We like us a good western around here. Yes, we do. This here looks like a good western, replete with Pinkertons and cardsharps and petticoats and pistols.
The name and the place is Pariah, MO.
We spoke to writer Andres Salazar about the sleepy little town where a snake is the least worrisome thing a man might find in his boot.
iFanboy: Pariah, MO isn’t just a title. It’s a place. What kind of town is this? Better place to set down stakes than, say, Deadwood SD?
Andres Salazar: I love stories where the LOCATION is a character, stuff like Twin Peaks, Downton Abbey, The Wire, Treme. I did some research and visited a town in Missouri called St. Joseph. It’s a little bit north of Kansas City, and I use St. Joe (as it’s called) as some of my foundation for Pariah, setting-wise. Now since this is fiction, I sprinkle in the folk-magic and religions of the period and make Pariah a bit of a nexus for the supernatural, but it’s all very subtle. It’s a boomtown on the river, so it’s a new town, like Deadwood was, that is growing too fast for it’s own good. It would be a very exciting place to be, but not sure I’d want to raise a family there!
iF: Who’s Hy Buchanan? What brings him to Pariah? What kind of trouble awaits him there? Or is it Hy who’s delivering the trouble?
AS: Hy is our main protagonist. I don’t want to give away too much about Hy. He has a mission, and is a ‘white hat’ but there are some pains that he will be going through in this first story. I love emotional drama and I hope that it comes across in the book. Think of him as a western version of the Scarlet Pimpernel.
iF: Nellie and Toro seem just as compelling. What’s their part in this story?
AS: They will round out the team. Again I’m going to use a TV show, think A-Team. Hy is Hannibal. Toro is B.A. and Nellie is Face-(wo)man. Nellie has the connections, being raised there and her recently passed father being influential. Toro is like Lobo, everyone knows him in town, but don’t mess with him. It will be interesting to see how Hy ropes Toro into helping. (hey did I just make a play on words?)
iF: Were you inspired by any particular westerns, be they films, TV shows, comics or otherwise? Any favorites? We’re big fans around these parts. Why do you think that setting is so attractive?
AS: Oh heck yeah. I adore Deadwood. The writing and dialog is just brilliant. Also a big fan of the movie Glory. Pariah is deliberately set 4 years PRIOR to the Civil War and I want to tell stories about race and the War.
Comic-wise you gotta love Jonah Hex, he’s more Spaghetti-western now, but I loved his older stories too. Someone just told me that Pariah, MO looks like Blueberry by Moebius, which when I saw some pictures I admit it does look similar, so now I am trying to track those down!
iF: Who is Jose Pescador and why isn’t he drawing every comic book east or west of Rio Grande and can I buy the man a drink? This art is tremendous. Truly.
AS: Jose is a machine. Great guy, really sweet. He’s in Mexico and I speak Spanish, so that helps. He is a straight-up artist, and does galleries and fine art, but also loves comics and knows the language of storytelling. I send him a script and he will tweak it, change a panel composition, and it’s always for the better. I have no idea why, but I am very thankful I found him. He sends me the penciled pages and then that’s when I get to have my fun! I ink and watercolor the pages and those are the best days!
iF: Let’s talk incentives. Other than bringing a really promising-looking book to fruition. Tell us about the goodies.
AS: This is where I have fun. I am one of those craftsy-people. Mom always made us do crafts. So, I’m making all handmade some refrigerator magnets out of wooden poker chips, wood-burning the chips. Also etching some shot glasses, I think these are cool. I made some posters on character backgrounds and we have shirts and a copy of the full script. You can even be a major character in the comic and my favorite, as a stand-up comedian, I will go to your event/home with 3 other comedians and we put on a professional comedy night!
We are also doing a contest right now that that is open to the public, we are letting people design a Pariah, MO t-shirt. So you send me your design, and I approve it and it is then a shirt that the backers can now choose to receive. I think that’s really cool.
iF: If you had a cowboy name, what’d it be?
AS: Andres Snake-eyes Salazar, the fastest half-blooded Mexican west of Fresno!
You know what to do. Kickstart it!
Need a convincer? Download the free 20-page preview pdf!