The Primordials and Reginald Nelson bring audio excitement with comic book flair. Comic books and podcast collide in this unique and ambitious undertaking. Reginald Neslon (the founding board president and former managing director of Congo Square Theater Company in Chicago), one of the creators of this fantastic audio comic podcast, spoke with us a bit about The Primordials, inspiration behind the project, his favorite comic reads and more.
MT: In many ways The Primordials can be billed as an audio comic book. Stylistically it harkens back to old radio serials like The Shadow as well. Could you tell fans a bit about what The Primordials is all about? Why an audio podcast and not a comic book?
RN: The Primordials is an urban fantasy about black immortals dwelling in modern day New Orleans. It was inspired by the Yoruba culture of West Africa as well as the destruction of Hurricane Katrina back in 2005. It’s Marvel Comics Thor meets HBO‘s Treme. I choose an audio drama because my producing partner Neil Lewis and I realized it was a more cost effective way than doing a comic book.
MT: Could you share some of your artistic influences? What inspired you to create The Primordials?
RN: I grew up reading Marvel’s Thor and always wondered about the other Gods and cultures roaming the universe. You have the Greek Gods, Aztec, Egyptians, etc but what about the African Gods? So in our story Shango and Ogun are banished from their celestial kingdom hovering somewhere above West Africa, stripped of all of their powers and forced to dwell on earth for four hundred years. They endure the middle passage/slave trade across Brazil, Cuba and Haiti before finally arriving in New Orleans. They lived in New Orleans before finally receiving back their powers during Hurricane Katrina. The concept is THEY were the ones who brought all of that African culture to the New World.
MT: You are also a comic book fan. What are some of your favorite titles? Are there any creators that you enjoy following?
RN: The only thing I read now is DC Comics Batman by Scott Synder and Aquaman by Geoff Johns. Johns had an awesome run on Green Lantern and so far he’s doing some really cool things with Arthur Curry. I also started learning about Japanese Manga and picked up Blade of the Immortal.
MT: The images for your website and project for The Primordials, who created them? Would you like to share some of the names of the talent involved with the broadcast?
RN: The artist is a Korean cat name Kyushik Shin and some of the actors doing the voices are Neil Lewis, Antonio Charity, Celestin Cornielle, Julia Pace Tower, Sharon Swainson and Mike Estime. I either went to college with them or, in Celestin’s case, we worked together on my short film previously.
MT: How long does it take to create an episode?
RN: It usually takes about six weeks from writing the story, up to casting, recording and then finally sound editing.
MT: What’s in store for The Primordials, any upcoming events you plan on having a presence at?
RN: Next up I’ll be at the Long Beach Comic Con on May 11th promoting The Primordials, networking with the comic book industry and raising awareness.
MT: Where can fans find your work?
RN: Currently we have a Kickstarter campaign running called THE PRIMORDIALS ANIME PROJECT where we take four of our most popular episodes from the audio drama and adapt them into 10-12 minute animated shorts. Four episodes equal one complete storyline or “Book” in the audio drama format. We’re adapting Book 2: Moon Over Bourbon Street which is about our three heroes Shango, Ogun and Oya taking on Chef Napoleon Cross and his kitchen crew of flesh eating vampires.
MT: Lastly : Ninja or Samurai?
Fans can also check out The Primordials in their podcast series!