Howie Noel is a writer, artist and filmmaker. He created the web series Tara Normal, which he now brings to kickstarter. I had a chance to talk to him about Tara Normal , and his filming experiences.
Joshua Pantalleresco: What Inspired Tara Normal?
Howie Noel: Tara Normal was inspired by my love of the paranormal as a field and as a genre. I wanted to create a story using the genres of horror and science fiction. I always wanted to create a story starring a strong female character who saves the day and is fearless. My wife and I are both big fans of the X-Files so there are hints of a tribute in my stories as well. There’s actually of lot of my wife’s personality and more in the character.
JP: Since a lot of your protrayal of Tara’s personality happens to come from your wife, can you reveal some of those parts?
HN: My wife is very brave and doesn’t take crap from anyone so those are 2 of the traits.
JP: Heh. For those of us coming into the series, describe Tara.
HN: Tara is a paranormal investigator who has also has special powers. Yes, she can see and speak to ghosts, but she can also punch them. She has the special strength and ability to fight all supernatural beings. The mystery behind her powers will get revealed in the graphic novel. Tara wants to save her mother’s soul which was lost after a demon took her life.
JP: One of my favorite things about this series is the little bit of world building and the attention to detail that comes with it. I love Tara’s business card and the ghost hunters show, just neat little details like that. Which ones are your favorites? Describe how they came to be.
HN: My favorite parts of the world building are designing the businesses and their logos. Making the pirate bar in the new graphic novel was a lot of fun. Also, if the Kickstarter hits $6,000 I’ll be making a Tara Normal tour guide featuring ads for the businesses from the comic. A fun little extra for backers and fan
JP: If I had to pin you down to just one scene, written or drawn, what is your favorite moment in the series?
HN: Wow. Tough question. I can’t really pick one moment that is my favorite. There’s a lot of scenes at the end that I can’t share. I think the ending is what readers will love the most.
JP: Do you prefer writing or illustrating? What’s your favorite thing to draw?
HN: I like storytelling. I believe that comic books are a visual medium so art is very important to me. I need it to tell as much as the story as the text. I love drawing and if I don’t draw, I get a little crazy. I’m always thinking of stories in my head so it’s just the creative process that I adore.
JP: I want to know about that short film you did! Can I watch it anywhere?
HN: The film! The zombie film I wrote and starred in is 8 Hours Earlier. It came out years before 28 Days Later (which is funny to me). My wife directed and filmed it for her senior project at Pratt Institute. It’s a short film and we made it at the same cemetery in Pennsylvania where Night of the Living Dead was filmed. I love George Romero so it’s a fun tribute to him. It was made before the current zombie craze. I’ve always been a huge fan of Romero zombies.
You can check it here:
JP: How was your filming experience? Was it fun? Would you do another horror movie again?
HN: The filming experience was fun. The best part of being in the cemetery with 2 of my friends as zombies. The local police showed up and saw we were doing a tribute to Romero and just drove away wishing us luck. I would love to do another horror movie and I also just finished writing the script for a Tara Normal film.
JP: Will you be kickstartering for the Tara Normal movie? Or is it going to be another short?
HN: As of now, I’m not planning on Kickstartering a movie project- only Tara books for right now. The movie talks are in early stages so no real announcement can be made. I’ve been in talks since day 1 of the book so I like to just cross my fingers and focus on the book. I try not to let it distract from the fact that the book is my focus
JP: Finally, congratulations on making your goal for Tara Normal. What is next for Howie Noel? Anything else you’d like to add?
HN: Thank you. I am very appreciative of all the backers on Kickstarter for helping me on this journey to get the book made. I’m spending the next few months drawing the 2nd half of the book and preparing it for print. Then I get to share it with everyone. I can’t wait.
You can donate to Howie’s kickstarter at: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hcnoel/tara-normal. Howie’s website is at http://www.taranormal.com and his twitter is @hcnoel.