At the 2013 Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con, I had the pleasure of interviewing Vlad Yudin, the creator of Head Smash. Head Smash is a graphic novel published by Arcana, who not only had a booth at the Con, but also had their 2013 Con Preview book available for the attendees.
What inspired the creation of Head Smash?
“It started as a story of revenge that I kind of just had an idea for and then it turned into something bigger. It was really a story about uprising against something that’s evil, you know? The story of Head Smash is basically the story of a young orphan growing up in the city of Ares, which is a pre-apocalyptic city run by syndicates and gangs. There’s a lot of violence in the city. There are no morals at this point. Basically, The Horde is the biggest gang in the whole city and they run the city. Smash grows up as a young orphan who gets adopted by Maurice, who is the leader of The Horde, and he becomes his father-figure and mentor to him. Then one day, Maurice betrays Smash. He sends Smash on a mission and leaves him for dead and kidnaps his pregnant wife. Smash survives and gets ahold of a special serum that gives him glowing blue eyes and supernatural strength and power. With that he comes back to the city of Ares and starts his revenge. Really, a quest for the truth of why he was betrayed and lied to all his life.”
Are there any real life inspirations to any parts of the stories?
“Well, I feel like in today’s world you see a lot of people are fighting for freedom all the time and fighting really for their true beliefs. Even when they’re going against terrible unfair odds, they really go for it. If it’s something they believe in, they fight for it. So, it’s kind of similar to Smash, where he stands up against a whole army of people and he fights for his beliefs and especially his family.”
Like other established comic characters, will Head Smash use different writers & artists or will the creative team stay the same?
“Right now, we have Tim Bradstreet. He did our cover. He’s done stuff for The Punisher, Blade, and others. He’s an amazing artist and I would love to continue working with him. Dwayne Harris is our artist. He did all the illustrations and he’s an amazing artist as well. I love the style. The artwork looks amazing. It’s very colorful, vibrant, and at the same time, very gritty and grainy. A very cool combination that’s perfect for Head Smash.”
Are there plans to bring Head Smash to other forms of media, like Social Media, Video Games, or anything else?
“As of now, we’re developing a film to be shot next year. So, that’s our primary (I guess) secondary medium. First there is the book, of course, which is very important, then the movie, then everything else.”
Is there anything else we can expect from Head Smash story-wise, the direction it’s going in, or anything else?
“I want to keep it very exciting. You never know what to expect. I think a lot of cool stories where you don’t know whose going to get killed off, you don’t know what’s going to happen to the characters, I think those are the most exciting ones. It’s the same thing. You don’t know what’s coming at the end. If you read the book, you start off, reach the halfway point and you kind of want to learn more about what happens at the end. Then something takes you completely by surprise and gives you a 180 spin at the end. I want to keep it that way. Exciting and fresh.”
Do you know where it’s going to go?
What was your inspiration, personally, to get into this medium?
“Honestly, I think that if you create a graphic novel that people actually appreciate then you can have an ongoing series, you know? People here are very honest. I don’t think people aren’t going to like something and tell you right away. I don’t think it’s honest. This is coming from the heart. I feel like Head Smash can be a great ongoing series or a series of graphic novels. Comic Cons and other conventions are a perfect opportunity to introduce it to the world. In our case, it’s been nothing but great feedback. I feel like something like that keeps the inspiration going further and further.”
Is there anything that you would want to mention to any of the readers or to the people reading this interview?
“July 31st, it’s going to be available everywhere. You can pre-order it now, of course. HeadSmash.net is the location for the graphic novel. You can also check us out on Facebook as well. The movement is happening right now. It’s growing every day. It’s getting bigger and bigger every day. Thank you to you guys for covering it. I really appreciate it.”
After the interview, I was given a copy of the 2013 Con Preview book of Head Smash by Vlad and a couple pictures were taken. After reading the Preview Book, I’m interested in seeing where this story will go and how the characters and story will evolve.
Thanks to Vlad Yudin (The Vladar Company) for his time & hospitality at the Head Smash booth, to Josh for his help, and to Lauren Jones (Anderson Group PR) for helping to arrange this interview. Be sure to check out Head Smash when it’s released.