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Interview: Curt Pires Pushes The Industry With YOUTH

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The final issue of Youth season one drops June 2 on Comixology and Monkeys Fighting Robots wants to get you excited for issue four with an interview with the creator Curt Pires.

About the ComiXology Originals:
YOUTH is a coming of age story that tells the story of two queer teenagers as they run away from their lives in a bigoted small town, and attempt to make their way to California. Along the way, their car breaks down and they join up with a group of fellow misfits on the road. Embarking together in a van traveling the country they party and attempt to find themselves. And then something happens… YOUTH is Larry Clark’s KIDS meets CHRONICLE. X MEN by way of FRANK OCEAN. It smashes together the violence of coming of age with the violence of the superhero narrative–as well as the beauty.

Youth is written by Curt Pires, with art by Alex Diotto, Dee Cunniffe drops the colors, and you will read Micah Myers’ letters.

Youth is a must-read for 2020, enjoy the interview below.

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Interview: Curt Pires Pushes The Industry With YOUTH

MFR: Did you need to write YOUTH, or did you want to write YOUTH?

PIRES: Both.

MFR: YOUTH nails that raw teenage rage, your comic is like the first time I heard Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Where does all this angst come from, and how do you capture it so well?

PIRES: A lot of the ways the kids feel–that frustration and anger with the world–these are a phenomenon I think we all experience in some way, regardless of age. I certainly know that I often find myself frustrated and perturbed by the way things are. The difference between myself and the kids in the book is I just channel that frustration and anger into my work. I work harder. Go above and beyond to prove the naysayers wrong and to shift the paradigm on issues I’m frustrated with. The kids don’t have that outlet–and lots of us don’t have this sort of outlet when we’re younger–so we deal with these feelings in more destructive ways.

MFR: You said, “There are lots of teen superhero comics, but most of them are written by writers closer to 47 than 17 and feel remarkably out of touch.” Do you think there needs to be a youth revolt in mainstream comics?

PIRES: I don’t know if I’d say a Youth Revolt, but things seem pretty stale and stagnant. There are certainly people doing incredible work in mainstream comics, but I do think opening the doors to creators of diverse ages and backgrounds would make things a lot more interesting, yes.

MFR: With the COVID-19, the comic book industry is at an evolutionary moment. What do you think the comic book industry will look like in 10 years?

PIRES: I’m not exactly sure. A more boutique approach. Less stores but better stores. The ones that are going to survive are the ones interested in cultivating an experience rather than simply selling books. Customer service-based business. More direct to consumer models.

MFR: How much world-building is involved with YOUTH, and how far do you see the series going?

PIRES: A ton. It could go from 20-30 issues ideally.

Interview: Curt Pires Pushes The Industry With YOUTH
Youth #2, Page 21 • Curt’s favorite page.

MFR: Talk about what Alex Diotto brings to the table? Do you have a favorite page from the series so far, which one and why?

PIRES: Everything. There’s no YOUTH without Alex. Alex is one of my most trusted collaborators. He’s also around the same age as me, 27 or 28, I think. So we have similar reference points and interests and experiences. There’s no one I think who could bring what Alex has brought to this book. I have lots of favorite pages, but I think my favorite has to be the third to last page of issue two… the big action page with like 20 panels. He nailed what I was trying to achieve and went even further.

Interview: Curt Pires Pushes The Industry With YOUTH
Youth #3 • 15-panel page

MFR: In YOUTH #3, you have a 15-panel page. Can you take us through how you and Alex arrived at the final look? So much is said with no dialogue.

PIRES: Alex and I have worked together a bunch, and one thing we like to do is these higher density pages, that really have a kinetic and sort of action feel to them. In the case of the club scene, we sort of migrated that technique to a more character-driven beat–but we were able to capture the chaos, the loudness, the sensory overload of the nightclub through this higher density. These pages I typically write Marvel style and let Alex break them down. Then I’ll go back and write / craft / add dialogue where needed if it’s not already scripted.

MFR: YOUTH is an intense, fast-paced story, with a combination of hard-hitting witty dialogue. What’s it feel like when you’re creatively firing on all cylinders?

PIRES: First off, thank you, that’s very kind. I’m always just trying to do my best because I don’t know how to do it any other way. I imagine the team feels the same way. We try to leave everything on the field, to borrow a sports metaphor.

MFR: YOUTH got picked up for another round at Comixology, and the series has been picked up by Amazon Studios. What going to be the driving force to keep you motivated?

PIRES: I love this story and these characters. I love my team. I love getting paid to make stuff. Those three are all huge motivating factors.


What Comixology books do you read? Comment below with your thoughts.

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Matthew Sardo
As the founder of Monkeys Fighting Robots, I'm currently training for my next job as an astronaut cowboy. Reformed hockey goon, comic book store owner, video store clerk, an extra in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' 'Welcome Back Freshman,' and for one special day, I was a Ghostbuster.
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