a fun romp very much in the likes of Tom and Jerry or Wile E. Coyote. My review garnered the attention of Baron Rat’s creator, Troy Vevasis and just recently I got to interview Troy about Baron Rat and his gentleman Skeleton buddy Mr. Crypt.
Q: Troy- thank you for taking some time to talk with me about your new one-shot special. So how did you get started in the comic book industry?
Troy: I wanted to be a writer ever since I was a teenager. When I was 19 I got a book on how to write comic scripts that was written by Dennis O’Neil. From there I started writing comic scripts and short web comics. I also did quite a bit of self-publishing. In 2015 I had stories in Indie Comics Magazine #9 and #10. In 2016 I wrote Vincent Price Presents: In the Shadows #1 for Blue Water/Storm Comics.
Q. Who were your influences? Any mentors?
Troy: I am a big fan of Dennis O’Neil, Jeph Loeb and Roy Thomas.
Q. Last year you published Mr Crypt, a 3-issue miniseries. This introduced Baron Rat and his pal, Mr. Crypt to the world. Tell me what inspired you to make this comic?
Troy: I have always been a fan of the classic monster movies of the 1930s and 1940s and I wanted to do something in that style but for all-ages.
Q. Did Baron Rat and the Great Cheese Caper come from too many great ideas to fit into the Mr. Crypt miniseries? Or were you longing to return to the characters?
Troy: There were a lot of ideas that I had that couldn’t fit into the miniseries. This Baron Rat one-shot did start out as a possible 4th issue of the miniseries but I realized that the story worked better as a one-shot.
Q. Are there plans for more Mr Crypt stories? If so, are there any new characters that we’ve yet to be introduced too?
Troy: There will be a new miniseries out in the summer of 2019. It will be called “The Adventures of Mr. Crypt and Baron Rat.” There will be two new characters in the miniseries. There will also be more Mr. Crypt shorts in the “It Came Out on a Wednesday” anthology series from Alterna Comics!
Q. In my review of Baron Rat, I compared the story to Tom and Jerry without the cat and Wile E. Coyote with Cheese instead of Roadrunner. Do you feel that’s a fair comparison? Did I miss an influence or two?
Troy: That is a good comparison. I have always thought of the Mr. Crypt universe as a cartoon world.
Q. In the (one-shot) comic, Baron Rat doesn’t talk. Is he really silent or was this to help the story be appealing for younger readers?
Troy: Baron Rat cannot speak but he is far more intelligent than the average rat!
Q. You’ve done both new. So what are the appeals and the setbacks to doing a multi-issue arc and a one-shot tale? Which do you prefer?
Troy: A miniseries is great because there is plenty of room for a lot of situations and storylines. One-shots are also great because I get to really focus on one stand-alone story. Both formats are great in their own way.
Q. Alterna’s cover prices are very nice to readers. And the Baron Rat special is only a $1! How do you guys manage to put out stories at a fraction of DC/Marvel prices? Was Kickstarter used to help offset some costs in the production?
Troy: It is really cool to see a #1 comic in 2018! There was no Kickstarter but there are 18 story pages instead of 24 so that helped.
Q. If you could crossover Mr Crypt and Baron Rat with any character or franchise- who would you pick?
Troy: I kind of view Mr. Crypt and Baron Rat as being in their own universe so I never really thought of any crossovers. If I had to pick one I would have to say The Munsters. I have always been a big fan of that show and think that Mr. Crypt and Baron Rat would have crazy adventures with those characters.
Q. Lastly, Troy. 2018 is coming to an end. What’s the new year looking like for you in terms of projects, new releases and even other media?
Troy:: There will be a Mr. Crypt TPB that will collect the three issue miniseries from 2017-2018. It will be out on Halloween 2018. Moving into 2019 Mr. Crypt and Baron Rat will continue to appear in “It Came Out on a Wednesday.” The Adventures of Mr. Crypt and Baron Rat will be released in the summer of 2019!
Baron Rat and the Great Cheese Caper will be available in print and digital platforms October 24th.