GVN Talking Comics Interview: Writer Anthony Cleveland for Mad Cave Studios: “Shows End: The Second Coming”

In 2019, writer Anthony Cleveland and artist Jef Sadzinski teamed up for a series that mixed the iconic monster shows of yesteryear with supernatural mischief. The series, End of the show was a five-issue masterpiece with cleverly designed characters and a great premise. With positive reviews from readers and critics alike, it was hard to believe that a return to End of the show was in order.

Now, starting July 27, Cleveland and Sadzinski have once again revisited Loralye and Friends. Using Mad Cave’s new subscription model, fans can get all five digital issues as they’re released, then receive Volume 2 TPB when it’s finished. Recently we had the pleasure of sitting down with writer Anthony Cleveland to discuss this new chapter, End of the show: the second coming.

Background

GVN: Thank you for sharing some time with us Anthony. Since this is the first opportunity for us to discuss, let’s start with a bit of your background. When did you first get interested in writing for comics and is there a book or creator that led you down that path?

THAT: I grew up obsessed with movies and spent most of my life working in filmmaking. I had a strong foundation for visual storytelling and turned to comics because there were fewer limits to storytelling than with film. Comics have always been there for me, but I think Lemire’s Sweet Tooth is the one that made me say, “I can do this.

The lessons of self-publishing

GVN: Suite by Jeff Lemire Greedy is a great inspiration to channel. You started by self-publishing a book called silver skin in 2017. How did this process go and what do you think you learned that was beneficial for the future?

THAT: It was like taking a $2,000 course to learn all aspects of comic book creation…taught by yourself. A few mistakes were made and a lot of lessons were learned, but it was all positive for me. My handwriting is much tighter for that.

End of the first shows

GVN: Nothing like investing in yourself. After that, you had books published by Guerilla Publishing and two series by Mad Cave Studios, one of which was show the end. It was a well-received collection dealing with iconic monster shows from the early 1920s mixed with a supernatural underpinning. How did this story come about, and did you have the ambition at THAT time to follow it?

THAT: Show’s End happened quite quickly. I think I pulled from Tod Browning’s Freaks and many anime/manga that I liked for Loralye’s character. It made for a really fun combination to write with.
Of course we wanted to come back after Vol. 1, but we purposely left it where we hoped it would be a satisfying ending for fans if Vol. 2 did not happen.

So we are all very happy to be back and we hope that Vol. 2 finds the same success as the previous volume so we can come back one last time to complete this series as a trilogy!

End of Emissions: The Second Coming

GVN: On this second volume, End Shows: The Second Coming, you have teamed up again with the talented artist Jefferson Sadzinski. If you like, tell our subscribers what they’ll find in this welcome return to show the end?

THAT: Jef excels in volume. This is such a Sadzinski book. If you look at Villainous and the latest volume of Show’s End, it loads the background with so many characters and interesting details. There are so many mini-stories in these unique panels or characters that could have their own spin-offs. Volume 2 is his style to the max mixed with LOTS of dread and mystery.

The new subscription service

GVN: This new series is distributed through the Mad Caves subscription service. Please explain what fans will have access to in this new format.

THAT: Sure! With this subscription service, fans will receive a digital copy of each issue each month and a paperback upon completion of that volume. The first 50 subscribers will also receive a variation of Tim Daniel’s number. So all 5 digital numbers, a variation and the TPB for $20. If you’re someone who loves both digital and print like me, this is a great idea.

Coming

GVN: Thanks again for your time, Anthony. Before you let go, do you have any other upcoming projects that you would like people to know about and where can they go to follow you on the web or social media?

THAT: Yes! There are many great things to come. I have a slasher project coming soon and another horror series on the way. These are the first two projects that are decidedly in the horror genre and I am very happy to share them. For updates, follow me on Twitter! @Ant_Cleveland

The first issue of Mad Cave Studios End of Emissions: The Second Coming will be released via the Mad Cave subscription service starting July 27. you can find that here. Also find our interview with End of the show Artist Jeferson Sadzinski is coming soon to Geek Vibes Nation.