Interview with Michael Moreci

by Nick Devonald on May 01, 2020

Hi Michael, thanks for taking the time to talk to Comics: The Gathering about your new series from AWA, Archangel 8. Can I just take this opportunity to say how much I enjoyed reading the debut issue. It was one of the easiest 10/10's I've ever awarded.

Archangel 8 is a five-part mini-series. Do you have any plans to return to either this character or world in the future? It feels like we’ve barely scratched the surface of this incredible mythology you’ve created.

Absolutely. I already have a second arc laid out--it's ready to go. If the series continues to be a success, I'd love to dive deeper into this world.

My first thoughts after finishing this comic were that this was the love child of The Punisher and Hellblazer. What were your influences in writing this comic?

You nailed it. Those were the stars I steered by, particularly Ennis in general. He's one of my idols, and he informs so much of my work. So I was looking really, really hard at his Punisher run (which is one of the great comic runs of all-time).

Comics require a special kind of collaboration between writer and artist. I can’t imagine a more perfect pairing for this story than with CP Smith. How did you find yourself working with him?

CP's the best--no one could nail this story the way he did. He and Snakebite make for a killer team. I got to working with him in the easiest way--Axel Alonso, the book's editor, paired us together. I'm certainly a lucky writer.

Archangel 8 was one of four fantastic debut releases from AWA studios last month. How did you find yourself writing for them?

If memory serves, it was my friend Ben Percy who introduced me to Axel Alonso. Axel and I met in person at SDCC two years ago and really hit it off--we have very similar tastes, we both love the NBA, and we're both dads, so we had plenty of discuss. After that, I kept on pursuing him--I'm not going to lie, Axel is one of my comics idols. The books he's responsible for, those are some of the most influential in my life. Working with him was not only a dream come true, but it exceeded my lofty expectations. Axel's one of the very best editors, and a great, great guy.

Did you feel any extra pressure being one of their flagship releases?

A little, yeah. If only because I want to do right with the opportunity AWA had afforded me. I wanted to make the trust they placed in me worth it, and it was important for me to do whatever I could to help them succeed. It was sort of personal for me because I'd gotten so close to them; it's a meaningful relationship, and I don't take that lightly.

With the world currently in the grip of COVID-19 the comic industry has obviously suffered, with no physical comics being released. How is this affecting you personally, and is it having any impact on your work?

I've been very, very fortunate in that it hasn't affected me all that much. I've lost some work, but some new work has materialized, so it's sort of balanced out. Don't get me wrong, I'm deeply worried about the future of comics and feel terrible over the retailers and my fellow creators who are hurting. This is a hard, uncertain time. But I'm still grinding, same as ever, working on comics and doing the best I can.

Continuing the theme of COVID-19, a lot of our readers are finding themselves under lockdown of some kind, are there any comics or graphic novels you can recommend to whittle away the long hours?

Oh yes, plenty! Here's a list, off the top of my head:
Money Shot
The Sixth Gun
Ice Cream Man
Little Bird

You’ve been publishing a series of YouTube videos on writing while everyone is stuck at home and social distancing. I’ve been enjoying these and think it’s a fantastic idea. What else have you been doing while you’re stuck at home?

Well, I've suddenly become an educator, home schooling my kids, haha. That's taking a chunk of time in my days. But it's fun--any time I get with my kids is a good thing. Otherwise, it's sorta business as usual. I'm a homebody, so I'm doing my homebody thing: writing, reading, working out from home, watching movies. I listen to a lot more NPR these days, that's for sure.

The comic industry can be notoriously difficult to break into. How did you manage it?

MM: The only way you can break in, in my opinion: by being around. I was doing work any way I could--anthologies, writing scripts, going to cons, going to local drink and draws. I put in that time to not only hone my skills but show fellow pros I was serious about this. One day, Tim Seeley recognized this and gave me a shot to write a backup in his Hack/Slash series. That backup became Hoax Hunters, and Hoax Hunters became its own Image series, and off I went.

You’ve also wrote several books. Do you have a personal preference for writing novels or comics?

Hmmm. Well, I like the process of writing books more. It's more artful than writing a script. Scripts are just directions for the artists, more or less, so being able to control the entire story is a more satisfying process. But seeing an illustrated comic in my hands--how can you top that?

You currently have several series either ongoing or releasing soon, but if you had to choose just one of your pieces of work to recommend to new fans, what would it be?

That's a tough question, because I always like to tailor my recommendations based on what a person likes. So, I'll say this:
If you like hardboiled stories, Archangel 8. Gothic/haunted house horror? The Plot. All-ages sci-fi adventure? Hexagon. Foul-mouth existential space opera? Wasted Space.

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to CTG.

The first issue of Archangel 8 is free to read right here on CTG.