This week we have been chatting to Nick Marino, the man behind Holy F*cked. Just a forewarning, this is not a book suitable for all ages so if you are a youngling, or a person of weak disposition then perhaps you shouldn’t read much further. If you’re an adult or someone who isn’t easily shocked then be sure to keep on going and prepare your eyes for a treat!
Inter-Comics Podcast: What got you first interested in comics and do you remember your first issue?
Nick Marino: I was just always into comics! My earliest memories are pretty much all filled with comic books. Getting them from the supermarket, pouring over their pages again and again, my dad reading the dialogue to me, and so on. But because I was so young, I’m not really sure which comic book was my first!
I gave away my comic book collection to friends about a decade ago. At the time, the two issues I’d held onto the longest were Uncanny X-Men #202 and Iron Man #203, both cover dated Feb 1986. So it was probably one of those.
ICP: Which books are your go to recommendations for both new and old fans of comics?
NM: I love Chris Giarrusso’s G-Man. Rad art, great jokes, and very satisfying stories. Hypernaturals is a fantastic cosmic superhero epic with lots of yummy sci-fi. And Rebecca Cohen’s webcomic The Adventures of Gyno-Star is a must-read!
ICP: Where did the idea for Holy F*cked come from?
NM: Our first miniseries, Holy F*ck, originated with a concept I called The Bible 2. It was basically “what if Hollywood tried to make a sequel to the New Testament?” but they fucked up everything in the process.
Daniel and I wanted to begin the sequel with our three heroes living happily ever after and then throw an outraged Hercules into the mix. That’s how we ended up with Holy F*cked.
ICP: This is definitely not an all ages book. Did you have any issues when it came to pitching this idea?
NM: In trying to find a publisher for Holy F*ck, our main obstacle was a lack of responses! One publisher replied and told us that the book was too controversial. The rest either didn’t want it or didn’t reply. Eventually, we heard from Action Lab about three months after I sent them our pitch email and the rest is history.
ICP: You’ve a few books under your belt now, how does HF compare to your other work?
NM: Holy F*ck and Holy F*cked definitely skew more adult than some of my other work!
I put out a free all ages stick figure digital graphic novel earlier this called Stick Cats, which is just as zany as HF but most of the similarities stop there. My other past self-published comics vary in themes and maturity level, but most of them are heavy on the comedy just like HF.
My upcoming comics are a mix of things, some intended for mature readers and some for all ages! The one that’s already been announced is Cougar and Cub (also from Action Lab: Danger Zone), which is a superhero satire that has romance, action, and lots of weird humour.
ICP: Daniel Arruda Massa is your artist on the book, how did you find working with him. Did his ability to draw huge dongs get him the job?
NM: I love collaborating with Daniel. We’ve become very close friends over the past three years. He’s clever, talented, and dedicated. Plus, he’s only begun to scratch the surface of his storytelling abilities!
It all started when he left a message in the comment section of a podcast where I mentioned my concept for The Bible 2. I never expected to find the right collaborator for that idea! I was thrilled by his interest. It turned out that pooling our ideas together was tons of fun and we’ve been doing it nonstop ever since.
ICP: Despite the fact that HF has some pretty, errm, un-Christian ideas it feels very comfortable with itself. Were you at all worried that you may be opening up a box filled with righteous hate? Some people get angry about gay couples in comics even though it’s 2016.
NM: We expected more hate than we got. It’s been almost nil. With that said, we were never worried about it!
ICP: I did love the introduction to the New Apostles, were there any other members who didn’t make the cut?
NM: Oooo, great question!!! I don’t remember. I need to go research this! *searching through old emails* … *still searching* … Okay, I found the answer!
No. The New Apostles who appear in the comic book are pretty much exactly as they were designed from the beginning.
However, in the process of digging through my files, I found a detailed idea for a story called “New Apostles: Rebirth” that takes places after Holy F*cked. I forgot we came up with that! It features some new characters and some evolved versions of the New Apostles who were in Holy F*cked. Unfortunately, I’m gonna keep all of it a secret for now. Muuuwahahahaha!!!!
ICP: Are you heading out to any conventions in the coming months?
NM: In September, I’ll be doing a few panels and walking around the show floor at my hometown convention, Long Beach Comic Con. In October, I’ll probably be at Comickaze in LA. Maybe exhibiting, maybe just hanging out. I’m still figuring that one out!
ICP: Where can people check out Holy F*cked, your other work and keep up to date with yourself?