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Apocrypha Entertainment Presents:

Adam Beechen is a huge fan of the Phoenix Suns. Huge. So we immediately had something to talk about when I caught up to him at Phoenix Comicon. The Suns have been playing shitty ball for most of this season, and the previous night they had gotten their asses handed to them by the Charlotte Bobcats, a team refreshed by the fact that we had just traded them two-thirds of the Suns’ starting lineup. After commiserating about the lousy basketball being pawned off on fans this season we got down to talking about his comics work.

MM: You’ve written BATGIRL, you’ve got the graphic novels HENCH and DUGOUT under your belt… I’d like to talk about DUGOUT, really. You and Manny Bello your artist… a period piece about baseball… where did the idea come from?

AB: Larry Young, the publisher of Ait/PlanetLar (who published the book) and I were having dinner in 2001 and we were talking about things I might be able to do for his company and he said “Prison… baseball… go!” and sent me off with that mandate, to write a book. I came up with DUGOUT almost right away.

I wrote it very quickly and then it sort of languished for a while until we were able to find the right artist for it. Manny and I had already worked together on HENCH and were looking together again and he just jumped in and attacked the project. So it took a long time for it to see print, but we’re awfully glad it did and it looks great.

MM: What was the research process like for checking out the period of time the book was set in?

AB: A lot of watching KEN BURNS’ BASEBALL, the documentary series. And then doing a lot of research on the internet, finding out who the players and people were around 1960, which is when the book takes place. Looking at a lot of photos of uniforms and what ballparks looked like. Just getting a sense of the time.

MM: With HENCH and with DUGOUT, you strike me a guy who has the ability to find a good cultural riff. You have a very keen sense fort the high concept- how did that develop?

AB: It probably comes from working in television for so long. I’ve been writing animation and television, primarily kids stuff- cartoons, for the last fifteen years. So you’re trained to think of the basic idea, the basic logline, and expand it from there. Try to think of an exciting single line idea and just build it up from there. That’s probably where it comes from.

MM: You’re writing for DC- you have a nifty Batgirl poster sitting next to you. What’s going on there?

AB: My BATGIRL miniseries finished up in December. I’ve got an upcoming miniseries from Wildstrom which will be formally announced in February (which happened at NYCC- it’s called KILLAPALOOZA) which is a six-issue creator-owned series. I’m looking forward to it- it’s turning out really well.

Beyond that, I’m working some in animation, writing an episode of SECRET SATURDAYS, writing an episode of BEN 10 ALIEN FORCE, and otherwise keeping busy.

MM: Anything else on the horizon at AiT?

AB: Not at the moment, although Manny and I have often discussed the sequel to HENCH, in the sense of a book that takes place in the same world but maybe not featuring the same characters. We’d like to do that someday, but we don’t have any immediate plans because we both have a lot going on right now. But some day…

MM: Cool. Thanks for your time, Adam! 

Marc Mason

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