Chris Lackie is the writer behind “The Berbackus,” a satisfying tale of cryptid corrections and nasty-boss comeuppance in our ninth comics collection—the Justice Anthology! We spoke with Chris about how he got started writing comics, his writing heroes, and why he’s so much like the Dark Knight.
Tell us about yourself, Chris Lackie! How did you come around to the world of comics?
I’m an economist [who] lives in Ottawa, Ontario with my wife and two sons. In my spare time I write comics! I’ve written comics for A Soul Divided/Caged in Fresh and What Fresh Hell is This? from Red Stylo Media; and The Best of Indie 2019 from ComixCentral.
When I was young I fell in love with comic book characters through movies and video games, but I didn’t make the leap to actual comics until I was an adult. I started out reading classics like Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns, and then moved to collecting modern stuff after my wife bought me a copy of Batman: Cacophony #1. Now whenever she complains that our dresser is covered in comics I remind her it’s entirely her fault!
Can you tell us about your inspiration and process for writing “The Berbackus“?
I’ve always wanted to write a horror story about something that lurks in the woods, and when I heard about this anthology something just clicked. It normally takes me a long time to write a story, but I managed to write this script in a matter of days.
This short comic has the feel of some real-life experience to it; is it based on personal experience?
Not my own personal experience, but I took inspiration from some of the problems I know people face at work.
What do you to get “in the zone” for writing?
I just write whenever I get the chance. I usually write during my lunch break and after my kids go to bed, but I also write sometimes while riding the bus, and even while walking on the treadmill. That last one can be a little tricky!
Who are your writing heroes?
I aspire to be as talented as people like Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Stephen King, Chris Claremont, and so many others. But my real writing hero is my uncle, Michael Kelly. He’s been writing fiction for a long time, and now he has his own publishing company (Undertow Publications). He’s truly an inspiration.
What comic book (or other fictional) character do you identify most with, and why?
Batman. Like the Dark Knight Detective, I too spend my nights patrolling the wretched underbelly of my cursed city, protecting innocents from criminals who would do them harm for nothing more than the sick joy it brings—I’m just kidding. The thought of leaving the house after the sun goes down makes my tum-tum hurt.
What’s important to you in a comic book, as a reader? As a writer?
Comics are a visual medium, so it’s important to me that every page have a cool image on it. It can be action shot or beautiful scenery, but something needs to leap off the page and grab me. In terms of story, I love it when there’s a twist I didn’t see coming. That’s why I’m such a big fan of 2000 AD’s “Future Shocks.”
I love telling stories and I love comic books, so it only made sense to try writing them. It took a couple of years to get something published, but now I’m hooked!
Any other projects you’re working on?
Nothing I can talk about yet, but I look forward to sharing more soon!
Where can readers find you online?
Read “The Berbackus,” by Chris Lackie, Sean Bova, and Nikki Powers, in Oneshi Press Anthology #09—the Justice Anthology!