ComicsVerse went to New York Comic Con a few months ago, and while there we interviewed Karl Bollers. Karl talks Valiant, being a senior editor at his new company and so much more. Check out ComicsVerse’s interview! This interview with Karl Bollers may have been edited for clarity.

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ComicsVerse (CV): Valiant’s gone through a little bit of changes over, we’ll say, the last year. What do you expect to bring, or what would you like to bring as far as you know, your new role as senior editor to the company?

Karl Bollers: Well, first of all, in my new role as senior editor of the company, I just want to continue doing what we’ve been doing. But even before I arrived at Valiant, and Valiant had a reputation for putting out quality material over quantity, best-reviewed comics in the industry, and I just want to keep bringing that level of talent and you know, what the fans have come to expect.

CV: Valiant had a big event, the HARBINGER WARS recently. Is there anything on the horizon that you might be able to talk about as far as you know, your direction and your creative lead for Valiant?

Karl Bollers: Well, I can speak about a couple of the new projects that we’re working on. We’re going to be working on THE LIFE AND DEATH OF TOYO HARADA, which launches next March. Which will take a look at one of the most pivotal characters in our universe in a totally different way. We have several different artists working on it. Cafu is going to be doing the main stories. But the flashbacks will have a different artist every issue and issue one is by Mico Suayan, who’s just amazing. We have a bloodshot series, it’s called BLOODSHOT RISING SPIRIT, by Kevin Grevioux and Ken Lashley, that’s probably going to be the definitive origin of the character. So yeah, there’s a lot of cool stuff coming up.

CV: Is there any particular series or character right now of Valiant that you might find a personal attachment to? Or that’s kind of your favorite? Or you might even want to push to the forefront of Valiant because they’re just a creative vision that you see?

Karl Bollers: Well, when I first arrived at Valiant, one of the first characters that I just dove into, because I was editing the book, was NINJAK. I read Matt Kindt’s trades and I fell in love with the character. It was just so amazing. But it wasn’t until I read the NINJAK series by Christos Gage, that made me want to propose to NINJAK. It was just so great. So Ninjak is my favorite, probably, with Toyo Harada. He’s pretty close, they’re pretty neck and neck.

CV: Now, with all the changes and you coming in, you’re in a new role, has there been any difficulties maybe? You know, managing the teams that were already kind of established in a creative direction? Have you guys keeping things kind of steady, where things were at before? Like, what is, I don’t want to say like, the status, but where is Valiant at right now in this new direction?

Karl Bollers: Well, things have been pretty smooth. When I came in, Warren Simons was Editor-in-Chief and it was a pretty smooth transition. Warren and I have been friends for 10 years. So, yeah, there were no hiccups or bumps in taking over the books, things went really smoothly.

CV: Is there any effect between the movie properties that Valiant is looking to push in the common aspect, where it’s kind of separated and there’s not really much of a mesh?

Karl Bollers: Well, for right now, I mean, we’re not getting any marching orders from the movies to change our comics. I think if anything, they’ll probably be influenced by what we’re doing, which is probably the way it should be. So yeah, things have been pretty smooth on that front.

CV: What is your biggest goal in the senior editor role for Valiant and where would you like to see the company in five, maybe 10 years?

Karl Bollers: My goal as senior editor is to make the books accessible, both to fans, our current fans as well as new potential fans. I was saying that we want to treat every title as if it’s somebody’s first comic. My goal is to see these characters as household names. I want to say, “Hey Mom, this is what’s happening with X-O,” and she’ll know who X-O is. So, yeah, that’s my goal, to just kind of expand the universe and make it accessible to the mainstream.

CV: Now we talked a little bit about before off camera, but in your role as the senior editor you have to look for new talent, you know, bring in new blood to expand the universe, change creative teams, etc, etc. What do you generally look for in you know, a freelancer, or talent, and you know, how much new talent might we see in you know, Valiant books in the near future?

Karl Bollers: Well, it’s an ongoing process. I mean, even at this show, we’re going to be scouting for talent; me and the rest of the editorial team. I mean, what we look for is the standard. We look for imagination, we look for, you know if you’re an artist. We want to see that you’re at that professional level because, like I said, it is about quality. So we just really want to hire the best people who are at the top of their game. And that’s not to say that we’re only looking for name creators. We often scout the indie scene because that’s where a lot of the up-and-coming talent is. And it’s really fertile ground for our creators.

CV: All right, for our last question. Valiant. If you had one line to tell somebody who knew nothing about the company and you wanted to bring them and be like, “Read our comics, this is why,” what would it be?

Karl Bollers: It would probably be, this is the universe that is accessible to you because it’s new, it’s fresh. We haven’t been around for 75 years. These characters are modern, they’re current, and they’re just not regurgitating the same old stories that you’ve seen for the past 30 years.

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