Tuesday, May 3, 2011
In the fourth of our 5 Questions series of interviews, Street Team writer Joe Currie breaks down the world of PUNXofRAGE and much more in the second of our set of interviews with the full crew! Hope you enjoy!
1) For people who may not be familiar with you, could you please give us a quick introduction?
My name is Joe Currie aka That Strictly Kid. I am one of the founders of Strictly Underground Comics. I've been in the game for about 15 years. Working primarily with the creator owned projects that we've created within the Strictly Underground Crew.
2) Could you tell us a little bit about your contribution to the Street Team universe, Dodger, as well as the larger PUNXofRAGE world?
Dodger is the brick of the Street Team, every team needs a good brick dammit! Nah, he was a character I made up when I was a kid. It was a group of us who were really into comic books and RPGs (role playing games) so he sort of came out of that. Just a Bad Ass Vigilante who pretty much wanted to bring the bad guys the same hell that they would dish out on innocent people. Employing a real nasty eye for an eye mentality to get his point across. He's the core and the catalyst for the PUNXofRAGE movement. There are two other major characters that have an impact and serve as his mentors in the book and they are Prodigy and Reaction, two characters who have their own history as individual characters. The Punx universe itself is a blend of multiple genres and cultures that I enjoy. Just pure urban fantasy spiked with real stories from my life.
3) A number of fans and members of the black superhero community have expressed a general resistance to "street level" characters and stories in favor of a focus on more "high level" characters and concepts. What are your thoughts on this issue and what would you say to those who express these kind of thoughts?
Yeah I've heard that before and I am conscious of it but to me it all boils down to the story. Like you can have a black character and make him or her the most powerful being in all existence but if that story is not strong it's going to be WACK! Batman is one of the largest icons in all of comicbookdom. He's a street level character, anybody who is familiar with Batman knows first hand that he can be bashing Jokers head on the concrete of Gotham city in one story and in the next he's a half a galaxy away trying to stop Darkseid. If the story is strong in either situation you're going to have gold.
I think sometimes people make judgments and are critical of the product before actually knowing what it's about.
4) As the one guy within the main group who is primarily a writer, what is it like being the main story guy, so to speak? Also, as a writer by trade, were you able to bring anything to the artist's respective characters that maybe hadn't been there before?
As far as bringing anything to the crew's characters I guess you would have to ask them. I was really just trying not to screw it up and have somebody yell at me!!!
I don't think I was really alone in the production of the story. It was just crazy mad energy going in every direction. I mean Stan would have an idea and I would write something to it or I would write up something and Shawn would rock an incredible piece to fit. The story came from all directions, we had a lot of ideas and just found a way to put all the pieces together. We also have another writer in the crew, his name is Koran Curtis. So when I would write out the script in it's raw form both Shawn and Koran put that time in and added on combined with Mase on the edits we were just vibing and it worked.
5) I think it's fair to say you are a big hip hop fan. Has hip hop influenced your creative endeavors in any way and if so, how and to what degree?
Oh with out a doubt. The 90s to me was a huge creative energy wave. The machine hadn't quite forged Hip Hop into the crap that vomits out of radios today. An Artist was an Artist so if you were a Head you felt it. It has a major impact on my work and the stuff represented in my work. Hip Hop is one of the few things that I know of that crosses race, religion, gender and even culture. If you're of the culture it's recognized instantly by another head and there is mutual respect and love.
Thank you for your time Joe, it's been a pleasure. Do you have any final thoughts you would like to leave our readers?
This Street Team Project is something I am extremely proud to be apart of. We're on that journey right now those who have followed us so far thank you very much for the support it means everything and don't go anywhere we're just getting started. First stop Heroes Con Charlotte, North Carolina June 3-5 come and check us out!!
Peace to the Street Team Fraternity, Y'all already know what time it is.
Peace to Samuel Gordon putting in that work on the Street Team video game.
Peace to the Strictly Underground Crew, still getting busy after all these years.
Peace to the BSH fam, Y'all held us down from beginning to end.
Shout out to Aminah Armour: Dziva Jones is on the way
Thank you Will for hooking us up this way man f'real
Last but not least everybody go over to Indyplanet and cop that Street Team joint it's hot off the grill baby!!!