Neil Gibson Interview, Tortured Life Kick-Starter

Posted March 28, 2014 by David Staniusz in Comic Books

Neil Gibson, founder of T-Pub, a British based comics publisher has a Kick Starter campagin for his new series Tortured Life, staring Richard Carter who can see how people die. To check out the page to find out more info on the series check out :


We The Nerdy:   For those who have yet to see the Kick Starter  page, what would your pitch for the series be?

Neil Gibson:  What I tend to write is a psychological thriller. If people like happy stories or stories with super heroes than you won’t enjoy this. If you like psychological thrillers and endings with twists you do not see coming than that is what we write. Honestly the pitch is, read the first few pages, we have the first whole issue up there (the Kick Starter page) for free. If you read the first few pages and are not hooked by then, then you won’t be. I thnk it’s a pretty simple way to try it.

We The Nerdy:    What was the main inspiration for this story?

Neil Gibson:  I don’t really think I have one, because I never really have written super natural stuff before. Though it did not really inspire me I’ll give you a analogy for it, there was a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode once where she could hear everyone’s thoughts,  and they mentioned and they mentioned that someone else had this previously and they had to live on their own. Because as soon as you know someone is gonna read your mind you start to think of the secrets you never wanted to hear about and its horrible and I thought that was a interesting scenario. Separate from that what I always found interesting was Imagine if you could see how someone was gonna die? How would that turn out in real life? Again I realized it would be horrible! Anything you see you would figure out how they would die, its a pretty shocking situation. what would you do to make the best of the situation and how would someone who can’t deal with it collapse by it. That is what the story is about.

We The Nerdy: For fans who read the first issue, what can they come to expect from the rest of the series?

Neil Gibson:  They can expect a lot more interesting scenes, including more characters because the first issue is pretty much just Richard We explore more of Richard in the future especially the Bloody-Man who is on the poster. The Bloody-Man is a very interesting character, he is not exactly the antagonist. But he is critical to the plot. By the way just because you have not SEEN him in the first issue does not mean he is not there…which should be interesting when you re-read it.

We The Nerdy:  As we alluded to before you are doing the project through Kick- Starter. How has this experience been thus far? Do you find it is opening up possibilities?

Neil Gibson:  HUGE learning curve for us. We are a new company, and we want to try and gain awareness in the U.S, the U.S is the home of comics , so we are just launching late in the year in the U.S. The Kick-Starter was to help promote this new comics, and we have learned so much from doing this.  Like we are not actually on track to where we want to be. There is still quite a few days but we have some PR coming in. However if we do not make the goal we have learned a lot from it, we will re-launch it with modified rewards  and I am sure we will get it next time.

We The Nerdy:  As you alluded to , you have your own company, T-Pub, what can you tell us about it?

Neil Gibson:   So my background is kind of interesting I used to be a management consultant. I liked comics as a kid, but I got bored with them, its always the same story line Hero fights a villain , they come back with more powers and the hero just manages to beat them again, then wash rinse repeat, so  was done with comics.  I thought they were all childish and beneath me but then someone gave me a good one to read and  I found so much potential, you do not even realize how much the medium has to offer. I have been a fan for 10 years, I love GOOD comics, most are terrible, but there is some amazing stuff out there. I never thought I wanted to write comics, but I wanted to be involved with them because I believe the medium is extraordinary. I think it is the most efficient means of communicating. That’s what we want to do with T-Pub, we want to be a stamp of quality like Vertigo used to be. We want to have the “Anything from T-Pub you have to check it out. ” To go along with that our more mission is to get more people to read comics. Because most people you speak to, well maybe in the U.K, the U.S may be more sophisticated, they say “Oh comics, isn’t that for 10 year olds.” They think its childish, because they never had access to good stuff. Imagine if the only films you ever saw were cowboy Westerns, you may think Western’s are not for me, but that is just missing out on all the great genres that are out there. Same with comic books, that is our mission to get more people reading comic books. We do it for charities and lectures at universities, I talk about how you can do it in schools. Comic books are a fantastic medium and they deserve more respect then they currently get. That is our mission.

We The Nerdy: What was the comic that brought you back into taking them seriously?

Neil Gibson: Watchmen by Alan Moore.

We The Nerdy: Many fans are aspiring writers for Comics. What would your number one piece of advice be to an aspiring comic writer?

Neil Gibson: WRITE. I get asked this a lot at conventions, ” I have a draft but I haven’t finished it”, well finish it get it made. It probably will be $h!t, but at least you’ll have it made and you can learn from it.

Here is some good advice get feedback from everyone, but if anyone is ever rude or disresepectful to you then ignore everything they have to say. Forget it. There is no reason you can not get CONSTRUCTIVE feedback, even if your stuff is pretty poor there has got to be something good about it. At least you had the balls to try.

We The Nerdy:  With Kick-Starter, self-publishing brands like Monkey Brain an all the resources available, do you feel that  the comics industry is becoming easier to get into?

Neil Gibson:  Yes and no, the barrier to entry are lower, before the technology to make a comic was really expensive and you had to be super specialized. Now with scanners its so easy and quick. With digital distribution its so easy, the barrier to entry are much lower however because of that you have all these people rushing in. Unfortunately most of it is not that great, but there is a lot more good stuff. Its always a pyramid, but the pyramid is now just a whole lot larger.

We The Nerdy:  So you are saying the quantity of comics is larger due to ease of creation, thus you need better quality to stand out.

Neil Gibson:  That is what I am trying to say but you said it a lot better than me.

We The Nerdy:  Thanks, so what can you tell us about artist Caspar Wijingaard, how did you start collaborating with him? What dynamic do you feel he brings to the book?

Neil Gibson:  I started collaborating with him on Twisted Dark, my flagship title. Found him online and he has been my favorite collaborating and we made Tabatha together. We actually had done Tortured Life first, which is why his work is a little scratchier, he has improved a lot since then. What happened was Tortured Life was envisioned as a ten issue series, but since we were unknown creators at that points, shops said noone knows who you are its a lot to carry your books. SO we but Tortured Life on hold and made Tabatha. Which is just 4 issues. Now we go back to Tortured life and Caspar has a few more offers since then so he could not commit to a full year. So I had to change Tortured Life around a bit, and ultimately was not happy with what I came up with. Then Dan (Waters) who works at T-Pub came up with a idea. So he is writing the rest of Tortured Life with heavy editing from me to make sure it is consistent.     

We The Nerdy: Back to the story itself, is there anything that drives you to the horror genre in particular?

Neil Gibson: I don’t think I write horror. I think I write psychological thrillers. The reason I do not think I write horror is because  I am terrified by it. When I watch a horror film I am scared witless….but I write them I guess.

We The Nerdy:What can you tell us about Richard as a person (apart from him having this curse), what will make the reader want to read his story?

Neil Gibson: SO basically he does not have  a personality and he withered away with the curse. He blames everyone else, and is not stepping up. We will learn more in the next few issues. He took the easy route in hiding rather then facing the problems. We will learn more in the following issues.

We The Nerdy:  Has the Kick Starter promotion been more daunting then you first believed.

Neil Gibson:  Yes honestly, but my approach just like in writing is to do then learn and then come back again with a better game plan. If we do not make it this time, we will come back and make it the next time.

We The Nerdy:  Thanks for your time Neil, good lucky with the campaign.

Neil Gibson:  Thanks, cheers.


Again to read the first issue of Tortured Life and make contributions go to

About the Author

David Staniusz

Name: David Staniusz Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada We the Nerdy Writer Hey everyone I'm David, and I am a huge Batman fan, plus the DC Universe in general (though I like all super heroes :) I have a huge passion for the medium and I hope to bring it out on my work in this site, and I hope to entertain and indulge your interests.