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Night Stalker comics writer Joe Gentile

READERSVOICE.COM aims to collect a few good reading tips. Anyone wanting to learn how to write scripts for comic books might want to pick up Kolchak: the Night Stalker, Bare Bones, by Joe Gentile and Dave Ulanski. It's a collection of scripts for Night Stalker comics, and shows how the scripts simply describe what will go in every panel on every page before drawing even starts. Bare Bones is also a good read for anyone who wished there were more episodes of the classic tv series, Kolchak: the Night Stalker, starring Darren McGavin. I sent some questions to writer and co-founder of Moonstone publishing, Joe Gentile. In this interview he talks about the origins of Moonstone publishing, writing Night Stalker comics, and some of his favorite books.

READERSVOICE.COM: Could you mention any books you’ve come across that you could recommend and say a bit about why you liked them?

JOE GENTILE: I have just recently found an author: Kay Hooper. She writes an interesting series of thrillers, “The Bishop” series [titles include Blood Dreams and Sleeping with Fear]. Basically it’s an FBI squad of investigators who all have some kind of psychic ability, and each book focuses on some of the different characters of the squad, while the others will usually make an appearance as well. Now, that description doesn’t do it justice, but look her up…good reading!

And, although I’m late coming round to him, author Michael Connelly is probably THE crime writer out there right now…man, I devour those in a night!

RV: Generally, what sorts of books and magazines do you like to read?

JG: I go for crime and thrillers mostly, as far as novels go. I find them “intense”, and I want to be involved in the book I’m reading!

RV: Where were you born and raised?

JG: In the great wonderland of Chicago Heights, Illinois…

RV: When did you first become interested in writing and writing for comics and have you always been interested in the genres you like now?

JG: The whole writing bug hit me in high school, as I wrote about a million songs, poems (GAH!), and stories. There just seemed to be so much material all around me to talk about. Some teachers were encouraging, which also helps. As far as the genres, yes, mysteries-detective-thrillers—that interest has been there for some time. I think it was Holmes that turned me on to the genre somewhere in grade school.

RV: Where do you live now, and what would a typical week involve for you, running Moonstone, writing, and maybe socially?

JG: Oh my gosh…that is a loaded question!

First, I’m now living in Lockport, Illinois, so that’s the easy part…A typical day? HA! Well, lets see. It’s a LOT of TELEPHONE and EMAIL. Man, I get about hundreds of emails a day for Moonstone to deal with, from creators, to editors, to dirstributors, to press, to fans, to printers, you name it. (We answer everyone.)

To get through THAT is usually four hours a day miminum. Then, there’s the editing and proofing every day. Never ending…more hours in the day. I also try to squeeze in some writing time, which is not easy, as I’m usually just beat after the usual daily business. Of course, I’m also in a working rock band (bass guitar), so that keeps me busy a couple days a week.

Social life? Yeah, I think that would be nice, thanks for asking. No, we do manage to get out to movies, dinner, and etc, but as always, there’s room for improvement in that area!
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