Best known for his 14 year run on Strangers in Paradise and his new endeavor, Echo, Terry Moore is an icon of Indie comics. During his recent visit to Phoenix Comicon, Terry was good enough to chat with me for a bit. I started by asking him to forgive the somewhat specific nature of my questions. This is an action figure collecting web site after all!
DAN: First of all, I’d like to talk a bit about Shocker Toy’s Katchoo figure due out soon. Who contacted who about making the figure? Did you approach Shocker or did they contact you?
TERRY: Shocker contacted us. They were contacting Indie artists they wanted to work with and we were a part of that lineup. They proposed it as: "we’re gonna have these Indie creators, do you want to be a part of it?"
DAN: How has your experience been working with Shocker Toys?
TERRY: Um, they’ve been good to us. I went into it without any expectations. Its taken longer than we all thought it would take, but I’m OK with that. And I think that the final product speaks for itself.
DAN: How long ago did Shocker initiate the process?
TERRY: It may be a year and a half now maybe even a touch more. [Terry's wife, Robyn chimes in.] Over 2 years Robyn says.
ROBYN: I’m gonna stay out of this.
TERRY: "Robyn," that’s r-o-b-y-n.
DAN: LOL. Recently, new final product image has surfaced that shows a vastly improved figure when compared with earlier prototype images. Have you had much say in art directing the Katchoo figure? How do you feel about this final product?
TERRY: I actually have not given him much feedback at all. I may have commented about the hair and things like that, But you know, I had no idea what they would end up with and I was very pleased with the expression they were able to get on the face. Its a small figure and . . . to manage to have some sort of expression on a small figure was pretty amazing. I’m still not happy with that helmet-head hair but I’m OK with it. I mean its still a plastic piece. It looks good from the side. And I was really pleased with the proportion. The proportions on the prototype were diminutive, short limbs. And they managed to fix that without her looking like a Wildstorm girl. So I was happy. I’m pleased with what I see.
DAN: Besides the stunning Clayburn Moore statues and busts of Katchoo and Francine, is this new figure the only 3D representation of one of your characters to date?
TERRY: Yeah. There’s very few. There’s the bathtub, there’s 2 busts. and there’s that one full figure. And this and that’s it.
DAN: Are there any plans for more SiP characters in future waves of this Indie Comics line?
TERRY: You know, right now it would not be a good idea, but I’m hoping that if we keep the book in print it will have a resurgence some year, maybe a few years from now. And if there’s ever a resurgence of interest (like Star Trek, you know) then we’ll support it. But right now all of my plans are on ECHO and I do plan to make an Echo figure. And I’m trying to have characters that are distinctive, that would be fun as figures. Like my homeless guy, the bad guy, the girl with the silver plate, you know, those things.
DAN: Is that a project you would try and choose your own manufacturer or again try and work with Shocker?
TERRY: No, this is a one shot thing with Shocker. There are some fantastic sculptors out there and I would probably team up with a sculptor and we would job it out straight to China.
DAN: There are some fantastic sculptors out there.
TERRY: Yes, and I keep their cards when I meet them. So I’m probably looking at something in the $50 range and then something really cool with real metal in the $200 range. Its easier for me to make busts and lower volume. Action figures require a high volume. I can’t justify that yet.
DAN: So you were saying that some of the Echo characters lend themselves to action figures.
TERRY: Yeah, well I have the original girl in the metal suit with the jet pack, and then I have my hero girl with part of the metal suit on, and then I have the homeless guy who has a very distinctive look. And I have my F.B.I. girl (or whatever she is.) I was thinking about figures at the time, wanting something distinctive. The only thing I need is more props.
DAN: Getting back to the Katchoo figure, from what we’ve read Shocker is supposed to have these at the New York City Comic Con in February. Have you heard that?
TERRY: I think I have. We’re both gonna be there. We’ll see. I wanna get my hands on one. You know I’ve yet to see one of any kind. You know, the whole thing is for free. So my involvement has been very minimal. All I did was give them permission to make it. You know, to help promote Indie and get Katchoo out. So, we’ll see if it works out. I haven’t been very demanding because I didn’t expect anything in return.
DAN: So there’s no commissions or royalties coming to you from the figure?
TERRY: No. If there had been I would have been very involved in the design. As it is, I’m pleasantly surprised that what I see in the final product.
DAN: We are too. Fingers crossed we see it in a couple weeks.
TERRY: I’ll put one on the dash of my car!
DAN: Thanks very much, Terry!