Well known Marvel and D.C. comic artist, Drew Geraci, has just release his second fictional book, “The Demands Book 2: The B-Sides.” It picks up not long after the first, with resilient and sharp-witted Laney Kilburn who has even bigger plans for her band, The Demands. Getting in the way of those plans is the Russian mob and their new boss who’s out to get them.
Drew has worked on most of the big titles from Marvel and D.C. over the past 25 years including The Avengers, Stars Wars, and more. His artistic work has been featured on movie posters like “Guardians of the Galaxy” to everyday items you might find at the store with images of characters from The Avengers he drew years and years ago. He got the itch a year ago to try his hand on the keyboard rather than the inkwell stylus with his first book “The Demands” which immediately found success on Amazon with a 4 ½ stars out of 5 from readers.
Allie Hanley: You’ve written some really colorful characters in your second book “The B-Sides” of “The Demands” about a band that wants to make it big. Who’s your favorite character and why do you like to write them?
Drew Geraci: Cricket, a new character introduced halfway through Book Two. She’s pure id, with no filter and says the most inappropriate things at times. She talks to ghosts, wears thrift-store chic, very bohemian. She meets Laney at a club, recognizes her as a member of The Demands, and blathers until Laney goes from feeling very annoyed to amused. Hence, they become besties. Cricket’s easy to write because I can go astray with free-form association, but I keep her grounded enough that she’s not one-dimensional comedic relief.
AH: Laney Kilburn is a wise cracking, take no shit kind of woman. Where did you come up with her and why did you opt to have this character be female?
DG: When I came up with The Demands, Mitch was going to be the main character. Same background and ‘voice’, as me. As I kept writing, I came up with more interesting things for the ‘token’ female, a clean slate. I made her a tomboy who played football as a kid. But she was an army brat who moved a lot and she grew up withdrawn as a result. She wasn’t popular in any of the schools and was considered the weird girl who carried her guitar around everywhere.
Compared to other classmates, she thought herself ugly and mousey. She loved playing guitar as an emotional outlet. Skipping college, she stagnated for a time until, out of the blue, at 22, she moved away on her own from Laurel, Maryland, to Pittsburgh, PA. This where she’d read about the local music scene. Then she gets a crash course of grown-up lessons. I physically based Laney as the grunge, blonde twin of Kate Micucci (of Garfunkle & Oates). Short but scrappy when cornered. Forming The Demands was a welcome reset button on her life.
AH: It’s unusual to read a story about a struggling band and the back door dealings, why did you want to tell this story?
DG: The impetus came from my disgust over the current music landscape of prepackaged, formulaic dance songs and pop ballads sung by beautiful people. To break big through this omnipresent sound with an aggro guitar-heavy sound is nigh-impossible in this era. Add the mobster element, and The Demands have a herculean task to make their act national. But they have the conceit of youth to keep pushing against all odds.
AH: What’s in the future for “The Demands?”
DG: The band and the mob will find their lives intertwined. Once it’s rumored that The Demands performed at mobbed-up clubs, they’re considered guilty by association, which gives The Demands street cred and a large following in Pittsburgh. Both parties have some damning secrets about the other, but if either side acts on it, most likely they will all end up in federal prison; And the band has to make deals with the devil (not literally) on more than one occasion to stay one step ahead of the mob.
AH: You are a working artist for some of the top names in Pop Culture, like Marvel and Star Wars. What are you working on right now.
DG: I’ve been doing some web comics for Marvel lately and I enjoy it since it’s uncharted territory for me. I do plenty of art commissions. Also, I’m 10K into The Demands Book Three: Standing Room Only.
AH: Where’s the weirdest place you came across a piece of your artwork?
DG: Avengers art I did showed up at a Sears Tire Center when I went to get my tires balanced. On a sunscreen reflector (that you put on your car’s dash in the Summer). It was by the motor oil and wiper blades!
AH: What plans do you have to do signings for you book and artwork for 2017.
DG: That’s still in the planning stage. Earlier this year, I did a library book signing and a Q&A with other new authors. I’m currently wracking my brain about guerrilla tactics, thinking outside the box. So much competition, no matter your merit, your work still has to be seen by a larger audience. But, having announced that Book Three is forthcoming, I’m not ready to give up any time soon. I’ve been told by quite a few experts that I’d make a lot more money if I did a steamy 50 Shades of Grey sex story, but that’s not my scene.
AH: Where’s the best place to buy your book?
DG:I now have an Amazon page which includes kindle and paperback of both Demands books, plus many of the comics collections I’ve worked on all these years.
Drew’s second book currently has a 5 out 5 rating on Amazon. Click here for a link to learn more.