Peter Breau: The Man Behind the Comics
When it was decided that every month Allied Legends Inc., would place a New Brunswick creator in the spotlight, it was no question who the first one would be. It had to be Peter Breau, who lives in Saint John with his wife Kelli and 2 children and is currently a writer for First Comics News.
Peter’s 4-year career in the industry has already been filled with a multitude of success, including winning the Fundy Fan Fest character creation contest and a Spacie Award Finalist. Talented writer behind Starbolt and the #34 best-selling comic of February 2022, These Damn Kids, took the time out of his busy life to answer a few questions for aspiring artists and writers in New Brunswick.
1. Tell me about your background as a writer. When did you first become interested in writing?
In 2017 I entered the Fundy Fan Fest character creation contest, won first place, and was on a panel for character creation at the Fan Fest. That was my first experience with writing. I then collaborated with Fredericton-based artist Monique MacNaughton on a Tarzan of the Apes story, which got much attention. I received a letter from Edgar Rice Burroughs Estate to have the comic archived by them in Tarzana, Ca. I went on the write for Lucky comics, Waterfront, Aspyre, Antarctic Press, Caliber and Secondsight Publishing. I also came in 3rd place at the Spacie awards for the best Indie writer of 2018.
2. How did you develop your writing skills? What classes (if any) have you taken?
I have never taken any formal classes in writing comics. I have read a lot of comics, joined a few groups and networked with many other creators. I developed my skills by writing and rewriting and more writing. Comic books are a team project; the artists I work with from around the world have taught me about pacing and that sometimes objects are characters in themselves.
3. What motivates you to create comics?
I have always been a storyteller and have a unique gift of gab. Working with many talented artists worldwide, such as Mattia Doghini, Benito Tovar Jr, Alessio Nocerino, Helmut Racho, John Epple, Adam Fields, Brian Maikisch and letterers like Francisco Zamora, to name a few, has been a blessing. It is a great feeling to see the characters and storylines I have created and co-created come to life on a page and to see people from all over the world enjoy my comics.
4. Who inspires you and why?
Anyone who chases their dreams, no matter how big or small, inspires me. We all have talents. The comic book writers that inspire me are Mark Millar, Jonathan Hickman and Alan Moore. These writers have pushed the boundaries of comic book storytelling and created stories that make me think.
5. Please walk me through your process from start to end. How do you know when a project is complete?
First, I come up with an idea, a what if? Then I plot it out. Then I start to create character biographies and panel out the pages, and I will do crude thumbnails to see page layouts etc. Then I will plot out each page and break down the scenes. I will then write dialogue and narrations. Then it is off to the artist like Mattia. Mattia will then read the script and do sketches and pencil breakdown of pages. He will send them back to me with any suggested changes to panels, pacing, etc. I will look over the pencilled pages and then make suggestions, and after that, Mattia will draw and ink the pages sending the final pages back to me. I will then send them to Francisco Zamora, who letters the pages, send them back to me for final edits and then it is off to an editor/ publisher for final publication. Then comics are shipped to comic book stores all over the world.
6. How do you navigate the professional comic industry?
The best way I have found to navigate the professional comic industry is to join groups of like-minded creators and network, get involved, ask questions and have fun. Importantly remember it is a team effort. Always credit your team, encourage them and thank them for all they do.
7. What are your ultimate goals as a writer?
I have never really thought about goals. I just wanted to write comics. Some of my accomplishments as a writer; the Mississippi Zombie anthology, in which I have two stories (It’s all about Commerce co-written with twin brother John), was #1 on Amazon in Canada and #3 in the USA. These damn Kids was the # 34 bestselling comic for Feb 2022 and sold out; the first issue is now into a second print. I have collaborated on an anthology with Antarctic Press’ Ben Dunn of Warrior Nun fame using his Ninja High School Characters. Jaden and I have stories in Harvest of Horrors anthology that were in the Amazon top 100 for 7 weeks. I have been a panellist At San Diego Comic-con and WonderCon and have done numerous podcasts.
8. How is your personality reflected in your work?
I am a big X-files fan and have a quirky sense of humour. I try to put that into my Constantine Lazar character.
9. What is your most significant barrier to being a creator? How have you chosen to address it?
I haven’t faced any barriers in the comic book world. I believe with hard work and dedication to writing, the sky is the limit.
10. What do comics mean to you?
Collaborating with my son Jaden Breau has been very meaningful to me. We have worked on four projects—two World War I stories with artist Brian Maikisch and two with artist Alessio Nocerino. It is very fulfilling to tell these stories we are telling involving actual historical events and real-life veterans and put a slightly supernatural twist on them. Watching my son, a gifted and natural storyteller is heart-warming, we have more projects in the works. I am very grateful and blessed to work with so many talented people from all over the world.
Thanks so much for taking an interest. It is appreciated. You can follow me on Facebook; all my interviews and podcasts are available on Youtube and my Facebook page.
Deliver us from Evil #1, and Mad and Madness # 1 will be available soon at comic stores worldwide.
You can meet Peter Breau in person at the Big Country Comic Expo in Fredericton, New Brunswick on November 26th and 27th.
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