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by Vince Brusio

Bare knuckles and beer rants appear to be back en vogue if you pick up the Foster GN (MAY141525) from Ossm Comics. In this PREVIEWSworld Exclusive interview, writer Brian Buccellato explains that it’s all about keeping it gritty. Those of you who remember life before the Internet can relate. Those who were born with a wireless mouse in your hand: take notes. It’s all about Nu Yawk.

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PREVIEWSworld: The Foster GN is “set against the backdrop of late 60s/early 70s urban crime movies.” Could you elaborate which films inspired your story? What was it about those films that got the creative juices flowing?

Brian Buccellato: I was born in Queens, NY during that time, and have some very visceral memories of the early 70’s in the city. Consequently, I have an affinity for movies that show the gritty New York of my early youth. The French Connection, Taxi Driver, Panic in Needle Park, Serpico, Mean Streets, The Taking of Pelham 123 and Dog Day Afternoon are among the films that inspired me. New York movies from that era have a specific look and feel… and I “dig it, man.”

PREVIEWSworld: If you were to get to the heart of this story, what would you say is the meat and potatoes of Foster? What would make someone think a trip to get popcorn and soda is a worthwhile effort because they’re not going anywhere until they’ve read this book cover to cover?

Brian Buccellato: At it’s core, it’s a redemption story about fatherhood set inside the device of monsters living among us— the ones in the shadows and the ones inside us. As a father, I wanted to write a story that is personal to me and reflected my life, so I chose to write about my need to protect my son from the harms of the world.

The title character, Eddie Foster, is a Vietnam war veteran who is drinking himself to death — he’s a total screw-up and the least likely person to be saving anyone. But dammit, you’ll root for Foster despite the long odds… because he is gonna do whatever he has to keep the monsters from getting poor Ben.

PREVIEWSworld: So brutal creatures are trying to drag a six year-old away from a war veteran. Who got to have the final say on the creature design? What resources were consulted or referenced, because now it sounds like we’ve gone from a crime drama to a monster matinee.

Brian Buccellato: I designed all of the characters… including BEN, who some say looks just like my son. :)  For the dwellers, I had specific images in my head that I pulled from classic horror and sci-fi. If I had to pinpoint my references, I would say that the dwellers were a mixture of Planet of the Apes, morlocks, and werewolves… with a dash of Neanderthal man. These creatures are meant to represent unchecked id. They are primal beasts that want only to eat, kill and fornicate — they are the monster lurking inside all of us.

PREVIEWSworld: How long has this project been in the works? What’s the timeline on the devotion to this book?

Brian Buccellato: Foster has had a strange a path over the past two years. From late 2011 through 2012 I wrote and oversaw production of the 6 issue story arc, as well as an anthology. I self-published the first 5 issues with a limited run of 500 signed-and-numbered copies. Unfortunately, self-publishing is really hard to do, and I it got the best of me. When my printer went out of business after delivering a portion of issue 5, I had to raise the white flag and “put a pin” in Foster. Now, with the help of OSSM, I finally have the opportunity to deliver the entire story in one volume.

PREVIEWSworld: Are there any particular social media sites we can check should we want to see what lies down the road for Foster?

PREVIEWSworld: Follow me on Twitter or Facebook… that’s where you will be able to keep up to date with all things Booch. I also have a website that is sorely in need of updating… brianbooch.com.